A video shows the moment a skydiver passed out as he plunged to the earth after his chute opened too early. The video was shot using a GoPro camera mounted on the skydiver's helmet. It shows the diver struggling with the gear before he lost consciousness.
According to MSN Now, it was Geraldo Flores' 30th jump at the Skydive Monterey Bay School in Marina, California and he was feeling confident after two years of training. As he leaped from the plane his helmet cam was recording.
But shortly into freefall he felt a sudden strong jerk. He said: "It just exploded, it just it yanked me to the side. Something went wrong."
According to CBS San Francisco, Flores' parachute opened at 13,000 feet. He said: “One hundred things go through your mind. You are never supposed to open above 6000 feet!”
Flores said all he can recall is that he saw himself freefalling with the yawning drop way down below. He then passed out. He fell all the way down and crash-landed unconscious.
Instructors at the school rushed to his assistance and he was airlifted to the hospital.
Flores remained unconscious for two weeks after the incident, having suffered broken ribs and a lacerated tongue in the fall. But he survived, miraculously.
Watch the horrifying moments he hurtles to the ground after he lost consciousness with his GoPro camera capturing every moment of the fall faithfully, allowing Flores to relive the terror two weeks later when he came to. Overwhelmed with emotion, he cried: "Oh my god, I can hear myself choking. I could have died that day!”
CBS San Francisco reports FAA investigation of the equipment found that the velcro parachute closure was "completely worn," the suspension lines on the parachute pack broken, and the parachute's rigging had knots. The inspector commented: "These lines should have been replaced prior to allowing this parachute to be placed in service.”
According to CBS San Francisco, the school said in a statement that Flores’ gear was “in proper working order." The school accused Flores of “improper use" of the gear leading to the accident.
According to an expert Dr. Craig Stapleton: "My real problem was him wearing a video camera. It can be a distraction. The United States Parachuting Association recommends at least 100 jumps for a video camera."
Stapleton also commented on the inspector's observation of a worn-out main velcro flap on the parachute container: "It covers that area where the deployment system is situated, so it makes it easier for things to run into that pin, to knock that pin that keeps the container closed."
He said that knots on the rigging ropes were also disturbing. Stapleton explained that an FAA certified rigger should check the gear but with little regulation in the industry this seldom happens.