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

 

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Poll: Skydiving is risky but safe
Yes 143 / 39%
No, it is not risky 19 / 5%
No, it is not safe 129 / 35%
No, if it is risky it is not safe 80 / 22%
371 total votes
 
Arvoitus  (D 3917)

Jul 2, 2009, 6:13 AM
Post #151 of 207 (1189 views)
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Re: [ChangoLanzao] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Lying in bed with the covers over your head is safe (assuming you remembered to turn the stove off before going to bed).

If you lay on your bed long enough you'll get bedsores which can get infected and the infection can then kill you. So I would not call that a safe activity to engage in.


dorbie

Jul 2, 2009, 8:06 PM
Post #152 of 207 (1154 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
human mistakes is what we can and should avoid by learning, training and knowing our limitations

What species are you?

If you think you can avoid human mistakes you are fooling yourself.

You can reduce (not eliminate) your personal exposure but that often involves having less fun or looking less cool.


nerd137  (B 99999)

Jul 20, 2009, 3:26 PM
Post #153 of 207 (1098 views)
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Re: Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

I love how, no matter how many times this debate resurfaces, people get so angry in their attempts to sway the entire skydiving community to believe the sport is roughly the most dangerous thing - EVER! (I'm exaggerating just a little.) Seriously, isn't thinking of "safe" and "not safe" in stark black and white either/or terms kinda silly? Aren't those both largely subjective assessments? I perceive skydiving as risky relative to bowling and driving but safe relative to BASE jumping and Russian Roulette. So what? That's my opinion. Agree, disagree, whatever. But some of you guys are getting waaaaaaay bent out of shape when someone has the audacity to claim skydiving isn't all that dangerous. Really, who fucking cares?

Besides, if the discussion is framed in absolutes, as frequently is done here, it's totally pointless until someone defines "safe" and "not safe" it absolute terms and everyone agrees on those definitions. Personally, I don't think it's even possible to do that in a meaningful way.

[/rant]

I guess I'll go back to my shit work now. Angelic


(This post was edited by nerd137 on Jul 20, 2009, 3:27 PM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jul 20, 2009, 4:11 PM
Post #154 of 207 (1080 views)
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Re: [nerd137] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

>But some of you guys are getting waaaaaaay bent out of shape when
>someone has the audacity to claim skydiving isn't all that dangerous.
>Really, who fucking cares?

I do.

Many of us are instructors, and thus we're the first and most authoritative source of information most students get before their first jump. I have no problem with someone risking their lives to do something they think is going to be fun, challenging or otherwise worthwhile to them. I DO have a problem with people taking that risk thinking that it's a safe amusement park ride.

Let's turn it around. Let's say your wife gets a ride home with a friend of yours. It turns out that he was falling-down drunk, but he hides it well, and they make it home with only a minor incident with a bush in your driveway. She didn't notice anything much wrong, other than he seemed to be a bit swervy.

The next time he's drunk and offers her a ride home, would you have any issue with her taking that ride? Would you perhaps tell her that he drinks a lot, and sometimes seems less drunk than he is? After all, that ride home is still safer than Russian Roulette.


nerd137  (B 99999)

Jul 20, 2009, 4:40 PM
Post #155 of 207 (1077 views)
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Re: [billvon] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>But some of you guys are getting waaaaaaay bent out of shape when
>someone has the audacity to claim skydiving isn't all that dangerous.
>Really, who fucking cares?

I do.

Many of us are instructors, and thus we're the first and most authoritative source of information most students get before their first jump. I have no problem with someone risking their lives to do something they think is going to be fun, challenging or otherwise worthwhile to them. I DO have a problem with people taking that risk thinking that it's a safe amusement park ride.

Let's turn it around. Let's say your wife gets a ride home with a friend of yours. It turns out that he was falling-down drunk, but he hides it well, and they make it home with only a minor incident with a bush in your driveway. She didn't notice anything much wrong, other than he seemed to be a bit swervy.

The next time he's drunk and offers her a ride home, would you have any issue with her taking that ride? Would you perhaps tell her that he drinks a lot, and sometimes seems less drunk than he is? After all, that ride home is still safer than Russian Roulette.

You are soooo not who I was directing my rant towards. Haha. I don't recall you ever getting "way bent out of shape" when someone here argued that skydiving is on the safer side of the spectrum.

While my point was largely just that distinctions such as "safe" and "unsafe" are highly subjective, you do make a good point that there will always be people completely miss the mark in their assessment of skydiving's inherent risks. I'll give ya that. Wink


(This post was edited by nerd137 on Jul 20, 2009, 4:42 PM)


Matitemel

Jul 20, 2009, 7:46 PM
Post #156 of 207 (1052 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Risky yeah BECAUSE it's not safe!!!

