Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014

 

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Premier Remster  (C License)

Apr 10, 2014, 1:48 PM
Post #51 of 73 (4402 views)
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Re: [Boogers] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

That nut is at about1/2 mile away from it. Calm down. And, if you can tell which direction that canopy is flying, you're a better low-res photo interpreter than I am, and I was there.


(This post was edited by Remster on Apr 10, 2014, 1:50 PM)


bryanburke  (D 8866)

Apr 10, 2014, 3:01 PM
Post #52 of 73 (4304 views)
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Re: [boardumb] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

From Bryan Burke, S&TA at Skydive Arizona.

I took a little time to gather up all the facts that I could find about the incident last weekend where a skydiver had a very hard landing. She is pretty badly injured with several broken bones and some internal injuries. It will take a while for her to recover. Here is what we know.

She had about 100 jumps and had jumped in Eloy before, back in early October. Weather conditions then are fairly similar to April. She had also made a few jumps the day before in what some say were worse conditions. In any case, the conditions were not unfamiliar to her. There were some dust devils popping up, and we advise people in those circumstances to be vigilant. It was not all that windy. All of the non-tandem jumpers (thirteen total) stayed on the load.

The fact that the tandems were pulled off the load by the senior instructor (who was not one of the tandem masters on the plane) doesn't indicate unacceptable conditions. The tandem masters themselves, and the tandem videographers, were willing to go. However, our senior instructor of the day always has the option to pull the plug, and he thought it best to radio the pilot and pull the tandems. We are super conservative with students and often shut down the school while still allowing licensed jumpers to make their own decisions.

In other words, it wasn't perfect but I did not feel that it was unacceptably dangerous, either. We sometimes do get to a point where I will shut down jumping, but in this case it did not seem all that bad.

The load went with three of our load organizers, all very experienced and all what I would call pretty conservative about conditions. And they all have years of experience jumping here. None of them is the type to push people to jump in dangerous conditions. I'm sure they would have had a talk with their group before making the decision to go up.

We don't know exactly what caused the hard landing. I was outside watching canopies and nothing seemed unusual. She turned so low (estimated at 30 feet by one witness) that it was behind buildings and I didn't realize anything wrong had occured until I got a call to go out to the desert past the south area tetrahedron.

When I got there, Eloy Fire was already on the way and as other posts have noted, a couple of military paramedics were on the scene almost instantaneously and treating her before Eloy Fire arrived.

One of those military guys reported that she had turned downwind at about 30 feet. He did not say anything about dust devils, canopy collapse, etc. On the other hand, I had a second hand report from a non-jumper (spectator) that sounds like maybe her parachute did partially collapse.

We'll probably never know for sure. We do know she was in a clear desert area, between the tunnel and south grass areas, with no obstacles. Nothing about her canopy flight had raised any alarms in my head. Nobody reported a dust devil anywhere near her, though there were some in the general area.

One possibility is that both witnesses are correct. I have seen two incidents where turbulence/dust devils put a canopy into a turn or a sideways slide, and the pilot then looked towards the crash point, putting the hand down on the inside of the turn while letting the other one up. In one of these the canopy had suffered partial collapse of a couple of the right cells and turned into the ground pretty hard, but I think the pilot might have saved or mitigated the situation by trying to keep the wing level.

At this point we can only wish her a good recovery and ask ourselves what the lessons are.

As with any sport with a lot of interaction with the environment (sailing, surfing, skiing, river running, etc.) we would not do a lot of skydiving if we always waited for perfect conditions. On one hand, if you have reservations that alone is a good reason to stand down. On the other hand, if you never go out, you won't develop your skills in all reasonable conditions. An analogy within skydiving is choosing the skydives you go on. If we waited for a perfect group of people to perform a perfect skydive, we wouldn't do much jumping. Instead we choose to jump with people or groups who might not execute a dive perfectly, but if we feel the risks are manageable and the rewards sufficient, we go.

Moving on to handling dust devils when you are in one, dust devils create a disturbance much bigger than what you see. I'm going to throw out three times bigger as a guess. What you see is the core of the rotating air mass. Depending on where or how you enter it, they can do several bad things. One is to accelerate you or project you sideways, so in DD conditions you should always leave a lot of room from obstacles. Another is to strip lift off of your canopy, plunging you down in a rapid descent that a flare will not stop. A third is to partially collapse your canopy, putting you into a diving turn.

All I can suggest is avoid them as best you can, and if you are in one, keep the wing level, steering where you want to go, not where it is taking you.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Apr 15, 2014, 9:51 AM
Post #53 of 73 (3518 views)
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Re: [Boogers] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

Boogers wrote:
kvnhlstd wrote:
Here is what they look like from above. Pic borrowed from Rookie Round up photos.
Attachments: Dust Devil.jpg (105 KB)

Who is that nut down low under the blue canopy (circled in red) headed right for it?

