ChrisD

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Everything posted by ChrisD

  1. I want to remind everyone that when travelling IMO get Air ambulance insurance, before yo get here! For gripes sake all it takes is a twisted ankle or worse, don't wait to be that unlucky one!! Don't let your vacation or great experience be ruined by the machine down here off the DZ.
  2. What you need to know is that there is no place for addicts in aviation. This "medicalization" of addiction and dismissing the fact that those who use are criminals endangering others, again needs to be mentioned. Your breaking the law. No one in skydiving today sanctions or promotes drug use. Don't fall into the trap of appearing politically correct and inadvertently sanctioning an activity that causes harm to others in the name of education or whatever insane ideas are running thru your heads. You do drugs, you endanger my and my friends safety as well as risking the livelihood of many hard working business owners and employees,...you are not welcome and stay the F away from any DZ, you will find your self in jail. How's that for a lesson on drugs.
  3. ChrisD

    All About Naked Skydiving

    My point, again,... is that once again we have someone promoting an activity and neglecting to mention the safety aspects and increased risk this causes. Seems to be a theme recently. Again not raining on anyone's parade nor do I wish to be a buzz kill but too many get the impression they can engage in an activity much akin to follow the leader. AND again this leads more than a few hapless dunderheads down the road of causality and personal injury. Very similar to swoopoing and "professional" canopy competitions. In case no one has noticed these activities have quadrupled the fatality rate. In fact the USPA has a dearth of statistics caused by many NOT reporting this rapid increase in death by alleged "sanctioned" events. Of course what a boon to those that operate large Dzs'. Which is why the current statistics have been "massaged" as they have AND why surfing and insanely small canopies are promoted in the manner they currently are. You really thought turf surfin comes about and is promoted by the membership? Death and risk taking as well as ignoring the consequences of tweaking the rules doesn't come with out cost. Clothing optional is not with out vastly increased risk,...this needs to be considered.
  4. Good work. I will caution about too many colors and too many "things" going on. You may in fact negate the safety value of your intention by creating too busy and environment. Some of us who have used a number of HUD and wrist type things find them useless in the real world and especially when your stressed to the max. From real world experience, just having a bright light in yo face at pull time is enough, and is all yo need. Under canopy, totally different, and rock on!!!
  5. I'm all for simplicity in free fall. I am not for pinball machines and countless beeping and colors in your face in free fall. Under canopy, knock yourselves out, in fact send me one. In free fall one bright light in your face at pull time and an even more annoying blinding light as yo bust your altitudes at high speed. Other wise by the psych process of habituation yo risk killing someone. Seriously.
  6. Great points IMO one thing deserving of greater weight that didn't get as much words, which is at the crux of this insidious injury maker and killer is the fact of the "Herd Mentality." Too many play follow the leader in sketchy conditions. In fact just about every incident since I have witnessed since 1973 has been by jumpers following the locals and other jumping in conditions under the guise of experience. Just because yo have an senior license,.. well the physics and mother nature don't give a crap. Experience actually makes this incidents attributable statistics greater. That's right folks all those dipshite D license holders boasting their "experience" in High winds and sketchy conditions makes them safer, actually are the ones getting whacked. As well as more than a few egotesticial followers that think themselves better. Combine this mentality with the profit motives of the DZ, ignorance, and the follow the leader mentality of the stupid, and anyone is clear to see that the smart ones are the ones that stay home. Cause this is an issue in a culture of risk taking promoted by the USPA is just another issue that is going to be with us for a long time. So ya continue to promote trying to understand turbulence THAT YO CAN NOT SEE,... when instead of trying to educate about the insidious nature of this killer,...everyone should be promoting caution and NOT jumping in the first place.
  7. If the USPA had any sense of responsibility to it's members instead of practicing liability in their ill informed attempts to protect a minority interest the USPA would , like every other organization on the planet would have mandated training requirements for First Aid years ago. Considering the recent increasing trending spike in serious injuries and increases in fatalities to not do so is insanely irresponsible and blatantly throwing every fun jumper under the bus. The USPA hard at work. More than a few jumpers' have died on the field waiting for help that comes too late.
  8. ChrisD

