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  #41  
Old 31 January 2014, 01:02 AM
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I suppose it depends on your definition of "unusual". People do do it but it's not the norm.
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  #42  
Old 31 January 2014, 01:10 AM
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I think it's likely more than a small minority. Not that I'm arguing for safety stats either way: I just think you're underestimating how hooked people get.
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  #43  
Old 31 January 2014, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Firejumpers jump out of necessity, in a job they chose.
That's the one I couldn't think of the name...

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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
Once again, it's a matter of confirmation bias. All of the people you know are sky divers are braggarts about it, but what about the people who sky dive who aren't braggarts. You probably don't know that they sky dive because they aren't bringing it up. So you only count the ones you know about, and you (wrongly) assume their behavior accounts for 100% of skydivers.
I never said that I know any "bragging" skydivers first-hand - but I know they exist through those who do it as their personal hobby, or those who fly as a hobby. My friend with the esoteric (but less dangerous) hobbies was like that too - he was very up-front about this stuff - it was his "thing" to not be mainstream - and made sure that nobody would assume that he was.

Majority or minority, the thing is that the braggarts do exist, and their behavior isn't entirely unlike people who run or have very athletic hobbies and use it as a soapbox for fat shaming. Remember the fit mom with 3 kids and the "what's your excuse" picture? These people do exist, and I'm not saying that everyone with a "13.1" or "26.2" bumper sticker is like that, but you will find those who think anyone who hasn't run a marathon is less of a person than those who have. Some sports and activities aren't for everyone, and I'd say that skydiving and potentially dangerous sports have especially good reasons. One should not try to bend the truth to indicate that they aren't without risk.

I find the "braggart hobby" aspect to be relevant to this discussion - in the OP, the subject drove 3 hours to circumvent local rules. If they merely had a quiet interest in the hobby, why didn't they just wait until they were old enough? Too pedestrian? Too common? Too dull to not be the first of your friends to jump out of an airplane?

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Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
I'm pretty sure military personnel like Marines, and such may also be required sometimes to jump out of planes.
SAR personnel may even be required to jump out of a helicopter, with no 'chute, into freezing water, to rescue someone.
I guess they chose that job so they could get the bragging rights.
That's not at all what I meant. In pointing out that plenty of people choose dangerous jobs because of the additional monetary reward, I was trying to say that we don't give them full credit because they do it for a "selfish" reason. Miners and firefighters, both have dangerous but often lucrative jobs - but firefighters get more credit because their job also saves people.

In any case, I do not think that the people who work dangerous jobs, do so for thrills or bragging rights. They are good at them, and often they choose the job because of its service aspect. Firefighters run into burning buildings, when the rest of us run away - that takes a certain kind of character, and I'm very happy to live in a world with people like that. They deserve credit for what they do, and I think that most of them do their jobs without consideration for recognition.

And that's entirely different from those who choose dangerous hobbies to pad their "social resume". There's a continuum of maturity in attitudes here - young children want to be firefighters so they can ride the fire truck and sound the siren; teenage boys want to be firefighters because "chicks dig firefighters"; but adults chose to become firefighters because someone has to step up and be brave enough to save lives - and it might as well be them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
For one thing, and this goes for driving as well, there is the danger to a young person participating versus danger to other people nearby....(snip)
Furthermore, your stats don't take out accidents that are very unlikely to happen to novice or non-specialist jumpers....(snip)
Finally, your stats are way jacked up for a "minimum jumps" that no novice would ever even be able to get close...(snip)
Once again, ganzfeld, people see that producing any kind of facts or statistics, isn't going to be good enough for you. Why do we even bother?

Anyway...I should also give credit here to Troberg - who said a lot of things very well. The margins for error in skydiving, are very thin, and I have to say that unlike a lot of sports and pastimes, that margin for error relies upon things which are small and not necessarily within the skydiver's sphere of control. Skill and experience only get you so far if your parachute doesn't open, and it can fail for a number of reasons that are not obvious to the person packing it. Materials fail and cannot be reviewed with perfect scrutiny, and errors in judgement can be made in packing.

