Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers?

 

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camman2

Aug 3, 2009, 6:13 PM
Post #1 of 26 (2549 views)
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2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? Can't Post

I did my first tandem yesterday at a local dropzone. This particular dropzone has two planes. The smaller of the two had two issues while we were waiting to jump. The first time they took off and came back down after just a few minutes. The second time they tried to take off but they couldn't. I asked someone what was going on and he said that the engine was having problems. They continued putting people in the plane and sending them up to jump. I later heard someone talk about the plane sputtering at about 1000 feet and it had freaked them out and they were worried about having to bail out of this plane AFTER they already had two issues.

About an hour later, the larger plane that they fly the tandems out of had a problem and they wouldn't let it fly any longer. (something about spark plugs)

So what do they do, they put the tandems out of the small plane that is also having engine problems. I asked one of the people there if this was safe to ride in. His response was that it was a personal decision that I had to make. I didn't feel informed enough about the situation...just what I had overheard people talking about.

So, you, as experienced jumpers, if you only knew what I knew, would you get in the smaller plane and jump? What should I have asked that I didn't think about?

I am guessing that we should choose a different dropzone to do our student progression at. Does anyone have a recommendation for Saint Louis residents other than this dropzone?

Thank you.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Aug 3, 2009, 6:36 PM
Post #2 of 26 (2523 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Try the dropzone finder...
http://www.dropzone.com/dropzone/

All planes have issues from time to time. Most owners/pilots would hesitate to put anyone into a hazardous situation. But, as you've stated here, this is not always true. Please don't be discouraged. Find a good DZ and join us for a skydive.


kallend  (D 23151)

Aug 3, 2009, 6:48 PM
Post #3 of 26 (2507 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I did my first tandem yesterday at a local dropzone. This particular dropzone has two planes.
...
...


I am guessing that we should choose a different dropzone to do our student progression at. Does anyone have a recommendation for Saint Louis residents other than this dropzone?

Thank you.

Is this some kind of game where first we have to guess which dropzone "this dropzone" is, based on clues that you give us?


camman2

Aug 3, 2009, 6:52 PM
Post #4 of 26 (2500 views)
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Re: [kallend] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, this was Archway Skydiving.

I will look at the Dropzone finder. I appreciate the help.


dks13827  (C 9293)

Aug 3, 2009, 6:56 PM
Post #5 of 26 (2495 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

easy,, no way I would go there for some time to come until they make it right. With the wisdom of my years, I would have suggested that new folks dont get on those loads. ( sure when I was 22, well, I wanted to jump !!! so, you know.Shocked

Remember this: If you want it bad, you'll get it, BAD !!! It's true !!!


(This post was edited by dks13827 on Aug 3, 2009, 7:17 PM)


Chubba  (A 10160)

Aug 3, 2009, 7:14 PM
Post #6 of 26 (2478 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So, you, as experienced jumpers, if you only knew what I knew, would you get in the smaller plane and jump? What should I have asked that I didn't think about?

Not experienced, but with an older C182, I always ask the pilot if something strange is going on.

I trust our pilots, they are very upstanding blokes, they don't cut corners.

At my level (low licensed jumper), I don't ask instructors or the DZO... what the hell do they know about flying, sure the DZO has lots of experience running the DZ, but I'll always listen to the pilot first and foremost when it comes to aircraft.


hackish  (No License)

Aug 3, 2009, 9:40 PM
Post #7 of 26 (2419 views)
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Re: [Chubba] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm lucky that one of my DZO's has been a pilot for many years. I would hope that no DZO would send up an aircraft that's not safe. Peoples' safety aside it's short sighted because aircraft that quit on takeoff may not come down as gently as they took off...

Having said all that it is also possible that you were kept out of the loop. Maybe they had a problem with the aircraft's sparkplugs and they used up the last 6 new ones they had and were unable to get the larger plane repaired.

I work on engines and cars for a living and sometimes a problem that is very difficult and technical is easier left unexplained to a client "it's fixed" can be simpler.

-Michael


tombuch  (D 8514)

Aug 4, 2009, 3:39 AM
Post #8 of 26 (2351 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't there, and don't know the type of airplanes involved, so I'll answer generically.

A piston airplane can sometimes be hard to start for a variety of reasons. That shouldn't be a problem in itself. However, once the plane starts, it shouldn't "sputter" or present any other "problems." I'd be very concerned about that.

