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MIKELOCK34

Is skydiving dangerous? (Was - Fatality Perris 18 Mar 2019)

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43 minutes ago, MIKELOCK34 said:

Skydiving is much less dangerous than most of your daily activities. 

I'm curious as to what most of your daily activities are?

There is no amount of training, knowledge, or equipment that will stop gravity and its effects should shit hit the fan.

It is a dangerous sport that can be done somewhat safely. I think we can agree that inherently there is nothing safe about exiting an aircraft at 13k feet. 

 

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1 hour ago, MIKELOCK34 said:

Skydiving is much less dangerous than most of your daily activities. I stress safety twenty-four hours a day. "Everything" is dangerous out of context. Skydiving is a very safe sport made dangerous by people who get ahead of their training and abilities. I see people constantly putting themselves in very dangerous situations while skydiving and laughing about it later. If skydiving is dangerous to you, it is because you are making it so. Current training programs and equipment are in place to keep us safe. It is the individual who makes skydiving unsafe not the sport itself.

Most of the research done over the last several years would disagree. Most of the people who have died in the last several years would not meet your definition of someone who 'constantly putting themselves in very dangerous situations while skydiving and laughing about it later.' Most of the fatalities that have occurred in the last several years were from everyday skydivers.
 

Edited by 20kN
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It seems our friend is unwilling to reconsider. Mikelock, I'm curious what your experience is. See all these people disagreeing with you? Many of us are extremely experienced. Wise up, or we shall all be pissing in your crater.

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2 hours ago, MIKELOCK34 said:

Skydiving is much less dangerous than most of your daily activities.

Like what? 

What daily activities that most people engage in are more dangerous than jumping?

 

The 'micromort' link is pretty well documented.

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2 hours ago, MIKELOCK34 said:

Skydiving is much less dangerous than most of your daily activities.

Not unless you're an embassy guard in Syria or something.  Skydiving is a dangerous sport.  It can injure you or kill you.  There are very few other sports out there where NOT taking very definitive action will kill you, and where you are so dependent on something you can't see (the atmosphere, traffic above us.)

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I stress safety twenty-four hours a day. "Everything" is dangerous out of context. Skydiving is a very safe sport made dangerous by people who get ahead of their training and abilities. I see people constantly putting themselves in very dangerous situations while skydiving and laughing about it later. If skydiving is dangerous to you, it is because you are making it so.

I will give you three examples that disprove that - Pat McGowan, Bob Holler and Roger Nelson.  All three were doing everything right.  Then someone hit them under canopy and killed them.

And that can happen to ANYONE no matter how safe they are trying to be.  You can be doing a 20-way with the best in the business and someone forward of you in the exit can have a premature deployment.  You can be in the plane, ready to do a solo on your own pass, and lose an engine on takeoff.  You can be clearing your airspace every ten seconds, and someone can turn into you from above your canopy where you can't see.  You can be flying the pattern all by yourself and get taken out by a dust devil that formed over the grass.  You can cut away from a spinner and get reserve lines trapped in your rig.  You can have a rogue opening on a perfectly good, well maintained, properly packed parachute that is hard enough to kill you.

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Current training programs and equipment are in place to keep us safe. It is the individual who makes skydiving unsafe not the sport itself.

Current training programs - and modern equipment - do wonders to reduce the risk.  They will never be able to make it safe.

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2 hours ago, MIKELOCK34 said:

It is the individual who makes skydiving unsafe not the sport itself.

That is only one factor among many. The real reason skydiving is inherently dangerous is it's unforgiving nature. The opportunities to make an error are many and the consequences have a high likelihood of injury. You sound like a man who believes that your training and preparation will keep you safe. You are only partly correct. You have reduced your odds of injury and you should be congratulated for your efforts. But even well trained people make mistakes sometimes, random events you can't anticipate can occur, and someone else's error can get you.

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i think your all right, and wrong

to equate this to motorbikes.... almost all bike crashes are the bikers fault, they didn't see the person pulling out on them cos they were going to fast, in a bad road position or just not paying attention, the stats are all squued by not accounting for me riding safely 

 

but to say motorbikes are safe if im riding it would be a lie.... its just less dangerous, i accept the risk cos its fun, being aware of that keeps me alive....

 

seems to me that this is the same deal

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In mountaineering/backcountry skiing people talk about danger and events (usually avalanches, but theoretically it could apply to anything) in terms of both probability and consequence. Almost everything in skydiving would fall under the "high consequence" category, regardless of how rare it is (or who's fault it is -- jumper, packer, another jumper, etc). If two jumpers collide under canopy, (not super common, but it does happen), does it really matter who's fault it was? It's a dangerous, potentially fatal situation for both of them -- including the one who theoretically wasn't at fault.

