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On 5/7/2019 at 1:53 PM, CoolBeans said:

I don't want to derail, but recording conversations without consent in California is a crime, check California Wiretapping Law. You should make notes instead next time.

 Concisely but quickly stated the car was being monitored and recorded, I know the laws 

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On 5/7/2019 at 2:41 PM, pchapman said:

@RatelSquadron

- Every dropzone (unless it just opened) will have had accidents. Maybe not fatal, but there will be injuries.

- Dropzones might get just a little unethical or deceptive about accidents because they may be talking about their first jump students, or their students in general, but not licensed skydivers. The DZ wants you to know about the safety of their student programs, not what happens to experienced jumpers who take on more risk on their own. The DZ should be clear what they are talking about. A DZ may be fighting public misperceptions. If a skydiver dies at a dropzone, it often has nothing to do with the school or how students are treated. No more than how a ski school on the bunny slopes may be safe, while experienced skiers take the lifts to get to the backcountry where they do some dangerous things -- unrelated to the novice skier's experience.

- Gerado Flores was an idiot, liar,and a laughing stock among just about any skydiver who heard his tale.

- Some of the equipment he rented may have been older or worn, but that doesn't mean it was too bad to use. It may also have been less than suitable for some types of jumping (non-belly jumps). Gerado chose to jump it, and jumped it in a manner not consistent with what he told the dropzone he was going to do. 

   - Still, skydivers did debate whether the gear was suitable, whether it was just "older and worn but serviceable", or really was getting "a bit sketchy". Those of us out on the internet can't know for sure as we didn't see the equipment. We can't exonerate the DZ, but can't automatically blame it either.

- The gear inspection by the FAA and Allen Silver was an abomination, complete crap. While Allen Silver is highly respected in emergency parachute circles, I believe he was long out of sport skydiving. Maybe he was only given a very short time to inspect the gear.  In any case, any experienced skydiver reading the report would see it to be complete crap, being vague or erroneous or missing the point or not putting things in any sort of context. It left so many questions open, and failed to ask various important questions, that I can't draw any real conclusions from it about whether or not the gear was acceptable to jump. (For example, the report completely fails to note when some damage seen on the rig -- broken lines -- might likely be a result of Flores' jump and inadvertent opening, while making the non-skydiver reader think the damage existed before the jump. Two very different things.)

      - So it was terrible that that FAA report went out to the public and was used in media reports to try to discredit the dropzone.

Skydive Monterey should be clear when talking to people, just what they mean when they talk about their safety record.

 

 

THERE WE GO EVERYONE...  this person is the first person that took the time to respectfully explain and not heat on a new person, it sheds a lot of light and understanding, I appreciate this and to all of those of you who were very aggressive, didn’t explain a thing and were flat out jerks, black skies for you my friends ....

 As far as you pchapman,  thank you very much for your explanation and also your tone .. it is appreciate and I will remove my post now that someone decent has shed some light 

Edited by RatelSquadron

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On 5/7/2019 at 2:48 PM, Interstellar_court said:

I'm confused what you're trying to accomplish with this? Skydiving is dangerous. Accidents happen. Equipment is constantly improving/changing. Knowledge is constantly changing/improving. Maybe the person you spoke with was new and wasn't aware of something that happened 7 years ago.

I think there may be a lot of things that you aren't considering, but I am interested in hearing your motivations.

 I was just insulted because I knew that there had been an issue there and they were blatantly telling me there wasn’t, someone broke it down politely and kindly above and shed some light, I don’t like being lied to you and I don’t think any one does so primarily I’m calling them out for the integrity part. 

 Whatever happened with the accident is one thing, it was just the fact that I was looking at the story on the computer as the girl was telling me “I am absolutely positive that there is never been an accident here and you must have bad information “

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On 5/7/2019 at 3:44 PM, Orthoclase said:

Why are you so vehemently lambasting a DZ that you've never been to over something that happened 7 years ago? For all you know, the person who you spoke with on the phone might not have even been working/jumping there when that happened. 

Did you ask your skydiver friends who told you that you should have some experience before jumping there what they meant by that? I've never jumped there, so I don't know -- and there might be valid reasons for them saying that (not a lot of options for landing out, weird wind patterns, etc), but that little piece of sensationalistic journalism about someone who got hurt (at least partially, if not fully) due to his own choices isn't one of them.

 

On 5/7/2019 at 10:02 PM, skybytch said:

YOU are responsible for your safety in skydiving. Doesn't matter who rented or sold you the gear you are jumping, who owns the airplane you jumped from, who owns the dz, who trained you. You. No one else.

Read the waiver before you sign it. It lays it all out.

