Good Example Of Skydiving Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Safety, Skydiving, Law, Sports, Aviation, Parachute, Organization, Training

Pages: 8

Words: 2200

Published: 2020/12/31

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Abstract

Skydiving is one of the extreme sports. The purpose of the study is to analyze the issues involved in Sport Parachuting. The report discusses about parachute and malfunctioning issues. The study sheds light on the legal issues and how the Parachute Association is dealing with issues from the safety perspective of skydiving. The report highlights the importance of safety measures. This has been done by choosing USPA, and analyzing its Basic Safety Requirements. USPA is a self-governing body for the sport of parachuting. The organization issues licenses, maintains training manuals, serves as a legal advocate and coordinates skydiving competition and awards. The study analyzes the effectiveness of USPA in dealing with legal issues from the safety perspective of skydiving. The report also provides useful recommendation on increasing safety measures and enhancing quality of activity.

Introduction

An air sport is considered as an extremely dangerous, but exhilarating hobby. Skydiving is one such popular and a very old sport. It is different from the normal parachuting. Skydiving is an adventure sport where the driver jumps down from an airplane from the minimum altitude of 1500m. The participants perform different stunts and even experience free fall in the air before they release their parachute and land safely on the ground. Despite of high risk in the sport many people are inclined to fly in the air. However, many people are still reluctant to try this sport because of high danger and misconceptions about it. Thus, it is very much true because many incidents and issues regarding malfunction in the activity have come across. The report studies the legal issues prevalent in the sport and the measures taken to eliminate accidents. Many countries such as the US have come up with a voluntary membership organization of individual who enjoy skydiving. The organization has established Basic Safety Requirements to reduce the countless different malfunctions that takes place when falling to the ground or in flight (Mureta, 2014).
The report studies various issues involved in the air sport. However, the study sheds light on the legal issues involves in the sport and the measures taken by parachute association for ensuring safety. The organizations of different countries have established a framework where role and regulation on the average level of fitness required for sport is mentioned. The study analyzes the effectiveness of laws and provides recommendation on safety and quality measures.

Issues involved in Skydiving

Skydiving or Sports Parachuting is one of the highest risky sports in the world. The sport has been traditionally self-regulated by international and national governing bodies. At the international level, International Parachuting Commission (IPC) of the Federation Aeronautic International regulates and oversees all air sports. One of the central roles of the commission is to assemble, analyze and distribute information and statistics to member countries. The member countries use the information and contribute to the improvement of parachuting, equipment, training methods, international standards and safety.The United Sates Parachute Association is one of the IPC’s largest organizational members. The Canadian government has recognized the CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Skydivers) as a provider of private regulation of parachuting activities. However, the system is criticized and is considered unfair as non-members are also affected by the regulatory decision to which they have poor or no access. The key problem is the lack of accountability in deciding whether the self-regulation issue is a matter of private control or whether it is governmental (Hoye, Nicholson & Houlihan, 2010).
The key issues concerning to regulators seeking to control air sports include various aspects. Firstly, ensuring the safety of participants is an issue. Secondly, improving the standards of event management and minimizing the risk of malpractice is essential; and thirdly improvement in the standard of record keeping, specifically reporting of injuries to participants is needed. The other non-sport policy issues affecting the sport are health issues, urban regeneration, economic development problems and social inclusion (Hoye, Nicholson & Houlihan, 2010).
The legal issues are that a skydiver must consider permission from authority, from which the jump is initiated and the area used for landing. While skydiving is not illegal, the skydivers are levied charges for trespassing, breaking and entering, reckless endangerment and vandalism. Parachute malfunction is another legal issue because of wrong canopy deployment. All skydiving participants have two parachutes. It is the standard practice and stated by law. Countless parachute malfunctions takes place because of bad packaging, incorrect position of the body and faulty equipment. However, as per law the reserve parachute is to be packed only by a certified FFA rigger who has undergone extensive training about the subject (VT, 2014).
The skydiver also faces medical and psychological issues when engaging in a life-threatening event. The anxiety and stress level are considerably higher in jumpers. The relationship between the hormonal and psychological responses of young men increases significantly, resulting in dumbness and heart strokes (Zuckerman, 2013).
The maintenance issue is another critical area for parachute operating aircraft. The jump operations typically take a high ratio of cycles to flight hours, followed by a sudden reduction in power while descending that lead to depreciation of the engine. However, the parachute operators are subject to annual aircraft inspections but the requirements are not as extensive as other revenue, passenger-carrying-operators, or on-demand air taxi operators. Allowing maintenance discrepancy indicates poor quality of inspection and non-compliance with regulations.
The Safety Board is concerned about pilot training and proficiency issues. It is analyzed and reviewed that most of the accidents occur because pilots are deficient in basic airman-ship tasks such as performing proper pre-flight inspection of the plane, not complying with the airplane weight and balance limitations, not maintaining adequate speed during powered flight, and lack of knowledge in executing emergency procedures. The Safety Board is also concerned with the inadequacy of Federal Aviation Administration surveillance of parachute operations. The numbers of fuel quality issues were detected because of inadequate surveillance of the FAA. The board recognizes that the FAA has limited access to resources. Several cases of accidents that occurred were because parachute operators were deficient in specific areas (National transportation safety Board, 2009).

