Hats off to Jim Crouch’s article “A Record Low—the 2018 Fatality Summary” (April Parachutist). Crouch’s article points out the significance of the fatality index rate being at its lowest ever in our sport: one in 254,000 jumps (or 0.39 per 100,000 jumps). Over the 26 years I have been involved in this sport, it has been exciting to see this number getting driven to zero and the behavior that led to fatalities eliminated or derailed. In addition, Ron Bell’s sidebar to the article, “Getting to Zero Isn’t Impossible, We Just Haven’t Done It Yet,” only validates that we are on the right track. To see the fatality index normalized to 100,000 jumps puts our rate in perspective and highlights the advancements we have made over the decades. Thank you, USPA and gear manufacturers, for continuing to push for zero fatalities with training, education and gear advancements. Zero is a reality that we can achieve.
Rick DeShano | D-18067