A 33-year-old male parachute jump instructor (victim #1) and a 29-year-old jump student (victim #2) died upon impact with the ground following an unsuccessful tandem parachute jump. Victim #2 had contacted the victim #1 for a formal parachute lesson. The lesson included connecting two harnesses together which allowed victim #1 and victim #2 to jump as one unit. Victim #1 carried the chute pack on his back and victim #2 was attached to his chest via the harness in a back-to-chest position. On the day of the incident, a number of parachutists boarded a plane and ascended to an elevation of 10,500 feet. The tandem jumpers jumped from the plane, and were followed by two other single jumpers. Victim #1's drogue chute, which positions the jumpers and pulls out the main chute, deployed, and shortly thereafter the main chute began to deploy. Subsequently, the main chute and reserve chute lines became entangled in the drogue lines, and the chutes were unable to fully deploy. Victim #1 worked to free the tangled lines as two victims continued to fall. These attempts were unsuccessful, and the two victims struck the ground at a golf course. EMS responders and the medical examiner arrived, and the victims were pronounced dead at the scene and were transported to the county morgue. The Wisconsin FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, parachute jumpers, organizations, and manufacturers should: 1. continue to support and conduct research efforts on incorporating fail-safe systems into the maintenance, preparation and use of parachutes and equipment.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment