Army Suspends Using Square-Shaped Parachute After Fatal Jump

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- The Army is suspending use of its first new parachute since the 1950s after a paratrooper was killed in a training exercise while using the updated model, which features a square-shaped canopy that resembles a huge fitted bedsheet.

The T-11 parachute has been gradually replacing an older, mushroom-shaped model that has remained largely unchanged for more than five decades.

The new parachute is supposed to be safer and more reliable than the traditional T-10 model, using a larger canopy to slow a soldier's rate of descent and reducing injuries from hard landings.

The suspension announced Friday came roughly two weeks after 25-year-old Staff Sergeant Jamal Clay, of Elida, Ohio, died at Fort Bragg following an apparent parachute malfunction during a routine training jump from 800 feet, a typical altitude simulating combat conditions.

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  • by dude on Jul 14, 2011 at 09:06 AM
  • by Some one that Knows on Jul 14, 2011 at 05:29 AM
    Sounds more like its a training and supervision problem with the Army than any thing else. An internal Army memo states that investigators found "potential packing, inspection, quality control and functionality problems".
  • by J on Jul 14, 2011 at 05:21 AM
    If it isn't broken why fix it? They must have done something right with the last model parachute.
  • by m on Jul 13, 2011 at 08:06 PM
    Since when is a bedsheet square?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 14, 2011 at 05:29 AM in reply to m
      Ummmmm as long as I've been using them, they have been.....
      • reply
        by Audra on Jul 14, 2011 at 01:28 PM in reply to
        LOL - A bedsheet is rectangular.
  • by BLAHammed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on Jul 13, 2011 at 06:10 PM
    ANYthing new under oblahmas watch is a sure sign of destruction.NASA has filed more than 6300 patents and amabO gets rid of them.Everybody will see more of this as long as this idiot is acting prez.They should have made him jump out with that updated model!Thank you oBLAHma,for a loss of a good man,and money well spent!
    • reply
      by Educated Voter on Jul 14, 2011 at 03:51 AM in reply to BLAHammed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Wrongo, bongo. Funding, research and approval of the new parachute were all conducted under the Bush administration's watch. You can blame the Department of the Army and the contractors who designed the parachute for this blunder, not the President.
    • reply
      by Mark on Jul 18, 2011 at 01:32 PM in reply to BLAHammed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Wrong again. Obama proposed and received a boost in NASA's budget by $700,000,000.00 for the 2010-11 fiscal year, and proposed that it not be cut for the 2011-12 year. We may not be launching shuttles anymore, but it doesn't mean NASA is gone. I personally wouldn't want to go to space in something that was designed to run on the processing power of a graphing calculator anyway. Furthermore, if the GOP is for privatizing healthcare, why are they against privatizing american space travel?

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