    Learn to Skydive Online

    "and now the corporate world, sometimes equally sinister" You might want to include the USPA in that sentence as well. Considering the recent trend to include windy tunnels as a substitute for the real thing, your comments about "virtual" training may have more relevance than you are aware of. Of course your promoting learning and being prepared for a class well in advance of that same class. Something that seems to be a rarity these days. Considering the cost of your courses, (some would say a bargain,) but the point remains being prepared is or seems to be an exception these days. Too many in this jumping activity these days just show up and expect to be force fed. Which begs the question does anyone really learn anything these days? As compared with having a fun day or two ? Your point is well taken. I would add that if you don't show up prepared to learn and have failed to do your homework , I have no issue, as well as many others, have no issue whatsoever taking your cash. What concerns me is the attitude this creates. What also concerns me about learning in "virtual" environments is the fact that a wind tunnel is not a moving aircraft at altitude for the first time jumper. Virtual learning has it's place for motivated students, with the understanding that "virtual" learning isn't appropriate in all situations. IMO
  9. ChrisD

    Find a reputable Drop Zone

    While I believe your intent was good, you ignored the fact that newbies don't have a clue. This is a more serious issue than most attribute or fully understand. You have also placed the responsibility of safety and skydiving squarely on the shoulders of the drop zone. There is no such thing as a "Good DZ." Good luck finding one. You can however train young jumpers to do everything they can to recognize bad and shoddy places. You can train jumpers to recognize bad equipment and bad practices. Good luck with the herd mentality of getting them to change their behavior though. Seems the world of jumping is full of monkey see, Monkey do. Sadly a sign of the times, which has led to many fatalities in the past. Something about "personal responsibility being in short supply these days." Many of you all need to understand what that actually means, because your "reputable DZ," is going to throw you under the bus faster than you will ever know.
  10. Nice talk,... Sounds like the briefing one gets when one first shows up at any DZ for the all inclusive pep talk and waiver bull shite. Trouble is it all becomes real when your standing their looking at your dead friend. THEN RISK BECOMES REAL. Risk in skydiving is REAL. Something that all too often is glossed over and quickly rushed through. Just like yo have done. Risk needs to be taken seriously, which would require a major paradigm shift as compared with the attention and publicity our beloved USPA devotes at current. Don't wanna influence the numbers or dissuade the dummies do we?????
  11. ChrisD

    MANDATORY Ripcord / Pin Test

    In case anyone thinks this is dated: 2 recent fatalities: One ripcord issue in GA in 2016 which resulted in a fatality that got no press. One incident in New England in 2014 which resulted in a fatality. AND NOT ONE FUCKING WORD FROM THE USPA SAFETY SECTION OR ANY PUBLICITY ABOUT THESE NEEDLESS DEATHS. NOT ONE FUCKING WORD.
  12. As of 2016 (give or take) The batteries need to be in coach. In other words you can NOT KNOWINGLY put your rigs in baggage or check your rig in. Sorry, but more than a few traveling to SDA have found this out the hard way, as well as a few,... lets just say,... contraband issues involving the AAD issue as well.
  13. PDs' program is still alive and well. Seriously the best program, service and availability going. AND if you haven't flown your reserve, this program could save you some major headaches. I encourage everyone, no matter how inconvenient it may be, to do something for yourself!!! Some of the excuses I have heard are just nuts,...
  14. ChrisD

