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Chelseaflies

Jumping at Lodi Parachute Center without much experience?

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I am planning on going to Lodi for two or three months to rack out at least 150 jumps. Once returning to my home DZ, they told me they will start training me to be a photographer once I get the jump numbers.

I currently have 34 jumps and plan on getting my 50 jumps and B license before going. But, here's the thing, I've heard Lodi can be pretty unforgiving to new jumpers. Has anyone jumped there that could tell me whether that's true or not?
"My time is limited, what I can do with that time is not" - Jeb Corliss

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I'm being slightly facetious, but some danger and risk of death would be good.

After all, going to Lodi to boost jump numbers is seen as a bit of a cheat in order to avoid "real life experience" which is what various semi-arbitrary jump number limits are indirectly trying to have people get. If someone gets the cheap jumps, they also get the no-hand-holding environment too. Many of us didn't get those kind of cheap jumps, so that might make a few of us a little less friendly to those "taking the easy route".

On the other hand, it has been pointed out that blasting out a ton of jumps ... still gives you a ton of jumps and concentrated experience. One could as well do 150 jumps at one's local DZ and still "do the same jump 150 times", the same thing out of the same airplane in the same surroundings... except it would take all season and cost far more.

Even my own DZO has made trips to Lodi, where jumps cost about 35% of what they do at home (not in the USA). But I haven't been there.

So I will leave you to getting that real life experience on your own, sink or swim.

I usually try to be helpful on dz.com, but am admittedly being a little harsh this time around. I'll leave others to offer more helpful advice. :|

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I think you're dead on.

The idea behind having some experience before strapping on a camera is because strapping on that camera adds complexity, which means LOTS of new action/possibility branches to your emergency procedure decision tree. To be remembered, considered, and evaluated in less than a second.

Then you add a TM and his passenger to the mix, and it gets even more complicated, because as the videographer, you are entirely responsible for safety between you and the TM -- the TM's responsibility is to the tandem student, and not to you.

Many DZ's won't let you even lurk a tandem without 500 jumps. Allowing you to strap on a camera and film it with fewer seems kind of scary to me. Yes, it can go right hundreds of times. So can texting on the freeway.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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skip it - go to Az and buy in bulk, the jumps will only be a few dollars more and the free 'coaching' you will get from the load organisers and various events will more than make up the small price difference and make you a better skydiver in the process.

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How can we prove that someone can build and navigate a valid decision tree in a second or so, based on a set of situation entry criteria, while experiencing them (i.e. not just on a piece of paper).

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Chelseaflies

I am planning on going to Lodi for two or three months to rack out at least 150 jumps. Once returning to my home DZ, they told me they will start training me to be a photographer once I get the jump numbers.

I currently have 34 jumps and plan on getting my 50 jumps and B license before going. But, here's the thing, I've heard Lodi can be pretty unforgiving to new jumpers. Has anyone jumped there that could tell me whether that's true or not?



I love ya, but do you think you could ask the same question and leave LODI out of this?

I mean really,...

you have turned this into a popularity question as compared with the idea of "banging" out jumps.

Yo want to go anywhere and jump to your hearts content :)
Find the LO's, find other students, find others at your level, find any one else and ask, it's the same everywhere! Just don't sit on the sidelines and expect them to come to you, this is the same in every endeavor not just skydiving!! Good luck and have fun! :)
And here is a thought; you might consider chatting up Lindsay at Deland, I think she is from NZ or
Australia and would, I hope, love to speak with you if you can find her, she is associated with SDU, you can call manifest at Deland or look them up on the web for their work number. There are also some NZ jumpers in New England, you might like to speak with them as well, PM me for their work numbers if your interested.?? (New England in the jumping season there is a great place. FL in July August is miserable.) Just some stuff to consider ;)

C
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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ChrisD

***
And here is a thought; you might consider chatting up Lindsay at Deland, I think she is from NZ or
Australia and would, I hope, love to speak with you if you can find her, she is associated with SDU, you can call manifest at Deland or look them up on the web for their work number. ;)

C



Lindsay is from the UK and is based at Deland - she was one of my AFF instructors. http://lindsaywiddall.com/

She rocks.

