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
 
Andy9o8  (D License)

Aug 1, 2009, 10:29 AM
Post #176 of 207 (1010 views)
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Re: [thrillstalker] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

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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.

See my post #171. To the extent there may be such a thing as a "statistical risk of death per individual skydive" (and I doubt there truly is; there are too many variables), the odds of death are probably closer to 1 in about 90,000 on any given jump, not 1 in 1,000.

Here's one way I look at it: I have children, so I have every parent's instinctive, irrational fear of my children's mortality occurring during my lifetime. I'd have a lot of anxiety if one of my kids was engaged in an activity where the odds of death were as high as 1 in 1,000. I'd be a lot more comfortable with them doing something where the odds of death are a much lower 1 in 90,000.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Aug 1, 2009, 10:31 AM)


dks13827  (C 9293)

Aug 1, 2009, 12:27 PM
Post #177 of 207 (991 views)
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Re: [kelpdiver] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

If one does not DUI, and wears a seatbelt, now that changes significantly the danger of a car crash. Same thing for motorcycles, which I like to ride a lot. ( my thoughts on riding cycles is... you have to be able to spot trouble way in advance,, as much as possible. ) e.g. when I see the nose of a car peek out from behind a sign up ahead, I KNOW he is going to pull out in front of me, and I act accordingly. Same thing in jumping, you can review the accident reports and you can indeed deal with most causes ahead of time, such as using an AAD, RSL, steel reserve handle, etc.


(This post was edited by dks13827 on Aug 1, 2009, 2:06 PM)


dks13827  (C 9293)

Aug 1, 2009, 2:12 PM
Post #178 of 207 (985 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

My eldest grown daughter ( 1 tandem ), if she wanted to be a jumper, I would make sure she understood the deal,, then I would help her learn. My other daughter.. well... I just dont think she would be cutout to be a jumper. If she insisted on doing it.. I would see if 3 to 5 tandems would satisfy her. But after that, it would be her decision. Unimpressed


thrillstalker  (C 40678)

Aug 1, 2009, 2:57 PM
Post #179 of 207 (981 views)
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Re: [surfbum5412] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

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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.

it think i should have put it that you have a 1 in 1000 chance of dying this year. numbers only, not skill. i really wasnt taking this post too seriously.


thrillstalker  (C 40678)

Aug 1, 2009, 3:00 PM
Post #180 of 207 (979 views)
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Re: [thrillstalker] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
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.

i mean you have a 1 out of 1000 chance of dying in a year being an active skydiver.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Aug 1, 2009, 4:34 PM
Post #181 of 207 (972 views)
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Re: [thrillstalker] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
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.

i mean you have a 1 out of 1000 chance of dying in a year being an active skydiver.

That's still not true. You're falling victim to the old saying, "Lies, damned lies and statistics", which means that a statistic can be offered as apparent "proof" of a proposition that in actual fact is not correct.

If you flip a coin once, your chances of Heads is 50/50. Now let's say you flip 39 times, and each time it comes up Heads. So what's the chance of Heads on the 40th flip? Answer: 50/50. Each individual flip is its own statistically unique event.

Some people make 30 jumps a year, while some make 1,000 jumps a year. Now the 1,000 jump/yr person certainly has more exposure to the risk over the course of a year than the 30 jpy person does. And yet, for each of them, on any one given skydive, the odds of that particular skydive being fatal to him remains (or maybe I should say, begins at) an "average" of 1 in about 90,000. That average, then, is further subject to particular variables, like experience, canopy jumped and complexity of the jump and/or landing; and those variables will skew the odds of fatality on a jump either higher or lower than 1:90,000.

Just as with flips of a coin, each individual skydive is its own statistically unique event, and should be evaluated as such. But you need to get away from thinking that a typical skydiver's odds of getting killed in the sport can somehow be viewed as averaging 1 in 1,000, because that's just not the case.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Aug 1, 2009, 4:41 PM)


dks13827  (C 9293)

Aug 1, 2009, 4:56 PM
Post #182 of 207 (967 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
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.

i mean you have a 1 out of 1000 chance of dying in a year being an active skydiver.

That's still not true. You're falling victim to the old saying, "Lies, damned lies and statistics", which means that a statistic can be offered as apparent "proof" of a proposition that in actual fact is not correct.

If you flip a coin once, your chances of Heads is 50/50. Now let's say you flip 39 times, and each time it comes up Heads. So what's the chance of Heads on the 40th flip? Answer: 50/50. Each individual flip is its own statistically unique event.

Some people make 30 jumps a year, while some make 1,000 jumps a year. Now the 1,000 jump/yr person certainly has more exposure to the risk over the course of a year than the 30 jpy person does. And yet, for each of them, on any one given skydive, the odds of that particular skydive being fatal to him remains (or maybe I should say, begins at) an "average" of 1 in about 90,000. That average, then, is further subject to particular variables, like experience, canopy jumped and complexity of the jump and/or landing; and those variables will skew the odds of fatality on a jump either higher or lower than 1:90,000.

