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RkyMtnHigh

Skydiving vs BASE

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In response to ACMEskydiver's post in Bonfire

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'Get out of jail free card' vs 'fuck up = death'

That sums it up for me. I have pulled silver once. I will never base jump. Ever.



Oooohh... I've been waiting for a comment like this. Do I take it from that rationale that you will not be prepared to pull silver again - after all your reserve IS a single parachute system after all.

Sorry to repeat myself from previous but I have to emphasise to all ppl who skydive the following;

The fact that you are willing to cutaway from a malfunction on every skydive that you do and place yourself in freefall with only one parachute makes you a willing user of a single parachute system on EVERY SKYDIVE.

So don't go poo pooing single parachute jumps when you are doing them yourself. If you don't like i then you either need to stop kidding yourself that you have 2 canopies all the time, give up skydiving, or get a tersh.

There.... I said it... whew!!!

Thx

g.
"Altitude is birthright to any individual who seeks it"

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after all your reserve IS a single parachute system after all.



But they (skydivers) don't jump with JUST their reserves...

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So don't go poo pooing single parachute jumps when you are doing them yourself. If you don't like i then you either need to stop kidding yourself that you have 2 canopies all the time, give up skydiving, or get a tersh.



By your own logic, that would not be a valid solution (to a fear of jumping a single parachute system), since with the "tersh", there's always the possibility the first two parachutes would malfunction and you'd be left with only one again. And the tersh, ultimately, is a "single parachute system" again, according to this rationale.

I am not knocking single parachute systems, but I am questioning your logic. Taking it to a more generic level (outside of parachuting), it is faulty logic to say that a system with a primary AND a backup is identical to a system without a backup because you will sometimes use the backup on the first system. That is equivalent to saying, "Hey, you think that safety on your gun does anything? well, once you take it off there's no safety anymore, so why have a safety on in the first place? It's identical either way!"

As I said, I'm not knocking single parachute systems, and I think in this case (BASE vs skydiving), based on my limited knowledge of (but not experience in) the BASE world, there are many larger differences between the two sports than the whole "1 or 2 parachutes" issue, and there are many valid reasons why BASE jumpers don't carry two parachutes, and why they might not be any safer even if they did.

But the point still stands, 1 does not equal 2.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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In response to ACMEskydiver's post in Bonfire

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'Get out of jail free card' vs 'fuck up = death'

That sums it up for me. I have pulled silver once. I will never base jump. Ever.



Oooohh... I've been waiting for a comment like this. Do I take it from that rationale that you will not be prepared to pull silver again - after all your reserve IS a single parachute system after all.

Sorry to repeat myself from previous but I have to emphasise to all ppl who skydive the following;

The fact that you are willing to cutaway from a malfunction on every skydive that you do and place yourself in freefall with only one parachute makes you a willing user of a single parachute system on EVERY SKYDIVE.

So don't go poo pooing single parachute jumps when you are doing them yourself. If you don't like i then you either need to stop kidding yourself that you have 2 canopies all the time, give up skydiving, or get a tersh.

There.... I said it... whew!!!

Thx

g.



I don't think Jaye was disparaging single parachute jumps, and I don't think she discounts the risk of skydiving. I think her point is that skydiving with a two container system provides two chances for survival rather than just one. All a tertiary reserve gives you is a third chance. And if things are so screwed up that you need it, you're probably dead anyway.

That said, from where I sit, the danger in base is a lot less about a bad canopy than it is about everything else that can go wrong in an environment where there is too little altitude and too little time to take corrective action.

rl
If you don't know where you're going, you should know where you came from. Gullah Proverb

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But the point still stands, 1 does not equal 2.



Truthfully, 2 doesn't equal 2 either.

Every time you exit of an airplane, you are carrying a parachute that you absolutely, positively depend on to work every single time you activate it. You call it the reserve.

When you exit an object, you do the same thing. You carry a parachute that you absolutely, positively depend on to work every single time you activate it. It serves the same purpose as a skydiving reserve, but in this case, you don't call it a "reserve" because you aren't planning on trying anything else first.

It's not that BASE jumpers don't have reserves. It's that we don't have mains.
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Every time you exit of an airplane, you are carrying a parachute that you absolutely, positively depend on to work every single time you activate it. You call it the reserve.



Actually, I'd like both my parachutes to work. :)
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It's not that BASE jumpers don't have reserves. It's that we don't have mains.



Semantics, but I do get your point. :P

I still think in an environment where it's reasonable to do so (lots of altitude, no objects nearby, etc), 2 parachutes is safer than 1 (how much safer, I'm not going to even touch that one). Unless you want to argue that the complications of the 2 parachute harness cancel out the benefits of having those 2 parachutes. In which case I'm in way over my head and I'm gonna duck out the door. :)
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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By your own logic, that would not be a valid solution (to a fear of jumping a single parachute system), since with the "tersh", there's always the possibility the first two parachutes would malfunction and you'd be left with only one again. And the tersh, ultimately, is a "single parachute system" again, according to this rationale.



