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cocheese

Is skydiving going down hill ?

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Seems like since Sept 11th , 2001. Skydiving popularity has taken a plunge. Is it the economy ? Is it my imagination ? I think a lot of dzs have been hurting somewhat or a lot since then.

Why are so many dzs and boogies getting less and less jumpers ?
Old timers : was that the peak of skydiving... just before 9/11 ?
(let's not turn this into a speakers corner thread)


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I think its the general economy that has hurt the most.

In Canada, where our economy isnt doing as badly as you guys, we havent seen a slow down in mumber of tandems, PFFs in our area. Regular jumpers are about as many as a couple years ago, considering the weather has been crap this summer.

As far as other factors, I remember thinking a few years ago that every freaking town in Florida was getting a twin otter it seemed! Maybe it was a boom that didnt last, and we're seing the backswing of the pendulum.
Remster

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I'm just old, not an old timer, but here's what I've noticed. General Aviation has took a downturn all the way around but appears to be recovering now. This was my first WFFC and everyone said that attendance was down. Attendance was off at Oshkosh and Sun-N-Fun and every other aviation event that I've been to this year. Fuel prices, both auto and aviation, are limiting travel and other recreational spending. I think that this is an economic trend that cuts down on new students and on experienced jumpers making as many jumps. There should be a resurgance as the economy turns back up.
But then again, I've been wrong a lot in 38 years.
I am not the man. But the man knows my name...and he's worried

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You need disposable income for this. With the economy people are going to stop entertaining themselves, and focus more on surviving, having the necessities, and saving money. As the economy goes up, and people have more money in their bank accounts, I'm sure we'll see a surge again.
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I think you are absolutely correct....Skydiving has gone down hill, and the speed is increasing.

As one other person stated, the whole aviation scene is also going down.

Gas makes it more expesinve to fly aircraft, hot air balloons, and this added cost is passed on to skydivers.

Insurance makes it all more expensive, and

the cost of parachute gear, plus the extra costs to get to the DZ, and the higher jump costs, makes it hard for many people. Not everyone is rich, employed with good pay. Many are struggling with keeping their head above water in society, and simply cannot afford a costly sport activity .

The 30 currency rule is another hardship on low time jumpers, and I think it is extremely unfair.

I have seen many jumpers who were active when "static line" was the only way to learn, and some left the scene for a month or two, came back and picked up where they left off, without any problem. This 30 days currency is nothing more than a USPA/CSPA authorizxation of a money grab.

Is there any wonder there are numerous postings from people saying they can't continue. The AFF and Tandem costs are very high, and considering the high cost of living these days, ( food, insurance,health/ dental, gas, vehicles, etc etc) people simply cannot afford skydiving....or aviation, unless they own a large profitable business.

The Administration of the US Government has publicly stated they expect another attack from terrorists. They say they dont know where or when...but know it will come.

I believe it definitely WILL come within the next two years maximum....and it will make 9/11 pale by comparison. The changes that will take place after such an attack will stun the world.

If 9/11 caused so much grief and hardship throughout the economy, what will the next one do?

I could answer that question myself, but I'll leave you to figure it out.

The future of private aviation including skydiving is certainly not very good. I doubt there will be any skydiving at all in a few years....It is not the highest priority in the scheme of things that makes the world go around.

Bill Cole D-41




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it's your imagination. skydiving is still very popular. otherwise, explain how we have had weekdays with 30-some-odd tandems scheduled... more work than we can sometimes handle... and at least 20 new regular experienced jumpers in the past few months alone.

the economy will always take its toll on all pass times and luxuries. sometimes it will be up, sometimes down. skydiving is expensive and a lot of people have lost jobs in the past few years.

my take... we are in a down point, but it is not a permanent slide. things will get better as they always do.

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Of course you can HOPE, you can pretend, you can wish and refuse to see what is obvious, but none of those things will change the fact that "skydiving is going downhill".

In the name of progress, the start has already started when everyone has to have a $5000. rig.


When every DZ has to have a Otter AND/OR a Skyvan.

When everone has to have 2 or 3 costly AADs, and a jumpsuit that costs Hundreds of dollars.

When a first jump costs more than a week's groceries for a large family, or

a tank full of gasoline costs the equivilent of two jumps,

When Insurance rates for Dropzones hits an all time high.

Im sure we can find a hole in the sand in which you can stick your head, and you may not have to look at these things, but they will nevertheless still be there....and if you want to jump...you'll have to pay.

I believe recurrency jumps should be 60 days..... believe it or not, people ARE capable of learning something and retaining the memory for at least that long. Sure there is the exception...but you might find one who can't remember what he had for breakfast.

The DZ owners and USPA/CSPA should be concentrating on how to keep jumpers...not how to drive them away from the DZ.

Like I said, you can HOPE, PRETEND, WISH, DREAM all you want....the slide has started, and terrorism will be the push that ends it all.

I wish it wasnt so....but the handwriting is on the wall....stop and read it.

Bill Cole D-41




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As has been stated, it is largely a cost issue with General Aviation. My first rig cost $45 for main, h/c, reserve and modification. My first plane cost $1400 and I made lots of jumps from it. I didn't make much, but I could easily afford to fly and jump. There were many small planes around small airports that are now deserted. Insurance was not required and very few had it.

I charge more than half of the responsibility to the court system. Lawyers include just about everyone in a lawsuit who made a part for a plane that crashes. At one time, more than 50% of the cost of aircraft manufacture went to insurance. One example is the Piper that ran out of fuel and the propeller manufacturer was included in the suit.

