Aug 21, 2001, 5:46 PM
Post #1 of 21
I know in flying the FAA puts out a statistic that says a pilot between 100-200 is the most likely to have an accident. He's in that stage where complacency and over confidence can kill you. Is there such a stat for Skydiving. I have 73 jumps and feel I am definately in this envlope. When will I get out? LOL I guess I just feel like I know enough to know I dont know everything but I dont know what I dont know...........Any thoughts?
"Gonna need...some cream for ya ass"-Chef/South Park Clay
seems lately alot of people are pounding in with a thousand plus....a guy just plowed in at titusville. he is still alive but broken up...its not only killing yourself to worry about but seriously fucking up your life so bad that you wish you died is what I worry about....
Marc Because I fly, I envy no man on earth
quade (D 22635)
Aug 21, 2001, 7:33 PM
Post #4 of 21
totaly agreed Paul, and isnt it a good thing....but fatalities isnt what its all about..there are alot of people pounding in that just fuck themselves up so bad they wish they are dead...that is something I would like to have stats on....those ones that lucked there ass out and are still alive...
It's not actually a statistic, but 50-300 jumps is what I've heard most. This is usually the time when your confidence is increasing faster than your skills. Looking back I can think of a few times in that range where I did something I was lucky to come through unscathed. A friend of mine at the DZ has a great saying: you have two buckets, your luck bucket and your skill bucket. When you start jumping the luck bucket is full, and the skill bucket is empty. The goal is to make sure the skill bucket is pretty full before you empty the luck bucket.
Mike D-23312 "It's such a shame to spend your time away like this...existing." JMH
I guess I just feel like I know enough to know I dont know everything but I dont know what I dont know...........Any thoughts?
Listen to the highly experienced jumpers.. It amazes me sometimes when the weather starts to get questionable, and the high timers sit it out.....but the low timers are ready to jump.. Step back and take a good look at what the more experienced people are doing.. When the weather starts to look questionable(storms nearby, high winds, etc), I always take a look at what some of the more experienced jumpers that I respect are doing.. I don't usually let my ego make the decision - but every now and then.....
It is in that range where you start to become confident in your canopy skills, are comfortable downsizing, and will jump in wind conditions that you "know" you can handle.
It is at that stage where your confidence may exceed your skills.
Of course this is a danger at every stage, and one has to constantly focus on the risks and consciously act to minimize them.
Watch a busy DZ on a windy day, and when you see people with 7000 jumps staying on the ground while people with 600 are jumping, think about whether you want to make it to 7000 jumps.
At Quincy 99 there were really high winds, and a lot of people were telling me it wasn't so bad. Lew Sanborn (D-1) was there, at that time in his 50th consecutive year of skydiving. I asked him if he was jumping and he just said "nope.. and you know why". I decided that still being a jumper in 50 years was more important to me than jumping that particular day. Sadly, someone with around 200 jumps died that day, from what appeared to be a low turn to face the wind.
Aug 21, 2001, 9:45 PM
Post #9 of 21
Jumping in ireland can be extreme. Winds can get really nasty. I have seen guys jumping in 25 mph winds (plus rain). Scary. I have only 150 jumps but the last thing you want to do is to get over confident. I'd say the risk is the same on every skydive. We do something that is dangerous enough so there is no point making it even more dangerous.
I appreciate the limitations they use at Cross Keys. The official rule is what, no un-licensed jumpers above 14mph wind? At CK they have additional holds based on license level as the winds creep over that. Not sure exactly what they are but they'll announce for example "C license or better wind hold".
Over the last few years it seems that most of the fatalities have been due to improper landings of high performance canopies. But as of lately their has been a lot of video folks having their cameras entangle with the mains during cutaways. It seems as your skills become better your pron to add more to your list of factors to consider on each jump. It is important for everybody to have a set of procedures for all emergencies. Then to rehears them regularly. Touch your handles in the manner you intend to use them. If you jump video can you eject your helmet quickly and accurately? Ingrain the proper technique you may one day need. I've had one malfunction in 1500 skydives, do I still practice my emergency procedures? Every weekend.
It's not the jump numbers as much as the attitude that injures and kills imho. You can have the invincible attitude at any number of jumps. Get a safe attitude and you're much more likely to make it to 5000 jumps.
Make safety your #1 priority, period. Remember that no jump is so important that it's worth your life - think about all the things you love to do, see, smell, feel, hear. Is it worth losing any of those to do "one more jump today" or to be "on the load with all my friends" even though there's a storm front coming in?
Consider that every accident has a "chain of uncertainties" leading up to it. Break the chain at any point and the accident likely would not have happened. Not to pick on Merrick - damn near every skydiver has at least one story like this of their own - but his leg is a good example. First jump ever at a large boogie from a specialty aircraft into an alternate landing area (1), in a rush to get to the plane so didn't take time to check out the landing area (2), not knowing the ground conditions, performed a high performance landing technique (3) and there's an ambulance ride.
So what could he have done differently? Break the chain - he could have chosen to make his first jump at Quincy from a "regular" aircraft so he could land in the main landing area (1), he could have taken the time to go physically check out the landing area - this would have let him know that a conservative landing technique would be best for that area (2), once committed to the landing area, he could have chosen a conservative landing technique (3).
