Skip

Drowning and waving.
February 13, 2007 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Two men go skydiving with cameras on their helmets. For one of them, everything goes well. For the other... not so well: neither chute functions and he hits the ground at 80mph. Video footage and post jump interview here. {via waxy}
posted by dobbs (70 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow! That's the most amazing video ever shown on the internet!
posted by mr_roboto at 3:51 PM on February 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


Read interview. Hyperventilating. Can't watch footage. Might faint at work.

Also, Metafilter: Oh shit, I'm dead...Bye!
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:52 PM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


The lead up is a bit breathless, to be sure. Also, firefox wouldn't play it here, IE did, though.
posted by maxwelton at 3:55 PM on February 13, 2007


That video made me smell blood in my nose.
posted by popcassady at 3:56 PM on February 13, 2007


This and the botched base jump video in last week's thread comments aren't really doing much for my acrophobia.
posted by Brittanie at 3:56 PM on February 13, 2007


I saw this earlier today when it was posted on ukclimbing.com, and it's good. Incredibly good. For that 'bye' if nothing else.
About 10 years ago I had a long, unprotected fall while climbing and sustained multiple fractures, including two to my skull. Watching this - the hyperventilating, the dazed noncomprehension, the partner saying reassuring words - is as close to reliving it as I want to come.
posted by Flashman at 3:59 PM on February 13, 2007


Shown here - and ONLY here - for the first time online is the amazing video from the helmet camera of British skydiver Michael Holmes.

It shows him plummeting 12,000ft to earth after both his parachutes failed, saying goodbye to the world... and hitting the ground with a sickening thud at 80mph.

Michael's friend, who jumped from the same plane, also filmed the whole event. He found his pal bleeding and unconscious - but alive.

Now watch the incredible footage...


Er, linky no worky. Which bit is clickable? (Glad I saw this on the TV anyway)

Which player are they using, I get nowt.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:03 PM on February 13, 2007


Yeah, no love for Firefox. Nevertheless, I have done my best to recreate the fall on my cubicle desk with a plummeting Reese's Peanut Butter Cup impacting a plastic fork.

special appearance by stapler as the other skydiver
posted by davejay at 4:08 PM on February 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Video is fubar. Story is freaky as fuck.
posted by sperose at 4:15 PM on February 13, 2007


THE MAIL ON SUNDAY PRESENTS THE MOST AMAZING VIDEO EVER SHOWN ON THE INTERNET

Very impressive and frightening yes, but, ahem.

Also, I'm glad that guy did not die.
posted by fidgets at 4:15 PM on February 13, 2007 [11 favorites]


It looked like something came out, so it wasn't complete freefall. Lucky to be alive for sure, though. I was suprised he didn't seem to have any 'control'... He was just spinning like that. If he had landed in the water, would he be more likely to have died?
posted by delmoi at 4:15 PM on February 13, 2007


Full Screen
posted by Mach5 at 4:19 PM on February 13, 2007


Just watched the video. That's some freaky stuff, but weirdly, the fall itself is far less chilling than the aftermath, with the helmet-cam staring out through the brush he landed in, and the labored breathing. Also, I enjoyed the understatement of this exchange when his friend found him:

Jonathan: You alright?

Michael: No.
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:23 PM on February 13, 2007


Look for the other guys' video starting halfway through. A couple of seconds at the beginning show his partner below just before impact.

Wow. And he landed in a patch of wild thorny rose bushes. Which is probably what saved him. Happy Valentine's Day.
posted by hal9k at 4:25 PM on February 13, 2007


If he had landed in the water, would he be more likely to have died?

In the article he said he tried to aim for the water but couldn't, which he realized was good because the impact probably would have knocked him out and he would have drowned. So, more likely to die.
posted by fidgets at 4:25 PM on February 13, 2007


Link doesn't work for me either, both Firefox and IE failed, but I blame that more on the craptastic-ness of my work laptop. I'll have to check it when I get home, even over-hyped as it is, it still sound terrifying.

He was just spinning like that. If he had landed in the water, would he be more likely to have died?