Perspective. That person could be heading for the alternate landing area to the southeast of the main landing area, just prior to a base leg.

top


Premier cpoxon  (D 11665)
Moderator
Apr 17, 2014, 3:12 AM
Post #54 of 73 (2941 views)
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Re: [boardumb] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

From http://thechronicleherald.ca/...ries-skydiving-in-us

Could be a factor in the decision to go ahead with the jump. Having said that, Bryan has already mitigated the apparent risk in terms of the cautious organisers

Quote:
GREENWOOD — The family of a Nova Scotia woman seriously injured in a skydiving accident in the United States is trying to get her flown back to Canada.

Kenzie Markey, 32, was skydiving over the desert near Phoenix, Ariz., on April 6 when she apparently ran into wind turbulence and her parachute collapsed, sending her hurtling to the ground.

Known for her love of adventure and extreme sports, Kenzie is an experienced skydiver with more than 100 dives over the past three years, said her father, Joe Markey of Greenwood.

“She’s an avid skydiver,” Markey said in an interview Tuesday.

She’d been in Arizona for almost a week and had already made 20 jumps. She was squeezing in one last jump, before her scheduled flight home a few hours later, when things went horribly wrong.

“As far as anybody can figure, it was a dust devil,” Markey said. “They were cropping up in the desert all around them. They figure she flew through one of those and the turbulence upset her parachute.”

Nobody saw it happen and no one knows what height she fell from. Her altimeter stopped when she hit the ground.

Kenzie is single and for the past few years has been living in Pemberton, B.C., where she works as an electrician. She grew up in Greenwood and spent most of her life in Nova Scotia.

Markey said an aircrew training in the desert the day of the accident spotted her on the ground. They were the first on the scene. She was brought to hospital quickly, which may have saved her life.

But she suffered serious injuries, including a broken femur, foot, pelvis, elbow and ribs, along with a collapsed lung and serious facial and head injuries. She has had three surgeries since the accident. Doctors have had to drill into her skull to relieve pressure from internal bleeding.

“She was severely broken up,” Markey said. “They’re trying to keep her lungs from collapsing again and stabilize her enough to fly her back to B.C.”

Markey couldn’t go to Phoenix because his travel documents aren’t up to date.

“The family decided I should stay here and travel to B.C. when she arrives there,” he said. In the meantime, he’s trying to deal with the preparations of getting her back home.

Her older brother Joshua and mother Sherry Mackenzie-Jennison, who lives in Kentville, are in Phoenix at Kenzie’s bedside.

A friend in B.C. has started a fundraising page, seeking to raise $50,000 by Kenzie’s 33rd birthday in June. By Wednesday afternoon, $5,000 had been raised.

Markey was also in the process Wednesday of setting up an account for donations at the Greenwood Credit Union.

“The doctors saved her life, now we’re looking ahead at what needs to be done,” he said. “Every insurance policy Kenzie had is coming back as invalid due to extreme sports.”

The family has been told the airlift to B.C. alone will cost about $30,000.

“Kenzie Markey was doing what she does best … living life to its fullest,” her friend Kelley Richardson of Victoria, B.C., wrote on the fundraising website FundRazr.

“While skydiving … Mother Nature decided to pick a fight with her … (But) Kenzie is not that easy to take down. She’s a fighter and she’s been fighting very hard since.

“They cannot airlift her back to Canada until she is stable enough. The medical expenses are through the roof and her family desperately needs a helping hand.”

She added that Kenzie has “a very long road to recovery. I am asking for any financial support in this time of need.

“My goal is to take the stress off of her family so they can focus fully on Kenzie. Your support is greatly appreciated,” Richardson wrote.

“I know her dad and the rest of his siblings,” family friend Phil Vogler of Berwick wrote in an email message. “Joe is beside himself dealing with insurance companies and governments.”

He added: “The family needs our help … Our main concern is getting Kenzie home and helping the family cope with the bills that will follow.”


pchapman  (D 1014)

Apr 17, 2014, 4:52 AM
Post #55 of 73 (2891 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

A Canadian in the US without travel medical insurance that will cover their extreme sports?

Freaking idi... Ahem, let me be more considerate:
Over the years, it has been a continuous process of education to teach new Canadian skydivers what they need to do to protect themselves when travelling south. While the insurance options are few in number, they are available. This issue is not something that shows up in standard skydiving training manuals.

(Of course, racking up big bills with no insurance catches some US jumpers too.)








pchapman  (D 1014)

Apr 18, 2014, 11:44 AM
Post #59 of 73 (2401 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

"Kenzie Markey's medical bills total $500K and continue to rise"

http://www.cbc.ca/...ills-mount-1.2614890

No other real info on her condition, other than that several surgeries were performed.


