Parachute Malfunction

It might seem like parachute malfunction would be a problem of the past, but, occasionally, it happens. These problems generally fall into two categories -- partial and total malfunctions. A partial malfunction is possible to reverse, but a total malfunction means something catastrophic has gone wrong with the canopy deployment.

Parachute malfunctions can be caused by bad packing, incorrect body position or faulty equipment. When a parachute is deployed, the canopy needs to eject out of the pack and spread out immediately. If it gets tangled because of bad packing, this won't happen. Poor body position can cause the chute to deploy incorrectly as well, causing the skydiver to get caught up in the chute itself. If it's a partial malfunction, an experienced skydiver can often untangle or reverse the problem [source: Dropzone].

A parachute malfunction is probably the scariest thing that can happen in a skydiver's day, but thankfully, he has a backup parachute that can be deployed. Even so, it's no guarantee of success. It's best to know the emergency procedures for both partial and total parachute failures before you go skydiving; otherwise you're putting your life at risk.