Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Fatality Stats?

 


darrell  (A License)

Sep 25, 2001, 10:22 PM
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Fatality Stats? Can't Post

OK,
I'm a bit confused. I just received the new Para Gear catalog and on the inside of the front cover there is a big orange WARNING notice that contains the following statement
(under the heading "RISKS OF SKYDIVING"): "Approximately one jump out of every 20,000 results in death" - the U.S.P.A. is sighted as the source of this stat.
This sounded a bit high to me so I went to the U.S.P.A.'s web sight and found the following figures for the year 1999:
a total of 3,400,000 jumps where made by 311,511 people.
I then referenced the uspa's annual fatality summary in the May 2001 issue of PARACHUTIST and found that there were 27 fatalities in that year. Running those numbers I got a different picture:
"only" 1 in 113,000 jumps resulted in a fatality and that 1 in 10,741 people actually practicing in the sport died (in 1999)

Two questions:
1- What's really up with the stats?
and more importantly-
2- Why do I have to hunt down the numbers and compute the fatality PERCENTAGES myself? The USPA web sight, while breaking down the who and whats, makes no death stat available AND their annual fatality article, while admirably revealing how many people have died and more importantly how, makes no reference to how many jumpers were actually jumping OR how many jumps they made. It seems to me that these COMPLETE stats should be made more readily available.

I'm not being morbid here, it's just that if you ARE going to tell someone how many people are killed on the highways each year and go into detail as to how they died you should also inform your audience of how many drivers are on those roads
in the first place.


darrell

please- if I'm way off base, or just pain wrong, do not hesitate to tell me

thanks





(This post was edited by darrell on Sep 25, 2001, 4:51 PM)


apoil  (D License)

Sep 26, 2001, 4:07 AM
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para gear's stat is way off. It might harken back to a time when the sport was much more dangerous, or it might just be wong. It does paint an unfairly grim picture.

The numbers you calculated are much closer to the truth. But what is the truth anyway?

There's plenty of information out there including one or two very thorough studies and a few cogent analyses of the statistical gathering progress overall. I fount a wealth of information by simply doing a google search on "skydiving fatality rate"

The fact is, these numbers are not so cut and dry as you'd like them to be. Making your first jump is different from making your 300th. If you are considering your first jump, you'd be much more interested in the rate of fatalities for a first jump in that training method (static line, tandem, aff). If you are considering long term participation in the sport, there are many many factors that affect your risk profile and one number wont give you the full picture - it takes more in depth analysis.

Overall, the sport is dangerous, and occasionally fatal. Proceed from there.





ojf1982  (D 25629)

Sep 26, 2001, 9:49 AM
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I am also a newbie with 44 jumps. I knew of the risks when I started but that didnt deter me. you m ay motice that most accident happen because the skydiver did something not because of equipment malfunction.

If youre so worried about the statistics dont jump. Statistics can be wrong. If you are safety conscious jumper the odds are you will walk away without a scratch.



darrell  (A License)

Sep 26, 2001, 10:46 AM
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apoil,

Thanks for the feed back.
I realize that my actions are the most influential factor in my surviving in this sport, but I also believe in knowing the facts in my approach to any potentially hazardous situation.
I really can't believe how much I love this sport; I just like to be aware and educated.

darrell



darrell  (A License)

Sep 26, 2001, 11:51 AM
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Hey ojf1982,

I appreciate your input.
Your statement seems to imply that because most incidents involve user error that stats are useless. The statistical information INCLUDES all such situations.
I'm not "worried" about the stats at 95 jumps- just the opposite, I feel more able to coolly digest the information now then I did earlier at 20,45, or even 70 jumps.
It seems to me that knowledge is power and (in this sport) life expectancy as well.

stay cool,informed, and alive.
darrell



Premier quade  (D 22635)
Moderator
Sep 26, 2001, 12:05 PM
Post #6 of 21 (1810 views)
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There's at least a couple of other reasons why truly meaningful stats would be difficult to come by -- skydiving is minimally regulated.

There is no -requirement- to accurately report the number of jumps per year a DZ does to the USPA and not all DZs belong to the USPA.

Ok, so what does that mean?

Well, I know you're not going to believe this, but -some- DZs might not report all of the money they earn to the IRS. Some jumps may be paid for using cash and these jumps may never really show up on -any- records the DZ has (depending on how legit the business wants to run).

Also, as a DZO, you might not want the competition down the street know exactly how well (or poorly) your business is doing, so you might not want to give out exact figures.

As for DZs that do not belong to the USPA -- well, why the heck would they even communicate with the USPA let alone report jump numbers to them?


