To eat up altitude

Stormreaver

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello,

In a documentary a skydiver's parachute is open but it is not collecting any air and he's going down fast.
After the incident, he says:
"Even if it's open and spinning out of control, it will be eating up a lot of altitude quite fast."

Does "to eat up altitude" mean "to lose altitude"? How does a parachute eat up altitude?

Thank you.
 
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