FORT BRAGG, N.C., July 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army is suspending use of a new square parachute after a soldier at Fort Bragg, N.C., died in a training jump.
The T-11 parachutes, which have been phased in since 2009, had been considered safer than older models, but Staff Sgt. Jamal Clay of the 82nd Airborne Division fell to his death June 25 when his failed.
An Army memo dated Friday said the investigation of Clay's death found "potential packing, inspection, quality control and functionality problems" with the T-11's main and reserve parachutes, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer reported Wednesday.
An inspection of 10 chutes discovered "tangled pack assist loops, improper corner arm folds, improperly stowed bridle, twists in the top of the canopy and failed pull tests of the reserve parachutes. The observations are significant and pervasive enough to indicate potential systemic shortfalls," the memo said.
Secretary of the Army John McHugh had all use of the parachutes halted until the investigation by the U.S. Army Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala., is done and any defects fixed.
Before Clay's death, the Army restricted use of the T-11 because of questions about wind drift.