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MakeItHappen

NTSB and Skydiving

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Well we at Quantum Leap would have passed your inspection with flying colors. 12 "safe" years in the business, 2 accidents which were very explainable causes; one was due to pilot error (canopy collision) and one was due to what I consider equipment failure of an experimental canopy that spun a straight in approach to the ground. As far as I know, very good BBB standings, good relations with airport manager and FSDO. In fact our FSDO guy Mark loved us and visited us often. We were incredibly organized, manifest was run by an ex-military manifest b who knew exactly how to run things smoothly, efficiently and did a good job of keeping everyone happy. Our staff was over-standardized so that every instructor knew and kept records and logs of every student in their progression. There was also strong cohesion and a team comradery atmosphere between staff members inside and out of the workplace. Equipment was always stored inside a covered area, we had one of the most anal riggers and master riggers in the industry, I know because he trained me and nothing got by him... The aircraft was always hangared safely and appropriately, the pilot who was in his early 40s, started flying when he was 16 and was currently an airline FO for a major airline so he was very current. The facility was in above average condition, staff and customers were happy to the best of my knowledge without friction or confusion. Our staff was professional, knowledgeable, dressed for success and uniformity, organized and had excellent skills in AFF, Tandem and rigging. Our DZO and pilot was also a World Champion Crew Dog.

Now what?

And, is it the responsibility of a first time tandem student to understand what a reserve closing loop is and does and when the engines last TBO was?

I think when people sign a waiver, they are assuming that they are signing their rights away for the skydive. In my opinion, negligence should count either way but really to what extent can a person get information about maintenance, logbooks, pilots? After our accident, I went to Perris to make some jumps... They thought I was a paranoid schizo in manifest. I started asking them all sorts of questions about how much time their pilots had in the left seat, their maintenance records and how well they maintained their airplanes... The more questions I asked, the more they started looking at me like I was crazy. In theory it is nice and safe to believe that we can identify all of the problems but in practice, good luck. And if that is what our sport has come to, I fear for the future of our sport as a business. Most people who skydive are willing to acknowledge the risks of leaving a perfectly good airplane but the key words there are perfectly good.

I know one DZ in particular whose jump ship was grounded after being red tagged by the FAA for failure to comply. I straight up asked one of the regulars who not only is a friend of mine, but who prides himself on knowing everything about this particular DZ and he flat out denied it. Good luck getting the real skippy and thinking that you will even come close to knowing the "true" ins and outs of the operation especially when skydivers are usually super protective of their home DZs and friends there AND being that they are protective, they would rather keep the bad things hush hush.
Roy Bacon: "Elvises, light your fires."

Sting: "Be yourself no matter what they say."

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Doing your homework is one thing but gaining the inside scoop or knowledge is another. I don't find it non-sensable to have the expectation that a DZO is there to provide a safe environment to the best of his abilities and that includes making sure the airplane is sound for operational activities.




This is why we need FAA intervention/inspection because DZOs cannot be trusted to do it on their own all the time. If they are doing it now then they have nothing to worry about. Their inspection will be quick. But if we can get true oversight then the average jumper will not have to educate themselves on how TBOs work and that they aren't required to be done yet we run these engines to death and not everyone knows how to baby them past TBO. (run on sentence I know)

This engine that blew up wasn't just a little over TBO. IT WAS TWICE THE TIME OVER TBO. WTF.

And to those that don't think the FAA can demand TBOs you're wrong. They won't have to change Part 91. They can change Part 105 to require it. Think AOPA will step in on a Part 105 NPRM? Unlikely. NTSB talked about how skydiving should be seperated out from just being part 91. It can be done. People should take heed.