My friends had so much accidents ...

But anyway, we take risks and we love it!


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Jul 21, 2009, 3:00 PM
Post #157 of 207 (1007 views)
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Re: [nerd137] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
While my point was largely just that distinctions such as "safe" and "unsafe" are highly subjective, you do make a good point that there will always be people completely miss the mark in their assessment of skydiving's inherent risks. I'll give ya that. Wink

It's basic human nature to gloss over the risk/downsides of activities we want to do. Or to blindly say, yeah, bad things happen, but they happen to other people, not me. It works great until it doesn't. Then people or their families start filing lawsuits and we all suffer the consequences of their rosy visions.

And FFS, if you're using Russian Roulette as a comparison, the argument is lame.


nerd137  (B 99999)

Jul 21, 2009, 3:37 PM
Post #158 of 207 (1004 views)
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Re: [kelpdiver] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It's basic human nature to gloss over the risk/downsides of activities we want to do. Or to blindly say, yeah, bad things happen, but they happen to other people, not me. It works great until it doesn't. Then people or their families start filing lawsuits and we all suffer the consequences of their rosy visions.

And FFS, if you're using Russian Roulette as a comparison, the argument is lame.

Wow. What an amazing, thought-provoking criticism. "Your argument is lame." Man. I'm blown away at the insightfulness of that one.

More than a few posters in this thread, in my opinion, seem hell-bent on creating the impression that the dangers of skydiving are roughly equivlenant to that of Russian Roulette. It is dangerous, but it's not THAT dangerous.


(This post was edited by nerd137 on Jul 21, 2009, 3:47 PM)


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Jul 21, 2009, 7:16 PM
Post #159 of 207 (971 views)
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Re: [nerd137] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
More than a few posters in this thread, in my opinion, seem hell-bent on creating the impression that the dangers of skydiving are roughly equivlenant to that of Russian Roulette. It is dangerous, but it's not THAT dangerous.

Your opinion is crap. How's that for thought provoking criticism?

Find us a posting where someone said that doing a jump has a 1 in 6 chance of death.


nerd137  (B 99999)

Jul 21, 2009, 9:27 PM
Post #160 of 207 (956 views)
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Re: [kelpdiver] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Your opinion is crap. How's that for thought provoking criticism?

Find us a posting where someone said that doing a jump has a 1 in 6 chance of death.

Do you understand the difference between "rough equivalent" and "equivalent"?


(This post was edited by nerd137 on Jul 21, 2009, 10:28 PM)


waterboy3412  (B 35119)

Jul 21, 2009, 11:13 PM
Post #161 of 207 (939 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course skydiving isn't 100% safe, i think we've beaten that horse to death in these last 7 pages. And I know a lot of people here value your opinion based on jump numbers so sorry in advance for not knowing what I'm talking about.

But lets talk for a minute on why people jump from airplanes. It's not suicidal but its more deadly than eating a ham sandwich. Maybe people do it because it's not a social norm or maybe because you wanted to be apart of a group of people that appreciate life and live it to the fullest.

I knew I wanted to get into the sport right when I walked in the hanger for my first tandem. I had no knowledge of skydiving or the inherent risks that came along with it. After I landed I had never been more excited, im sure you all know the feeling so i dont need to explain. Anyways, i was hooked.

So i took the FJC and started AFP. I started level one by freaking out and my instructor and I broke off and i was spinning on my back. My adrenaline was so high time seemed like it was moving in slow motion. anyways i deployed head to earth still spinning. I then looked up at a perfect canopy (thankfully). But that was the point it finally hit me that I could be killed doing this. I weighed my pros and cons and 15 mins later I was on the next load.

I think I can safely say there isn't a skydiver in the world that thinks they are going to die as they are walking up to the plane. But i am sure that most do a proper gear check and are able to make (in their eyes) the best decisions possible to come back to the hanger in one piece. So is skydiving 100% safe, no. There are ways to lower risk but that will always be apart of this sport. You just need to calculate risk vs. reward and see if this is something that you should be doing. Which is obviously going to be different from one person to the next so I don't really see how we can sway people from one side of the argument to the other.


pkasdorf  (D 40)

Jul 22, 2009, 1:59 AM
Post #162 of 207 (930 views)
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Re: [waterboy3412] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Of course skydiving isn't 100% safe, i think we've beaten that horse to death in these last 7 pages.
.......................................................................

I think I can safely say there isn't a skydiver in the world that thinks they are going to die as they are walking up to the plane. But i am sure that most do a proper gear check and are able to make (in their eyes) the best decisions possible to come back to the hanger in one piece. So is skydiving 100% safe, no. There are ways to lower risk but that will always be apart of this sport. You just need to calculate risk vs. reward and see if this is something that you should be doing. Which is obviously going to be different from one person to the next so I don't really see how we can sway people from one side of the argument to the other.

