You don’t have to be a genius to realize that skydiving is an inherently dangerous activity. However, there are several methods to mitigate that risk. I’ve been both a paratrooper (static line) in the military and a civilian skydiver (freefall). So I’ve experienced both sides of the scale.

It’s true, in the military, every pin, needle, and strap must be checked and rechecked prior to boarding the aircraft. Yet, on a civilian jump, you’re responsible for checking your own gear. That’s not to say that nobody will check you. Go to any drop zone in America and you’ll likely find fellow veteran paratrooper who will happily check your gear. Not to mention, there are several coach and instructor qualified jumpers who have anywhere between two and twenty-two THOUSAND jumps on their log.

Don’t get it confused. Civilian drop zones may be a little lax in their PCC’s (pre-combat checks) and PCI’s (pre-combat inspections) but the accident rate is still very low. Civilian skydivers take their chosen hobby/profession very seriously and if you challenge that, you’ll be quick to get the boot.

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