Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Joseph Vacek


Skydiving fatalities upon landing, especially during high-performance landings, have

overwhelmed the sport as one of the largest categories of fatalities. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of an experienced skydiver on high-performance landing fatalities since the introduction of high-performance canopies. In addition, the study determined if experts in the field see factors of experience as contributors to fatalities. The United States Parachute Association fatality database published online was used to analyze the effect between skydiver experience and high-performance landing fatalities. Five interviews were conducted with industry experts. No statistically significant result was found relating experience to high- performance landing fatalities. Interviews were inconclusive in perceptions of experience related to high-performance landing fatalities, however time in the sport and education was discussed by a majority of the experts. Lack of significance and inconclusive interview results indicates no effect was found between high-performance landing fatalities and skydiver experience.