How Many People Died From Skydiving?

February 25, 2024

As with any extreme sport, skydiving is dangerous. That’s a big part of what makes it so exciting and memorable. But it’s important to be honest about the risks and to understand that, even in an era where you’re more likely to die from a lightning strike or be killed by a dog bite, your chances of dying during a skydive are minuscule.

In 2021, USPA member skydivers made 3.57 million jumps, and there were 10 fatal parachute accidents — which is roughly 0.28 deaths per 100,000 jumps. That’s a much lower rate than the previous year and represents progress in making the sport safer for those who take it on.

It’s also worth remembering that the vast majority of skydiving deaths are caused by canopy pilot error, not equipment malfunction. Most of these are among highly experienced skydivers who are choosing to push the limits with advanced maneuvers and small parachutes that provide only a narrow margin for error.

In the case of the fatal accident in August, the pilot, Timothy Dutton, was an experienced skydiver who had jumped more than 14,000 times. Witnesses say he collided with another skydiver and didn’t deploy his main or reserve parachute before landing in a vineyard. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Sacramento Bee could not verify a report that he had been under the influence of narcotics or alcohol at the time. A county death investigation is ongoing.


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