Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Skydiving is risky but safe

 

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Poll: Skydiving is risky but safe
Yes 143 / 38%
No, it is not risky 19 / 5%
No, it is not safe 130 / 35%
No, if it is risky it is not safe 80 / 22%
372 total votes
 
FrogNog  (C 34484)

Jan 20, 2004, 1:49 PM
Post #26 of 207 (2673 views)
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Re: [Newbie] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
i agree with what you said, but i don't think im "committing suicide everytime i jump unless i do something". That would imply i'm trying to kill myself - or - i like the idea of death. I'm doing something that makes me feel more alive. Serious injury/death is the outcome if you don't do what you have been trained, or by Murphy showing up, but is the one thing we all want to avoid at all costs right?

I, also, am not committing suicide everytime I jump unless I do something right, any more than the same is true every time I ride a bicycle in traffic or down insane hills, every time I climb a ladder, every time I drive my car, etc..

Naturally I don't want to die - I wouldn't get to jump anymore if I did! (Edit: meaning, if I die, I wouldn't get to jump anymore, therefore I don't want to die.)


(This post was edited by FrogNog on Jan 20, 2004, 1:50 PM)


FrogNog  (C 34484)

Jan 20, 2004, 1:51 PM
Post #27 of 207 (2671 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If I wanted to take part in a "safe" sport, I would not jump from airplanes, I would ride roller coasters.

Oof, too scary for me! Unsure


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 20, 2004, 2:20 PM
Post #28 of 207 (2659 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If I wanted to take part in a "safe" sport, I would not jump from airplanes, I would ride roller coasters.

_Am

Just goes to show that your definition of "safe" does not mean "without risk"...since 3 people die annually from roller coasters.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 20, 2004, 2:23 PM
Post #29 of 207 (2658 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just goes to show that your definition of "safe" does not mean "without risk"...since 3 people die annually from roller coasters.

No, it does not show that at all.

Roughly 12 million people ride a roller coaster every year, and 3 die.

Roughly 10 thousand active skydivers jump every year, and 30 die.

3 in 12 million is pretty close to 0. 30 in 10,000 is not.
I see the difference, do you?

_Am


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 20, 2004, 2:29 PM
Post #30 of 207 (2656 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Roughly 12 million people ride a roller coaster every year, and 3 die.

Roughly 10 thousand active skydivers jump every year, and 30 die.

Apples and oranges. Compare the number of people who ride roller coasters every year to the total number of people who jump from airplanes every year.

to cut out all of the tandem and single-jumpers makes the comparison invalid...since most roller coaster riders, too, only do it once or twice a year...


In reply to:
3 in 12 million is pretty close to 0. 30 in 10,000 is not.
I see the difference, do you?

_Am


What I see is that your definition of "safe" simply means "lower risk" than my definition of "safe".

You're still looking at the level of risk and assessing "safe" to your opinion of "low enough".

for me..skydiving falls under the catagory of "low enough" that I call it "safe".


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 20, 2004, 2:32 PM
Post #31 of 207 (2652 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

So... are you really saying with a straight face that you think the risks involved with skydiving are even remotely similar to riding a roller coaster?

If you think that's the case, I've got a plot of land in florida to sell you...

_Am


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Jan 20, 2004, 2:36 PM
Post #32 of 207 (2648 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Total number of people that jump is only about 50000-75000 in the US in a given year. USPA would have better numbers then my guess.

30 out of 75000 is a lot more then 3 out of 12000000.


pds  (D 27641)

Jan 20, 2004, 2:45 PM
Post #33 of 207 (2645 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

<-- scratching head wondering if someone here is putting him on.

skydiving is a perilous sport as are others such as freeclimbing.

that a person may have motivation for convincing themselves otherwise does not bother me, i know better. but i find it amusing that there are those that would think that argument will fly here of all places.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 20, 2004, 2:47 PM
Post #34 of 207 (2642 views)
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Re: [pds] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Indeed, it does appear that I am guilty of feeding trolls...

Bad Andy. No Donut.

_Am


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 20, 2004, 2:48 PM
Post #35 of 207 (2640 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
30 out of 75000 is a lot more then 3 out of 12000000.

I never said that they were equal...

I just said that roller coasters aren't without risk, too....so if they are trying to say "safe" means "without risk", then they can't do roller coasters, either.

