Skydiving Multiple Fatality (Design Failures (A experienced person in the…
Skydiving Multiple Fatality
What happened and why?
It was Kerry Anne Pike's first skydiving experience. She jumped tandem with experienced diver Peter Michael Dawson. (Wilson, 2015)
A mid air collision occurred when Tobias (the solo jumper) main parachute deployed early below the direct path of the tandem jumpers Kerry and Peter.
This lead to Kerry and Peter falling through Tobias parachute, colliding with Tobias at speed.
The mid air collision resulted in all three skydivers suffering major injuries which lead to their death.
Seven witnesses provided oral evidence at the court hearing of visually witnessing the mid air collusion. (Wilson, 2015)
The three skydivers landed 1.5 kilometres away from the drop zone.
Emergency services arrived on scene, unable to preserve life to any of the three.
Tobias John Turner also an experienced skydiver, solo jumped along side Kerry and Peter the tandem skydivers.
This accident occurred in North Queensland in Mission Beach on the 13th of October 2017. (Wilson, 2015)
The tandem jumps were a regular and popular experience by the well known company of Skydive Australia.
Nature of System
There were known risks to the system in the parachute releasing premature.
The smaller the parachute the smaller the pack needs to be.
The more room inside the pack if the parachute is too under size increases the risk of going against the manufactures recommendations. (Wilson, 2015)
The tension was incorrect in the closing pin on equipment.
The was no requirement to conduct equipment checks to others equipment prior to any solo jumps. The responsibility fell on the solo jumper.
Skydive Cairns had the correct qualifications to operate. (Wilson, 2015)
The human-machine system used in skydiving, leaves opportunities for human error to occur like this.
Tobias may have become over confident.
Tobias may have become negligent. Possibly fatigue.
Many contributing factors of human error lead to this accident.
The Parachute of Tobias opened by itself at the wrong time and location.
This caused the tandem pair of Kerry and Peter to fall through the below parachute.
Causing Tobias to quickly come to a stop when the parachute opened, to then collide at speed with Kerry and Peter.
The parachute opened at approximately 4000 feet. It is unknown why the parachute had opened.
Tobias helmet was found 200 metres from where his body was.
Both the main parachute and the reserve parachute of Tobias was found opened at the scene.
A experienced person in the field, Mr Newman repacked Tobias equipment for evidence of any failures in the design process. (Wilson, 2015)
There were many different ways to pack the parachute in this specific bag which made it hard to identify the way it was originally packed by Tobias.
The tension on a closing pin, clarified that the parachute may have no been the correct size for the pack.
After several different ways of packing the parachute the failure was the parachute as it was unable to be packed any suitable way. (Nerida, 2015)
The tension on the closing pin was incorrect which caused the parachute to deploy early. (Wilson, 2015)
Tobias body possibly was falling in the incorrect position that changed the effects of his parachute. (Wilson, 2015)
The combination of the speed, wind and body position of Tobias, along with too much room inside the pack resulted in the failures all aligning.
Kerry was celebrating her 54th birthday, this skydiving experience was a present from her husband.
Kerry is mother of eight and is a local to the area. (Owens, 2019)
Kerry's time of death was 1535, determined by paramedic Adrian House. (Wilson, 2015)
Peter was an experienced tandem master skydiver, who was working as a contractor to Skydive Australia at the time. (Wilson, 2015)
Kerry and Peter were known friends as the tandem birthday present was arranged specifically for Peter to take her. (Owens, 2019)
Peter and Kerry were located on 138 Alexander Avenue Mission Beach.
Peter was named deceased at 1540 by paramedic Adrian House.
Tobias was the solo jumper, who was also an experienced diver. He was also working for Skydive Australia as a contractor. (Wilson, 2015)
Tobias was found at 134 Alexander Avenue Mission Beach.
Queensland Ambulance Service paramedic Adrian house called time of death at 1521.
The weather at the time of the jump was 8 to 10 knots north-east and considered good skydiving conditions. (Wilson, 2015)
Both Tobias and Peter were contractors for Skydive Australia.
Skydiving Australia operates under the Australian Parachute Foundation (APF) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
Skydive Australia is owned by a company named Experience Co Limited.
The pilot of the plane was Mark Whaley.
The chief instructor on shift that day fro Skydive Australia was Stephen Lewis.
System Life Cycle
The pilot said that the tandem pair left the plane and then closely after Tobias jumped solo.
Tobias used a Velocity 90 parachute.
This manufacture guidelines to operating this equipment include that "It is very important to ensure the bag is the right size for the canopy and the right size and shape for the container it is being used in." (Wilson, 2015)
It was confirmed by the manufacture of the 90 Velocity parachute that the container Tobias used was under size and did not meet the recommendations. (Wilson, 2015)
Tobias had experience using this type of equipment for approximately two years. (Wilson, 2015)
No evidence that Tobias equipment was second hand or new. (Wilson, 2015)
No evidence that Tobias had any approval for the use of this equipment. (Wilson, 2015)