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Considerations for jumping at Lodi

 

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aeroflyer  (C License)

Oct 27, 2011, 2:20 PM
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Considerations for jumping at Lodi Can't Post

I'm planning a trip to California including stopping at Lodi. I've jumped at dropzones in Canada and Australia, so I have some experience traveling. For jumping at Lodi, there were a couple of things I thought I should pay attention to. 1) Increased number of canopies during landing 2) Aircraft maintenance.

I understand there is a lot of controversy about number 2), however as someone who hasn't been there before any accounts of recent information would be helpful. For 1), is the landing area a good size? I think I would be doing most jumping mid-week so maybe not so busy.


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 27, 2011, 3:12 PM
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm planning a trip to California including stopping at Lodi. I've jumped at dropzones in Canada and Australia, so I have some experience traveling. For jumping at Lodi, there were a couple of things I thought I should pay attention to. 1) Increased number of canopies during landing 2) Aircraft maintenance.

I understand there is a lot of controversy about number 2), however as someone who hasn't been there before any accounts of recent information would be helpful. For 1), is the landing area a good size? I think I would be doing most jumping mid-week so maybe not so busy.

There's no controversy about the FAA violations. The operation has been fined twice for blatant failures to perform mandatory work on aircraft. If I'm getting the story right, one of the fines was for continuing to fly the plane after being spanked and told not to fly it any more until the required work was performed.

In my opinion, anyone who jumps at Lodi is supporting behavior that can and eventually will have the FAA come down on the sport in ways that will result in vastly more expensive aircraft maintenance rules (in the US, skydiving currently operates under the very least stringent maintenance requirements) and those dramatic cost increases will by necessity be passed on to us. Imagine what the price of jump tickets doubling will do to your jumping habits.

But hey, a USPA Director jumps there so it must be ok, huh?


aeroflyer  (C License)

Oct 27, 2011, 3:20 PM
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Re: [chuckakers] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting, well from what I've read many people are divided on going there. I don't particularly like places that don't offer / use seatbelts, just because of the horror stories I've been told, some from people I know, and having seen a couple of leftover wreckages from crashes past.


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Oct 27, 2011, 3:34 PM
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

Setting aside aircraft maintenance (though I personally don't anymore, but you're an adult and can make your own call), if you do choose to jump there, be aware that no one's going to hold your hand, so you should be proactive. If you want a dropzone briefing (landing area, loading process, where to camp/pack/etc), you're likely going to have to ask for one. It's not "part of the check-in process" like it is at some other DZs.

There's a reasonably sized landing area and lots of good outs but then there are some particularly bad outs, so it's a good thing to make sure you're aware of them. The landing area is right next to a freeway. It's a non-issue if you set your pattern right, but it can be freaky if you've never jumped that close to a major road.

And then just be aware that there are unspoken rules that, if violated, might get you fired. Laugh


PiLFy  (A License)

Oct 27, 2011, 3:41 PM
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

W/their history of safety violations. Why would you even consider jumping there??? Davis is just to the west of Sac. Do yourself a favor, & drive a little further.


aeroflyer  (C License)

Oct 27, 2011, 3:51 PM
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Re: [NWFlyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

That is a good point about looking out for yourself, I've been told that before, probably one of the reasons I haven't considered making the trip before now. I've also been told not to cross the highway on windy days, for fear of being spiked on the vineyards around there. When I jumped at Picton (sydney skydivers) they were near a freeway, but I think this one is quite a bit closer to the landing area.

I'll have to make my own judgement of these unspoken rules, having not been there and not met the people, I would like not to make preconceptions beforehand.

Whether I go there I think depends more on how it fits into my trip, I was thinking about doing Lodi and Perris and want to fit both of those in there. The attraction to lodi for someone who hasn't been there is the price and it's hard not to want.

For the maintenance, I don't think it can be set aside, however I'm not sure I'll get any reliable information other than the have had issues before. I read the FAA report about the Pitt meadows aircraft, which did seem to have human factors contributing to the crash. However, I have not reason to believe the other planes I've jumped out of were well maintainted, in fact, the Skyvan in Australia was leaking kerosene and they were still jumping it a couple of times I was there (I took the beaver instead :) )

Any more experiences appreciated!


aeroflyer  (C License)

Oct 27, 2011, 3:52 PM
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Re: [PiLFy] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

I will definitely have to check them out, in fact, what are the other main DZ's in Cali? I'm going all the way to LA so can stop pretty much anywhere.

edit: driving south through CA


(This post was edited by aeroflyer on Oct 27, 2011, 3:55 PM)


PiLFy  (A License)

Oct 27, 2011, 4:07 PM
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

Coolhttp://www.skydiveelsinore.com/Cool


pchapman  (D 1014)

Oct 27, 2011, 4:39 PM
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

A minor point perhaps:

If you are a CSPA member, your CSPA 3rd party liability insurance will only cover you when jumping internationally at FAI associatied DZs. That is, at a USPA DZ in the US, but not at Lodi.


