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GLIDEANGLE

Why are incidents in USA not reported to USPA?

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The USPA has acknowledged that the rate of reporting of skydiving incidents in the USA is extremely low:

http://parachutistonline.com/columns/gearing_up/july%202012

Why are skydiving incidents in the USA not reported to the USPA?

While the approach that the USPA is taking is to wag a finger at S&TAs and jumpers, I suspect that the failure is probably due to more than simple laziness.

-Why do you report/not report incidents that you are involved in?

-Why do you think that others report/don't report incidents that they are involved in?

-If you are/were an S&TA, DZM, or DZO why do you report/not report incidents?

Without good incident statistics it is very hard to identify our safety problems and/or evaluate the effectiveness of safety efforts.

It is my opinion that if we had complete reporting of all skydiving incidents in the US, which required evaluation and or treatment by a physician, we would be astonished at the non-fatal injury rate.
The choices we make have consequences, for us & for others!

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its a few every summer at most small dropzones that I've jumped at. A few meaning injuries like spinal compression, ankle fracture, tib/fib fracture, wrist fracture, etc.

I bet most arent publicized because of 'safety records' for the DZ and also embarassment by the people that biffed in that hard.

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Most are not reported because Dzo's don't want bad publicity. They like to be able to tell student's and tandems that they have no serious injuries or deaths.

If the real number of injuries was presented to new jumpers more people would decide this isn't for them. Dying is easy, living with the injuries from an accident can be much worse!

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In this day and age, it's hard to keep anything that involves a death or life flight out of the media, and with nearly-instant online access to media worldwide, reports usually make their way public regardless of whether someone at the DZ is doing the reporting. Any DZ would be stupid to claim a perfect safety safety record if the newspaper report of their recent fatality can be found through a quick google search. (I'm sure there are still DZs that do that, but it's not too hard to disprove when searching the media reports is as easy as it is these days).

But that wasn't the question you asked, so I'll try to actually address your specific question. I'd venture to guess that at least a few DZs don't trust USPA with the information. One reason cited in this thread.
"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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In the past the USPA has given data to lawyers who were suing a DZO. They claim they will not, but it has happened. I don't recall the details, but I am sure a search on here will provide the details if you care to look.

In addition, the USPA has done jack shit about accidents in the past... So why provide them with details when they are going to do fuck all with it but maybe give it to someone to use against you?
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Why are skydiving incidents in the USA not reported to the USPA?



What's absolutely amazing to me is why it isn't required to report incidents and accidents as defined by the FAA, to the FAA. The USPA terminology is completely out of sync with the rest of the aviation industry. The FAA tried to change this several years ago, but the USPA talked them out of it.

I realize it might have been a paperwork burden on some DZs, but isn't that kinda the point? If you're having accidents that often, folks kind of ought to be able to know about it.

Here, read this and see if the definitions and criteria used at most DZs line up with this. Pay particular attention to the terminology used for fatal injury and serious injury.

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/forms/6120_1web_nopwx.pdf

Contrast and compare with,
http://www.uspa.org/Portals/0/Downloads/Form_Accident_Report_2007_05.pdf
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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Most are not reported because Dzo's don't want bad publicity. They like to be able to tell student's and tandems that they have no serious injuries or deaths.

If the real number of injuries was presented to new jumpers more people would decide this isn't for them. Dying is easy, living with the injuries from an accident can be much worse!



Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. It is all about the money. That is what it boils down to with most things, isn't it? Embarrassment may have a little to do with it but it is really about the bottom line. :)


"Don't! Get! Eliminated!"

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So why provide them with details when they are going to do fuck all with it but maybe give it to someone to use against you?




Never truer words were spoken/posted....

F.U. G. B.



F.U.G.B. ??????

Sparky



Only thing I was able to come up with was Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain. For some reason I don't think it applies in this situation.

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My guess is that a large part of the lack of reporting is due to the general US skydiving populations anti authority/rules attitude. The general attitude comes across somewhere between anarchist and spoilt child.

I was recently surprised to have full life insurance granted with no penalty for skydiving, while the same insurer put exclusions on skydiving for disability and income protection insurance.

Proper reporting definitely has value, it's a pity we don't have better data available.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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Why are skydiving incidents in the USA not reported to the USPA?



