BFL230 | 24.5.2014

Pauli Lukas

from Switzerland

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  • Date & Time: 24.5.2014
  • Location: Unterbach, Meiringen, Switzerland
  • Category: BASE Fatality
  • Object Type: Earth
  • Cause Of Death: Impact in terminal freefall
  • Clothing - Suit: Unknown - Unspecified WSUnknown Wingsuit by Unspecified
  • Canopy: Unknown
  • Container: Unknown
  • Packing & Setup: Slider Up BOC Vertical
  • Weather: Sunny, Winds light and variable
  • Possible Factors: Loss of speed-glide, Proximity flying

What do we believe happened?

Account from the second jumper.

It was the second time that we did that jump that day. We knew the second part of the flight because there is another exit from which you can enter the same line. We did that lower jump about 20 times already.

The plan on the second jump was to connect these two jumps.

The second part should have looked like this: Fly underneath the exit of the lower jump and fly along the wall. Make a 70° turn to the left and fly over the ridge. (It’s a ridge of about 120m length with trees on its left and right, above it’s a bit flatter and after the ridge it goes down into a canyon which is too steep as that you could fly into it)

The first part of the flight went as planned. So we flew underneath the exit along the wall. Now the turn. For unknown reason, he turned about 100° instead of only 70° to his left. Maybe he just wanted to make a bigger turn to get another angle towards the ridge. He was already low after that turn.

For another unknown reason he tried yet to get over the ridge. So he turned sharp right and lost even more altitude. I separated from him already after the left-hand turn as it wasn’t exactly what we planned. I looked down and saw him doing the right-hand turn. He vanished behind the trees and hit the ridge with nothing out. He tried to flare out but he didn’t make it for a few meters. The canopy popped out on the impact and he stopped in the little canyon.

What should we learn from this accident.
We all say that we fly with range for errors. But how many errors in a row can you do? 1, 2, 3?

When Murphy's law hits you, you need more than just space for one error. In this case happened two things:
1. Turned too much.
2. Still turned right to get over the ridge.
He had space for the first decision. But not for the second.
Look forward as camera flyer. I had more than one situation in which I was happy I didn't do the same as the pilot in front of me.
Don’t fly blind behind without having an idea of what’s going on.
If you’re concerned about losing a good shot: Walk up and do it again.


Missing something?

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