Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds

 

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Psycho1iam

Oct 14, 2013, 10:09 AM
Post #1 of 41 (6526 views)
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Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds Can't Post

At least one dropzone I have jumped at charges licensed skydivers for their jump even if they decide at altitude that the cloud conditions are unsafe to jump in. Is this common?

Just last weekend I was on a load where the tandems exited first into a sea of clouds with no ground visible for miles (things closed up during the ride to altitude), and a number of the experienced jumpers refused to exit and rode the plane back down, only for them to try and charge us full price for the "jump." I understand that the plane doesn't fly for free, but I feel as if responsible behavior should be encouraged, not penalized. Any thoughts? What happens at your DZ if you ride back down?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
Moderator
Oct 14, 2013, 10:24 AM
Post #2 of 41 (6431 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

Did the clouds just 'up and appear from nowhere' on the ride to altitude? Unless that's the case, you made your own decision to get on the plane, and therefore pay for the ride to altitude.

Clouds rarely appear from nowhere, and if a skydiver gambles on a "sucker hole," it's on you, not the DZO. He fulfilled his side of the bargain (fuel and a ride).


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Oct 14, 2013, 10:27 AM
Post #3 of 41 (6422 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

If I ride the plane down I pay for the ride. If there are extenuating circumstances I might get a discount, but I don't think I ever have.

Wendy P.


theonlyski  (D License)

Oct 14, 2013, 10:29 AM
Post #4 of 41 (6415 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

You pay for the ride, not the jump.

At a certain boogie (that may or may not have had an FAA rep present at the time), they were taking jumpers up and the pilot was making the call to not drop, so people were riding the plane right back down, not getting a refund on their tickets. That actually brought up a lot of argument about them not getting refunds because they didn't make the call to ride down, the pilot did.

Of course, after the FAA rep left, people were jumping again. Angelic


(This post was edited by theonlyski on Oct 14, 2013, 10:31 AM)


Premier WickedWingsuits  (D 30916)

Oct 14, 2013, 10:40 AM
Post #5 of 41 (6341 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been to a few places that gave us a refund for riding the plane down, I don't expect it. On the other hand some places have a 10 minutes cut off and if you don't pull by then you pay even if you don't get on.

Personally my life and limbs are worth $25 if I decide to scratch.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Oct 14, 2013, 11:09 AM
Post #6 of 41 (6254 views)
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Re: [DSE] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

DSE wrote:
Did the clouds just 'up and appear from nowhere' on the ride to altitude? Unless that's the case, you made your own decision to get on the plane, and therefore pay for the ride to altitude.

Clouds rarely appear from nowhere, and if a skydiver gambles on a "sucker hole," it's on you, not the DZO. He fulfilled his side of the bargain (fuel and a ride).

This. In my 1200+ jumps, I've only ridden the plane down once, and that's because I don't typically gamble on sucker holes. There have many times when I've exited at less than full altitude because of weather (sometimes I knew when I manifested that "we're only getting 10K" other times I was hoping for full altitude and settled for less). Pretty much every time I've been on a DZ on a weather day, manifest is up front about the conditions when people are manifesting (if they're not readily observable - the difference between 10K and 13K clouds isn't always obvious from the ground).

The one and only time I rode down, it really was a case of clouds appearing "out of nowhere" and I was pleasantly surprised when the DZ (SDAZ) let the load go back up again without asking for another ticket an hour or so later when things had cleared up. I think part of the reason they did that is that they were as surprised by the clouds on that day as the jumpers were, and as such hadn't given any warning that things might change.

But as others have said, I'd have no problem paying for the ride back down if conditions had become unsafe to jump in the time between takeoff and exit (clouds, winds went to crazy town, whatever).


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Oct 14, 2013, 11:09 AM)


Psycho1iam

Oct 14, 2013, 11:39 AM
Post #7 of 41 (6180 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with what's been said here, for the most part. If the conditions are questionable, it's really the jumper's choice to get on the plane. In this case there were some clouds already, so it wasn't totally out of nowhere, although things did close up quite fast. That's largely irrelevant though, the DZ did their part in providing a ride up, which is what you pay for.