Bashing a dz you have never been to based on what happened seven years ago or the fact that someone working there may not even know what happened seven years ago when you have zero experience in the sport,  not to mention illegally recording the conversation... well, that's probably not the best way to make friends in the sport. Or maybe even find a dz to jump at.

If you can't t take responsibility for your own decisions in skydiving,  please find something else to do.

 How can you say you are responsible despite who rented you the gear if you were a student and you don’t know any better and you were trying to learn and someone hands you something that might not be right?  Again this is not really about the accident, it was about being lied to you about an  incident 

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On 5/8/2019 at 5:45 AM, SethInMI said:

In his defense, as a student skydiver one of the things you can do to be responsible for yourself is to try and find a dropzone and instructors you can trust, as you need to trust others to train and equip you properly, so I salute his efforts at doing research and asking questions, but he should not have recorded the conversation without permission.

Also, from a style POV, the post was a little much with the signs and lots of tags and large font.

 I do agree with the large font, I forget that in computer world that means yelling, I wasn’t yelling but it definitely rub me the wrong way. A lot of people have explained and I am understanding now that the report might not have been the best and I truly apologize for coming at this with some ignorance but it boils down to being lied to you, I really did not like that with someone that I was going to trust with my life, and that is exactly what happens if you’re a brand new person and you don’t know anything about this and you go out of the airplane door, so the other guy telling me I need to be  responsible and know what I’m doing is absolutely ridiculous when it’s your  first jump .

( and I’m not buying any of you assholes a case, maybe the nice folks that have explained to a new person but none of you haters )

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On 5/8/2019 at 6:26 AM, DougH said:

I sincerely hope you DO NOT start jumping. Seriously, go fuck off with your bad attitude. Are you dense enough to think that this post would be well received, at all?

We are all aware of the accident, and the majority of us place blame on Flores. He was the primary contributor to his own accident. Why should the drop zone advertise to every caller that asks?

Additionally you are probably calling a manifest girl who may not be a skydiver and may not have any knowledge of the accident. It was a number of years ago, and drop zones get new staff frequently.

Skydiving is a people sport, and at first blush your people skills suck. Please research yourself into a new potential hobby instead of a new drop zone.

I think you should print out this post and show it to ever prospective drop zone that you are interviewing for the opportunity to deal with you. Since you are looking for full disclosure it is only fair that they know who you are too. They should know that you are quick to run to the internet, and probably quick to run to a lawyer if you stub your toe. You are going to be the student that disagrees with his instructor and has something to say about every point of constructive criticism. I'm rather glad you are on the west coast! See ya!

I have, a bunch of people are shocked at the behavior on here.

in YOUR Defense I did get shit for the way that it was written in my capitals but the few people I’ve talk to you in person in the last two days completely understood my point. 

 And it’s interesting that you have to use attacks and profanity, it shows you’re quite understanding 

Edited by RatelSquadron
Typo

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On 5/9/2019 at 9:24 AM, KBUDA said:

The guy had a premie on student rental gear. Anyone with more than 2 months in the sport would likely be able to tell you what "freefly friendly" means, and that those words don't usually apply to rental gear. In addition to that, your main parachute is not to be trusted. If it comes out, you are to consider yourself lucky, and to second guess its air-worthiness by unstowing the brakes and performing a controlability check. If your EPs consist of geeking your handcam and narrating your death for all of your Facebook followers, it stands to reason that in an emergency you will end up recording a ludicrously stupid video that potentially ends with you going in. 

 

 That was absolutely hysterical, the shoelace was priceless 

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On 5/7/2019 at 1:35 PM, RatelSquadron said:

 Hello everybody, I’m brand new here and brand new to the sport, I have not even taken my AFF yet. I did my first tandem and loved it!  But I am very bothered by something and I think this definitely needs to be shared! I love adrenaline sports and partake in a few. I take them all very seriously because there is definitely risk so I started to do my research.

 Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that accidents and fatalities can be due to many different variables.

I have been calling around to a few of the drop zones to check things out, Davis is very reputable and everyone says great things about it but it is very very far for me, I’ve heard some mixed things about Lodi. I’ve asked a few skydivers what they thought of Monterey and a few very experienced people have told me that it is beautiful but you should be a seasoned diver before you jumped there. I thought that was an interesting statement?  I pursued a little further.  I found out in 2012 there was a guy named Gerardo Flores whos parachute deployed at 16,000 feet.  The C.E.O and chief safety officer of skydive Monterey, Jackie Behrick, and other divers said he should not of had a handheld camera and it was a huge distraction and what caused the incident.  After watching the video I found fault with those statements.  I have never done any skydiving but I also know what I saw, he was on his back and his parachute simply came out of the container.  I could be completely incorrect but that’s what it look like.