    How to survive the WFFC

    Let's be real man. Bogies are for D license holders, seriously. No place for hand holding. You don't have the right to endanger others safety by promoting otherwise. Put others interests first for once. Seriously.
  15. "Be nice to the loader"????? How about everyone being required to learn to spot? More off field injuries (FACT) have been caused by the inability to spot than any other single cause going. Promoting trust in others is akin to promoting ignorance and is in fact contributing to the general decline in safety which has become so prevalent lately. Spotting training should be MANDATORY. ANYTHING LESS IS IRRESPONSIBLE!
  16. If you wanted to stress repetition over "more realistic simulation," you might actually be able to increase survivability in these situations. Unfortunately what your doing is trading what we actually know, which is trading Neural Plasticity, aka Muscle Memory for a cognitive process, aka thinking. Thinking in skydiving is not a good thing, during these infrequent events, thankfully, we should be "doing" as compared with thinking. Research and practical experience have shown again and again that those that train more often, survive more often. If your efforts get more people to train more often, then IMO,..that's a good thing. But switching a yearly hanging harness practice for a yearly hang in a more realistic harness is just going to cost more for the more expensive equipment. A word about cognitive processes compared with behaviors that are learned to the point where our brains actually change its hardwiring so to speak, as compared with behaviors that we only read about or practice infrequently. The key is to have the information present when we need it. Learning theory has consistently shown that practiced behaviors like walking, and running, riding a bicycle, etc,...actually change brain real-estate, these behaviors and their associated neural stimulation, millions of inputs for a very short period of time, actually hardwire our responses, like riding a bike there is great truth that returning to riding a bike after a great absence of time, and lo and behold it's actually like riding a bike! That's because those changes to enable the behavior have actually changed the wiring in our brains. Skydiving emergency procedures,...with those same procedures neural wise amounting to no changes in our brains, no practice, no muscle memory,...when we are now faced with an emergency,...we are unable to access the information when it's needed most! We can "recall the information" but we can't use it when it's actually needed. This is the great trap in skydiving safety and thinking. The only thing that really , demonstrably works is repetitious training, boring, repetitious training, did I mention: repetitious training,....it will never be the same as neural plasticity or muscle memory but it will be current, more current than the current state of affairs. Perhaps if we had a more interesting simulation system that would increase this kind of training and , perhaps then it would be more current? But otherwise for the vast majority of experienced skydivers,...the further in time we are from our initial training, the larger the risk for this type of thing we are all trying to prevent. The skydiving incident statistics practically make this a non-debatable issue. Worth repeating, as time increases, as you all get more experienced, your risk to perform poorly increases. We are never as safe as when we are skydiving students. This is because our emergency procedures are current and practiced again and again. For the vast majority of skydivers this is the only time in their lives that they will ever be this current with this kind of learned response. Air skills, flying ability, landing skills, all improve, unfortunately emergency procedures are not created nor retained the same way. Thanks to all who endeavor to raise the safety bar!!! Chris Robert may be reached at: ChrisRD@gmx.com Thanks everyone!!!
  17. Don't let them get to ya, it's a tough crowd, many, many varying personalities make skydiving the joy it is! :) Everyone means well and I appreciate your writing style,...and effort to contribute! Personally there is a bit of ZEN for most to actually grasp this concept. Move your head around too much and you can quickly loose this visual field you speak of. Don't move your head around enough and you can crash into something or somebody. And as always a real caution about doing accuracy with other jumpers in the air, never a good idea, IMO. So thanks again for taking the time to write, kind of a lost art around here... (My message service here still doesn't work.)
  18. ChrisD

