I can’t even begin to tell you the reasons this should never have happened as this guy parachuted into a charity volleyball tourney in Florida over the weekend.
Let’s start with this: In order to get your EJR – Exhibition Jump Rating (at least in Canada) in order to do demo jumps into public areas/events like this, you have to really know how to make precise landings.
The Canadian Sport Parachuting Association (CSPA), which issues the rating has a few requirements. Among them, this one: “Must perform 10 consecutively pre-planned jumps. Each landing must be standing up, and the jumper must make first contact and stop within a 10 metre diameter circle—witnessed by an EJR Examiner.”
In other words, you declare before you go up in the plane that this is going to be one of your landings for your EJR rating, pinpoint where you’ll be landing (a ore-designated 10 meter circle), and execute a stand-up landing within that circle.
You have successfully land in that area for 10 consecutive declared jumps. If you get to nine in a row and miss, you start again at one.
The USPA has a similar requirement for the rating.
The other thing is, you scout out the landing area pre-jump to make sure that there is an area plenty large enough to land in, and that has viable “outs”…alternate landing areas that would be as safe or safer to land in, should something happen during the canopy descent to necessitate that.
This area had zero margin for error, nor was it free of obstacles…nor, it seems, was the canopy pilot on his game. That major steering input just before landing that put him into the tree is a definite no-no.
Unfortunately, he was dressed as Santa, and was delivering an elf to a 9 year-old girl for Elf on the Shelf.
He busted his leg. The elf wasn’t injured.
Here it is from another angle…