***Post Edited per organizers request***
In early October I was at Lodi for another cutting edge event. However, during and immediately after the event I decided that this will be my last visit to Lodi unless several things drastically change.Please read on for more.
If you are looking for the post for the Ladies Lodi Sequentials please click this link!
I'll pick up on my original post now:
As great as these jumps were, I do have to say that I think this will be my last trip to Lodi. It's a huge double edge sword for me, some of the best freefliers in the country are pushing their limits on a regular basis there and the jump tickets are cheap. But on the other edge of the sword, in general, I just don't feel safe there. I like to think that survival in this sport is furthered along by educating yourself, never becoming complacent and at the end of the day, taking only calculated risks. After all, we are hurling ourselves out of an aircraft and that is an obvious risk. By following some of the Basic Safety Requirements those risks have now been lessened. Why jump with just one audible device when you can jump with two, batteries after all do have a life span. To be honest, I just don't feel that it's worth going to this dropzone any longer simply because of the safety issues that I personally have seen. Those issues were recently compounded by the action taken by the FAA against the owner of the Parachute Center. This is what the FAA knows about, what else don't they know about? Bill has not exactly had a stellar streak with safety in the past. Between this action and other things I have seen, I would strongly suggest to my Lodi based friends to re-evaluate their DZ choice. Look at the dropzone's policies and see if they reinvest profits into maintaining their aircraft. I'd rather not grieve over another plane load of friends crashing in. It was hard enough the first time, I can't image how hard it would be with an otter load of skydivers, especially if it was preventable.
I would invite you to comment about this and start a discussion on the subject. Negligent Maintenance is Inexcusable. Neglecting basic safety issues are inexcusable. Am I wrong? (Granted, at this stage these charges are merely just that, charges. Is Bill the victim of a witch hunt? Please chime in and tell me how it really is.) Once a verdict has been reached and negligence has been proven, how can anyone continue to support such a place and such a DZO? Is it really worth saving $7 on a jump? How can a DZO ground a jumper for doing a 180 degree turn and yet at the same time not connect the static discharge reel to the aircraft in order to ground it as the pilot is hot fueling the plane yelling at the jumpers to board the running, pilot-less aircraft? It might be your home, but is someone else's negligence worth risking your life? If you jump there, am I out of line saying these things? How do you feel about the situation? Please help and enlighten me.