Be a safe skydiver - learn from other's mistakes, learn everything you can about the equipment and the sport, watch for the uncertainties in your own skydiving (something different? new? changed? All red flags), always be ready to "sit this one out" if the conditions aren't right, plan for the worst case scenario and be happy when everything goes right.
pull and flare, lisa --- I chose the road less traveled. Now where the hell am I?
The danger zone is somewhere between 50 and 500 jumps.
Consider this, they won't let you become a tandem instructor until you have survived more than 500 jumps by yourself.
But it really comes down to a question of attitude. I was dangerous to myself at 60 jumps and I didn't start to mellow out until after I had 600 jumps and a tandem rating. I started tandem jumping and BASE jumping at the same time, but time constraints forced me to chose one or the other. I chose tandem jumping because it paid better.
"Consider that every accident has a "chain of uncertainties" leading up to it. Break the chain at any point and the accident likely would not have happened. Not to pick on Merrick - damn near every skydiver has at least one story like this of their own - but his leg is a good example. First jump ever at a large boogie from a specialty aircraft into an alternate landing area (1), in a rush to get to the plane so didn't take time to check out the landing area (2), not knowing the ground conditions, performed a high performance landing technique (3) and there's an ambulance ride."
This is a VERY good example, don't mind you picking on me a bit. I've always believed that there were a series of uncertainties in any accident, not in skydiving but in all aspects of life.
When I got to Quincy the first thing Pam said to me was, "you're not adequately excited to finally be here!" She was right, I had this really odd gut feeling, something just didn't feel right. I wasn't really that scared of the boogie, the aircraft, or even the canopy traffic... something was just wrong. My first mistake was ignoring that feeling. The bi-plane jump (in my opinion) was one of the safest jumps that could be done at the convention, you're in a hanging stable exit, miles away from any other jumpers, & a landing area all to yourself..... thus comes my second mistake, NOT checking out the landing area. Bad IDEA, had I seen the area & taken the time to see what the winds were doing up high (3rd mistake), I more than likely wouldn't have jumped. Three simple mistakes that may or may not have landed me in the hospital, this time they did tho! And... just for my own gratification I DID NOT perform a high performance landing technique. My final approach was a straight in approach starting at about 280 ft or so, at about 100-150 feet the 20mph wind that was in my face completely vanished. As I said before I compensated & felt good about it, it did however give me a pretty good surf, I caught my foot on something on the ground & it turned 180degrees the wrong direction... Crunch!! The good news is I'll be out of this dumb walking cast by mid September! then hopefully in the air soon after, but I'm not going to push it!
I guess my point is, if anything "seems" wrong... it probably is! Be safe on every jump, don't get too relaxed, you're jumping out of an airplane for gawd's sake! Be careful!
"If words were wisdom, I'd be talkin' even more.."
Consider this, they won't let you become a tandem instructor until you have survived more than 500 jumps by yourself.
I still feel that the 500 jump minimum is WAAAY too low for a TM/I.. I definitely agree with the time in sport requirement.. I know one specific jumper who has been jumping for 6 months now, and has almost 400 jumps.. He could be a TM/I in another 2 months or so if it weren't for the time in sport requirement.. How long ago was the 500 jump minimum set? Back when tandem jumping first started?
I guess it's kinda like the current license requirements - outdated.. 100 jumps for a C and 200 for a D is way too low, IMO.. I kinda like the way some other countries do it - 500 for C and 1000 for D..
appreciate the limitations they use at Cross Keys. The official rule is what, no un-licensed jumpers above 14mph wind? At CK they have additional holds based on license level as the winds creep over that. Not sure exactly what they are but they'll announce for example "C license or better wind hold".
I've jumped cross keys many times. One March (the windiest month in that part of the world) I spent three consecutive weekends there as a lowtimer being unable to get in the air.
However, it is precisely this "C/D license or better" that makes you potentially dangerous once you get to 200 jumps. I've never seen Cross Keys place a restriction higher than 200 jumps, they'll just shut down the drop zone.
But once you get 200 jumps, you'll be thinking - cool, they are finally letting me jump in these conditions. I know my skills, I think I can handle it. You'll go up on the load, but you'll notice that guys with THOUSANDS of jumps usually wont jump under a "200 jump minimum hold". I'm suggesting that it is this attitude that allowed them to rack up those thousands in the first place.
I've jumped under those conditions myself. And I'm well aware that I'm putting myself at additional risk.
Cross Keys is generally safe - when things get really rough wind wise, no one will be jumping. Just be careful.
Interesting points made. I guess we lack stats because the majority of non fatal accidents dont get reported to USPA. It doesn't take much of a mishap with an aircraft to get reported to the FAA. The longer I'm in the sport I think more and more that the license requirements are a bit lite. I guess thats why a Pro rating was invented. It's a clear demonstration of skill being judged by someone that is supposed to know. Sorta like a check ride. I can't say that instructional rating requirements should be upped. I think that this is so individual I dont think it would be fair. I do think a good evaluation by a qualified examiner should weed out the ones that aren't ready. This is obviously happening in the AFF evaluations. I've known more than one person that came home from an AFFCC empty handed.
"Don't give a F$#ck if I'm comin or leavin"-Pappa Roach Clay
This is a very good thread and is pretty educating. Glad to hear that you high timers and nearly there are doing the same. My AFF JM wouldnt go once when it was getting big and dark out, but I wanted to JUMP!! Now I know why.