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SoCalJumper

Gerardo Flores, just filed the lawsuit in Monterey County Superior Court.

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The VAST VAST majority of personal jury cases get settled out of court, but if that doesnt happen then 12 ordinary citizen-jurors will hear the evidence and decide the outcome.

If the DZ has a meritorious defense, and the case cannot be settled, then they should hire a kick ass trial lawyer and "rack 12".

It's expensive to try a case (expert witness fees etc), but so is settling. If you get a defense verdict you pay zero to the plaintiff. In California, if the defendant wins and an earlier offer to the plaintiff was rejected, the defendant might even get the plaintiff to pay some of the defense costs under this CCP 998 provision: http://www.smwb.com/ccp-998-offer-a-settlement-offer-with-strings-attached. CCP 998 works both ways, and can result in a winner paying the loser for some fees if an earlier rejected settlement was more than the verdict.

I got a big chuckle when Bill Booth changed the name of his skydive gear company from Relative Workshop to Uninsured Relative Workshop and more recently to Uninsured United Parachute Technologies, LLC.

That has probably scared off a few plaintiff's contingency lawyers looking for an easy insurance policy funded settlement.

I have jumped at Skydive Monterey Bay, including a number of 18,000 ft jumps. I rented gear there about 8 years ago. The gear was typical DZ rental gear, well worn but airworthy. I don't know the facts of the Flores case so I won't speculate, but I have always regarded SMB as a safety conscious operation. They had a King Air 200 when I last jumped there that had a climb rate that took my breath away. Seemed like we were on jump run at 13,500 about six minutes after liftoff.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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Doug_Davis

***The rig was fine. The "FAA report" about it being "not serviceable" looked like a lawyer-bought hack job and shouldn't be taken as unbiased or even credible.



You dont know anything about the professional reputation of the Master Rigger involved in the inspection of that rig.


I would say:
Both statements are correct. It does indeed "look like" total crap... but that seems very unlike the well respected Allen Silver. Did he only have a few minutes to examine the gear, and reported verbally to an FAA guy who didn't know parachutes? Is he out of touch with skydiving rigs despite his past experience and familiarity with bailout rigs?

Whatever faults the rig might have had, are impossible to tell from the so called FAA report.

I wish Mr. Silver would give his side of the story.

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You dont know anything about the professional reputation of the Master Rigger involved in the inspection of that rig.
http://www.silverparachutes.com/about-us/
You might want to educate yourself.



Yes, I do. Doesn't change a thing.
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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pchapman

******The rig was fine. The "FAA report" about it being "not serviceable" looked like a lawyer-bought hack job and shouldn't be taken as unbiased or even credible.



You dont know anything about the professional reputation of the Master Rigger involved in the inspection of that rig.


I would say:
Both statements are correct. It does indeed "look like" total crap... but that seems very unlike the well respected Allen Silver. Did he only have a few minutes to examine the gear, and reported verbally to an FAA guy who didn't know parachutes? Is he out of touch with skydiving rigs despite his past experience and familiarity with bailout rigs?

Whatever faults the rig might have had, are impossible to tell from the so called FAA report.

I wish Mr. Silver would give his side of the story.

Allen knows parachute gear, all kinds. He has even designed specialized military rescue gear. I watched a Rigging Alternate Method Zodiac (RAMZ) that Allen rigged being dropped by a CA ANG 129th Rescue Squadron Herc. The system was invented by Malcolm C. Hassler CMSgt, USAF Retired, but I understand Allen helped a lot in optimizing it for the 129th's missions where he was a rigger.

Pretty impressive to watch some PJs and a big box land in the ocean and minutes later the PJs are motoring away at 30 knots in a boat. I WANT one of those OMC 35 HP milspec waterproof outboard motors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfzyX-XTr6o

Allen jumpmastered me in the late 1960s and I jumped with him at WFFC a few years back. He isnt a very active skydiver these days but he certainly knows the gear. He is PRO rated and does demo jumps occasionally. He used to do a wing walking airshow act with Eddie Andreini atop Eddie's Super Stearman.

