I think most people who stay in the sport for a few years or more will lose someone they've jumped with, if not a close personal friend. I've lost one friend (not real close, I admit) in 4 years jumping.
How could I continue? It never occured to me not to.
But then most of us have lost friends or relatives to slow cancer or other diseases. Losing someone to a skydiving accident, happy until the last few seconds, doesn't seem too bad in comparison to that kind of suffering.
I hate to sound morbid, but this is something I've often thought about. At what point would you realize that it was over, and would you spend your last seconds panicking, struggling with your malfunction, or enjoying the last moments in freefall, may pop a stand-up, or plan a graceful exit (away from the crowds, not too far in the woods, whatever)? Alternatively, would you track for a lake as a last-ditch effort to break the fall?
My thinking is that I would keep working the malfunction, unless there wasn't anything left to pull/cut/untwist/cutaway/chew through/piss on, whatever. Then I would pick out a lovely and convenient spot for my demise, take a deep breath, and smile into the ground.
And if I go, my apologies to my family and friends in advance. I love you all.
I really don't understand this reasoning... If you know someone who has died why would you continue? Well let me compile a short list of some of the activities where people have died while participating.
Basically what I am getting at is that everyone dies, and I guarantee someone has died doing every activity you can possibly imagine. Obviously you don't think we should quit all activity for fear of death. So what is the difference?
Well I think what you are getting at is that it is easy to imagine the consequences of falling to the ground. For the non skydiver or novice skydiver, it is a very unnatural concept to fall through the atmosphere and this creates some natural instincts that reject that activity. Your subconscious mind tries to protect you and creates a feeling of fear. Well what your subconscious mind does not have is reason- and that is far more helpful in saving your life. Sometimes instincts work against you. For example the instinct to run from danger. How many dangerous situations are best solved by running? Anyhow, what I am getting at is that if you actually use some reason to think about skydiving, you will realize that it is extremely safe. An average of thirty some skydivers do die every year, and it is a possibility for any of us. But what about the average of 40,000+ people who die EVERY year from car accidents! I think that is where you need to focus your attention if you want to talk about people participating in dangerous activities. The reason people don't is that it is hard to imagine the consequences of driving since it is such a common practice. People just don't think about the potential of blowing out a tire, skidding into the oncoming lane, and being thrown into the grill of someone's F350 truck.
To directly answer your question, everyone who skydives will probably know someone who has died while jumping. But it is completely absurd to think about quiting the sport for that reason alone. Hope you find the thrill in the sport yourself!
Hmmm... I've thought about that too. I'd probably be ripping the flaps off my reserve cover or whatever right until the moment of impact. If I was sure it was inevitable, I see 2 possible alternatives - track for some trees (I think that's really your best chance of survival, it's possible as you went through the branches they would break/bend, slowing your fall to a point where you don't hit all that hard) -or- go in head down just to make sure the end is instantaneous.
As for skydiving after a friend dies, I think Zennie covered that pretty well. The only certainty in life is that you will die. If you live long enough, you will probably have friends die in car accidents, from diseases, and from all sorts of other nasty things. Unfortunately, it's something you have to deal with. Given the choice, I'd rather people remember me having a great time at the drop zone and burning in on a bad jump than have to watch me waste away in a hospital bed for a year before I die of Leukemia or the like. I've even expressed that sentiment to my parents and they agree. That doesn't mean they WANT me to burn in (I hope not awyway) but they accept that if I do it was while doing something I love.
The first friend I lost was the guy who taught me to jump, made me a j/m and instructor and started my rigger training. He went in three years after I started jumping. I jumped the next weekend. The second friend was a cameraman at our dz. He was a wonderful guy. He went in 5 years after I started jumping. I jumped the next weekend. The third friend turned his Cypres off and did a hop and don't pop. He was seriously depressed and had left a suicide note. I jumped my brand new rig on his memorial dive. I don't consider this a skydiving fatality though.
How can I keep jumping? I didn't stop driving when I lost a friend to a car wreck. I didn't stop walking across a street when a friend got taken out by a bus. Skydiving IS my life; while I love my friends, I love jumping more. Personally if I found out that one of my friends quit jumping because I died on a skydive, I'd want to come back and haunt them until they got their butt back in the sky where they belong.
Accept the fact that if you stay in the sport long enough, you will lose a friend eventually. If you can't handle that, save yourself the pain and get out of the sport now.
pull and flare, lisa ---- I don't think much, therefore I might not be
I hate to sound morbid, but this is something I've often thought about
I glad to hear I'm not the only one. I've actually thought of this while FFing.. cruising past 4000ft thinking "what if I didnt open my chute" no no no I'm not suicidle just thinking what people go through and how to imagine or continplate it. I guess you cant unless your there which I hope to never be! As for would I quit.....no. Everybody everyday plays the game of life.. ANd everydy someone dye or is dieing. Does that mean we should all give up the game too!! I know this is an extreme comparism but you get the point. But it still doenst make anything easier when you loose someone!
Jul 13, 2001, 12:45 AM
Post #10 of 17
In that same vein, how many of us have known someone who died in a car accident?.... yet we keep driving- more of us are injured driving to and from the DZ, or in the bathtub, taking a shower, or at work or puttering around the house by far than in a skydiving accident-- you can let any excuse you want to stop you from doing anything you are doing if we focus on only the horrors of everyday living-- a part of which we cannot escape, of course, is dying.... we will all perish eventually; don't let that simple fact stop you from doing what is important to you! Take heart- we are a very special breed and rare-- <hug> Brokeneagle.
It's only the giving that makes you what you are... In the end, only kindness matters....
I cried at the funerals of friends who died in the 1992 Beech crash in Hinckley, Illinois. We learned not to jump out of poorly maintained airplanes. I cried at Teresa Tran's funeral. We learned not to leave pilotchutes stowed when we jump off low cliffs. I cried on Bruce Geikie's memorial dive and learned that transitioning from a PD 210 to a Stiletto 150 is dangerous. I refuse to jump Stilettos and have drawn a chart about learning canopy flying skills. I wonder when SKYDIVING Magazine will publish it?
I had a friend who went to ground school with me burn in as he exited three people behind me. shit happens. then you go up and do it again. seeing death on a daily basis has made me realize that death is inevitable and I will not be able to avoid it when my number comes. but I do know that I can live my life for every day and not for what I "Will do" in the future. Live life now or it will fly by and you will be saying damn I wish I would've done this or done that.
Only known one skydiver to go. Barely knew her at that. Nice lady, loved kids, a ball of fun around a dropzone, managed to speak to her once around a fire, full of life. chose a hook turn over a tree after a bad spot (afaik)
Blue Skies Forever Shelley.
RiggerRob, forget skydiving mag, publish it here if you haven't already.
I'm with everyone else. I haven't been in the sport long enough to know someone that burned in. However, when it does happen, God speed to that person. I mean I hope they enjoyed life, because I will continue living mine.
I posted a little something earlier about why I jump. It's called <A HREF="http://dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forums/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=forumtalkback&Number=27978&page=1&view=collapsed&sb=5" target="_new">"One time for your mind"</A>. Please check it out and let me know what you think.
ALL 1111 & 4 ALL
<FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by DAYGS on 7/13/01 10:51 AM.</EM></FONT>