I'd also be very concerned that they didn't provide better information for their customers. You are a student, and they have instructors who should be able to communicate complex concepts in simple ways. That's their job. A good instructor should know enough about the operation of the airplane to explain the problem to a student in terms he will understand. And a good instructor/school manager will recognize than any little airplane issue will be of concern to a student, and will take the initiative to explain it in sufficient depth.

We all need to make individual risk/benefit decisions all the time, and that is never more true than in skydiving. However, suggesting that a student should evaluate the situation and make a "personal decision" is a cop-out and is absurd. The only responsible decision an uninformed student could make is to leave.

It could be that the operation has really horrible airplanes, or it could be that they have really bad customer support, or they might have simply been having a bad day. In any event, you should be 100% comfortable with the person and business you are flying with, and if not you shouldn't give them your business. I'd go someplace else.


camman2

Aug 4, 2009, 4:25 AM
Post #9 of 26 (2335 views)
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Re: [tombuch] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I wasn't there, and don't know the type of airplanes involved, so I'll answer generically.

They were 2 Cesnas. One held 6 people and one held 4.

In reply to:
The only responsible decision an uninformed student could make is to leave.

I should have left. After we jumped we realized that all of the experenced jumpers were not jumping. That should have been our first clue.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 4, 2009, 6:45 AM
Post #10 of 26 (2283 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
After we jumped we realized that all of the experenced jumpers were not jumping. That should have been our first clue.

To be fair to the DZ in question, it sounds as if they have a 182 and a 206. If one of those planes is down for any reason, the experienced jumpers won't be jumping beacuse the DZ will be using the one remaining plane to fly the tandems.

Tandems are the money makers for the DZ, and if they only have the lift capacity to fly either the tandems or the fun jumpers, the tandems will win every time.

There's a good chance that the fun jumpers were waiting until all the tandems had jumped, and were jumping after you left.

On to an additional point, let's keep in mind that your knowledge of airplanes is somewhat limited. Let's also keep in mind that you state -

Quote:
I later heard someone talk about the plane sputtering at about 1000 feet and it had freaked them out

- but you don't state this persons qualifications for making judgements about aircraft safety.

What I'm getting here is that there was a pilot, and group of professional skydiving instructors who chose to fly in this airplane for the entire day, and those are people who are capable of making judgements about aircraft safety.

Especially in a tandem situation, the instructor is stuck in the plane until at least 3000ft before they can safely bail out of an aircraft emergency. So the fact that they are wearing parachutes is of little use to them is something should go wrong below that alititude. Yet they still jumped the plane in question all day long.

The pilot is a professional, and if he was to fly as unsafe aircraft that went down as a result, would not only risk serious injury himself, but the revocation of his pilots license by the FAA after they investigate the crash. Yet he continued to fly the aircraft all day long.

It's entirely possible for airplanes to have problems. It's also entirely possible to fix those problems, and it's probable that a DZ would have spare parts and a mechanic on location (or on call) who could fix the aircraft in short order. A DZ only has a limited amount of time to make money, and when the weather is good and tandems are waiting to jump, you need your plane running ASAP.

The point here is that there may not have been an issue with the plane at the time of your jump. Did you ask about the aircraft? If so, I would hope that you recieved an answer that satisfied your needs, because you were certainly due that.

If you did not ask, then is seems short sighted to come here and name names when you have very little information to go on.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Aug 4, 2009, 8:48 AM
Post #11 of 26 (2215 views)
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Re: [tombuch] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
suggesting that a student should evaluate the situation and make a "personal decision" is a cop-out and is absurd. The only responsible decision an uninformed student could make is to leave.

That's the thing about the OP that jumped out at me, too. Either (truthfully) assure the student that the aircraft is, within a reasonable degree of certainty, acceptably safe for him to fly in, or don't let the student fly in that plane. Period.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Aug 4, 2009, 8:49 AM)


JohnDeere  (D License)

Aug 4, 2009, 1:28 PM
Post #12 of 26 (2084 views)
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Re: [davelepka] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If you did not ask, then is seems short sighted to come here and name names when you have very little information to go on.

But to be fair the OP did not name names untill Kallend asked what DZ it was in a smart ass way! It doesnt look like he came here to trash the DZ.


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Aug 4, 2009, 2:39 PM
Post #13 of 26 (2022 views)
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Re: [JohnDeere] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
If you did not ask, then is seems short sighted to come here and name names when you have very little information to go on.