So obviously their definition of "safe" means "with risks that I consider to be small enough that I still consider the activity "safe".." which means it's a subjective opinion...

therefore, is skydiving safe? depends on your definition of 'safe'. For me...for my definition and my 'cut off' of how much risk an activity must entail for me to no longer consider it 'safe'...to me, skydiving is safe.

(again, not to confuse that to mean "without risk")

but we've established that to him, roller coasters are 'safe' but skydiving is not 'safe"..so where is his cut off line? How much risk must be involved for something to no longer be considered 'safe'?


pkasdorf  (D 40)

Jan 20, 2004, 2:53 PM
Post #36 of 207 (2632 views)
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Re: [Ron] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

God I wish folks would quit acting like this is safe.

It can be done safely...but that does not make it safe.

It is not certainly me who acts like skydiving is safe nor is it implied in my statement.

If it is risky that means that if you don't act safely you may die.

I know that even if you act safely you may die but let's agree that it is an exception or nearly so (3% or less of all fatal incidents. The USPA reported average is 1 fatal incident for every 10.000 jumps. That means 1 fatal incident involving somebody acting safely for every 100.000-300.000 jumps).

But the important concept is that once one understands that skydiving is a risky sport, well, on that basis it is safe. Obviously it has nothing to do with meteors.

And skydiving certainly is one of the safest risky sports around.


labrys  (D 29848)

Jan 20, 2004, 3:26 PM
Post #37 of 207 (2614 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe I'm just anal about words. I looked up variations of "risk" and safe" in Websters:

Quote:
Risk: Hazard; danger; peril; exposure to loss, injury, or destruction

Risky: Attended with risk or danger; hazardous. `

Safe: Free from harm, injury, or risk; untouched or unthreatened by danger or injury; unharmed; unhurt; secure; whole; as, safe from disease; safe from storms; safe from foes.

Safety: The condition or state of being safe; freedom from danger or hazard; exemption from hurt, injury, or loss.

I agree with those definitions. Safe implies free from risk. Skydiving is "risky" and therefore not "safe".

As far as acting "safely". That means trying to reduce the risk. That's my opinion. I don't believe in relative safety. Safe is safe, risky is not safe. I might buy into relative risk.

I replied to this post because I was thinking about this on my way home from work today. I took a right turn at a red light (legal where I live) and then suddenly couldn't remember if I had looked to check for traffic before I made the turn. I've been driving for about 25 years and have had this happen once or twice before. I've got a great driving record. 2 speeding tickets and 2 accidents (both rear ended by another driver).

But we all suffer lapses. I believe that even in skydiving this will be true. You can say you will always act with utmost safety. Are you really that sure it's true? You'll never mis-route a strap? You'll never forget to check your airspace before a turn? I hope that's true. Me? I'll just accept the risk and do my best to be the least risky jumper I can be.

Edited for spelling.


(This post was edited by labrys on Jan 20, 2004, 3:28 PM)


RoadRash  (A 43830)

Jan 20, 2004, 3:46 PM
Post #38 of 207 (2603 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So... are you really saying with a straight face that you think the risks involved with skydiving are even remotely similar to riding a roller coaster?

If you think that's the case, I've got a plot of land in florida to sell you...

_Am

No offense, but this subject has been brought up several times and everytime, I enjoy this quote...:What part of flinging yourself bodily at the Earth from a couple of miles up strikes you as "safe?" quoted from a post by Winsor (and copied from Ron's sigSmile)....dilude yourself, but here are the facts, training helps us avoid death by teaching us to learn from scenarios that have taken place...but what about the accidents and whatnot that haven't taken place? I suppose that could happen anywhere, anytime, however, this is a case where we put ourselves in danger and well...believe whatever you want...and so will I...I rest my case...Unimpressed


Jimbo  (D License)

Jan 20, 2004, 3:55 PM
Post #39 of 207 (2595 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Quote:
therefore, is skydiving safe? depends on your definition of 'safe'. For me...for my definition and my 'cut off' of how much risk an activity must entail for me to no longer consider it 'safe'...to me, skydiving is safe.

What is your cutoff? At what point might you decide that skydiving is no longer "safe".

You're new to the sport, I wonder if you'll have the same opinion after you've watched someone die. Crazy

-
Jim


Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Jan 20, 2004, 3:58 PM
Post #40 of 207 (2593 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The USPA reported average is 1 fatal incident for every 10.000 jumps.