NewGuy2005  (A 50256)

Oct 27, 2011, 4:51 PM
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Re: [NWFlyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...but then there are some particularly bad outs, so it's a good thing to make sure you're aware of them. The landing area is right next to a freeway. It's a non-issue if you set your pattern right, but it can be freaky if you've never jumped that close to a major road.

In addition to the freeway, there are grape vineyards and their associate wires. I'm told they are pretty bad to land in.

I've jumped once at Davis when I was in town. It was great and it's in the same part of the state.


catfishhunter  (D 28796)

Oct 27, 2011, 5:13 PM
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

Go and have a good time it's only skydiving.....the plane won't fall out of the sky..well at least let's hope not...and besides you'll b wearing a parachute Sly as for a briefing you be told where not to land(vineyards and highways should be a no brainier) and you only turn left. What more do you need to know?


crashtested  (D License)

Oct 27, 2011, 5:34 PM
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Re: [NewGuy2005] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
...but then there are some particularly bad outs, so it's a good thing to make sure you're aware of them. The landing area is right next to a freeway. It's a non-issue if you set your pattern right, but it can be freaky if you've never jumped that close to a major road.

In addition to the freeway, there are grape vineyards and their associate wires. I'm told they are pretty bad to land in.

I've jumped once at Davis when I was in town. It was great and it's in the same part of the state.

If you land in a vin yard, maybe land inbetween hte vines, or use one of the many access roads in-between the vines... or you could just check your spot, and the winds and pull higher if you have any doubts...

the landing area is massive... not all grass but plenty of outs all over the place.. as nwflyer said, be proactive, its pretty old school there. and if you have any doubts about your ability to look after yourself, go elsewhere


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 27, 2011, 7:56 PM
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I read the FAA report about the Pitt meadows aircraft, which did seem to have human factors contributing to the crash.

Before the human (pilot) factors got involved, the drive splines on the fuel pump were not inspected, and proceeded to corrode and fail. You can point to pilot error for securing the wrong engine when there is an unexplained failure. In this case, proper inspections would have revealed the corrosion on the drive splines, and avoided the whole thing. Pilot error or no, that pilot ultimately set the plane down flat and level, and everyone walked away.

In case you didn't know, the inspection that was skipped in that incident involves removing one cover plate, and swabbing the area with a Q-tip. If the Q-tip comes out clean, the splines are good. If it comes out rust colored, there is corrosion, and further investigation is required. It was a matter of 20 min, and one Q-tip, and they skipped it.

Back to Lodi, why would you plan to travel there? With the highest concentration of turbine DZs anywhere in the world, you pick the one DZ in California that has outstanding fines with the FAA nearing a million dollars. Amazing.

Here's the thing about aircraft maintenance, there are a small handful of skydivers who have the qualifications and knowledge to actually judge the quality of a turbine maintenance program. Everyone else can only go by a DZs reputation and track record. How good could either of those be at Lodi if you have to start a thread to ask about the safety of jumping there?


(This post was edited by davelepka on Oct 27, 2011, 7:58 PM)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 27, 2011, 8:09 PM
Post #14 of 45 (2833 views)
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That is a good point about looking out for yourself, I've been told that before, probably one of the reasons I haven't considered making the trip before now. I've also been told not to cross the highway on windy days, for fear of being spiked on the vineyards around there. When I jumped at Picton (sydney skydivers) they were near a freeway, but I think this one is quite a bit closer to the landing area.

The highway at Lodi and the road at Picton are very dissimilar. The vineyards at Lodi are next to the DZ, not farther away like at Nagambie.
Lodi is a good dropzone if you're experienced; it's not a place where a newbie will find great experiences without a friend in place, IMO.
If you're wanting different DZ's and are going as far as Perris, drive another 10 minutes to Elsinore.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Oct 27, 2011, 9:53 PM
Post #15 of 45 (2789 views)
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

Take your pick.

Sparky

http://www.dropzone.com/...alifornia/index.html


aeroflyer  (C License)

Oct 28, 2011, 3:59 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

True the report says pilot shut down the wrong engine possibly because of confusing gauge placement, by human factors I mean the lack of inspection as well.

