Apr 25, 2005, 1:10 PM
Post #1 of 360
AAD's & Personal Acceptable Risk Thresholds
I am rapidly nearing the point of simply repeating myself over and over again.
Please read what I am writing very carefully and donít twists the words into something that I didnít say.
Iíll summarize my opinion and everyone can do with as they please.
* Jumping with an AAD, helmet, etc is a good thing and everyone should have these things.
* An AAD is a back up safety device. You should never rely on it. If you do rely on it and it fails, you are dead. There are a number of reasons why it may not work, some of which you have no way of knowing before the jump. An AAD should increase a jumperís safety by being there for unseen problems and unavoidable incidents. It is not there to allow a jumper to make riskier skydives than they normally would.
* Each skydiver must honestly determine for themselves their acceptable risk threshold. How much risk is acceptable to you is a personal decision, make an informed and honest decision. How high of winds will you jump in? How big of a RW or free-fly jump will you do, etc. Set these limits and periodically review them as you gain experience abilities and possible how much risk you are willing to accept changes (more or less risk).
* If you determine, for example, that coach jumps with new free-flyers is too much risk, then do not coach new free-flyers. If you feel a 50-way RW jump is too big with too much risk, do not jump on 50-ways.
* An AAD does not reduce the chances of a collision on the jump. It can save you if a collision does happen, but may not. It must function to have any chance of saving you and is a last ditch effort. The majority of Cypres fires are from the jumper simply losing altitude awareness and failing to pull on time, not from free fall collisions, etc.
* No one likes to admit they are device dependant or are exceeding their own risk threshold because they have an AAD. If you fall into this category, be honest with yourself. Make an honest risk assessment and jump within your personal risk threshold. This means deciding whether to make the jump without using a Cypres to off set risk level.
* My analogy: If you feel running a red light is beyond your risk threshold because of the chances of a collision, airbags do not reduce the chances of a collision and therefore should not be a factor when determining if running a red light is within your risk threshold.
* How do you determine if you are using a Cypres to exceed your personal risk threshold or just feel you should always jump with one because it is a good idea to have one? I know of no pass/fail test you can do to make that determination. You have to be honest with yourself and make an honest assessment of how much risk is acceptable and how much risks you are taking, leaving the Cypres out of this determination. Do this the same way you would decide if running a red light is too risky or not without taking the airbags into account.
* Donít ever fall into the trap of allowing a Cypres to lull you into a false sense of safety. If your AAD ever enters into your decision making process for a jump, stop and really think about the jump.
* Refusing not to jump w/o a Cypres is OK. They are great and you should jump with one. Using a AAD to exceed your personal acceptable risk threshold is not OK because it isnít smart to use back up safety devices that may not work to justify doing something you feel is too risky.
* Determine your personal acceptable risk threshold and don't exceed it because you have a Cypres.
If you have questions, please PM me.
(This post was edited by Hooknswoop on Apr 25, 2005, 2:37 PM)
Damn it... I think we agree but have been talking at cross purposes... PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG)
On EVERY jump there are many things that can go wrong, some are adjustable by skill some are not.
For those that vary with skill level (and judgement is involved here) EACH jumper sets his or her own limits
For those that DO NOT vary with skill and are a part of each jump. we have safety gear like reserves, helmets and aads (yes these can also help REDUCE the concequences of a mis hap from the previous catagory)
I think the point is, SET YOUR LIMIT in the first catagory without respect to your safety gear. DO NOT increase that limit because you have safety gear.
In MY case I add a Cypres to MY gear for the sole purpose of reducing the risk from the second catagory.
I depend on my skill and my judgment of that skill(as well an the judgment of others whom I trust, who know my skill) to decide what jumps I go on. WITHOUT reguard to a helmet or an AAD
I'm not saying an AAD will NOT help if I screw up or if my judgment is wrong, its just NOT why I have one.
For an AAD to help on a jump I SHOULD NOT have been on I have to get hurt by that jump... I AM NOT WILLING TO INCREASE MY RISK of being injured on a jump just because I have an AAD NO ONE SHOULD BE
BECAUSE the non-variable risks EXIST ON EVERY JUMP I CHOOSE to REDUCE them on every jump by having an AAD
Until I figure out how to rig up a Cypres in one of my BASE rigs, I guess I will continue to make jumps without the use of an AAD. Oh and I can also be seen getting on airplanes without my Cypres turned on when I'm doing hop n' pops as well as solo wingsuit jumps. My Cypres is only there for potential freefall collisions with other skydivers.
I'm not sure I can articulate this well, but I'm going to give it a try:
I find merit in many sides of this argument and I've done a lot of thinking on all sides.
I'm interested in knowing how you guys feel about this train of thought:
I've been advised to "wring out" my canopy at high altitude to get a feel for its perfomance envelope.
I've paid for canopy coaching that involved stalling my canopy "at a high enough altitude" to cut it away if I get in trouble.
So if respected experts are telling me to do things I wouldn't do if I didn't have a reserve to save my ass if I get in tight spot, how does that differ from not accepting certain risks without having an AAD to save my ass?
how does that differ from not accepting certain risks without having an AAD to save my ass?