There is approximately 1 fatality for 100,000 jumps (not 10,000).

Wink


Synapse  (D 30163)

Jan 20, 2004, 4:08 PM
Post #41 of 207 (2585 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Couple of questions:

-I read somewhere, god only knows where, that over 3 million jumps are made each year in the US and that out of those jumps only around 30 ended in fatality. Are these numbers correct? The 3 million seems a bit high to me, but if it is true then those odds don't seem TOO bad... it still doesn't make it safe, just acceptable.

-Of these 30 or so deaths how many were caused by pilot/human error?

-Possibly a better question, how many of those 30 did everything correctly?

-Do these numbers include people who lost their lives in airplane crashes before actually beginning a skydive? (this is open to interpretation since you could say that you begin a skydive when you get on the plane, when you jump, or when you leave your house on the way to the DZ.)

-Any murders or suicides included in the numbers?

Finally is it just me or should the USPA have ALL of this information readily available online for anyone to research (Note: it may be and I just don't know about it, in which case pleeeeaaase tell me about it). For me, these statistics play a major role in my decision whether or not I want to participate. Getting them from a confirmed source would be nice.

Anyway, I think that skydiving is risky, as is everything else we do... the difference is the level of risk compared to everyday life and the necessity of that risk (being that we don't HAVE to skydive). I am still weighing out this stuff to make a choice on whether or not to stay in the sport and I think every person involved makes this decision for themselves as well. Some just equate this decision to whether or not it is safe and others equate it to whether or not it is "safe enough", so to speak. Its all just wording right? Wink

-syn


vamp  (Student)

Jan 20, 2004, 4:21 PM
Post #42 of 207 (2579 views)
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Re: [Synapse] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Couple of questions:

Finally is it just me or should the USPA have ALL of this information readily available online for anyone to research (Note: it may be and I just don't know about it, in which case pleeeeaaase tell me about it). For me, these statistics play a major role in my decision whether or not I want to participate. Getting them from a confirmed source would be nice.


Here's the USPA's reason given for not having said info online: Last year, USPA members on their annual membership renewal forms indicated that collectively there were 1,275 injuries that required treatment at a medical facility. But instructors, Safety & Training Advisors and drop zones submitted only 58 non-fatal incident reports using USPA's formal reporting system. And even the usually reliable fatality reporting system didn't do well, either, with only 26 of the 33 fatalities reported on the USPA fatality report form and three others in usable but non-standard formats. The rest came from word of mouth, newsgroups or the media-often later to be determined inaccurate or at least misleading.

http://www.uspa.org/publications/parachutist/online%20archives/04.03/cap04.03.htm

However, there are plenty of rogue websites out there with stats if you only look.


labrys  (D 29848)

Jan 20, 2004, 4:21 PM
Post #43 of 207 (2579 views)
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Re: [Synapse] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
-I read somewhere, god only knows where, that over 3 million jumps are made each year in the US and that out of those jumps only around 30 ended in fatality. Are these numbers correct? The 3 million seems a bit high to me, but if it is true then those odds don't seem TOO bad... it still doesn't make it safe, just acceptable.

-Of these 30 or so deaths how many were caused by pilot/human error?

-Possibly a better question, how many of those 30 did everything correctly?

This is a major "IN MY OPINION" reply. I think many of those 3 million jumps (based on my reading alone) are non-repeat jumpers. But even if you use the rawest possible numbers you can divide 3 million jumps by 35000 USPA members and come up with roughly 90 jumps per member per year. That seems reasonable to me also based on my own reading. I may be mis-reading. That still means roughly 1 in 1000 members "might" die each year.

I know, I know... I don't have much skydiving experience. I'm posting my opinion only. I've given the risk factor a lot of thought.

I've also never allowed myself to think I will always do everything right. I do think I that I am a safety aware, alert person. I do admit that I am just as prone to "pilot error" as the average skydiver.

I factored all that in when I decided to learn to skydive. The awards outweigh the risks for me.


benny  (C License)

Jan 20, 2004, 4:31 PM
Post #44 of 207 (2572 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the real difference between skydiving and most other things is that we actually have a very good assessment of the risks involved. On the other hand, how many people, whether it be getting in a car or on a rollercoaster think, "I've really got to be on my toes out there, otherwise I may die"? So, to wrap up here, skydiving is definitely risky, of course everything comes with risk, yes skydiving is more risky than other things. As Ron likes to point out, you can do everything right and you still might die. The same can and does apply to many things we involve ourselves in and yet somehow convince ourself that those things are safe.


