Parachute Experiences and How Safe Is It Really??
One of the major concerns of anybody thinking about experiencing the joy and thrill of skydiving is the possibility of crashing to earth resulting in death or serious injury. However, in this post we are going to look at some of the facts and figures that suggest driving in your car is more risky.
Like all action sports; including skiing, canyoning, mountain climbing and white water rafting. To name a few, there is always some element of risk. There can be no absolute guarantees that a person will not be injured or worse.
Facts and figures of a parachute
Furthermore, the United States Parachuting Association (USPA) estimate that out of around 3 million parachute jumps a year, only 21% resulted in fatalities in 2010. This means that on average you are around 24 times more likely to die in a car accident on the way to your skydiving center. Around 8 in a million parachute jumps result in death.
There were 58 fatal skydiving accidents worldwide in 2013 and 38 in 2014 according to statistics from Dropzone.
The average number of skydiving fatalities according to both the USPA and the Parachute British Association (BPA) has been steadily declining year after year since the 1970’s.
Who are most at risk?
Sorry ladies. But according to the BPA the risk of injury for novice female solo jumpers is 2 to 2 and a half times that of the male solo jumper.
This finding was confirmed in a study by Amoroso into army parachutists. The study was based on 10 years of parachute injury information and found that even though women tend to make their jumps under less hazardous conditions they were still at a significantly greater risk of injury.
Injury and fractures to the lower limbs and feet were particularly common. However, this data seems to be reflected in commercial skydiving statistics too. It was concluded that this variation in injury rates according to gender is most likely due to landing techniques or equipment failure.
Overweight people on a parachute
What a good incentive to lose weight ~ book yourself in for a skydiving jump!
The skydiving injury rate does increase in proportion to a person’s weight.
Most skydiving centres have a first sky dive even though this restriction varies, it tends to be around 110 kg. This is due to the fact that skydiving is considered an extreme sport and participants may have to walk long distances, carry around 35lbs of equipment, experience pressure changes and temperature swings and manoeuvre a safe landing.
Moreover, the equipment must be able to withstand the weight of the parachutist and carrying excess extra weight does make landing injuries much more likely. If you are at the upper end of the weight limit it is best to check requirements with your local skydiving center and make sure that you are very physically fit. You may have to pay a surcharge at some centers.
Age and Health in order to parachute
However, a person must be at least 16 years old to make a parachute jump. But if they are under 18 year of age they must have parental written consent.
The risk factors and injury rates increase with a person’s first sky dive according to an analysis of incident statistics. Due to this fact a person should be under 55 years of age in order to make their face solo parachute jump. The age limit is higher for tandem jumps.
All people wishing to skydive should fill out a ‘Declaration of Fitness to Parachute’ Form in accordance with; which type of jump they would like to do.
What sort of parachute jumps carry the most risk
The Tandem Jump: Due to the fact that the skydiver is strapped to the back of an experienced instructor this method of parachute jumping has the lowest risk.
Moreover, the rate of injury according to the BPA is around 1 in 1,000 jumps. (Injury in this context refers to all reported injuries, be it a scratch or a more serious event). The fatality rate is estimated to be around 0.18 per 100,000 jumps. Furthermore, there were no recorded fatalities in the UK between 1994 and 2013.
The Static Line Jump: This is where the beginner parachutist jumps out of the aircraft and the chute is opened automatically and almost immediately by a static line.
Furthermore, the risks are slightly greater using this method of skydiving. According to the Parachute British Association the beginners injury rate is around 6 in 1,000 jumps; which works out at around 1 injury every 170 jumps. The fatality rate is estimated at about 2 to 3 for every 100,000 jumps.
With the accelerated free-fall training program the injury rate is only around 4 in every 1,000 jumps. This works out at about 1 injury every 250 jumps. But the injury rate is slightly higher for women.
As I hope to have shown, particularly for the novice skydiver the risk rate is relatively low considering that you will be jumping out of an aeroplane at around 10,000 feet above ground level; possibly higher, with a large piece of material and some strings attached to you!!
Furthermore, read as much as you can on the different types of parachute jumps for beginners and try and ascertain; which one suits you the best. However, I would recommend that everybody tries a tandem jump to begin with just to get the feel.
Click here to check out the next page about Tandem Thrill… My Very First Skydiving Experience.