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Eiley

"Freefall to Death"

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Actually, I thought the article was well-written. Except for the headline :S.



True, but most people don't read entire articles unless they have a specific interest. Thus, many people will see that lovely headline and the opening paragraph: Jumping out of planes is a dangerous sport, as borne out by the recent spate of skydiving fatalities in Australia, writes Peter Fries

Which doesn't really reflect the rest of the story (and I'm not really sure that 4 (though unusually high) qualifies as a 'spate').

I liked the way they took pains to separate sport skydiving from tandem skydiving and mentioned that all the Oz fatalities happened to the former. However, all of the colleagues who've popped in to draw my attention to the article today never got that far.

nothing to see here

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It's certainly not bad for a whuffo article - much more accurate than a few articles I've seen in the mainstream.

A bit too much headline sensationalism though, but the headline does play into the death statistics (the statistics seem to be pretty accurate)

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A bit too much headline sensationalism though, but the headline does play into the death statistics (the statistics seem to be pretty accurate)



I'm not really sure I know what these stats mean:

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Risk of death:
Skydiving: one in 1000
Car accident: one in 5000
Riding a pushbike: one in 130,000
Aeroplane crash: 1 in 250,000



Is it deaths per participant in each activity?

nothing to see here

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I'm not really sure I know what these stats mean:


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Risk of death:
Skydiving: one in 1000
Car accident: one in 5000
Riding a pushbike: one in 130,000
Aeroplane crash: 1 in 250,000

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Is it deaths per participant in each activity?



I think these stats are a big pile of crap! Not that they're necessarily inaccurate, just that they don't compare to each other well.

1 in 1000 is a reasonable number for the number of USPA members killed in the sport each year (25-40 fatalities out of 30,000ish members).

1 in 5000 for car accidients would probably be either the number of people killed in accidents or the odds of being killed in a single accident.

1 in 250,000 for an aeroplane crash would have to be the number of people killed in the sum of all plane crashes... sure as hell if you're in a plane crash your odds aren't that good.

But it's all meaningless, since the amount of time spent in each activity is so different. Plus, the airplane crash stat includes all the people that don't fly or fly only rarely, but the skydiving stat assumes you're an active jumper. The car accident applies to most people fairly evenly.

So basically, while these stats are probably true numbers, using them together is not useful. You would have to compare, say...

odds of being killed on one skydive
odds of being killed on one plane ride
odds of being killed on one day's commute to work

Sorry for the rant... I'm an engineer, and I can't help but be irritated by stats sometimes. After all, 87% of statistics are made up on the spot.:P
"Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission."

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1 in 1000 is a reasonable number for the number of USPA members killed in the sport each year (25-40 fatalities out of 30,000ish members).



Okay, but this was listed in a nice prominent box in a nationwide daily newspaper. Target audience: whuffos. It is therefore utterly misleading to tell them that they have a '1 in 1000' chance of being killed in a skydiving accident.

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I think these stats are a big pile of crap!



Agreed.

nothing to see here

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A bit too much headline sensationalism though, but the headline does play into the death statistics (the statistics seem to be pretty accurate)



I'm not really sure I know what these stats mean:

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Risk of death:
Skydiving: one in 1000
Car accident: one in 5000
Riding a pushbike: one in 130,000
Aeroplane crash: 1 in 250,000



Is it deaths per participant in each activity?



I'm pretty sure this is risk of death in a given year. And it's a perfectly valid expression of risk, and easy to measure accurately, without having to guess the number of jumps or miles.

The car rate seems a bit higher than in the US, where I think it's closer to 1 in 6500, depending on what they use as the participant pool (I use all citizens - few don't use the roads in some form).

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on the subject of stats......

.....has any-one ever worked out the statistically most dangerous DZ's to jump at.? and when it was most dangerous? eg Sunday morning or after big parties.

Over the years some DZ's have had what appeared to be little spates (spats?) of fatalities.

From direct experience this could often be put down to a new influx of jumpers/instructors/pace setters that repeated the same old mistakes that they didn't know had already happened. This was often when they didn't/wouldn't /couldn't listen to people that had already learnt the hard lessons.

One trend I've noticed is that at some DZ's they don't get the fatality rate down until a bit of a spate makes everyone more safety conscious.

eg's of this can be painful to friends of the deceased and some people just don't seem to be able to separate their emotions enough to actually learn something from their friends death. Then it may repeat itself until the lesson is learnt.

:)

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I know that before thinking of starting to skydive i looked at a load of statistics on the sport. I understand these to be reasonably accurate

Chance of death skydiving per skydive= 1/100 000 (i don't believe this includes tandems). So if you jump 100 jumps, that is some 1/1000 chance

The chances of being killed in a car journey if you travel 12000 miles per year (a typical person) is 1/5000. If you ride a Motorbike this distance than there is some 1/150 chance that you are gonna die. And in terms of distance travelled, riding a push bike is many many times more dangerous than this still.

All of a sudden, skydiving doesn't appear that dangerous does it.... I find it strange how when i spoke to some friends about wanting to start up skydiving they said how nuts i was, yet i don't think that they would think an obese person to be living dangerously, and they smoke!! Other than thinking a motercyclist is a little risky, they wouldn't think he was 'living on the edge' like there is some steriotype about skydivers.

