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MakeItHappen

Sad news for tandem

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There are still good and great instructors being created out there, but we are doing a much poorer job than ever weeding out the ones that don't have the stuff..... just like skydiving, instructing isn't for everyone, and there's another problem. We allowed the rating process to become an individually independently run business. 20 IE's all doing it their way. No wonder we're seeing inconsistencies. When there is competition, the corners will cut, and standards will slide.



Absolutely, positively, beautifully put. Thank you for saying that. I hope it sinks in with the collective.

EDIT : had to change the title from STFU !! ;)
You think you understand the situation, but what you don't understand, is that the situation just changed.

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Hi John,

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It's just been introduced for professional engineers,



It does depend upon what state you are licensed in.

Jerry Baumchen, PE



A very small percentage of professional engineers have any need to be Professional Engineers, at least for those of us who work in electronics. Maybe for government related jobs.

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Hi John,

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It's just been introduced for professional engineers,



It does depend upon what state you are licensed in.

Jerry Baumchen, PE



A very small percentage of professional engineers have any need to be Professional Engineers, at least for those of us who work in electronics. Maybe for government related jobs.



Civil and structural engineers generally need to be licensed.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Civil and structural engineers generally need to be licensed.



If you're Civil and want to work at all in the industry as a Civil, then you pretty much need to be an EIT working under a PE or be a PE. At least according to my lovely PE Civil Engineer wife who works in the industry (private sector).
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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Civil and structural engineers generally need to be licensed.



If you're Civil and want to work at all in the industry as a Civil, then you pretty much need to be an EIT working under a PE or be a PE. At least according to my lovely PE Civil Engineer wife who works in the industry (private sector).



Yep. For the last 20 years or so I've taught a PE/EIT review course, and the majority of attendees are Civils or Structurals.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Hi John,

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In most US jurisdictions, many professions have mandatory continuing education requirements in order to maintain a current license/certification.




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Civil and structural engineers generally need to be licensed.



I think that you are moving the target, John. My reply was in regard to have to 'have mandatory continuing education req'ments.'

I made no comment about being licensed.

I am not opposed to any state running their licensing board(s) as they wish; however, not all states require that licensed engineers continue with their education.

As to whether they should or not; well, that is an entirely different issue.

JerryBaumchen

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What a sad thing this is. I have met the TI in this case a few months before this incident happened.

I guess it is to late, but damn dude stand up and take responsibility for your mistake. Now Strong and skydiving as a whole suffer, because you couldnt just admit that you screwed up and take responsibility for your lack of attention to detail. What a shitty thing. This is not Strongs fault, but sits (at least in my opinion) squarely on the shoulders of the TI.

Pisser.
Dom


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He claimed that 4 were done at the Marathon Keys boogie



To clarify that statement. He did not do 4 jumps at the Keys Boogie. It was a boogie, it was in Marathon, but it was not the "Keys Boogie". It was smaller Boogie but on in January of '06 that was sponsored by AeroOhio and ran by divnswoop. I was there working demos for Aerodyne.
Dom


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No joke.

Marta and I are in fact the only two court-certified BASE jumping expert witnesses in the United States.


We received that certification in 2000 when we helped Hank Caylor beat his reckless endangerment charge in Denver.

B|

d5533
base44
SCR-6933 / SCS-3463 / D-5533 / BASE 44 / CCS-37 / 82d Airborne (Ret.)

"The beginning of wisdom is to first call things by their right names."

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We received that certification in 2000 when we helped Hank Caylor beat his reckless endangerment charge in Denver.

B|

d5533
base44



I'll have to modify my opinion of you. You are now my hero.

Bob
"For you see, an airplane is an airplane. A landing area is a landing area. But a dropzone... a dropzone is the people."

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No joke.

Marta and I are in fact the only two court-certified BASE jumping expert witnesses in the United States.

We received that certification in 2000 when we helped Hank Caylor beat his reckless endangerment charge in Denver.



I think a little perspective is in order.

The term "court certified expert witness" is sometimes used quite reasonably. But many times, it is used in a way that tends to mislead the average layperson as to what the term actually does, and does not, connote.

I think a layperson (to the law) might misconstrue what being an expert witness in court does, and does not, mean. It simply means that in an individual lawsuit, a person is offered to testify to his opinion as an expert witness in a certain field, and the trial judge (who is usually a layperson in the witness's field of specialty) allowed him to do so.

Nothing more, nothing less.

It is a designation conveyed by a layperson to the field (i.e., the judge) - only. It is most certainly not a designation conveyed by some authority or certifiying body with actual expertise and/or oversight in the witness's field of special knowledge.

While not completely unheard of, it is exceedingly rare for a person offered as an expert witness in a particular field to be rejected by the judge, that is to say, denied permission by the judge to testify as to his opinion in some manner of expert capacity. (Sometimes a certain expert opinion may be rejected as lacking adequate foundation, but it's highly rare for a person offered as an expert witness to be rejected out of hand by the judge solely on the basis of his qualifications.)

