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chuckakers

AAD use - let's hear it!

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faulknerwn

Watched a 200 lb guy who had a PD 113 in a Wings which said a max of a 106 reserve, put it on and launch it at reserve repack time (I did not pack it!) The pilot chute launched but didn't even reach his waist. He didn't think it was a problem ;-( It was scary. But he had an AAD!



And even if it does come out, does he think that an unconscious landing under a reserve loaded at 2:1 is going to be survivable? That's another interesting angle in this if we require AADs; in the case of people with high reserve wingloadings, are we actually making them any safer? (Then again, I do know lots of people who load their reserves quite highly who choose to jump AADs... I guess the theory is that some chance is better than none at all...).
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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NWFlyer

***Watched a 200 lb guy who had a PD 113 in a Wings which said a max of a 106 reserve, put it on and launch it at reserve repack time (I did not pack it!) The pilot chute launched but didn't even reach his waist. He didn't think it was a problem ;-( It was scary. But he had an AAD!



And even if it does come out, does he think that an unconscious landing under a reserve loaded at 2:1 is going to be survivable? That's another interesting angle in this if we require AADs; in the case of people with high reserve wingloadings, are we actually making them any safer? (Then again, I do know lots of people who load their reserves quite highly who choose to jump AADs... I guess the theory is that some chance is better than none at all...).

I don't know the numbers, but the rate of descent and forward speed of a loaded up reserve with the brakes set may not be fast enough to kill a jumper and maybe not even cause serious injury assuming the landing is on level turf. If the jumper is wearing a hard helmet the results might be a lot like drunks in car crashes. They are so limber (like an unconscious jumper) that their bodies handle the impact like jello, avoiding injuries that a conscious person often has.

That said, I'm not recommending tiny reserves and I'm happy to see PD (and others?) taking the lead on marketing up-sizing possibilities.

I do find it ironic how some jumpers staunchly defend some safety strategies while completely ignoring the horrific possibilities of other choices.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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faulknerwn

Oh - I have so many comments on this :-)

People who relied on the AAD - go to the Cypres website and read their save stories. You will be TERRIFIED at just how many people sat there and waited for it to fire.. And those are just the ones who told the story in public!!!

Cost - I have numerous rigs. I would love an AAD in each of them (except my CRW rig). But for people who say it only costs $5 a month - I will give you $30 a month happily if you send me 6 Cypreses. Yes, if you itemize it out over the lifespan its cheap, but for many young jumpers around here, they don't have that kind of cash. We have one jumper who got a main for $300, a reserve for $80, and a free (older) rig, with a free reserve repack, all because everyone really liked him and wanted him to skydive, yet he couldn't afford multiple thousands of dollars for gear. He has an older, fully functional, well-flying gear for cheap. Its not freefly-friendly but it works fine for belly. I know a lot of jumpers who don't have credit cards or a lot of cash but they love the sport. I don't think we should limit the sport to well-off people. These poorer people are some of my favorites. I'd love to see these guys get AADs. I know multiple people for whom the cost of an AAD is more than they spent on the entire rig. A lot of these people are the ones who pack all weekend, or clean the bathrooms just to afford a skydive or two. They want it more than most people, and I would hate to see them shut down because of an AAD requirement. Most of these guys WANT AADs and will save pennies or suck up to their parents to get them when they can. But its not as easy as just swiping a credit card for a lot of people. (I swear I feel like I am trying to tell a millionaire Republican congressman that the poor people on Welfare aren't spending money on cruises).

That said I have 12ish rigs - probably spent less on the last 8 of them combined than many people do on a new rig. They're not the fanciest things, but they are fully functional and I use them all regularly (well more so if it would ever stop raining in Texas.) If someone gave me AADs for them all, I'd thank them and put them in it in a heartbeat. But I have 10,000 jumps and 20ish cutaways over the years - so I'm comfortable without them.

For the person that says they have never met anyone who relied on their AAD - I am one of those people. I only knew it after I sold it.

Many moons ago, I was a young jumper who wanted an AAD so bought a Cypres for my first rig. Used it for several years, then quit freefall almost completely and started just doing CRW. Won't use it for CRW - too much risk in an accidental fire - so sold it. Started back to freefall again a year or two later (really cold winter - no one would do CRW with me) and realized that I was suddenly saying no to skydives that I would have happily gone on before. And I realized that in the back of my head I was thinking, well I have an AAD. And I was amazed at how much more selective what skydives I would do with versus without an AAD..