But to be fair the OP did not name names untill Kallend asked what DZ it was in a smart ass way! It doesnt look like he came here to trash the DZ.

He did dangle out St Louis, and we've seen no shortage of threads involving Missouri DZs that don't like each other here.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Aug 4, 2009, 3:36 PM
Post #14 of 26 (1993 views)
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Re: [JohnDeere] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
But to be fair the OP did not name names untill Kallend asked what DZ it was in a smart ass way!

Come on, JD, this isn't Speaker's Corner. If we let our SC biases bleed over into the skydiving forums, the forums suffer.


humbled1  (C 37241)

Aug 4, 2009, 10:18 PM
Post #15 of 26 (1914 views)
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Re: [JohnDeere] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

After reading the thread a few times I think the OP is a troll and was just baiting.....knowing someone would ask which DZ, then just throws it out there like it was no big deal..

If it wasnt a big deal, why didnt he just mention it in his original post..??

also for a "uninformed student", he seems to be pretty aware of what went wrong....finds this site and happens to ask if that was all cool...

imo dude is full of crap...

btw I am glad (one of) my DZO(s) is also one of the pilots!!!

just a vibe I got....no disrespect to anyone


camman2

Aug 5, 2009, 3:57 AM
Post #16 of 26 (1877 views)
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Re: [davelepka] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
After we jumped we realized that all of the experenced jumpers were not jumping. That should have been our first clue.

To be fair to the DZ in question, it sounds as if they have a 182 and a 206. If one of those planes is down for any reason, the experienced jumpers won't be jumping beacuse the DZ will be using the one remaining plane to fly the tandems.

Tandems are the money makers for the DZ, and if they only have the lift capacity to fly either the tandems or the fun jumpers, the tandems will win every time.

There's a good chance that the fun jumpers were waiting until all the tandems had jumped, and were jumping after you left.

Fair enough. This is not something I thought of. They did keep the plane going the entire time that I was there with tandems. It's not like the plane sat around.

]


In reply to:
Especially in a tandem situation, the instructor is stuck in the plane until at least 3000ft before they can safely bail out of an aircraft emergency. So the fact that they are wearing parachutes is of little use to them is something should go wrong below that alititude.

Why is it that some people can get out lower than that, but they can't? If they got out do they leave the student in the plane?

In reply to:
Yet they still jumped the plane in question all day long.
I supose I should take comfort in the fact that they were willing to go.

In reply to:
If you did not ask, then is seems short sighted to come here and name names when you have very little information to go on.
I did ask and received a sub par answer. Please see my original thread.Unsure


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 5, 2009, 10:59 AM
Post #17 of 26 (1787 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Why is it that some people can get out lower than that, but they can't? If they got out do they leave the student in the plane?

I would hope they would not leave the student in the plane, and when it comes to getting two people out of the plane, it just takes longer. There's a fair chance that if there's a problem with the airplane, it's going to be losing altitude, so the longer it takes to get out, the lower you are when you actually exit.

Tandem reserves are designed to open slowly because a handful of tandem malfunctions will involve the drouge chute not deploying, or not working properly. In these cases the tandem pair would be going well over 150mph, and a fast opening reserve could cause serious injury.

So combine the extra time to exit, an extra few seconds in freefall to get the pair stable, time to open the main, and then time (and altitude) to cutaway, and get a reserve open, and you can see why a tandem needs more alititude than others to get out safely.


jgladish  (D 23451)

Aug 5, 2009, 11:01 AM
Post #18 of 26 (1785 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, I am Jeff & am one of the pilots that was flying that day & I'd like to clear up any misconceptions about what was going on.
First off, the 182 was powering up on the runway & coughed once... the pilot decided not to leave the runway, he let everyone out, sumped the fuel, topped it off & flew solo to recreate the problem with no luck. After checking everything possible the pilot decided the aircraft was safe for flight. He is an extremely experienced pilot & I trust his judgement. After he left I flew the 182 for he rest of the day after that (9 loads) with out so much as a hiccup.

