A camera caught the near-death experience of skydiver Gerardo Flores, whose parachute opened 13,000 feet above the ground
, causing him to go unconscious for two weeks following the incident.
The skydiver said he felt confident making his 30th jump after two years of training before the perilous incident.
“One hundred things go through your mind. You are never supposed to open above 6,000 feet!” Flores told a local news station.
He said he considered cutting his chute to open a reserve pack but feared there might be something wrong with the backup.
“I said wait a minute if I pull right now, what if the reserve doesn’t open?” he told CBS SF/Bay Area.
He crash landed in the drop zone after being unconscious for 20 minutes thousands of feet above the earth.
Teachers at the Skydive Monterey Bay School airlifted him to a nearby hospital. He remained unconscious for two weeks. Flores suffered broken ribs and a lacerated tongue but survived the fall.
“The FAA said, 'you are the luckiest man I ever met,'” he said.
The Federal Aviation Administration investigates skydives that go wrong. The investigation said a critical Velcro closing flap on the parachute was "completely worn." There were also knots in the parachute's rigging to the point the report concluded that “these lines should have been replaced prior to allowing this parachute to be placed in service.”
"Gerardo has 30 skydives," a statement from the school sent to the TV station said. "He is a novice skydiver. He was told several times – not only should he wait until at least 200 jumps before taking responsibility of another piece of gear onto the skydive, but that cameras are not allowed with any rental equipment. Jumping with cameras are (sic) advanced procedures due to several safety reasons."
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