Bush saves Life Shock!


Book Reviewer
Not sure if this has been posted before, but the headline says it all:

"Bush saves skydiver as parachute fails" (My Bold - OS)

Now I thought it was some cunning plan of George W to allow Para Regt to train in the States. However, it's more intheresting (and probably more likely, if you work out the odds:

A skydiving instructor who plunged to earth when both his parachutes failed, says his last words before impact were: "Shit, I'm going to die".

Michael Holmes, 25, went into a spin when his main parachute became tangled during a 4,000m drop over Taupo in New Zealand last week, but survived when he landed in a blackberry bush.

"When the second parachute didn't open I realised it was all over," he told The Times newspaper in London, from his bed in Waikato Hospital.

"I was going to die. You don't have much time to say goodbye. I just said: 'Shit I'm going to die'."

He captured his plunge on a helmet-mounted camera, which kept filming even after he crashed into the blackberry at Five Mile Bay, puncturing his lung and breaking an ankle.

"The next thing I remember is seeing friends, firemen, ambulances and police dogs."

The New Zealand Parachute Industry Association has launched an investigation into the accident.

Police are reported to be considering whether the main chute failed to open.

That would have sent Mr Holmes into a "roman candle" a rapid spinning plunge -- with the unopened chute streaming behind him -- causing him to black out.

The ordeal was witnessed by John Siddles, a local man, and his 18-year-old son, Adam, who were watching the parachutists to decide if they wanted to try it themselves.

"One of the skydivers was coming down and going round and round," Mr Siddles said.

"He looked like he was all tangled up or something. He just came down, straight down. It looked like it had opened.

"We decided it's not for us."

Mr Holmes, the youngest Briton ever to qualify as a skydiving instructor, has been active in the sport for seven years.

Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, he has worked at the Great Lake Skydiving Centre since he arrived in New Zealand three years ago.

He was filming about 10 people from Taupo Tandem Skydiving, when he jumped, but apparently his predicament was not noticed by the other jumpers.

Hamish Funnell, the manager of the skydiving centre told London's Daily Telegraph that when he visited Mr Holmes in hospital he was "cracking jokes and hassling the nurses".

Mr Funnell said that he had never heard of anyone having a similar escape.

So there you have it - the last words to go through the head of someone who definitely, genuinely, thought he was going to die, were 'Shit I'm going to die', Reassuring, in a way :) I particularly like the bit in Bold....
OldSnowy said:
Mr Funnell said that he had never heard of anyone having a similar escape.

Offhand, the record is held by a Yugoslav air hostess whose 727 disintegrated at cruising altitude (about 33,000ft). She recovered and went back to work.

Prior to that, I seem to recall it was about 10,000 feet, held by a Soviet WWII pilot.



Book Reviewer
I remember reading about a pilot(?) in WW2 escaping death when plummeting without a parachute he landed in fir trees covered in snow. The shape of the branches and the thick snow both on the trees and the ground helping him survive. IIRC he was part of a Lancaster crew. I can't remember what the hight was though.


Book Reviewer
World freefall record or not, he is one lucky, lucky barsteward...
Legs said:
World freefall record or not, he is one lucky, lucky barsteward...

It sounds like he had a partial malfunction and the reserve got twisted around it, so he was slowed down by the canopy. Not as dramatic as the papers make out, but lucky barsteward indeed.

The 3 freestyle jumpers mentioned above are all detailed here.

Makes you wonder how many other, less lucky, aircrew without parachutes fell or jumped from aircraft in the course of WW2.

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