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Apr 23, 2014, 1:11 PM
Post #60 of 73 (1951 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

pchapman wrote:
A Canadian in the US without travel medical insurance that will cover their extreme sports?

Freaking idi... Ahem, let me be more considerate:
Over the years, it has been a continuous process of education to teach new Canadian skydivers what they need to do to protect themselves when travelling south. While the insurance options are few in number, they are available. This issue is not something that shows up in standard skydiving training manuals.

(Of course, racking up big bills with no insurance catches some US jumpers too.)
She did buy insurance for the trip, she just missed the exception. She is certainly not the first person to learn the hard way that the insurance industry frequently sells much better products than they actually deliver. I have spent a lot of time over the years scouring printed material from insurance companies, never really feeling completely convinced I haven't missed some reference to some absent underwriters agreement somewhere.


JeffCa  (B License)

Apr 23, 2014, 2:15 PM
Post #61 of 73 (1884 views)
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Re: [Andrewwhyte] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

Andrewwhyte wrote:
pchapman wrote:
A Canadian in the US without travel medical insurance that will cover their extreme sports?

Freaking idi... Ahem, let me be more considerate:
Over the years, it has been a continuous process of education to teach new Canadian skydivers what they need to do to protect themselves when travelling south. While the insurance options are few in number, they are available. This issue is not something that shows up in standard skydiving training manuals.

(Of course, racking up big bills with no insurance catches some US jumpers too.)
She did buy insurance for the trip, she just missed the exception. She is certainly not the first person to learn the hard way that the insurance industry frequently sells much better products than they actually deliver. I have spent a lot of time over the years scouring printed material from insurance companies, never really feeling completely convinced I haven't missed some reference to some absent underwriters agreement somewhere.

The insurance companies are not our friends. I think we all know that what they do when a claim is received is look for any reason to NOT pay. Here's my own story, luckily not involving an attempted claim.

I'm on an international expat health insurance plan. A few years ago, I was considering getting back into skydiving, so I emailed the company to ask about it. They responded by email along the lines of they could cover it if I was using proper training, proper gear, etc. So I felt OK about that, though that attempt to start skydiving again didn't happen.

Then last month, when I actually had been back in skydiving for nearly a year, my renewal came up and I was reading the terms. It had an exclusion for "hazardous pursuits". Not a single example was given. This would leave them free to define the term after the claim was made. And we know that won't go in our favour.

We know skydiving is safe relative to other things. I believe it's safer than rock climbing, safer than BASE, safer than horseback riding, probably safer than skiing, etc. I doubt horseback riding would be defined as "hazardous", possibly because it's been in our culture as a means of transport for thousands of years. So I emailed them again to ask about skydiving and get some clarification.

The response I got this time, after pushing for it, was that if I was a "frequent" skydiver, they wouldn't cover it, but they'd cover "occasional" skydiving. What the hell does that mean? Again, they didn't define terms and remained vague. So I told them I expected to jump about 80 times in the upcoming year, which was below average for an active skydiver, or so I'm told. They finally responded that no, they wouldn't cover it.

So I had been skydiving without insurance for nearly a year! All because the company is intentionally vague about what they'll cover. I mean seriously, have you ever considered that your policy would only cover something occasionally? And then not define "occasionally"? It should either cover it or not.

I'm not sure of the particulars of Kenzie's plan, but the whuffo comments criticising her for not having read the terms really bothered me. It's possible that she did read them but they were vague and confusing, leaving key terms undefined, leading her to believe that it would be OK to skydive.

I found a new company without any exclusion for adventure sports. But I'm wondering why I can get annual scuba diving specialty insurance through a number of organisations (DAN, DiveAssure, etc), but no such thing exists for skydiving. It would probably be really popular among us if it existed. Has USPA ever seriously attempted to partner with a company to provide such a product?


(This post was edited by JeffCa on Apr 23, 2014, 2:21 PM)


Andy9o8  (D License)

Apr 23, 2014, 2:26 PM
Post #62 of 73 (1858 views)
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Re: [JeffCa] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So I had been skydiving without insurance for nearly a year! All because the company is intentionally vague about what they'll cover. I mean seriously, have you ever considered that your policy would only cover something occasionally? And then not define "occasionally"? It should either cover it or not.

FWIW, in most US jurisdictions, the general rule is that ambiguities in an insurance policy are construed against the insurance company, because (among other things) the company is in total control of what language goes into the policy.

