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Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns??

 

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skydiver51  (F License)

Jan 2, 2004, 6:53 AM
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Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? Can't Post

"Statistically, it's a very safe sport. But when you see accidents happen that could have been prevented, that's when it's time to talk about it."

This was taken from a news report about the Gold Coast accident New Years eve. I don't swoop and I have around 650 jumps but I feel the same way as the person that make this comment. If ONLY one person dies from a preventable accident something SHOULD be done to prevent them. In my opinion not enough is being done. This is VERY bad press for our sport!!!


Jimbo  (D License)

Jan 2, 2004, 6:59 AM
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Re: [skydiver51] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
We can talk until the cows come home, about the danger of low turns. Search the forums, it's not as though someone is sitting on the big secret that low turns can and do kill.

Until people get out and practice what those with more experience are preaching, nothing will change. Seems to me that there's too much talk and not enough action.

By the way, statistically, it's not a very safe sport. But there are threads for that discussion, too.

-
Jim


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:14 AM
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Re: [Jimbo] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
We can talk until the cows come home, about the danger of low turns. Search the forums, it's not as though someone is sitting on the big secret that low turns can and do kill.

I agree.

However, I can't count the number of times that I have been laughed at (usually with a slight roll of the eyes) when I say that I have NO interest right now in EVER swooping...and how many times I've been told, "just wait...you will."

(I doubt that)


very patronizing..like a pat on the head. "Aren't you sweet. But don't worry, you'll grow up one of these days and be swooping like the rest of us are..."

In reply to:
By the way, statistically, it's not a very safe sport. But there are threads for that discussion, too.
-
Jim

And it will be a never ending debate...because it's a matter of opinion.
"Not a very safe sport"....opinion...based on your definition and opinion of what "safe" means.

by MY definition...skydiving is an extremely safe sport.
By MY definition, there are skydivers that engage in activities that make the sport unsafe...by my definition of "unsafe". by their definition, I'm sure they still feel that they are being safe. (or at least safe enough)


skydiver51  (F License)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:15 AM
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Re: [Jimbo] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

I should have stressed action instead of talk, because that is what I was thinking. Ture skydiving isn't a safe sport. It has been made safer with the addition of AADs, three ring cut away, and other safety features. But the main issue is people getting killed under open and fully functioning canopies that could have put them on the ground safely. People outside the sport can't comprehend why this is happening and when the people who can end this sport in a heart beat thank this they will soon say enough is enough and our sport will be history. I guess my question is who decides what will be done to stop or cut way down on the accidents???


(This post was edited by skydiver51 on Jan 2, 2004, 7:18 AM)


John4455  (D 22657)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:18 AM
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Re: [skydiver51] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

You would think that would be the case, wouldn't you? Unfourtunetly, high speed swoop landings have become part of our sport. Even UPSA, that tries to keep it safe, greatly promotes it through the magazine. Open up parachutist magazine and it is full of articles and swooping pictures. It seems to be the mentality of most all jumpers now to go small with their canopies, and go faster and faster. Like Bill Booth said, the faster you go, the more likely you are to get hurt or killed.


Jimbo  (D License)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:21 AM
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Quote:
However, I can't count the number of times that I have been laughed at (usually with a slight roll of the eyes) when I say that I have NO interest right now in EVER swooping...and how many times I've been told, "just wait...you will."

Low turns encompass so much more than swooping. BillVon's famous list includes a few manuvers that are the beginnings of high performance landings, but can save your ass in a non-high performance landing situation. It's not about swooping, it's about knowing how your canopy reacts to all available inputs, and more importantly, when those inputs are appropriate.

-
Jim


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:22 AM
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Re: [skydiver51] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I guess my question is who decides what will be done to stop or cut way done on the accidents???

That's easy to answer...

Each individual skydiver is who decides.

each and everytime we jump we make decisions....what canopy to fly, what altitude to pull at, what we do in freefall, how we fly under canopy, how we will land...