What is this like? Well, if a gymnast slips or falls, it is usually because of their own actions. Skydiving, like auto racing, requires an awful lot of things to go right, all of which are done by different people, with varying skill and attention. The trophy isn't just going to the driver - it takes a whole team to act in near perfection, for that to happen. Think of how many races are lost through no fault of the driver - a long pit-stop, or a mechanical failure. The consequences of these failures - that thin margin - is enough to keep me away from that hobby, which really does kill more people than it should.

Speaking now of statistics, are there any publicly available statistics on military (peacetime and training) parachute injury/death rates? That would give an idea on how dangerous this is under both large numbers and high levels of control. A volunteer military is not likely to put its well-trained recruits (in whom they have invested time and training) at undue risk for training, so I imagine that everything is done strictly by the book, no shortcuts, triple-checked, and so on. It would be valuable to the discussion.
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  #44  
Old 31 January 2014, 05:16 AM
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I have a problem with the stats but I don't have any problem with your stats; You haven't given any. You're just saying lots and lots of your opinion about why people skydive and a bunch of wholly unrelated stuff. Could you sum up your point in one sentence or do you just want to rant about things that bother you personally? I don't see what you think about people's motives as particularly relevant. Scratch that. I don't see how it's at all relevant.

I have no problem with ranting but if you have any point on the topic at hand I'd prefer you just write that in a few sentences and then say "what follows is unrelated ranting" so I can skip that part.
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  #45  
Old 31 January 2014, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
I find the "braggart hobby" aspect to be relevant to this discussion - in the OP, the subject drove 3 hours to circumvent local rules. If they merely had a quiet interest in the hobby, why didn't they just wait until they were old enough? Too pedestrian? Too common? Too dull to not be the first of your friends to jump out of an airplane?
You should have a parachute before you make leaps that big.
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  #46  
Old 31 January 2014, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Could you sum up your point in one sentence or do you just want to rant about things that bother you personally? I don't see what you think about people's motives as particularly relevant. Scratch that. I don't see how it's at all relevant.
Some hobbies and activities, like skydiving, have thin margins for error (especially for newbies and occasional practitioners), and the consequences of those errors are overwhelmingly, very serious. Just because they are practiced rarely, and for the most part, safely, does not mean that those activities have any less serious consequences, when things go wrong. (OK, two sentences. You used 4 in the paragraph above.)

Quote:
I have no problem with ranting but if you have any point on the topic at hand I'd prefer you just write that in a few sentences and then say "what follows is unrelated ranting" so I can skip that part.
People provided you with plenty of statistics on how people didn't enjoy working on holidays, or how little they were paid, and you dismissed it without even a "meh". There's no statisfying you, ganzfeld. Period.
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  #47  
Old 31 January 2014, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
S. My father was a pilot and flew quite a lot with skydivers (both fix wign and helicopter), and he said that they were a crazy bunch. When you do skydiving, you remove the door from the aircraft, and usually the seats as well. It was not uncommon for them to sit on the floor, unbelted, and lean out the door opening all the way from take-off to jump.
About 20 years back I flew a Cessna 182 which had been modified for a jump door. The left door, for the pilot, was the normal Cessna door, but the right door was modified so that it hinged at the top vice the normal front side.

We closed the door for takeoff and opened it when we had reached jump altitude. The door would latch on a hook mechanism on the underside of the wing. After all the jumpers had left the aircraft, I pulled a release which unlatched the door and then I'd slip the aircraft so the door would close.