That being said, it bothers me a lot that they're willing to send tandems into a sea of clouds with no ground visible whatsoever (to make matters worse, we sighted airplane traffic under the clouds on the way up!). It says something about their priorities and concerns for regulations when nobody else involved (tandem instructors, pilot, DZO, etc) has a problem with that. But hey, it's not my license or life at risk, I guess. The whole situation just left a bad taste in my mouth...


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 14, 2013, 11:49 AM
Post #8 of 41 (6147 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

Psycho1iam wrote:
.....it bothers me a lot that they're willing to send tandems into a sea of clouds with no ground visible whatsoever (to make matters worse, we sighted airplane traffic under the clouds on the way up!). It says something about their priorities and concerns for regulations when nobody else involved (tandem instructors, pilot, DZO, etc) has a problem with that. But hey, it's not my license or life at risk, I guess. The whole situation just left a bad taste in my mouth...

Yes, its a bad idea. Yes, it's dangerous. Yes, here in the US it is an FAR violation.

This is not the place to discuss it to have anything really come from it unless you are willing to tell us where it was and take the real possibility of being banned from the DZ.

If you whole reason for this thread is to affect change, then call your Regional Director and explain things to him/her.

Coming here whining about the cost of a jump but really complaining about safety practices at a DZ is pretty weak cheese. Especially since these are your only posts.....

top


Psycho1iam

Oct 14, 2013, 11:52 AM
Post #9 of 41 (6138 views)
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Re: [topdocker] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not expecting any change, they can run the DZ as they see fit, I just wondered what other DZ's do in terms of payment for a ride back down - it doesn't happen very often so I was just curious how it goes at other locations.

Let's keep the discussion civil.


TommyM  (D 12889)

Oct 14, 2013, 11:56 AM
Post #10 of 41 (6118 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

I always accepted that you pay for the lift not the drop, it makes sense to me.

The worst part is not the money, it's landing with the airplane. Just for fun, if you are in that situation, look at the faces of your fellow jumpers when the plane is on final approach, big eyes, dry mouths, everyone looks like first jump students. People get awfully quiet with helmets and seat belts cinched down, even the plane gets unfamiliarly quiet with the power pulled back to land, fearless Skydivers....HA HA

I'd rather pay double than land with the plane.


labrys  (D 29848)

Oct 14, 2013, 12:00 PM
Post #11 of 41 (6102 views)
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Re: [WickedWingsuits] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I have been to a few places that gave us a refund for riding the plane down, I don't expect it.

I rode the plane down at Skydive Hawaii my first jump there. It was really cloudy, the guys spotting could just make out the DZ through a small hole... the ocean is large... so I stayed put. I got off the plane fully expecting to pay for my ride.

The DZO gave me a clap on the back and said "that one's on me. I'm soooo happy that you decided to ride down since you don't know the area."


roostnureye  (D 32166)

Oct 14, 2013, 12:12 PM
Post #12 of 41 (6052 views)
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Re: [labrys] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

if i get on a load and clouds appear everywhere then i usually just ask the pilot to get out below the cloud deck, if its above 3k


grue  (D License)

Oct 14, 2013, 12:51 PM
Post #13 of 41 (5960 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

My DZ has a waiver allowing us to jump through complete cloud cover as long as the cloud base is at least 1,000' above planned deployment height, so we don't really have this problem Laugh

One of the few advantages to jumping in Australiaů we might pay a lot more, have no tunnels, and more general regulation, but clouds can be dealt with Wink




That said, back when I lived in the US, it was understood that you pay for the ride, not the jump. That said, if the plane turns back before full altitude you should probably only be charged for a hop and pop.


(This post was edited by grue on Oct 14, 2013, 12:51 PM)


TommyM  (D 12889)

Oct 14, 2013, 1:23 PM
Post #14 of 41 (5897 views)
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Re: [labrys] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

labrys wrote:
Quote:
I have been to a few places that gave us a refund for riding the plane down, I don't expect it.

I rode the plane down at Skydive Hawaii my first jump there. It was really cloudy, the guys spotting could just make out the DZ through a small hole... the ocean is large... so I stayed put. I got off the plane fully expecting to pay for my ride.

