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The US delegation filed an official protest to the FAI Jury and requested a re-jump for Round 4. It turned out to become a great opportunity to study and learn more about a protest in Formation Skydiving competition. The Sun Path Products NSL News collected feedback from participants and officials and tried to present the subject from as many different angles as possible.
The FAI Jury in Prostejov, chaired by Alberto Martin from Spain, received the protest Thursday evening and began with the investigation on Friday morning. The deliberations came to a conclusion at around noon, and the protest was declined. The reasons for the decision follow below.
Inspection of the carpet led to the following conclusion. Even though the carpet has been removed from the aircraft, the Meet Director states that it was done to try to please any request from the competitors and not because it was in bad condition or broken. It appears to have 7 bolt attachment points and none seem to have any damage. Even if one bolt would be missing the carpet would not have moved significantly. The carpet is used and worn but appears to be in good shape. There are no mud stains on it since it is not used to board the aircraft but only used by the front floater, and there is no evident reason for it to be wet or slippery.
Inspection of the video shows no sign of a problem with the front floater positioning himself, he does not double check his feet position or move in any way that may provide evidence that he has foot placement problems. He acknowledges readiness to the team captain before initiating the exit count. And is holding onto the aircraft's outside bar with his left hand.
There is no evidence to show that the bad timing on the exit was caused by anything other than the competitor or team themselves.