I think at those heights and speeds, it was just blind luck that he lived at all. Instincts suggest that a water landing would generally be better, but my understanding is that at a terminal velocity free-fall, hitting the water isn't much different from hitting concrete. So yeah. Maybe.
posted by quin at 4:28 PM on February 13, 2007


I'm 100% certain that if it had been me shooting that video, you wouldn't have heard the wind whistling, but a constant stream of bleeped expletives.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:30 PM on February 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


I was suprised he didn't seem to have any 'control'... He was just spinning like that.

The main chute had come out, but didn't open properly - you could see him trying to reach the cords in the video, I think. So, no, he wouldn't have had any meaningful control at that point.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:32 PM on February 13, 2007


Metafilter: You alright?







No.
posted by Pecinpah at 4:34 PM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not to split hairs, but clearly the guy had some degree of drag from the non-functional chutes that contributed to slowing him enough that his odds of survival were greatly improved.
posted by docpops at 4:35 PM on February 13, 2007


Doc, he states so in the interview — his freefall slowed from 120 mph to 80 mph due to the chutes. The interview really helps explain all the flailing he's doing in the video.

By the way, I'm using Firefox and can see the video just fine.
posted by Brittanie at 4:41 PM on February 13, 2007


I know it's off topic, but that youtube video of the best scenes from Wickerman is fucking amazing.
posted by shmegegge at 4:48 PM on February 13, 2007


This was on the NBC Nightly News last night. They interviewed the survivor. It's the last segment of their Web broadcast.
posted by ericb at 4:54 PM on February 13, 2007


This story brings to mind an old scouting song.
posted by tellurian at 4:56 PM on February 13, 2007


Correct NBC Nightly News netcast link.
posted by ericb at 4:56 PM on February 13, 2007


I, I don't understand. Was Wickerman a real movie with Cage doing all those things I saw? And the bees? For real?
posted by TheGoldenOne at 5:01 PM on February 13, 2007


Terrific stuff. Book him and schedule him after the Blue Angels. But no bleeding this time.
posted by hal9k at 5:11 PM on February 13, 2007


Reminds me of this horrible base jump gone wrong. (Yes the guy did survive, no I couldn't watch the whole thing).
posted by 31d1 at 5:12 PM on February 13, 2007


fidgets: Best. Derail. Ever. Flagged. Favorited.
posted by staggernation at 5:15 PM on February 13, 2007


Just kidding, not actually flagged.
posted by staggernation at 5:16 PM on February 13, 2007


ouch. Glad both men lived, the parachute guy and the base jumper.Miraculous actually. Probably lifelong repercussions.
posted by nickyskye at 5:29 PM on February 13, 2007


I was wondering why he didn't completely lose his sh*t on the way down, but then I read that he's in the top 10 skydivers in the world, with over 7000 jumps under his belt.
posted by Parannoyed at 5:34 PM on February 13, 2007


What has this to do with Princess Diana?
posted by fire&wings at 5:44 PM on February 13, 2007


Video with commentary.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:46 PM on February 13, 2007


BTW, there was a much better video that this on ebaumsworld. Some dickhead base jumping off a dam, his parachute got caught on a pipe or something and he hung in the air before slamming into the ground a breaking every bone in his body. Great footage, the bit at the end was like when Darth Vader gets melted by the lava WOAAAURGHAQWWWAAARGQWAH etc.
posted by fire&wings at 5:46 PM on February 13, 2007


See also.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:47 PM on February 13, 2007


For those who have not had the experience (of skydiving -- fortunately I've never had the experience of a total malfunction like that...) me & my monkey has it right; his main had deployed partially, and what his friend said in the second part is that part of the main assembly had hung up on his reserve bridle. This is, as the interview says, a one-in-much-more-than-a-million chance.