I'll start by noting that I think RhondaLea has hit the nail on the head in noting that, really, the failure of the first parachute doesn't seem to be making a whole lot of contributions to Nick's list of late, so this whole thing is a bit of a red herring.

That said, there is merit to the argument way up there, IMHO, and it goes like this...

If you don't think you really need your reserve (as might be reasonable if one's main were something big, square, and friendly), then yeah, your main dramatically reduces the odds of having to use your reserve. The argument that you're relying on your reserve then fails, but on the other hand we started off with the assumption that you don't really need it. So a single-parachute system isn't a dumb idea.

If, on the other hand, you do think you need your reserve (as might be the case if your main is something small, elliptical, and prone to the occasional violent malfunction) then your main does not dramatically reduce the odds of having to use your reserve. As a friend once put it, your main is then a toy, and not really the life saving device that your reserve is. The argument that you're relying on your reserve then absolutely holds, and a single-parachute system isn't a dumb idea.

A tersh puts one more layer in there, so that the same argument from a three-parachute system is substantially less well-founded.

Edited for spelling and wording...

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I honestly don't think that's the case.

The main/reserve 2 parachute system is great for it's intended environment. I don't think it's so much about increasing safety, though, as about allowing people to do more of what they want to do (skydiving) with less hassle (i.e. packing). If you had to do a reserve or BASE packjob for every jump, each jump would be much more effort, take much longer, and/or cost much more money. With a reserve, you can slam the main in their pretty quickly, and get on the next load.

As an added benefit, the fail-safe backup allows you to screw around with twitchy, less reliable, but far more fun canopy combinations--like those postage stamp sized, cross-braced ellipticals.

In my opinion, if you are thinking of your reserve as your "2nd chance", you're relying on your main too much. I tend to think of my main as my "fun, convenient parachute" and my reserve as the thing that makes the skydive survivable.


Hmmm. I wonder if I ought to split this off into a separate thread?
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Thank god someone much smarter then myself comes to bat with what really is.....

My hat off to you G. Money...:D


In the end...the universe has a way of working itself out.... "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle"

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I can see your point Tom, and I guess I agree with you. I guess the reason I put what some would consider too much trust in my main is because it's relatively docile and consistent, and I am pretty meticulous with my pack jobs (though I'll admit I don't know much on the technical level about the difference between a pro pack and a reserve or BASE pack). I like my main but I know not to rely on it. Difference between trust and reliance, I guess. :)
I'll admit I'm taking this off topic so hopefully I'll stop now.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Every time you exit of an airplane, you are carrying a parachute that you absolutely, positively depend on to work every single time you activate it. You call it the reserve.

When you exit an object, you do the same thing. You carry a parachute that you absolutely, positively depend on to work every single time you activate it.



True, but while typically skydivers only have a handful of reserve rides over the whole life of jumping (say 5), who wants to make only 5 BASE jumps in their whole life?

5 actuations of a life saving device are safer that 500. ;)

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In my opinion, if you are thinking of your reserve as your "2nd chance", you're relying on your main too much. I tend to think of my main as my "fun, convenient parachute" and my reserve as the thing that makes the skydive survivable.



I must admit I hadn't really thought of it this way, because I only ever jumped a 7-cell canopy, and except for allowing one other person to pack for me, I always packed for myself--with care and attention. Then too, there were three separate rigging errors in the packing of my reserve, one of which was discovered by a friend when he cutaway his base canopy during a test jump. The other two were, thankfully, discovered during subsequent repacks.

I guess that except for the reserve repacks I actually observed--and one of those did not inspire a lot of confidence because the boys just couldn't seem to close the rig correctly--I was always a little more certain about my own pack jobs.

My point here is off-topic for the subject, but there's a secondary unintended point, which is that counting on your reserve to save your life may be a pipe dream. Riggers are experienced and well-trained, but they are also fallible human beings, and mistakes happen. My personal observational experience is that most base jumpers use more care packing their single canopy than many riggers use in packing a reserve.

There are, of course, notable exceptions. ;)

rl
If you don't know where you're going, you should know where you came from. Gullah Proverb

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I would love to think that both types/sets of packers are as meticulously and perfection-istic (my madeup word of the day) as they each can be in there own rights.

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My point here is off-topic for the subject, but there's a secondary unintended point, which is that counting on your reserve to save your life may be a pipe dream. Riggers are experienced and well-trained, but they are also fallible human beings, and mistakes happen. My personal observational experience is that most base jumpers use more care packing their single canopy than many riggers use in packing a reserve.


Leroy


..I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw my bath toys were a toaster and a radio...

