Very true--we had a fellow in our club who was trying for some kind of record number of jumps in a given period. As the day wore on, he got more and more careless and absorbed with the record etc. Jumpmaster was a pal of his and caught the fever paving the way a "perfect storm" of mistakes. Jumper hopped aboard, talking the ear off the JM, climbed to altitude, still talking, exited aircraft, good arch, watched altimeter, reached to pull and realized no chute. (His rig was one with reserve on back).
Reminds me of a french freefaller in the late 80's or possibly 1990 who was wearing the helmet video camera thingamy do dah, on the last jump of the day he went up with the jumpers just to film their exit and then to stay in the plane - wearing NO PARACHUTE.
Anyhow come their exit he followed them out as was his normal habit, the film from his camera see's him closing on his mates as sky divers do and alls ok until pull time then he realised his mistake and its panic stations as he searches around for help which obviously isn't going to come.
An ultimate fail - gravity sucks! Should have grabbed the ground because its the bounce that kills you.
In my years of service I have learned to never underestimate the stupidity of man! (classic example is 2 squaddies, Marines, (fill in your blank), hunkered down and fidgeting with something olive drab and metallic telling their mates to "watch this" as said mates quickly seek cover from the soon to be flying shrapnel, debris and body parts)
Sloan Carafello of Schenectady, New York, was on a flight with the Duanesburg Skydiving Club. His job was to videotape the skydivers in the plane as they prepared to jump.
Robert Rawlins, pilot and owner of the single-engine plane, opened the door at 10,000 feet to allow the divers to jump. An instructor, student and videographer jumped out of the plane. As Rawlins had begun to close the door, the 29-year-old Carafello inexplicably jumped out the door with camera in hand but no parachute on his back.
His dead body was found next to a house with a damaged roof west of Albany. Police said they did not suspect foul play but would not elaborate.
This is the detail on the guy I referred to in my club-I had remembered some of them incorrectly.
Veteran skydiver Ivan McGuire parachuted out of airplanes most of his adult life. By just 35 years of age he had successfully completed over eight hundred jumps! In 1988 in Louisburg, North Carolina, Ivan McGuire was preparing himself for another jump. This particular jump was going to be different than all his previous jumps. His assignment was to strap on special video equipment so he could tape a student and an instructor jumping out of the airplane behind him.
As the airplane climbed to the desired altitude, Ivan began recording the careful preparations that were being made in the belly of the airplane. The instructor and his student were standing in the airplane's doorway rehearsing the details of the jump, checking their gear, and tightening their harnesses. When the plane reached the desired altitude of two miles Ivan was the first to jump, immediately followed by the instructor and the student. The videotape showed everyone in a freefall at exhilarating speeds up to one hundred fifty miles per hour. Next, the tape showed the instructor and the student opening their parachutes and rapidly receding from view as Ivan continued his plunge toward earth.
But something was drastically wrong. The video showed Ivan's right hand reaching for his parachute release. And then his left hand desperately reached forward. Next, the camera began jerking around violently. In the video you can see the ground approaching rapidly. And then there was nothing. The Federal Aviation Administration investigators later concluded that there was only one logical explanation for Ivan's death. They said he must have mistaken his video equipment for his parachute. In his preoccupation with his video equipment, he forgot to strap on the one essential piece of equipment he needed to survive his free-fall.