During a military paratrooper training in Thailand, a Thai jumper got tangled to the plane, dangled for several minutes before his line was cut and then he fell to his death.
I’m not a parajumper, but from what I could find out, it is a standard military procedure to attempt to recover a hung jumper. The small plane in this video probably didn’t have a winch system and pulling him in manually would have been incredibly difficult. Since he couldn’t be recovered, the pilot should have gained altitude so the jumper could be cut away with enough height to activate his reserve chute.
Apparently, it’s easy to activate the reserve, and the ones used by a military are equipped with an altitude timer in case the jumper is unconscious. Everything seems to have gone bad for this poor guy. He was dragged behind the plane for quite a long time – that itself must have worn him out. Being blown around and beaten by 150 mph wind surely took its toll on the man, but why his reserve was not deployed – I have no idea.
I also learned that the reason he was holding onto his helmet was to signal the mates on the plane that he was conscious so they cut him loose. As a non expert, I think the pilot should have either gained more altitude to give the jumper more time to recover, or lower the plane to say 20 feet over the ground, slow down, then cut him. It may have increased his odds of surviving the fall, despite some unavoidable fractures.