 Here was part of the story:

FAA Inspector Robinson looked over the parachute on Aug. 14, 2012, along with a parachute rigger examiner Allen Silver at Silver Parachute Sales & Services in Hayward, Calif.

 "The container showed signs of wear and tear that appeared beyond serviceable limits," the report continues. "The material on the flap of the reserve container was worn on numerous parts of the cover.

"The main parachute closing flap velcro was completely worn." 

Behrick's reply: It makes sense it was messed up after the jump. His ill-advised maneuvers led to damage, and for all she knows the paramedics who reached him on the ground cut up the rig.

Flores' lawyer, Oakland personal injury attorney David A. Kleczek, disagrees. 

"The parachute was a piece of garbage beyond serviceable limits," he says, "with intentional modifications that don't meet muster." 

Before she was aware of a lawsuit, Behrick issued a statement that the accident was due to diver error, not improperly checked or maintained equipment. 

Flores’s lawyer said there would likely be no lawsuit without the FAA report.

"If the report said the parachute was in perfect working condition, I don't think we would present a case," he says. "It all goes back to the parachute, above all else."

As far as the barrel roll, Kleczek says that was part of training administered by SDM themselves. 

"Their training course specifically calls for him to practice barrel rolls," he says.

 

SO.......

 The reason I am so irritated is because I just called Monterey and I asked if there had ever been any injuries, accidents or fatalities. I wanted to see if they would be honest.

I spoke with a lady named Dannie (or Danny) and recorded the call after the beginning because I could see where it was going with all of her probing after I told her my friend mentioned there had been an incident. She told me there have been no injuries, accidents or fatalities in Monterey EVER and I must have the wrong jump zone. She then said what sort of things have you heard? I asked if she was sure and she said yes, I even recorded it. I then continued to hear talk in the background and her pauses.  She was being fed what to say and she absolutely knew that she was not being truthful. As a good salesman you can tell when someone is selling you.  I was considering taking AFF there instead of Hollister because it’s so much closer, if they were honest with me I probably still would’ve done it there, they completely lied to my face.  What I find very funny about that behavior is this quote by the Monterey dropzone CEO and chief safety officer Jackie Behrick, "He declared a routine and was completely lying to my face."

Doesn’t feel very good to be lied to does it Jackie?!

 

p.s.  I really hate to start out this way and I really hope that I’m not hated for not being 100% on board with all the jump zones or backing this particular jump zone with this incident .

 And if I’m speaking with ignorance and there is something I don’t know or haven’t seen please kindly chime in and educate me, I’m not trying to be a hater, just really felt that this was bad form.

 

 here is the story and video in case this is new news 

http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/blogs/news_blog/man-sues-marina-s-skydive-monterey-bay-over-skydiving-crash/article_c2f5feee-a89e-11e3-9225-001a4bcf6878.html

 I would like to apologize to everybody for the way that this was written

and conveyed.  I could have written this much more eloquently. 

I should have written it with much more tact.

I need to make it perfectly clear that my post had nothing to do with the accident itself, I don’t know anything about it, I am simply pissed off that someone lied to my face about safety, I wouldn’t lie to your face about anything and I think you would appreciate that.

 As far as the recording goes, I only started recording after I was being lied to  and I could hear some other voices.  It put a bad taste in my mouth, would it not have done that for you? And I only recorded because I got pissed and wanted to play it back a few times to myself, I have not played the recording to anyone, but I did say clearly and concisely, but quickly that the call was being monitored and recorded.  There were absolutely no plans to use this for any malicious purpose of any kind.

 I am not sue happy, I am not someone who tries to get peoples hackles up but I am absolutely a person of integrity and principal and I did not appreciate being lied to.

 My final question for the people that are irritated is if you came into my business (welding) And you told me you were a brand new welder and you said you wanted to start using acetylene but then asked me if it would be OK for you to smoke a cigarette over 20 feet away because you weren’t quite sure if the gas reacts more like propane or natural gas  and I said to you “sure, I’ve never seen an issue with anyone smoking and welding” but then you heard about some guy who blew up the whole shop years before because of it you would probably be pretty pissed off too...

 These are my final thoughts, I’m not going to answer or try to defend myself anymore, I’m simply going to wait for everyone that has chimed in to hopefully read this and remove the post, and then I’m going to never post again, become a very good knowledgeable skydiver  so that when someone chimes in with limited experience I can educate and help instead of bash and hate.