If I was to go do a 100 way RW (or freefly if I could!) I would certainly get an AAD. No questions. The risks there are out of my control. But at my local dz, I generally know who's who and I just re-organize or don't go on sketchy loads. Because its fully in my mind that I don't have an AAD.

And the really scary part - is there are a lot of new fancy dancy all the bells and whistles rigs out there, that are packed so frigging tight that reserve is not coming out quickly. I've refused to pack some of them. Watched a 200 lb guy who had a PD 113 in a Wings which said a max of a 106 reserve, put it on and launch it at reserve repack time (I did not pack it!) The pilot chute launched but didn't even reach his waist. He didn't think it was a problem ;-( It was scary. But he had an AAD!

I've seen other rigs with numerous flaps, secondary risers, and really secure main flaps where I could pick up and carry the entire rig by the freebag bridle and nothing was coming out until I got the riser covers open. Its scary. And those were all "proper fit" rigs. Its the design of the container to keep the bag in. If you're unconscious and upside down, I wouldn't place any bets on it.

And my last question - for at least the last 20 years - banning swooping/small canopies would save a LOT more lives than mandating AADS. But I have never met a mandatory AAD person who also wanted to ban swooping. Why? It would save a hell of a lot of lives..



Last paragraph says it all. Yay Wendy!

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How about mandatory FUNCTIONAL helmets. As I recall their is a safety standard for almost every other helmet on the market. Skydiving helmets are a fucking joke. How about requiring them to at least meet the required standards of a bicycle helmet. Or even better motorcycle helmets. I knew people who would be alive today if they had been wearing more then a camera mount on their head.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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faulknerwn

And my last question - for at least the last 20 years - banning swooping/small canopies would save a LOT more lives than mandating AADS. But I have never met a mandatory AAD person who also wanted to ban swooping. Why? It would save a hell of a lot of lives..



Maybe because in one case you are talking about an activity and in the other you are talking about a safety device. The two are not analogous.

Much like big-ways, angle flying, CReW (which you know more about than just about anyone), and a variety of other disciplines, our choice of activities comes with certain risks and we do not want our activities of choice banned just because they come with those risks. If we were ok with that we would all be doing solos and jumping the lightest of light wing loadings - or not jumping at all.

Instead we collectively accept the concept of mitigating risk through training, education, and judgement. History tells us this concept works when applied properly.

On the AAD side of the house, you are talking about a device that will (presumably) protect us while we participate in (most of) our activities of choice. The AAD is a device that has a demonstrated record of saving many times more jumpers than killing them or even creating non-lethal problematic results. AAD's are part - maybe the most applicable part - of the risk mitigation that we seek in conducting our activities of choice.

I do not believe in mandated AAD use, nor do I believe swooping or high wing loadings should be banned. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you. I am just answering your question as I see it.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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I use one, but I do not feel they should be mandatory. It's an expensive enough sport, we shouldn't be making it more so.

I jumped without one for years, and then moved to a country where they were mandatory and stopped jumping for a long time because I couldn't afford to buy an AAD. Eventually I got to a point where I could buy one, but I'd rather have had the money to jump in the meantime.
cavete terrae.

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RiggerLee

How about mandatory FUNCTIONAL helmets. As I recall their is a safety standard for almost every other helmet on the market. Skydiving helmets are a fucking joke. How about requiring them to at least meet the required standards of a bicycle helmet. Or even better motorcycle helmets. I knew people who would be alive today if they had been wearing more then a camera mount on their head.

Lee



I've had this conversation countless times.

I won't offer an opinion on mandates, but I do believe the company that develops the first truly protective (DOT?) helmet that accommodates the needs of the skydiving environment will own the market.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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chuckakers

***How about mandatory FUNCTIONAL helmets. As I recall their is a safety standard for almost every other helmet on the market. Skydiving helmets are a fucking joke. How about requiring them to at least meet the required standards of a bicycle helmet. Or even better motorcycle helmets. I knew people who would be alive today if they had been wearing more then a camera mount on their head.

Lee



I've had this conversation countless times.

I won't offer an opinion on mandates, but I do believe the company that develops the first truly protective (DOT?) helmet that accommodates the needs of the skydiving environment will own the market.

But what if it doesn't look cool? Or the colour selection isn't appealing?

