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How to Survive a Parachute Failure

You've jumped from a plane and your parachute didn't open. Don't panic -- if there's another skydiver nearby whose chute hasn't yet been deployed, you can try these steps.


  • Step 1: Get their attention Get the attention of a diver who hasn't yet deployed their own chute and indicate that you have a parachute failure by waving your arms and pointing to your chute.
  • Step 2: Grab onto them Grab hold of your companion. Then hook your elbows through their chest strap and grab hold of your own straps. If you're not tethered together this way, the g-forces will force you apart when the chute is opened.
  • Step 3: Brace yourself Brace yourself for the chute deployment. The force will likely result in your breaking or dislocating both your arms.
  • Step 4: Hope for the best Hope your pal is able to hang on to you with one arm while steering the parachute clear of power lines and trying to slow the descent.
  • TIP: If there's a body of water or a tree nearby, tell your companion to aim for that; it may help break your fall.
  • Step 5: Don't give up Never give up. According to accident analysis by a skydiver psychologist, some deaths could have been avoided if the diver had continued to work on solving the problem instead of becoming paralyzed with fear.
  • FACT: Your chance of dying in a skydiving fall is just 1 in 71,000, while your chance of dying in a regular fall is 1 in 20,000.

You Will Need

  • Another skydiver
  • Composure
  • Body of water or tree (optional)

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