Sat, May 19, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Parachute incident not due to faulty procedures: army

Staff writer, with CNA

Paratrooper Chin Liang-feng jumps from a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft during a military exercise at the Chingchuankang Air Base in Taichung on Thursday morning.

Photo courtesy of a reader

The army has ruled out inadequate care and maintenance of parachutes as the cause of an accident yesterday in which a paratrooper was critically injured when his parachute failed to open during a military exercise.

Major General Wu Li-wen (伍立文), who heads the army’s Aviation and Special Forces Command, yesterday said that Chief of the General Staff Admiral Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明) visited the Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, where the paratrooper was injured, to check on the maintenance and folding of the parachutes.

Parachutes need to be refolded if they have not been used for more than two months and in the case of the injured soldier, Chin Liang-feng (秦良丰), the parachute was last folded on Monday last week.

The accident occurred when Chin jumped from a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft at an altitude of 396m and his parachute failed to open, the Ministry of National Defense said.

The base’s procedures for folding parachutes and footage of the accident indicate that the failure of the parachute was not caused by poor maintenance, Wu said.

The parachute was also not too old, Wu said, adding that parachutes are used for about 10 years and 100 jumps, and the one Chin used had only been used 23 times and was less than 10 years old.

As the command continues to look into the cause of the accident, ER doctor Wu Chao-hsin (吳肇鑫) of Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital yesterday reported that Chin was at level 11 on the 3-to-15-point Glasgow Coma Scale, with 3 being the worst condition and 15 that of a normal person.

Chin’s breathing and heartbeat have both resumed, and he can blink in response to stimuli, the doctor said.

Chin’s unit has made a video to cheer him on and wish him a full and quick recovery, which it yesterday posted on Facebook.

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