SACRAMENTO, Calif. — What happens when you jump out of a plane and your parachute doesn’t work? You pull the chord to your backup parachute. What happens when the backup chute fails you too?
According to KTXL, Craig Stapleton is one of the few who have survived to tell us.
“My last thought before I hit was, ‘I really hope I don’t hit an iron spike, because it’ll just be messy,’” Stapleton said.
What Stapleton momentarily believed would be his final prayer was answered and then some. Not only did he miss being impaled, he landed softly in a vineyard, surviving a 30 mph impact with Mother Earth in Lodi, Calif.
Stapleton had successfully completed over 7,000 skydives before his crash landing, and was testing a flag-release stunt with his jump partner Katie Nelson last week when things went horribly awry.
First, his parachute got stuck, which sent him spinning through the air for a mind-numbing three minutes. He then pulled the chord to his backup chute at 2,000 feet, only to watch helplessly as it got tangled in the previously deployed parachute.
Watching both of her partner’s parachutes rendered useless from the ground below, Nelson was pretty sure Stapleton wasn’t going to join the 8,000-jump club.
“I was pretty sure I was about to watch my friend die,” Nelson said.
Not only did he survive the fall with nothing more than bumps and bruises, Stapleton proved the impact hadn’t even managed to dampened his sense of humor.
“I completely lucked out,” Stapleton said. “God watches out for idiots and puppy dogs. That has to be why he let me live and walk away.”