Location: Sparta, Tennessee, USA
Object Type: Antenna
COD: Impacted with canopy partially out, without inflation due to bridle miss routed.
Clothes / Suit: Slick - Static line jump
Gear /Parachute: Apex Dp / Flik 2 250
Skydive Experience: 150
BASE Experience: 230
WS BASE Experience: TBD
Number of WS BASE Jumps from this exit: TBD
Years in Base: 5
Time of day: Morning
Causal factors: TBD
Exit Altitude: 150ft
Conditions: No snow anywhere. Temps in the high 30’s. Winds, N-7. Clear. Visibility 10 miles.
Wind on ground: TBD
Wind on exit: TBD
Wind mid flight: TBD
Conclusion from examining the gear and watching three videos, one from a smart phone on the ground, one front facing and one rear facing GoPro, and photographs from the scene.
Eddie was doing a static line from a 150 foot antenna. He had a three foot sling looped through the hip ring on his harness, one on each side. He used these periodically when he needed to clip in to a tower for various reasons. He was using a non-locking carabiner on each sling.
Eddie’s harness had factory saddlebags sewn onto the back of each leg strap. Prior to exit, he would tuck the excess webbing into the opening between his lag padding and the bottom skin of the saddlebag and then tuck the carabiner into the opening as well.
In the video, it shows Eddie climbing over the railing and sitting on the top rail. His slings were already stowed prior to recording and his yellow fluorescent bridle is clearly visible and free of any miss routing or potential snags. The video shows him handling the bridle with his right hand as if he is checking the routing of the bridle and he places the sewn in magnet on his bridle on his right hip ring.
Prior to his jump, the video shows very briefly that the carabiner on his right side, probably due to climbing and sitting, had worked its way out about half way. When he jumps out, the bridle is laying over the gate of the carabiner and when the bridle is held tight by the brake cord the tension forced the gate of the carabiner open and the bridle became clipped in.
The brake cord held, the pins were pulled and the canopy was free to be extracted. By this time, it looks as if the excess webbing of the sling had come out of the pocket placing the carabiner and bridle more towards his back. The canopy was being pulled through the carabiner and stopped about two feet into it. At this point Eddie is turned onto his left side, the brake cord brakes and he continues his rotation into his back. The pilot chute is clearly doing its job. At one point in the video, the canopy can be seen being choked off by the carabiner, which is attached to his harness, the bridle is at full stretch and the pilot chute is in tow until impact. Eddie was found with the sling gripped firmly in his hand. It appears he was trying to clear it but didn’t have enough altitude. He died on impact.
BASE Fatality List
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