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-SK-

Does your DZ try to guilt you if you have a cutaway?

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I jump at the same DZ as John and my experience has been the opposite. A couple of times I have not chopped and people have questioned my landing the main. I have not experienced any guilt about a cutaway (well except a little kidding from a couple of 'friends'.)

Hi Bruce, Yep, I agree. We've been to far too many funerals to care about a chop here and there. But man, I hate looking for stuff off in the woods, don't you?:D

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The only time I've seen a DZO truly get upset about someone chopping was when they refused to help look for it. Was the malfunction your fault? Doesn't matter. You jumped rental gear, it is your responsibility to help find it. I know you said it got dark soon after. Did you go out any other time to help look for it?

Should they have given you shit for chopping? In this instance it sounds like the chop was warranted so no. I also have known DZO's to playfully give people shit for things they did and it get taken the wrong way. Is it possible you missed a hint of sarcasm? You gotta have a pretty thick skin in this sport for what I've seen. Not saying what they did was right, just saying that it may have been misinterpreted.

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dude, cutaways happen and so do long spots etc so if someone is giving you shit for it tell them to shove it. the other end of that is expanding your knowledge in general to deal with canopy problems if possible preventing the situation. but who cares youre alive and have learned from it and that experience will come as you gain more and more jumps
"its just a normal day at the dropzone until its not"

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The normal rules in the sport are this, if you rent it, borrow it, jump it and you break it, lose it, damage it in anyway, it's on you to repair or replace it.



As a comment, I'm not sure the rules (whatever they are) are very clearly spelled out at some DZ's. It might also depend on whether one is a student or licensed. With skydiving equipment one does have the issue that with mals it can be difficult to apportion blame. All that can lead to conflict when something does go wrong...




I think this is the case at many DZs. I think there should be a clear written policy posted where everyone that rents gear can see it. I fail to see why a business owner would leave something so potentially expensive in a gray area. In my opinion though a lot of DZOs seem to have the "everything is cool and no big deal" attitude till the shit hits the fan.

My gear is insured, I don't know why a DZO wouldn't do the same.



Chris, this is spot on. I don't know that I've been to a dz where rental liability is clearly spelt out. The entity renting out the gear also needs to have a system in place to ensure it is fit for purpose (properly packed and maintained).

Side note - an A license jumper should not bitch about the spot. They know enough to check themselves, or cheated to get their A.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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When my DZO got brand new rental gear (in place of the really old rigs they had), he clarified the policies with signs.

The rental gear is always left unpacked with a bag to put the main canopy into. You rent it; you pack it; you don't get to complain that someone else's pack job gave you a slammer that messed up your neck, or gave you a mal where you are now responsible for replacing the main.

It's a policy that's a bit unusual, but I sure see the DZO's point.

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When my DZO got brand new rental gear (in place of the really old rigs they had), he clarified the policies with signs.

The rental gear is always left unpacked with a bag to put the main canopy into. You rent it; you pack it; you don't get to complain that someone else's pack job gave you a slammer that messed up your neck, or gave you a mal where you are now responsible for replacing the main.

It's a policy that's a bit unusual, but I sure see the DZO's point.



I like the idea of having to pack first; you never know what you are getting off the rental rack. In the future I will probably always just unpack / repack before my first jump of the day so I know it is good.

It would be better if DZ's had a rule that if you're renting gear, you have to pay for packing after your last jump of the day. It's human nature do a less thorough job if you know you aren't going to jump it again.

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It would be better if DZ's had a rule that if you're renting gear, you have to pay for packing after your last jump of the day. It's human nature do a less thorough job if you know you aren't going to jump it again.



I knew one that did exactly that. You got that pack job when you picked it up, pay for it at the end.

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It would be better if DZ's had a rule that if you're renting gear, you have to pay for packing after your last jump of the day. It's human nature do a less thorough job if you know you aren't going to jump it again.



I knew one that did exactly that. You got that pack job when you picked it up, pay for it at the end.



