This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
To the Editor:—
In the communication by Drs. Ryan and Thomas "Sport Parachuting and Sky Diving" (194:259, 1965) the statement is made "If malfunction occurs, he should immediately activate his reserve parachute, since his rate of fall will continue to accelerate...." This is a very misleading statement and serious injury could result from following such advice. Obviously, with a complete streamer the reserve must be activated; however, other more common malfunctions of the main chute do not necessarily require activation of the reserve. In the case of torn panels resulting from packing a wet parachute, the rate of fall may not increase appreciably and activation of the reserve under these circumstances may result in entanglement of the reserve chute on the shroud line of the main. Additionally, the same situation could apply to a "Mae West" occurring in the main chute.The jumper must decide whether it is safer
Litchfield DL. Sport Parachuting and Sky Diving. JAMA. 1966;196(11):1028. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100240162060