how safe is skydiving?
The United States Parachute Association estimates that skydivers in the U.S.
perform roughly three million jumps each year. They also estimate that more
than 400,000 people do a first jump every year. Sounds like a lot of people
jumping. However, the truth is less then 1% of the population has ever made
a skydive, and almost anyone can do it. Why is that? Possibly in part, because
regardless of knowledge base, people--especially your mom--intuitively understand
that a 100% systems failure of your equipment is virtually certain to result in
your death. We do not live in a risk free society. Every day we wake up, leave the
house and take risks, whether it's driving your car to work or walking, there is always an
unpredictable risk involved. We try to minimize the risk by doing things smarter,
safer, and defensively. Skydiving is no different, just like weighing the risk
of driving your car, against being involved in an auto accident. We weigh the
risk of enjoyment involved with skydiving against being involved in a skydiving
accident. Most people are willing to take the risk to drive in order to go to work.
Skydivers are willing to jump in order to achieve human flight. How safe is
skydiving? Skydiving is actually one of the safest so-called "extreme" sports.
Let's be honest: It's not bowling. You are after all jumping out of an airplane
reaching speeds in excess of 120 mph, but it's not Russian roulette either.
Each year about 30 people die skydiving in the United States, and that's out
of over 2 million parachute jumps. Given the odds, you're better off skydiving
than letís say driving a car. Every year, over 40,000 people die in traffic
accidents, in excess of 3,000 die in fishing accidents (drowning), more than
800 die while bicycling, and about 80 die standing outside by lightning
(disclaimer: these statistics do not take into account the number of participants).
OK I think you get the idea! With better equipment and training the risks are
reduced even further. We have found with today's technology its not students dying,
itís the experience folks. They push their limits past the expectable range. Poor
judgment calls and mistakes account for in excess of 90% of all skydiving fatalities.
We at Air Capital Drop Zone understand that ongoing training and knowing ones limits
could reduce the risk even further.