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VIDEO | Skydiver's parachute fails at 4,000 feet

Skydiver Daniel Herndon experienced a "line twist" at approximately 4,000 feet, giving him just seconds to take emergency maneuvers. (Herndon)
Skydiver Daniel Herndon experienced a "line twist" at approximately 4,000 feet, giving him just seconds to take emergency maneuvers. (Herndon)
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Imagine you have just jumped out of a perfectly sound aircraft, only to have your lines tangle when you pull your parachute cord.

"(It's) very rare, but it can happen when it opens, it can open up in a line twist," said Daniel Herndon.

He's the guy who was attached to that chute, so yes, this story does have a happy ending.

But when you're falling 80 miles an hour and your salvation is turning into your ruination, there are a few seconds of unhappiness.

"I'm like, I can't believe this is happening," he said.

The twisted lines turned a normal fall into a spiraling tug of war.

"The parachute started spinning and so now I'm vertical or horizontal with the ground," he said.

Fortunately, with more than 1,600 jumps, Daniel is well versed in parachute emergency procedures.

"About three to five seconds trying to get it to unravel and it's still getting worse, that's the point when you have to decide it's not getting any better, I'm getting too low, I need to go to my reserve," he said.

And it's here where you see his main chute go bye-bye and his emergency chute save the day, sort of...

"Your life is saved, but at a price," he said.

That price is around $2,500 in gear that floated off to who knows where.

"As a skydiver, when you cut away that is your expensive equipment that you have worked hard to get just drifting away," he said.

And this isn't the first time something like this has happened to Daniel.

"I have, I've had a few cutaways. I have seven now," he said.

If he was a cat he'd only have two lives left. But apparently, parachutists out-rank even felines.

"None of it to me ever did I feel like my life was in danger," he said.

So what began as an OMG has now turned into an APB for a missing parachute.

"It's green, blue and white with white lines attached to it," he said.

If you see it, call the guy who has nerves of steel.

"The general public has got the idea that skydiving is dangerous, probably gonna die if you do it," he said.

"Why would they get that idea?" we asked.

"I don't know," he laughed.

The jump took place over the Oklahoma City vicinity, and the chute was last seen drifting over the Will Rogers park area.

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If you spot the parachute, email Daniel at

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