    How to Buy New Skydiving Gear

    Great article! My only concern is the fact that most individuals facing this wonderful purchasing decision. And yes this is a great time for many, I can remember spending hours of time thinking about this or that >>>> is the fact that most don't have the experience to make the informed decision. This isn't to put any damper on anyone’s enthusiasm or desires just that it takes a certain number of jumps to really to be able to discriminate the nuances of the various types of gear available! To me this makes a great argument for purchasing new gear and making a conservative purchase. New gear because of the resale value if and when you decide to make changes. And conservative for safety reasons. Just my 2 cents for some commonly overlooked suggestions. (BTW my messaging service here is still broken, so unless they decide to fix it, you can't contact me here.)
  19. My only observation to this otherwise fine and well written piece is that we continue to make an association between experience and wind speed. In other words the more experience someone has the higher the winds they can jump in. The statistics do not support this. The higher the wind speed the more incidents,...period. This is an illusory correlation that experience gives or imparts someone with "Experience" to be able to cope with higher wind speeds. Most likely fueled by ego and hubris of the individual making the argument. If anything experience has to teach is that the higher the winds the more stuff is due to chance,...it's just us silly humans that attribute this to our supposed skill. Once again this is my opinion and has been born about and proven time and time again. Landing incidents are not rare but for the most part really don't happen all that often, except for those postage stamp type canopies, in which case the statistics are very conclusive: That being the more experience you have - the riskier your landings are. (Think about it.) Bottom line: luck not experience, and the fact that skydiving is relatively safe, at least until yo have that same experience.
  20. Your absolutely spot on about being encouraged to do "unsafe" acts in this sport, to some extent anyways. As a skydiving body, or organization we as a group reward risk taking. For many this is a difficult concept to grasp but at it's heart we reward risk taking and make illusory correlations with experience. Such as when we receive our first "License" we now allow jumping in more hazardous conditions. Higher wind speeds, lower activation altitudes, night jumps, etc.. So your spot on when you point this out as a group in a sense we reward increased risk. The lower pull altitude is one example where we clearly increase risk by falsely justifying a non-existent correlation between the license you carry and the time we have available to perform our emergency procedures, if ever necessary. In effect we reward risk taking and in fact have sanctioned it. Especially considering the incident statistics which generally make this a non-debatable issue. Other factors to consider are the fact that as "rating holders" there really isn't any feedback for performance in teaching. Nor is there any standard we can hold our instructors too. Only in skydiving can you get a rating to teach in a week and then as an instructor, really not ever have to worry about maintaining your skills as an instructor again. This is yet another example of group think, the idea that "continuing education" isn't necessary. Whether it's necessary or not really isn't the question , the question really is more about what works or doesn't, without continuing education and or some meaning full standards and review we condemn ourselves to this sad state of affairs forever. And please don't confuse Groupthink as a Psych process with the fact that we as social beings receive much of our information from those around us, such is the power of example. This creates enormous issues with a majority that lets others think for them. You should be proactive and question the do's and don'ts of this activity we call skydiving, you , me, all of us should be making evidenced based decisions and until we have greater standardization, increased continuing education, and feedback loops that actually provide meaning full data to base our decisions on, well,...groupthink will rule for a long time.
  21. ChrisD

    Exit Order Safety

    Again, and again, the best exit order isn't an exit order. It's multiple jump runs for small dz's, and increased separation time for everyone. Other than that thanks for the reminder about Exit Order, and bringing this to everyone's attention. It's nice to read stuff about exit order and not get into the discussion about fuel and finances,...in the same sentence a safety issue. I mean that's usually what this discussion is all about anyways,...trying to dump as many divers into congested airspace, as possible, for money concerns???? C
  22. ChrisD

