Decision Time!

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When decision altitude comes, it’s TIME!

Gary ‘Swoop’ Wainwright after a reserve ride
Image by Rob Lloyd

What was wrong?

Recently an experienced, current jumper had a malfunction and cut away. After he safely landed his reserve canopy, folks on the ground asked him “What was wrong?”.

His reply was

I don’t know, but I was at my decision altitude so I executed emergency procedures!

There is a very important lesson here. Note that in the case above the experienced jumper wasted no time trying to identify or correct his malfunction because he was at his decision altitude… he simply saved his life!

Far too many jumpers have had really bad outcomes due to delaying execution of emergency procedures to “fix” a malfunction.

Interestingly, when the cutaway main was recovered, the problem was identified as one that with sufficient altitude the jumper might have managed without cutting away. However, without any doubt, the jumper did the right thing by executing emergency procedures promptly, given his low altitude.

Trust your reserve, repacks are cheap.

Article by Jim McGraw, Skydive Spaceland

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