Dealing with legal issues from a safety perspective skydiving

The organization such as USPA (United States Parachute Association) of the US are playing remarkable role in improving the quality and safety of the activity. In the US, the parachute jump is a self-regulated sport. The skydiver voluntary follows the basic set of requirement as established by USPA. The federal requirements are found in Federal Aviation Regulations. Many of the regulations are concerned with the airplane, pilot and regarding the rules of flight. The main purpose of USPA is to promote safe skydiving through training, licensing and instructor qualification programs. The USPA ensures that members skydive at the rightful place in airports and in the airspace system. Lastly, the organization aims to promote competition and record setting programs (USPA at a Glance, 2015).
USPA has been successful in dealing with legal issues from a safety perspective. Skydiving is based on the Basic Safety Requirements (BSRs) that have been established by an organization as the cornerstone of a self-policing principle. The members or skydivers are required to agree upon the BSR requirements as necessary for an adequate level of safety. The organization conducts research to develop and document new methods and procedures within BSR and, when necessary, allow waivers to the BSRs.
The BSR promotes safety by promoting practices aimed at eliminating incidents in skydiving and making the activity safer and more enjoyable. The organization evaluates incidents and identifies the root causes. USPA in order to accomplish safety includes the risk factors by involving everyone in the activity. The organization keeps on updating and improving knowledge. The organization prepares and practices for both expected and unexpected situations by analyzing the risk factors. The association accurately evaluates personal capabilities and limitations. However, USPA is a voluntary organization of individuals and it is not necessary that failure to follow BSR will always result in an incident but following these risk-reduction procedures would reduce the number of incident cases (BSR and Waivers, 2015).
The basic safety requirement ensures that rules are applicable to all jumps. The BSR is voluntary compliance with the procedures to protect the interest of participant and the general public. In order to increase safety the individuals are recommended to be familiar with the Skydiver Information manual and regulation pertaining to federal, state and local areas. USPA ensures that no skydive is made in violation of FAA regulations. FAA regulation includes the use of specific system in the aircraft by skydivers during movement, takeoff and landing. It is mandatory for all skydivers to possess a third class certificate from the FAA or carry a certificate of medical fitness from a physician or fulfill the recommended medical statement as per USPA (BSR, 2015).
Moreover, the organization deals with legal issues by introducing safety measures in the parachute jump such as skydivers must be provided training on equipment; aircraft exit procedures, free fall procedures, landing procedures and emergencies. Parachutist for safety purpose wears helmets during takeoff and landing (Safety, 2015).
The skydiving sport is continuing to improve its safety record. Analyzing the previous records, over the past decade out of 3.2 million jumps the USPA recorded 24 fatal skydiving accidents. It implies .0075 fatalities per 1000 jumps which is the lowest rate in the sport history till now. Tandem skydive safety record is much better with .003 fatalities per 1000 jumps. The safety records of USPA stand a testament to decades of stringent safetystandards, training policies and programs. Skydiving continues to become safer by extensively using advanced equipment, better training and the staff at more than 240 USPA affiliated skydiving around the world (Skydiving safety, 2015).

