Over the last year I've barely jumped, and I've been involved in different adventure sports, sea kayaking and paragliding. One thing I've noticed is that the attitude I've picked up from skydiving has served me really well in the activities, and what's more they both have this idea of airmanship/seamanship. I've wanted to put my finger on this for years and it's only recently that I've come up with the word for what a lot of skydivers lack. In the UK, there's generally this idea that if you have a certain licence, then you're performing at a certain level etc, whereas someone's skills, knowledge and approach to the sport can differ wildly from the next. Looking at injuries/fatalities, so many of them could be avoided if there was a greater sense of being part of a bigger picture.
Here are some areas I mean:
Environment (weather, airspace, PLA etc)
Equipment (packing, rigging, wingsuits etc)
Dealing with emergencies (not just mals)
Depth of knowledge
A few others I can't think of right now
Most instructors looking at this will go, 'yeah, I know all that', but what I don't understand is why this has to be just for them, why shouldn't every skydiver have a basic set of skills to get them along? My friend suggested that the system is the way it is because it works, but it clearly isn't, people are still getting seriously injured or killed.
I've sort of rambled and really struggled to make my point but hopefully someone will understand and phrase it a bit better.