Just like driving a car...we can make cars safer and safer...but everytime you get into a car YOU decide how safe of a driver YOU want to be. are you going to pay attention to your driving and follow the rules of the road? Or are you going to go screaming down a 45MPH road going 65MPH with work papers on your lap, a coffee in one hand, the other hand trying to change the radio while driving with your knees and talking on the telephone? (or maybe you've been drinking and still want to drive yourself home? Maybe you have a new girlfriend who wants to get something going in the car and you don't want to pull over because you want the excitement of getting a blow job while driving on the freeway?)

We all decide on a daily basis how dangerous we want to be...in all areas of our lives. What level of risk is acceptable to the individual...that is who will decide how dangerous they will be today.

some people drink heavily...some people do drugs...some people sleep around without using a condom...

and some people push the envelope when it comes to skydiving. Shouldn't actually surprise anyone...look around at how much people seem to enjoy cheating death and getting attention on a daily basis in just every day life.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:24 AM
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

While waiting for my 3rd jump, I watched a guy hook in. He wasn't even trying to swoop, it was a panic turn to miss some obsticles. He did a snap 180...he lived but it really really really fucked him up.

Well, that day I swore that I would never do a hook turn and that swooping was too dangerous.

Now, fastforward 2 years and a few hundred jumps. I started to learn how to swoop.

Now fastforward another year and a good few hundred more jumps. I'm doing 270deg approaches on a canopy loaded 1.9:1 and getting really nice swoops.


My point is, you say you'll never start swooping, but I promise you, if you ever even get a taste of it, you'll never look back.


Oh, what were a good number of those low turns that killed this year? They weren't fucked swoops, they were fucked maneuvers by low-timers or folks who should know better that brain-farted. Basically people sometimes don't realize how close they are to the ground or something and they do a stupid low turn.


Shit, people used to hook in under PCs...I have an old jumpmaster that has a messed up ankle from a "hook turn" he did under his PC during a hit-and-chug contest. He shattered parts of it...

My point with that is, as long as there are parachutes that have a forward speed and can turn, there will be low turns. Banning "swooping" won't change that, banning "hook-turns" won't change that...better training and instruction can help, but it won't change that. Its apart of the sport, its not something that will go away with regulations. That's like telling the FAA they should really do something about all the GA that runs out of gas while flying. People just fuck up.


Ron

Jan 2, 2004, 7:26 AM
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
However, I can't count the number of times that I have been laughed at (usually with a slight roll of the eyes) when I say that I have NO interest right now in EVER swooping...and how many times I've been told, "just wait...you will."

(I doubt that)

Just cause you don't plan on swooping does not mean you are safe.....

Panic turns kill people as well.

In reply to:
by MY definition...skydiving is an extremely safe sport.

And you are wrong. It is not "safe". You are putting yourself into a very dangerous situation. It can be made "safer" with training and better equipment....But it will never be "safe"

You can do everything correct and still die in this sport.

Please don't kid yourself into thinking this is safe....It is not


mr2mk1g  (C 103449)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:26 AM
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Re: [John4455] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Not all of these are intentional turns though. Im reading through the back lists of incident reports. Most are due to low turns. Half (roughly on my perception of having red a load just now) are unintentional Stupid Low Altitude Manouvers.

Of those which are intentional I doubt the injured intended to eat dirt. A mistake was made somewhere allong the line.

All this points to a requirement for better training, both in relation to not making SLAM's and on how to swoop safely if you do want to swoop.


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:36 AM
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Re: [Ron] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
And you are wrong. It is not "safe". You are putting yourself into a very dangerous situation. It can be made "safer" with training and better equipment....But it will never be "safe"

Again, this is an opinion based on your definition of what constutites "safe".


In reply to:
You can do everything correct and still die in this sport.

Please don't kid yourself into thinking this is safe....It is not

I know the risks...
and feel that it is a very safe sport.