I had the shittiest and most violent opening I've ever had on a rental 170. I had line twists that I thought I would have to chop on that jump. All subsequent jumps on that gear were fine. IF I ever jump rental gear in the future, it will be repacked before I jump it.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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The DZO/CI of the DZ I've always jumped had a chapter in the first jump course called mistake I & mistake II

Mistake I

You think you have a mal but you dont, and you chop...

That is a sucky day for the DZO. You might lose your handles, we have to find the main and freebag (or worst case - its lost), and some tourist might call an ambulance because of the cutaway main... not good publicity

Then DZo has to use two hours of his time to repack that stuff.

But

Mistake II

You do have a problem but you dont chop for sake of the DZO not having to do all that work...

Your under a spinning main and hit the ground hard... Dzo has to call an ambulance, or worst case lifeflight... the paramedics cuts the mainlift webbing to aid you in your critical condition. DZO has to call your family, and then get someone to get your car and other stuff from the DZ to the hospital or your house. The following day a bunch of journalist call the DZO, and he has to explain to them what happend and maybe even why you didn't chop like you where trained, spending hours on end on the phone.

Then a half year later, your employer and his smartass layer will send the DZO a letter telling him to pay something like a million or so because your now disabled and he didnt train you correctly...

All in all you see why the DZO will prefer mistake I.

OTH. What the DZO did do if someone chopped because "they kept pulling their toggles and the slider wouldnt go UP" (yes there has been a chop because of that :D) is have a conversation about their future in this sport.

Chopping can be expansive. Where I used to jump - with the right wind your cutaway main can be blown out to sea... well good luck finding the main then...

If you're a Dzo and rent out gear, you probably know the risks involved (better then the people you rent the gear to). If you dont want people losing the main sabotage the cutaway :P, or better yet charge more for the rental to cover cost.... The risk of losing gear in a chop is all in the game of running a DZ.

Helping to find gear that you chopped is the least you can do... also buy a case of beer for the chop and a bottle of the riggers favorite for the save... (at my DZ that would have been the DZO ;))

My 2 cents.
Parachute gear garage sale at :http://www.usedparachutes.eu

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All in all you see why the DZO will prefer mistake I.


I know that is probably true, but based on their reaction to it (as well as to a prior chop) it would seem like they prefer mistake II.

Don't get me wrong I love the DZ and the staff is overall a great group of people, but I don't like the situation I feel I have been put in. I feel like I have been taught, whether they intended to or not, that I better not chop a bad main.

Most likely I will just wait until I can afford my own gear before jumping again, there or anywhere else.

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Just one question- Did you pull your silver or wait for the RSL to pull it for you?


Silver of course...

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... doesn't that present a potentially unsafe dilemma to the skydiver under a bad or less-than-ideal main?



No, No, NO and HELL NO!

for some jumpers yes it will create that dilemma. NO DZ should be doing anything that might cause someone to second guess their life saving procedures.
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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Don't get me wrong I love the DZ and the staff is overall a great group of people, but I don't like the situation I feel I have been put in. I feel like I have been taught, whether they intended to or not, that I better not chop a bad main.



So, go back to the DZ and talk to someone about it. Tell the DZO you want to sit with an instructor (or the DZO) to go over 1) whether they really are upset with you, 2) if so, why, 3) if not, explain why you took their comments the way you did. Also, explain that perhaps you made the mistake of not offering to help look for the main (or however that played out), and will be willing to help out if they need it the next time some gear needs retrieving. Finally, ask about some extra instruction for whatever they feel is lacking in your skills (spotting, emergency procedures -- whatever it is).

Maybe by admitting to the things you could have done differently during the whole situation (not the saving-your-own-life part, but any other parts), they'll be more likely to accept that everyone is very fortunate it all turned out to be nothing worse than a learning opportunity.

ETA: BTW, sometimes folks on the DZ get really worried when a young jumper gets into trouble, and it manifests though irritation. On my home DZ, I told the S&TA that he yelled at me once when he thought I was going to land on a car. He said, "I did not! I never yell." We figured out that yes, he did, and it was only because he was worried I could have been hurt. :)
See the upside, and always wear your parachute! -- Christopher Titus

Shut Up & Jump!