I'd put my bets on Allen Silver any day when it comes to investigating gear issues. If something doesnt sound right he is probably being quoted out of context or someone is spinning what he said.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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Doug_Davis



Good for you. Seriously. Unfortunately not every DZ is using brand new properly inspected and maintenanced equipment. And they arent about to tell their students, "Hey this rig is 20 years old and has a few broken suspension lines due to age, and its due for a reserve repack but you should be fine." They want to get paid.
There are DZ's out there putting up students on F-111 chutes with way more than 500+ jumps on them. This seems to amaze some people, but it happens.



Setting all the rest of your post aside, do you really, REALLY believe they're REPACKING a canopy with broken suspension lines? I guess it's possible but I'm extremely skeptical.

As for F-111 canopies with over 500 jumps… so? I'm sure the Raven IV I used from jump 1 until jump 45 or so had substantially more than that, but it was safe and fine. Also prepared me well for the first time I did a chop with my own rig and found myself under an F-111 7cell.
cavete terrae.

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The sloppiest packer and shoddiest DZO wouldn't tie knots in broken suspension lines and then proceed to repack the canopy.

If you are a cheap bastard you know it isn't cost effective; instead of downtime for a main you run the risk of losing your main, plus freebag, handles, and a reserve repack.

Plenty of drop zones have rental rigs that meet safety standards, but aren't free fly friendly, and have some wear and tear within serviceable limits. That isn't gross negligence.

Premature deployments have numerous causes. Make a case that the premature deployment was caused by the gear, instead of its improper use, and I will show you a bunch of rentals of the same gear with no issues because it was within the limits of acceptable wear.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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I agree with you. I keep thinking what if he rented a CRW rig and took it free flying and the same outcome happened. Would it still be the DZO's fault? It is an air worthy rig being used outside of its designed parameters by the pilot.
I know I am stretching a bit, but where is the line?

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377


I'd put my bets on Allen Silver any day when it comes to investigating gear issues. If something doesnt sound right he is probably being quoted out of context or someone is spinning what he said.

377



I'm not saying you're wrong, because I don't know Allen Silver (or anything about him). But the PDF of the report is online. Nothing is out of context. It is worth noting, however, that the report itself is not written by Mr. Silver, but rather a Wilbert J. Robinson. The report states that "an examination was performed by Inspector Robinson, San Jose FSDO and Allen Silver, FAA Master Rigger..." and then goes on to state the findings of that examination. That section begins "We began the inspection..."

http://cbssanfran.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/faa-report.pdf

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grue

***

Good for you. Seriously. Unfortunately not every DZ is using brand new properly inspected and maintenanced equipment. And they arent about to tell their students, "Hey this rig is 20 years old and has a few broken suspension lines due to age, and its due for a reserve repack but you should be fine." They want to get paid.
There are DZ's out there putting up students on F-111 chutes with way more than 500+ jumps on them. This seems to amaze some people, but it happens.



Setting all the rest of your post aside, do you really, REALLY believe they're REPACKING a canopy with broken suspension lines? I guess it's possible but I'm extremely skeptical.

As for F-111 canopies with over 500 jumps… so? I'm sure the Raven IV I used from jump 1 until jump 45 or so had substantially more than that, but it was safe and fine. Also prepared me well for the first time I did a chop with my own rig and found myself under an F-111 7cell.

In answer to your first question, did you go back and read the old thread? Look at the stills from the video?
The suspension lines were broken on BOTH risers as soon as the chute opened and since opening shock was negligible in the video I assume they were packed that way. Given how fuzzy and sketchy looking the risers appeared in the still shots Im not surprised.

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My experience has nothing to do with the fact its not a rule, and from what other multiple more experienced jumpers on the forum said they saw when viewing his older videos it appeared the staff was well aware he was using the camera.


