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A sad avoidable loss

#1
Not sure if this has already been posted? As the header. A sad loss.

RIP Sir

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7287564.stm


An MoD board of inquiry found Capt Wright's death was not caused by procedural and training failures, but could not explain why his main parachute became stuck or why the officer had not acted more quickly to open his reserve.
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article895847.ece

The Sun can reveal that a classified memo eight months earlier from a chief instructor had warned the lack of radios could cause a disaster.

Head of training Nick Martin wrote to RAF commanders: “My main unease is the failure to introduce ground to air communications into an area of training where it is essential to the duty of care to the student.

“I do not understand the pedantic, blurred attitude of 2 Group in our continual battle to expel all possible causes of parachute accident.

“I know my sentiments are echoed throughout our parachute fraternity and there seems no excuse to retard the training we strive to assign — other than money.” He urged that cash be found “before we have a ‘major’ on our hands”.

A memo the PREVIOUS month from Squadron Leader MJ Ellis — in charge of all military training at Brize Norton — spelled out: “Radios are long overdue.”
 
#3
20 sets of these will cost about half the price of a single MoD chair, even if you doubled the price it's the equivalent of a single fcuking chair for god sake. You couldn't make it up could you. :x
 
#6
Could someone explain to a non-jumptrained individual why having a radio would have saved this poor man?

Is the idea that someone would have told him to stop playing with his main and deploy his reserve RTF NOW?
 
#7
I went through U.S. Army Airborne School back in 2000 and we didn't use radios this way. Is this something that the UK does or is this something new? I was always taught that if it didn't open after a count to four pop your reserve.
 
#8
Xerxes_Blue_Cat said:
Does the "Queens Gurkha Signal Corps" exist?
I don't think it has Corps in its title but the Queens Gurkha Signals do exist. Most are at 30 Signal Regiment these days I believe.
 
#9
angular said:
Could someone explain to a non-jumptrained individual why having a radio would have saved this poor man?

Is the idea that someone would have told him to stop playing with his main and deploy his reserve RTF NOW?
I'm jumped trained and I can't. At 2500 ft you've only got 20 odd seconds. Not really enough time for for "Hello 21Echo this is zero, deploy reserve, over". In my day (when hills were much steeper and bergens considerably heavier) there were no radios but, also, no canopy failures in living memory - certainly none that had ended in a death.

Are they, perhaps, talking about deploying a reserve remotely by radio control? We should be told.
 
#10
He was jumping SLS not normal Static line LLP and from what I can understand from the article he had never jumped before so I'm wondering why he was on an advanced military rig when he had not jumped LLP or for that matter from a C 130 before. If training has been cut, as it would appear, then I can understand why the need of two way radios would be of value and why people who know far better then us here, were requesting them.
At 2.500 if a guy had a problem like end cell closures, high twists ect, there would be time to inform that guy that he has a problem and needs to sort it out before he reached below safe reserve deployment height.
I know when on two FF course's that I was on, one in Calgary and one on Weston we used two way radios both times, each guy was on a different frequency so there were no confusions between jumpers and unlike military parachuting, you don't have equipment added into the equation of things to think about during the jump.

Guardian3A what rig were you jumping?
 
#12
More today, now with contradiction between PTS instructors :?


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7291994.stm


on Tuesday, the officer in charge of the drop zone on the day, referred to as Witness A, told assistant deputy coroner for Oxfordshire Andrew Walker he thought "the use of radios would be advantageous" for trainees.

He added it was likely that Capt Wright's life would have been saved by a radio.

However, on Wednesday, Flt Sgt Doig said he used a loudhailer as he believed a radio could confuse a student.

He said: "Radio would only be useful to give very minor instructions because once the canopy is open not a lot can go wrong.

"The instruction is, any concerns, release the reserve chute."
 
#13
kennys-go-nad said:
Guardian3A what rig were you jumping?
T-10 Charlie out of C-130s and C-141s. I never jumped a C-17.
 
