The risks of skydiving give a lot of folks serious pause. And you know what? They should. If you’re conducting your own skydiving risk assessment before you decide to make that jump, you should be commended. After all, this sport is all about a careful evaluation of your decisions and making a metered, mindful approach to scary stuff. You’re already starting off on the right foot, and we’re here to help you move forward with all the requisite information.
What Are The Risks Involved In Skydiving?
The first thing you should know is that there are hard numbers that describe skydiving risks in objective terms, and they tell us that tandem skydiving is actually safer than ever. The USPA (United States Parachute Association), which serves as the governing body for the sport of skydiving here in the USA, has been keeping careful records thereof. They have logged every injury and fatality since well before tandem skydiving was invented, so we know exactly how safe tandem skydiving is.
In 2014, the USPA recorded 24 fatal skydiving accidents in the world. That year, there were 3.2 million jumps made, so that equals a total of 0.0075 fatalities per 1,000 jumps. That statistic shows that skydiving is actually safer than driving to work–and that figure isn’t just for tandem skydiving, which is designed to be super-secure. It encompasses all skydives–including those made by weekend warriors, competitors, hobbyists and stunt people. You won’t be surprised to learn, then, that tandem skydiving–tracked separately–has an even better safety record. There have been 0.003 student fatalities per 1,000 tandem jumps over the past ten years. We’re pretty proud of that.
The common skydiving injuries–sprained ankles, etc.–can be almost entirely avoided by paying attention to your Tandem Instructor’s briefings and listening to her/him when you’re being asked to perform the simple body positions you’re taught pre-flight.
How Has Technology Evolved To Reduce Skydiving Risks?
Since skydiving started in the 1960s and ‘70s, you won’t be surprised to learn that the technology involved in skydiving has evolved by massive leaps and bounds. The resulting changes to the equipment all work together to keep jumpers safer. The most notable of these inventions are the systems surrounding the backup parachute–the “reserve”–which is packed and maintained by an FAA-certified rigger. If the first parachute malfunctions in any way, the backup takes over.
And here’s another little slice for you to nibble: the reserve doesn’t even need to be activated manually. Almost all solo skydivers (and all responsible tandem skydive operations) equip each parachuting system with an automatic activation device (“AAD”). The AAD is a little gadget that opens the reserve in the event that we are unable to open it ourselves for any reason.
How Else Does Skydive Perris Address Skydiving Risks?
When you ask ‘how safe is skydiving’ and you’re talking about tandem skydiving, you can’t just focus on the safety of skydiving equipment. You also have to take into consideration the quality of the tandem instructor who’s operating that equipment.
When you make a tandem skydive in the US and you do so at a USPA approved drop zone, you’ll know that the instructor you jump with had a minimum of three years in the sport and had completed five hundred jumps before s/he was even allowed to take the instructor course. Each potential Tandem Instructor must then complete a series of evaluations and exams before they’re finally awarded their USPA-approved tandem instructor rating.
It goes without saying that Skydive Perris only hires instructors with that hallowed rating, but even beyond that, we require our tandem instructors to have DOUBLE the minimum number of jumps required to obtain the rating and our Tandem Instructors are also exhaustively vetted and selected for their professionalism, calm demeanor and excellent interpersonal skills. At Perris, we take deep pride in our hiring practices and believe that we have assembled a top-notch team. We maintain our aircraft and our equipment with the same passionate dedication to providing a safe, top-level introduction to skydiving for every single student.
For our student skydiving operation, which includes tandems and AFF students (those students who are learning how to skydive on their own) we have an impeccable safety record and have never had a skydiving student fatality at our facility, in over 40 years of operation.
What’s the upshot? You guessed it: After careful evaluation of the risks of skydiving, it becomes crystal-clear that it’s totally worth it to make that jump! Reach out to us today and make your reservation. We’re excited to meet you!
This post was written by Skydive Perris