Paul

futurecam.com/skydive.html


DZBone  (D 14358)

Sep 26, 2001, 3:31 PM
Post #7 of 21 (1784 views)
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In reply to:
I'm not being morbid here, it's just that if you ARE going to tell someone how many people are killed
It is never morbid or wrong to question, investigate, argue, listen, read, search for information about fatalities and injuries in this sport. It is by thoroughly examining every aspect of every incident and the statistics of them overall that the sport becomes safer.

Carl



MarkM  (C 35089)

Sep 27, 2001, 2:00 PM
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Gotta agree with Carl. One of the things I did before even my first jump was read a couple years worth of incident reports. They give you a solid idea of what NOT to do in this sport.




darrell  (A License)

Sep 28, 2001, 9:44 AM
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Right on,
thanks Carl and Mark

darrell



in2falling  (C License)

Sep 29, 2001, 9:38 PM
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Just think you leave out deaths from hook turns and stupid shit under HP canopies the numbers would be 1 in every 200,000.



cobaltdan  (D License)

Sep 30, 2001, 12:29 PM
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a bunch of posts here imply that stupid shit doesn't count..

well, EVERYBODY does something stupid once in a while.
it counts ! if you do not think so you are trying hard to ralationalize issues to yourself..

remember to the person that did the "stupid shit", their window of perception at the moment was such that
it was either an instinctual reaction, non reaction or just didn't seem stupid at the time.

in a sport where a dumb mistake can have serious repercussions, my thoughts are to try not to ever get too comfortable. i believe after you have reached a comfortable point in the learning curve of this sport, people have a tendancy to relax. they simply perform and fly the same way jump after jump. their window of perception for diagnosing and reacting to new situations is substantially narrowed.

this is an accident waiting to happen.



sincerely,

dan
atair



in2falling  (C License)

Oct 1, 2001, 9:09 PM
Post #12 of 21 (1567 views)
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No it does NOT count! I consider fatalities under good canopies due to hook turns or just plain flying a wing that is severely overload a form of suicide.



Premier phreezone  (D License)
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Oct 1, 2001, 9:29 PM
Post #13 of 21 (1562 views)
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And what ia a severe overloading? 1.1:1? 1.5:1? Some canopies don't start to fly properly unless you load them up to a point.
A hook turn is a fatality just the same as a no pull. Weather the lapse in judgement happens at 100 foot under a canopy or at 1500 feet in freefall it is pretty much going to result in the same ending.
Using your logic we could say that any fatilities due to CReW shoudl'nt be counted since they happened after the canopy opened and the jumper did something stupid with thier canopy(put a highly loaded canopy within inches of another canopy). Most CReW jumpers I know like to load the canopys to about 1.4 or 1.5:1, is that just stupid? I dont think it is.... Because thats how the canopy was designed to be flown.
Should we count a fataility that happens because of medical conditions? Like a hard opening that snaps a neck and then the person crashes the landing and dies... does that count?Or how about a heart attack under canopy?
Anything done once you leave the airplane needs to be figured into that category of a skydiving fatality. Because any of those things can happen to anyone at anytime and there are a thousand other things that can kill in this sport in a heart beat.... they all need counted.

Be safe, be smooth, be fast..... and most importantly.... be phree Smile


FallingMarc  (B 25542)

Oct 1, 2001, 9:46 PM
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There are many dangers in our sport... I want to know every possible thing that can happen so that I already have a plan of how to deal with it or the knowledge not to do it. Regardless of whether a fatality occurred under a malfunction, or due to pilot error, or whatever, it's all things that could happen if we're not aware of them. That knowledge is one of the most important things we can have...

Marc



in2falling  (C License)

Oct 2, 2001, 12:12 AM
Post #15 of 21 (1546 views)
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"And what is severe overloading?"
I don't know is there such a thing now a days?

"A hook turn is a fatality just the same as a no pull."

How do you figure this? A hook is self-induced, a no pull is not something someone intends to induce or bring upon him or her self, a very big difference here.

“Lapse in judgment”

The lapse in judgment is in inducing the hook itself and canopy choice, hence the form of suicide.

“Using your logic we could say that any fatalities due to CreW”

No because CREW does not account for almost 50% of the yearly fatalities like HP canopies over the last 10 years, and only makes up maybe 1% every year.

“Should we count a fatality that happens because of medical conditions?”

Again they are not self-induced fatalities and did not choose the medical condition they have.

“Anything done once you leave the airplane needs to be figured into that category of a skydiving fatality.”