The DZO gave me a clap on the back and said "that one's on me. I'm soooo happy that you decided to ride down since you don't know the area."

Dillingham field right? a challenging drop zone to be sure, not to be trifled with. Your story is a familiar one, you made the right call. How did you like getting out so far over the ocean? this was really scary the first few times I did it, even with three flotation devices, vest, belly mount and a rubber ducky. A dangerous place to jump when you can't see where you are...GPS be damned, it could be broken, I ALWAYS eyeballed the exit point at that DZ.


labrys  (D 29848)

Oct 14, 2013, 1:37 PM
Post #15 of 41 (5856 views)
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Re: [TommyM] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Dillingham field right? a challenging drop zone to be sure, not to be trifled with. Your story is a familiar one, you made the right call. How did you like getting out so far over the ocean?

It's not the easiest DZ, that's for sure. I stuck with early morning jumping before it got too windy (for me)... so didn't really exit very far off the coast. It sure a lovely place to jump though.


yeyo  (D 32048)

Oct 14, 2013, 1:50 PM
Post #16 of 41 (5827 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

If we ride up to 6000' and decide to not jump, we get charged for a hop n pop...if we pass 6000' we pay full price.


hillson  (D 33134)

Oct 14, 2013, 1:58 PM
Post #17 of 41 (5805 views)
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Re: [roostnureye] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

roostnureye wrote:
if i get on a load and clouds appear everywhere then i usually just ask the pilot to get out below the cloud deck, if its above 3k

This. If the airfield / dz can accommodate this type of jump and the conditions permit...why not?

Had one of these this summer...chasing the typical Florida summer sucker hole. Just wasn't going to happen. It was clear below 3ish (I think I got out 2600-2700) and the whole load was local with nothing lower than a C license.

Pilot received the ok for his intentions and 17 of 19 on the load did a clear and pull. I was out towards the end and I remember looking back after I was sorted seeing a string of jumpers behind me all under canopy. It was like some bizarre WWII bombing run...really neat visual for those in the air and on the ground.

Granted the conditions were favorable and we received the ok to string out over the airfield...but if you're going to pay anyway you might as well jump if the conditions are such that you are comfortable.

I can't describe most of my jumps as they are pretty similar but ill always remember this one.


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Oct 14, 2013, 2:53 PM
Post #18 of 41 (5652 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

I find it interesting that you got an answer to you question and then came back and changed the scenario. So which is it? Are you worried about your lift ticket or are you worried about the safety of the tandems?


monkycndo  (D License)

Oct 14, 2013, 6:02 PM
Post #19 of 41 (5433 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

I always believe once it is wheels up, the ticket is burned.

DZOs can do as they wish on refunds. Here are a couple of examples:

At a dz where the landing area is 9 miles away from the airport, we were waiting for sucker holes in the hope to make a jump after sitting on the ground all day. We get the call and run to the plane. We get to 2K and the pilot says there is a great hole over the landing area, but the airport and surrounding airports would most likely be totally socked in by the time he would be landing and he would have to land at an alternate airport a good distance away. He says he is returning to our airport, fully expecting to hear us bitch and moan about losing a ticket. Everyone on the load said he made the right call in protecting the plane and having it return to base. We all fully expected to lose the ticket. We were pleasantly surprised when manifest returned our tickets.Smile

At a big organized event, we were having a bad day with clouds. We were chasing holes, and ended up landing with the plane. Tickets returned. Woot. The next time we had the hole close, we rode the plane down to about 5k and hit the bottom of the cloud deck. We were informed no ticket return this time. A full otter load of wingsuits did a HnP. Hell, we had almost as much freefall time as a regular C182 dropzone on that jump.AngelicTongue


ChuckMartin  (D License)

Oct 14, 2013, 6:47 PM
Post #20 of 41 (5370 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

I have came down 3 times with the plane. Once was because the plane was having some problems and the other times were because of weather, rain and clouds. Every time I got my jump ticket back. This was at SD Suffolk in VA. Never rode back down anywhere else so I don't know how it works at other places. Maybe i'm in the minority but I think if you land because somebody else made the decision you get your money/ticket back. If the DZ thinks they can send up a load then has to call it off it's on them. If they don't think they can let people jump don't send up the plane.