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I'm sure Bill would put you on the camera wheel even sooner than your home DZ if you want.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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NWFlyer

I'm sure Bill would put you on the camera wheel even sooner than your home DZ if you want.



thanks for the reminder, Bill is quite a character, someone else, I'll leave it for someone else to describe bill to ya, but you won't be jumping with him! :)
C
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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Chelseaflies

I am planning on going to Lodi for two or three months to rack out at least 150 jumps. Once returning to my home DZ, they told me they will start training me to be a photographer once I get the jump numbers.

I currently have 34 jumps and plan on getting my 50 jumps and B license before going. But, here's the thing, I've heard Lodi can be pretty unforgiving to new jumpers. Has anyone jumped there that could tell me whether that's true or not?



I have a VERY good friend who jumps regularly at Lodi that I can put you in touch with and will give you a good idea of the place (and an honest one). He has been trying to get me to jump there and finish my AAF; I guess the DZ isnt USPA but the instructors are...

Anyhow, if you want PM me and I can put you in touch with someone who may be able to give you an idea of the attitudes there.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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Mickochet

Why would you say that he won't be jumping with Bill?





Because he has no idea what he's talking about, again.

Then he'll do a search and argue his false/wrong statements to validate what he said is right. Even when proven wrong time again.

OP, don't listen to ChrisD (broken record).

There's a couple other DZs in northern CA to choose from too that have great track records and great teachers, if you have to have your vacation in CA.

Good luck, don't get in over your head.

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Its your money and your time go for it. I have enjoyed every jump I have made at Lodi and will jump there again..If I get to go back to jumping that is..:(

MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT
Life is Short and we never know how long we are going to have. We must live life to the fullest EVERY DAY. Everything we do should have a greater purpose.

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Remster

ChrisD: you were quiet for a while. Maybe you should go back to not talking about stuff you obviously know nothing about.



http://rivernewsherald.org/lodi-skydiving_6-29-2011.html

I'm only commenting on the fact that he has successfully navigated a lot of turmoil, stiff competition from many other drop zones, and continues to run a successful dz that a lot of people enjoy going to. Bill did that with hard work. What have you done? The parachute center continues to put more aircraft and more loads in the air than any other dz in the area! There is a huge selection of student gear. He is on the record many times and in many videos that he leaves the teaching to others, if you want to continue to defame the character of one of the hardest working guys in the business that's your business. If you want to help Chelsea out, that's your choice as well. But you can either help, or not, that's your choice???

C
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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ChrisD

***ChrisD: you were quiet for a while. Maybe you should go back to not talking about stuff you obviously know nothing about.



http://rivernewsherald.org/lodi-skydiving_6-29-2011.html

I'm only commenting on the fact that he has successfully navigated a lot of turmoil, stiff competition from many other drop zones, and continues to run a successful dz that a lot of people enjoy going to. Bill did that with hard work. What have you done? The parachute center continues to put more aircraft and more loads in the air than any other dz in the area! There is a huge selection of student gear. He is on the record many times and in many videos that he leaves the teaching to others, if you want to continue to defame the character of one of the hardest working guys in the business that's your business. If you want to help Chelsea out, that's your choice as well. But you can either help, or not, that's your choice???

C

How's his case going with the FAA...did he ever pay that rather hefty fine?










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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continues to run a successful dz that a lot of people enjoy going to. Bill did that with hard work. What have you done? The parachute center continues to put more aircraft and more loads in the air than any other dz in the area!



Some hard work, and some low prices afforded by not doing required maintenance on his aircraft for long, long periods of time.

Aircraft in his ownership were flown for 1000's of loads beyond the factory mandated life limits on control cables, and without factory mandated inspections of critical structural portions of the airframe.

