Is hang gliding more or less dangerous than skydiving? And how dangerous (% of death) are the two activities?
More of the deaths in skydiving are due to equipment failure. In hang gliding almost all the crashes (not including aerobatics) are due to pilot error.
I've heard that hang gliding is more dangerous statistically , but how many skydivers have 700 hours of airtime?
Hang glider pilots start flying training gliders which are easy to fly, and as they become more skilled these pilots tend to fly more aggressively, and transition to more demanding wings. These are factors in many hang gliding mishaps. We do wear a parachute, but they are not useful close to the ground where most of the errors are made. The answer is hang gliding has more deaths per the number of people doing it.
A person who has good motor skills and is careful can take up the sport with "reasonable" risk factors if they stick to the safety guidlines for flying conditions and equipment. Also, many of the HG pilots have tried skydiving, and say hang gliding is a lot more fun.
Do a lot of people die a year from skydiving?
No. To be honest, on average 27 people a year die from skydiving. Mind you, that is out of over 3.2 million skydives a year in the U.S. alone. To break it down, Met-Life Insurance did an actuarial study that broke down high-risk activities in to a "1 in" ratio. 1 in 5,000 people die in car accidents. 1 in 350,000 die skydiving. Therefore, you are 70 times safer jumping out of an airplane than you are getting in a car and driving to the corner store.
What are most deaths caused from?
Most deaths occur under a fully functional and open canopy.
Hard to believe but it's true. Even more shocking is that by far, most of those are "expert" skydivers with a "D" or Expert Skydiver License. You see, with our new high-performance canopies, we can fly, turn and land them like gliders. Due to advancements in materials and canopy construction, canopies have gotten smaller which also means faster. These "expert" canopy flyers will make a sharp turn, gaining speed, right before landing. Unfortunately, sometimes these turns are made to low and the skydiver is literally slammed into the ground. What is truly sad is that it did not have to happen. It is what we call "Pilot Error". Simply put, it is the same as if a pilot, flying an airplane over the runway at 100 ft, did a nose dive to land his plane.
Hang gliding is when you are strapped to the frame of the hang glider.
Far fewer deaths than sky diving.
Hang gliding deaths are because people ride into mountains or power lines.
Our rigs have the main chute, the reserve, and an automatic opener if you are incapacitated. From what I can tell, hang gliders have no such back-ups...
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