"So many fatalities and injuries are caused by decisions jumpers make before even getting into the aircraft. Skydiving can be safe AND fun at the same time...Honest." - Bill Booth

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I have one. It's expired and somewhere in my rigging tool bag. I am up to 5 rigs now. I can't afford to put an AAD in all of my rigs. I jump all the time without one. two of my rigs don't even have RSLs (oh the humanity). I'll eventually get around to installing the RSL but I'm not shelling out 6k on AADs.

I don't have a problem with AADs. I used to have one in my rig. If someone gave me 5 free AADs or sold them to me for a stupid low price I'd love to have them as a "just in case" but I don't see them as required equipment. I certainly don't think they should be mandated.
www.facebook.com/FlintHillsRigging

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>This is another false argument that pops up - that people who have AADs take more
>risks than those that do not.

I've spoken to several people (primarily at the WFFC) where the conversation went something like this:

"Look, at your level you guys should not be doing X (8-way, tube exit, high altitude load)
"Hey, that's why I have an AAD!"

So at least for them, they were taking more risk than they otherwise would based on their trust that their AAD would provide an additional level of protection.

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chuckakers

***I've seen three (3) 'no pulls' because they people said they knew they had an AAD.



I'd say those people lacked proper training, proper ongoing training, or both. Where I come from there isn't a single jumper - student or licensed - that believes they should ever rely on their AAD over their own actions. That is trained into their brains from the first time they put rigs on their backs.

Out of curiosity, did those 3 jumpers train at or jump at the same DZ?

Chuck, oddly this experience was 3 different DZs with 3 different jumpers. Two were at a foreign DZ (to them) and one was a part-timer that doesn't need to be in the air and was ultimately banned.

As far as helmets, not much can survive a 120mph impact. I ride motorcycles and it depends on my mood whether I wear one or not. It's the same with skydiving - jump with or without a helmet depending upon the circumstances.

Anyway, one afternoon while avoiding FUBAR canopy traffic in the pattern, I took one for the team and went down-wind and popped my head pretty good. No damage to the helmet nor my skull and I was glad I was wearing the bucket. Yet, I still don't believe helmets or AADs should be mandatory.

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In the last two years I have seen 3 people saved by an AAD and one person die for not having one with my own eyes not to mention the people that have been saved and have died that I just know bout. We are all grown ups here and people can make their own decisions but in my opinion it's dumb to jump without one (for most people). Most the people in the last few years that have died from not having an AAD in their rigs were highly experienced so having a lot of jumps or a ton of time in the sport is no reason not to have one and if you say they cost to much then maybe skydiving is not the sport for you. To risk your life for what comes out to be a few dollars a month investment is just crazy to me. I bet if you could go back in time and talk to everybody that has died in a case were an AAD could have saved them and told them on their next jump they were going to go in from being knocked out or a no pull or whatever. Then gave them a chance to put an AAD in their rigs they would. Truth is we don't know who it's going to happen to or when so why not be better safe then sorry?

Cars would be cheaper without airbags, seat belts, crash tests, roll cages, ect... should cars be built without all that stuff and have it as an option to add on?

I kind of believe most of the ideas of not requiring an AAD comes from older jumpers that are set in their ways. It's a how it has been, how it should be fallacy. Just like anything else that comes along that adds money or time to an event. Like when states started making people have car insurance. There were plenty of people who said "I've never needed it before why should I be forced to have it now" or that it should be there choice. If reserves where not a thing all this time then people started talking about making them mandatory there would be the same outcry.

Again we are all adults and can make our own choices. You not having an ADD, or for that matter a reserve or a helmet, doesn't effect me at all so do what you want. But if somebody dies from a jump where an AAD could have saved them i'm going to look at their death just like if they make the decision to drink and drive and they wound up killing themselves. It was their own choice and i'm not going to feel as bad.

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ChuckMartin

I bet if you could go back in time and talk to everybody that has died in a case were an AAD could have saved them and told them on their next jump they were going to go in from being knocked out or a no pull or whatever. Then gave them a chance to put an AAD in their rigs they would. Truth is we don't know who it's going to happen to or when so why not be better safe then sorry?



Do you not think that all of those people who died from a low turn or hitting someone on a swoop - if you asked them later - if you could go back in time would you make that turn? I'm pretty sure 100% of them would say no.