Your experience has everything to do with this. You are making judgments you on things over your head.

Quote

You dont know anything about the professional reputation of the Master Rigger involved in the inspection of that rig.

http://www.silverparachutes.com/about-us/

You might want to educate yourself.


Have you ever met Allen, do you know anything about him that you didn’t find on the net? I have known Allen for over 20+ years and know him well. Worry getting yourself up to speed.

Quote

"Hey this rig is 20 years old and has a few broken suspension lines due to age, and its due for a reserve repack but you should be fine."


Are you accusing the DZ of packing the main with the lines already broken? Where did you read that the reserve was overdue for a repack? You seem to be throwing a lot of mud for some without a clue.

Quote

There are DZ's out there putting up students on F-111 chutes with way more than 500+ jumps on them. This seems to amaze some people, but it happens.


Do you know this as fact? Can you name one DZ that is doing that or is just rumor out of control?

Quote

Otherwise feel to keep blasting at me, but Im done talking about this. Ive said my piece.


People will continue to blast you if you keep posting bull shit. And it’s not just you that gets picked on, any one that posts crap regardless of experience will be challenged when posting crap.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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mjosparky


Quote

You dont know anything about the professional reputation of the Master Rigger involved in the inspection of that rig.

http://www.silverparachutes.com/about-us/

You might want to educate yourself.


Have you ever met Allen, do you know anything about him that you didn’t find on the net? I have known Allen for over 20+ years and know him well. Worry getting yourself up to speed.


That wasnt directed at you was it? It was directed at the jumper from the UK who didnt know anything about Allen nor attempted to find out who he was.


Quote

Are you accusing the DZ of packing the main with the lines already broken? Where did you read that the reserve was overdue for a repack? You seem to be throwing a lot of mud for some without a clue.


Did you read the old thread at all? Did you read my reply right above your post? Do you actually read anything or do you just like to argue?
In the old thread about this incident there is a clear still frame photo of the opened chute. There were broken suspension lines on BOTH risers as soon as the chute opened. They did not appear to have broken from the opening. Both risers were also very fuzzy with wear and use.

Quote

***There are DZ's out there putting up students on F-111 chutes with way more than 500+ jumps on them. This seems to amaze some people, but it happens.


Do you know this as fact? Can you name one DZ that is doing that or is just rumor out of control?
Yes, I know this for a fact. No Im not going to publicly name them but Grue and I have been chatting about it in PM's.

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riggerrob

Moderators ....

Should this thread be moved to "incidents?"



There's already one in Incidents so it doesn't need another. I was hoping this would be more on the legal aspect after the fact. Th question is should this one be locked? (I think not at the moment, but try and keep from rehashing the incident itself guys).
Skydiving Fatalities - Cease not to learn 'til thou cease to live

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I had to go and find the thread in the incidents. I do NOT read that section on a regular basis. That's not because I'm not interested but because I can't stand wading through all of the fluff. Normally I just stick to the riggers forum because it is a little better moderated. There is very little in this thread that would have any place in the "Incident" section, at least in my opinion. Discussions of legal issues and all of this other chatter have no place there only the facts of the case or at least that is my position. But if the world worked that way the thread in the incidents would be one page long not ten and people might actually be able to read it and understand what had happened. The real question is whether they should chop up and move 90% of that thread to here.

I'm not saying that any of this should not be discussed. It's such a small industry that any law suit regardless of who it's against has the potential to impact us all but that's not some thing that belongs in the incident forum.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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dthames

Would a jury of peers be 12 skydivers?



No, it's vastly more likely to be 12 whuffos. In fact, anyone with actual specialized knowledge of skydiving or rigging would be excluded from the jury, because lawyers like blank ignorant minds that they can fill with whatever mush they want to sell.

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mjosparky


Have you ever met Allen, do you know anything about him that you didn’t find on the net? I have known Allen for over 20+ years and know him well. Worry getting yourself up to speed.



