MINIMIZING RISKS IN SKYDIVING
How can YOU contribute to a safer skydive?
Safety in skydiving is a loaded question, as with any extreme sport, there are inherent risks. Although millions of successful skydives are conducted each year and the risks are relatively low, they are not zero. On a tandem skydive you are considered a "passenger", however, that does not mean that you do not contribute to the safety of the jump. In this article we will go over your role as passenger and what you can do to ensure a safe landing back on planet earth. Don't worry, this information will be covered again in your training class on the day of your skydive.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
DO YOUR HOMEWORK - Choose an operation that makes safety its number one priority. Make sure the skydiving center you choose is a member of the United States Parachute Association.
SHOW UP READY TO LEARN -Get some good sleep and don’t do anything that might prohibit you from listening to instructions or performing at your best- like consuming drugs or alcohol. Pay attention in class. While your responsibilities are minimal, they are still very important.
PROPER EXIT POSITION - Hold onto your harness when exiting the aircraft. You don’t want your fingers getting caught on the doorframe when exiting. So, keep your hands clear of the door.
PROPER FREEFALL BODY POSITION - Having a good, arched, body position and symmetrical arms and legs will help keep you stable in freefall. Stable body position is key when it comes to parachute deployment. If you are spinning during deployment, your parachute could potentially spin when it opens. Your instructor can compensate for you to a certain extent but you should do your best to contribute to stable freefall with a good body position.
PROPER LANDING POSITION - When it comes to safety in skydiving the most important responsibility you have is to perform the proper landing technique. To avoid injury, you will be asked to lift your legs up for landing. This job is yours alone and your instructor will be unable to assist you. The most common skydiving injury is a sprained or broken ankle due to not lifting legs up for landing.
STAY IN DESIGNATED AREAS - Please stay within the designated customer areas. Do not wander the airport. All aircraft and parachute operations areas are off-limits for your safety and ours.
RESPECT THE EQUIPMENT - Do not make any adjustments to your harness. If you have questions about how something fits or if something feels uncomfortable, ask your instructor to make the adjustment for you. Don’t do anything that could jeopardize the integrity of our life-saving equipment, like smoking in your harness. Be mindful around skydiving equipment, especially when you’re in the airplane. Minimize your movements and keep your hands to yourself to avoid disturbing someone else’s gear.
LISTEN TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR - Look to your instructor for guidance and directions. They will tell you when it’s time to get on the aircraft, help you find a seatbelt, tell you when to put your goggles on, and give you instructions in the event of an emergency, so pay attention.
STAY WITH YOUR INSTRUCTOR - An airport can be a dangerous place. The spinning propellers of an airplane and sport parachutes landing at 30-60 miles per hour are serious hazards. Stay with your instructor so they can help keep you out of harm's way.
HAVE GOOD AWARENESS - Be cognizant of your surroundings, especially after you land. Look out for other parachutes that may be landing. Depending on where you land, you may have to walk across an active runway. Look both ways, as you would when crossing the street. Always stay with your instructor or a staff member.
DO NOT SKYDIVE WHILE INTOXICATED - We will refuse service to anyone who is intoxicated. Safety is our number one priority and we will not tolerate any potential added risks of unruly or unpredictable behavior due to intoxication.
EMPTY YOUR POCKETS - Be sure to leave all your belongings on the ground and empty your pockets. Dropped objects can cause a hazard to people on the ground.
DO NOT JUMP WITH INJURIES OR COMPROMISING MEDICAL CONDITIONS - Discuss injuries and relevant medical conditions with your doctor prior to signing up.
Anyone who participates in a sport as extreme as skydiving should understand there are, of course, risks. As with any other extreme sport or physical activity, you must make every effort to moderate as much risk as possible. To find out more about what our operation and instructors do to mitigate risk, check out “Is Skydiving Safe” and “Regulations in Skydiving”.