Aircraft in his ownership and maintained by his staff have had engine failures caused by incomplete maintenance when simple inspections of critical components were not performed.

Yes, it's a fact he's been in business for a long time and he does turn a lot of loads, but if we're going to post the facts, let's be fair and post them all, yes?

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ChrisD

***ChrisD: you were quiet for a while. Maybe you should go back to not talking about stuff you obviously know nothing about.



http://rivernewsherald.org/lodi-skydiving_6-29-2011.html

I'm only commenting on the fact that he has successfully navigated a lot of turmoil, stiff competition from many other drop zones, and continues to run a successful dz that a lot of people enjoy going to. Bill did that with hard work. What have you done? The parachute center continues to put more aircraft and more loads in the air than any other dz in the area! There is a huge selection of student gear. He is on the record many times and in many videos that he leaves the teaching to others, if you want to continue to defame the character of one of the hardest working guys in the business that's your business. If you want to help Chelsea out, that's your choice as well. But you can either help, or not, that's your choice???

C

You speak with the tone of someone who knows Bill. Since you don't skydive, I'd wager you've never met Bill let alone visited Lodi. I *do* know Bill, and I'd also wager he wouldn't give you the time of day. Bill doesn't take kindly to bullshit.

To the OP; Lodi is an option if you know what you're getting into. It's not as scary as some say it is, it's scarier than others think it's not. There are some issues there, but I jump there occasionally and enjoy it.
People that start there as students are not the same sort as people that start elsewhere and then visit Lodi. Find a local mentor there, and that will help you navigate the waters much more easily.
Go with a plan. Go with a goal of having some identifiable, specific skills when you leave. Jumping by yourself simply because the slots are cheap do no one, especially yourself, any good. You won't be better, smarter, safer; you'll merely have more exits and landings with a few minor knowledge gains as a part of the process.
Seriously, identify what you'll leave Lodi (or any other DZ) knowing after you've invested the time/$$ into the effort. If you do this, it really doesn't matter much where you jump.

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DSE

******ChrisD: you were quiet for a while. Maybe you should go back to not talking about stuff you obviously know nothing about.



http://rivernewsherald.org/lodi-skydiving_6-29-2011.html

I'm only commenting on the fact that he has successfully navigated a lot of turmoil, stiff competition from many other drop zones, and continues to run a successful dz that a lot of people enjoy going to. Bill did that with hard work. What have you done? The parachute center continues to put more aircraft and more loads in the air than any other dz in the area! There is a huge selection of student gear. He is on the record many times and in many videos that he leaves the teaching to others, if you want to continue to defame the character of one of the hardest working guys in the business that's your business. If you want to help Chelsea out, that's your choice as well. But you can either help, or not, that's your choice???

C

You speak with the tone of someone who knows Bill. Since you don't skydive, I'd wager you've never met Bill let alone visited Lodi. I *do* know Bill, and I'd also wager he wouldn't give you the time of day. Bill doesn't take kindly to bullshit.

To the OP; Lodi is an option if you know what you're getting into. It's not as scary as some say it is, it's scarier than others think it's not. There are some issues there, but I jump there occasionally and enjoy it.
People that start there as students are not the same sort as people that start elsewhere and then visit Lodi. Find a local mentor there, and that will help you navigate the waters much more easily.
Go with a plan. Go with a goal of having some identifiable, specific skills when you leave. Jumping by yourself simply because the slots are cheap do no one, especially yourself, any good. You won't be better, smarter, safer; you'll merely have more exits and landings with a few minor knowledge gains as a part of the process.
Seriously, identify what you'll leave Lodi (or any other DZ) knowing after you've invested the time/$$ into the effort. If you do this, it really doesn't matter much where you jump.

Do me a fav will ya Dougie????? :)
I have met Bill. But only to purchase a jump ticket.
I have been to alcampo,... as well as a lot of other places.