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It's not that BASE jumpers don't have reserves. It's that we don't have mains.



:D

Another Aiello classic...pulled from the quiver that gave us...

It's not my that my penis is short, it's that my legs and torso are inordinately long (even though I'm only 5'6").

It's not that I smell, but that my nose is too close to my ass.

It's not that I'm gay, It's just that all my guy friends like chicks..

Tom,
You're a gem. It's not that I like you so much as I really don't dislike you.



;)
$kin
There's only one Tom Aiello...

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try it out.

find a mentor. since jumpers are primarily men, find one who is humble, honest, and doesn't have a romantic interest in you. I repeat "does not have a romantic interest in you." this is crucial. I have seen several women get put into bad situations because of the machismo factor. your mentor should safely guide you.

hope this helps,
Chris (BASE 460)
Looks like a death sandwich without the bread - Steve Deadman Morrell, BASE 174

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Just wanna touch on The111's comments. I can tell from the commnts that my post was understood clearly by many but also not read/understood properly by others. I just wanna make a few points clearer for those who care to be informed.

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But they (skydivers) don't jump with JUST their reserves...



Sorry... but they do and that's exacty my point.

My post refered to the scenario when a skydiver elects to cutaway. Being willing to place oneself in freefall with only one parachute (the reserve) is something each (sensible) jumper is prepared to do on every jump if the need arises.

So I must disagree with your opening line and say that skydivers DO jump with just their reserves - each time they cutaway that is - and that's something they are willing to do every jump.

Therefore, each jumper is willing to use a single parachute system on every jump.



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By your own logic, (my advice to use a tersh) that would not be a valid solution (to a fear of jumping a single parachute system), since with the "tersh", there's always the possibility the first two parachutes would malfunction and you'd be left with only one again. And the tersh, ultimately, is a "single parachute system" again, according to this rationale.



You are correct - I am not seriously reccomending ppl use a tersh - it was a jibe, a dig, a joke.

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I am not knocking single parachute systems, but I am questioning your logic. Taking it to a more generic level (outside of parachuting), it is faulty logic to say that a system with a primary AND a backup is identical to a system without a backup because you will sometimes use the backup on the first system. That is equivalent to saying, "Hey, you think that safety on your gun does anything? well, once you take it off there's no safety anymore, so why have a safety on in the first place? It's identical either way!"



Obviously your chances of survival mathematically of reaching the ground safely (design faults aside) are higher with 2 parachutes. This is basic maths. My point is not to say this. I made my post to bring to light that those ppl who knock single parachute systems are often not aware that they are using these systems themselves given that they only jump with one reserve. That is they put their lives in trust with a single-parachute system.

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As I said, I'm not knocking single parachute systems, and I think in this case (BASE vs skydiving), based on my limited knowledge of (but not experience in) the BASE world, there are many larger differences between the two sports than the whole "1 or 2 parachutes" issue, and there are many valid reasons why BASE jumpers don't carry two parachutes, and why they might not be any safer even if they did.

But the point still stands, 1 does not equal 2.



No problems with this statement. I do stand behind my logic and I have not seen any evidence that my logic (that skydivers cutaway to just one reserve) is at fault.

with polite respect, I just think you have missed my point completely.

g.


"Altitude is birthright to any individual who seeks it"

.

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I got your point, I just disagreed. ;)

As someone else pointed out, skydivers don't use their reserve every jump. Most are willing to do it when they have to, but hope it's only necessary a few times in their career, and that it works properly then. This fear of having to use the "last resort" (a single parachute system) is the same fear that makes them think using a single parachute system, willingly, on every single jump from a fixed object, is scary. You are right that skydivers are willing to put their life in the hands of a single parachute system... but how many skydivers do you think would quit if they had 100 main mals in a row and had to use their reserve 100 times in a row? :S Trusting it on every jump is not the same as using it on every jump, and that is where BASE jumping scares those who like having two parachutes, even though they ultimately trust just one, as you pointed out.

I do understand your points. ;)

EDIT: A few more thoughts. I think we are really saying the same thing here in different ways. Your original response was to a skydiver who thought it was crazy to use a single parachute system every jump. My response to you was that most skydivers will trust a single parachute system if they have to, but would not like to use it on every jump. Perhaps that is where the difference of opinion comes in. Your position is that if you're willing to use something a few times, you should be willing to use it every time. Which from a safety standpoint makes sense... it's like the advice to skydiving newbies not to try anything with your canopy you're not sure you can do every time. From a statistics standpoint, it can seem otherwise I think, which is where the skydiver fear of BASE comes from, but I think ultimately safety has little to do with statistics, and as I pointed out before, there are many things much more dangerous about BASE than the small statistical chance that you might have been better off with an extra canopy (assuming the jump conditions would have even made an extra canopy feasible).
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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You are right - Trusting something on every jump IS NOT the same as using it on every jump ... I never thought of it that way. It makes sense. I do hear the single-parachute mentality from time to time and I do aim my sentiments at those who are naive and unaware that they are using one themselves. After your prior post I'm in no doubt we are on the same page here.:)
Regarding statistics, I've always been presented with statistics from time to time - I've lost many friends jumping and it isn't a good thing. Statistically, Aussie BASE isn't a very survivable pursuit. The thing about statistics for me is that it has no bearing on the jump I am about to undertake TODAY. The fact that a certain number of ppl did this or that wrong on prior jumps has no effect on whether or not I am able to pack, maintain or execute my next jump correctly.