For example, I'd think just about anyone with a USPA "D", or even a "C" license would probably be allowed by most whuffo trial judges testify as an expert witness in skydiving. But if, hypothetically, some guy with, say, 80 jumps and a "B" license were to be offered as an expert witness in skydiving, and the (layperson/whuffo) judge allowed him to testify as such, then "Voila!!" that person would now be an expert witness.

And if, in the future, that former witness decides to parade out the term "court-certified expert witness" in his resume, promotional literature or signature line, to make it appear to others that he has been anointed with some manner of "certified" expertise greater than other people in his field, who's to stop him? Well, other than someone telling him to STFU, probably nobody.

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But if, hypothetically, some guy with, say, 80 jumps and a "B" license were to be offered as an expert witness in skydiving, and the (layperson/whuffo) judge allowed him to testify as such, then "Voila!!" that person would now be an expert witness.



...and would be sporting a new asshole torn into him by the cross-examining attorney.
:D:D:D
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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But if, hypothetically, some guy with, say, 80 jumps and a "B" license were to be offered as an expert witness in skydiving, and the (layperson/whuffo) judge allowed him to testify as such, then "Voila!!" that person would now be an expert witness.



...and would be sporting a new asshole torn into him by the cross-examining attorney.
:D:D:D




Maybe. But it's pretty doubtful that that would be reflected anywhere in his future resume, promotional literature or signature line.

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I guess it is to late, but damn dude stand up and take responsibility for your mistake. Now Strong and skydiving as a whole suffer, because you couldnt just admit that you screwed up and take responsibility for your lack of attention to detail. What a shitty thing. This is not Strongs fault, but sits (at least in my opinion) squarely on the shoulders of the TI.



What is your assertion here? Do you believe that if the TI had stood up and decalred, "This was my fault, I used the harness improperly", that Strong would not have been named in the lawsuit?

Just to be clear, the lawsuit in quesiton is not a matter of justice, it's a matter of money. Strong is clearly the deepest pockets of anyone remotely related to the incident, and nothing was going to keep them off of the lawsuit.

Even if the TI accepted responsibility, the lawyers would have claimed that Strong was liable for builing a harness that could be used improperly. The better move for all involved was to fight the lawsuit, and hope that the whole thing would be thrown out of court.

A fact that you may not be aware of is that the TI was the last man standing in this lawsuit. Once Strong filed for Chapter 11 to stop the financial bleeding, the suit was dropped because the TI's pcokets are not deep enough to keep the lawyers interest, but at the time it was dropped the TIs name was the only one left on the papers.

There's been a real misunderstadning in this thread between taking responsibility for one's actions, and managing your position in the face of a lawsuit. It's one thing to stand up in a room full of your peers, and accept responsibility for your actions. Defending yourself against a lawsuit, and employing sound legal strategy with the defendants working together to minimize the damage for all involved is another.

Everyone is well aware of what happened. How it plays out in the nooks and crannies of the US legal system often times has little relation to reality.

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Interesting.

I recently served on the jury of a civil trial.

The plaintiff's attorney requested to allow a particular person as on expert witness in certain areas, and we had a lengthy session detailing the person's qualifications. Some of these qualifications included that he had been an expert witness some number of times in the past, thus establishing a precedent that the witness was indeed an expert.

The defense attorney objected on the grounds that the stipulated qualifications did not actually cover a specific area about which the plaintiff's attorney had requested for the witness to be considered an expert.

The judge decided that the witness would be accepted as an expert in some, but not all, of the areas the plaintiff's attorney had requested.

Just saying that in a sample of 1, I have seen that "experts" are not always so easily accepted.

But, I will also say that in the judge's explanation of the role of an expert witness, he did say much the same as you did.

He told us that while a regular witness must only testify regarding knowledge of facts pertinent to the case, the expert witness could testify as to opinions that might be pertinent to the case.

Thanks for posting.

-paul

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totally agree. i dont work in a tandem factory but very occasionaly have to do a back to back tandem. im NEVER happy just picking up a rig and a student someone else has harnessed up. call me a fag, whatever, if I havent checked my gear AND my student im simply not happy. at the end of the day its my ass and concious thats gonna pay!!

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Even if the TI accepted responsibility, the lawyers would have claimed that Strong was liable for builing a harness that could be used improperly. The better move for all involved was to fight the lawsuit, and hope that the whole thing would be thrown out of court.



That makes about as much sense if I took a golf club and used it to knock out the back window of an SUV and then sued the golf club mfg because the club got bent and could no longer be used.

.
.
Make It Happen
Parachute History
DiveMaker

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Even if the TI accepted responsibility, the lawyers would have claimed that Strong was liable for builing a harness that could be used improperly. The better move for all involved was to fight the lawsuit, and hope that the whole thing would be thrown out of court.



That makes about as much sense if I took a golf club and used it to knock out the back window of an SUV and then sued the golf club mfg because the club got bent and could no longer be used.

