United States Parachute Association > Experienced Skydivers > SIM > Section 5-8

5-8 Incident Reports

A. Incidents

  1. USPA rating holders and S&TAs, the leaders in the field, are the key to having skydivers file incident reports. Reporting these incidents can help USPA track current trends in the field and give direction to USPA staff and board members for addressing equipment issues and training methods and for establishing safety procedures.
  2. An incident that requires reporting 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.
  3. Incident reports are warranted for the following (but NOT limited to):
    1. Fatalities
    2. Injuries requiring medical attention (anything more than local first aid)
    3. Any injuries of a student (including tandem students)
    4. Reserve deployments (intentional or unintentional)
    5. AAD activations
    6. Off-field landing or obstacle landings (buildings and other objects, water, power lines, trees)
    7. Emergency exits from an aircraft
    8. Freefall or canopy collisions
    9. Premature deployments in aircraft or freefall
    10. Harness or canopy damaged during jump
    11. The unplanned dropping of equipment during jump
    12. Anything filed on an insurance claim

    B. Investigation and Reporting of Incidents

    1. Fatalities and other significant incidents are an unfortunate part of skydiving that must be addressed. Skydivers learn essential lessons from the mistakes of others. USPA members should take it upon themselves to fill out an incident report when it meets any of the conditions in A.3 of this section, but when appropriate the S&TA can act as an impartial investigator for any incident.

      To create an accurate account, USPA needs everyone to gather information about incidents and report them to USPA. When an event requires several reports, including witness accounts and/or the personal observations of the investigator, the efforts should be coordinated through the local S&TA.

      USPA keeps reports confidential by following the procedures included in this section. The integrity and effectiveness of the reporting system rely on each USPA official following USPA's procedures precisely as outlined.

    C. Submission and Disposal of Incident Reports

    1. To maintain the confidentiality of the report and to protect the integrity of the USPA incident reporting system, USPA observes the following operating procedures. Everyone should carefully follow the procedures outlined.
      1. The reporting party should use the online submission process but when unavailable print or type a detailed report of each significant incident and send the original report to USPA Headquarters.
      2. USPA Headquarters stores any information to identify trends for USPA and the skydiving industry.
      3. Names and locations are not stored in the electronic database.
      4. The submitted reports are destroyed once the accident information is entered into the electronic database.
      5. Submitting the information using the online incident report form found at uspa.org will help ensure accuracy and keep the data secure.
      6. USPA Headquarters may publish a brief synopsis of the report in Parachutist, excluding the date, specific location and names of anyone involved.

    D. The Incident Report Form

    1. Proper use of the accident report form will help to ensure that all the necessary information is submitted to USPA.
    2. Detailed information in the narrative will help USPA produce an accurate summary of the accident.
    3. The types of injuries must be included in both fatal and non-fatal reports.
    4. If the report is non-fatal, provide the prognosis for the jumper's recovery.
    5. All of the factors that led to the accident must also be included to help determine how the accident occurred.

    E. USPA Policy Regarding Propriety and Privileged Information

    1. Background
      1. The success of USPA's safety reporting program depends upon the free exchange of information between field reporters (e.g., S&TAs) and USPA Headquarters. If reporting officials believe that the information will be used only for statistical and educational purposes and that the reports themselves will not be released to third parties, the reporting system will continue to serve the best interests of the membership. If, on the other hand, this privileged information is released to third parties for whatever reason, USPA will lose the trust of the field reporters and, with it, valuable safety-generating data.
    2. Policy
      1. Documents for use only by the reporting party and USPA officials as necessary to enhance safety through education and training.
      2. All requests by third parties to access such information or documents will be referred to the USPA Executive Director, who, in consultation with the USPA President, will determine the need to refer to counsel.
      3. Failure to adhere to these procedures will subject the violating USPA member to disciplinary action per Section 1-6 of the USPA Governance Manual.