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pchapman

Pranks on jumps - what is acceptable nowadays?

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Croc

This thread has a lot to do with humor, and what differences there are between a prank that is actually funny (assuming it is safe, of course; unsafe activities are never funny) and one that is merely mean. For example, some people might think that closing the door on someone who is hanging on a strut or staying on the step while the victim goes is funny, but I would suggest that people like that have, at best, an unimaginative sense of humor. None of the "pranks" you listed seem in any way original or genuinely humorous to me. Most are like the prank of pulling out a chair from someone who is about to sit down. Dull-witted people will laugh; a person with a more refined sense of humor will simply find it crude and offensive. Declaring that such a person "can't take a joke" is simply bullying, particularly since there was never an actual joke to begin with.



This is a brilliant post. Thank you for so eloquently saying what I could not.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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billvon

>most don't carry the traditions over from the past.

At such drop zones I find it best to make new traditions. "Pass the cameraman increasingly embarrassing items on the step" is a recent one to pop up in our neck of the woods.



I like it! :ph34r:










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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billvon

>most don't carry the traditions over from the past.

At such drop zones I find it best to make new traditions. "Pass the cameraman increasingly embarrassing items on the step" is a recent one to pop up in our neck of the woods.



Now THAT is pretty funny
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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FlyingRhenquest

Packing someone's canopy full of spiders! Then when they open, they get covered... IN SPIDERS! I have some right over here... now where'd those damned things get off to? OMG SPIDERS!



One of my friends said if I was having door fear he'll just bring a jar of spiders on the plane and threaten to unleash them on me if I dont egress. You want me out of a plane... thats the way. There will be no arch on exit, checking spot, or even any form of exit other than me screaming and running out the door.

In my canopy.... oh god I'm going to have nightmares about this now....
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3mpire

Quote

In my canopy.... oh god I'm going to have nightmares about this now....



The canopy is a dumb place for a spider. Inside the audible pocket in your helmet. That's the money spot.



You guys are killing me.
Admittedly I inspect the student helmets for many reasons right now... if i found a spider I would unleash noises not heard often from grown men.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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Well it has been a great thread, a topic not much discussed, with lots for people to think about.

Parachutes are finicky than in the 80s, which changes risks on opening.

And there are serious issues about what the assumption of risk is on any given jump.

If something does go very bad, even when the prank was low risk, the bad thing that happened could be
a) blamed on the prank (because it wasn't in 'the plan'), or
b) could be considered just an accident (because the prank was within some normal boundaries of risk and playing in the sky with your buddies). Indeed, the jump might be of lower risk than some alternative fully-consensual jump, like some freefly or tracking jump with way too many people of too low a skill.

An example of the dilemma is seen in another thread I came across from years back where a participant in this thread told a story of where someone died after a prank. (Since he chose not to bring it up himself here, I won't link to his old post.) A guy was fruit-looped, and had his cutaway handle pulled right out. Fruit-looping isn't that high a risk relative work activity, isn't particularly likely to catch a handle (probably less so than common sit-train exits that are considered acceptable), and cutaway handles get pulled in other ways. Still, it happened, and the jumper (with 1000+ jumps) didn't notice, nor did he catch on what the problem was in time when he pulled. He went in without getting the reserve out.

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Oh... I forgot this one... I was 2nd last diver on a 30ish way sunset formation load about 2 years ago. The last diver behind me was some airspeed member, who shall remain nameless, but who's last name rhymes with thomashughes. He must have tripped on exit because, as soon as we hit the air, he grabbed hold of me in what _could _ be described as a tackle to the untrained eye. But I'm sure someone of his caliber would never do that... :ph34r:
Remster

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Be very careful who you fruitloop.

When I was around 500 jumps, doing skyjumps up in Lodi, we did a 5 or 6 way and at around 5k broke off. I flew up to someone I knew pretty well, had equivalent amount of jumps, although quite a bit older, and fruitlooped him.

To my horror he did not have that inherent "self-righting" instinct/skill down pat as I thought everyone did and the guy flopped around uncontrollably for about 10 seconds, tumbling away while everyone dumped. I thought I eff-ing killed the guy, but on the ground he just sort of laughed it off after I apologized profusely and said something like "yeah I had a hard time getting stable again".