We're all human and none of us are infallible, and you can't really treat real situations involving real humans like some numerical model you whipped up on Mathematica or something.

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On 4/17/2019 at 2:22 PM, MIKELOCK34 said:

Skydiving is much less dangerous than most of your daily activities. I stress safety twenty-four hours a day. "Everything" is dangerous out of context. Skydiving is a very safe sport made dangerous by people who get ahead of their training and abilities. I see people constantly putting themselves in very dangerous situations while skydiving and laughing about it later. If skydiving is dangerous to you, it is because you are making it so. Current training programs and equipment are in place to keep us safe. It is the individual who makes skydiving unsafe not the sport itself.

To put some numbers to this:

The fatality rate in skydiving is between about .25 and 1 fatality per 100,000 jumps; we'll take .5 as an average.  Let's compare the risks of a working skydiver to some common occupations.

The most dangerous occupation out there is commercial fishing - 99 fatalities out of 100,000 workers every year.  A working skydiver who averages 10 jumps a weekend (which is on the low side for someone at say Eloy, a bit high for Pepperell) will see a 252 out of 100,000 odds of getting killed.  Let's say you are twice as safe as your average skydiver because you are so current.  Now you are at 126 out of 100,000.  So a working skydiver will see a higher risk of being killed than someone in the most dangerous (tracked) profession in the US.

"But it's more dangerous to drive to the DZ!"  Nope.  Driving deaths happen at 1.25 per 100 million miles driven.  Let's say your average skydiver drives 100 miles to and from the DZ to make 10 jumps.  Odds of dying while driving: .125 out of 100,000.  Odds of dying while skydiving: 5 out of 100,000.  40 times more likely to be killed skydiving.

"But I don't jump that much" you say.  OK, then your risk is a lot lower.  But then you have to compare it to other things you do at that low rate - AND you are uncurrent, which increases your odds of getting killed.   So skydiving: 1 in 200,000 odds of getting killed per jump.  Bungee jumping: 1 in 500,000 per jump.  Scuba diving is similar to skydiving; 1 in 200,000 per dive.  

Now, if you BASE jump or free climb, congratulations; you have found something that is actually more dangerous than skydiving.  But for the vast majority of people, skydiving is far more dangerous (using real odds) than anything they normally do.

 

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So I've been dealing with the topic for a long time. I think you have to assess the danger on the basis of the fatalitys that you can not influence yourself. When I'm risking driving a car, I increase my chances of dying just as if I jumped risky. If you look at the skydiving only the accidents that happen through material failure and you can not influence the accident rate would have to be almost 0 while, for example, when driving is still exposed to a higher risk by the many other road users.

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10 hours ago, BaNaNaJoE said:

So I've been dealing with the topic for a long time. I think you have to assess the danger on the basis of the fatalitys that you can not influence yourself. When I'm risking driving a car, I increase my chances of dying just as if I jumped risky. If you look at the skydiving only the accidents that happen through material failure and you can not influence the accident rate would have to be almost 0 while, for example, when driving is still exposed to a higher risk by the many other road users.

On-line translators are having trouble translating this into English.  Can anyone help?

 

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On ‎04‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 2:38 PM, Orthoclase said:

In mountaineering/backcountry skiing people talk about danger and events (usually avalanches, but theoretically it could apply to anything) in terms of both probability and consequence. Almost everything in skydiving would fall under the "high consequence" category, regardless of how rare it is (or who's fault it is -- jumper, packer, another jumper, etc).

We do the same thing in the flight test world.  the "Test Hazard Assessment" analyzes all the factors that could influence the flight's outcome, then builds a matrix of severity and probability... from 'negligible injury' to 'fatal', and 'remote' to 'high'.  A situation that is 'remote' in probability but would lead to loss of life is considered medium risk at a minimum.  A situation that would be considered 'occasional' probability and 'major injury' (full recovery not guaranteed) still falls in a high risk category and is treated as a serious activity that warrants multiple safety meetings, several briefs, parachutes/helmets/fire suppression systems/etc.

Most possible incidents during skydiving would easily fall into the medium/high risk category in that model.  Similar to flight test and other high risk activities, however, there are a lot of risk mitigation tools that can really limit negative outcomes.  Learn and use them.

