Skydiver Forced To Cut Off Parachute After Scary Malfunction

Published December 4, 2015 16,444 Plays

Rumble / Close CallsThey say that 1 out of every 1,000 jumps will require skydivers to use their reserves, or cutaways, when something goes wrong during a jump. Well, it had been 996 jumps since the last time Oliver needed to use his cutaway. Check out what happens when his parachute got all tangled up during a jump. Filmed in Skydive Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa.

Modern skydiving harness-containers have two containers; one for the main parachute and one for the reserve. These containers are built into a single "backpack", with the reserve container above the main. In case the main parachute malfunctions, like it got tangled up in Oliver's case, it is necessary to jettison the main chute before deploying the reserve to avoid entanglement between the main and the reserve. This act of jettisoning the main chute is called a "cut-away".

There are several ways a parachute can malfunction. The possible malfunctions are differentiated as high speed and low speed malfunctions. What happened to Oliver here is what skydivers call simply a “line twist", a low speed malfunction where the chute twists around the vertical axis upon deployment. If the skydiver is not able to rotate their body in order for the lines to untwist, they have to cut away.

Watching this experienced skydiver struggle with his the malfunctions in his parachute has sure gave us the chills! Can you imagine something goes wrong mid-air as you approach the land at high speed and there is nothing you can do about it! Scary, isn't it! Thankfully, things worked out just fine for this lucky guy!