That's the thing in skydiving - you just don't know. Search on dropzone.com for Booth's law - Bill Booth basically says anytime you make skydiving safer in one area, skydivers find a way to make it more dangerous. Modern AADs came about so freefall started being safer, and everyone started to be an idiot under canopy. Skydivers seem to want to maintain a risk quotient in skydiving - when one area gets safer, they start being dumber than others..


Let me ask you this - who is safer - a 5000 jump skydiver with no AAD who does small-ways under a 1-1 loaded Pilot, or a 5000 jump skydiver with an AAD who does big-ways and jumps a Velocity 90? As a skydiver who's been around a while, I can tell you - the second one is orders of magnitude more likely to die or get injured. Rookies seem to always think its the first one. Their concept of what kills in this sport is really skewed.

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chuckakers

***...when it is in my rig it isn't on much, depends on what I'm doing and who I'm doing it with.



That's what Tom Piras said.

Well, in all fairness, I believe Tom merely forgot to turn it on. At least that's what he told Laidlaw, isn't it. Or do you know more about that incident then me?
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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ChuckMartin

I bet if you could go back in time and talk to everybody that has died in a case were an AAD could have saved them and told them on their next jump they were going to go in from being knocked out or a no pull or whatever. Then gave them a chance to put an AAD in their rigs they would. Truth is we don't know who it's going to happen to or when so why not be better safe then sorry?

Cars would be cheaper without airbags, seat belts, crash tests, roll cages, ect... should cars be built without all that stuff and have it as an option to add on.



So now we're just making shit up, are we?

As for adding seat belts to cars, that or even airbags adds very little relatively to the cost of the car. As Wendy and others have pointed out. There are many people around whose rigs cost the same or even less than an aad. Do you think people would still buy airbags if they added 50% to the price of the car? And many people have multiple rigs.

Let's get some perspective here. Oh, and I didn't ask you to feel bad if I went in.
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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ChuckMartin

In the last two years I have seen 3 people saved by an AAD and one person die for not having one with my own eyes not to mention the people that have been saved and have died that I just know bout.



What kind of scary ass dz do you jump at that had 3 legit AAD save with in two years?

I've been in sport for little over 10 years and I've only seen one legit AAD save.

I've seen multiple death which RSL could've saved person's life.
Agian RSL is far more important than an AAD.

I like one of my buddy's theory, you need one or the other. AAD or RSL. However just having an AAD did not save that Aussie chick's life when she chopped low during big way event at Perris.

Don't spend rest of your life getting stable.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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They were all on AFF jumps. Two at Perris and one at San Marcos, could have been 4 but the AFFI pulled and had a two out instead of a save. One at Perris was a student that dislocated his shoulder at pull time and the AFFI chased him, same story on the 2nd one but instead of a shoulder problem the student was just dumb.

Do you think people would still buy airbags if they added 50% to the price of the car?
They would if they wanted to drive.

Let me ask you this - who is safer - a 5000 jump skydiver with no AAD who does small-ways under a 1-1 loaded Pilot, or a 5000 jump skydiver with an AAD who does big-ways and jumps a Velocity 90? As a skydiver who's been around a while, I can tell you - the second one is orders of magnitude more likely to die or get injured. Rookies seem to always think its the first one. Their concept of what kills in this sport is really skewed.

It's not a question of who is safer it's a question of who is as safe as they can be. Lets add another person. Somebody that jumps a even less loaded canopy same 5000 jumps as the other two but jumps without a reserve.
I just don't think you can look at somebody else and say i'm safer then that person and be okay. It should be more of "I'm being as safe as I can be doing what I have decided to do" The safest skydiver is the one that never skydives. If you never jump out of a plane you won't die skydiving.

The only reason this is even an issue is because it is relativity new. If we didn't have a requirement of having reserves that's what we would be talking about right now. If tomorrow the FAA made ADD's a requirement people would buy one, move one, and in 25 years nobody would be talking about them like this.

But for now they are not so make your own decision.

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I don't use one and other than when I was doing back to back tandem vid's on the dz rigs with them in them I haven't ever used them.

I think overall they are a good thing to have - but having said that I will never own one.

when I was younger I enjoyed freeclimbing - climbing in safe mode never interested me.

This is my life, I will jump free from the nanny state mentality as long as I can - when they become mandatory I will Base exclusively.

Roy
They say I suffer from insanity.... But I actually enjoy it.

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cruelpops

I've seen three (3) 'no pulls' because they people said they knew they had an AAD.