First of all let me say that I am surprised that a poll I posted in January 2004 and had had no activity since then resurfaced in June 2009 after more than 5 years! And the intensity with which it did confirms that this is a much present topic in the community. Nobody doubts that it is risky. And only fools could claim that it is 100% safe. After all this discussion the conclusion I think most would agree is that the risk prevention and management capabilities we do have in our sport make it "safer" or "less risky" (put the definition you like better) than other risky sports. And, as you say, it is a strictly personal evaluation.


genoyamamoto  (Student)

Jul 22, 2009, 9:56 AM
Post #163 of 207 (909 views)
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Re: [kelpdiver] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
More than a few posters in this thread, in my opinion, seem hell-bent on creating the impression that the dangers of skydiving are roughly equivlenant to that of Russian Roulette. It is dangerous, but it's not THAT dangerous.

Your opinion is crap. How's that for thought provoking criticism?

Find us a posting where someone said that doing a jump has a 1 in 6 chance of death.

Not exactly one in six. In the following case the person is saying you will die 100% of the time unless you do something. More like russian roulette with a semi automatic pistol.

Top of pg 3: rigging65 said:

Quote:
IMO, the action of exiting a plane is the same as pointing and firing a gun at your head. If you just sit there, you're going to die. Now, if you could move fast enough, catch the bullet, whatever...that would constitute opening your canopy. BUT, exiting the plane is starting a path that will end in death without you're intervention, the same as shooting a bullet at your head is. You just have more time to get the canopy out than you do to stop the bullet. Smile

On a completely different note (nerd alert), it's interesting to note the ratio of frequentist vs. bayesian type arguments in this thread. Are all skydivers bayesian?


thrillstalker  (C 40678)

Jul 30, 2009, 8:19 PM
Post #164 of 207 (816 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

for me the risk is worth the thrill. skydiving is as safe as we can make it, and thats good enough for me. a 1 in a 1000 chance of dying is a lot less risky than many activities people do daily. i dont really know if you would call it safe, but it sure as hell is a lot of fun.


dks13827  (C 9293)

Jul 30, 2009, 8:55 PM
Post #165 of 207 (807 views)
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Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

As a jumper from the 70's, I find it very interesting that maybe 8 bounces occur a year.... that's pretty good these days. But the fatal landings we have now........ another story.Unsure
I calculated that a fatal jump occurs roughly 1 in 80,000 which to me is not too bad.
I also understand that your odds of dying in a car crash at some point are 1 in 125. Shocking, isnt it ?? If you are over age 40, think about your high school friends who have indeed been killed in cars and you will realize that 1 in 125 is in the ball park. ( please note that I did NOT say cars are worse than jumping, etc )
I always believed, and still do, that if I didnt screw up in a major way, the risk was acceptably small.


(This post was edited by dks13827 on Jul 30, 2009, 9:05 PM)


surfbum5412  (A 49444)

Jul 30, 2009, 9:43 PM
Post #166 of 207 (798 views)
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Re: [dks13827] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I always believed, and still do, that if I didnt screw up in a major way, the risk was acceptably small.

Thank you. +1


surfbum5412  (A 49444)

Jul 30, 2009, 9:46 PM
Post #167 of 207 (796 views)
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Re: [thrillstalker] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
1 in a 1000 chance of dying is a lot less risky than many activities people do daily

That statistic is not true. Even the raw number of 32 fatalities out x number of jumps isn't accurate either because when you start looking at the fatalities, you realize that many don't apply to you (swooping, wingsuit, CRW, health conditions, no AAD, no RSL, etc...)


thrillstalker  (C 40678)

Jul 30, 2009, 9:56 PM
Post #168 of 207 (792 views)
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Re: [surfbum5412] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
1 in a 1000 chance of dying is a lot less risky than many activities people do daily

That statistic is not true. Even the raw number of 32 fatalities out x number of jumps isn't accurate either because when you start looking at the fatalities, you realize that many don't apply to you (swooping, wingsuit, CRW, health conditions, no AAD, no RSL, etc...)

are you saying that becuase im a student i dont have as much risk or more? or are you saying that some daily activities arent as dangerous as 1 in a 1000? please explain a little more.


surfbum5412  (A 49444)

Jul 30, 2009, 11:01 PM
Post #169 of 207 (788 views)
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Re: [thrillstalker] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
1 in a 1000 chance of dying is a lot less risky than many activities people do daily

That statistic is not true. Even the raw number of 32 fatalities out x number of jumps isn't accurate either because when you start looking at the fatalities, you realize that many don't apply to you (swooping, wingsuit, CRW, health conditions, no AAD, no RSL, etc...)

are you saying that becuase im a student i dont have as much risk or more? or are you saying that some daily activities arent as dangerous as 1 in a 1000? please explain a little more.

