Return to Index  


May 25 2009 at 2:14 PM
David Gordon 

Response to Jump helmet

Hey Dan,

I did about a dozen jumps with the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team from their C-47 and had a blast. They are a good group and they put a lot of emphasis on safety. That being said, remember that the team portion ends when you leave the door and you need to be mentally sharp so you can deal with any situation that might come up. Some of the people that have the intestinal fortitude for jumping still lack common sense and they tend to be dangerous to themselves and others. One guy jumped and pretty much went in dead stick. The chute did its job but the jumper was limp in the harness and let it rotate and run with the wind and he burned in which resulted in a neck/spine fracture. Another guy ran with the wind and only corrected at the last minute to avoid landing on the highway. He smashed into a metal sign on the edge of the road and broke one of the support posts off as well as his leg. Another fixated on his landing spot instead of the horizon and experienced ground rush. That ended in a delta dart two point landing, feet and ass, which caused a compression fracture to the lower back. There have been many others but none were related to aircraft or equipment malfunctions with the exception of those which were self inflicted. Usually they were a result of bad exit and/or body position which caused severe twists or a Mae West.

Two things I would recommend are picking a jump position as far forward on the list as you can. They let you pick your spot on each jump manifest so I always wanted to be first or second if possible so as to avoid issues with problematic people being ahead of me. Its safer once you are out of the aircraft. The second thing is to start wearing your helmet as much as you can before you do your refresher course. You probably dont have the neck muscles that you used to have when younger and jumping. PLF practice is much rougher than real jumping and landing. And doing it repeatedly and keeping your head from hitting the ground will cause major neck muscle strain if you arent used to having 5+ extra pounds on top of your head.

 Respond to this message