As for the 206, on my 9th load of the day it sounded like a small bird strike at around 1000 ft, then did it again higher up. No abnormalities in the engine instruments & no power loss. I decided to let the tandems out & shut it down to figure out what was up. Luckily, the local A & P was passing by & after I explained what it sounded like he suggested a magneto problem. I ran it up to a very high RPM on the ground with no reproduction of the problem, so I flew it alone, with full power & climbing at 90 I switched to the right mag with no problems, I switched to the left & the engine suffered quite a bit of power loss. We had found the problem & obviously decided not to fly it until it was fixed.
The DZO & I made that decision together, there was not any hint of trying to continue in an unsafe aircraft. We announced on the PA that we were on a temporary hold until we determined how it would be dealt with. Unfortunately for the fun jumpers we had tons of tandems that day so the 182 flew them until sunset.
I'd also like to add that the DZO here is very anal about his aircraft, when something breaks he doesn't just replace it, he upgrades. I've never had him try to talk me into flying an unsafe aircraft.
All jumpers posting on this thread..... you got misled by a whuffo!!! The aircraft here are either 100% airworthy or grounded, no in between!!!
The DZO is more than willing to answer any questions about this event & can be contacted at archwaydz@aol.com or (618)-283-4973 his name is Jason.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 5, 2009, 11:30 AM
Post #19 of 26 (1767 views)
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Re: [jgladish] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
All jumpers posting on this thread..... you got misled by a whuffo!!!

That's a negative ghostrider, I was not misled in any way.

Either way, thanks for chiming in with the facts. I found it hard to beleive that a pilot and staff of instructors would fly all day in an airplane that wasn't up to snuff.

In defense of the whuffo who started this thread, he did concede to the points I made in my post, and feels better about his experience now.


skinnay

Aug 5, 2009, 12:53 PM
Post #20 of 26 (1724 views)
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Re: [humbled1] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never heard a first time tandem say "sending jumpers". could be a coincidence, but it is a phrase used a lot by skydivers..


camman2

Aug 5, 2009, 3:07 PM
Post #21 of 26 (1689 views)
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Re: [jgladish] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jeff, thank you for clearing things up. Certainly did not mean to "mislead" anyone. I just posted the information that I gathered because when I asked your staff I could never get a clear answer. I feel much better about the situation that I found myself in at your dropzone.

I will contact Jason tomorrow or Friday.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Aug 6, 2009, 4:03 AM
Post #22 of 26 (1593 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

we have had 1 or 2 times in 15 years where 3 out of our 4 Twin Otters were down - sometimes shit happens.

We get it fixed and fly. Not too many pilots out there willing to fly unsafe airplanes. Few of us are interesting in testing real-live emergency procedures solo, OR with people on board.

If you think safety is expensive - try having an accident.....


jgladish  (D 23451)

Aug 6, 2009, 9:52 AM
Post #23 of 26 (1517 views)
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Re: [camman2] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Camman,
Glad your feeling better about things. I'm not trying to insult you, just clear up some inaccurate info that was given. This sight is famous for over speculation without the facts. Anyone in doubt of our safe aircraft practices, I urge you to look at our aircraft safety records & other Cessna DZ's. We are above par for the coarse, not having an aircraft incident in over 10 years! This maybe because we will shut down to test fly & fix things before continuing, which in-turn causes concern to customers. I sincerely apologize if you didn't not receive an answer to your satisfaction & we will discuss how to improve this in the future. Also, the term "whuffo" is a common term used jumpers to reference non-jumpers (no offense intended). It's origin comes from the common question...."what for you jump out of perfectly good airplanes?"
At the moment I'm sitting in the pilots lounge waiting on the mechanics to replace the magneto in question. The aircraft will be 100% for the coming weekend. Come out & play!!!


JohnDeere  (D License)

Aug 9, 2009, 6:48 PM
Post #24 of 26 (1288 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
But to be fair the OP did not name names untill Kallend asked what DZ it was in a smart ass way!

Come on, JD, this isn't Speaker's Corner. If we let our SC biases bleed over into the skydiving forums, the forums suffer.

You are correct! For my responce I am sorry. But surely you agree that his responce was not called for!


Andy9o8  (D License)

Aug 9, 2009, 7:53 PM
Post #25 of 26 (1267 views)
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Re: [JohnDeere] 2 planes, both have issues, still sending jumpers? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
But to be fair the OP did not name names untill Kallend asked what DZ it was in a smart ass way!

Come on, JD, this isn't Speaker's Corner. If we let our SC biases bleed over into the skydiving forums, the forums suffer.

You are correct! For my responce I am sorry. But surely you agree that his responce was not called for!

Sorry, but that's just not the way I see that post. But anyhow, that was 5 days ago. I don't even remember if I put my pants on 5 days ago.


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