Jumping from a plane meters above from land is not a safe sport as everybody may feel. Skydiving poses that same feeling to anyone. Actually, skydiving safety has increased over the years.
Most skydiving incidents and fatalities are attributed not to faulty equipment but failure to follow necessary precautions before jumping, like incorrect folding of the parachute, wrong timing of deploying the parachute and performing or experimenting with maneuvers that are extremely difficult and dangerous
The most common reasons for skydiving deaths and injuries, and that is 92 percent, are mistakes in judgement and procedure. This means that the jumper should be well prepared for the jump and do everything right to the time it takes until he gets to the ground.
Even in the process of signing up practice honesty. State or inform your skydiving instructors of any medical condition you are in. Saying that you have medical condition would not automatically stop you from skydiving, but definitely doctor’s approval would be needed.
Before jumping, knowing and checking you gear is extremely important, however experienced or eager you are to make your first jump. Make sure the helmet, goggles and jumpsuit are all in good condition.
Parachute checks are also done before the jump. Parachutes are not always 100 percent safe, that is why jumpers have a reserve parachute completely independent form the main chute. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that the reserve parachute be inspected and repacked every 120 days (whether it is used or not) by a FAA- certified parachute rigger.
Aside from the reserve parachute that can be used when the main chute is malfunctioning, the AAD is another safety device that skydivers are currently using. AAD stands for automatic activation device. The AAD automatically activate the jumper’s reserve parachute in the even that the jumper is disabled or disoriented or has lost track of the altitude and failed to deploy the main parachute.
The AAD was introduced by a German named Helmut Cloth. It was first called as CYPRESS or Cybernetic Parachute Release System. It used to be a student only device. During a free-fall, the CYPRESS uses computer interpreted barometric metering to constantly assess a skydiver’s altitude and rate of descent. If a skydiver is descending faster that a certain speed, this device will instantly activate the skydiver’s reserve.
Currently, the AAD is available for novice and expert skydivers. It has evolved into a compact, reliable and readily available for an average of $1200.
Other safety items that skydivers carry are visual and audible altimeters. When a person is skydiving, it is difficult to tell how close to the ground you are. Opening a parachute requires you to be at a specific altitude. Altimeters provide the altitude reading and even give out alarms whenever you have reached the altitude for releasing the chute.
Aside from these issues with the equipment questioning how safe skydiving is, there are also several myths about skydiving that make people more afraid of it. An example of a skydiving myth is that divers cannot breathe during free fall which is totally untrue, since consciousness is needed to open the parachute.
Statistics and data can be manipulated to make skydiving safe and very risky. But, generally, safety always depends on the individual. It is the person who makes the preparations before the sport or his judgement will manage the obvious risks.
Nobody would argue that skydiving is a safe thing to do. And statistics can be manipulated to make skydiving look very safe or very dangerous. Generally, safety in skydiving is determined by the individual. Rarely do skydiving accidents result from equipment failure or bad luck.
Skydivers use good preparation and judgment to manage the obvious and inherent risks.