A Brooloo skydiver survived a parachute malfunction and broke both his legs when he landed in a paddock 1km from the drop zone at Toogoolawah on Sunday.
A Brooloo skydiver survived a parachute malfunction and broke both his legs when he landed in a paddock 1km from the drop zone at Toogoolawah on Sunday. AGL RESCUE HELICOPTER

Plane jump goes wrong

A BROOLOO man, 47, survived a skydiving accident after plummeting hundreds of metres to the ground due to a parachute malfunction at the weekend.

Witnesses said his main parachute failed to open, and then his reserve parachute failed to work properly. He is in Nambour Hospital being treated for multiple leg fractures, with his condition described as stable.

The skydiver, who did not want to be named or speak to the media, jumped from a plane above the Ramblers Drop Zone at Toogoolawah in the Brisbane hinterland before midday on Sunday.

When his main parachute failed to open he pulled his reserve at 3000 feet, but it tangled and he was unable to control his landing.

Witnesses said he narrowly missed power lines before coming down in a field about 1km from the drop zone.

A local skydiver (who also didn't want to be named because of bad press often associated with skydivers) said many had survived accidents where the press had reported no parachute had opened.

He said in these circumstances they were actually being slowed by a small area of tangled parachute.

While they might still be very lucky to survive, he said an impact at 80mph was much less severe than 120mph that might occur in a normal freefall.

"It's quite surprising how survivable it can be. Even if a parachute is partially open it slows down the descent enough for the landing not to be fatal," he said. "As long as there is something above your head."

Gympie Times


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