November 2008 Issue

First Word: 11/08

To the sheltered masses, the words "safety" and "skydiving" might not seem to belong in the same sentence, but skydivers are the ultimate self-preservationists. You donít get to try it again if you get the first jump wrong. (Please spare me the utterly original clever comment involving perfectly good airplanes.) There are a handful of technological aids that help in trimming the risk, such as audible altimeters and a gadget generically known as an automatic deployment device. All it does is deploy your reserve parachute for you if you forget to do it yourself, youíre injured or otherwise incapacitated. These devices cost about $1200 and I have always used one in my skydiving, while a friend of mine never has. He says itís irrational to spend that much money to mitigate a tiny slice of risk. Heís right. Hereís why.

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