I will definitely be looking at dz's across CA.. I have heard legendary things about Elsinore!


virgin-burner

Oct 28, 2011, 4:36 AM
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Re: [chuckakers] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

apparently, you've never skydived in switzerland; double the jump-price MY ASS!

LaughLaughLaugh

with rate as of today, USD 51.60!!!

nope, it's NOT as funny as it sounds..

Unimpressed


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 28, 2011, 4:44 AM
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Re: [virgin-burner] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
apparently, you've never skydived in switzerland; double the jump-price MY ASS!

LaughLaughLaugh

with rate as of today, USD 51.60!!!

nope, it's NOT as funny as it sounds..

Unimpressed

Not too far off, VB. Current prices here range from $22 to $26 or so for a turbine hop.

The feds have been threatening to put us on FAR part 135 or another strict chapter for years, and crap like the Lodi deal might just put us there.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 28, 2011, 5:01 AM
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Re: [aeroflyer] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I will definitely be looking at dz's across CA..

Let's take the Lodi issue one step further. So far the pro-Lodi advice has been not to show up unless you're ready to take care of yourself. They say the place is 'old school'.

If it's 'old shcool' in that they still use printed tickets, great. If 'old school' means the staff shirts are tie-dye, that's cool. When 'old school' means that nobody gives two shits about new or visting jumpers, is that really a selling point?

Sure, the DZO has a reputation of being 'gruff' or 'direct', but what does that have to do with every other jumper on the field? Why have they all seemingly adopted this same persona, and why do they take it so far as to tell you not to show up if you don't like it?

Look, there have been some DZOs I liked as people, but it never led me to emulate their personality, or effect the way I regard other people. The fact that this is going on in Lodi is just weird. I know Bill has a rep of 'my way or the high way', but I doubt that extends to watching out for other jumpers, and I doubt he would give anyone the boot if he saw them watching out for new or visiting jumpers, yet the jumpers there (and others) have all made the suggestion that nobody will look twice at you, and not to even show up if you don't like it.

Again, this is where you want to go? This is a place you want to travel to and jump, all for the sake of saving a couple bucks?

Look at it this way, you're taking a mid-winter trip to get some jumps in while you're snowed in at home. Just save up your money so you have enough money to jump all day, every day of your trip, at regular price. We all know that's never going to happen, between weather and sleep, you'll miss a few of those loads and end up with more money than you need. If you can't save that much, do one less jump a day, or take a day and go see the beach or LA/San Diego, or whatever.

Saving $100 or $200 is not a reason to contribute toward a DZ where the DZO and the fun jumpers seem to have no regard for the FAA or anyone esle, including every other DZ who gets to deal with the fallout from the attention they drew from the FAA. Show more character than all of them, and don't let a couple bucks lure you into being a part of the problem.


virgin-burner

Oct 28, 2011, 5:13 AM
Post #20 of 45 (2668 views)
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Re: [chuckakers] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
apparently, you've never skydived in switzerland; double the jump-price MY ASS!

LaughLaughLaugh

with rate as of today, USD 51.60!!!

nope, it's NOT as funny as it sounds..

Unimpressed

Not too far off, VB. Current prices here range from $22 to $26 or so for a turbine hop.

The feds have been threatening to put us on FAR part 135 or another strict chapter for years, and crap like the Lodi deal might just put us there.

i dont think the FAA would be so unreasonable to punish the whole industry for ONE black sheep, which is not even a USPA-member!?

^^that's more of a question than a statement actually..


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 28, 2011, 5:23 AM
Post #21 of 45 (2658 views)
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Re: [virgin-burner] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
apparently, you've never skydived in switzerland; double the jump-price MY ASS!

LaughLaughLaugh

with rate as of today, USD 51.60!!!

nope, it's NOT as funny as it sounds..

Unimpressed

Not too far off, VB. Current prices here range from $22 to $26 or so for a turbine hop.

The feds have been threatening to put us on FAR part 135 or another strict chapter for years, and crap like the Lodi deal might just put us there.

i dont think the FAA would be so unreasonable to punish the whole industry for ONE black sheep, which is not even a USPA-member!?

^^that's more of a question than a statement actually..

The fact that Lodi isn't a USPA member has nothing to do with it. The feds see all skydiving ops the same way, and don't cut slack just because a DZ is USPA.

The Lodi thing is just the tip of the iceberg. There have many many jump plane crashes through the years that have been attributed to maintenance issues.

