by Jan Meyer
Have you ever seen someone on your jump cutaway and deploy his reserve? It's pretty interesting to watch from that close. You can tell, almost before the other guy, that his parachute is history. Then you see the canopy released and the reserve come out. Great. Your friend will live and has got a new story to tell.
You may also have a new story to tell if you don't watch out for your friend's cutaway canopy. Believe it or not, there has been a case of one jumper flying smack into the cutaway canopy of another jumper. The canopies entangled and there was promptly another cutaway and reserve deployed. So much for the bird's eye view of a malfunction.
You can safely observe another's malfunction. Keep an eye out for other jumpers and the cutaway canopy. Maintain vigilance!.
Originally published in Sport Parachutist's Safety Journal,
V1, #5 Jan./Feb. 1989.
Dedicated to enhancing sport parachuting safety by disseminating information about equipment, environments and human factors.