Current FAA policy in the US is that all sport jumpers have seat belts, but they could all be sitting on the floor of the aircraft.
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  #48  
Old 31 January 2014, 10:53 PM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
Some hobbies and activities, like skydiving, have thin margins for error (especially for newbies and occasional practitioners), and the consequences of those errors are overwhelmingly, very serious. Just because they are practiced rarely, and for the most part, safely, does not mean that those activities have any less serious consequences, when things go wrong. (OK, two sentences. You used 4 in the paragraph above.)
That's it? Thank you. I don't have any problem with that. It doesn't tell us anything about whether people under 18 should be allowed to do such sports but, yes, it's true. Skydiving isn't the only sport like that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
People provided you with plenty of statistics on how people didn't enjoy working on holidays, or how little they were paid, and you dismissed it without even a "meh".
That has nothing to do with skydiving but, no, no one provided any statistics on those things in that thread. It's still up so you're welcome to go read it and find all those statistics you're talking about and post it there. I'd love to read that.
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  #49  
Old 31 January 2014, 11:25 PM
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Risk factors for military parachuters have been identified in this study.

Curiously, one of the risk factors seems to be female gender.

ETA: This article has statistics on British military parachuting accidents.

ETA2: This one lists the rate of injury for both military and recreational parachuting at 6 per 1000 falls.
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  #50  
Old 01 February 2014, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
That's it? Thank you. I don't have any problem with that. It doesn't tell us anything about whether people under 18 should be allowed to do such sports but, yes, it's true. Skydiving isn't the only sport like that.
You spent a lot of effort extolling your belief in how safe skydiving was. The numbers don't necessarily support your comparisons between skydiving and driving. It has nothing to do with age - just the false notion that an activity is "safe" because it has a low accident rate, never mind the severity of those accidents. The critical element here would be to look at accident rates for novice jumpers of any age - the military might have the best records of that because they face so many "novice" jumpers.
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  #51  
Old 01 February 2014, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Risk factors for military parachuters have been identified in this study.

Curiously, one of the risk factors seems to be female gender.
Possibly due to body structure and the effects of parachute opening and landing on a more lightly built frame (which is to say that a lightly built male such as myself may experience similar issues). People seem to be mistakenly fixating on the chute not opening as the primary source of injury when I suspect that is not the case. Failed chutes may (may) be the primarily source of fatalities, but the force of the chute opening and the landing have the potential to be violent actions that could lead to injuries of varying severity, or so I would imagine.
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  #52  
Old 02 February 2014, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
You spent a lot of effort extolling your belief in how safe skydiving was. The numbers don't necessarily support your comparisons between skydiving and driving.
True, I was wrong about that. Regardless of what I think are somewhat exaggerated stats, it's a lot more dangerous overall than I thought.
Quote:
The critical element here would be to look at accident rates for novice jumpers of any age - the military might have the best records of that because they face so many "novice" jumpers.
I think the problem with the military stats is they give stats for a completely different kind of chute, jump, etc. The typical elements of a problem are less likely to occur (such as mistakes in the packing or equipment failure) but injuries of a different type are more likely to occur. The overall rate of injury is about the same but the injuries are much more likely to occur in the feet and legs from the fact that a military chute lands much harder by design. That said, it's an interesting comparison.
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  #53  
Old 02 February 2014, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
True, I was wrong about that. Regardless of what I think are somewhat exaggerated stats, it's a lot more dangerous overall than I thought. I think the problem with the military stats is they give stats for a completely different kind of chute, jump, etc. The typical elements of a problem are less likely to occur (such as mistakes in the packing or equipment failure) but injuries of a different type are more likely to occur. The overall rate of injury is about the same but the injuries are much more likely to occur in the feet and legs from the fact that a military chute lands much harder by design. That said, it's an interesting comparison.
The military (and the USFS/BLM Smokejumpers) also undergo a much more rigorous training regime prior to their first jump. Plus they jump with heavier kit then recreational jumpers (not including the Black Knights and other military PR jump units).


http://www.oklahomaskydiving.com/training.html
This place offers the chance to make a first solo jump the same day as training starts.
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