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Skydiver Dead In Field For Week

Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:42 pm

I am no skydiver, so can't claim any detailed knowledge of procedures. However, it seems weird that you wouldn't check that all jumps are completed safely. This poor guy lay dead for a week before being found.

Is this really the norm? Also, how safe is the sport really? Honest question posed without prejudice.
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RE: Skydiver Dead In Field For Week

Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:00 pm

I personally wouldn't expect skydivers to check-in after each jump. New jumpers renting equipment, sure - but this guy had over 100 jumps so I think it would be excessive to require every jumper to check back in, especially on busy days.

Just like when I go skiing and own my own equipment, I don't have to "badge out" at the end of the day. If I go off the side of the mountain, the ski resort shouldn't have to know to come looking for me.
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RE: Skydiver Dead In Field For Week

Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
However, it seems weird that you wouldn't check that all jumps are completed safely.

My experience is with glider clubs, and there too we don't have a formal system, but the pilots do track each other well. In the dozen or so years I've done it we've never lost anyone and that spans thousands of flights. The good news is we do have radios and batteries in the gliders, the bad news is that batteries do run down and some pilots go flying hundreds of miles away so we don't keep 100% contact with everyone.

In gliders, it's hard to be so much of a loner that you wouldn't have anyone keeping track of you. You just depend too much on others to help rig the glider and get it launched, so a hard-core loner just wouldn't fit in much if at all.

One thing I've noticed in the parachute / para-glider / hang-glider communities is that there certainly is a streak of independence in many of the members, and to a lesser degree, in the glider community too. There probably would be resentment in some quarters about some sort of tracking system, even if that system is well intentioned.
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RE: Skydiver Dead In Field For Week

Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:09 pm

From the article:

"It's very sad that someone could lie dead somewhere for so long without anyone missing him", Ms de Groot said.

Maybe sad, but maybe pretty awesome if freedom and solitude is what the guy preferred.
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RE: Skydiver Dead In Field For Week

Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:15 am


Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):
Maybe sad, but maybe pretty awesome if freedom and solitude is what the guy preferred.

That is a good thought I think although I hope he is at peace wherever he is.

I also only have experiece from a bit of gliding in the UK. Both gliding and parachuting in the UK I think are generally done in clubs. At least in glding there were times where you had no idea where people were or people landed in a field or golf course (not that often!). But someone always said hi when you turned up and bye when you left. I can imagine in bigger clubs it is much easier to lose track or people get lost. Plus with gliding there is a logbook and someone writes your takeoff and landing times so they can charge you!

I was far too scared to try parachuting though so I can't comment. However from what little I learned the fact that this was at a big skydiving club I think it could easily happen. Particularly if there weren't any friends of his with him that day and he just wanted to do a jump.

I think it is sad though that the media is only interested in sports like parachuting and glding and paragliding when people die. There is great spirit in many of these clubs and a lot of cool stuff going on but few people are interested in that side for some reason.

Many thanks!
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RE: Skydiver Dead In Field For Week

Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:52 pm

Well a dead person nobody notices is fairly common nowadays, unfortunately.

As for skydiving, it's very safe. Like in aviation most accidents are caused by human errors, often stupidity/overconfidence, like "how low can I make a hard turn ?" or "how low can I wait before opening the chute ?" and then it was too low.

There are more dangerous sports that get very little attention for it, mountain climbing for example.

In a couple of years in a club I have seen several incidents but nothing serious, strained articulations at most, even when it looked spectacular (like that guy that ended up in a tree, or another on a barbed fence).

I wonder if this could be a suicide.
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