An AAD is optional. The concept is an AAD will increase a jumper's level of safety. If the jumper goes beyond their personal acceptable threshold of risk because they have an AAD, then they are negating the added safety an AAD should offer. They are also going beyond their risk threshold based on a back up safety device that may not work.
If you are staying within what you consider an acceptable level of risk and have an AAD as further back-up, great.
Bottom line: Do not rely on an AAD to save your ass. Rely on you to save your ass and have an AAD to back you up.
But, why is it okay to exceed a safety threshold because I'm wearing a reserve and not okay to exceed a threshold because I'm wearing an AAD?
It's not OK in either case to make a jump that goes beyond the risks you are willing to accept.
Regardless of the fact that an AAD is optional and a reserve isn't... If there were no FARs that mandated a reserve would that make it unacceptable to take risks at high alti under my main?
Irrevelent since reserves are mandatory, but since you asked, that would be up to the individual to decide if taking risks under your main at altitude wsithout a reserve is within the amount of risk you are willing to take.
Suppose reserves were optional. How many people would do a bigway CRW jump without a reserve?
I dunno, probably not many.
Would those that would do CRW with a reserve but not without be in the same niche with people who would do RW bigways with an AAD but not without?
Not enough information to answer. By niche, do you mean the group that I think are using an AAD to justify making a jump they think is too risky?
My point is: Do not make a jump you think is too risky just because you have an AAD. Decide if you will make the jump as if you didn't have an AAD.
Are you going to answer my questions?
Edited to make it clear that my primary question is:
Is it okay to accept certain risks because you have a reserve, but not okay to take certain risks because you have an AAD?
I'm trying, but you keep editing, adding questions.
I don't understand the question. What risks would you accept because you have a reserve that you wouldn't accept (if reserves were optional) if you didn't have a reserve?
Would the "certain risks" cause you to exceed what you feel is your limit of the risk you are willing to take? If yes, then you shouldn't exceed the limit of risks you are willing to take, regardless if you have an AAD or not.
If reerves were optional and I never jumped with one, I, and 3 of my tandem passengers, would have died 14 times in 3333 jumps. Skydiving, especially with a HP main, w/o a reserve is way beyond my personal acceptable risk threshold.
* Determine your personal acceptable risk threshold and don't exceed it because you have a Cypres.
(This post was edited by Hooknswoop on Apr 25, 2005, 8:53 PM)
My point is that I don't wear a reserve because I have to. If it wasn't a FAR I'd do it anyway. That makes it very relevant.
I don't think many CRW folks would do bigways without a reserve either, but I don't see anyone dogging them for it. FARs or not. I don't see the difference. They are taking risks because they have a backup.
Edited just to annoy hooknswoop
I'll shut up and listen. I'm trying to learn, honest. Your posts have been instrumental in making me think about a lot of really important issues and I can't thank you enough for the mental tinder.
(This post was edited by labrys on Apr 25, 2005, 9:01 PM)
Comparing a reserve to an AAD is stupid. The reserve is there in case your main malfunctions. The AAD is there in case YOU malfunction.
I won't go on a 12 way hybrid as a sit flyer because I'm nowhere near the skill level required for a jump like that. I might cork and injure or kill myself or others. But we all have AAD's, so that makes it ok, right? WRONG! If I am not skilled enough to safely make a jump without an AAD, I don't make it. I refuse to rely on the device to save my life when I am unable to save it myself due to my own inaction or stupidity.
The AAD is only there in the EXTREMELY RARE situation that something far beyond my control happens on a jump that makes it impossible for me to deploy a parachute. Like getting knocked unconscious, or dislocating a shoulder (although even that would leave me with one good hand to pull silver).
A main can malfunction for a lot of reasons. We can also do a lot of stupid things. Bottom line: if you think you will NEED a cypress on the jump you are about to make, do yourself a favor and ground yourself. I think is what Hooknswoop has been saying all along. If not, it is certainly how I feel.
Edit: Fixed typo that spellcheck missed.
(This post was edited by MWGemini on Apr 25, 2005, 9:03 PM)
Of all the cases where jumpers could not deploy for themselves, the vast majority are jumper error, yes. The only exception being if an aircraft hit the jumper in freefall, or the jumper had some kind of physical problem (such as a heart attack or stroke) that prevented deploying a parachute.
If another jumper collided with the jumper who gets knocked out, there is probably a reason for it. Like being on too large of a jump with too low an experience level. Bottom line: if you EXPECT to NEED the AAD, you don't belong in the air.
As a statistical comparison, I have no idea, and don't want to find out. I do however know that when I was first learning to pack, there was at least one time (and probably several) that I unpacked one of my pack jobs because I was unsure how well it would open. Some people said that I always had a reserve, or an AAD. I would rather rely solely on myself. I won't jump a pack job that I think has a high likelihood of requiring me to chop it, just as I won't jump in a situation where I feel I'll be relying on my AAD.
The reserve and the AAD are there ONLY in the event that something else has gone horribly wrong. You shouldn't have to use it. And you'd better not rely on it. One day it just might let you down. Hard.