And quite frankly I don't understand how you can continue to run with the mob and buy into the idea that I don't jump. I would ask you to support that claim with some facts. Or you can continue to believe what you will, that is your prerogative and privilege.

As far as hijacking this thread, I generally try to stay to the OP's original intent, this is why I don't like bringing up many of the other stuff that some other people relish in restating again and again, it had nothing to do with fairness or trying to present a balanced viewpoint. Just trying to maintain some level of respect to the OP. But since you asked:

No dropzone likes being dragged via the mud, what purpose does it serve? We could spend all day speaking about recent incidents and still at the end of the day nothing is accomplished. All you guys continue to do is hurt skydiving with innuendo and hearsay.

Did anyone even ask the OP if they wanted instruction? ;)

I value honest discussion and sticking to the points or at least as close as you can come in a public forum. If anyone thinks I know Bill personally and we dine together every night because of my tone, I am glad you asked the question so that we all could clear that up. But I do know what it takes, based upon my many hours speaking with drop zone managers and owners over the years to run a successful dz! Especially one as long established as the parachute center. Are yo saying that Lodi doesn't put more loads in the air than other places? Is that bullshit?

I am working on my tone, I hope that some can see some changes, please know that I am trying. But some of the advice I have received is that to point out each and every time how frequently the ideas and points raised are quickly traded for personal attacks,... and to defend myself. I would much rather experience well thought out responses, I know that long replies are frowned upon, but why is that? This is long, the more anyone writes, the real risk they get spotlighted as something bad, although I'm not sure what that is. DSE when he first came here used to write very long essays, I loved the passion and reading every word. And you guys want to trade that to a twitter like banter? I don't get it? This is your chance to deal with a perceived difficult person. I have seen how you guys constantly "run off" others that don't conform or don't relate, I have also seen how many are treated with abandon and I have heard from many students that they don't feel comfortable here. Well think of me as our project, no one is going to force anyone to leave here, I'm not going to reappear with a different name ,... as so many do,.... you can help or not???? Take the time, learn a new way of relating to others????

And publicly, as I have stated in the past, I am embarrassed about the number of jumps I have ~ somewhere around 400 ~ 450 total, considering how many years I have been associated with aeronautical activities, :$ but I do jump,...

What do you want to wager?

This is a very strong statement: "Since you don't skydive"

Now back it up, prove it????? (Lets say a case of DP?)

C
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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Sounds like I owe you an apology, Chris. When you'd admitted you only had a few skydives and that most of your skydiving knowledge comes from the internet, and given that the accuracy of your advice is dubious at best, I assumed that meant you're no longer skydiving.
Please forgive my assumption.

Why does it matter if the OP asked for instruction or not? The OP is wanting to get as many jumps as possible to become a camera flyer. Solo jumps won't help the OP's skills leading to becoming a camera flyer. Flying relative to another skydiver however, _is_ beneficial, and is the only path to flying camera with tandems or other skydivers. It is impossible to know if one is backsliding, sidesliding, or driving across the sky without a relative target, right?;);)

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DSE

Sounds like I owe you an apology, Chris. When you'd admitted you only had a few skydives and that most of your skydiving knowledge comes from the internet, and given that the accuracy of your advice is dubious at best, I assumed that meant you're no longer skydiving.
Please forgive my assumption.

Why does it matter if the OP asked for instruction or not? The OP is wanting to get as many jumps as possible to become a camera flyer. Solo jumps won't help the OP's skills leading to becoming a camera flyer. Flying relative to another skydiver however, _is_ beneficial, and is the only path to flying camera with tandems or other skydivers. It is impossible to know if one is backsliding, sidesliding, or driving across the sky without a relative target, right?;);)



Understandable, I'm not the easiest person to get along with.

