Thirteen skydiving fatalities were recorded in the U.S. in 2018. That’s a historic low. Since 1961 USPA has compiled every skydiving fatality in the U.S., except skydives conducted under military orders. There were 14 fatalities in 1961, a year when there were just 3,300 USPA (then called Parachute Club of America) members who made an estimated 126,000 jumps. The fatality rate that year was one fatality every 9,000 jumps. The number of annual fatalities climbed steadily after 1961, finally peaking in 1981 at 56 for that year. Then began a steady decline to an annual average of about 21 in recent years. Until 2018’s 13 deaths. We don’t have estimated jump totals yet for our 40,000 members in 2018, but even if jump numbers remain the same as for 2017 (3.2 million), the fatality rate for 2018 would drop to a historic level of one fatality per 246,153 jumps. Everyone can take credit: the USPA staff and board; the board’s Safety & Training Committee; the appointed Safety and Training Advisors; DZ operators; individual USPA Examiners, Instructors and Coaches; riggers: parachute and component manufacturers, and especially every skydiver.
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