There are risks to everything in life...there is a risk when eating that cookie dough that you could get salmonella and die from it. (it does happen!)
there is a risk that you will get a tick bite that can kill you...or a mosquito bite.

However..I feel that eating and playing in my yard are safe activities.

Being safe doesn't mean that it is without risk...it means that the risk is such that your opinion is that it is safe.

I feel that driving my car is safe...if I felt it weren't safe, I wouldn't do it. Doesn't mean it's not without a very real risk..
just means that the risk is such that I feel it's an acceptable risk and I feel it's safe. (or, 'safe enough')

but if your only definition of "safe" is "without risk"..then NOTHING in life is safe!!


Jimbo  (D License)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:43 AM
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Quote:
but if your only definition of "safe" is "without risk"..then NOTHING in life is safe!!

No one here expects to do anything without risk. However, when comparing skydiving with other activities such as driving, running, basketball, football, skiing, etc... the numbers back skydiving as the riskiest sport. People die at far greater numbers while skydiving than they do in any of the activities mentioned above. Skydiving is, by definition I think, not safe. It may be that the risk is acceptable to you (it seems to be for all of us), but that doesn't make it safe. Not by a long shot.

If you don't respect this sport, it will eat you, I can pretty much guarantee that.

-
Jim


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:45 AM
Post #13 of 97 (2601 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
My point with that is, as long as there are parachutes that have a forward speed and can turn, there will be low turns.
Ah, but under the canopies and wingloadings people were jumping in the late 80's and early 90's low turns ended in tweaked knees or busted ankles... ie they generally didn't end with the jumper in ICU or the morgue.

The answer to the problem is education, and acceptance of the fact that as long as people are jumping higher wingloadings, more aggressive canopies and doing high performance landings people are going to be injured and/or killed under perfectly good parachutes. The margin for error in those situations is slimmer than most jumpers are capable of handling... even most of those who think they can.

In reply to:
My point is, you say you'll never start swooping, but I promise you, if you ever even get a taste of it, you'll never look back.
Not everyone feels a need to swoop the landing area and/or is willing to take that kind of risk with their body/life even if they've done it a few times. imho it's comments like the one above that encourage newer jumpers to downsize or go agressive with their canopy or piloting long before they have the basic survival skills that might keep them from dying doing so.


Ron

Jan 2, 2004, 7:47 AM
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Again, this is an opinion based on your definition of what constutites "safe".

There are risks to everything in life...there is a risk when eating that cookie dough that you could get salmonella and die from it. (it does happen!)
there is a risk that you will get a tick bite that can kill you...or a mosquito bite.

My defination of "safe" comes from the simple fact that I have buried more folks from skydiving than from car crashes, mosquito bites, bad food, gunshots...Hell all of these combined. Hell, from ALL other causes of Death that you can think of.

So ONE thing has caused more death than all others.

You still think its safe?

My 10 years, 3,000 jumps and dead friends say you are flat out wrong.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:48 AM
Post #15 of 97 (2592 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I know the risks...
and feel that it is a very safe sport.
Perhaps that perception will change when someone you know does everything right and dies anyway...

Skydiving is not a safe sport. Never has been, never will be. Spend ten or more years in the sport, lose a few friends to it and you may begin to understand this.


Zoter

Jan 2, 2004, 7:48 AM
Post #16 of 97 (2592 views)
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Re: [skydiver51] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps.....the culture needs to be changed a little....generally rather than individually.

Canopy control teaching to get your basic licence ...well here in the UK anyways....is minimal UNLESS the individual decides to seek additional tuition.

By the time an individual wants to do some swooping....I would say here they are not really in the loop of 'compulsory training' anymore.

Personally I would like to have seen ALOT more tuition go into CC training as part of the basic licence and would be encouraged to see some sort of compulsory system of teaching /training/assessment for everyone who wants to do swoops.....and this means these people will have to 'come back in' to the Instructors fold again......I reckon thats only going to happen if its compulsory...swooping/hook turn licence maybe ??