    Flight Planning for Safety

    As long as we are speaking about "planning and safety" how about making sure our first aid needs are being met, before something happens,.... From another rant: Kudos to anyone who is willing to tackle a much neglected issue that is prevalent at the majority of Drop Zones throughout the world. But what do you do when there isn’t anyone to use this medical kit? First Aid and CPR continue to be hotly debated subjects, when any discussion turns to this subject. Unfortunately common sense and patient advocacy go out the window when the subject of liability and responsibility come up. WHY our safety and health take a back seat to the pencil pushers and naysayers is beyond me. It’s our safety when we are injured. This should be a concern of every jumper, everywhere. Why isn’t it, is the question? Perhaps when faced with our own mortality this is a subject that we would rather not face? Perhaps it’s the widely held belief that someone, some yet un-named person or organization has this issue covered. They have a plan or policy in place that has these issues covered? Well, UNFORTUNATLY the vast majority of Drop Zones do a very poor job of assisting you, if you suffer a casualty. The vast majority of Drop Zones do not have a plan, shy away from training their personnel, and frequently stop trained personnel from ever knowing the severity of an incident, never mind the idea of rendering the most basic and simple first aid. At the best the policy is to pick up the phone and call someone else. If we look at the big world around us; just about every person in a public setting, is required to have a mediocrity of first aid training and CPR training. From every Bus driver, school teacher, lifeguard and public servant this is and has been a job requirement for many years now. What about our organization? How do we set an example? Not very well I’m afraid. We generally leave this to someone else. We have the Safety and Training Advisor. I mean the very word implies that they know something about safety, Right??? WRONG. How about spending a few hours to learn a valuable skill? Unfortunately the very people that we place our misguided trust in are not required to have any credentials or experience in this area whatsoever. That’s not the public perception however. The vast majority of skydivers are running around thinking to themselves that the majority of Drop Zones have the injury issues solved, that they have a plan in place and in the event of an injury they will be promptly and expertly covered. They do not and this should be a major concern of every jumper worldwide. Leadership is sorely lacking. From the top down the subject of first aid is ignored and or passed on to someone else. The USPA has continually shirked their responsibility in this area by allowing Drop Zones to continue to do whatever the local custom is. In other words it’s a free for all out there and frequently this translates into no care whatsoever by anyone. I find this “Ostrich” behavior disturbing. It is unconscionable to me that skydiving has no casualty safety requirements, no first aid training requirement, and no CPR training requirements whatsoever. And it is the epitome of hypocrisy to not require our S&TA’s to at least have the same level of training as required of my children’s kindergarten teachers. A couple of hours of training could save someone’s life, but apparently this is too much to ask of those charged with overseeing our safety. This isn’t an academic discussion. A number of recent incidents has painfully illustrated that the total lack of training and knowledge has deprived many of better medical care, or at least a chance at life. How these people sleep at night is beyond me? As it stands this notion that the DZ protects itself by not requiring trained personnel, liability wise is insane. Looking at this another way is saying the equivalent that you’re not going to receive any first aid, regardless of trained personnel being present or not because our business is more important than a human life! The worst are those Drop Zones that actually interfere with the first responders and actively try to control the “scene” to the fatal detriment of the injured person. Again, this is not an academic discussion; this is how the sad state of affairs currently exists. This is the definition of “gross negligence,” is borderline criminal behavior, and is not protected by any legal waiver. Never mind the fact that this inaction is morally reprehensible. So again Kudos to you for preparing a “Kit” now find the people that know how to use it, and a Drop Zone that will let them.
  23. ChrisD

