Each year, nearly a half million people across the U.S. successfully jump out of an airplane for the first time on tandem skydives.
For more than three decades, tandem jumping has given millions of people the opportunity to easily experience the thrill of a lifetime while strapped to a certified tandem instructor. The U.S. Parachute Association and tandem equipment manufacturers have certification programs in place to ensure that only qualified, experienced skydivers can become tandem instructors and that anyone who earns a tandem instructor rating receives proper training and understands the procedures for correctly fitting and securing tandem student harnesses. Incidents can happen, as they do in any sport. However, the sport of skydiving maintains an impressive safety record.
By The Numbers
The sport of skydiving continues to improve its safety record. Skydiving is a popular sport in the U.S., and in 2022, around 42,491 USPA members made approximately 3.9 million jumps at more than 208 USPA-affiliated skydiving centers across the country (for an average of 92 jumps per member). In 2022, USPA recorded 20 fatal skydiving accidents. Tandem skydiving has an even better safety record, with 0.003 student fatalities per 1,000 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.
In the 1970s, the sport averaged 42.5 skydiving fatalities per year. Since then, the average has dropped each decade. In the 1980s, the average was 34.1; in the 1990s, the average was 32.3, and in the first decade of the new millennium (2000-2009), the average dropped again to 25.8. Over the past five years, the annual average continues its decline to 22.6.
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