 Hope you all have a wonderful day. :)

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33 minutes ago, RatelSquadron said:

THERE WE GO EVERYONE...  this person is the first person that took the time to respectfully explain and not heat on a new person, it sheds a lot of light and understanding, I appreciate this and to all of those of you who were very aggressive, didn’t explain a thing and were flat out jerks, black skies for you my friends ....

 As far as you pchapman,  thank you very much for your explanation and also your tone .. it is appreciate and I will remove my post now that someone decent has shed some light 

I am sure everyone would have responded the same way (or as close) as pchapman had you been a little more tactful in the way you approached this subject.

You said you spoke with some people in person and they said almost the same thing, so imagine a forum board where no one really knows who you are.

There is a way to approach things, even the sensitive subjects... the way your post comes off is the same as someone saying " I am not racist/homophobic/etc... BUT...." 

 

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3 minutes ago, Nabz said:

I am sure everyone would have responded the same way (or as close) as pchapman had you been a little more tactful in the way you approached this subject.

You said you spoke with some people in person and they said almost the same thing, so imagine a forum board where no one really knows who you are.

There is a way to approach things, even the sensitive subjects... the way your post comes off is the same as someone saying " I am not racist/homophobic/etc... BUT...." 

 

You’re absolutely right, completely, I got really hot under the collar and wrote that in a very bad way, I’m wondering if I should edit it just for  A day or two that I’m going to leave it up .

  I should’ve rethought how I written it but I keep going back to the actual issue itself and I’m definitely sticking to my guns on that.

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On 5/7/2019 at 2:35 PM, RatelSquadron said:

I just called Monterey and I asked if there had ever been any injuries, accidents or fatalities. I wanted to see if they would be honest.

See, this is where it goes off the rails for me: The entire setup and intention for the call you made, was to try to catch them in a lie or to play "gotcha". Had you called and said: "Hey, I just read about this incident at your DZ and it really scared me. Can you tell me more about it, or help me put my mind at ease?", it would be an entirely different matter.
So this wasn't an innocent call, during which you suddenly found yourself being lied to, and then somehow had the presence of mind to record it (I wouldn't even know how to do this in the middle of a call)--No: You already had the INTENTION to catch them in a lie, or "test" them, or something like that. It seemed to have been a setup from the get-go, as you admitted in the quote above.
(And since you say you have your own business, I also cannot believe that you would be so naive that you would call--what you must assume to be a front desk staffer--and expect some kind of perfect official answer to an issue that is extremely tricky, and may have legal ramifications, and which happened many years ago, likely before any such staffer would have started to work there: If you really wanted their official take, you at least would have asked for the owner or "responsible person for accidents"--purposefully not using official titles here, assuming you wouldn't know how a DZ is structured)
I don't think this has anything to do with you being new to skydiving. It would apply to you dealing with ANY type of business. The very intention of your call was off, and it actually makes it a bit hard to believe that you just decided to record later, and did not already have the intention to do so (at least if things were going the way you were fearing--or hoping?--them to go)
I am glad that you got some good information about the skydiving-related issues here and that you took this information in, but--in my opinion--one reason why people were so hostile is, that your intentions were clearly hostile from the beginning...and this is not only an issue of style in your post. The entire action of that call shows something to be off, and I'd encourage you to have an honest look at that.

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22 hours ago, RatelSquadron said:

You’re absolutely right, completely, I got really hot under the collar and wrote that in a very bad way, I’m wondering if I should edit it just for  A day or two that I’m going to leave it up .

  I should’ve rethought how I written it but I keep going back to the actual issue itself and I’m definitely sticking to my guns on that.

This was one of the most discussed incidents here back in 2013. Here is the thread in the incident forum:

And here is a parallel thread in the Safety and Training forum:

 

 

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On 5/7/2019 at 1:35 PM, RatelSquadron said:

 Hello everybody, I’m brand new here and brand new to the sport, I have not even taken my AFF yet. I did my first tandem and loved it!  But I am very bothered by something and I think this definitely needs to be shared! I love adrenaline sports and partake in a few. I take them all very seriously because there is definitely risk so I started to do my research.

 Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that accidents and fatalities can be due to many different variables.

I have been calling around to a few of the drop zones to check things out, Davis is very reputable and everyone says great things about it but it is very very far for me, I’ve heard some mixed things about Lodi. I’ve asked a few skydivers what they thought of Monterey and a few very experienced people have told me that it is beautiful but you should be a seasoned diver before you jumped there. I thought that was an interesting statement?  I pursued a little further.  I found out in 2012 there was a guy named Gerardo Flores whos parachute deployed at 16,000 feet.  The C.E.O and chief safety officer of skydive Monterey, Jackie Behrick, and other divers said he should not of had a handheld camera and it was a huge distraction and what caused the incident.  After watching the video I found fault with those statements.  I have never done any skydiving but I also know what I saw, he was on his back and his parachute simply came out of the container.  I could be completely incorrect but that’s what it look like.