Regarding presence of mind... Late this past summer, I went into a flat spin at around 8,000 feet and, coming out of it, dislocated my shoulder. I can attest to the fact that adrenaline has an amazing ability to sharpen your attention on the task at hand; I landed as safely as a one-armed man can. I can see Michael trying to resolve the malfunction in this video until nearly the end, despite the spinning that I know from recent experience can, itself, cause injury.
posted by ChrisR at 5:57 PM on February 13, 2007


I treated my sister to a tandem jump for her birthday, and they had a similar partial deployment. The only one I've seen occur personally. Fortunately it cut away properly and the reserve chute worked fine. She was convinced I'd paid them to do it, and said that the second "jump" was far scarier, because she could feel the gravity acceleration in her gut, unlike the jump out of the already speeding plane.
posted by Manjusri at 6:06 PM on February 13, 2007


A one-in-a-million chance over 10,000 trials is a one-in-a-hundred chance.
posted by noble_rot at 6:22 PM on February 13, 2007


MetaFilter: *BOOM*! Nggguuuhh.....
posted by phaedon at 6:26 PM on February 13, 2007


For those having trouble getting the video to play (or even find it) with Firefox: if you use Adblock try whitelisting the page. That did it for me. The filter seems to think the video is an ad.
posted by cayla at 6:37 PM on February 13, 2007


See, this is why I make tasty bread. Instead of skydiving. I hit the ground, it's because I tripped over the dog.
posted by maryh at 6:54 PM on February 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


A one-in-a-million chance over 10,000 trials is a one-in-a-hundred chance.

You're going to have to come with me, sir. I'm making a citizen's arrest for violation of the law of large numbers.
posted by found missing at 6:57 PM on February 13, 2007


they really should install airbags on those things.
posted by any major dude at 7:02 PM on February 13, 2007


Oh my god, fidgets. That was the most wonderful thing ever, ever, ever. I literally have tears rolling down my cheeks.
posted by EarBucket at 7:03 PM on February 13, 2007


KILLING ME WON"T BRING BACK YOUR GOD DAMNED HONEY!!

I just thought it bore repeating. (thanks, fidgets!)
posted by maryh at 7:15 PM on February 13, 2007


BTW, there was a much better video that this on ebaumsworld. Some dickhead base jumping off a dam, his parachute got caught on a pipe or something and he hung in the air before slamming into the ground a breaking every bone in his body. Great footage, the bit at the end was like when Darth Vader gets melted by the lava WOAAAURGHAQWWWAAARGQWAH etc.

1. Eric Bauman is a cunt.

2. The video was posted earlier in the thread, just not from Ebaums.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:17 PM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


A million-in-one chance crops up 90 percent of the time.
posted by Cyrano at 7:21 PM on February 13, 2007


It's strange to think of how much excitement and tragedy is associated with somebody deliberately doing something so fucking hideously dangerous.
posted by tehloki at 7:25 PM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of the kids I used to counsel (for other reasons) decided to sky dive and got tangled in his main chute. Spun out of control, just barely managed to get untangled, and hit the ground harder than he would have but not as hard as this. Instructor caught the whole thing on video, which he proceeded to watch, over and over...

Just want to point out to the poster that you don't say who the post-jump interview is with. As a result, I had to dig through the thread a bit to convince myself that this wasn't a snuff film (which put a bit of a grisly spin on the first few comments as well). Spoiler appreciated, in this case.
posted by dreamsign at 7:52 PM on February 13, 2007


dreamsign, if it were with anyone besides the man whose chute didn't work, do you think I would have italicized "post"?
posted by dobbs at 8:38 PM on February 13, 2007


In the netherlands recently a 37 yr old woman fell to her death because both parachutes failed completely.
A 22 yr old woman fellow base jumper has been suspected by the police of sabotaging the parachutes.
All for the attentions of a 3rd base jumper; a man.
posted by jouke at 9:07 PM on February 13, 2007


dobbs -- good point. Between accessing Mefi through workfriendly, and working off of this ancient laptop, I'm used to all but ignoring formatting in this bleached out display. My bad.
posted by dreamsign at 9:32 PM on February 13, 2007


Amazing footage, thanks. Didn't expect the camera to still work after impact; that was definitely the most horrifying moment.

Btw, the original 1973 Wicker Man really is an excellent horror film - well worth checking out. The story of its botched release and later development into a beloved classic is interesting, too. Don't let the Nicholas Cage version stop you from checking it out.
posted by mediareport at 9:36 PM on February 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


You alright?
"Nah, man, I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK."

I'm very surprised he didn't barf all over New Zealand.

Wow. If those are the best scenes from Wicker Man, I'm really glad I didn't see it.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:00 PM on February 13, 2007


Members of the Bonus Day Club. Snow seems to be quite good to land on.
posted by tellurian at 10:34 PM on February 13, 2007


tehloki : It's strange to think of how much excitement and tragedy is associated with somebody deliberately doing something so fucking hideously dangerous.