.



You're right! However, there’s a good chance the golf club manufacturer would lose the case in this system. Right and wrong seem to have very little to do with it.

But what’s more pertinent to this thread is that; win or lose, the legal fees to defend themselves will probably put the manufacture out of business. >:(
Birdshit & Fools Productions

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

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That makes about as much sense if I took a golf club and used it to knock out the back window of an SUV and then sued the golf club mfg because the club got bent and could no longer be used.



You're right, it doesn't make sense, but that's the reality of what would happen in that case. I'm sure you saw the last line of my post, but in case you didn't, here it is -

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Everyone is well aware of what happened. How it plays out in the nooks and crannies of the US legal system often times has little relation to reality.



Let's face it, the fact that Strong was involved in the suit at all doesn't make any sense. They built a harness, which was used for many years and 100's of jumps without incident. In fact, they have built 1000's of these harnesses which have been in service for years with hundreds of thousands, maybe over a million jumps on them without incident.

However, when an incident occurs with one, 1000's of miles from the Strong factory or any Strong employee, Strong is some how implicated in the lawsuit. Like I said before, this lawsuit is not about justice, it's about money. Strong's name is on the label, and his bank account is large enough to make him a target.

Just like his presence in the lawsuit doesn't make sense, neither might the actions of the defendants. Nobody, Strong included, had the liquid assests to settle the lawsuit. Strong might have had the net worth to liquidate assets and settle
the case, but nobody would ever expect him to shut his doors, and sell off his assests to do so.

So the lawsuit is on, and everyone did what they had to do in their defense. To the best of my knowledge, none of the defendants threw the other under the bus in any regard, and they wokred together to the best of their abilities to defend against the suit. In the end, everyone involved suffered significant financial losses in defending themselves, and the TI in question probably suffered the greatest loss in terms of a percentage of his net worth.

Every aspect of this case, from the incident itself through to the lawsuit is a shitty situation. All involved did what they thought was the best course of action at the time. I feel bad that Ted Strong became involved in the suit, but you would be naive to think that Ted didn't realize that he was opening himself up to lawsuits being the skydiving equipment manufacturing business. If you think he didn't, consider that Bill Booth adding 'The Uninsured' to the 'Relative Workshop' company name would have been a clue that legal action was a possibility.

None of this makes it right, but demonizing the other defendants in the lawsuit is not appropriate. The TI has clearly suffered the most of the bunch. His life has been impacted dearly, in both psycological and financial terms, which will take years to recover from. Tim and Sherry Butcher have also suffered a severe financial loss, as well as the loss of their dropzone, which, for all of the finger pointing, was a well run and safety based operation.

As for Ted, I do not know him personally, but I would imagine that this has not been a picnic for him, but I would be VERY surpirsed to hear that he had anything bad to say about the conduct of the TI or Tim and Sherry in the aftermath of this incident. I'm sure all invoved regret that it happened, but once it did, my belief is that everyone involved acted in an above board manner.

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totally agree. i dont work in a tandem factory but very occasionaly have to do a back to back tandem. im NEVER happy just picking up a rig and a student someone else has harnessed up. call me a fag, whatever, if I havent checked my gear AND my student im simply not happy. at the end of the day its my ass and concious thats gonna pay!!



Let me tell you, I have worked in tandem factories, and currently do. Our customers are geared up by someone else to save time. I adjust the harness (almost) every time as I am particular about where the legstraps sit and it takes me a total of about 1 minute to do so.

Gear checks are a part of the skydive and are not complete untill you have began you set up to land...

I really do not see your point, if someone gets in a plane with a customer without checking the harness first and adjusting it accordingly, they are an idiot and should not be doing tandems. Their examiner should also be thoroughly examined, because as Sledge Hammer would have put it; "scum begets scum".
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will see peace." - 'Jimi' Hendrix

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No joke.

Marta and I are in fact the only two court-certified BASE jumping expert witnesses in the United States.

We received that certification in 2000 when we helped Hank Caylor beat his reckless endangerment charge in Denver.



I think a little perspective is in order.



While not completely unheard of, it is exceedingly rare for a person offered as an expert witness in a particular field to be rejected by the judge, that is to say, denied permission by the judge to testify as to his opinion in some manner of expert capacity. (Sometimes a certain expert opinion may be rejected as lacking adequate foundation, but it's highly rare for a person offered as an expert witness to be rejected out of hand by the judge solely on the basis of his qualifications.)



This, of course, is false, Andy, and you know it. You impugn the entire practice of expert witnesses in all areas by making such a silly blanket statement that in fact has very little relation to the way it really works.

But if that's the only way you can figure out to make a PA on me without "moderator" interference, then have at it. I just expected better from you.

B|
SCR-6933 / SCS-3463 / D-5533 / BASE 44 / CCS-37 / 82d Airborne (Ret.)

"The beginning of wisdom is to first call things by their right names."

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