AnalMike  (D 32642)

Oct 14, 2013, 7:28 PM
Post #21 of 41 (5288 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

I had my first skyvan ride down this weekend. I had a tandem student with me and the weather was a little iffy, with clouds moving in fast. We were hoping for full altitude, but I was ok with going a little less. By the time all the other jumpers got out the plane had settled to 6,500. I made the decision to land myself and the student in the plane. I didn't know what to expect on the ground but I knew darn well I wasn't jumping a tandem that low. DZO said "good call," everyone else was smiles and high-fiving for their jump...the student was refunded his money and all was good. Just depends on the DZ you're at!

And yes I am well aware that I owe beer and happy to pay it for that one! Also, very cool sight picture landing with a tailgate open over a sea of trees in the mountains.


(This post was edited by AnalMike on Oct 14, 2013, 7:28 PM)


grue  (D License)

Oct 14, 2013, 7:56 PM
Post #22 of 41 (5231 views)
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Re: [AnalMike] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

AnalMike wrote:
I didn't know what to expect on the ground but I knew darn well I wasn't jumping a tandem that low. DZO said "good call," everyone else was smiles and high-fiving for their jump...the student was refunded his money and all was good. Just depends on the DZ you're at!

We had hop and pops a couple weekends ago when we got out at 3.5 and tandems landed with the plane and were rescheduled or refunded.


mr2mk1g  (C 103449)

Oct 15, 2013, 2:22 AM
Post #23 of 41 (5016 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

In the UK his happens far more, partly because of the weather and also because our cloud rules are far less restrictive than in the US so there's often more of a chance to give it a go when conditions are otherwise marginal or a no-go under US rules. I've seen it both ways.

Often, if it's the DZ's choice to send the plane and hope to get a couple of tandems done and we sport jumpers are just filling the slots, you don't loose your ticket if the entire load comes down. It was the DZO's choice to give it a go and make a profit; you were just along for the ride - he would have gone anyway even if you stood down. It's therefore in his interest to bare the risk and have you on the plane on the off chance and take the benefit of what little profit your presence might add in the event it's good to go.

I've also experienced discussions before the load is sent where it's just sport jumpers and the DZO will state quite clearly - its up to you chumps, if you want to try it, I'll send the plane but if you end up having to ride the plane down that's your problem and the tickets are gone on wheels up. Even in this scenario, the DZO is sharing the risk and being generous as inevitably we'll spend far more time in the air than normal, searching for a hole.

Students however ought never loose their ticket. They're not the ones that make the call. They also ought not be put out in less than ideal conditions so it really was a poor call by the DZ if they ended up getting caught out at altitude with too much cloud to go.

With US rules, it's far more clear-cut when to go on a weather hold so I can understand a different application of the rules. Here it's really not uncommon to still be jumping on a day that no US DZ would ever consider.


(This post was edited by mr2mk1g on Oct 15, 2013, 4:12 AM)


Thijs  (C License)

Oct 15, 2013, 3:56 AM
Post #24 of 41 (4914 views)
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Re: [Psycho1iam] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

Here it depends on who makes the decision not to jump.

If it is the jumpmaster who says no, or the DZO from the ground, or other factors (sometimes air traffic control puts us on hold) your ticket is refunded.

If it is your decision, your ticket has been lost.

I recently rode the plane down, fully knowing I would loose the ticket, but would rather do that than fly my wingsuit through rain and 5000ft of clouds..


RyanFYF  (C License)

Oct 15, 2013, 8:02 AM
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Re: [Thijs] Paying for Not Jumping Through Clouds [In reply to] Can't Post

Only ridden the plane down once so far. We barely made it to 5,000ft when the pilot said "NO GO" and turned us around. We mentioned that perhaps we could just pay a "hop and pop" price since we only made it to that altitude. We didn't mind paying since its for the ride not the jump. Just was hoping they would only hit us for $17 instead of $23. The DZO ended up hearing that we had turned around and with out any notice, gave us all a full refund on the jump. No one even made it to manifest with our hop and pop suggestion before they came over the loud speaker and announced that the ride was on the DZO. Great business there and we continue to direct deposit our paychecks into our jump accounts Tongue


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