Incidents News

Not your day to die, evidently

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.

PD New Beginning

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


  • It looks to me like the main was gone long before the reserve was opening and the reserve was somehow temporarily locked into the freebag. I don’t think this was a skyhook activation.

    • I think you’re right. From about :32 to :35 the reserve PC is still “hanging around”. ? Something is not right here.

  • No shit.. there he was.. I thought he was gonna die..

    If this system had operated properly would the freebag still be attached to the main? If so, I guess that leaves two possible points of failure: The reserve got stuck in the freebag, causing enough tension to break the skyhook or the skyhook broke before it created enough tension to pull the freebag off cleanly. Am I on the right track? My guess would be on the first scenario. 

  • Ya there I was, what happen was the wild main threw my reserve freebag around like a ragdoll, flipping the bridel around the lines, when full line extraction the red shyhook lanyard broke.

    • Hi Morten

      Well Done. Do you have more details ? Skyhook RED lanyard setting ?

      Please inform.


      Shlomo Peal
      Master Rigger

  • Yeah I didn’t think I saw a main either, but we weren’t there and we can’t truly tell from this grainy video. Morten would know better than any of us. Good job with the whole situation there Morten!

  • Not the first video I’ve seen starting with a high performance canopy with twists, ending with a reserve with twists, and inlvolving a SkyHook….

    SkyHooks are awesome bits of kit, but I think (personally) they are better suited to larger more docile canopies and student equipment

  • At 0:32, we can see the black thing going away, on top of the screen.
    Looks more a bad set up of Skyhook, or a bad reserve pack. I will bet on bad skyhook set up, I´ve seen a lot out there.

  • Some people need to stop posting stupid comments and spend more time learning about how gear works.  Ramon, you are a big fucking idiot.  Congrats on surviving that crap Morten!

    • Mike768, on a high performace, heavily wing loaded canopy, spinning line twists are near impossible to kick out of. He was spinning. There is no way he could’ve kicked out of the main twists. Keep in mind the amount of force put on the jumper during a spin…even a cutaway during a spin like this is difficult, let alone trying to kick out of crazy line twists.

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