Past events do educate me, teach me and determine the choices I make but they do not govern if my next jump will be safe or not. because of this I don't subscribe to statistics. I just trust in my knowledge of the equipment, the conditions, the application, the execution and choices I make.

I do think jumping with one canopy is riskier than using two. I have assessed the extra risk and found it to be within what's acceptable to me.

Thx for listening, take care everyone.

g.
"Altitude is birthright to any individual who seeks it"

.

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there are many things much more dangerous about BASE than the small statistical chance that you might have been better off with an extra canopy (assuming the jump conditions would have even made an extra canopy feasible).



Your parenthetical is the kicker in what we're talking about. The chances of being on a "normal" BASE jump and having sufficient altitude to cutaway to a reserve (even with a Sorcerer rig) is more or less nonexistent.

Having a second canopy is more or less pointless.

It's all about comfort levels and how much trust you place in your gear. I'd personally be completely comfortable taking a BASE rig out on skydives (heck, my exit platform is just moving, rather than stationary). I wouldn't freefly in it, but I'd be perfectly comfortable with jumping with only one parachute. I trust my gear to that extent.

What about lineovers or other mals? Well, the same risk exists in BASE. If I'm willing to accept that risk when I'm as close to the ground/object/hazards as I am on a BASE jump, then I'm willing to accept that risk on a skydive.

And maybe that's the bottom line really. If you aren't comfortable with a single parachute system, then you shouldn't be BASE jumping. On the flip side, if you ARE comfortable with a single parachute system, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't be able to take it out on a skydive.

- Z
"Always be yourself... unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

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I agree 100%.

One thing though that many of you overlooked is the very reason why we jump or actually are forced to jump 2 parachutes while leaping off airplanes.

When the FAA decided to allow skydivers to do what they do they figured out that two canopies are better than one. Given the technology of era, every single one of you would have not jumped a single canopy system and agreed with the FAA. Both main and reserve were the same crappy malfunction-happy mil-surplus pieces of crap round shit.

Fortunately things evolved quite quickly and soon dependable rounds were developed. But then squares hit the market with their new set of malfunctions, so the idea of jumping a single system never crossed anybody's mind, as far as good judgment goes.

Then squares got really dependable and even made into reserves! Now someone thought about the possibility of jumping a single system and they did off objects. But at the same time in the skydiving enviroment mains got more and more radical, new ideas introduced, new fabric, construction, new high speed malfunctions, and so forth.

Nowadays if you are an experienced skydiver, you jump a reliable reserve (not always the case when you load it at 2.0) and a main that's a lot of fun when it works but it could kill you even with a single line twist if not cut-away.

I would not jump my skydiving main as my sole canopy but I would have no problem taking my BASE rig off a plane. Also I trust more my BASE rig than my dual-canopy skydiving system and yes I do think it's safer: With a single system a whole variety of malfunctions is out of sight.

With my BASE rig a line over the way I pack is very unlikely, slider up or down, a line twist will not spin me out of control, a PC in tow unlikely because it's not a kill line, a horseshoe unlikely due to dual pin...
Memento Audere Semper

903

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the thing that makes me laugh is that when even some BASE jumpers (and also ALOT of skydivers) question that you should have a Dual when testing your BASE equipment out of a plane............. (not from laws but a thought that Plane = dual)

In my eyes, a dual system is more complex than a single system, and if I am willing to take a single system down low on a BASE jump then why should I be anymore bothered about taking that same system down low from a plane? If I had a dual system on my back - of course I would open higher and allow time for a reserve, as I think that the dual skydiving system adds so many more problems more to your "life saver" that I dont want to be going below 2000 with it!

In the end, skydivers and BASE jumpers have only one chance......... with skydivers they jump a main then a reserve, and with BASE jumpers we miss the main option and only have a reserve..........


We all trust our lives with one canopy in the end............

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Actually, back in the days of small skydiving clubs, etc, alot of people chose to use 1 parachute. The FAA was never consulted of course.

Read the article in Parachutist Jul-05, "When sex was safe and Skydiving wasn't". :-)

"It's my three bucks!" <-- I LOVE THAT!!


.
Abbie Mashaal
Skydive Idaho
Snake River Skydiving
TandemBASE

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