Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities

 


SkyChimp  (C 37195)

Apr 4, 2012, 5:47 AM
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Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities Can't Post

I was looking at the fatality statistics here on DZ.com and noticed that 31% of the fatalities reported are related to landings. Taking into consideration that these statistics are "unofficial" as disclosed on this website, I think it's safe to say that almost 1/3 of our fellow skydivers who have been killed were in the process of landing. I then looked at the reported details of the landings and saw the common denominator as posted in the pictures below. "Hard Landing while making a low turn" or "Low turn/ hook turn".

I am not implying that people shouldn't swoop. I believe that everyone has the right to skydive in their discipline of choice. I do however think that we need more education about safety during performance landings. This education might include the acceptance of an abort while performing under pressure to do well. This education might also include more understanding of the physics involved with landings.

These are just my raw thoughts but I (like everyone else) would like to see our fatality numbers decrease and landings appear to be the #1 cause of death.
Attachments: Fernandina Beach-20120404-00198.jpg (44.3 KB)
  Fernandina Beach-20120404-00199.jpg (67.7 KB)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 4, 2012, 6:17 AM
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Re: [SkyChimp] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Just for kicks, take note that in the first screen shot you posted, there are 14 low turn incidents, and 9 of them are from outside the US. Not that it makes it OK, just that if you're looking for a remedy to this problem you have to take it country by country, as they all have their own regulatory body and will make their own rules.

That aside, the stats for the US alone aren't great either, and we don't even know the whole story. Only fatalities are reported, while non-fatal incidents go unreported so we have no stats on those. To me, any injury that requires a hospiltal visit is severe enough to warrant a report and should be looked into for causes and solutions.

As far as what to do, I have been a strong proponent of the USPA instituting a WL restriction for all jumpers up through 600 jumps. Brian Germain wrote a great one that starts off with a limit of 1.0 for jumpers up to 100 jumps. Between 100 and 200, you can bump up to 1.1, at 200 you can go to 1.2, and so on. It also allows for adjustment for very light jumpers and high elevation DZs.

To along with this, I also support the idea of a required canopy control course to go along with every license. The A license course would be a beginner course, the B license an intermediate course, the C license an advanced course, the D license would be an expert course. The idea is that as the jumpers (and their allowed WL) progress, so should their education.

If a jumper chooses not to get a D license and in turn does not take the course, they are limited to the highest WL up to the min jump numbers for a D license. Since you need 500 for a D, you would be limited to the WL for 499 jumps, or 1.4. If you want to go above that, take the D licese course.

Anyway, that's my take, and there are a shitload of people here who oppose it. The most interesting argument against it is that people say the statistics don't support the actions I propose. As mentioned above the statistics are incomplete at best, and of course, none of these people propose any sort of alternate course of action.

I've even suggested that my ideas don't have to be written in stone, just that it's a good place to start. It's hard to argue against continuing education, and hard to argue against the idea that slower progression of downsizing is a safer route than a faster progression. I suggest implementing my ideas now, to get the ball rolling and get some sort of action, and if a better or more appropriate idea should come up than we adopt that plan ASAP.

At this point anything is better than nothing, and something that seems to make sense and will 'do no harm' is a better choice than continuing to do nothing.


(This post was edited by davelepka on Apr 4, 2012, 6:19 AM)


obelixtim  (D 84)

Apr 4, 2012, 6:31 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Good plan. I'd go along with that. A start has to be made somewhere, and the sooner the better....

Anything is better than a vacuum.

As far as foreign countries go, when it comes to skydiving, at least, many of them take their lead from the US, so a US solution would be folowed by many.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 4, 2012, 6:43 AM
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Re: [obelixtim] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
As far as foreign countries go, when it comes to skydiving, at least, many of them take their lead from the US, so a US solution would be folowed by many.

That's true to a degree, but several european countries have had WL restrictions and required canopy control course in place for years with good results.

That's another thing I forgot to mention about the opposition to my ideas. They say that the stats (incomplete stats) don't support what I propose, and when I mention the success of the program in other countries, they either ignore that or ask for stats from both before and after the programs were put in place before they're willing to believe it will work.

I don't have access to that sort of info, but posters from those coutnries report very few landing incidents of any kind since the programs were put in place. Which brings me to the next part of my position that's also largely ignored, that being 'what's the harm'.

I have asked the opposition several times point blank what the harm would be in just giving my ideas a shot, and again there is nothing but silence. I admit it might not be perfect, and that I'm not married to the ideas, just in love with them for now. If somethig better came along, I'd be all for dumping my ideas and taking up with the new plan. Which, again, brings me to my next point.

None of the opposition has ever actaully made an alternate propostion. They state what they think is wrong with my ideas, yet they never offer a solution or alternate plan. It's childish and unproductive.

