Reserve Malfunction
30.08.2003 Klatovy, Czech Republic - during the training for the World Team '04 I experienced my first and hopefully last reserve malfunction.

Cause

A (suspected) pressure knot holding together the left C, D and brake lines about 40cm under the canopy
using a reserve that was just too bloody small (wing loading 1.85+)

Effect
A 3600 degree hook turn under a reserve, resulting in ...
Polytrauma
Commotio cerebri non rec.
Cont. thorac. non rec.
Cont. cord. non rec.
Fract. vert. LII operat. (Typ C)
Fract. vert. LIII operat.
Fract. vert. LIV operat. (Typ C)
Fract. vert. LV operat. (Typ B)
Fract. apert. cruc. dist. dext. operat.
Fract. apert. calcan. dext. fixat.
Fract. apert. calcan. sin. operat.
Fract. cost. I sin. non rec.
Haematopneumothorax non rec.
dist. US-Fractur re. zweitgradig offen.
An 8 hour emergency operation to rebuild me in the 'Klinika ortopedia a traumatologie' in Plzen (Pilsen).
7 days in the 'Anesteziologicko-resuscitacni klinika' in Plzen.
6 weeks on my back in AKH Wien Austria, waiting for the vertebrae to heal.
3 months in a rehab clinic learning to walk again.

Consequences
2 rods holding my back (L1-S1) together.
many plates and screws holding my right leg together.
A serious rethink of my choice of gear size.
2004.04.02 I have the OK from my doctors to jump again. Now I just need to build up a bit more muscle and then it will be back to the air!!
2004.07.21 I am back to the air again
2013.12.18, oh well, the 10 year anniversary has rushed past. a bit has happened since. not only back in the air but now AFF instructor. all rods plates and the like have been removed. currently jumping a 119 CrossFire2 main with a 170 reserve which provides heaps of peace of mind.

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