People Vs Parachutes: 10 Times Humans Took On Gravity And Lost
If you’re thinking of going skydiving, you should probably avoid these horrifying near-misses
The problem with humans is, we always want more. We saw fish swimming in the sea, so jumped right in, and after just a few thousand years of drowning, learnt that whole swimming thing and joined in the fun.
Shit, when we were mere swamp dwelling beasts, back before Jesus invented evolution, we looked on enviously at the animals wandering the land so grew legs thinking the grass was greener on the terra firma side.
But the skies? That was the place for birds. Humans have never mastered the power of unaided flight like they have swimming and, by God, it pisses us off. The closest we've got is falling.
Parachuting, and it's angrier brothers BASE Jumping and Wing Suit Flying , when you think about it, are just falling with the help of a bit of equipment. However, some of us can't even do that well...
1) The Double Malfunction
You don't have to be a seasoned wing suit flyer to know that, when you're having trouble not only with your regular 'chute, but also your reserve canopy, things have gone significantly tits up.
Amazingly, this dude walked out of hospital the same night with only mild concussion and bruising. He must be sturdier than the Black Box that the plane he jumped out of was fitted with.
2) The Lucky/Unlucky Debate
It's genuinely hard to call whether this guy is seriously unlucky, or the jammiest person around. On a cliff top, high above the Moab desert, Mike Hubbard took the plunge and things started to go wrong quickly.
His chute got twisted resulting in him turning 180 degrees and slamming into the rock face. Plummeting rapidly towards the deck with his canopy collapsed, Hubbard ended up landing on a tiny ledge, half way down.
Undoubtedly saving his life, it was pretty much the only place he could have landed without suffering life threatening injury. In fact, Mike was rescued with only a black eye, and bruising to his arm and hip.
Tragically, however, the clip was uploaded to the internet with a song by neo-prog-rock gimps Muse as the soundtrack.
3) The Face Full Of Bush
Speed Flyer Jason White normally hoons around the azure at a zillion miles per hour, leading the charge in humanities ongoing battle with birds.
On this occasion, however, in scenes representing a drunken retelling of the Lazarus story, White got a little too close to a bush, and ended up eating more shit than a future Tory MP enduring his initiation into the Bullingdon Club.
4) The Burger King
On an almost painfully British looking summer fair in Weston-Super-Mare, the RAF performed an aerial display including some acrobatic parachuting. However, one of the chaps got things a little bit wrong and ploughed directly into a burger van parked on the beach.
The gleeful gasps of excitement from the amassed punters quickly turn into squeals of horror as our hero hits the stall with a mighty thud. If you listen very carefully, you can hear the stall owner asking if the hapless squaddy wants fried onion. Of course he does! Who doesn't?
5) The Waterfall
"Don't go chasing waterfalls" warned early 90's all girl R&B trio TLC. But did BASE Jumper Jeb Corliss listen heed their Nostradamus-like advice? Did he shit.
Instead, he headed straight to KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and jumped from the 364ft high Hawick Falls. Straying into the falls, he quickly discovered that an open canopy and a shed-load of falling water don't mix.
We're happy to say that not only did Jeb survive his ordeal, but he learnt his lesson, and now sticks to the rivers and the lakes that he's used to.
6) The Surprise Package
Now, if you were dicking about on the back of a military cargo plane with the doors open, you've got to think the chances of something not-great happening to you are pretty high.
However, this US Paratrooper - who we assume was playing with Lego prior to his jump - can be forgiven for not factoring his parachute mysteriously opening and flinging him from the plane while he was carrying out his risk assessment.
The squaddie didn't sustain any serious injuries following the malfunction but, we're told, he did end up a good 30 miles from the intended drop zone. His Lego, however, has never been seen again.
7) The Tow Rope
Staying with the military, but this time it's Mexico that are throwing their finest out of planes. Now, you need to be neither a military expert, of a parachuting aficionado to see that something's going to go wrong here.
Following most of the squad making the leap using fixed lines, there's an awful lot of flailing chords hanging from the side of the exit. What happens next is more predictable than the opening scenes of an episode of Casualty.
8) The Near Miss
It's not just your parachute that's out to get you when you're trying to master flight. Here, the very plane that the tandem jumpers leapt from moments earlier inexplicably turns around and heads directly for them.
Missing the couple by just a few centimetres, we can only presume that the pilot was furious that the lead jumper had stollen his Snowboarding Top Trumps cards and wanted to exact horrific revenge.
9) The Questionable One
We're not saying that this video is fake. We have no reason, and certainly no evidence to suggest that it is. However, in this age of trolling, angry YouTube comments, and Katie Hopkins we almost feel obliged to join in.
The agonised screams and fact that no footage of the landing is shown raises suspicions. But then, all of a sudden, a bunch of paramedic looking folk turn up, there's an ambulance, a hospital... this is surely beyond the budget of your normal internet prankster.
10) The Coffin Dodger
Initially, we kind of questioned the legitimacy of this video as well. The face of the parachuting granny looks a little rubbery - a bit like one of those prosthetic ones you'd see used on fratty goof-ball shows like Jackass a few years back.
The fact that the 80 year old is kind of already half way out of the harness when the pair jump kind of points to, if not a fake, then a really shitty lead-parachutist.
But then her blouse rides up, and you see an ocean of leathery old pensioner skin rippling in the wind, and all of a sudden, we're forced to think that maybe this is legit. ABC News in the States certainly bought it, interviewing her the day after the video melted 85% of all internets.