To Chop or not to Chop ?

This week PussFoot is excited to bring you a salvaged malfunction. The Skydiver featured in this video experienced this malfunction earlier this month, and we are sure glad they are OK. Make sure to read the full explanation below the video.  If you are interested in sending us your video, Pic or stories please email us at

Video Below :


This Video is for educational purposes. Please keep negative comments to your self!  


My skydive started out like any other, gear check and dive plan. I jumped out just wanting to watch my buddies from far away. Everything was going great. I headed toward the DZ and at my desired altitude I pulled out my pilot chute. For a second everything seemed fine then came the hard spiral. The force of the spiral was pretty brutal, it had me pinned down a bit and busted my eardrum. I was losing altitude FAST. I tried cutting away my parachute but at this point but found it difficult so I went with the only other option I had. I kept fighting with my toggles hoping to find a way to make it stop spinning and make it steerable. I finally got the spinning to stop and at around 990 feet I decided not to chop. I had fabric over my head that I could steer and didn’t want to take a chance on something else going wrong. I then chose to land it down wind because I had it under control in that direction and wanted to avoid having to turn it again. I landed this malfunction without a scratch and learned more about myself than I care to talk about. Sometimes emergency procedures don’t go as planned so you just have to keep fighting. Some say they would have chopped from the beginning, well I wish I was able to. You can’t judge someone else on how they chose to save their own life because you weren’t there in that moment.  I’m confident in my decisions now as I was then and I’m alive because of it. I hope this video helps at least one other person who may experience something similar.


Thank You and Blue Skies !!


  • Good question Jim. I’m curious as well. Do you have hard housings installed on the harness for the cutaway cables? What size was the parachute? Howse the eardrum?

  • Why was it too hard to cut away? I didn’t see that explained. That warrants a careful investigation by a rigger! I have a list of potential problems in my head, but I am curious what happened on THIS jump.

    Jim McGraw

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published