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Apparently so from this paper.

Admittedly it's quite old but I was surprised by the numbers of injuries reported

All parachute injuries from two local parachute centres over a 5-year period were analysed. Of 174 patients with injuries of varying severity, 94% were first-time charity-parachutists. The injury rate in charity-parachutists was 11% at an average cost of 3751 Pounds per casualty. Sixty-three percent of casualties who were charity-parachutists required hospital admission, representing a serious injury rate of 7%, at an average cost of 5781 Pounds per patient. The amount raised per person for charity was 30 Pounds. Each pound raised for charity cost the NHS 13.75 Pounds in return. Parachuting for charity costs more money than it raises, carries a high risk of serious personal injury and places a significant burden on health resources.

Has parachuting moved on in the last 20 years or are those numbers un-representative?
Point of order; parachuting is seldom for the NHS but usually for other charities.

Those figures are quite old now, it is now common practice for people to do tandem jumps which have a very different risk profile from what went on before.

No doubt we will be further informed by those who are more closely involved with the parachuting scene.

I used to fly from Hinton in the early 90s where indeed the attendance of ambulances was a near daily occurrence on jumping days.
My daughter was "bullied" into doing one as a school leaving fundraiser. Encouraged by her teacher and subjected to peer pressure by by her class mates, she agreed to do it.

Then came the parental consent form. My wife flatly refused to sign it, whilst I spent the following 2 weeks trying to convince my daughter to reconsider. Even offering to underwrite all of the sponsorship money. Eventually having little choice but to sign it.

Maybe my opinion was biased by having had more than one negative experience dealing with the particular operator when I'd flown from that airfield, or maybe it was because I was aware of previous injuries there.

As it was, the jump was uneventful. I hope the random, unheard of, charity chosen by the teacher, appreciated the £120 my daughter raised (after the cost of the jump). I hope it appreciated the stress it caused my wife.

Personally, I won't sponsor anyone doing one. If you want to do a jump, pay for it and go do it, don't expect others to fund your little jolly. I find the whole charity jump industry concept slightly unsavoury.
Chris Martyr, Rob P, Cessna571 and 1 others liked this
I'm dealing with DZ operators almost daily at the moment - and in my experience I suspect the amount raised for NHS trusts from tandem jumps in tiny - so impossible to draw fair comparison of cost / income .

In much the same as the ' Does treatment for drinking/ smoking related illness cost more than the tax it raises ? ' argument its not really a comparison that can be made . Do we start charging for the RNLI , Coastguard , volunteer rescue organisations ?

Do we charge for state provided ambulance/ fire responses to aircraft accidents or consider the tax earned from them to cover their operations directly ?

It does sound like @sooty25 has more issued with the bullying involved for his daughter to do it & one specific operation that led to ill feeling / concern than the bigger UK parachuting scene overall ?

Its the endless crowdfunding that I find frustrating ….. I'll leave that well alone though .
Sooty25 wrote: I find the whole charity jump industry concept slightly unsavoury.

There's a whole industry that underpins these fundraising activities - hiking abroad, parachuting, cycling (abroad again), climbing (abroad again), exploring (abroad).

Its not always clear as to whether the individual is paying for the trip and then fundraising monies that will all go to a charity or asking for money to pay for their trip and any balance goes to a charity.

If you really cared surely you'd want all of the money to go to the charity? So fund it yourself. Alternatively without the 'hook' of the trip maybe no money could be raised? However, shirley friends and family would still give money if one decided to simply, freely, walk around the M25/your local town/local hill rather than fly to South America and walk the tourist trail to Machu Picchu?

I feel conflicted over the issue but understand that lots of money is raised by people doing these things for all the right reasons.
I don't believe the 11% figure. That's more than one in ten. A tandem lift at a busy dropzone might contain three or four tandems. So we'd expect to see every two or three tandem lifts or so result in injury. At a busy dropzone on a regular (not weathered out) day a dozen lifts in a day is completely normal, so that'd be about four injuries daily. Based on my experience (I'm a skydiver) that's definitely not the case. It's rare to see an injury on a regular day.
PeterMa liked this
rdfb wrote:I don't believe the 11% figure.

The paper is behind a paywall, but from other things I've read, I'm not sure that they were tandems. This is gonna sound stupid, but was there another method of jumping in the last century?

(I can't imagine me jumping out of an aeroplane even if I was strapped to someone who knew what they were doing.)
Having organised jumps for an NHS charity this is an eye opener.

I have dim memories of seeing people on TV hurling themselves off scaffold towers in hangers before doing para jumps. Is that not how it's done now, is it all just strapping together, going up and flinging oneself out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane?
PaulB wrote:
rdfb wrote:I don't believe the 11% figure.

The paper is behind a paywall, but from other things I've read, I'm not sure that they were tandems. This is gonna sound stupid, but was there another method of jumping in the last century?

Actually, now that you mention it, yes there was, so that's not a stupid question at all! I think I'm guilty here of not thinking back far enough. People jumped rounds last century. They did have a higher injury rate. The paper is dated 1999 though I think? I'm pretty sure pretty much everyone was jumping squares by then - certainly on tandems. I started in 2001 so I can't speak for how things were much before that.

I saw "charity jumping" in the paper abstract and assumed tandems. That's what the majority of charity jumpers do today. There's probably some number of university student first time jumpers who do the training to jump solo and get it sponsored though. Again, perhaps that was different last century. But for all types of jumping today put together, I'd still say that while seeing an ambulance at a dropzone isn't a surprise, it's not typically a daily occurrence even at a busy dropzone on a busy day.