Childish? Sure. I have two kids who are now 9 and 13. One of the hardest things to do is to get them to agree on anything, from moives, to what to have for dinner, there is rarely a common ground. So a few years ago, I came up with an idea that has worked like a charm - if one of them makes a suggestion, the other is not allowed to say 'no' unless they can offer an alternate idea. They can go back and forth all day long for all I care, but the rule is that you can't shoot down one idea unless you have one yourself. Simple, easy, and effective, and not something those opposed to my ideas can seem to grasp.


shropshire  (C License)

Apr 4, 2012, 7:37 AM
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Re: [SkyChimp] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Wouldn't that be closer to 100% die on landing? ... How many people actually die in freefall?Unsure


hokierower  (B 36150)

Apr 4, 2012, 7:38 AM
Post #6 of 19 (2520 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That aside, the stats for the US alone aren't great either, and we don't even know the whole story. Only fatalities are reported, while non-fatal incidents go unreported so we have no stats on those. To me, any injury that requires a hospiltal visit is severe enough to warrant a report and should be looked into for causes and solutions.

What you're proposing is the same as in construction where there is tiered "reporting". Level 1 is a "On-Site First Aid" where the injury is something like a cut/scrape/headache/etc. Level 2 is a "Recordable" which is anything that requires a visit to a doctor/clinic/hospital/etc. Level 3 is a fatality.

Right now you're either a 0 or a 1, alive or dead. I agree that it makes much more sense to add additional "levels" so that the full story is reported. You can even start evaluating dropzones the same way you evaluate jobsites based on their RIR or "Recordable Incident Rate".

The RIR is the:

(# of Recordable Injuries x 200,000) / Hours Worked. The 200,000 is 100 workers working 40hrs/wk multiplied by 50 weeks (only 50 because of holidays).

A RIR for skydiving could be:

(# of Recordable Injuriees x 15,600) / Jumps Made. The 15,600 is 30 jumpers making 10 jumps a week multiplied by 52 weeks.

One of the questions that may be poised is how does this differentiate between small and large DZs...the same way the construction RIR differentiates: hours (i.e. jumps) worked (i.e. made).

The biggest problem with this would be getting the DZs to stay on-top of it, but if you make it one of the requirements of being a Group Member, they really won't have a choice.

My $0.02.


SkyChimp  (C 37195)

Apr 4, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes I noticed that some of these unfortunate fatalities took place outside of the U.S. I do like your proposal of wing loading stipulations and requirements for canopy control courses. I had the opportunity to take Brian's canopy control course and after finishing the class I took a wealth of information that was worth more than I paid for. I admire Germain's knowledge in the physics of canopy piloting and think that the skydiving community could benefit by these canopy control courses.


airtwardo  (D License)

Apr 4, 2012, 10:41 AM
Post #8 of 19 (2442 views)
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Re: [shropshire] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Wouldn't that be closer to 100% die on landing? ... How many people actually die in freefall?Unsure


On a serious note, probably 99% of the injuries are on landing too. It would be interesting to break THAT down as well to see what the specific common denominators are. ie. wing-loading, experience, environmental conditions, visiting jumpers, shoe color etc.


skypuppy  (D 347)

Apr 4, 2012, 9:42 PM
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Re: [hokierower] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

The biggest problem with this would be getting the DZs to stay on-top of it, but if you make it one of the requirements of being a Group Member, they really won't have a choice.
________________________________________________

Uh, pardon me.... You'd be lucky to hear anything from at least half the dz's about accidents or fatalities. Especially considering an incident that (allegedly) happened a few years ago when an AIM report got leaked by a uspa board member....


Marisan  (E 123)

Apr 4, 2012, 10:53 PM
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Re: [skypuppy] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't forget the people that die in a mid air from someone starting a swoop and taking them out.Unsure


hokierower  (B 36150)

Apr 5, 2012, 5:00 AM
Post #11 of 19 (2224 views)
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Re: [skypuppy] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The biggest problem with this would be getting the DZs to stay on-top of it, but if you make it one of the requirements of being a Group Member, they really won't have a choice.
________________________________________________

Uh, pardon me.... You'd be lucky to hear anything from at least half the dz's about accidents or fatalities. Especially considering an incident that (allegedly) happened a few years ago when an AIM report got leaked by a uspa board member....

Well then, that's a job that the USPA needs to do a better job of doing, I merely made a suggestion for holding the DZs more accountable.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 5, 2012, 5:41 AM
Post #12 of 19 (2212 views)
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Re: [SkyChimp] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I had the opportunity to take Brian's canopy control course and after finishing the class I took a wealth of information that was worth more than I paid for. I admire Germain's knowledge in the physics of canopy piloting and think that the skydiving community could benefit by these canopy control courses.

