Its interesting how this stuff works out Jason. And these points are good ones, but these two points are just two of the puzzle. First, don't look at the fatalities to see whats going on in the sport, you need to look at the close calls, and understand the vulnerabilities of the equipment reletive to instructor competence. What that means is Nothing is perfect, and we get by with alot, you know this cause you hear of close calls at your dz all the time, well, sometimes, somewhere in the world, it is not a close call for someone, it actually happens. Those years when things are quiet, its not cause the grim reaper is not lurking, at all, if your an instructor you know this. Second, and I've heard this from very highly experienced people in the sport, my dzo has been in the sport for 50 years. The instructors in this sport overall are cycling in and out, and some very good ones from the nineties etc are leaving, which leads to a weakness in experience levels. When very good judgement, high experience people move one, stop speaking up, stop teaching, we all loose. Personally I see a tandem instructor under a 1000 tandems, depending on currency, maturity, and experience with malfunctions, still very novice. The big problem with tandems, is if two things go wrong, not just one, once you have two things go wrong, your chance of dying went way up. Tandems are dangerous, the key is working so hard to make sure that your trained well, great attitude, and ready for a passenger to give you anything but what you want. For all the humble TI's and AFFI's out there, I know you don't get enough respect nor pay for what you do, great job, matt aman
What is going on with the recent tandem fatality rate. It seems as though we went through 99-2003 without a fatality. And since then we have experienced many fatalities. ???????
I mentioned the same thing in another thread earlier this week. 8 students since August 2005...6 in the process of skydiving and 2 in a plane crash. I'm hoping that statistically it's just an outlying year, but only time will tell.
What I find the most disturbing is that in the last couple of years I can think of at least 4 ( there may be more ) incidents where the student was killed and the instructor lived.
I'm not sure why that's more disturbing than double-fatalities, but yeah...so can I. The two students who fell out of their harnesses, the Utah landing incident, and the Virginia landing incident (didn't that TI die in a subsequent landing incident on his sport rig, almost exactly one year later?)
Are some people getting complacent or is it just a statistical spike? People smarter than I will have to answer that one. The second "falling out of the harness" incident, though, is unforgivable. That was totally preventable. The turbulence collapse, though, is pretty hard to predict/prevent.
"The turbulence collapse, though, is pretty hard to predict/prevent."
Well kinda. You can prevent it by jumping in appropriate weather conditions and making sure your final is into a portion of the lz that has clean winds. I'm not saying that is what happened in either of those incidents.
Incompetance and some very bad luck. I would like to think all tandem instructors are very well qualified and extremely heads up, but it seems not everyone is. Every human can and will make mistakes,but if we always follow the correct procedures everytime,we can greatly reduce the odds of mistakes. Even doing everything right though, bad luck can and will get you. It's just a numbers game. So keep everything simple,follow procedures,do not make the ride too crazy( like doing intentional flips and CRW with passengers) it is dangerous enough by the book. I hope to see you guys in october bro. Blue skies!