How does one research the safety record of a skydiving center? It’s not an easy thing to discover and in the interest of transparency, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about our approach to safety and our safety record.
Skydive Carolina has unfortunately experienced six fatalities throughout our 30+ years in operation. Following an accident, the media will often inquire about what steps we plan to take in order to improve our safety record. What the media fail to understand is that skydiving is a multifaceted activity that caters to both novices and highly experienced jumpers alike. When discussing safety procedures and accident statistics in skydiving, it’s critical that we examine these issues in the appropriate context; clearly delineating the activity of tandem skydiving from that of sport skydiving. In the last five years, Skydive Carolina has experienced four fatalities; all four of these fatalities involved experienced, independent, sport skydivers who were involved in advanced skydiving activities which present significantly more risk than a tandem skydive. Each individual owned and operated their own equipment and each made their own decisions; they were not under the instructional supervision of Skydive Carolina. You could say they were their own pilots and each were responsible for themselves during free fall, flying their parachutes and landing.
The above statement isn’t designed to sound callous, as each incident above represents a dear friend and valued member of our community. Each loss has hit us hard and we go through many measures to help educate our licensed skydivers to help them be more proficient and safe.
As stated, not all skydiving is the same and each aspect of skydiving offered is treated differently with a different set of safety guidelines. Skydive Carolina differs from many dropzones in that we don’t offer tandem skydiving exclusively.
Skydive Carolina serves three different types of clientele. They are:
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you are looking to make your first skydive (a tandem skydive) and you want to feel confident that you’ll be doing so at a safety-oriented skydiving center, so let’s talk about our record with regard to tandem skydiving.
Since Skydive Carolina’s inception in 1986, we have offered tandem skydiving – the ability to give thrill-seekers the opportunity to experience a skydive with a professional skydiving instructor without the need for extensive training. Today, Skydive Carolina does approximately 5,000 tandem skydives per year and in our 33+ year history have not had any first-time skydiver fatalities.
According to the United States Parachute Association (USPA) Tandem skydiving has an excellent safety record with one student fatality per 500,000 tandem jumps over the past decade. According to the National Safety Council, a person is much more likely to be killed getting struck by lightning or stung by a bee.
Within the US skydiving industry, Skydive Carolina has a very positive reputation because of our approach to safety. We are known for our conservative approach which has actually frustrated many who have found our restrictions to be too stringent. We do not take a cavalier attitude when it comes to skydiving – something we’ve learned through the last 33 years of skydiving operations. Skydiving is a high-risk activity and people can be killed engaging in this sport; we don’t take this lightly or for granted.
Our mission is to be a skydiving center that values safety, quality, service and innovation. We view ourselves as partners with our customers, our staff members and our community. We aim to inspire and motivate those around us while encouraging learning and teaching.
The above mission statement serves as our north star within our daily operations. We work hard to provide the very best in aircraft, equipment and training for all who visit us and we are open to discussing our safety record and procedures with anyone who should inquire.
We love skydiving and sharing this life-changing experience with our guests and we wish to be transparent in how we conduct our operations with all who visit us.
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