I mentioned instruction as kind of a nicer way of pointing out for a newer jumper that the idea of just banging out jumps to rack up your numbers, may not be without some controversy. But it's her life. I also have to point out that jumping, to me anyways, isn't always about the number of jumps you have, it just seems that the emphasis is on that as compared with skill building and enjoying being outside, under canopy, stuff like that. I got all confused about this thread being about Alcampo and what I think the OP was speaking about as two different things. In some of her other posts she lets on a little more about her goals and desires, I hope Chelsea realizes that there are many people that will help her realize her goals, but I forgot that based upon this thread only, some may not know what she has said elsewhere. I wanted to find out more about her goals, that's why I stuck that bit about instruction in, since it seemed that no one else had asked yet ?? One of the other reasons I ask is that I know of some very fair and balanced individuals spending the winter in NZ. They have every rating in the book and thousands of jumps if ever she or anyone wanted to have a candid discussion with a full time jumper, I mean a person that makes their living jumping in the states, or she or anyone is free to find them on their own all she has to do is ask? As a suggestion. But if she is jumping in NZ she probably already knows some of these people, but If you don't ask how do you tell? I think he's working at a place called Fox (something) just wanted to put that out there,...

I am also really big on asking the OP's some questions to tease out more information. I like the feedback and by doing so we all can reduce some of the misunderstandings that exist here from time to time. I see asking about ANY particular drop zone as a separate question as compared with the statement of wanting to make a lot of jumps. To me these are two distinct questions, and either one is deserving of lengthy deliberation. That's also a question for anyone to ponder? I've seen some very long multiple posts that go on and on, but the OP hasn't provided any feedback. To me getting some feedback when it seems appropriate is a better way of communicating, does this make sense? Apparently I see communication as a kind of loop, I'm not very good at this but I'm trying.

I'm sure she wants to get experience. And in the past I have seen too much emphasis on numbers, but on the other hand I think Chelsea has a little more in mind, but that's just me guessing again, I don't really know until I ask??? So now there are like three topics here, where at first there seemed to be just one?? Am I making sense? And of course she should know IMO that a hundred, or whatever she has planned solos wouldn't be a path I would use to learn to fly camera.

All I can say at this point is that during the 90's I traveled a lot and did a bunch of jumps across the country, most were solos. I regretted this, but jumping solo was better than not jumping at all??? Many drop zones have a "visitors" procedure: and then there is the problem of multiple gear, as well as proving that you can jump, many places wanted level sevens or hop in pops, some places wanted level 3 jumps, expensive, but understandable. By the time you went thru this procedure, and every one knew you were wearing the local "rental, or student" gear it was always difficult to interrupt the locals who assembled midweek to jump together. So speaking from personal experience and racking up a hundred or so solo jumps sucks!

C
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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Many drop zones have a "visitors" procedure: and then there is the problem of multiple gear, as well as proving that you can jump, many places wanted level sevens or hop in pops, some places wanted level 3 jumps, expensive, but understandable. By the time you went thru this procedure, and every one knew you were wearing the local "rental, or student" gear it was always difficult to interrupt the locals who assembled midweek to jump together. So speaking from personal experience and racking up a hundred or so solo jumps sucks!



WTF is this visitors procedure you imagine? I've not seen it for a current, licensed jumper at any of the dropzones I've visited in the current century.

The original poster is a licensed jumper who will (presumably, based on her description) be current for her license level when she shows up at a dropzone. So long as she shows up with a license, signed logbook that shows currency, and in-date gear, I can't think of a single dropzone that'll require her to do anything other than sign a waiver, get a dropzone briefing, and plunk down some money before she's allowed to hop on a plane.

Lodi won't even require any of those except for the money (though I've found the locals quite willing to provide a briefing upon request). Of course, the last time I was at Lodi was a whole 12 days ago when I was judging a scrambles event there, so I suppose my info might be a bit out of date. ;)

But what do I know, I've only gone to 25+ different dropzones in the most recent 9 years, while racking up 1200+ jumps and I have never once had to do anything more than what I described above - prove I'm licensed, prove I'm current, prove my gear's in date, get a briefing, and give 'em some money.

(BTW you were doing really well with the read more, post less thing for a few days there. What happened?)
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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