Funny thing, the USPA agrees with you. For years now, the USPAs solution to improving canopy control was a reccomendation that 'all jumpers take a canopy control course'. However, they have yet to develop one, or make it a requirement for all jumpers.

So they want you to take one, they're in charge of educating and training jumpers in the US, but they don't have a program, require a program, or even have a preferred provider that they reccomend you use on your own. Great job, USPA, real solid work.


-ftp-

Apr 5, 2012, 9:42 AM
Post #13 of 19 (2174 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Dave,

I am saying this in all seriousness, why don't you become one of the governing bodies on the USPA? What does it take to do such a thing?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 5, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Re: [-ftp-] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
why don't you become one of the governing bodies on the USPA? What does it take to do such a thing?

It's an election gig, you have to win your way onto the BOD.

That said, between work and my kids, I barely have time to jump, let alone travel to DZ in the region and then to the BOD meetings. Also, I don't think I could beat the sitting RD, Randy Allison. He's a hell of a guy and I'm not even sure I could do a better job than him.

Truthfully, I'm not even interested in most of the stuff the handle anyway.

The problem with the BOD isn't the individuals. They're all very nice, well-meaning people, the problem is in the way the BOD works. It's tough to get things on the agenda, and even tougher to get them voted into a BSR. They have a laundry list of things to cover during the BOD meetings, that adding thinsg to that isn't going to get very far. When you take an issue like this, with the wide range of feelings and opinions, it could get bounced back and forth for years before any progress is made.

What they need to do is just hand the job over to someone (or a comittee), and say 'Give it a shot, do something', and then just have a precusory review before putting it into motion. Something would be better than nothing, or so I seem to think.

The BOD giveth and the BOD taketh away, or at least they could. If the idea presented didn't work, just take it back and start over. It's not like they're signing a 10 year contract to stick with the idea, just try it. If it turns out it's not working, or it's doing more harm than good, or something better comes along, just do that.

But you see, that's not going to happen. None of teh BOD is willing to think that far out of the box, so they're going to put it off even further, and give it very little attention in the midst of an already busy board meeting.


airdvr  (D 10977)

Apr 5, 2012, 12:27 PM
Post #15 of 19 (2118 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

How many of those fatalities were students? If you have more than 25 jumps and aren't very familiar with what happens if you turn too close to the ground then I feel sorry for you. You aren't paying attention in an activity that has a whole bunch of ways to make you dead. That's for the non-swoopers. Swoopers? Have at it.


obelixtim  (D 84)

Apr 5, 2012, 12:36 PM
Post #16 of 19 (2108 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
the problem is in the way the BOD works. It's tough to get things on the agenda, and even tougher to get them voted into a BSR. They have a laundry list of things to cover during the BOD meetings, that adding thinsg to that isn't going to get very far. When you take an issue like this, with the wide range of feelings and opinions, it could get bounced back and forth for years before any progress is made.

Hmmmmm....you'd think a serious issue would be given some sort of priority over discussions about what to have for lunch. Do they not have a process to fast track something under urgency?.

Something about Fiddles, Nero, Rome on fire, comes to mind.

And yes, you only get into skydiver politics if you have no other life to live....


SkyChimp  (C 37195)

Apr 6, 2012, 4:09 AM
Post #17 of 19 (2008 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I had the opportunity to take Brian's canopy control course and after finishing the class I took a wealth of information that was worth more than I paid for. I admire Germain's knowledge in the physics of canopy piloting and think that the skydiving community could benefit by these canopy control courses.

Funny thing, the USPA agrees with you. For years now, the USPAs solution to improving canopy control was a recommendation that 'all jumpers take a canopy control course'. However, they have yet to develop one, or make it a requirement for all jumpers.

So they want you to take one, they're in charge of educating and training jumpers in the US, but they don't have a program, require a program, or even have a preferred provider that they recommend you use on your own. Great job, USPA, real solid work.

Well I think we need to start making more phone calls to the USPA. Many people I've spoken to have said they would like to see a canopy course as part of the licensing process.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Apr 6, 2012, 10:53 AM
Post #18 of 19 (1936 views)
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Re: [SkyChimp] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

For the last 3 years it is closer to 48% of fatalities happened after deploying a good canopy.

Sparky
Attachments: DEATHS UNDER GOOD CANOPY.pdf (89.2 KB)
  2011 Fatalities under open canopy.pdf (46.8 KB)


climber71

Apr 22, 2012, 3:52 AM
Post #19 of 19 (1541 views)
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Re: [SkyChimp] Landings account for 31% of all Fatalities [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,
Going through my S/L Jumps (been Skydiving throughout the years (tandems). On thirds S/L lost radio communication had to land all on my own. Did the flight pattern, went long, was coming over some telephone lines and going into the corn fields. Made a slight extra low turn. It was enough to get the instructor upset at me once on the ground. There was little air. Learned my lesson, will not do a low turn ever.



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