SkydiveNFlorida  (C License)

Jan 20, 2004, 4:56 PM
Post #45 of 207 (2554 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Skydiving is not safe. At least I do not consider it to be. Yes, most mistakes are human error... but, realisically, you will always have human error. And, be it yours or not it CAN kill you in this sport... easily.

Angela.


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 20, 2004, 4:59 PM
Post #46 of 207 (2552 views)
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Re: [Jimbo] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

What is your cutoff? At what point might you decide that skydiving is no longer "safe".

Where is my cut off? I'm not sure of the exact cut off...but more than 30 a year.
if the risk crept up above 1%, I think I'd start reconsidering...but even then, I'm not sure. at 2% I'd definately consider it unsafe.

In reply to:
You're new to the sport, I wonder if you'll have the same opinion after you've watched someone die. Crazy

-
Jim

Why do you assume that I don't know someone that has died??? That's a huge assumption (and a wrong one).

Why would it change just because I KNOW someone who has died? KNowing someone or not knowing someone who has died doesn't change the risk...it just makes it more emotional.

Knowing someone who got killed in an auto accident doesn't change the level of danger of driving..just makes it more personal and emotional. But the risk remains the same. Why would you assume that knowing someone that died would change how I felt?

(unless it was my husband..if my husband bounced, yes...I'd quit.)


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 20, 2004, 5:06 PM
Post #47 of 207 (2550 views)
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Re: [labrys] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think many of those 3 million jumps (based on my reading alone) are non-repeat jumpers.

If you aren't going to use the 3 million jump figure because many of them are tandem non-repeat jumpers...then you can't include tandem deaths in your figure, either.

and you can't include first-time jumpers in your calculation of risk.

Either you include all of the jumps made...or you don't include the deaths of the groups you're excluding. To do otherwise is deceptive and inaccurate.


In reply to:
That still means roughly 1 in 1000 members "might" die each year.

Which, while many people feel is "unsafe" and "dangerous"..
I feel a .1% chance of dying annually is still within my comfort zone for safety.

In reply to:

I've also never allowed myself to think I will always do everything right. .

Heh..I never said that there isn't a chance I could bounce..I know I could.

I just said that I believe that it's a safe sport in my opinion (again, unless you go by the dictionary definition of 'safe", but if you do then nothing we do in life is safe..nothing at all).

could I bounce? absolutely. I could choke on my dinner..have a stroke...get into a car accident...get shot...
but when I do a risk analysis for what my comfort level is at any given risk level...I am comfortable with skydiving. If I wasn't..I wouldn't be jumping.

(as a side note...at what point do people stop saying that they are "new to the sport"? 5 years? 10? 100 jumps? 1000 jumps? 5000 jumps? what is no longer new enough to be looked down upon and considered naive? Serious question...not facitious..)


Jimbo  (D License)

Jan 20, 2004, 5:13 PM
Post #48 of 207 (2545 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I didn't ask if your opinion would change if you knew someone who died. I asked if it would change if you had watched someone die. Big difference.

Why would your opinion change if your husband was killed in skydiving? After all, he's just another statistic, right?

-
Jim


(This post was edited by Jimbo on Jan 20, 2004, 5:13 PM)


labrys  (D 29848)

Jan 20, 2004, 5:13 PM
Post #49 of 207 (2544 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If you aren't going to use the 3 million jump figure because many of them are tandem non-repeat jumpers...then you can't include tandem deaths in your figure, either.

Ummm... check my post. I included all 3 million.


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 20, 2004, 5:16 PM
Post #50 of 207 (2540 views)
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Re: [Jimbo] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I didn't ask if your opinion would change if you knew someone who died. I asked if it would change if you had watched someone die. Big difference.

Why would your opinion change if your husband was killed in skydiving? After all, he's just another statistic, right?

-
Jim


It would change because any additional risk to my life would become something I'd try to get away from for my children's sake. If he died - regardless of the cause - I would reduce ALL risks to my life as much as I possibly could. I wouldn't stop jumping just because HE is the one that bounced....I'd stop jumping if he died, regardless of the cause of death. (because I have three small children)


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