I've heard a couple Military Freefall guys say that below X altitude (generally 2-2.5k) to wait for the cypress. I'm not sure how they got to this conclusion.

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There seems to be a lot of apples and oranges comparisons being made regarding AADs. There also seems to be a bit of an anti AAD crowd, which I really don't understand. Before I get up on my soap box, let me say that I have made almost 4,000 jumps without an AAD and the last almost 1,000 with one. I also own a DZ and do not require an AAD to jump. That being said, please hear my points...

Back in the day, not really so long ago, we were all a bunch of belly flyers. We had floaters, a base and divers. Everyone had eyes on each other. Everyone knew no one had an AAD, so I think we swooped our slots with a little more caution than today's jumpers. Everyone kept the base in sight and watched out for others. We were going fast, but not free fly fast. Yes, some people were killed in collisions. Most notably Tom Piras and Sandy Wambach. One with an AAD not turned on and one without.

Then we had these cool cats Omar and Olav starting this crazy thing called free flying. Soon joined by a bunch of other talented jumpers, a new revolution was born. Freestyle went cool. Free fall speeds went up, way up.

As if that wasn't cool enough, prom dresses started appearing. A LOT! Then we had tracking jumps start being all the rage, because there weren't enough talented jumpers to all free fly in a big way. And now add in Angle Flying. High speed. Some on their backs, some not.

So like it or not, our sport has changed. A LOT. I'm learning to sit and free fly just so I can jump with someone at my own DZ. It's hell being an old Mack Truck in a Ferrari world!

So why do we need an AAD? Well first let's discuss the CONS...
-Adrian Nicolas was a friend of mine. Yes, I know, the can fire in a swoop. However, only about .002 percent of the skydivers in the world can make that happen. And they know better.

-It might cut the reserve loop, but the reserve may not extract in time. Yes, this is a problem and I think of Brooke Baum, who went in with an AAD fire and the reserve didn't extract. I think this is something the gear manufacturers should all test and ensure a reserve will extract properly during an AAD activation. (Yes, I understand pilot chutes get in burbles)
-If the AAD fires, the reserve deploys and you are still knocked out, yes, the landing may still kill you.

So now lets look at the PROS.
-AADs have SAVED way more jumpers than they have not.
-If you are unconscious, you are a "novice" jumper at best.

Why you need one.
You can get wrecked leaving the aircraft. I know Rick Thuess (thousands of jumps) is really happy he had one on as he hit his head on exit and was temporarily paralyzed in free fall. He was saved. Unable to pull for himself.

Ustewaz, who posts here, had his lovely wife saved at my DZ by an AAD. She was knocked out on a tracking dive. The AAD activated and she landed under her reserve, very injured, but alive.

Jordan Janway, young, good looking kid, talented, went in at Skydive San Diego after a tracking dive collision. His AAD was out of his rig for inspection. I miss his smile around my DZ.

We were doing a 16 way fax meet a few years ago at a boogie. The Otter pilot was nervous. Never had a 16 way launch before. I was center, outside giving the count. I looked front, looked rear, looked inside and "ready, set...WHACK!" I was knocked out. The pilot had poured the throttle on and we all exploded off the plane. I regained a few of my senses and was in free fall. My helmet had been broken and Dave Leclerq, who's head I knocked into had a really broken helmet. Shit happens and we were lucky. We all broke off and deployed.

Zak Fogle went in at Lost Prairie. He had some limited use of his limbs, but had an A license. We were getting ready to board the plane and I went up and said hi to him. Asked if he and his jump buddy were ready. Yup, both gave thumbs up. My skydiver spidey sense tingled a bit, but I didn't give him a gear check. I sat next to him on the ride up and gave him a high five as our 10 way climbed out. As an S&TA I was asked to do the investigation. His AAD was off. I learned a valuable lesson that day. I should have given him a gear check.

So you guys get the idea. Yes, I am PRO choice for AADs, but think that everyone in this high speed world we jump in should have one.

Bryan Burke had a great line at the DZO conference...
"We used to just carpet bomb in a straight line, now we have dumb bombs flying off in all different directions."

Thanks for your time, I'll step off of my soap box now.

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chuckakers

***...when it is in my rig it isn't on much, depends on what I'm doing and who I'm doing it with.



That's what Tom Piras said.

Bullshit, Tom Piras never said that. You do your arguement no good by making shit up.
Onward and Upward!

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