Military Static Line Parachute Airborne Exercise

Posted on 08. Nov, 2016 by in Static Line Parachute Jumps

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Round canopy parachutes are much different from square canopy. The first is a drag device and the second is an airfoil. Statistically round canopy are three times more likely to result in injury or death. Although most people jumping with round canopies are military personnel in great shape and have had extensive training, so the statistics are skewed and it is actually even more dangerous than it appears.

There are three elements that increase the danger with round canopy:
1) Hard Landings
2) Little Control
3) Low Altitude

The first issue with round canopies is you come in fast and hard and there is nothing you can do slow down your decent like you can with square canopies. The way to survive round canopy jumps is to perfect your parachute landing fall (PLF). The second issue is that unlike an airfoil device you have little control over where you land. Things like trees, houses, and barbwire fences, are all major hazards. The third issue is that round canopy jumps are typically done at low altitude which makes it much more dangerous. In parachuting the lower you are the more dangerous because there is little or no time to correct an issue. Some experts consider jumping anything below 3,000 feet as just plain crazy.

On the last exercise my jump partner injured himself badly on the landing. I had to carry him off the DZ and a vehicle arrived to take him to the hospital. Exhausted from a full day of jumping and then carrying a 200 lbs guy I realized that my ride back was gone. That meant humping it all the way back to base on foot.

For our five jumps we earned several military commendations including: the Dutch Parachute Wings, the Pathfinder Wings, and Army First Special Forces Regiment parachute badge.

Airborne…all the way!

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