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ETA: BTW, sometimes folks on the DZ get really worried when a young jumper gets into trouble, and it manifests though irritation. On my home DZ, I told the S&TA that he yelled at me once when he thought I was going to land on a car. He said, "I did not! I never yell." We figured out that yes, he did, and it was only because he was worried I could have been hurt. :)



^^^^ This^^^^^

As I read your posts, I can't help but to think YOU are misunderstanding the DZO's response. The solution is to have a private conversation with those who are "upset" with you. Make it a positive conversation and I'll bet the results will also be positive. :)
Birdshit & Fools Productions

"Son, only two things fall from the sky."

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Let me see if I understand the situation....you're upset because you might be expected to pay for a main canopy that you lost....and because you might have to pay for it, this could lead to a bad decision to not cutaway because of the the expense....so the solution is to buy your own gear, which you certainly will have to pay to replace, if it's ever lost.

You just keep thinkin', Butch. That's what you're good at

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You just keep thinkin', Butch. That's what you're good at



And you just keep to posting on DZ.com, thats what you're good at.:P

I dont think he lost the canopy... he knows where he left it, at 2500ft somewhere near the DZ but on a long spot.:D

I mean come on, the S&TA who observe on the ground could've kept a closer eye on the cutaway main... maybe they should pay for part of the damage...:S

And the DZO put cutaway systems on his rental rigs, just to jack with students renting gear :S And he also rented a malfunctioning canopy, so he didnt get the main canopy ride as advertised...:S

I dont believe in the "you lost it by cuting away - you pay" idea, unless its pre-determent in the rental agreement. You dont rent the main and the reserve and the rig as separate items, you rent a parachute system that can malfunction...

I've heard this story about a guy landing in the middle of a huge cornfield, taking of his gear and leaving it there to walk back to the DZ. No way to find that gear back! :S I believe they pretty much chewed him a new one (left crying so I heard) - and then didnt even make him pay... (I would've made him pay in that case).

If you rent out gear, its a risk you need to cover, either in an agreement (wich inherently would make some people hesitate to chop when they have to - or even worse, people become instant heroes and try to catch the cutaway main mid air under their reserve) or just charge more to cover the risk that you as a business or club are taking. (also the more expensive the rental stuff the more people are motivated to get their own gear).

And where did the OP say he is to cheap to buy his own gear/ or unwilling to take the financial risk of maybe losing his own gear?
Parachute gear garage sale at :http://www.usedparachutes.eu

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What I didn't read once in this entire thread was that it's just plain common sense to follow your chopped main (and freebag if you can see it) down and land as close as safely possible to it . It's not cool to just fly back to the main landing area and let others be responsible for chasing it down.

Chuck, D-12501

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it's just plain common sense to follow your chopped main



Spoken like a person with a D license. An 'A' license or student should be more concerned with landing an unfamiliar canopy in a large open area with a level wing and not chasing crap around the sky.
For the same reason I jump off a perfectly good diving board.

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Am I right in thinking you're encouraging potentially very inexperienced jumpers who have just gone through the trauma of a malfunction, now under a reserve which could fly quite different to their main, to then deliberately land off the dz?! I'm not gonna bother listing the hazards and dangers of this, but surely the priority should be to land safely, not to recover gear....

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yeah skippy, and you just keep posting inane comments...I realize advocating self responsibility is an unpopular notion (Chuck you heartless, hard ass bastard :p ) but the guy took someone elses property and lost it....and now disavows any responsiblity and bemoans the fact that he had a bad spot...and a bad pack job....who is at fault for that? btw...I expected my Cat A student to be capable of landing off field if events warranted it yesterday....I find it amusing that some seem to believe (more likely 'feel') that it would be tantamount to a death sentence.

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Of course it’s not tantamount to a death sentence but why make a stressful situation worse for a relatively new jumper by chasing the main offsite. You may not agree with the way –Sk- handled the situation but making a blanket statement that he should of followed the main offsite is just silly in my opinion. Try to remember what it’s like to be a newbie in a stressful situation.

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