Avoiding Collisions: Look, Locate and do it!
Recall that the primary purpose of the parachute is to enable one to make more parachute jumps! Besides, dying under an open canopy is considered poor form. ;->
Unintentional canopy relative work kills. Mid-air collisions are always potentially fatal. They are particularly hazardous in low pull situations. Always track or dive away from people, into clear air and pull. Always give a wave-off and remember that the low man has the right of way. Said, another way, at break-off, the higher people are obligated to pull higher. Those toward the bottom of the swarm are obligated to go downstairs.
Unless low altitude is a more serious problem, continue flying to avoid a collision. If you've already pulled and there are other people in your immediate vicinity, keep flying hard as long as you can before line stretch.
Develop and practice a dive-turn, barrel roll or loop what will fly you around an obstacle. You must miss the other person's body, if at all possible.
Look, locate, and dodge -- Be prepared to use risers to avoid traffic at once after opening. When surging together, veer to the right to avoid a head-on collision. On opening, look everywhere, locate everyone, and only then unstow your brakes. Practice making riser turns. In a panic situation, trained reflexes will save your ass.
Look, locate, and yell! On every jump, be especially watchful on finial approach for landing. Do not fixate on your landing target with other canopies in the air! Do look, locate other canopies and evade them. Acknowledge other canopy flyers with a double heel click. Touching heels together is a polite way of saying, Yes, I see you. Do not attempt radical avoidance action below a survivable altitude! Get their attention. Be ready to yell! Loudly!
Entanglements happen. If two entangled canopies are open it gets difficult. Today it is smart thinking to discuss canopy wraps with members of our local CRW team, Ghost Riders. These are the people with first-hand experience at wrap-management! Seek expert advise; make an action plan.
Look, locate, and execute -- Execute your pre-planned procedure(s) after discussing it with your tangle-partner. Generally, the lower jumper gets the honors of cutting away first. If you do get wrapped up in an entanglement, it can be nice if you've remembered your hook knife. It should be accessible to either hand, and you should be able to deploy it in one second flat, in a ready to cut position. Before yanking either your cutaway handle or hook knife remember to verify that doing so will separate you from the mess! Moreover, prior to cutting loose from an entanglement, be sure to check canopies and altitude. Here, it is important to again look, locate any problems, and act (or not) with alacrity.
Be calm. Communicate. Act on a good plan quickly. if all else fails, head for the trees.
Be ready to do a first class PLF. Try to hit the ground harder than it's going to hit you!