Edited by linebckr83

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I am 69 years old and in my 51st year of skydiving.  I had two cutaways, one over Pope Valley CA in 1972 using military surplus gear and one over Rantoul Illinois using modern gear in 2005. I see skydiving as a very risky sport and see myself as a lucky cautious participant. Perry Stevens D-51 taught me how to jump in 1968. One bit of advice he gave me was: "when something looks marginal to you, take a pass on it, ALWAYS." Marginal planes, marginal gear, marginal jump plans, marginal weather etc.  I've done nearly everything I can to mitigate risk. I jump with an RSL and a Cypres AAD. I don't swoop, wingsuit or BASE jump. I practice emergency procedures. I get gear checks before I board.  I was a very early AAD user, buying an SSE  Sentinal 2000 as soon as they hit the market. Back then experienced jumpers who wore AADs were ridiculed, but I didn't care. When I could finally afford a square canopy, I bought a conservative one (Triathlon) that would put me at 1.2 to 1 wing loading and never downsized even on subsequent buys. My reserve is almost as big as my main. If steady winds exceed 18 mph I wait for better conditions. I passed on manifesting for Twin Beech jumps on really hot days with loads that clearly exceeded max gross limits. I passed on really green Cessna piston jumpship pilots. I passed on having beer with lunch at a DZ where it was SOP. I could go on but you get the picture. I am not gloating or saying I am better than people who take more risk than I do. My point is that there are many things you can do (or more accurately NOT do) that will substantially reduce risk and still allow you to participate in the best sport on the planet. You won't be sharing granite skimming wingsuit videos with your friends but you can still have a great time. 

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In answer to "Is skydiving dangerous?"  The answer is yes, anyone who says otherwise probably has not considered all the possibilities.  You can do everything correct and have perfectly functioning gear, and still die.  Are the risks, generally, manageable?  Sure.  But acknowledging that we participate in a dangerous activity seems like the first step of risk management. 

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It's rather interesting that everyone (including my prior posts) are talking primarily about 'death'.

 

We talk about 'deaths per xxx', or how likely you are to die.

 

While that is perfectly understandable, for a couple different reasons, it ignores the injury potential.

 

One of the reasons that injury is often overlooked is the reporting/statistics. 
Deaths are tracked a lot better, if for no other reasons than they make the news. 

At least in the US, it's pretty hard for a skydiving death to happen without the government (local & FAA) getting involved.

 

Injuries are different. While many are reported to USPA, many are not.

 

I can think of a lot of serious injuries (hospitalization serious) that never showed up here or in Parachutist.

 

I also know a lot more folks who have suffered serious injury than have been killed.

 

I'd guess that many injuries are 'self inflicted'. Swooping being the most obvious. Don't swoop, you won't misjudge a big turn and pound in.

But not all. In addition to the classic 'swoop gone bad' injuries, turbulence or misjudging a 'normal' landing can have a bad outcome. 

Freefall collisions, bad exits (hitting the door hard enough to break bones), dislocations (primarily shoulders) during RW, that sort of thing.

 

To disregard that risk, to only look at deaths, is to only see part of the total picture.

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On ‎4‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 3:34 AM, BaNaNaJoE said:

So I've been dealing with the topic for a long time. I think you have to assess the danger on the basis of the fatalitys that you can not influence yourself. When I'm risking driving a car, I increase my chances of dying just as if I jumped risky. If you look at the skydiving only the accidents that happen through material failure and you can not influence the accident rate would have to be almost 0 while, for example, when driving is still exposed to a higher risk by the many other road users.

No, you have to deal with the dangers both of your own causing, and those that others cause. Because I, at least, am not immune to errors, nor can I imagine everything that can go wrong on a jump due to someone else's error. 

The issue is to mitigate the things that can go wrong on a jump; assigning some to "someone else" is giving away some of your own responsibility. You can avoid jumping with people who are dangerous, talk to them, or get them grounded. You can also change DZ's, or quit jumping. Not all of these will make you popular around the DZ, but they're all available solutions. All of these can address the danger brought by others' mistakes. 

And, just as I'm not perfect, I'm sure I'm capable of committing an error that I hadn't anticipated, or committing one in the heat of an emergency. And I'm pretty anal about rehearsing situations in my head; it's what I do with my free time :P

Wendy P.

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On 4/24/2019 at 9:34 AM, BaNaNaJoE said:

So I've been dealing with the topic for a long time. I think you have to assess the danger on the basis of the fatalitys that you can not influence yourself. When I'm risking driving a car, I increase my chances of dying just as if I jumped risky. If you look at the skydiving only the accidents that happen through material failure and you can not influence the accident rate would have to be almost 0 while, for example, when driving is still exposed to a higher risk by the many other road users.

If you only want to look at (serious) skydiving incidents were gear failure was the only issue, you also only may look at (serious) traffic incidents where gear failure was the only issue.

I'm betting those are even closer to zero.

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On 4/24/2019 at 8:36 PM, wolfriverjoe said:

Injuries are different. While many are reported to USPA, many are not.

I would say in the USA very few injuries are reported to USPA (at least that make it into parachutist incident reports), and that lack of statistics makes discussing risk of injury just about impossible, as all we have are anecdotal observations.