I really miss the old days of General Aviation. I would not be a skydiver or a pilot if the costs then were as much as they are today. You need to have been around a while to see what has really happened.

Ed



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Hi Cheese,
As 2fat2fly mentioned gen. avia. activity appears to be down and skydiving is part of the big picture. 9/11 sure didn't help matters and until the world situation improves who knows? For years it seemed the price of 12.5K was $7.50 at a lot of DZ's then in the mid 70's it started creeping up!! Find a good, cheap, easy to get source for a lot of OIL , (LOL)!! Or, Figure out how to economically convert a Twin Otter to "Electric Power!!" Remember how "nylon" came around?? It may still be a long way off but refining the mouse trap will pay off. A lot of people will laugh but then again remember that America is called the "land of opportunity" and American does not end in I-RAN it ends in "I-CAN!!!!"
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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Well all I know is that skydiving hasn't gone downhill for me since 9/11. In fact I did my first 3 jumps on the Saturday of the weekend after 9/11. Now granted I did around 220 jumps my first year, and only seem to be averaging 50 - 70 on years 2 and 3, that is because of the fact that I had a period of unemployment, and then frankly the weather in the midwest has just sucked for jumping this year.

On the other hand, I started out this summer doing a lot of jumping at a DZ that was 2 hours away instead of the 45 minutes it takes me to get to my home dz, because I liked the dz and the people, and planes there. I still like the DZ but I've found it a lot easier to stay away since they raised their ticket prices to 21-22 dollars a jump. Sadly if jump ticket prices continue to rise at the rate that they have since I've been jumping, I will probably find myself jumping less and less (unless I win the lottery or something), because while skydiving is a lot of fun, I don't need to have it in my life to have fun. There are plenty of other activities out that that can provide the same rush/danger/camraderie as skydiving, that are much less expensive (and better for the environment).

:|

"Your mother's full of stupidjuice!"
My Art Project

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It's not your imagination. Lots of DZ's have been hurting. There are many factors contributing to this decline in popularity, but I think one that a lot of people don't recognize is the adrenaline compensation factor.

One theory about the recent popularity of extreme sports is that humans are wired psychologically to constantly struggle for survival. Our psyches expect to be constantly fighting for survival against the elements, wild animals, invading armies, etc. Because of this, we don't really like to feel too safe. Since recent generations haven't had a war to fight or many other struggles for survival, a restlessness formed inside many of us, and we had to seek artificial stimulation to satisfy our adrenaline needs.

I think perhaps 9/11, the war in Iraq, and the declining economy have given people enough real struggles for survival (at least in their minds) that they no longer have the psychological need to jump out of airplanes. Perhaps this will change if/as Americans once again begin to feel safer in their day-to-day lives.
I don't have an M.D. or a law degree. I have bachelor's in kicking ass and taking names.

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Quote



Seems like since Sept 11th , 2001. Skydiving popularity has taken a plunge. Is it the economy ? Is it my imagination ? I think a lot of dzs have been hurting somewhat or a lot since then.

Why are so many dzs and boogies getting less and less jumpers ?

Old timers : was that the peak of skydiving... just before 9/11 ?
(let's not turn this into a speakers corner thread)



I really have no call on the influence of 9/11 or economic issues. They may play a role, but I see it as the tail end of a trend. Skydiving was just such an 'in' thing to do for a bunch of years. It made you a more interesting person at work and parties. People would go "ooooo, that's incredible".

Now the trendy 'skydivers' tell their story and over half the room comes up with, "Yeah, I'm a skydiver too".

I think it's run it's course and people are on to looking for the next 'in' thing.

Someone responded with a comment about missing the old days of skydiving. It's like being in any wonderful relationship. Rather than lament it's passing, I rejoyce that I was around to be part of it.

YMMV,

Michael

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Yeah, all true, but I remember back in the seventies when I was appalled at the $420 price tag on a Paracommander. And $5 to 7500 and $8 to 12,500 were just about killing me because I was making something like $4.11 an hour and paying $165 a month for rent. It's never been a cheap sport.

As tough as things are, and they are tough, we should be grateful we're not paying the kind of prices that are common in Europe or So. Africa, where we hear that $25-30 a jump is not uncommon.

Are things going downhill ? Maybe so, I'm hoping not. Not hiding my head in the sand, just refusing to give up hope. Or in the worst case, to get in as many jumps as possible before it becomes too difficult or impossible.

Sorry to hear about your injuries, hope you're recovering well.

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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the sky is falling the sky is falling!!!

no those are just the skydivers B|

we are experiencing an economic cycle like any other and it will have it's peaks and valleys... nothing climbs forever...

of course some alarmist types just cant wait for it all to come down.. and do the chicken little act every chance they get....in all walks of life :S
____________________________________
Those who fail to learn from the past are simply Doomed.

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rotflmao... do you mean the ones who were living in Africa, Asia, and the America's at the time? their crops grew a bit better from the extra rain fall i imagine...:P

... did you make your sign yet?? ;)

what part of 'cycle' dont you understand???

nothing climbs forever...
____________________________________
Those who fail to learn from the past are simply Doomed.

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and then it will climb again... as every wave does... nothing falls forever either....

just because your experiencing a downturn into a trough does not mean the end is near or the cycle is in any way over......
____________________________________
Those who fail to learn from the past are simply Doomed.

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