Anything that accounts for close to 50% of the yearly fatalities and in increases your chances to death and dismemberment by a factor of 50+ %, which is clearly chosen and completely preventable should not be considered in the overall stats and should be in its own category somewhere a little above suicide.



RemiAndKaren  (C 2328)

Oct 2, 2001, 12:42 AM
Post #16 of 21 (1543 views)
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In reply to:
Anything that accounts for close to 50% of the yearly fatalities and in increases your chances to death and dismemberment by a factor of 50+ %, which is clearly chosen and completely preventable should not be considered in the overall stats and should be in its own category somewhere a little above suicide.
Most of all the fatalities are preventable, not just the one caused by low turns.

We push ourselves with every type of skydving activities.... Yes, low turns account for lots of fatalities, but that is WHY these numbers should not be removed from the general stats.... Its by looking at the numbers and analysing them that we, as a community and a group of sport association, can take action to reduce these deaths.

By going ahead with the same logic, any act that adds risk to our sport should be seperated from the stats: jumping with a camera.... a birdman suit... freeflying (and no, I'm not suggesting banning freeflying, allthough... Wink)

We must accept that any incident in skydiving is self-induced: WE jumped. Period. As Booth (I think) said: the only valid reason to jump form a plane is in an emergency (someone correct me if they have the exact quote).

Dying form a low turn gone wrong is not suicide..... If it was the case, de Guayardon's death from his experiments with a wing suit is a suicide too, no? He had a mal from a self induced rigging error, no? And the girl who died a few weeks ago at the Ranch during the swoop competition, was that a suicide too? Where do YOU draw the line between an accident and an act to take away you own life?

I know this thread started as a statistic issue, but the way we look at numbers influences how we act, and brushing asside "50%" (not my estimate) as "something else" is in my opinion more dangerous then turning low....

I sorry gang if I offended you or used incidents that happened to friends of yours to make my point.... I know I would hate to have a friend's accident called a suicide.....

Remi
Muff 914


wildblue  (D 26027)

Oct 2, 2001, 6:47 AM
Post #17 of 21 (1527 views)
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You choose to jump out of an airplane.
There's a good chance you could die because of it.

Some people choose to hook it
There's a good chance they could die because of it.

We've had a rash of camera related deaths this year, should we strike those from the record because those people knew they were taking an additional risk?

If you want to mentally remove those for your own statistical purposes then go ahead. Just don't fool yourself into thinking this is a safe sport. You can do everything right and still die.

Then, I saw these two guys swoopin across the pond, and I was like 'weeeeeee!!!!'


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 2, 2001, 9:57 AM
Post #18 of 21 (1516 views)
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>And what ia a severe overloading? 1.1:1? 1.5:1? Some canopies don't start to
>fly properly unless you load them up to a point.

Generally true, although that number, as far as I can tell, is around 1:1 - in other words, a Stiletto 190 with a 170 lb jumper begins to become unsafe. All too often, though, this logic is used to justify jumping a canopy that is otherwise too small for the jumper to land safely.



-bill von


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 2, 2001, 10:09 AM
Post #19 of 21 (1515 views)
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>How do you figure this? A hook is self-induced, a no pull is not something
> someone intends to induce or bring upon him or her self, a very big difference
> here.

A hook turn is not a fatality, and an exit is not a fatality. High speed impact with the ground may cause a fatality, and may be the unintended result of both a hook turn initiation (i.e. a botched hook turn) or a simple exit from an aircraft (i.e. a no-pull.) Both are self-induced.

>No because CREW does not account for almost 50% of the yearly fatalities like
> HP canopies over the last 10 years, and only makes up maybe 1% every year.

By that logic, BASE jumping is safer than skydiving, since fewer people die doing it every year. Of course, that logic falls apart when you consider far more people skydive. In this case, far more people hook than do CRW.

>Anything that accounts for close to 50% of the yearly fatalities and in increases
> your chances to death and dismemberment by a factor of 50+ %, which is
> clearly chosen and completely preventable should not be considered in the
> overall stats and should be in its own category somewhere a little above suicide.

Exiting an airplane accounts for 99% of skydiving deaths every year, and is both a personal choice and completely preventable. If you are going to call something suicide, that's a much better option.

-bill von


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Oct 4, 2001, 9:06 AM
Post #20 of 21 (1475 views)
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Half the people who hook turn themselves into the hospital never planned on hook turning, they just arrived at low altitude without a plan.



Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 4, 2001, 10:46 AM
Post #21 of 21 (1466 views)
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>Half the people who hook turn themselves into the hospital never planned
>on hook turning, they just arrived at low altitude without a plan.

I'll bet you it's a lot more than half.





-bill von



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