Where did you get the "1 in 1000" number to quantify the risk of skydiving?


(This post was edited by surfbum5412 on Jul 30, 2009, 11:04 PM)


thrillstalker  (C 40678)

Jul 31, 2009, 10:14 AM
Post #170 of 207 (765 views)
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Re: [surfbum5412] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
1 in a 1000 chance of dying is a lot less risky than many activities people do daily

That statistic is not true. Even the raw number of 32 fatalities out x number of jumps isn't accurate either because when you start looking at the fatalities, you realize that many don't apply to you (swooping, wingsuit, CRW, health conditions, no AAD, no RSL, etc...)

are you saying that becuase im a student i dont have as much risk or more? or are you saying that some daily activities arent as dangerous as 1 in a 1000? please explain a little more.

Where did you get the "1 in 1000" number to quantify the risk of skydiving?

around 30 skydivers die a year with around 30000 active jumpers. 3 die for every 3000 jumpers, so that means that about 1 in 1000 jumpers die. i used that statistic not based on situation or skill level. just a ball park figure that 1 skydiver out of every 1000 will die this year.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Jul 31, 2009, 11:36 AM
Post #171 of 207 (759 views)
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Re: [thrillstalker] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
around 30 skydivers die a year with around 30000 active jumpers. 3 die for every 3000 jumpers, so that means that about 1 in 1000 jumpers die. i used that statistic not based on situation or skill level. just a ball park figure that 1 skydiver out of every 1000 will die this year.

I think it's a mistake to overly rely on raw statistical analysis to assess (note I don't say "calculate" or even "estimate") the risk to oneself in skydiving. The 1 in 1,000 statistic you cite doesn't mean that on any given individual jump, your chance of death is 1 in 1,000. There are 25-30 deaths per year out of a sampling of 2.5 to 3 million individual skydives per year. So by that calculation, the "average" risk of death per skydive is more like 1 in approximately 80,000 to 100,000.

And that, alone, still doesn't adequately assess the risk on any one person's individual skydive, each of which is independently influenced by such factors as the experience level of the jumper, the experience of the other people on the same jump with him, the complexity of the jump, the canopy and other gear being jumped, how many other jumpers might be in the air (freefall or under canopy) at the same time, the jumper's chosen landing technique on that jump, the landing terrain, weather, etc.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Jul 31, 2009, 11:37 AM)


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Jul 31, 2009, 11:44 AM
Post #172 of 207 (755 views)
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Re: [dks13827] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I also understand that your odds of dying in a car crash at some point are 1 in 125. Shocking, isnt it ?? If you are over age 40, think about your high school friends who have indeed been killed in cars and you will realize that 1 in 125 is in the ball park.

Annual car death rate in the country is in the ballpark of 1 in 6000 or 1 in 7000. So 50 years of that exposure would get you down to a plausible lifetime risk of 1:125.

OTOH, the skydiving 1:1000 means that with 50 years of exposure, you'd be close to 1 in 20.

Note - this is highly simplistic summation. Car drivers tend to get safer with experience, then a very slow decline in physical skills coupled with knowledge, then a steeper drop in safety with old age. Skydivers can get safer with experience, but more risky if they continue to do more challenging acts.


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Jul 31, 2009, 11:45 AM
Post #173 of 207 (755 views)
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Re: [thrillstalker] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
a 1 in a 1000 chance of dying is a lot less risky than many activities people do daily.

Which activities are those? Shooting up with heroin?


dks13827  (C 9293)

Jul 31, 2009, 1:32 PM
Post #174 of 207 (746 views)
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Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

IMO, if one can avoid the swooping crash... have an AAD, RSL, steel reserve ripcord handle ( IMO ), then the majority, by far, of the accidents are avoidable. I always had the thought that I could, for the most part, control everything except for a reserve malfunction, and I never worried about that. You cant. There was a sky God, who, years ago, immediately fired his reserve into a streamer. It didnt work. I shake my head at how someone could do that.


surfbum5412  (A 49444)

Jul 31, 2009, 3:09 PM
Post #175 of 207 (740 views)
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Re: [thrillstalker] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
around 30 skydivers die a year with around 30000 active jumpers. 3 die for every 3000 jumpers, so that means that about 1 in 1000 jumpers die. i used that statistic not based on situation or skill level. just a ball park figure that 1 skydiver out of every 1000 will die this year.

Although this is true, and I appreciate the fact that you're using quantifiable measurements and not anecdotal, the statistic says nothing about individual risk.


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