Just as with flips of a coin, each individual skydive is its own statistically unique event, and should be evaluated as such. But you need to get away from thinking that a typical skydiver's odds of getting killed in the sport can somehow be viewed as averaging 1 in 1,000, because that's just not the case.
Andy, you are very articulate and logical. And I dont disagree with a word you said. Just like the accident rate in cars includes the drunks and idiots, same for our sport. A jumper who exercises great care has better odds than 1 in 90,000 Unimpressed
Say you go to a boogie with 1,000 jumpers. A year later would it not be likely that one of those people has been lost ? I would say, yes !! It is likely.


(This post was edited by dks13827 on Aug 1, 2009, 4:59 PM)


Andy9o8  (D License)

Aug 1, 2009, 5:05 PM
Post #183 of 207 (965 views)
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Re: [dks13827] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Statistics ain't my bag, man, so I really can't explain it any better than I have. How about this: stay safe!


kkeenan  (D 22164)

Aug 3, 2009, 6:51 AM
Post #184 of 207 (937 views)
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Re: [thrillstalker] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

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i mean you have a 1 out of 1000 chance of dying in a year being an active skydiver.

So you assign the same risk to a jumper making 50 jumps during that year as you do to someone making 350 jumps ?


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Aug 3, 2009, 12:52 PM
Post #185 of 207 (921 views)
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Re: [kkeenan] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
i mean you have a 1 out of 1000 chance of dying in a year being an active skydiver.

So you assign the same risk to a jumper making 50 jumps during that year as you do to someone making 350 jumps ?

given the complexity of risk (currency, type of jump, and simple exposure), that's the best you can do. It's a ballpark figure, nothing more.

Sure you can be a safer jumper, driver, motorcyclist, or whatever. But the average sets the comparative baselines.


dks13827  (C 9293)

Aug 3, 2009, 12:58 PM
Post #186 of 207 (915 views)
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Re: [kkeenan] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
i mean you have a 1 out of 1000 chance of dying in a year being an active skydiver.

So you assign the same risk to a jumper making 50 jumps during that year as you do to someone making 350 jumps ?
No. It's a statistical average.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Aug 3, 2009, 5:04 PM
Post #187 of 207 (902 views)
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Re: [dks13827] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
i mean you have a 1 out of 1000 chance of dying in a year being an active skydiver.

So you assign the same risk to a jumper making 50 jumps during that year as you do to someone making 350 jumps ?
No. It's a statistical average.

...which is meaningless when each individual skydive is its own statistically unique event. See, "coin flips", above. Any "average sport skydiver" (whatever that is) who thinks he's bucking a 1 in 1,000 chance of dying in the sport either doesn't understand statistical analysis or has a Chuck Norris complex.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Aug 3, 2009, 5:07 PM)


thrillstalker  (C 40678)

Aug 3, 2009, 5:50 PM
Post #188 of 207 (894 views)
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Re: [kkeenan] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
i mean you have a 1 out of 1000 chance of dying in a year being an active skydiver.

So you assign the same risk to a jumper making 50 jumps during that year as you do to someone making 350 jumps ?

only numbers yes. reality no.


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Aug 3, 2009, 7:10 PM
Post #189 of 207 (886 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Andy, I don't think you understand the coin thing well - I don't think it has much application here.

Coin flips are interesting to examine because the outcome is equally likely to be heads or tails, and prior flips have no bearing on future ones. That's not true for skydiving. Currency is quite relevant, though not in a simplistic more is better or less is better manner. 50/year is probably better than 100, or 20. (whatever is the lowest number that maintains reasonable currency)

The 'average' active skydiving has that 1:1000 risk of mortality over the next year. The motorcyclist shares that, and the cager is 1:7000. Everyone is free to convince themselves they're smarter/safer than average, and some will be correct. But many will just be fooling themselves.

Still looking for that poster to list daily activities that are far more dangerous than jumping.


happythoughts  (D License)

Aug 3, 2009, 8:10 PM
Post #190 of 207 (881 views)
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Re: [kelpdiver] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Two forums above -
"Forums: Community: Blue Skies - In Memory Of"


fred  (A 44905)

Aug 4, 2009, 6:53 PM
Post #191 of 207 (845 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If you flip a coin once, your chances of Heads is 50/50. Now let's say you flip 39 times, and each time it comes up Heads. So what's the chance of Heads on the 40th flip? Answer: 50/50. Each individual flip is its own statistically unique event.
Okay, so that's statistics 101, and the bane of the roulette player.

But what if, before you flip the coin 39 times, you want to place a bet that at least one of those flips will be heads. Suddenly, your odds get a hole lot better (or worse, depending on your perspective). And certainly, you can see that it's much more likely with 39 flips than with 390, right?

So, let's take your odds of 1:90000; let's improve them to 1:100000 to make the math clearer. This is a .001% risk of a fatality on single jump, normalized for all other variables (see footnote). Now take a jumper who is going to make 500 jumps that season. His odds of surviving are (.99999)^500, which is about 99.5%. Or, about a 5:1000 chance of a fatality.

