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Summary

Summary

As the first student parachutist climbed out on the wheel strut for his parachute descent his main chute deployed prematurely. The parachute risers became entangled with the horizontal stabiliser causing increased drag damage to the stabiliser and a locked elevator. The entangled student and the other student and instructor safely evacuated the aircraft by parachute. The pilot who was also prepared to evacuate the aircraft carried out a series of handling checks and was able to establish a means of controlling the aircraft. He was able to land the aircraft safely on a salt lake with the parachute still attached. The parachutist was using a type of equipment which only requires a 10lb pull to activate the pilot chute. The static line to the pilot chute is tucked under an elastic band to prevent it trailing in the slip stream. If the line becomes loose from the band the slipstream can deploy the pilot chute which in turn will deploy the main chute. The instructor did not see the line work loose but it is probable that this is what occurred. This accident was not the subject of an on-scene investigation.

 
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