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AFF at Non-USPA dropzone

 

 

k2everest

Apr 29, 2003, 7:59 PM
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AFF at Non-USPA dropzone Can't Post

Hello Everyone,

I did a tandem jump at the Parachute Center in Lodi, California--(Owner Bill Dause).

I desire to do my AFF, but the Parachute Center in Lodi is a non-USPA drop zone. Is doing my AFF at this non-USPA DZ a safety problem? The people there were friendly and helpful.

Would any of you recommend a DZ to do my AFF in Central California.

Thanks for helping a new one to the world of Skydiving.

Premier skybytch  (D License)

Apr 29, 2003, 8:13 PM
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Re: [k2everest] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

The fact that a DZ is not a USPA group member doesn't make it unsafe; it means that the DZO chooses not to pay USPA money every year. Even at a "non USPA" dz instructors will generally have been rated by USPA - you can ask to see your instructors rating cards if you wish.

Other dz's in your area include Davis, Hollister, Monterey, Byron and Paradise.

Cajones  (D License)

Apr 29, 2003, 8:18 PM
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Congratulations on your tandem and welcome to skydiving.

The problem you are looking at is one that has carried a good deal of controversy for years, now.

My opinion is all I'll offer: You'd be just fine doing AFF in Lodi, inspite of their choice as a non-USPA group member. I feel this way, as the non-USPA Drop Zones I have visited and worked with have all been just as heads-up and safety conscious as those that have been USPA affiliated.

If you feel uneasy about it, this may be a reason to look at other DZ's, to alleviate some fears that may be in the back of your mind. If you were comfortable on your tandem, and felt safe and confident with the instructors in Lodi, you can ask them to compare/contrast their AFF program with that of the USPA. You may find striking similarity. You can also ask the qualifications of your jumpmasters. You may be suprised to find some of them are USPA rated AFF Instructors.

Wherever you go - Good Luck and Blue Skies

- Cajones

k2everest

Apr 29, 2003, 8:56 PM
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Re: [Cajones] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

Cajones,

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

All the Best
Steve

k2everest

Apr 29, 2003, 8:58 PM
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Re: [skybytch] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

Lisa,

Thank you for the information on various DZ's and
USPA instuctors.

Thanks,
Steve

Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 29, 2003, 10:32 PM
Post #6 of 22 (5369 views)
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Re: [k2everest] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

USPA membership just means that they are more likely to conform to certain standards of training and currency. Going to a USPA drop zone does not _guarantee_ those standards are being met, but it's a good bet that they are. Similarly, going to a non-USPA DZ does not mean that they don't meet the standards - in fact,most of them probably do.

The best way to decide is to visit the DZ. Ask questions and see if you get good answers. See how they treat you. If you get a good feeling, that's probably a good indication that they care about students, and that goes a long way towards being a safe DZ.

tombuch  (D 8514)

Apr 30, 2003, 4:05 AM
Post #7 of 22 (5339 views)
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Re: [k2everest] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I did a tandem jump at the Parachute Center in Lodi, California--(Owner Bill Dause).

I desire to do my AFF, but the Parachute Center in Lodi is a non-USPA drop zone. Is doing my AFF at this non-USPA DZ a safety problem? The people there were friendly and helpful.

USPA affiliation is important, but the lack of affiliation should not automatically eliminate a drop zone from consideration. Ask the owners WHY they are not affiliated, and then ask them to compare their program, safety record, staff, and equipment to USPA centers. Some drop zones don't belong to USPA because of safety violations, or a desire to break one or more rules. Some don't belong because of politics. It's hard for a potential student to know why a DZ isn't affiliated, so you really need to follow up with more questions.

Check with a few other schools in your area and compare their answers to the answers from Lodi. You are already doing a great job of trying to educate yourself about the available programs...keep at it and then make your own decision.

I jumped at Lodi many years ago and thought it was a solid operation, and I believe the owner, Bill Dause, is well respected within the industry. From everything I have heard, the folks at Lodi have developed a solid reputation for safety, even though the DZ is not affiliated with USPA.

So, is my opinion worth anything? I'm actually rated as a USPA instructor in the static line, IAD, Tandem, and AFF programs. I'm a rigger and pilot, and wrote a book called JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy (McGraw-Hill 2003) that is targeted at people just like you. JUMP! provides all the information a student needs to select a drop zone, and answers all the basic questions such as "Must a drop zone be a USPA member." If you are looking for more information about the sport, or for ways to compare different drop zones and understand the answers you receive, check out JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy, available at some larger local bookstores, and on-line at places like Amazon.com.

Tom Buchanan

wrightskyguy  (D 19665)

Apr 30, 2003, 4:54 AM
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Re: [k2everest] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

There are alot of reasons a DZ might not be a Group member and you should ask why and see if it's good enough for you. I would recommend however that you you never jump with an instructor that hasn't been rated through USPA.

Faber

Apr 30, 2003, 6:25 AM
Post #9 of 22 (5306 views)
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Re: [k2everest] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

I dont know in US,but you should be sure you get a licens that also work on USPA dzs.
Again i dont know the mentioned dzs nor do i know the rules in US,but just a thourgth,while we once had a similar problem in DK..

riggerrob  (D 14840)

Apr 30, 2003, 7:52 AM
Post #10 of 22 (5280 views)
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Re: [k2everest] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations on your first tandem and welcome to the world of freefall.
Relax, Bill Dause is highly regarded in the skydiving industry. Mr. Dause pays his personal USPA membership every year, but if you are wondering why his DZ is not affiliated with USPA, you will have to ask him personally.
Bill has been skydiving for about 30 years and running DZs for almost as long. Over the last decade, Bill has been competing for the record for the most jumps made by a human. The man has so many jumps that USPA has to invent a new pin for him every few months!
He must be doing something right to survive that long.

