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  1. Oh, no !! I'm so saddened to read this. I moved out of the area, but last saw Linda when she was almost finished w/her chemo. She was doing so remarkably well that I'd thought she would beat the odds. Linda was an outstanding mentor, & great person. She touched so many lives. Shawanga now has a partner to help protect us all. Fly free, Linda
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-oQK8FqRdQ
  3. Explanation of spectra ripcord begins @four mins.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1J_zE3eFdw
  4. Result would be the same without an AAD actually. My guess is your back would be broken prior to having the reserve compressed to AAD size. Years later, I learned that this could also happen. It would take more force to do it, though.
  5. No, I'd learned of one such case of exactly that happening while I was still a student. Lose the profanity.
  6. "Once you get used to having one you feel just a little naked without it." Arrg... No time this morning to find that Robbin Williams clip on Youtube: Say Hello to Mr.Happy!! Where he's dancing around bare-butt, waving at everyone . New jumpers nowadays are indoctrinated to think they have to have one. There's a percentage of us that don't agree. There's a smaller percentage of those who took the time to reply to these threads. I suspect that USPA wouldn't want to add the question to their renewal form, as they wouldn't like the answer. Now, if you'll excuse me. It's time to go wave Mr.Happy .
  7. OK, that's one small DZ. I know of five jumpers at my main DZ who don't have AADs. Granted, it's a large-ish DZ, but there are probably more that I don't know about. I really don't care to ask. It's none of my business whether or not someone has one tucked in their rig. It just seems that some people here think not having an AAD is pure heresy. Lotsa old dawgs have thousands of jumps without them, & are still w/us.
  8. How about a broader informal poll? Everyone who is really curious about the percentage of jumpers not using AADs can simply ask around at their home DZs in the coming weeks. You might be surprised at how many people don't jump w/one. I know I was when I first started jumping without one. I'd thought I might be the only one on the DZ jumping naked. That turned out not being close to true.
  9. Yes, I found that article while looking for the video. In trying to find that video, & reports about the incident, the differences between then & now are stark. Without Internet forums to dissect incidents in order to learn from them, & spur growth, the early '90s seem a world away. It's frustrating that there were so few video flyers back then, & that Youtube & Vimeo didn't yet exist. I'm in no way advocating
  10. As 100% confirmed fact? No. It does sound like it, though. I wasn't able to find the video anywhere on the Net. Piras' incident predates my time in the sport. If anyone has better data, I'm all ears.
  11. This is interesting. I just followed Grimmie's link. I hadn't known that Tom Piras was taken out by an AAD misfire. I'd say that belongs in this thread: http://www.dropzone.com/forum/Skydiving_C1/Safety_and_Training_F2/What_no_pin_check_P169228-3
  12. Again w/the strawman... No one said anything of the kind. No one advocated jumping worn out, or otherwise unsafe equipment.
  13. That's simply not true. Which, not pulling while fully conscious, & blowing through 1,000 feet? Nope. Or, pulling silver when I want my reserve to come out? Yep. How do any of these counter the odds I've cited? Were I lucky enough in life to hit at anything w/1 in 6 million odds, I'd have won substantial monies in the occasional lottery ticket I buy, by now. Honestly, Grimmie. You're far more appealing w/free beer in your hands. Why don't we put this off until the light comes on one night?
  14. Who said anything about not maintaining their gear? Not I. Nor anyone else in this thread.
  15. OK, fair enough. 1) As has already been said, they can misfire. I think the odds of this happening are remote, but it remains a possibility. It could also fire during an aircraft emergency (again). 2) I'm a firm believer in KISS. I only like to add complexity when necessary. It could cause a one in a million unforeseen conflict w/another component. 3) They're hard metal boxes firmly strapped right across one's spine. Poo Happens. If there's a canopy collapse while landing, or a hard free fall collision. That small metal box could snap your spine, transect your spinal cord, & leave you paralyzed. I've already been in a situation where I couldn't re-orient my body prior to impacting the ground. It's not a good feeling. Had I landed on my back, I probably would've been left paralyzed. It was a student jump, w/an AAD. 4) A Cypres2 would run me about $1800, including scheduled maintenance. While easily do-able for me, it's still a fair piece of change. 5) When I look at the Save Lists of the two major players, I'm not sold. Vigil's list has a number of repeat incidents listed. They're double-counting some of their saves. I haven't noticed that on Airtec's list, but it's beside the point. What I have noticed is almost all the saves are of students. Student jumpers making student mistakes. Even a fair number of the experienced jumpers' saves are of the same cloth. For example, one guy was uncurrent from a winter, & sucked it all the way down to activation altitude without realizing the ground was getting kinda close . They also include multiple jumpers who did pull silver, but their units still fired. Those people did save themselves. 6) Surprised to say, but there is also the enjoyment of "Jumping Naked". I've got absolutely nothing against anyone who jumps w/an AAD. Comments about their not being real skydivers were asinine, & not made by me. When I rode motorcycles, I always wore a full-faced helmet, & full body protection. I would've been a nervous wreck not to. But, in the air I feel a purity of knowing I have to pull or die. I'm not a reckless person, but do enjoy this aspect of the sport. Perhaps swoopers feel a different version of this? Dunno. We average a little over three million jumps per year in the US. I'm guessing Europe does the same amount, or even a bit more. Out of six million-ish jumps per year (not counting the rest of the world), the lists show maybe 3-5 legitimate LOC saves. Almost all of those are from higher risk jumps like tracking dives. Last year, I think only one person got taken out from behind by someone swooping into them in free fall (non-tracking dive). The report was unclear as to the circumstances. That's one jump out of six million (plus, Asia & down under) jumps. I think those odds are so remote that it's more likely for me to have one of the other problems I listed above. When an incident like the one that prompted this thread occurs, it gets everyone's attention. That gentleman had more skill & experience than I'll probably ever have. Everyone who knew him has no idea how this could've happened to him. A health emergency? Bird strike? We'll probably never know. Clearly, it was something extraordinary. How often does someone of his caliber go in, though? I can't remember a single instance that wasn't explainable by some factor like a mid-air collision. A lot of injuries in this sport go unreported, but not the deaths. The odds produced by those save lists don't make a compelling case for me to strap an AAD onto my back. I limit the types of jumps I'll do, & keep aware of whom I'm jumping with. I think I'm better off without one. I was taught years ago that everyone has their moment, no matter who they are. That's very true, but I still can't see myself not pulling unless I'm unconscious or seriously incapacitated. I do think the proof is overwhelming in support for AADs being mandatory for student jumpers, though. P.S.: After having listed all of this out, if I am that one in six-ish million who gets knocked out & goes in, next year? I'm gonna come back, & kick the piss out of you, Krisanne .