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Saturday, September 09, 2006

How Safe is Jumping?

This incident is unfortunate and a probe should be conducted and the results made known so that the public can be reassured that our defense force is not subject to unnecessary risks.

Parachute jumping is a risky activity and a free fall routine entails more risk, as divers will reach a high velocity before they open their parachutes.

Based on this report,it appears that the trainer jumped after the first parachutist. The first parachutist managed to open his chute but the trainer who jumped later did not deploy his chute.

One can only speculate on the course of events, as I do not think we have the capability to do a CSI type of forensics to determine the exact course of events.

The following questions can be asked:

 Did the trainer have a medical history that could have caused a stroke or blackout?

 Was a medical condition the reason for the trainer’s planned retirement?

 Was the parachute gear in proper working order? What is the failure or reject rate of parachute packing?

It seems that the trainer falling at great speed collided with the first parachutist and both rendered incapable of operating their reserve chutes. The first parachutist could also have panicked when his parachute was disturbed by the collision.

Let us hope the authorities will be forthcoming with more definitive answers.

1 comment:

The Malaysian. said...

Parachuting even in the best of conditions is a very dangerous proposition. The jumpers know that and the risks are there for all to see. Perhaps this tragedy will serve to improve on safety precautions. My condolences to the families of the bereaved.