Keep an Eye Out | Pilot-Chute Hesitation
Keep An Eye Out | Mar 01, 2021
Keep an Eye Out | Pilot-Chute Hesitation

USPA Staff / Photo by Alex Swindle

This jumper experienced a pilot-chute hesitation during a wingsuit first flight, and the pilot chute danced around in the jumper’s burble for a second or two before finding clean air. This occurred because the jumper neglected to throw the pilot chute (which was equipped with an extra-long bridle recommended for wingsuiting) and instead simply released it. Fortunately, the pilot chute eventually caught clean air and the main canopy deployed normally.

Effortless throws can lead to minor issues such as deployment delays (as in this case) or serious high-speed malfunctions (such as the bridle wrapping around the pilot chute and preventing it from catching air). Jumpers often become complacent about their pilot chute throw, even though it is a life-saving action. Vigorously throwing the pilot chute on every jump (especially on a wingsuit jump, where the suit creates a larger-than-normal burble) will vastly reduce the chance of experiencing one of these dangerous malfunctions.

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