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Girl, 16, survives fall of over 3,000ft

38 posts in this topic

I made the assumption this could not have been her first jump, I thought all first jumps were tandem, it would be ridiculous for a noob to know how to control a chute or land correctly - surely there would be regulations about this very thing.

I re-read the story and, while it didn't state it was her first jump, it was strongly implied.

According to other reports she was not required to do a tandem jump because the static line attached to the plane opens the parachute automatically. That article also states this...

Mackenzie was all smiles Saturday, just minutes before her birthday skydiving dream.

"In Texas you have to be 18," said Meagan. "You have to jump four times tandem – with another person. In Oklahoma you only have to be 16."

...further supporting this was her first ever jump.

You may say this is very poor regulation, and I'd agree, but it also suggests the father was very irresponsible.

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I re-read the story and, while it didn't state it was her first jump, it was strongly implied.

According to other reports she was not required to do a tandem jump because the static line attached to the plane opens the parachute automatically. That article also states this...

...further supporting this was her first ever jump.

You may say this is very poor regulation, and I'd agree, but it also suggests the father was very irresponsible.

Both the diving co. and father were very irresponsible - how the heck was she going to know how to guide her chute and land correctly? No amount of theory is comparable to a live test - safely attached to the instructor fgs.

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I want to know what she landed on, cuz it sounds to me like it may have been a pile of discarded temper-pedic matresses. More details please?

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Mr Swainson said Makenzie's parachute opened correctly but she began to spiral downward when the chute went up, but not out. He said divers were given instruction during a six-to-seven-hour training session on how to deal with such problems.

He also said Makenzie had a radio hook-up in her helmet through which someone gave her instructions.

It's possible she would have coped with it had she not blacked out. Poor girl must have been terrified and I can understand why her father would want to blame somebody in his anger. Luckily she survived her ordeal.

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Both the diving co. and father were very irresponsible - how the heck was she going to know how to guide her chute and land correctly? No amount of theory is comparable to a live test - safely attached to the instructor fgs.

As a gift around the same age, I had a static line jump like that and my father had to sign for me because I was not 18. Basically you have a few hours of instruction, go up in the plane with a chord attached that opens your chute shortly after you jump out.

As far as guiding the chute correctly it is pretty easy, pull down on the right toggle to turn right and the left one to turn left, For me there was a man one the ground with a giant red arrow that he would turn to let me know which way to go. I was able to land right where he guided me and it was a soft landing. They did train us pretty well, it was all very serious as it should have been.

I could not imagine though if there had been a malfunction. At 3,000 feet you don't really have time to stop and think before you burn in. It is great to know that she made it.

Edited by Razer
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As far as guiding the chute correctly it is pretty easy, pull down on the right toggle to turn right and the left one to turn left, For me there was a man one the ground with a giant red arrow that he would turn to let me know which way to go. I was able to land right where he guided me and it was a soft landing. They did train us pretty well, it was all very serious as it should have been.

Same for me when I did my first static jump from 5000 feet. I jumped as a gift for myself on my 18th. We had to train midweek before the Saturday jump and we then trained on the day again. We used the big arrow on the ground too and it was pretty easy to control everything. My first jump though I landed fine but I started to get dragged by the chute and was trying to remember what they taught, so it took me a couple of seconds to remember. So I wouldn't want a mid air drama first time from 3000 feet. Poor girl mustve freaked.

I started with about 8 static jumps from 5000 feet and on the last one I jumped myself and pulled my own chute. By this stage though none of my other friends wanted to do it anymore and certain things in life happened that made me move away from it. Every now and then I think to go back because its one of my favourite things but then a story like this pops up as I'm pondering it. So I want to jump but I also need to be around for my son. So I'm torn.

I think for his 16th or 18th though, I start him with a tandem.

Anyway its a shame her first jump went this way. It's one of the best feelings in the world and now she will probably never do it again.

Edited by Kazahel
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My brother's first jump was in 1973 when he was 15 (static line). He threw me out for my 30th birthday (20 years ago) and they stopped using statics years before that.

They pull your pilot-chute out of a pocket and get you to climb out onto the planes strut and you let go, head up, limbs flared. Even 20 years ago, there's a ground contoller with you on radio.

That was at 2,500 feet. Lot's of time.

Tandem jumps are expensive, but then again, the people at drop zones are making a living too. It an expensive sport.

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...It's one of the best feelings in the world...

It took me about three hours to wipe the smile off my face.

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My brother's first jump was in 1973 when he was 15 (static line). He threw me out for my 30th birthday (20 years ago) and they stopped using statics years before that.

They pull your pilot-chute out of a pocket and get you to climb out onto the planes strut and you let go, head up, limbs flared. Even 20 years ago, there's a ground contoller with you on radio.

That was at 2,500 feet. Lot's of time.

Tandem jumps are expensive, but then again, the people at drop zones are making a living too. It an expensive sport.

Yeah I made an error mine was from 3000 feet(static), I just looked at my old certificate. My last jump was from higher though because I pulled my own chute. I first jumped back in 1993. And yeah it was scary because you climb out the plane and hang before letting go, but we didn't use a radio or anything. So I guess different places ended using static lines at different times.

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I'm a skydiver and these reports are misleading. The girl had a malfunction on her main. She had a spinning malfunction into the ground. She had a canopy open, but she had a malfunction. Let me say this, NO ONE has ever survived a terminal velocity fall from a skydive without some sort of canopy open above their heads. This was a USPA dropzone and it was a static line jump. She jumped out of the plane and a line automatically deploys her main parachute. for some reason, she did not or could not begin her emergency procedures to cutaway her main and deploy her reserve. She stayed in the spinning malfunction until she impacted the ground.

Agreed. Why do people automatically believe whatever the headline says? She slowed with a partially opened canopy.

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I also agree, 'cause I doubt she could have survived that fall without some "slowing" action from the partially deployed chute.

Realizing she still suffered serious injuiries, of course.

The ground composition(hard or soft) and body posture upon impact, I suppose, also are important factors regarding survivalbility.

And the very quick medical response I'm sure also helped.

Edited by pallidin

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Terrifying. I hope she fully recovers, both physically and emotionally.

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What about people that have been thrown from a plane and survived. There was one that was a WW2 pilot and there was one that was a flight attendant when a bomb I believe went off. They had no canopy open above their heads and they lived.

I doubt the veracity of those stories.

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