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:55 AM
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Re: [Ron] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:


My defination of "safe" comes from the simple fact that I have buried more folks from skydiving than from car crashes, mosquito bites, bad food, gunshots...Hell all of these combined. Hell, from ALL other causes of Death that you can think of.

However...if you lived in a different place that might not be the case (it almost certainly wouldn't be the case).

I am curious...as a learning opportunity...
you say you've lost a lot of friends to this sport. Mind if I ask what the causes of death for your friends have been? (ie. total mals, attempted swoop, unintentional low turns, collisions, etc)

In reply to:
So ONE thing has caused more death than all others.

You still think its safe?

Yes, I do.
again, not to mistake that to mean "without risk". I understand and acknowledge all risks that I know of that I undertake. But for my definition...yes.

(and again...this isn't to say that there aren't activities within basic skydiving that I think are unsafe...absolutely there are! BASE jumping...I consider unsafe. Swooping, CReW, skysurfing, etc...I don't consider those safe activities..)

In reply to:
My 10 years, 3,000 jumps and dead friends say you are flat out wrong.

Ron...I would never intentionally come across as being less than respectful for your experience. I very much respect your experience and knowledge.

However, personal anecdotes aren't statistics, although they can sometimes be more powerful to an individual than actual statistics. (You only have to lose ONE child to a bug bite for bug bites to freak you out for the rest of your life..and all of the research and statistics in the world won't comfort you or make you feel any better about the danger of bugs.)
I know that you've had some serious heartache and loss in this sport...
But that doesn't mean that statistically speaking that skydiving (barring the other added activities people tack onto it) isn't safe.


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:57 AM
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Re: [skybytch] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I know the risks...
and feel that it is a very safe sport.
Perhaps that perception will change when someone you know does everything right and dies anyway...

But knowing the person that does everything right and still dies doesn't change the safety of the sport. it just evokes an emotional response.

In reply to:
Skydiving is not a safe sport. Never has been, never will be. Spend ten or more years in the sport, lose a few friends to it and you may begin to understand this.

I've only been in the sport since July...and already lost someone.
but knowing the person who died doesn't change the danger of the sport. Just personalizes what risk there is.

But the risk remains the same whether you know any of the 30 people that die a year or not...


skydiver51  (F License)

Jan 2, 2004, 7:59 AM
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, i've seen this discussion on many threads. So I would like to get this thread back on the subject I had in mind. Low Turns That Are Intentional. I as well as others realize low turns are done to miss objects in the path of someone on approach to landing. What I would like to see is someone or some organization to address is Low Intentional Turns. Since the USPA seems to condone Intentional Low Turns then we (all skydivers) need to ensure USPA does something THIS year to address the problem. Whether it's the low number jumpers or experienced jumpers (this past year alone several have died by miss judgment of altitude or mistakes like dropping a toggle) deaths of this nature need to be stopped completely or lowered WAY down.


Jimbo  (D License)

Jan 2, 2004, 8:01 AM
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Quote:
However, personal anecdotes aren't statistics,

What would it take to convince you that skydiving isn't safe? Statistics? I think you'll find that true statistics back the claims that skydiving isn't safe. Really though, what will it take to convince you that skydiving isn't safe?

-
Jim


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 2, 2004, 8:03 AM
Post #21 of 97 (2563 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
But knowing the person that does everything right and still dies doesn't change the safety of the sport.
Okay, let me rephrase. Perhaps that perception will change when several people, whether you knew them or not, do everything right and die anyway.

You've been jumping for 6 months. Let's have this discussion again in 9 1/2 more years. Although speaking both statistically and from personal experience it's likely at that time you'll have long since sold your gear and moved on to something else (for whatever reason).


elfanie  (B 27003)

Jan 2, 2004, 8:06 AM
Post #22 of 97 (2552 views)
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Re: [Jimbo] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What would it take to convince you that skydiving isn't safe? Statistics? I think you'll find that true statistics back the claims that skydiving isn't safe. Really though, what will it take to convince you that skydiving isn't safe?