    What is In a First Aid Kit

    Kudos to anyone who is willing to tackle a much neglected issue that is prevalent at the majority of Drop Zones throughout the world. But what do you do when there isn’t anyone to use this medical kit? First Aid and CPR continue to be hotly debated subjects, when any discussion turns to this subject. Unfortunately common sense and patient advocacy go out the window when the subject of liability and responsibility come up. WHY our safety and health take a back seat to the pencil pushers and naysayers is beyond me. It’s our safety when we are injured. This should be a concern of every jumper, everywhere. Why isn’t it, is the question? Perhaps when faced with our own mortality this is a subject that we would rather not face? Perhaps it’s the widely held belief that someone, some yet un-named person or organization has this issue covered. They have a plan or policy in place that has these issues covered? Well, UNFORTUNATLY the vast majority of Drop Zones do a very poor job of assisting you, if you suffer a casualty. The vast majority of Drop Zones do not have a plan, shy away from training their personnel, and frequently stop trained personnel from ever knowing the severity of an incident, never mind the idea of rendering the most basic and simple first aid. At the best the policy is to pick up the phone and call someone else. If we look at the big world around us; just about every person in a public setting, is required to have a mediocrity of first aid training and CPR training. From every Bus driver, school teacher, lifeguard and public servant this is and has been a job requirement for many years now. What about our organization? How do we set an example? Not very well I’m afraid. We generally leave this to someone else. We have the Safety and Training Advisor. I mean the very word implies that they know something about safety, Right??? WRONG. How about spending a few hours to learn a valuable skill? Unfortunately the very people that we place our misguided trust in are not required to have any credentials or experience in this area whatsoever. That’s not the public perception however. The vast majority of skydivers are running around thinking to themselves that the majority of Drop Zones have the injury issues solved, that they have a plan in place and in the event of an injury they will be promptly and expertly covered. They do not and this should be a major concern of every jumper worldwide. Leadership is sorely lacking. From the top down the subject of first aid is ignored and or passed on to someone else. The USPA has continually shirked their responsibility in this area by allowing Drop Zones to continue to do whatever the local custom is. In other words it’s a free for all out there and frequently this translates into no care whatsoever by anyone. I find this “Ostrich” behavior disturbing. It is unconscionable to me that skydiving has no casualty safety requirements, no first aid training requirement, and no CPR training requirements whatsoever. And it is the epitome of hypocrisy to not require our S&TA’s to at least have the same level of training as required of my children’s kindergarten teachers. A couple of hours of training could save someone’s life, but apparently this is too much to ask of those charged with overseeing our safety. This isn’t an academic discussion. A number of recent incidents has painfully illustrated that the total lack of training and knowledge has deprived many of better medical care, or at least a chance at life. How these people sleep at night is beyond me? As it stands this notion that the DZ protects itself by not requiring trained personnel, liability wise is insane. Looking at this another way is saying the equivalent that you’re not going to receive any first aid, regardless of trained personnel being present or not because our business is more important than a human life! The worst are those Drop Zones that actually interfere with the first responders and actively try to control the “scene” to the fatal detriment of the injured person. Again, this is not an academic discussion; this is how the sad state of affairs currently exists. This is the definition of “gross negligence,” is borderline criminal behavior, and is not protected by any legal waiver. Never mind the fact that this inaction is morally reprehensible. So again Kudos to you for preparing a “Kit” now find the people that know how to use it, and a Drop Zone that will let them.
  24. (Yes Mr. Booth still has the Mink rig, it sits in his front office for all to see. Something every skydiver could do is to take the pilgrimage to UPT, once in their lives, to pay homage to one of the greatest small business in this business.) SAFETY Everyone's concern ? Or is this another subject that the USPA, (THAT'S US FOLKS,) has delegated to someone else? As an organization we turn to the USPA to set an example. BUT how can we give any credence to an organization that doesn't require its S&TA's to posses a minimum of first aid or CPR knowledge or experience. The people who are charged with the responsibility to set an example, make informed recommendations, and provide a mediocrity of knowledge to assist in SAFETY at our member DZ's? Leadership starts at the top. But in our organization safety is a concession to the dangers of this sport that the majority would rather not face. Thus no leadership. Until each and every one of us is willing to take a stand for our own safety this little issue will continue to fester. Until each and every one of us is willing to take some action by actually doing something, this little issue, again, will continue to fester. It is not to much to ask that leadership take a CPR class or learn a little first aid. This is something that EVERY Police Officer, every Fireman, Paramedic, every school teacher, every Bus Driver, every Lifeguard, just about every person in public life is REQUIRED TO know. But and except our own S&TA's??????? Apparently there are never any incidents in skydiving, so this is the reason our approach to safety and first aid isn't necessary????? I find it unconscionable that the position of S&TA isn't required to posses any of this training. This is something that is long overdue and a very poor example of leadership. And the fact that this position starts off with the word safety,...is the epitome of hypocrisy. (Yo know what? This is probably just another stupid idea, so lets just continue to F over injured skydivers and leave the liability issues to others,.....) It'l never happen to me anyways,....
  25. So what's the moral of this story? Because from where I sit, I see that once again many have confused safety, and the fact that skydiving is dangerous,...PERIOD, with how our legal system works. Our legal system is about money, PERIOD. It is not about the morality, or best practices, or who is right or who is wrong, it is about winning. It is a flawed system, but it is the best we have at the moment. Something to consider when jumping. Because if your unfortunate enough to be involved in any lawsuit and you don't have the legal muscle, you are going to loose. Right-ness or wrong-ness don't enter into the picture, your "retainer" frequently determines , after the fact, who was at fault. The fact that the injured party willfully chose to participate is "prima face" evidence that they willfully chose to engage in a behavior where by the very nature they share responsibility for the outcome. This fact was ignored. Instead we, the public "Create" a villain, a bad guy, so that this lawsuit can proceed. It is very sad to see that this good guy V. Villain continues, this is a "social construction," see it for what it is. And I am disgusted with those that continue to perpetuate this way of thinking.