Let me start to say that I think audibles under canopy can be helpful for a lot of people but can never be more important than visual cues. As someone who has a major in Psychology and does look at things a little different as others I'll explain why. I also took BG's course a couple of years ago.
Skydiving as we all know is a sport that uses all 3 dimensions. This is something people aren't used to and aren't really made for. The human brain can only process a small proportion of the stimulus we get while skydiving when we have low jump numbers (0-500 jumps). This means we will not be able to see and hear everything we would like, to be totally save. The recent incidents IMO have confirmed this.
Now let's throw in the audible. Let me first state that it must be used as a backup like AAD's. There eventually is no substitute for thinking with your brain and looking with your eyes. The audible allows the skydiver to put more focus on his/her surroundings then on the altimeter which will have a negative effect on awareness for everyone around you. This should be especially true for jumpers with lower jumpnumbers (read 75-500 jumps). I don't think jumpers with less then 50 jumps should use audibles, but correct me if you think I'm wrong. These jumpers must first learn the basics before being aided in this way.
Now let's go one step beyond this. Let's add swooping to the equation. You've just learned how to land your canopy in a tight space and understood the basics of canopy flight. You're used to all the stimulus under canopy and can handle this pretty well (assuming your not downsizing too fast). You're now taking away a lot of brain capacity for scanning your surroundings by inducing speed on landing which takes a lot of focus which cannot be directed towards other things around you. Add the small margin of error we have when swooping and you can imagine what will be left of your brains processing capacity. Not much. The audible can aid in having a bit more brain capacity and therefore make that human a bit safer when used in the right way.
Let me make one thing clear. I don't think people should rely on audible for 100%. There is no substitute for your eyes. They can only aid you in becoming a safer and more consistent skydiver.
(This post was edited by Rugby82 on May 16, 2011, 11:58 PM)
Post edited by Rugby82
() on May 16, 2011, 11:58 PM