-
Jim

Yes...if statistics changed, then it might fit my definition of "unsafe".

right now there is something in the neighborhood of 3 million jumps a year.
And 30 deaths. On average.

For my definition, this still falls within the rhelm of "safe". If something changed to this figure, then of course it could fall under my definition of 'unsafe'.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 2, 2004, 8:07 AM
Post #23 of 97 (2552 views)
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Re: [skydiver51] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Since the USPA seems to condone Intentional Low Turns then we (all skydivers) need to ensure USPA does something THIS year to address the problem.
Don't hold your breath, you'll turn blue.

Do a search for the threads discussing a wingloading BSR. You'll find that several people who post here tried to get USPA to do something last year. If you feel strongly enough about this to discuss it here... have you sent an email to the S&T committee yet?


Ron

Jan 2, 2004, 8:20 AM
Post #24 of 97 (2533 views)
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Re: [elfanie] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
However...if you lived in a different place that might not be the case (it almost certainly wouldn't be the case).

31 years of life, and 10 years skydiving I have lost more friends in the 10 years than in the 31.

Thats 10 years of Skydiving vs. 31 years of ALL other possible ways to die from accidents, murder, war, sickness....get the picture yet?

In reply to:
I am curious...as a learning opportunity...
you say you've lost a lot of friends to this sport. Mind if I ask what the causes of death for your friends have been? (ie. total mals, attempted swoop, unintentional low turns, collisions, etc)

Oh geeze....I really don't want to do this. In fact I'm not. I started to try, and Im not going to do it.

I don't keep count, and I don't plan on doing it now....Its a lot, and I still feel each death.

Besides we lost 24 people this year

How many have you lost yet?
How many jumps do you even have?
Any instructor ratings?

In reply to:
and again...this isn't to say that there aren't activities within basic skydiving that I think are unsafe...absolutely there are! BASE jumping...I consider unsafe. Swooping, CReW, skysurfing, etc...I don't consider those safe activities

And have you done any of these yet? So maybe you don't know whats safe and whats not? CreW for one is as safe as regular skydiving if done right (It is also the only other from this list that I know).so maybe you don't have enough experience to know what is "Safe" and what is not? I have over 2,500 swoops....How many do you have?

In reply to:
However, personal anecdotes aren't statistics, although they can sometimes be more powerful to an individual than actual statistics

But that doesn't mean that statistically speaking that skydiving (barring the other added activities people tack onto it) isn't safe

I have lost more friends to skydiving than driving a car...And ALL of my friends drive, very few jump.

10 years and more dead friends than 31 years of ALL types of death except skydiving.

You don't know what you are talking about. Simple as that....Telling yourself that this is safe is not smart.

Beginners try to convince themselves that this sport is safe.....People who have been in the sport for a while know its not.

You can do everything right and still die.

Im done with this and you. Continue to skydive with blinders on...If you make it to 10 years give me a call and tell me if you still think its safe.

Edit to add:

Anyone that has told you this is safe...lied, or has no clue.


(This post was edited by Ron on Jan 2, 2004, 8:23 AM)


skydiver51  (F License)

Jan 2, 2004, 8:31 AM
Post #25 of 97 (2516 views)
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Re: [skybytch] Isn't it time for a serious talk about low turns?? [In reply to] Can't Post

No not yet. But I WILL make a point to write as many letters to any and everyone, in the USPA, this year, as I can. Also I will encourage everyone to do the same. We haven't had a death at our DZ. I pray that when we do it isn't due to something that could have been avoided.
I realize people do what they can every year to promote safety. This year I would like to see those same people get more people envolved in not only being safe but to encourage other people to be safe.


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