Of course, you have to litigate it to win. Wink


Phillbo  (B License)

Apr 24, 2014, 12:21 PM
Post #63 of 73 (1589 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

When I broke my Tib/Fib Blue Cross covered me 100% with the exception of the PT co-pay.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Apr 24, 2014, 1:44 PM
Post #64 of 73 (1518 views)
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Re: [Phillbo] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

Phillbo wrote:
When I broke my Tib/Fib Blue Cross covered me 100% with the exception of the PT co-pay.

Was that a group policy, or a travel-medical policy?

There might be exceptions, but, in general, group policies cannot exclude specific activities.

Individual policies, like travel-medical policies, often have these exclusions.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Apr 24, 2014, 3:28 PM
Post #65 of 73 (1444 views)
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Re: [Remster] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

Remster wrote:
Phillbo wrote:
When I broke my Tib/Fib Blue Cross covered me 100% with the exception of the PT co-pay.

Was that a group policy, or a travel-medical policy?

There might be exceptions, but, in general, group policies cannot exclude specific activities.

Individual policies, like travel-medical policies, often have these exclusions.[/quote]


Which are often the very activities you are traveling for.

Sparky


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Apr 26, 2014, 3:13 PM
Post #66 of 73 (1148 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

Last word is that Kenzie's father fronted the money to fly her back to Canada. She is in the Lions' hospital (North Vancouver) ... no visitors yet.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Apr 26, 2014, 3:18 PM
Post #67 of 73 (1145 views)
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Re: [JeffCa] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

Aside ... about insurance ...
30 years ago, I inquired about life insurance. I asked Sun Life (one of the largest life insurance companies in Canada). The scary part was when the agent told me opposite stories when comparing the risk of flying with the risk of skydiving. He told me that if I flew less than 50 hours per year, that I was high risk and would have to pay extra. Transport Canada and the local flying club told me the same.
OTOH he told me that if I did fewer than 50 jumps per year, I was low risk and not to worry. However, if I made more than 50 jumps per year, I would become a high risk and have to pay extra for life insurance. Now USPA and the tandem manufacturers tell us that we should make more than 50 jumps per year to stay current and safe.

Why the huge disparity between insurance company policy versus TC and USPA?


DocPop  (C License)

Apr 27, 2014, 6:52 AM
Post #68 of 73 (870 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

riggerrob wrote:

Why the huge disparity between insurance company policy versus TC and USPA?

Probably because the numbers of incidents are so low, and hard data so hard to come by, that statistically significant analysis is impossible and therefore nobody really knows.

Everyone is guessing.


fcajump  (D 15598)

Apr 29, 2014, 12:31 PM
Post #69 of 73 (510 views)
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Re: [JeffCa] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

I was told by one agent that pre-purchase they could not define what the excluded "high-risk activities" were. To find out, I would have to purchase the coverage, have an injury, file a claim and then wait for them to determine if it was... Pirate Unfortunately it was the most honest response I felt that I have gotten from a sales man.


LuckyMcSwervy  (B 32709)

Apr 29, 2014, 1:39 PM
Post #70 of 73 (442 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

fcajump wrote:
I was told by one agent that pre-purchase they could not define what the excluded "high-risk activities" were. To find out, I would have to purchase the coverage, have an injury, file a claim and then wait for them to determine if it was... Pirate Unfortunately it was the most honest response I felt that I have gotten from a sales man.

Serious question: MUST you disclose HOW you became injured?


fcajump  (D 15598)

Apr 29, 2014, 1:43 PM
Post #71 of 73 (436 views)
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Re: [LuckyMcSwervy] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been told that in the case of minor injuries discussions of "being more careful on ladders in future" and "I was running down the road, tripped and fell" (neglecting to mention the canopy over the head, nor what the individual was doing prior to running on the road)

However, in case of a more major injury, or where the individual is transported... I doubt that the source of the injury would be kept quiet.

J


LuckyMcSwervy  (B 32709)

Apr 29, 2014, 2:12 PM
Post #72 of 73 (406 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

fcajump wrote:
I've been told that in the case of minor injuries discussions of "being more careful on ladders in future" and "I was running down the road, tripped and fell" (neglecting to mention the canopy over the head, nor what the individual was doing prior to running on the road)

However, in case of a more major injury, or where the individual is transported... I doubt that the source of the injury would be kept quiet.

J

Gotcha. I bounced my ass off a taxi way about 4 years ago and went to my doctor the next day. He asked me how I did it (I'm a long time patient, he knew I jumped) and I questioned if he would write down what I told him happened. Come to find out they're more concerned if the injury was the result of domestic violence than skydiving. Go figure. Crazy


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 29, 2014, 3:07 PM
Post #73 of 73 (360 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Injury - Eloy - 06 April 2014 [In reply to] Can't Post

Please take the insurance discussion to another thread and leave this thread for discussions about the incident.


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