Multiple reasons. Partly because DZs, S&TAs, members, etc. all know that there will be absolutely zero consequences for failing to report. Even if it were made a "requirement" there would be no actual consequences for non-compliance. Just look at the frequency with which DZs violate the BSRs and countless other "rules." With no consequences.

Why are there no consequences? Because it's not in the USPA's interests to dole out punishments. The USPA is NOT a governing body! They go to great lengths to point out that they have zero regulatory, governing, or enforcement authority. They're entire purpose is two-fold: 1) as a political lobbyist to oppose and reduce government oversight/regulation; and 2) as an advertising entity to promote the image of the sport thereby making money. The absolute maximum punishment they can possibly dish out to violators is revocation of USPA membership. They cannot levy fines, shut DZs down, suspend business or anything else. USPA licensing/membership is not required for a DZ to operate in the US. Revocation of membership will have little, if any, negative impact upon a DZ or individual. But it will mean less revenue for the USPA, risks having individuals/group members leave out of anger over perceived "unfair" enforcement of rules, reduces numbers which in turn impacts their lobbying leverage.

Strict reporting requirements also runs the risk of providing information that can be used in lawsuits. It also creates records that can be used by government and/or supporters of regulation. Those records would reveal a more accurate reflection of the number of injuries and fatalities that occur in the sport. Under the current way to doing things, the USPA is free to use whatever "estimates" they want with regard to number of jumps, number of serious injuries, number of fatalities, etc. in order to show how "safe" the sport is.

So, in a nutshell, even if the USPA had some kind of viable enforcement power (which they don't), enforcement of reporting requirements would hurt the USPA because it would result in reduced membership and provide fodder for lawsuits and suggested regulations against the sport, not to mention reduced public interest resulting from injury statistics. It's easier and better for them to simply ignore it.

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Why are skydiving incidents in the USA not reported to the USPA?



Multiple reasons. Partly because DZs, S&TAs, members, etc. all know that there will be absolutely zero consequences for failing to report. Even if it were made a "requirement" there would be no actual consequences for non-compliance. Just look at the frequency with which DZs violate the BSRs and countless other "rules." With no consequences.

Why are there no consequences? Because it's not in the USPA's interests to dole out punishments. The USPA is NOT a governing body! They go to great lengths to point out that they have zero regulatory, governing, or enforcement authority. They're entire purpose is two-fold: 1) as a political lobbyist to oppose and reduce government oversight/regulation; and 2) as an advertising entity to promote the image of the sport thereby making money. The absolute maximum punishment they can possibly dish out to violators is revocation of USPA membership. They cannot levy fines, shut DZs down, suspend business or anything else. USPA licensing/membership is not required for a DZ to operate in the US. Revocation of membership will have little, if any, negative impact upon a DZ or individual. But it will mean less revenue for the USPA, risks having individuals/group members leave out of anger over perceived "unfair" enforcement of rules, reduces numbers which in turn impacts their lobbying leverage.

Strict reporting requirements also runs the risk of providing information that can be used in lawsuits. It also creates records that can be used by government and/or supporters of regulation. Those records would reveal a more accurate reflection of the number of injuries and fatalities that occur in the sport. Under the current way to doing things, the USPA is free to use whatever "estimates" they want with regard to number of jumps, number of serious injuries, number of fatalities, etc. in order to show how "safe" the sport is.

So, in a nutshell, even if the USPA had some kind of viable enforcement power (which they don't), enforcement of reporting requirements would hurt the USPA because it would result in reduced membership and provide fodder for lawsuits and suggested regulations against the sport, not to mention reduced public interest resulting from injury statistics. It's easier and better for them to simply ignore it.



Actually their purpose is 3-fold. What started out an organization of individuals was changed by the BOD to include “Group Members” better known as DZO’s. Check how many Directors are either DZO’s or a proxy for a DZO. You have a group selling the service dictating rules to the people buying the service. What’s wrong with that picture?