Maybe a large DZ, like SDAZ which has a strong safety reporting culture, would be able to give decent statistics on say number of broken bone jumps per million jumps, or sprained ankle jumps per million jumps etc.

But I feel that death risk alone is probably a good metric for comparing activities for overall risk, as we all know injury risk is far higher than death risk for most activities (riding in a car, other "extreme" sports)

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On 3/28/2019 at 2:44 PM, billvon said:

Answers from the other thread:  (forum bug prevented moving these)

 

Compared to what? The only sport I can think of that is more dangerous than skydiving is BASE.

Good point(s)

I've been jumping since 81 and have ~ 9,000 aeroplane and 2,000 fixed object jumps.

Another passion is road cycling.

Racing is not very dangerous.

Commuting in traffic is the most dangerous thing I do IMO.

 

and

Yes, Skydiving is a high risk activity where many of the risks can be mitigates, but it's still BLACK DEATH Dangerous.

Don't fool yourself and think otherwise IMO.

Cheers

 

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On 4/23/2019 at 4:53 PM, billvon said:

To put some numbers to this:

The fatality rate in skydiving is between about .25 and 1 fatality per 100,000 jumps; we'll take .5 as an average.  Let's compare the risks of a working skydiver to some common occupations.

The most dangerous occupation out there is commercial fishing - 99 fatalities out of 100,000 workers every year.  A working skydiver who averages 10 jumps a weekend (which is on the low side for someone at say Eloy, a bit high for Pepperell) will see a 252 out of 100,000 odds of getting killed.  Let's say you are twice as safe as your average skydiver because you are so current.  Now you are at 126 out of 100,000.  So a working skydiver will see a higher risk of being killed than someone in the most dangerous (tracked) profession in the US.

"But it's more dangerous to drive to the DZ!"  Nope.  Driving deaths happen at 1.25 per 100 million miles driven.  Let's say your average skydiver drives 100 miles to and from the DZ to make 10 jumps.  Odds of dying while driving: .125 out of 100,000.  Odds of dying while skydiving: 5 out of 100,000.  40 times more likely to be killed skydiving.

"But I don't jump that much" you say.  OK, then your risk is a lot lower.  But then you have to compare it to other things you do at that low rate - AND you are uncurrent, which increases your odds of getting killed.   So skydiving: 1 in 200,000 odds of getting killed per jump.  Bungee jumping: 1 in 500,000 per jump.  Scuba diving is similar to skydiving; 1 in 200,000 per dive.  

Now, if you BASE jump or free climb, congratulations; you have found something that is actually more dangerous than skydiving.  But for the vast majority of people, skydiving is far more dangerous (using real odds) than anything they normally do.

 

Im extremely new to skydiving, but not new to risk , and you are spot on ... but we are forgetting one very important variable: Contact Time.  Sure, we have a 1.26 in 1000 odds of dying .... but over an EXTREMELY short amount of contact time.  From plane to ground we spend what ... 5 minutes in the air?  50 minutes a weekend, 50 weekends a year gives us a 1.26 odds for every 2500 minutes. Lets assume a Commercial Fishermen works the same amount of hours as the average full time employee in the US, about 1800 hours which is a ridiculous low number for commercial fishermen, and you have in 1 in 1000 odds for death .... over 1900 hours, which is 114,000 minutes. 

So now we have to even the playing fields 1.26 : 2,500 minutes is 1 : 1,984 Minutes and commercial fishing is 1:114,000

Seems to me, based on contact time per incident (not jumps per incident because that is a useless comparison for our purposes) that we are 57 times more likely to be killed than a commercial fisherman every minute of skydiving vs every minute of commercial fishing. 

I am EXTREMELY new to this sport ... and there is nothing safe about it.  We mitigate risk as best we can, but the Earth will have the final say, always. 

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15 hours ago, kleggo said:

Commuting in traffic is the most dangerous thing I do IMO.

Hell, I can beat that, you should try cycling on a cycle path.  I used to cycle into work in central Paris on a cycle path but finally threw the "towel in" on Monday after finding my hands were still shaking when I was sitting at my desk. Between mindless pedestrians on their smart phones and dangerous junctions at every side-road it was one of the most terrifying things I have ever done.  I now cycle on the road with the traffic.

To highlight the difference between real and perceived safety you can look at the results of a conference on cycle path safety: http://www.bikexprt.com/bikepol/facil/sidepath/adfc173.htm

On an amusing point, my work provides me with life insurance, covers my salary if I'm ill etc. I checked with the insurance company if I'm covered for parachuting, turns out I'm not covered while I'm in the aeroplane but once I jump out I'm covered. :S

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