#14
I can't see any point to having a radio when you're jumping at 800 or 1000 feet. If you have a problem such as the one this chap had you aren't going to a/ hear b/ listen to advice from something squawking in your ear, unless the method has improved considerably in recent years. You don't have the time or inclination to do anything except try to sort out the problem using your own wits. If you're above that height you might have time, but the radio would have to be bloody loud.

(Edit: ok, just read later posts; Lesson: read first...)
 
#15
Based only on the articles in the links posted (ie I haven't seen the BoI):

'He opened his reserve parachute too late in to the 2,500 ft (762m) jump.....Eye witnesses reported seeing Capt Wright, of the Queen's Gurkha Signal Corps, trying to control his main parachute by using the steering lines during the jump on 17 November 2005, his first day of training with the SAS.
He eventually managed to open his reserve chute but it was too late to save him.'

and:

'An MoD board of inquiry found Capt Wright's death was not caused by procedural and training failures, but could not explain why his main parachute became stuck or why the officer had not acted more quickly to open his reserve.'

Perhaps his main was a bag of washing (not being flippant, I just can't remember the technical term for this) and he fought with it instead of immediately deploying his reserve.

If this is correct, might the argument be that if he had a radio, a PJI may have had the chance to transmit: 'stop fighting the main, cut away and deploy reserve'. (I suspect these would not be the actual words used, but you know what I mean!)

Not saying a radio would have saved his life, just speculating as to why the issue of radios arose.
 
#16
If the instructors were so concerned about radios, why didn't they have a word with someone from 'THEM', i sure that would have smoothed the lines of communication (no pun intended).
 
#17
Perhaps a little more real training TIME would have improved his chances. Parachuting is such an un natural activity some people grasp the concepts more quickly than others. It is little to do with general athletic prowess.
Sympathy to his family.

y
 
#18
Why did he die?.
My father always said if you dont pack your own shoot then looking at the size of your balls usually meant "Splat".
He must have been a super hero.
He had time to cut his main and deploy his second.
And needed a radio message to complete his mission.
 
#19
And for those of you sending me "Incoming".
The girls packing the chutes new that 1 in 400 would candle.
Thats why the Para reg avoid a full drop.
Killing your friends just to prove a point.
Apologise, arrifeces dont require friends?
 
#20
Ord_Sgt said:
20 sets of these will cost about half the price of a single MoD chair, even if you doubled the price it's the equivalent of a single fcuking chair for god sake. You couldn't make it up could you. :x
Fat lot of good a walkie talkie would have done him: wind in his ears and flailing about under high-speed laundry bag.

Mongoose said:
Do they not use Cyprus etc? Surely that would have opened his reserve (and cut away his main?)
Not (yet) standard operational issue as I understand it - tho' I stand to be corrected - and to me it don't make sense to train on that with which you will not deploy on ops.

Whiskybreath said:
I can't see any point to having a radio when you're jumping at 800 or 1000 feet. If you have a problem such as the one this chap had you aren't going to a/ hear b/ listen to advice from something squawking in your ear, unless the method has improved considerably in recent years. You don't have the time or inclination to do anything except try to sort out the problem using your own wits. If you're above that height you might have time, but the radio would have to be bloody loud.
Whiskybreath - you gottit in one. He should simply have done the "action on" partially inflated main canopy, as taught and rehearsed on the ground.

My qualifications for commenting here?

800 freefall parachute descents over 20yrs, 4 reserve rides in my first 200 jumps (from the2nd of which a compression fracture of one of my lumbar vertebra), the misfortune to have been around DZs on the occasion of more than one fatality, and (I'm embarrassed to admit) I have lost count of the number of people I once knew who died jumping.

First point - the press always report it wrong,

Second point - from the sound of it, good drills - a product of good training and a professional mindset - would have saved him.

I wouldn't be questioning the absence of techie solutions, and I would entirely dismiss the bullsh1t about 2-way radios.

I'd want to know how hard he had been trained and tested on his emergency drills.

And I would - sadly - be skeptical about the extent to which PJIs (for whom novice jumpers can become a bit of a chore) might be covering their own arrses after this.[hr]Stonkernote: Press got the price of theMoD chairs wrong too. They were bought online, at a humungous discount. 8)
 

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