Parachuting Statistics on Accidents
Despite the lack of concrete parachuting statistics, misconceptions still surround both parachuting and skydiving. Many people believe that every year, there are a lot of individuals who die or get injured because of parachuting and they attribute a great number of reasons to these wrong assumptions.
There are only several reasons why parachuting accidents occur including malfunctioning equipment such as a canopy or a reserve canopy that did not open, collisions between jumpers, and difficulties during landing. Malfunctioning equipment is said to have claimed more lives than the other two major causes of accidents. However, operator error is the real culprit for most of the time.
For one, jumpers do not use just one canopy, instead they have a main canopy and second canopy which makes it almost impossible for jumpers to get injured because of malfunctioning equipment. Also, it is usually the problem of lines tangling rather than broken parachutes. On the other hand, difficulty in landing is usually contributed by factors that are often not subject to the control of the jumper.
Usually, accidents due to landing are attributed to poor estimation of how much longer jumpers have to take to perform maneuvers in the air. The third reason is largely due to jumpers deploying their parachutes so closely together.
It is easy for people to believe that novices are involved in more parachuting accidents than experts. But in reality, there are lesser chances that students will get injured or die during jumps. In fact, there are more expert jumpers who die each year in parachuting than students due to the fact that they tend to try higher altitudes which increase the risk of accidents.
According to studies, parachuting is considerably safer when compared with perceived lesser risky sports such as scuba diving or board surfing. In fact the average death due to parachuting is only 30 in every 100,000 jumps while there is a higher rate of 47 deaths in every 1000,000 scuba diving exercises every year. There is a higher rate of death in mountain climbing totaling to 50 deaths in every 100,000 and 67 lives are claimed every year because of hot air ballooning.
Interestingly history proved that parachuting accidents could be deterred even when it seems most impossible. There are so many accounts in the past, particularly in World War I and II, which proved that people jumped and met accidents while airborne and still managed to get through it with minor injuries. And there are those who miraculously survived the feat with only bruises.
In all there are 21 people who died during 2004 due to parachuting, 25 in 2003, 33 jumpers in 2002, and 35 people in 2001. Some of these deaths may have occurred due to jumping without parachutes.
Accidents in extreme sports are inevitable. However, it is surprising that people’s common perception is not always right. A sport may seem to be less risky but actually has higher risks than those sports that are more exciting and exposes people to more hazards.
Parachuting is among those sports that are perceived to excite the nerves because of thrill but actually has a lot lower percentage of injuring or killing people. This is just not another false perception; it is real and is backed by parachuting statistics.