Investigative Committee of Russia analyses injuries and deaths of people due to rendering parachuting services

The Investigative Committee of Russia takes measures to improve the regulatory framework of rendering services related to parachuting. These services are already provided in many regions of the country and are very popular. However, many accidents occur in this area, including the fatal ones. Usually, such tragic episodes happen to people who are not professional sportsmen but pay money for attractions failing to meet safety standards.

Many organizers place effective advertisements for people who want to try the feeling of flying. Pictures in social networks and vivid descriptions create an illusion that parachute jumping is an easy process not requiring experience and training. Besides, rendering services related to parachuting is often on the flow and attitude towards instructing and preparation of flight is just formal.

For example, recently a probe was launched into an accident in Leningrad Region. Workers of the Valkiria parachuting club allowed to make an independent parachute jump to a man without providing the necessary education and instructing and without checking the equipment. As a result, parachute carbines failed to unfasten from a cable on the plane leading to premature incomplete parachute canopy opening. The man prevented the tragedy on his own by opening a reserve parachute. At present, the investigation continues to establish the circumstances of the situation.

The court is reviewing a similar probe, also from Leningrad Region, into two accomplices rendering parachuting services. A professional parachute jumper--the Director of Zoltan LLC and a commercial pilot provided services of transportation of citizens on an AN-2 plane that was not registered in accordance with the law and had significant technical shortcomings. They also practiced tandem jumps for 7,000-10,000 rubles. During 2015-2016, they carried over 1,100 citizens on the plane.

Sometimes accidents happen to professional parachute jumpers too. For example, last April, employees of Staritsky Aviation Sports Club LLC in Tver Region carried out practice to prepare for parachute competitions. During a jump, a 17-year-old athlete lost control and was blown off almost a kilometer from the landing pad--he fell into a reservoir he could not get out of and died. During the investigation, it was established that the indicated sports club was not a member of the parachute jumping association.

Commercial services include riding a parachute tied to a boat. At first sight, such entertainment may seem less dangerous; however, it is anything but. Everyone knows about tragic accidents on the coasts of resorts when using such attractions entailed injuries and even deaths of tourists due to different reasons. Investigators of the Investigative Committee of Russia gave legal assessment to such a case that occurred in Krasnodar Territory in 2018. A Tuapse District resident gave a young couple a ride on a parachute towed by a boat for 3,000 rubles. A strong blow of wind threw the tourists to a power line; they received electrical injuries and fell on the ground. The organizer of this service was sentenced in 2018.

Investigation of almost all probes resulted in presenting instructions for the elimination of causes that facilitated committing offenses entailing injuring and killing of people. Representatives of the Moscow Interregional Transport Investigations Directorate held an interagency meeting with the direction of Rosaviation to make a number of decisions aimed to prevent similar situations in the future.

Link to the report