Why was Evel’s jump such a flop?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature -

When Evel Knievel at­tempted to leap the Snake River Canyon on Septem­ber 8, 1974, his drogue para­chute (de­signed to slow him down once he had reached full speed) came out as soon as his Sky Cy­cle left the launch ramp. With­out full power, he drifted down into the near­side canyon wall, caus­ing many to say he’d chick­ened out and pulled the chute early. To his dy­ing day, Knievel de­nied this and, in­stead, blamed the builder of his Sky Cy­cle, Bob Truax. He said” “I waited seven years and then had a mal­func­tion – and the para­chute blew out on take-off be­cause of an elec­tri­cal mal­func­tion. The en­gi­neer didn’t know what the hell he was do­ing.”

Ed­die Braun is in­clined to be­lieve Knievel, al­though he doesn’t hold Bob Truax re­spon­si­ble. “I don’t think he pulled the chute early. There’s a mil­lion other safer things he could have done to sab­o­tage the at­tempt. It was more dan­ger­ous to drop into the canyon than to land on the other side. He would have known that pulling the chute early would have meant pulling it un­der thrust. He was very lucky that the steam didn’t just burn the chute.”

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