Do you or someone else who knows him want to give him a call??
I should but haven't yet. He might respond better to someone who isn't a total stranger.

I sent him and the FSDO respectful emails after the original story broke, and emailed him a couple days ago when it all resurfaced. Haven't heard any response.

At the moment there's a report out there with his name on it, that just about any experienced skydiver thinks is total crap. It wouldn't matter much if nobody paid attention to it, but the "FAA report" -- which sounds pretty official -- has been quoted on the news whenever Flores' incident comes up.

If that report was mine, I'd sure want to not look like a total idiot in front of the whole skydiving community, and explain what the situation really was.

I hope there's no "confidentiality" excuse -- no point in allowing bad information go public and then not correct it.

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I am not a lawyer, but I suspect the last thing he is going to do is log onto a public forum to discuss a case in litigation just to appease a thirst for knowledge from a stranger.

If I had to guess, this will be settled out of court with signed nondisclosure agreements and we will never know any more than what we currently know.
For the same reason I jump off a perfectly good diving board.

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God knows you might be right.
I'm not expecting him to argue on dz.com, but talk to a friend or make a public statement to make up for the other public statement. Yeah, he can probably claim confidentiality even now because he inspected gear on the behalf of the FAA, his client.

He can keep looking like an idiot if he wants. Most of his emergency parachute rigging clients won't know or care, nor will he care if I say he sounds like an idiot, every time his name comes up, since I'm not anybody important nor in the area he rigs...

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Not sure of your intent, but the DPRE seems to have earned the respect of some reputable people who post on DZ.COM. I have never met him, nor know anything about him.

Calling him an idiot several times will not make him want to respond.

I couldn't care less, but what dog do you have in this fight?
For the same reason I jump off a perfectly good diving board.

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I am respectful in direct communications but use more emotional terminology in order to emphasize the issue when discussing it here.

I have no particular dog in this fight, so it is a bit of a tempest in a teacup on my part.

We know there are always plenty of incorrect statements in the media after a skydiving accident. We all live with that and roll our eyes.

But here it pains me that the media (and possibly Flores or a lawyer) are using that very official sounding "FAA report" as a source of claims about the state of the gear, when the report has so many problems, and has much that needs expanding on.

If some respected authority says "the gear was heavily worn", that's one thing. Even if I'd like more information, it could well be true. But when the same authority mentions critical main closing flap velcro on an Eclipse, one is left confused about the whole thing.

Extraordinary claims in the report are not backed up at all. It is possible that a rig could be packed up with lines with knots put in them, but that is so remarkable it needs followup.

The reports' mentioning of "industry standards" for the minimum strength of velcro is incorrect. We have no particular minimum standards but only our judgement. The Poynters' section he quotes lists minimum shear and peel strengths for brand new velcro, not velcro in service. It is as if a rigger with zero understanding of the sport market had written that section.

I didn't say he was an idiot, just that he looks like an idiot at face value. He may have a good explanation why his name got attached to a shoddy report that's out in public, and I invite him to fill in the rather large blanks.

If such a terrible report is released to the public and interpreted as something authoritative, then a better one should be too.

It does bring up the curious point: Where did the report come from? It looks more like some internal brief report. Are those reports in the "NPTRS Query System" that are "For Official Use Only", regularly made public or was this some sort of FOIA request?

If I say something dumb and incorrect in a dz.com discussion, it can be quickly fixed or countered by another poster and we all learn. If my name goes out on a "FAA report" to the public and looks dumb, I'd be personally a lot more concerned.

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I guess we just have to wait and see how this plays out. You correctly point out there are a lot a questions the DPRE could answer to defend his professionalism, but think also of the DZO. He is probably not going to answer any of these questions either . I would imagine he would want to stop speculation about people packing rental gear with knotted suspension lines, but he can't while litigation is going on.
Chances are, there will be a NDA and we will never know the whole story.
For the same reason I jump off a perfectly good diving board.

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