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Westerly

Top 5 Tandem Scams

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I used to work at a (sea level) DZ that offered 9,000’ standard edit altitude, plus “bonus” altitude for $20 or $40 more. That made sense when they flew piston-pounding Cessna 182s.

It made less sense when they flew a (turboprop) Cessna Caravan during the busy summer months because the most profitable way to fly a turbine is a single pass at 12,000 feet.

Another possible scam is offering “Canada’s highest skydives.” If you take off from Calgary, you are already almost 3,500 feet above sea level. If they take you up to 14,000 feet above ground level, that might equal 17,500 feet ASL. That gives students almost the same air time as sea level DZs, but I have done enough jumps from 14,000 to 19,000 feet ASL to know that it is a healthy practice because few skydivers - and non of the general public - recognize when they suffer hypoxia (shortage of oxygen).
When I jumped from 19,000, we had no supplemental oxygen. My student was “woozy” by the time we reached 19,000’ so I had to carry the well-nourished lad the entire length of a Dornier 228. I was puffing like a locomotive by the time we reached the door. My vision was going grey and I was losing peripheral vision. Mind you, that was back in the days when I thought a 20 kilometre fun was a pleasant way to cure a hangover!
Hah!
Hah!

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WTF! I know of the altitude rip off, there's a DZ near Vancouver BC that is notorious for it but "extreme freefall?"

Does that really exist? If so please name and shame the dropzones that do it right here.
"Now, why do witches burn?"
"...because they're made of... wood?"
"Good. So how do you tell whether she is made of wood?"
"Build a bridge out of her."

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My former DZ did the groupon jump for $99 to 8,000 ft. The day of the jump they would then claim they had no aircraft that could make it to 8,000 ft, and you had to upgrade to 15,000 for another $99...When all was said and done, you’d be lucky to make it to 12k...crazy but true.

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jclalor

My former DZ did the groupon jump for $99 to 8,000 ft. The day of the jump they would then claim they had no aircraft that could make it to 8,000 ft, and you had to upgrade to 15,000 for another $99...When all was said and done, you’d be lucky to make it to 12k...crazy but true.



Call them out! What's the name of the DZ?

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Westerly

https://www.skydivecsc.com/blog/the-worst-marketing-gimmicks-in-tandem-skydiving
Does your DZ try to pull any of this? Some of them sound ridiculously stupid.



I think they missed the number one scam:


saying your DZ is in one location, selling the person a very expensive, non-refundable tandem, then letting them know your DZ is really five states away.

Really tough to beat that one.

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Jump more, post less!

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Here are the Big offenders owned by Luther Kurtz. They all sell weather insurance priority booking $50 and $100, slots never go to full altitude. I used to work for him. My job ended over a pilot flying an un airworthy airplane and hiding it from me with Luthers knowledge and approval. His ethics are less than moral for someone who is a Lawyer and holds public office. Or maybe just perfect.

Aivcon's skydiving centers:

Skydive Harbor Springs

Motor City/Capital City Skydiving (literally the same place, but sometimes one has a "sale" but not the other)

DC Skydiving Center

Miami Skydiving Center

Skydive Coastal California

Pacific Coast Skydiving

Uncle/GrandPapa Whit
Unico Rodriguez # 245
Muff Brother # 2421

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douwanto

They all sell weather insurance priority booking $50 and $100,



Your weather insurance policy is your credit card. If you pay for a skydive and don't get it (regardless of the reason) for no fault of your own and the company does not give you a refund, you dispute the charge with your bank for non-receipt of a paid product.

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I believe it is unfair to call an upcharge for additional altitude a scam.

In a saturated market where competetors are advertising deeply discounted tandem jumps a DZ has to offer similar discounts or lose business. To offer a base price tandem at 10.5 gives an opportunity to up-charge For 13.5 to make a profit. The same goes for hand cam or outside video. It isn’t included in the base price jump. Is it then a “scam” to offer it for an additional fee?

There are some markets where tandem is no longer the cash cow it once was. Those DZs have to adjust. I personally see nothing wrong with an additional charge for a better jump.

Junior

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I am surprised that no tandem mill offers to sell souvenir ripcords or goggles.
In pre-Sigma days, DZs that taught students to pull drogue releases routinely lost a drogue-release handle or two every weekend. If they drop their souvenir, manifest can always sell them a replacement souvenir.

Similarly, students routinely drop goggles in the grass after landing. If they lose their souvenir googles, manifest can always sell them a replacement pair and they can wear them for the rest of the day.
Skydiving googles are great for starting conversions ..... which often generate follow-on business.

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There is a DZ in Michigan that states on their website that they offer up to two mile high tandems with 40 seconds of free fall. I noticed while flying by, they were calling ATC an altitude of 9,500 ft MSL. The elevation there is about 850 ft. That's 8,650 AGL. Maybe they have super drogues. Is there a chart in the SIM that lists tandem delays and altitudes? BTW, they do not allow many fun jumpers unless it is the end of the day and there is only one tandem in the 182. They would rather you did not have an altimeter. ha ha

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