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2012 US Sport Skydiving fatalities summary

 


Divalent  (C 40494)

Jan 10, 2013, 8:56 PM
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2012 US Sport Skydiving fatalities summary Can't Post

The information here is based on those incidents that were covered in the Incidents forum. I thought I'd summarized them a bit, to see if there are any evident trends. (List does not include military fatalities).

2012 US Sport Skydiving fatalities summary:
17 total skydiving fatalities (down from 24 in 2011)
3 were tandem fatalities (1 TI, 2 pax)

Of the 14 non-tandem fatalities:
12 were of experienced jumpers; 1 student, 1 low timer
5 due to intentional high performance landing/low hook turn
5 were no or low cutaway
8 fatalities occurred after deployment of a good main canopy with no immediate problem
2 no pulls, both likely due to medical issues (and no AAD)

Key to codes used below
EJ = very Experienced Jumper (in terms of jump numbers)
LT = Low Timer (< ~ 200 jumps) relatively inexperienced but not a student
GC = Good main Canopy deployed (+ no complications shortly thereafter)
HP = deliberate High Performance turn (i.e., not forced by conditions or inexperience)
BW = Big Way

2012 US Skydiving fatalities list
1. Fatality - Z-Hills - January 1 2012 - low cutaway from spinning mal (EJ)
2. Perris Fatality 2-18-12 - Swoop crash (EJ) GC HP
3. Fatality - San Marcos, TX - 3 March 2012 - No pull, possible FF collision injury (EJ)
4. Fatality - Sebastian, FL - 30 March 2012 - Probable low hook turn (EJ) HP GC
5. Fatality - Lexington, TX 1 April 2012 - Student low cutaway, possible maneuver-induced main mal. GC
6. Tandem Fatality - Colorado - 1 April 2012 - 2 out downplane/entanglement?, no chop. (Pax died)
7. Lodi Fatality April 5, 2012 - Rode spinning main to ground. (medical?). (EJ)
8. Fatality - South Lake Tahoe, CA 5/22/12 - Water landing: drowned. High winds/bad spot (EJ) GC
9,10. Double Fatality-Tandem June 15, 2012 The Ranch, NY. Hard opening (EJ)
11. Fatality - Locust Grove, GA June 23, 2012 - swoop crash (EJ, but not current; not at a DZ) HP GP
12. Fatality - Skydive Happy Valley PA July 7, 2012 - spinning main mal, no cutaway. (LT)
13. Fatality - Bay Area Skydiving, CA 09/15/12 - swoop crash (EJ) GC HP
14. Fatality - Perris, CA - 23 Sept 2012 - Canopy collision shortly after opening, low cutaway: wingsuit BW (EJ)
15. Fatality - Skydive Carolina 28 Oct 12 - Swoop crash (EJ) GC HP
16. Fatality - Crosskeys NJ - 21 Nov 2012 - no pull, 62 yo medical issue (EJ)
17. Fatality - Sin City NV - 15 Dec 2012 - Prob canopy collapse - dust devil (EJ) GC

I don't see anything sticking out as obviously unusual. 7 fewer deaths compared to 2011, but that year was up over the prior year (16 in 2010?). Fewer canopy collisions this year perhaps (so at least the swoopers were only taking themselves out).


dirtbox  (D 31759)

Jan 10, 2013, 9:16 PM
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Re: [Divalent] 2012 US Sport Skydiving fatalities summary [In reply to] Can't Post

Is the total number of jumps made in the US known? If so are they broken down into tandem/sport/student?


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jan 11, 2013, 7:12 AM
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Re: [Divalent] 2012 US Sport Skydiving fatalities summary [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice bit of work to sort all the data.

One additional distinction to make in the data would be to try to distinguish low cutaways from no cutaways, and try to determine the factors involved in low cutaways. That isn't always possible with the data available.

After all, a couple current threads are about RSLs and MARDs and AADs -- all of which can influence the low cutaway issue, depending on how low is low.

From your data, the 5 low or no cutaways were 2 no-cutaways, and 3 low cutaways, of which 1 was a student.

The student cutaway was in the 100' range. He would have had an AAD and RSL already, so that just leaves a MARD as having a chance to have had an effect, depending a lot on what the height really was.

I'm not sure about how one bit of the data was classified:
That Perris 23 Sept fatality involved a low cutaway,that may not be the direct cause. The video shows the reserve was opened -- but then spiralled for about 6 seconds into the ground. While more altitude would have helped, that still looks like a "reserve problem" as causing the fatality, not the rather low cutaway and low reserve opening. (I haven't checked closely but the reserve opening came pretty fast after the low cutaway, so it may have been with an RSL. Don't know though.)

So that brings us down to just one non-student "low cutaway" in the revised data. That was Z-hills January 1, where the opinion in the thread was that the cutaway was at 300' or less, and that the jumper had an AAD and a connected RSL.

(I was looking at the fatality threads and not the fatality list, where the info might be summarized in a different way.)

One year of data isn't much, but that basically shows that there were no low cutaways last year where an RSL or AAD would have made a difference. No cases of "he couldn't find his reserve handle" or "he tried to get stable first". Other potential fatalities probably were avoided due to existing use of the same devices.


MikeJD  (D 10605)

Jan 11, 2013, 7:36 AM
Post #4 of 6 (2062 views)
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Re: [Divalent] 2012 US Sport Skydiving fatalities summary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I don't see anything sticking out as obviously unusual.

I wouldn't really expect you to. I'd say 17 is too small a number to do much statistical analysis on - but God knows, that's a nice problem to have! The sample size could be increased somewhat by looking at fatalities worldwide. I'd expect the same things to be killing jumpers in the States as elsewhere.

Ideally we'd be able to factor in all the serious injuries and near misses - after all, the difference between surviving and not surviving an incident is often only a matter of luck - but those won't be reliably documented.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Jan 11, 2013, 8:00 AM
Post #5 of 6 (2044 views)
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Re: [MikeJD] 2012 US Sport Skydiving fatalities summary [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'd expect the same things to be killing jumpers in the States as elsewhere.

Well, maybe not.

I know that when Brian Burke did his analysis last year, he saw that canopy collisions had gone way down in the US, probably as a result of the focus the US had on it in the last 2-3 years. Meanwhile, that trend was still up for areas out of the US.

His analysis was posed here in a PDF somewhere...


A2C  (D 13966)

Apr 24, 2013, 5:18 PM
Post #6 of 6 (1256 views)
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Re: [Divalent] 2012 US Sport Skydiving fatalities summary [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
9,10. Double Fatality-Tandem June 15, 2012 The Ranch, NY. Hard opening (EJ)
No thread, no info?
search came up similar thread in deleted.
Quote:
NY tandem fatality shibu Dropzone.com: Recycle Bin Jul 16, 2012, 11:59 AM

two different tandem fatality in NY?



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