Morten Pedersen, a local DeLand videographer had a bit of a shitty day at work recently. Or a really good day, depending on how you look at it. After an uneventful tandem video, he deploys his Velocity 103 main and encounters a brake fire. The canopy spins up and Morten cuts away. The main canopy takes off with the SkyHook and as you can see in the video the freebag/reserve pilot chute are thrown around wildly. The red SkyHook lanyard breaks and once the reserve canopy is clear, Morten works hard to get an inflated reserve over his head.
Mission accomplished about 150 ft off the ground – aims for the nearest available clear area and flare…. In this case a little extra altitude at the top definitely saved the day and the big sigh at the end of the video says it all. Well done Morten – a good reminder to all of us to never stop fighting.
This incident has promoted some discussion about the use of a SkyHook with high performance main canopies such as the Velocity. Morten has shared his footage with the manufacturers and they will review it closely to see what can be learned from this incident. For a bit of background, Morten has been in the sport for more years than we care to count and has extensive experience behind him in almost every facet of jumping. He was jumping a SkyHook equipped Sun Path Javelin, a Velocity 103 and an Optimum 126.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic in the comments or on Facebook, especially if you are one of those high performance pilots.
Photo by Yell Saccani