Your math comes back if he's jumped 499 times this season, and he's looking at his 500th jump. At that point, he still has the .001% chance.

Footnote: Of course, all other variables aren't equal. There's clearly a multivariate curve related to experience, currency, and other variables that aren't as quantitative (swooping, big ways, wingsuits, cameraflying, ability to plf, basic judgement, etc). And you could get as specific as you want, but when talking about the general safety of skydiving, it's pretty clear: It's safer to jump once than it is to jump many times. And if you jump a great deal, it's particularly unsafe, because eventually you will bump into the "even when you do everything right, things can go wrong."


pkasdorf  (D 40)

Sep 24, 2010, 5:01 AM
Post #192 of 207 (669 views)
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Re: [billvon] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

I just noticed this in the official USPA's "How to start skydiving" page:

"Skydiving is simple, safe and life-changing."

It makes skydiving appear as a little too innocent as a sport compared to reality.

Just a suggestion, wouldn't people known for their experience and commitment to safety like you, for example, have to address USPA for them to change that statement concerning safety and rephrase it?


SethInMI  (A 47765)

Sep 24, 2010, 6:17 AM
Post #193 of 207 (638 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice 6 year old thread bump!

I have decided that safe is too black and white a word for skydiving; too many assumptions get loaded on to it.

Is skydiving safe? No. To my mind, you won't get hurt doing a safe activity.

Is skydiving unsafe? No. In my mind, an unsafe activity has a high likelihood of death or injury. I don't want to be doing something unsafe.

In USPA's defense, skydiving is a lot safer than wuffos think. This is not sport death anymore. The question becomes at what point does an activity transition from safe to unsafe? According to the USPA website the implication I read is that this happened in the late 1990s when the fatality rate per 1000 members got below 1.0.

But in the end, it is just a balancing act, single words don't work well.


Ron

Sep 24, 2010, 6:56 AM
Post #194 of 207 (620 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
...which is meaningless when each individual skydive is its own statistically unique event. See, "coin flips", above. Any "average sport skydiver" (whatever that is) who thinks he's bucking a 1 in 1,000 chance of dying in the sport either doesn't understand statistical analysis or has a Chuck Norris complex.

Your "one jump, one exposure risk" is only true if you ignore currency as a factor. Your coin toss is random chance, and while that may work for chance of a malfunction for instance.... How a jumper reacts to a malfunction can easily affect the outcome, unlike to coin toss example provided.


happythoughts  (D License)

Sep 24, 2010, 9:56 AM
Post #195 of 207 (564 views)
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Re: [SethInMI] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
In USPA's defense, skydiving is a lot safer than wuffos think.

First, for many non-jumpers, their only exposure to jumping is the media, or friends doing tandems.
The media only mentions death and injuries.

However, the second misperception is created by jumpers.
There are two parts to this issue. The second is injuries.
Jumpers may accurately speak to the death statistics,
but they fail to mention the number of injuries that occur.

(This post was edited by happythoughts on Sep 24, 2010, 9:56 AM)


obelixtim  (D 84)

Sep 24, 2010, 12:19 PM
Post #196 of 207 (516 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

 Its definitely risky if you mix stupidity with skydiving, just as it is if you mix stupidity with any other activity....

Having said that, you can do everything right and still die.

If you do everything right and are NOT stupid, its relatively safe.


Ron

Sep 24, 2010, 12:58 PM
Post #197 of 207 (501 views)
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Re: [pkasdorf] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Name another sport that once started will result in death unless you and your gear function correctly.

Name another "safe" sport that prints fatalities in its national magazine.


obelixtim  (D 84)

Sep 24, 2010, 1:00 PM
Post #198 of 207 (499 views)
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Re: [Ron] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Name another sport that once started will result in death unless you and your gear function correctly.

Scuba diving, ski jumping, rock climbing......


Ron

Sep 24, 2010, 1:21 PM
Post #199 of 207 (486 views)
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Re: [obelixtim] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

I would disagree with every scuba dive would end in a death... A 40 foot reef dive with a 100% OOA situation is an easy fix. A hop n pop carries the same basic risk as a 13k jump.

Now, would you classify a ski jump or rock climbing as "safe"???


Andy9o8  (D License)

Sep 24, 2010, 1:24 PM
Post #200 of 207 (482 views)
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Re: [obelixtim] Skydiving is risky but safe [In reply to] Can't Post

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Quote:
Name another sport that once started will result in death unless you and your gear function correctly.

Scuba diving, ski jumping, rock climbing......

Those are only "maybes". Parachute (aircraft or BASE) jumping is a "definitely". Not really many activities that really, really fall within the "definitely" category. Bungee-jumping may come close.

It really is silly to pretend that parachute jumping does not come with a particular risk of death that is quite unlike just about any other kind of activity. As much as whuffos mis-understand parachute jumping, this is the one fact about it that whuffos instinctively do more or less correctly understand.


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