Skydive Delmarva | Connecting Skydivers

How Dangerous Is Skydiving? Accidents And Death Rates FAQ

Although skydiving can be dangerous in exceptional cases, it is far safer than you might think. The United States Parachute Association statistics show that there were 13 skydiving-related deaths in 2018, out of a total of 3.3 million jumps. In other words, it is more dangerous for you to drive to the dropzone than to skydive. 

What are the dangers of skydiving?

Parachute malfunctions are the main risk in skydiving. Parachute malfunctions are the leading cause of parachute openings that don’t go according to plan. There are many known malfunctions.

Another danger is an injury when landing. Tandem students can injure their ankles if they fail to raise their legs for landing.

How likely are you to die from skydiving?

The tandem-related skydiving death rate is 1 in 500,000 jumps. Minor and non-fatal injuries are more common. Out of the 3.3 million skydives that were recorded by USPA members dropzones in 2019, 15 were fatal. This makes the skydiving death ratio 1 in 220.000+. 

What is the most dangerous part of skydiving?

Driving to the dropzone is actually the most dangerous moment of skydiving. Tandem skydiving is the safest type of jump with only 0.003 deaths per thousand jumps in the last 10 years. A tandem skydive is more likely to get struck by lightning or win the lottery than to die during a jump. 

We get asked a lot about safety when skydiving. This is completely understandable. You might want to be aware of the risks when you try something new. However, skydiving is like any other sport which means that it includes a few risks. Dropzones try to minimize those risks in all that they do so that you can feel safe and enjoy your very first jumps.

How safe is skydiving (honestly)?

We have tons of global data from various skydiving practices around the globe to prove that it is safe and legal. The USPA (United States Parachute Association) has statistics on how many people have jumped and how many had problems. 

When it comes to tandem skydiving safety, it is, in essence, “as safe as possible”. Although it sounds like a cliché answer, there are so many safeguards that reduce the risk that skydiving is a very safe practice for most people. 

More than a risky practice, skydiving is a thrilling adrenaline-fueled sport that thousands of people around the globe enjoy every year. Do you want hard facts to prove these statements? Then continue to read. 

How many people die from skydiving?

People can, unfortunately, die when skydiving, but that usually happens when they are performing advanced maneuvers. However, normal skydiving involving new students or advanced skydivers doing ordinary solo jumps causes far fewer problems. Let’s look at the USPA statistics to help us answer this question in greater detail:

In 2015, the USPA recorded 3.5 million skydive jumps, including both first tandem skydivers as well as experienced solo and AFF skydivers. 21 of those skydiving fatalities were recorded. This is a very low risk.

Tandem skydiving, where you are attached to an experienced instructor for your jump, has a higher safety rate with an average of 0.002 deaths per 1,000 jumps over the past 10 years. Statistics show that you are more likely to be stung or struck by lightning than to die.

What are the risks involved when parachuting?

Advanced maneuvers are the most dangerous part of skydiving. If someone has thousands of jumps, it’s more likely that problems will occur. Parachute work is a technique where the skydiver intentionally increases their descent rate by rapidly turning the parachute. This is known as “swooping” and it aims to increase the speed at which the parachute crosses the ground. In some very few cases, this can lead to injury or death for skydivers.

This means that ”normal” or typical skydives who avoid advanced techniques are very safe. It’s very unlikely that anything will go wrong if you are learning to skydive or if you are an experienced jumper performing an ordinary jump.

However, all forms of skydiving have risks, even if they are absolutely minimal. We’ll discuss how to mitigate those in a moment. These are the main risks associated with skydiving:

Parachute malfunctions:

Around one in 1,000 parachute openings don’t go according to plan. There are many known malfunctions. 

Accident when landing:

Tandem students can sustain injury if they fail to raise their legs for landing. 

Injuries in freefall:

When you are jumping with others at high speeds and take a knock accidentally.

How to handle the risks of parachuting?

Skydiving poses the greatest risk due to malfunctioning parachutes. Most dropzones have clear procedures to deal with parachute malfunctions or problems like a broken line. They also have a spare parachute (a reserve), which they deploy when the malfunctioning one is out of action. As a rule of thumb, they are fully prepared for it.

To prevent injuries from landing, tandem students are taught to raise their legs and the staff usually reminds them to do so when landing. Some dropzones teach experienced jumpers a “PLF”, or Parachute Landing Fall, which reduces the impact on your ankles and allows you to roll it off. This type of training for skydiving is military-style. This means that you follow very specific processes, and learn them by repetition.

Fewer skydiving accidents In the future?

In recent years, there have been many improvements to skydiving technology. Everything has been improved to make skydiving safer, from the parachutes used to the AADs used to the audible altitude device.

An AAD (Automatic Activation Device) is used to protect against injuries in freefall. The AAD is a small electronic device monitoring your altitude and descent speed. If you fall at a speed above the parachutes’ recommended height, the AAD automatically deploys your reserve parachute. If you are unable or unwilling to deploy your main parachutes for any reason, the AAD automatically opens them for you.

How likely are you to die from skydiving?

Of the 3.3 million total skydives recorded in 2019 by USPA-member dropzones, 15 resulted in a fatality – making the skydiving death rate 1 in 220,301. When considering the tandem-related skydiving fatality rate, the number is 1 in 500,000 jumps. More common are minor and non-fatal injuries.

What are the main threats of skydiving?

The main skydiving threat is parachute malfunctions. We do not know the odds of a parachute not opening. However, around one in 1,000 parachute openings don’t go to plan, with various known malfunctions.  

Another risk is an injury on landing. If tandem students, for example, fail to lift their legs for landing, they can take the impact through their ankles.

What is the most dangerous part of tandem skydiving?

Tandem skydiving has the strongest safety statistics of any type of jump, with only 0.003 fatalities per thousand jumps over the past 10 years. You’re more likely to win the lottery or be struck by lightning or than to die on a tandem skydive. In fact, the most dangerous part of skydiving is driving to the drop zone.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *