Skydiver Survives 13,000-Foot Fall: Parachute Fails Due To Worn-Out Gear [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on February 12, 2013 11:49 PM EST

Flores
Gerardo Flores survives a hard landing from 13,000 feet after his parachute malfunctioned. (Photo: YouTube)

California native Gerardo Flores trained at the Skydive Monterey for two years and already completed 29 jumps when a deadly malfunction occurred on his 30th skydive.

Just seconds after he leaped from a plane, Gerardo recalled a violent jerk as his parachute suddenly deployed at 13,000 feet.

"It just exploded," said Gerardo. "It just it yanked me to the side. Something went wrong.

"One hundred things go through your mind. You are never suppose to open above 6,000 feet."

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On this particular dive, Flores brought along a GoPro to capture the experience. Once the parachute deployed, he speaks into the camera to explain that the parachute wasn't meant to deploy. He also notes that he is able to see the drop zone below.

Looking at the tape, Gerardo commented, "I said wait a minute, if I pull right now, what if the reserve doesn't open?"

Before Gerardo Flores could make a decision, the high altitude causes him to lose consciousness.

Twenty harrowing minutes later, Gerardo finally crashes into the drop zone. He was still unconscious. People rushed to his aid and a man is seen yelling to fellow Skydive Monterey instructors to call 911.

Gerardo Flores was airlifted to the a hospital. Suffering from broken ribs and a lacerated tongue, Flores was unconscious for two weeks.

Looking back at the tape, Flores is stunned he's still alive. "Oh my god, I can hear myself choking, I could have died that day!"

In fact, even an FAA official called Gerardo Flores the luckiest man he ever seen.

Following the accident, the FAA conducted an investigation and determined that a critical velcro closing flap on Gerardo Flores' equipment was worn beyond its operating threshold. What's more, suspension lines were broken and the rigging had knots in it. FAA inspectors reported that "these lines should have been replaced prior top allowing this parachute to be placed in service."

Be sure to see the footage of Gerardo Flores' shocking skydive accident below:

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