Recommendation

USPA has been doing well in dealing with legal issues from the safety perspective. Skydivers are required to comply with Federal Aviation Regulations (FAA). However, it is found that parachute jump operators are not strictly following the regulation, which results in an increase in the number of accidents. It is recommended that parachute jump operators should develop and implement FAA approved aircraft maintenance and inspection programs.
The FAA should develop and distribute guidance materials in collaboration with USPA for operators. The guidance material will help operators in implementing effective aircraft maintenance and inspection quality assurance programs. FAA should develop initial and recurrent pilot training programs for operators to address issues on preflight inspection, operation and aircraft-specific weight and balance calculation, emergency and recovery procedures. The operator should be trained on competency flight checks so as to determine pilot competence in practical skills and techniques used in different aircraft.
The FAA is advised to revise the guidance material as provided in Advisory circular105-2C “Sport parachute jumping”, to include guidance for jump operators in implementing effective pilot training and examination programs. It is analyzed that FAA oversight and surveillance of parachute operators is inadequate to ensure that operators are maintaining aircraft and conforming to safety operations. Therefore, it is suggested that FAA direct surveillance of parachute jump operators is required to include a minimum, maintenance, and operations inspection. In addition to maintenance of discrepancies that could be avoided through maintenance surveillance, operation deficiencies observed with the accidents operators could also be detected and prevented. For instance, a random ramp check could determine whether pilots have appropriately computed aircraft weight and balance for a flight. Similarly, conducting an operation surveillance visit would provide an inspector a view of inadequacy of the operator’s pilot training program.
Most importantly, it is recommended to USPA to work with FAA in developing and distributing guidance materials for parachute jump operators. The guidance would assist operators in implementing effective aircraft inspection and quality assurance programs. The USPA is advised as soon as the circular “Sport Parachute Jumping” has been revised, including guidance for operators in implementing effective pilot training and examination programs, distribute the revised Advisory Circular to members and seek adherence to guidance (Special Investigation report on the safety of Parachute Jump operation, 2009).
Parachute malfunction occasionally happens and it is advised to jumpers to know the emergency procedures for parachute failure before going for skydiving. Getting lost on landing is another risk factor and thus skydivers must carry GPS, compass and map of the area. Lack of education about the rules and regulation is critical in air sports. It is important for skydivers to understand functioning of equipment and be aware of surroundings to prevent death and injuries.

Conclusion

Skydiving has always attracted a wide range of people. Most skydivers are men, but now women are also making up a large percentage of jumpers at skydiving school. USPA is a non-profit individual membership organization whose main objective is to promote safe skydiving. The organization has partnered with schools, clubs and centers to provide trained instructors using recognized training programs and following basic standard of safety. The commission cooperates with government agencies connected with aeronautics activities. USPA has an important role in promoting safety in all skydiving activities in the US.
Skydiving involves inherent risks, but most of the skydiving accidents result from human error. Thus, with proper preparation and good judgment the skydivers can mitigate the risks. The standards for skydiving are stated by law to ensure that proper care and safety measures are undertaken during packaging of parachutes. A number of controversies are likely to shape the future of skydiving. In terms of sport itself, skydiving is undergoing technological and performance innovations. To minimize the accident rate and enhance the safety measures, a number of innovations are in the pipeline. A recent skydiving innovation is wing suit which allows jumpers to slow their fall rate to earth. Skydiving is facing numerous issues such as maintenance issues, inspection and quality issues and inadequate oversight and surveillance issues of authority. Skydiving is a risky sport, thus, it is vital for all participants to understand and follow the USPA Skydiving aircraft manual.

References

BSR and Waivers. (2015).Retrieved March 23, 2014, fromhttp://www.uspa.org/SIM/Read/Section2/tabid/164/Default.aspx
Hoye, R., Nicholson, M. & Houlihan, B. (2010).Sport and Policy: Issues and Analysis. UK: Routledge.
Mureta, T. (2014).The Sky Diving Handbook. ChehabPubber
National transportation safety board. (2009).Retrieved March 22, 2014, fromhttps://app.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SIR0801.pdf
Safety.(2015). Retrieved March 23, 2014, fromhttp://www.uspa.org/USPAMembers/Safety/tabid/77/Default.aspx
Skydiving safety.Retrieved March 23, 2014, fromhttp://www.uspa.org/AboutSkydiving/SkydivingSafety/tabid/526/Default.aspx
USPA at a glance. (2015). Retrieved March 23, 2014, fromhttp://www.uspa.org/AboutUSPA/USPAataGlance/tabid/314/Default.aspx
VT. (2014). Skydiving. V.T.
Zuckerman.(2013). Hormonal Responses to Psychological Stress in Men Preparing for Skydiving. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 82 (8).

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