I never fruit-looped anyone ever again.

Sad to say that a couple years later the individual went in on from what I recall was a cutaway-no-pull. It reinforced in my mind that not everyone out there in the sky with you is as, idaknow, "sharp" or "on-it" as we are (or perceive ourselves to be may be more accurate) and that in fact I probably HAD come close to killing the guy with my stunt.

After that "epiphany" I took a general stern view of OTHER people fruit-looping people at break-off.

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What would Vic Mackey do?

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crapflinger2000

Be very careful who you fruitloop.

When I was around 500 jumps, doing skyjumps up in Lodi, we did a 5 or 6 way and at around 5k broke off. I flew up to someone I knew pretty well, had equivalent amount of jumps, although quite a bit older, and fruitlooped him.

To my horror he did not have that inherent "self-righting" instinct/skill down pat as I thought everyone did and the guy flopped around uncontrollably for about 10 seconds, tumbling away while everyone dumped. I thought I eff-ing killed the guy, but on the ground he just sort of laughed it off after I apologized profusely and said something like "yeah I had a hard time getting stable again".

I never fruit-looped anyone ever again.

Sad to say that a couple years later the individual went in on from what I recall was a cutaway-no-pull. It reinforced in my mind that not everyone out there in the sky with you is as, idaknow, "sharp" or "on-it" as we are (or perceive ourselves to be may be more accurate) and that in fact I probably HAD come close to killing the guy with my stunt.

After that "epiphany" I took a general stern view of OTHER people fruit-looping people at break-off.



Havng studied accidents and accident psychology, there are simply peopel who despite being "the best of the best" make mistakes. Some people suddenly lock, have a medical, get disoriented. I've seen SCUBA divers on video pull the regulators out of their mouths, I've seen pilots drive planes right into the ground.

We do need to be prepared for the unknown, but I feel like pranks add another variable to an already dangerous situation and with few exception will say that they belong on the ground.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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Re: fruitloops

A slightly more complex prank, which I don't know the name for, goes like in the image below. In words:
It starts with the pranker dropping knees and dropping down as for a fruitloop, but instead of going into a stand, continues swinging their leg back up until they straddle the other jumper, and then lets go with their hands. Now the pranker is rodeoing the other jumper from below. Keeping his momentum going, and arching back, the pranker can now continue rotating, flipping the other jumper 180 degrees right on their back.

[inline superfruitloop-small.jpg]

That prank involves contact with more than normal grip locations and so is in a higher risk range, but still acceptable for anyone who does sit-trains or rodeos.

It really does give the pranked jumper a good surprise. (While I like it, between the time I first saw it on video, and actually found the perfect situation to do it to someone, was about 15 years. So I'm not out doing this all the time to novice jumpers.)


One more situation to consider with pranks is where the prank is not un-announced, but still not discussed in detail. I've seen a couple cases where coaches did the above prank or a plain fruitloop, to a junior jumper, and the jumper was told to expect some fun stuff later in the dive if learning objectives on the dive are already completed. The pranked jumper may love the prank, but as usual for pranks in this thread, if something goes wrong there would be a lot of finger pointing.

In these coach plus novice situations, the pranks have some learning objective (even if one might argue that the justification is weak). The idea is both to break up the monotony of whatever drills they've been working on, and accustom the novice to an unexpected body position. After all, the novice should be at the stage where recoveries from instability are no problem as long as they have a little spare altitude.

It would of course be safer to fully pre-announce and fully describe the prank, making it a formal part of the jump. That way if the novice screws it up -- like the example earlier in the thread where a guy tumbled for quite a few seconds before regaining stability -- nobody can say the maneuver wasn't briefed.

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DrDom

Maybe as a general rule one should not be pranking amateur divers? Seems like a generally bad idea.


No, they are the best ones to prank! Experienced skydivers know what to look out for. :ph34r:

On the topic of fruitlooping, IMO I think if a licensed jumper can't easily recover from one, they probably should take up bowling. Funneled formations, hot docks, and blown exits are all ways that can unexpectedly throw you in a similar way, and if you don't have the skill to promptly regain your stability, you probably should let whoever signed off on your A license know so that they can revoke it. This is a basic, AFF-level skill and I would expect any licensed jumper to have it.

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