The duo were part of an international team of special forces operators conducting a parachute jump at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition and show late yesterday.

The soldier was one of the first to jump from an air force C-130 Hercules heavy-lift transport aircraft in the mass parachute jump, which involved paratroopers from Zambia, Angola and Zimbabwe.

The paratroopers were free-falling for several seconds when the show’s commentator drew spectators’ attention to the paratrooper in distress.

He could be seen spiralling towards the ground, his parachute trailing above him as the commentator described how he should be releasing his twisted parachute.