Forums: Skydiving: Events & Places to Jump:
Archway Skydiving Closed Down


lopullterri  (D 20814)

Jan 28, 2012, 6:36 PM
Post #1 of 2 (666 views)
Archway Skydiving Closed Down Can't Post

A shame as it was truly my all time favorite place to skydive, but that was when Sammy was there...providing that famous easy-going vibe that he had. By all means things were never perfect...but you felt good being there. And then came the new DZO's. In a heartbeat it all changed and even Sam left.

lopullterri  (D 20814)

Jan 28, 2012, 6:39 PM
Post #2 of 2 (661 views)
Re: [lopullterri] Archway Skydiving Closed Down [In reply to] Can't Post

For the first time in about two decades, Vandalia Airport is not serving as the home for skydiving operations.
About a year after the Vandalia Park District Board of Trustees decided it would not renew the lease with the current fixed-base operator of the airport, the board has decided to discontinue the partnership more than 10 months before the expiration of their current agreement.
Mark Miller, president of the park board, said on Tuesday that the board is parting ways with Jason Mark and Anita Wuertz, airport operators since 1999.
While serving as the airport’s fixed-base operator, Mark and Wuertz, have operated their skydiving business, Archway Skydiving, at that facility. The opportunity for them to do so was provided in exchange for Mark and Wuertz serving as the fixed-base operator.
Cash payments were not required of either party.
Miller said that the park board’s recent decision ends the relationship with Mark and Wuertz on Feb. 15.
It is a decision, Miller said, that the park board made because of liability issues related to skydiving.
In a written statement he provided on Wednesday morning, Mark said, “Under my ownership, Archway and its jumpers have been a part of the community for 13 years, even longer when you consider the previous owner.
“Whether they live here in town, or hundreds of miles away, the Archway jumpers consider Vandalia their home.
“It saddens me to get the e-mails and facebook posts from so many people grieving over the closure, and talking about how they will forever hold Archway and Vandalia in their hearts,” Mark said.
“We had hoped that the park district would work with us, but unfortunately they have chosen to terminate the lease.”
The board decided to discontinue skydiving at the airport at its meeting on Jan. 13, 2011, after Mark told park district trustees that he had a potential buyer for the skydiving business.
The board’s decision came a little more than six months after the family of a Maryland Heights man who died while skydiving at Vandalia Airport on Oct. 9, 2010, filed a lawsuit alleging negligence and lack of reasonable care.
In each of the 12 counts, the parents of 24-year-old Jonathan Bullar seek compensation of more than $75,000.
In addition to Archway Diving, the defendants in the suit include the park district and Vandalia Municipal Airport, as well as two companies involved in the manufacture of skydiving safety equipment.
Bullar’s family alleges in their lawsuit that their son’s skydiving equipment was “inadequately rigged or inspected,” that the business failed to provide qualified personnel and that their son did not receive adequate preparation.
Bullar had reportedly jumped eight or nine times prior to his fatal jump.
A Fayette County coroner’s jury ruled in January 2011 that Bullar’s death was an accident after hearing testimony alleging that Bullar’s equipment failed.
Miller, and other park district officials, are confident that the district can be dropped from the suit. However, he said, the district will be required to spend a large amount of money in legal fees to even get to that point.
The license agreement between the park district and Mark and Wuertz states that the two operators were required to provide insurance protecting the park district against claims for death, injury or property damage, and “Licensee does herewith covenant and agree to save and hold harmless the licensor (park district) from and against the claims of all persons for death, injury or property damage occasioned by the acts or omissions of (the) licensee … as may result from participation in sport parachuting operations.”
It further states that Mark and Wuertz were required to “defend any and all such claims hereafter made against the (park district).”
Mark and Wuertz bought the skydiving business from Dave and Dianne Verner in 1999. The Verners moved their skydiving operations from Sparta to Vandalia in the early 1990s, doing so as they were employed as the airport’s fixed-base operators.
Miller said that while the park district board has to make some final determinations on the future of the airport, he can see it continue without a fixed-base operator.
He feels that would be possible because the airport has been automated to the extent that personnel are no longer needed.

Forums : Skydiving : Events & Places to Jump


Search for (options)