Sparky


"The United States Parachute Association (USPA) is a voluntary membership organization of individuals who enjoy and support the sport of skydiving. The association is incorporated in New York and follows the constitution and by-laws contained in the USPA Governance Manual. The purpose of USPA is three-fold: to promote safe skydiving through training, licensing, and instructor qualification programs; to ensure skydiving’s rightful place on airports and in the airspace system, and to promote competition and record-setting programs."

http://www.uspa.org/Portals/0/Downloads/GM_USPAAircraftManual.pdf

http://www.uspa.org/GroupMembers/GroupMemberProgram/tabid/72/Default.aspx
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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:)
Please let us know what the FAA did with the Tandem Fatalities in the past few years ? falling out of harness passengers, the lady who almost fell out of harness in north CA ? did they took any action ? NC, NV fatalities & others.

I'm touching tandem because it is the "Public Safety" & it is a commercial activity.

They might took action but I never saw any report on that.

Please advise.

Thanks.

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Hey, your guess is as good as mine. The point I was making is the FAA wanted to get deeper into accident reporting and the USPA was able to lobby that effort away.

The USPA isn't just indifferent to reporting as some people may be suggesting, but are actively against it as demonstrated during the FAA comment period on that proposal.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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]If the real number of injuries was presented to new jumpers more people would decide this isn't for them. Dying is easy, living with the injuries from an accident can be much worse!



That's incorrect. Australia has a mandatory incident reporting scheme. It isn't perfect, but it's miles ahead of the US system.

Incidents don't appear to deter new jumpers.

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:)
Please let us know what the FAA did with the Tandem Fatalities in the past few years ? falling out of harness passengers, the lady who almost fell out of harness in north CA ? did they took any action ? NC, NV fatalities & others.

I'm touching tandem because it is the "Public Safety" & it is a commercial activity.

They might took action but I never saw any report on that.

Please advise.

Thanks.



The FAA can investigate, but that's the extent of their authority or ability to do anything. If it turns out the rigger did something wrong, the FAA can revoke the rigger's certification, at most. Similarly, they have power over the pilot. But they can not take action against the DZ (except if there are problems with the aircraft). Even if the FAA investigation uncovers criminal negligence, the most they can do is refer the case to the local DA's office for further action.

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So why provide them with details when they are going to do fuck all with it but maybe give it to someone to use against you?




Never truer words were spoken/posted....

F.U. G. B.



F.U.G.B. ??????

Sparky



Hi Sparky

GB:)

I'm old and forget,but still smart enough to not point the fingerr at the wrong person.If someone finds a match a ggogle search might fill in the blanks according to the net,

IMO The USPA incident reporting form is missing some critical info. People maimed with $6 to 7 figure hospital bills.

One DZ had a person that spent 6-9 month's in the hospital, serious TBI might walk with a cane forever..

Another injury a month or two later resulted in a Quadro, but who knows he may recover some of the use of his limbs.

On a more positive note I have to give credit to the DZ/s involved because they had some first responders and equipment avail that probably saved lives.

Both of these peeps had "adequate" health insurance and had a stong friend & familly support system.

Time to take a nap:|

R

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There is nothing in it for the DZ/DZO/S&TA/person to report something. Why would you?



oh i dont know maybe something to do with getting out the info to see if there are trends developing that need addressing.

You were a talking head on one of the "no shit there I was" TV shows talking about a tandem drogue bridle wrapped around a TI. It screened on TV here yesterday (looked like old footage though). Why did YOU report on it? Just for the TV face time??
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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I got paid...

I understand the need for trends and data, I am just saying that the average person has nothing in it for them to go through the effort of collecting that info and writing reports.

Now if you got PAID to do that, there might be some incentive. Or if you got a beer for doing that, or sex, or a new car or some other reward. The 'reward' of data is simply not enough for most people.

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I got paid...

I understand the need for trends and data, I am just saying that the average person has nothing in it for them to go through the effort of collecting that info and writing reports.

Now if you got PAID to do that, there might be some incentive. Or if you got a beer for doing that, or sex, or a new car or some other reward. The 'reward' of data is simply not enough for most people.



That's more a sad indictment on the apathetic nature of those persons holding the ranks responsible for the submission of the reports.
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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Investigating accidents and submitting reports are part of the duties of the S&TA. I understand that it is a volunteer position but if you don't want to do the requirements of the job, don't accept the appointment.

I understand why DZ owners may not want reports sent in because of past problems w/ confidentiality. That is a separate (and very valid) issue.
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

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