A brand new report into the demise of a tandem skydiver in Queenstown has discovered the operator’s security plan had no regard for the way lengthy folks might survive in chilly water.
Tyler Nii, 27 of California, died after the principle and reserve parachutes failed and he hit Lake Wakatipu together with his tandem grasp on 10 January, 2018.
The tandem grasp survived however Nii’s physique has by no means been discovered regardless of intensive searches.
The Transport Accident Investigation Fee investigation discovered unsuitable lifejackets had been utilized in parachuting and the parachute doubtless was not packed appropriately.
TAIC chief investigator of accidents Harald Hendel mentioned the tandem rider’s lifejacket didn’t correctly inflate, however had by no means recovered it to find out why.
“The Fee by no means recovered the rider’s lifejacket and could not conclusively decide why it solely partially inflated. However we did determine a danger that lifejackets licensed for parachuting have been unsuitable for parachuting situations,” Hendel mentioned.
“The Fee discovered the principle chute’s uneven opening and twisted strains – a hazard that parachutists anticipate and observe for – was doubtless as a consequence of its packing. We could not conclusively decide why rigidity knots appeared within the reserve chute’s strains.”
“One other key challenge was that the operator’s water emergency response plan had no regard for the anticipated time that folks can survive in chilly water; that is an issue as a result of it elevated the chance that rescuers would arrive too late to avoid wasting lives.”
The skydive was continuing usually till the principle parachute opened erratically with twisted suspension strains.
The tandem grasp minimize away the principle chute and deployed the reserve when he could not appropriate the road twist.
The cover of the reserve chute was distorted by some shortened suspension strains, inflicting a quick spin.
The tandem grasp managed to ease the spin charge, decreasing the power of influence, and getting Nii to placed on his lifejacket simply earlier than they hit the water.
He dived underwater, reducing away strains tangled round their legs and tried to unsuccessfully to inflate Nii’s lifejacket.
Rescuers saved the tandem grasp however couldn’t discover the Nii, the connected harness and the lifejacket.
The Fee beneficial some Civil Aviation security guidelines and tools requirements for unintended water landings be reviewed and improved by a working group between the Ministry of Transport, Civil Aviation Authority and the nation’s two Parachute Recreation Organisations.
Specifically, the Fee instructed that the group ought to specify flotation units that have been appropriate to be used by parachutists.
TAIC additionally beneficial that the Civil Aviation Authority overview its system for reporting parachute accidents and incidents, to tell selections that make parachuting safer.
“To all parachutists, we’re saying unintentional landings in water are attainable and riskier than you would possibly suppose, so it is important that you simply observe doing it,” Hendel mentioned.