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Each incident–especially if it results in a fatality–is a heartbreak for the skydiving community. Collecting data on incidents is the first step to learn from these events and improve the sport. In part due to what we learn from incident reports, better technology, improvements to equipment, and advancements in skydiver-training programs have made the sport safer than ever before. Studies in industries loosely related to skydiving demonstrate a strong correlation between aspects of training and injury rate1. Consistently even in different contexts, research shows that education saves lives2.

1Laver et al., 2017; Orr et al., 2020; Warne et al., 2020
2 Baytiyeh, 2018; Ellitsgaard, 1987; Haghighi et al., 2020; Hammett, 2019; Narvaez, 2020; Sharma et al., 2013; Taljaard et al., 2017

Submissions are handled confidentially. According to USPA policy, all reports are studied, printed in Parachutist and published online, and then destroyed. USPA keeps only a brief synopsis on record, which does not include the names of any individuals or the locations of the incidents.

USPA gathers data from incidents to drive initiatives and share knowledge with other skydiving industries. USPA compiles this information in aggregate, redacting personally identifying details, and summarizes conclusions annually in the Incident Statistics Report.

For this valuable system to work, USPA needs its members—especially Safety & Training Advisors—to report on incidents, both fatal and non-fatal, from which other jumpers can learn something. Any jumper can submit an Anonymous Incident Report online.

According to SIM Section 5-8, an incident that should be reported includes any event that requires medical attention or raises a safety concern, but other incidents that should be reported include noteworthy malfunctions, unsafe procedures, unusual or ethically unacceptable skydives, or other extraordinary occurrences concerning skydiving operations. Incident reports are warranted for the following, but not limited to: fatalities, injuries requiring medical attention more than local first aid, any injuries of a solo or tandem student, reserve deployments, AAD activations, off-field landing or obstacle landings, eEmergency exits from an aircraft, freefall or canopy collisions, premature deployments in aircraft or freefall, harness or canopy damage during a jump, unplanned dropping of equipment during a jump, and anything filed on an insurance claim.

The online submission form attempts to gather broad information needed to make drawing conclusions effective. However, reports in any format are welcome. Submit an Incident Report here.


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