FTW96LA110
FTW96LA110

On February 3, 1996, at 1530 central standard time, a Bell 206B, N2184Z, was descending near Cushing, Oklahoma, when the reserve parachute of a passenger deployed inside the helicopter. The helicopter was not damaged. The passenger sustained serious injury and the commercial pilot was not injured. The helicopter was being operated by Corporate Helicopters, Inc., under Title 14 CFR Part 91 on a local parachuting flight when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed.

According to statements provided by the pilot and the injured passenger, the helicopter departed Cushing Municipal Airport with five parachutists on board and climbed to 3,000 feet AGL. Four of the parachutists exited the aircraft while the fifth remained on board, choosing not to jump because he felt his hands were "too cold" to deploy his pilot chute. The remaining parachutist did not deactivate a safety device designed to automatically open his reserve parachute at a preset altitude. As the helicopter descended through approximately 1,000 feet AGL, the reserve opened automatically and the parachutist was pulled from the helicopter. The reserve canopy was ripped when it snagged on the skids of the helicopter and did not inflate fully. The parachutist "impacted the ground" and sustained a broken right femur.

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