 Here was part of the story:

FAA Inspector Robinson looked over the parachute on Aug. 14, 2012, along with a parachute rigger examiner Allen Silver at Silver Parachute Sales & Services in Hayward, Calif.

 "The container showed signs of wear and tear that appeared beyond serviceable limits," the report continues. "The material on the flap of the reserve container was worn on numerous parts of the cover.

"The main parachute closing flap velcro was completely worn." 

Behrick's reply: It makes sense it was messed up after the jump. His ill-advised maneuvers led to damage, and for all she knows the paramedics who reached him on the ground cut up the rig.

Flores' lawyer, Oakland personal injury attorney David A. Kleczek, disagrees. 

"The parachute was a piece of garbage beyond serviceable limits," he says, "with intentional modifications that don't meet muster." 

Before she was aware of a lawsuit, Behrick issued a statement that the accident was due to diver error, not improperly checked or maintained equipment. 

Flores’s lawyer said there would likely be no lawsuit without the FAA report.

"If the report said the parachute was in perfect working condition, I don't think we would present a case," he says. "It all goes back to the parachute, above all else."

As far as the barrel roll, Kleczek says that was part of training administered by SDM themselves. 

"Their training course specifically calls for him to practice barrel rolls," he says.

 

SO.......

 The reason I am so irritated is because I just called Monterey and I asked if there had ever been any injuries, accidents or fatalities. I wanted to see if they would be honest.

I spoke with a lady named Dannie (or Danny) and recorded the call after the beginning because I could see where it was going with all of her probing after I told her my friend mentioned there had been an incident. She told me there have been no injuries, accidents or fatalities in Monterey EVER and I must have the wrong jump zone. She then said what sort of things have you heard? I asked if she was sure and she said yes, I even recorded it. I then continued to hear talk in the background and her pauses.  She was being fed what to say and she absolutely knew that she was not being truthful. As a good salesman you can tell when someone is selling you.  I was considering taking AFF there instead of Hollister because it’s so much closer, if they were honest with me I probably still would’ve done it there, they completely lied to my face.  What I find very funny about that behavior is this quote by the Monterey dropzone CEO and chief safety officer Jackie Behrick, "He declared a routine and was completely lying to my face."

Doesn’t feel very good to be lied to does it Jackie?!

 

p.s.  I really hate to start out this way and I really hope that I’m not hated for not being 100% on board with all the jump zones or backing this particular jump zone with this incident .

 And if I’m speaking with ignorance and there is something I don’t know or haven’t seen please kindly chime in and educate me, I’m not trying to be a hater, just really felt that this was bad form.

 

 here is the story and video in case this is new news 

http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/blogs/news_blog/man-sues-marina-s-skydive-monterey-bay-over-skydiving-crash/article_c2f5feee-a89e-11e3-9225-001a4bcf6878.html

And you ended up at Hollister? That’s fucking priceless. After several fatalities they continued to advertise as being fatality free. In fact the family of a deceased jumper ( Worn and outdated student rig) sued for their false claim of being fatality free. 

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On 5/11/2019 at 12:12 PM, RatelSquadron said:

You’re absolutely right, completely, I got really hot under the collar and wrote that in a very bad way, I’m wondering if I should edit it just for  A day or two that I’m going to leave it up .

  I should’ve rethought how I written it but I keep going back to the actual issue itself and I’m definitely sticking to my guns on that.

I don't think it's just the wording.

If you had come on and said, "I'm confused about something, and I hope someone can help me out.  I recently read that Skydive Monterey had a safety issue with a guy called Geraldo Flores, but when I called to ask them whether there had ever been any injuries, they said 'no.'  Why wouldn't they have told me about Geraldo Flores?  Should I be worried that they are not telling me the truth?"

I think that many more people would have had a different reaction, and tried to explain things.

Instead, you came on basically said "Skydive Monterey is full of liars, and they need to be called out for being unsafe."  What rubbed many people (certainly me) the wrong way was the assumption that, as someone who has made one tandem jump, you knew everything about everything.

I don't know anything about welding, but how would you react if I went on to a welding forum and said, "Guys, RatelSquadron's welding business is a joke.  He says he's safe, but he uses AN OPEN FLAME.  No one should use him for welding because it's only a matter of time before OSHA shuts him down."

That's how I think most of us read your post.

If you do get into skydiving, I encourage you to ask more questions, and make fewer declarative statements.  I think you'll go a lot further.

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