Moment of terror for skydiver captured on video

This is the terrifying moment a skydiver’s parachute opened too early – inches away from a deathly tangle with a helicopter blade.

Dramatic video footage shows how thrill- seeker James Dobb, 22, was preparing to exit the helicopter when his parachute got tangled into the helicopter.

Mr Dobb then desperately cuts away at his main parachute before jumping to the ground with only his reserve chute available.

James Dobb on the side of the helicopter after the parachute deployed
James Dobb on the side of the helicopter after the parachute deployed

But the drama wasn’t over as others on board were left trying to haul the loose chute in from inside the helicopter before it got sucked into the rotor blades.

After several frantic minutes, the chute was eventually pulled inside the helicopter, which was landed safely.

Mr Dobb, from Llandrindod Wells in Mid Wales, said the equipment he used was rented and so he could not know who had packed it and how. His quick-thinking and bravery during the skydive above Bedfordshire has earned him praise throughout the skydiving community.

Mr Dobb said: “Before kitting up I performed all the usual checks, including a check on the pin. Upon exiting the helicopter I felt what I thought was a tap on my shoulder but I now assume it was an effect of the risers receiving a tug.

James Dobb and girlfriend Alice Newton
James Dobb and girlfriend Alice Newton

“I turned round and heard ‘"What the hell?’ at the same time as seeing my canopy – it took me a couple of seconds to realise what was happening and what I was actually seeing.

“I sat there for a couple more seconds, trying to think what options existed, and then was told to just cut it away. After I actually cut away, I shouted ‘I’ve got to go’ and got confirmation in the form of ‘just jump’.

“Watching the video back I’m so thankful for the crew and their quick reactions and handling of the situation.

“Without them pulling the lines in initially, cutting-away with a reserve line attached probably wouldn’t have been an option. Their speediness in also recognising that I had to get out and pulling in the canopy was brilliant.”