CC130J608 Paratrooper Accident - Epilogue

Report / April 22, 2021 / Project number: CC130J608 Paratrooper Accident - A Category

Location: Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria
Date: 17 June 2019
Status: Investigation Completed

The occurrence flight was part of Exercise SWIFT RESPONSE 2019, a joint multinational airborne field training exercise led by the United States. The exercise involved a total of 5,600 troops from eight different nations, including Canada. The exercise took place at various locations in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania and was running from 11 to 24 June 2019.

On 16 June 2019, aircraft CC130608 departed Ramstein, Germany to the drop zone at the Sadovo Airfield, Bulgaria (Cheshnegirovo Air Base). The mission was to conduct a night static line paratroop jump. The troops were dispatched from an altitude of 1000 feet above ground level using both the starboard and port side paratroop doors. During the jump, a paratrooper on the starboard side became hung-up outside the aircraft and subsequently experienced a sudden static line failure which resulted in an uncontrolled descent. The paratrooper sustained fatal injuries.

The investigation revealed that the accident jumper experienced a bad exit from the aircraft which caused him to become entangled in his static line and then hung-up outside the aircraft. The situation went undetected by the other jumpers, the Stick Commander and the Loadmaster. An interaction between the accident jumper and a subsequent jumper led to the separation/breakage of the accident jumper’s static line due to the dynamic load exceeding the maximum tensile strength of the static line.

The preventative measures recommended include: re-evaluating current hung-up jumper detection and associated hung-up parachutist retrieval procedures; amending publications to document aircraft equipment stowage location; securing ancillary equipment when configuring the CC130J aircraft for paratrooper operations; and addressing the Airworthiness Program with respect to parachute operations across the CAF.

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