If we don't clean up our airplane act, the FAA WILL come down on us through regulation changes. They've come very close numerous times in the past, so it's only a matter of having that one final incident to make it happen.


virgin-burner

Oct 28, 2011, 5:24 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Sure, the DZO has a reputation of being 'gruff' or 'direct', but what does that have to do with every other jumper on the field? Why have they all seemingly adopted this same persona, and why do they take it so far as to tell you not to show up if you don't like it?

dont you kinda adopt at least SOME sort of "persona" when you get into skydiving? or "vibe" or whatever you want to call it if you do your AFF and most of your jumps there!?

i know i have, sure thing when it comes to certain choices i've made..


DrizZ  (C 39369)

Oct 28, 2011, 5:58 AM
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Re: [DSE] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Lodi is a good dropzone if you're experienced; it's not a place where a newbie will find great experiences without a friend in place, IMO.
If you're wanting different DZ's and are going as far as Perris, drive another 10 minutes to Elsinore.

100% agree on both points. Also, a consideration for Lodi: Don't land out ;)


axelandr  (B 103786)

Oct 29, 2011, 7:05 PM
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Re: [DrizZ] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

I visited Lodi a couple of weeks ago, jumped quite a bit and in general I really liked the place..

true, there is a couple of things an inexperienced jumper should be aware of before going, but nothing big if you know this in advance.. pro-activity, as mentioned before, is the key.. nobody will permanently hold your hand at Lodi, but you might get them to do for a little bit until you get the sense on how Lodi works.. just ask! Smile

the jumpers there really made their utmost to make me feel welcome, probably the best welcome I have ever had at a new DZ. many of them are HIGHLY experienced jumpers and very safety-orientated.. briefings where given and ppl repeated stuff before loading.. they dont mind the occasional "stupid" question from a newbie..

bill is a bit of a character, but if you're ok with that it's not a big deal. bunkhouses are good, j-tickets cheap and the landing area is huge. weather is nice and stable..

as for the planes and the maintenance is hard to judge for an untrained eye, like it is at any other DZ, but the planes did exactly what they were supposed to during my visit. they looked fine too and are piloted by some of the most experienced pilots (/skydivers) in the business.. in my view, it basically doesn't make any sence for bill to not maintain his aircrafts, he'll loose more money if they break down and rendered useless than the money he puts into maintenance. btw, he employs at least 1, maybe even 2, full-time mechanics to do the maintenance.. how many other DZs does that?

I say go for it, try it, and if it is not to your liking after some days, just go somewhere else.. I really liked it, I knew more or less what I was going to get and acted accordingly and I will for sure go back to jump there!


tbrown  (D 6533)

Oct 29, 2011, 10:40 PM
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Re: [DrizZ] Considerations for jumping at Lodi [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Lodi is a good dropzone if you're experienced; it's not a place where a newbie will find great experiences without a friend in place, IMO.
If you're wanting different DZ's and are going as far as Perris, drive another 10 minutes to Elsinore.

100% agree on both points. Also, a consideration for Lodi: Don't land out ;)

I've made two summer trips in a row to Lodi and had good times both times. But I'm also an "experienced" jumper with 1200 jumps. I don't have a problem with the 99 Fwy being right up against the fence - just fly the pattern. I find that Lodi skydivers are some of the most disciplined pattern canopy flyers I have ever jumped with. It took ME a liitle while to get used to that. The landing zone isn't all that big, but there are plenty of flat and level "outs" surrounding it. If you do have to land in the vineyards, you MUST land parallel to the grapes - you NEED to have confidence in your ability to make a crosswind or downwind landing, either of which is preferable to being impaled on a 8 ft. grape stake ! I found on both my visits that local jumpers and Bill Dause personally took the time to explain the pattern to me, pointing out features on the ground, on aerial photos, and in the air as we climbed out to altitude.

I AM concerned with all the reports on maintenance violations. I'm also DEEPLY concerned with the fact that that nobody wears readily available seatbelts on takeoff. Even if they're the kind you just hook up to your harness - which I HATE - nobody wears them. My home DZ is Perris, which had a horrific crash of a twin Otter on takeoff in 1992, killing 17 of 21 people onboard. That crash was one of the events that pushed the FAA to require seatbelt compliance on takeoff, as so many of the deaths were caused by human body collisions on impact. For that reason. I cannot understand why Lodi is so proud of not using seatbelts which are both available AND required. And for that reason alone, I will not jump there anymore. I simply do not understand that kind of resistance to such a common sense regulation, even if I am attracted to an outlaw sense of "cool".


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