It’s been a month since the National Day Parade 2022 ended. Each year, there are definitely some parts of the programme that we won’t forget.
Yes, this includes the man who was crying while singing our national anthem and the boy who flashed the “hi mom” paper at the credit scene.
Of course, not forgetting the Red Lion parachutist who fell on a hard landing, leaving the spectators in shock.
Here are more details about the incident as revealed by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen during yesterday’s Parliament Sitting.
Defence Minister Gives More Details About Red Lions Parachutist’s Hard Landing
In case you have poor memory and forgot what happened, watch this:
The last parachutist to land that day was Third Warrant Officer (3WO) Jeffery Heng. As he was about to land, he skidded on the pavement and had a crash landing.
Medics immediately rushed to him and he was in stable condition.
Apparently, 3WO Heng had assessed that his parachute canopy was “unstable” that day. Thankfully, he was quick to execute the landing fall technique according to one of the existing protocols.
His actions had therefore mitigated the impact of the hard landing, and consequently he did not suffer severe injuries..
Although he does not need any surgery, rehabilitation would be needed.
The Incident was Caused By a Sudden Change in Wind Conditions
Minister of Defence, Ng Eng Hen, said that the incident occurred due to a sudden change in wind conditions.
This was according to preliminary findings in the past near-misses and cases.
However, Dr Ng also said that the wind speeds during the Red Lion rehearsals were within the acceptable range according to the Singapore Armed Forces’ safety regulations.
He also added, “They are consulting the external experts on this specific question, as well as reviewing in detail the approach route taken by 3WO Heng.”
Other issues could be due to the eddy currents caused by the design of the Floating Platform, the stage, and spectator stands.
No, not your friend eddy. An eddy is a whirl that is caused by wind encountering a solid object.
Will the Red Lions be Gone in Future as it is Too Risky?
One of the iconic segments of the National Day Parade is the Red Lions, but don’t worry, they won’t be gone.
Dr Ng said that parachutists must have made a minimum of 180 jumps to qualify for the selection tests.
Those who are selected will have to undergo continuous and rigorous training to maintain their skills and proficiency.
He also added, “The SAF’s priority is safety, and the Red Lions will continue to be a part of our NDP celebrations, only if safety can be ensured, with appropriate new measures, including those recommended by the review committee.”
What will Be Done Minimise any Injuries in Future
The committee is currently examining measures to enhance the safety of the Red Lions, such as increasing the distance between the parachutists.
Dr Ng said that this provides the parachutists more reaction time as they approach the landing zone.
Each parachutist is also given a “No-Go Criteria” for jumps. The landing site must be visible to the parachutists and they must communicate with the pilot and ground personnel. The weather and wind speed must also be acceptable.
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