Statistics can be made to say alot of things, for instance, if one is to take the number of hours spent participating in a given activity, skydiving shoots off the scale, but come on, if you have spent 36 hous in freefall you have been in the sport quite some time, but someone could easily do this in a month driving a car!!

Skydiving isn't safe, but it is not stupid either, i think you just have to weigh up the risks with the rewards, only problem is, wuffos don't know the rewards, otherwise there would be alot more skydivers about methinks :P

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US deaths per 100,000 participants:
Skydiving 30, hang-gliding 40, scuba diving 47, boxing 50,ballooning 67.



At least they put this fact in to make skydiving seem safer than crazy sports like ballooning:S.
BASE 1224, Senior Parachute Rigger, CPL ASEL IA, AGI, IGI
USPA Coach & UPT Tandem Instructor, PRO, Altimaster Field Support Representative

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US deaths per 100,000 participants:
Skydiving 30, hang-gliding 40, scuba diving 47, boxing 50,ballooning 67.



At least they put this fact in to make skydiving seem safer than crazy sports like ballooning:S.



It's important to note that this 'statistic' was provided by the US Hangliding association. IMO, it's very suspect to have scuba behind skydiving and hangliding when it's participant count is so much higher and only 90 deaths per annum Hell, it's not suspect, it's outright false.

---
Trae - there aren't enough incidents to statistically show patterns about dropzones or times. Common sense suggests that load 1 in ther morning after a lot of late night boogie drinking is a wild one, and I've seen that personally. But I also saw quite a few people stick to the ground a few more hours till they felt more normal.

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Chance of death skydiving per skydive= 1/100 000 (i don't believe this includes tandems). So if you jump 100 jumps, that is some 1/1000 chance



That's not what it means. It means that on average, all things being equal, there is a roughly 1 in 100,000 chance of dying in any given jump. That applies to each jump you make.

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well, the math goes like this - you calculate the odds of not dying on 100 jumps, and subtract from 1.

99,999/100,000 ^ 100.

When the odds are so small, simply multiplying by the number gets you a pretty close result. Were the odds instead 1 in 4 - after 4 jumps you'd have a 68% chance of death, not 100%

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I saw this article yesterday and thought that whole article was a pile of crap. The last line especially got me when they quoted the guy saying skydivers would find a way to make it dangerous if it wasnt dangerous already. Way to take a joke and make it sound like fact. >:(
www.TerminalSports.com.auAustralia's largest skydive gear store

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The last line especially got me when they quoted the guy saying skydivers would find a way to make it dangerous if it wasnt dangerous already. Way to take a joke and make it sound like fact. >:(



Bill Booth has made a similar statement. The statement is has a large component of truth.

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Yeah, but it's usually said with a little jest in the tone. That article makes it seem like we get out and fly at each other and see who's lucky enough to survive the jump, just to go back up and do it again.
www.TerminalSports.com.auAustralia's largest skydive gear store

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I don't think that this is that bad of an article from a factual standpoint. The reason behind it was specifically to discuss the recent high number of accidents. The author makes it a point to state numerous statistics, and their sources. While the 1 in 1000 statistic is a little biased, so are all statistics, and the fact that the author provided other information, such as the aproximate number of jumps in the US compaired to fatalities, is good research. 1 in 1000 could be true, if you consider that on a single jump you may have a 1 in 65,000 accident rate, and the average licensed skydiver makes 65 jumps a year. The author sited his source for the statistic, you can look up that source and see how it was derived. The author also does a good job at pointing out that some skydivers are simply higher of a risk than others, he mentions the low equipment fault, and that some skydivers push themselves to be more extreme than others. There are a lot of well researched facts in this article, and sources are apropriatly sited allowing the reader to make an opinion about them. As for the dry humor at the beginning and end of the article, these statements are clearly indicated as opinions or points of view for the sake of making the arcitle interesting. One of them is even a direct quote from a skydiver.

While I would not have written this article the same, and I may not agree with the point of view of the author or the use of humor in certain places, the point is - he got his facts right, and provided multiple views of those facts, and sited sources... Which allows the reader to interpret them as they would desire.

Articles like this don't make me angry, what makes me angry are unresearched blatent lies or opinions presented as fact found in many articles. I don't feel the author deserves all the greif he's getting in here.

-Matt
Matt Christenson

mattchristenson@realskydiving.com
http://www.RealDropzone.com - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.

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just on the whole statistics thing, if you consider that there are (hypothetically) 1 million jumps recorded in a given year, and there are 10 deaths, then the ratio is 1/100,000, if we assume this the be the risk of dying on a skydive then there is no compoundment when more than one skydive is made. each and every skydive is statistically independant of another, there is no reason that if you made 100,000 skydives, that you would die once.

In short EVERY skydive that you make, you have a one in 100,000 chance of dying. What you are alluding to is that everytime you jump you are more or less tempting fate, eventually you will find that 1 out of 100,000. but by making 100 skydives your chances of dying are not somehow 1/1000, cause then someone that made 1000 jumps has a 1/1000 chance of dying, so why arent they dead. unless you meant to say that everytime you take 100 jumps you have a 1/1000 chance of dying.

and if you take the avg. drive time of any trip taken by a citizen (i believe it was 12 min) and the reported statistic of dying if you take a 12 min drive, skydiving is less dangerous than driving...ever.

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