Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training: Demo vs "off DZ jump" (was: Fatal/S Ga): Edit Log

chuckakers  (D 10855)

Jun 26, 2012, 3:45 PM

Views: 4322
Demo vs "off DZ jump" (was: Fatal/S Ga)

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Replying to the last several posts.

I don't disagree at all with what you all are saying. I disagree with the use of the term demo. If this kid had gone to another DZ and done this the word demo would have never come up. There is no difference between where he was jumping and any other DZ he had never been to that he might have chosen to visit.

I don't think chiming in here is out of order. I disagree with your assertion that there is no difference between this jump and a jump at an unfamiliar DZ.

At a DZ, there would be a large (not just long) landing area. Using the Google map image provided on a post in this thread, I measured the width of the "landing area" at less than 200 feet at the widest point between hangars, private taxiways, trees, houses, etc. That qualifies as a postage stamp, especially when you consider that Greg was flying a high performance canopy and doing a high performance landing.

At a DZ there would likely be landing restrictions - an established pattern, and a beer line if you will, and a designated landing area that is obstruction-free. At a backyard demo there are seldom any rules or standard operating procedures and often - as in this case - few if any large areas without obstacles. A DZ would also typically have "no-fly" areas established to keep people away from parking lots, aircraft parking areas, buildings, etc. At a backyard demo it's typically every man for himself, and by the way "be sure to impress the crowd".

A jump at an unfamiliar DZ would be viewed by the jumper as just that - a jump to be made with an extra bit of caution because it is unfamiliar. A jump into a backyard party is often viewed as an opportunity to put on a show for people who will be in awe of you all night long as they get drunk and listen to your death-defying stories.

Over and over in our history we have seen demo's turn deadly, often because the dangers of the jumps were under considered. There will be many, many more for the same reason.

From the SIM:

"An exhibition jump, also called a demonstration or display
jump, is a jump at a location other than an existing drop zone
done for the purpose of reward, remuneration, or promotion
and principally for the benefit of spectators."

None of that exists on a new DZ.

There are HUGE differences between ANY demo and a jump at an unfamiliar DZ. Some of the deadliest differences are between the ears.

None of that applies to this location or gathering. The cause of this accident was in the harness.

Agreeing to disagree. Adios.

From your previous post in this thread:

"This was a small gathering of friends jumping a Cessna at a private property."

My guess is there were more than just the jumpers at this "small gathering". You know, girlfriends, co-workers, ready-to-be-impressed single whuffo chickies, etc. Those folks are called spectators, regardless of how many there are. That is a party to folks on the ground, but it's a "backyard demo" when you are the one jumping in, and these types of jumps are often THE MOST dangerous because they are perceived by jumpers as low-key, no pressure jumps - even though they are not.

We can argue semantics all day, but one thing is clear. This was NOT the same as jumping at an established, wide open DZ, and that fact may certainly have played a role in this incident.

(This post was edited by billvon on Jun 26, 2012, 4:29 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by billvon (Moderator) on Jun 26, 2012, 4:29 PM

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