Sunday, August 12, 2012

To Jump or Not to Jump

Before my mother has a heart attack from reading this, I want to talk a bit about statistics --- how dangerous is it really?

The chance of fatality in one skydiving jump is about the same as the chance of fatality in 1000 miles of driving on US highways. This is very similar to the chance of fatality in one scuba dive.  Here is a nice website that compares the risks in various sports.   Surprisingly the risk of going splat in a skydiving jump  is  very close to the chances of dropping dead while going running, cycling, or swimming!    (About 1 in 100,000 outings.   Admittedly, most of the people dropping dead while running are older people, but still... it gives you an order of magnitude.) 

So if skydiving is so safe, why should I be afraid of making a skydiving jump?... well, maybe because I am really afraid of heights?   But being a good scientist, I intend to put my faith in statistics and take that step out of the airplane. 

As I mentioned in an earlier post here  my friend Eddy Ardonne is an avid skydiver.  Every time I visit Stockholm he offers to take me.   Several years ago, I bailed at the last minute.  Then the following year I signed up to jump but a scheduling snafu nixed the trip.   So this year we are trying again 

(Yes, this is a midlife crisis)

I will report back soon...  (see my next blog posting here)

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