No argument, but then when you look at the whole of human achievements, couldn't you generally have said the same thing?

Making a big fire
Domesticate animals
Moving something big with a wheel
Engaging in a bronze era conflict
Engaging in a iron era conflict
Riding a horse
Engaging in a medieval conflict
Engaging in a Victorian conflict
Engaging in a firearm conflict
Riding a train
Flying a plane
Driving a car
Watching TV (radiation)
Using a microwave
Using a cellphone
Watching TV (brain rot)
Using the Internet...

The only difference is that as time has moved on; Our hideously dangerous exploits that we engage in have less to do with making our lives better and more to do with our needing additional stimulation. Which is kinda sad when you think about it. I mean, how much of a rush would it have been to drive a car when there were no real roads? Skydivers take risks, it was born out of necessity and it became a (probably) fun diversion.

But how sad is it that we need to go that far to be entertained?

Me? I like the 'domesticate animals' part. I have lots of those little hairy, scaly, and otherwise winged buggers.

In fact, one is biting me even as I type this...

::Bad cat! Toes are not food!::

posted by quin at 11:30 PM on February 13, 2007


Skydiving is a dangerous sport that can be done safely.
If riding in a plane is flying, then riding in a boat is swimming. If you want to experience the element, get out of the vehicle.
There's no such thing as a perfectly good airplane, etc..

I'm glad he plans to continue jumping. Like he said, the odds of this happening are so slim, he figures he has the rest of his life for it never to happen again.
posted by hypersloth at 11:38 PM on February 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


...saying goodbye to the world...

I don’t why you'd say goodbye, I'd say hello. That sudden introduction to terra firma is the problem.

More amazing falls at the Free Fall Research Page. If, like Bugs BunnyYT, you have enough presence of mind on the way down to apply the brakes, try to remember How to Survive a Long Fall.
posted by cenoxo at 12:00 AM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


... but my understanding is that at a terminal velocity free-fall, hitting the water isn't much different from hitting concrete.

Water's resistance increases the harder you hit it.

The bushes were a much better place to land.

I'm glad he's not dead.
posted by bwg at 3:24 AM on February 14, 2007


If someone had told me yesterday that I'd be less amazed by a real video of someone's parachute failing than by clips from the remake of The Wicker Man, I wouldn't have believed them. But I'd have been wrong.
posted by Mocata at 4:37 AM on February 14, 2007


A 22 yr old woman fellow base jumper has been suspected by the police of sabotaging the parachutes.
All for the attentions of a 3rd base jumper; a man.

But was she wearing a diaper?
posted by atrazine at 5:14 AM on February 14, 2007


he figures he has the rest of his life for it never to happen again.

This is the kind of quote that would earn a special mention in famouslastwords.com
posted by micayetoca at 5:15 AM on February 14, 2007


quin: the cat knows your toes are not food. he's bored and needs some additional stimulation.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:59 AM on February 14, 2007


I was wondering why he didn't completely lose his sh*t on the way down, but then I read that he's in the top 10 skydivers in the world, with over 7000 jumps under his belt.

Only 7,000? When I went skydiving, my instructors both had 12,000 jumps on their records...
posted by agregoli at 6:54 AM on February 14, 2007


This is the difference between a golfer and a parachutist.

Golfer: Whack! ..... Shit!

Parachutist: Shit! .....Whack!
posted by MapGuy at 7:32 AM on February 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Not the bees! Not the bees! My eyes! My eyes!
posted by aliasless at 10:11 AM on February 14, 2007


yes, aliasless: we can all be thankful that he did not land in a giant pile of bees.
posted by tehloki at 12:13 PM on February 14, 2007


Wow, I just realized Neil LaBute directed that. I'm a fan of his... was a fan... I'm so confused and hurt...
posted by staggernation at 1:11 PM on February 14, 2007


I hope that if I have a near death experience like this my first post impact response would be to fart as good as he did.
posted by vbfg at 12:49 AM on February 15, 2007


« Older Betty Crocker in Hollywoodland   |   Now for some actual Bruce Schneier facts Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post