USPA affiliation is only one measure of DZ safety. Longevity is a better measure. We all know of USPA affiliated DZs that violate BSRs, but violators tend to fold after too many accidents. On the other hand, we also know of a few non-USPA DZs that have operated safely for decades.
For example: Roger Nelson had a bad-boy reputation for decades, mainly because he liked to lead the pack. His student fatality rate was low and eventually USPA came around to Nelson's training methods (squares, BOC, etc) and Roger was elected to USPA's Board of Directors.

Foreigners take note: few DZs outside the USA are affiliated with USPA. However if you look closely you will find that most are affiliated with their national aero club (Canadian Sports Parachuting Association, British Parachute Association, Australian Parachute Federation, Federation Francais du Parachutisme, Deutscher Fallschirms Verband, etc.)

jlmiracle  (D License)

Apr 30, 2003, 8:13 AM
Post #11 of 22 (5273 views)
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I' jump and have jumped at non-uspa group member dz's and most are more safety conscience than some group member dz's.

Contrary to some dz's statements, the USPA does not "certify" any group member dz's.

Judy

fundgh  (C 34140)

Apr 30, 2003, 8:52 AM
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Re: [jlmiracle] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

It is a shame that politics and money are the reason many DZs are not USPA rated. It is my understanding that there is a cost increase to be a USPA member if you have a turbine aircraft. My home DZ has a King Air, but is a small operation and chooses not to spend the $ for USPA membership, yet it is a safe and fun place. All USPA rated staff!

k2everest

Apr 30, 2003, 9:03 PM
Post #13 of 22 (5163 views)
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Re: [fundgh] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the reply. I am hearing that it costs too much for some Drop Zones to be USPA members.

I have no idea what fees are involved to be a DZ listed member with the USPA.

Thanks for all the imput.

NM767

Dec 6, 2009, 2:38 PM
Post #14 of 22 (4672 views)
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I just completed the AFF program at the Lodi Parachute Center last week. My instructor was USPA certified and I fealt the program was very safe and would recommend it to anyone looking to complete AFF. Bill is very friendly and helpful as well.

diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 6, 2009, 5:18 PM
Post #15 of 22 (4635 views)
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It's less than $600 a year for most DZ's.

diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 6, 2009, 5:19 PM
Post #16 of 22 (4634 views)
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Re: [NM767] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
My instructor was USPA certified

How do you know? Did you see their certification?

hookitt  (D License)

Dec 7, 2009, 1:39 PM
Post #17 of 22 (4510 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
My instructor was USPA certified

How do you know? Did you see their certification?

They are. I'm positive of this. I occasionally do independent AFF in lodi also. Regarding me, I'm positive I'm a current USPA member and active and current AFF instructor as well.

noname  (B 28024)

Dec 7, 2009, 4:31 PM
Post #18 of 22 (4456 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
My instructor was USPA certified

How do you know? Did you see their certification?

I was not aware that anyone had to see anything for themselves before posting facts about it. Good to know.

TiaDanger  (A 56121)

Dec 7, 2009, 4:59 PM
Post #19 of 22 (4441 views)
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Re: [k2everest] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

I did AFF in Lodi in March. I never felt that it was an unsafe dropzone as far as AFF goes. Will, my AFF instructor, was absolutely awesome, safety conscious, and patient. Since I've been jumping there, EVERY single employee there has helped me in some way or another. Bill has, on more than one occasion, take time out of his duties (even on BUSY days), to sit down with me for 20 or 30 minutes to go over some gear thing, or RW thing, etc.

If you have any questions about Lodi AFF, feel free to PM me as well.

diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 7, 2009, 7:17 PM
Post #20 of 22 (4411 views)
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Re: [hookitt] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

Good to know. Smile

timmyfitz  (D License)

Dec 8, 2009, 6:57 AM
Post #21 of 22 (4344 views)
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Re: [TiaDanger] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I did AFF in Lodi in March. I never felt that it was an unsafe dropzone as far as AFF goes. Will, my AFF instructor, was absolutely awesome, safety conscious, and patient. Since I've been jumping there, EVERY single employee there has helped me in some way or another. Bill has, on more than one occasion, take time out of his duties (even on BUSY days), to sit down with me for 20 or 30 minutes to go over some gear thing, or RW thing, etc.

If you have any questions about Lodi AFF, feel free to PM me as well.

I'm sure all the ugly sweating fat guys get the same level of service. LaughLaughLaugh

(I'm just kidding. It's a joke)

Andy9o8  (D License)

Dec 8, 2009, 7:07 AM
Post #22 of 22 (4338 views)
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Re: [timmyfitz] AFF at Non-USPA dropzone [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I did AFF in Lodi in March. I never felt that it was an unsafe dropzone as far as AFF goes. Will, my AFF instructor, was absolutely awesome, safety conscious, and patient. Since I've been jumping there, EVERY single employee there has helped me in some way or another. Bill has, on more than one occasion, take time out of his duties (even on BUSY days), to sit down with me for 20 or 30 minutes to go over some gear thing, or RW thing, etc.

If you have any questions about Lodi AFF, feel free to PM me as well.

I'm sure all the ugly sweating fat guys get the same level of service. LaughLaughLaugh

(I'm just kidding. It's a joke)

If comedy is art, then that was art imitating life.

 
 
 


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