Skydiver Recounts Botched Halftime Jump

Parachute Failed To Deploy During Jaguars Halftime Show

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Lt. Col. Chip Bowlin didn't think twice when his parachute failed during halftime of Sunday's Jaguars game.

"Doggone it. This was going to be such a good demo, and I'm not going to be able to land," Bowlin said of what was going through his mind. "It seems like such a hair-raising event, but it's really not."

Bowlin's parachute didn't deploy correctly, so he had to use a backup.

But for a few moments, fans saw him spiraling toward the ground without anything to stop him.

Instead of the planned on-field landing, the veteran jumper landed safely on the practice field next door.


Bowlin said he took one look at the stadium with the lights and wires then looked at the wide open practice field and decided to land there instead.

"I thought to myself, 'I'm just going to land over here and maybe no one will notice,'" he said. "Unfortunately, they did."

Bowlin said his skydiving team scopes out alternate landing locations for every jump, and they always have a backup chute.

He said malfunctions happen one out of every 1,000 jumps, and it's happened three times to him.

Bowlin, who has been skydiving since 1979, said the mishaps aren't something he'll ever get used to, but it's not a reason to quit jumping, either.

"We hope we will be able to come back, and hopefully I'll land in the stadium next time," he said.

Copyright 2011 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.