Malfunction Flowchart

Visit Us

Julian Barthel, who brought us the Canopy Collision Cone, unveils his Malfunctions Flowchart…

Lineover Malfunction


With the USPA Safety Day being held at US and foreign affiliate dropzones alike, one cannot help but come across the slogan #EveryDayisSafetyDay on social media…

This is a reminder of how we should stay on top of our procedures – not only once a year – but that it is a constant effort. Emergency procedures should be regularly reviewed, especially but not exclusively during the first couple of hundred jumps, to ensure currency and appropriate muscle memory when execution is required.

The sad reality is that some skydivers looked at malfunction procedures the last time when they completed their A-License required emergency reviews, or maybe last Safety Day. Every USPA instructor and instructional rating holder will remember from their coach course that in as short a period as 30 days without repetition after initial training, 90% or more of the information will be forgotten.

In 30 days without repetition, 90% of the information will be forgotten

Malfunction Flowchart

So maybe an easy-to-use, one-page flowchart that can be quickly consulted would make a regular review easier for students and experienced skydivers alike…

The Malfunctions Flowchart


The purpose of this graphic is to give a compact overview of the most common malfunctions and their classifications, as well as the appropriate actions that should be taken in each case. It’s designed as a comprehensive, user-friendly checklist, for instructors in ground schools as well as a guide for novice and advanced jumpers for emergency reviews on a regular basis, after the ground school and A-license training. You can download below.


  1. Since this graphic is aimed especially towards lower experience skydivers, a conservative “decide and act” altitude of 2,500ft/800m was chosen. As experience increases, some skydivers may choose to lower that decision altitude.
  2. 2,500 feet is actually equal to 762m, but for practical purposes with analog altimeters that are common to use for students and novice skydivers, 800m was chosen.
  3. The emergency keywords are displayed for “one-hand-per-handle” procedures, executing an action with each syllable. If you have learnt different words or two-handed procedures, obviously stick with what works for you.
Bag lock malfunction

Practice your EPs!

Practice with proper visualization goes a long way, so I recommend you use this graphic in combination with this excellent set of malfunction pictures put online by Performance Designs: 


Download the Flowchart

We have put the Flowchart online as a free download in various sizes, see below. Please print a copy for your DZ or AFF School wall. I hope you find it useful. Stay Safe!




Meet: Julian Barthel

Julian is a full time Instructor, Free Fly Load Organizer, Tunnel Coach and Instructor/Examiner with 6000+ Jumps based at Skydive Empuriabrava. He runs the Empuria branch of the Instructors Academy, training USPA Coaches and USPA/UPT Tandem instructors.
Likes: vfs, canopy piloting, freefly, dynamic (2wd /4wd)

View All Posts