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chriswelker

"Accident" vs "Incident" what's the difference

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There was a post in the "Incidents" forum that made the claim that:Accident implies death and incident implies injury.

Let's clear this up.

Accident: 1. a happening that is not expected, foreseen, or intended. 2. an unpleasant and unintended happening, sometimes resulting from negligence, that results in injury, loss, damage, etc.

Incident: 1. likely to happen as a result or concomitant; incidental (to) 2. falling upon, striking, or affecting

Fatality: 5.a death caused by a disaster, as in accident, war, etc.

An example of how this is could be used correctly in a sentence: A skydiver was involved in a accident that resulted in her/his death. Or A skydiver was involved in a non fatal accident that required no medical assistance.

To say that:
'Accident' implies a fatality
'Incident' implies an injury.


is incorrect. There are fatal and non fatal accidents to be more correct.

Have a nice day,
Chris Welker

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the traditional distinction between the two is that accident implies no one was at fault, whereas an incident does not, and most events are more like the second. For people in that frame of mind, there are very few traffic accidents. People should say "I hit a car," not "I got into an accident."

IMO it's semantics that have add little value to the conversation.

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Or . . . we could go by the definitions that the entire rest of the aviation industry uses as published in NTSB 830.2.

Quoting in pertinent part . . .
Quote


Sec. 830.2 Definitions.

As used in this part the following words or phrases are defined as
follows:

Aircraft accident means an occurrence associated with the operation
of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the
aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have
disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or
in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.

Civil aircraft means any aircraft other than a public aircraft.

Fatal injury means any injury which results in death within 30 days
of the accident.

Incident means an occurrence other than an accident, associated with
the operation of an aircraft, which affects or could affect the safety
of operations.

. . .

Serious injury means any injury which: (1) Requires hospitalization
for more than 48 hours, commencing within 7 days from the date of the
injury was received; (2) results in a fracture of any bone (except
simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose); (3) causes severe
hemorrhages, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage; (4) involves any internal
organ; or (5) involves second- or third-degree burns, or any burns
affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface.



So, adapted to skydiving . . .

Accident would mean either a fatality or any of the injuries as delineated in the definition of Serious Injury.

Incident would be anything less than that which would effect the safety of making another jump.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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Come on Sparky -- ya gotta know where I'm going with this.

I still think it was a mistake for the USPA to fight the mandatory reportage of accidents to the FAA. Yes, it would make us "look bad", but fatalities (as defined in NTSB 830.2) are under reported as it is and I have a feeling that most serious injuries aren't reported at all.

We, the members of the USPA, have no real idea what the actual accident rate is in our sport. We have gut feelings, but no real numbers.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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the traditional distinction between the two is that accident implies no one was at fault, whereas an incident does not, and most events are more like the second. For people in that frame of mind, there are very few traffic accidents. People should say "I hit a car," not "I got into an accident."

IMO it's semantics that have add little value to the conversation.



So you really intended to hit a car or what??? Accident hasn't have to mean that someone wasn't at fault it only mean that noone intended the outcome.

Regarding FAA's definition as applied to skydiving: would a cutaway be considered an incident? I think it's a bad idea that USPA doesn't require reporting accidents.

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A cutaway and subsequent successful reserve deployment would not, in and of itself constitute either an accident or incident. It would be an emergency that was handled without incident.

As for what the USPA does and doesn't require with regards to reportage -- that's fine for USPA Group Member drop zones, but doesn't mean anything for the non-member drop zones. Which is why I can safely say we have no real idea of the actual safety stats. ;)
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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I was always under the impression that professional medical attention was the difference between and incident or an accident.
For example, if you screw up a landing and limp away, it is an incident, but if you need a nurse to bandage your scraped knee, then it is an accident.

By the same logic, if you need a rigger to sew a patch on your canopy or a sheet metal worker to rivet a patch on your airplane, then it is an accident.

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Which is why I can safely say we have no real idea of the actual safety stats. ;)



100% sure of that Quade? Have you tried? Has anyone tried?

What about he Static line student that died a few days later at the hospital after an crash landing a few years ago at a USPA GM DZ. NOTHING was ever reported to the USPA.

GM dz's are more likely to "hide" the injuries more than a Non-GM dz, because they actually think they have something to loose. Little do they know, USPA won't drop their membership cause they need the money.

Judy
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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There is a DZ in Cali that the DZM has publiclly admited that they will not be sending in accident reports for fear of the USPA letting them be used in a lawsuit later. So even GM DZ's are not reporting injuries.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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100% sure of that Quade? Have you tried? Has anyone tried?



Exactly my point!

USPA reporting is only as effective as the reports that come in. The USPA reporting isn't complete for Group Member drop zones and I think it's almost 100% safe to say that non-GM reporting is also under reported.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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I think we may see it differently the other side of the pond (surprise surprise) :)
Generally I guess I would consider an accident to mean an injury, and an incident to be something more serious. For example, in workplace safety we have something called "RIDDOR" which is the Reporting of Incidents, Diseases and Dangerous Occurence Regulations. An Incident is something involving a serious injury or a fatality. A Dangerous Occurence (also shown as Accident on many report forms) is something which was not an incident but could easily have been but for circumstances. That might include falling from a ladder and spraining an ankle or being just missed by falling machinery and fortunately being unhurt.

UK DZs have "Incident Procedures" which are implemented in the event of a fatality or serious injury. Then again they also have "Incident Reporting" which includes the above but also includes minor injuries on the ground or in the air, and things like mals/deployment problems (which are still tracked nationally). So even here the use of the term may not be accurate.

Generally I think either "Incident" or "Accident" means that something happened. I don't know that either can be used as an accurate gauge of severity.

Perhaps the best thing to do, particularly on DZ.com where there are people of different nationalities, would be to not get too hung up about these two words, but instead title posts with "Fatality", "Non-Fatal Incident" / "Non-Fatal Accident", "Minor Incident" / "Minor Accident" according to the severity? That way you don't come back on a Monday morning worried at finding five new "incidents" on the incidents forum only to discover they all were near misses / sprained ankles that could have been worse?

Sweep
----
Yay! I'm now a 200 jump wonder.... Still a know-it-all tho..

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Y knot?

Chris Welker
#121707
D-19678
S&TA
AFF-I '04



Personal attacks are frowned upon on this web site. What you perceive to be fact just may not be and anything said here could put you in the middle of something I am sure will ruin you day.
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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