Student: “Sergeant, how long do I have to deploy my reserve parachute if my main fails to open?”

Sergeant: “The rest of your life, son… the rest of your life.”

There is no argument that Tier-1 units routinely engage in dangerous training: climbing skyscraper structures, engaging in gunfights in close quarters and confined spaces, hunkering down next to explosive breaching charges that are barely an arm’s reach away as they ignite. A cringe-worthy component to that list that hooks every seasoned operator’s attention is airborne operations because many things that go wrong during them can be fatal.

The featured image, Toad Jumper, is a wordplay on the term “towed jumper”, an airborne term used to describe a malady rendered by an errant static line, the 15-foot nylon cord that pulls the jumper’s parachute out and open. On the rare occasion that the parachute pack fails to break free from the static line anchored to the jump aircraft, the paratroop will be towed behind the aircraft at ~120 MPH spinning and slamming against the side of the airplane. It is an awesome and deadly event.