The crux of a lot of these problems is that there is no qualification to being a DZO other than money. You have the money you can start a DZ. They hold the purse strings and pilots want to fly. DZOs might be depending on their pilots that revolve through the door to keep track of maintenance. Pilots look at how little they are getting paid and won't do much above the minimum and then get out when they have enough hours. This industry needs people who know what they are looking at to inspect things and keep oversight. There really should be a DZO certificate or Part 105 "operating certificate" that has to be applied for and granted by the FAA. The process would require the DZO to show knowledge of Part 91, 105, 125 as it pertains to all aspects of their operation. Then we can mandate minimum specialized training for jump pilots. Then we look at recurrent training if they stay in it long enough. It's the only way to get bad DZs into compliance so we stop killing our friends in jump planes.

Roger Nelson predicted that this industry was headed for fewer DZs with "large DZs" growing. The large DZs already understand for the most part about what we are talking about here. Either the small DZs get on board soon or they will be plowed under and that will be sad. It's just going to take a mindset to get into this to survive. A single 182 DZ can survive in this if they start getting educated on what it will take to truly comply.

Even if the FAA does not follow with each NTSB recommendation people could just choose to follow it and raise the bar themselves. Do you want your rigger doing the minimum to make your rig airworthy? Why would you expect/allow your DZO to do the same for the plane/pilot you ride to altitude? These aren't new areguements. It's just now a very serious government agency has turned the spot light on this industry and it's a real heat lamp.
Chris Schindler
www.diverdriver.com
ATP/D-19012
FB #4125

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That would be like me saying when someone brings their reserve parachute to me for a repack, I am a little poor this month and cannot afford to purchase Cypres loop material for your reserve closing loop. So instead, I am going to just use the same one over and over again (without telling my customer). Surely if I use this rationale on all of my customers, over time I will save money and perhaps be a more profitable rigger. But eventually, someone is going to be either in freefall or under canopy and due to wear and tear on their reserve closing loop it is going to break and they will have a premature reserve deployment. Heck, they may even be head down going 200 mph when it breaks. But oh well, it was their responsibility to know better... They should have done their homework...? :S





I posted before I read your next post. You get it.
Chris Schindler
www.diverdriver.com
ATP/D-19012
FB #4125

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Good luck getting the real skippy and thinking that you will even come close to knowing the "true" ins and outs of the operation especially when skydivers are usually super protective of their home DZs and friends there AND being that they are protective, they would rather keep the bad things hush hush.



You can't save everyone, you'll be doing good just to save yourself, even if you got a half truth from a friend you'll never really know if the DZO is fudging the books or not unless you one of the close staff and around all the time see just what gets done or don't get done, but signed off.

By your own post, even you didn't know the engines were double past TBO, not to pick on you, but after a couple seasons working there you never noticed the plane was having down time for over hauls or 100 hr's. (point is at some point it will miss a weekend) In your defense, maybe you were only there weekends like many and always assumed it was being done on weekdays.

Most corner cutting DZO's are doing it (cutting corners) durring the week when the regulars are at their real jobs and with the large number of retards who are full time staff durring the week in the sport, most are to stupid to see it going on and those who do see it are helping to cover the DZO's ass or won;t question the DZO for fear of being kicked off the dz and bad mouth around the industry.

Personally, I don't feel sorry for any DZO's or the sport should this hit everyone hard in the pocket book, because those who are above board know who and have known for a number of years those who are corner cutting DZO's and they ALL yes even USPA choose to turn a blind eye to it and hope nothing happends.

Hell they even sit around the bar @ PIA/DZO conf. and skydiving events, they pat each other on the back and act all buddy buddy talking shit about how great they are and how great they have been for the sport, no one is willing to call a spade a spade instead is one big ass kissing festival, even more so now that USPA took it in the ass over skyride, don't expect USPA to say shit about the bad guys, and don't believe all the USPA bullshit about how they are keeping you safe when they won't publicly out DZ's (letting you members know) they kick out for life for the very crap were talking about here.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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And to those that don't think the FAA can demand TBOs you're wrong. They won't have to change Part 91. They can change Part 105 to require it. Think AOPA will step in on a Part 105 NPRM? Unlikely. NTSB talked about how skydiving should be seperated out from just being part 91. It can be done. People should take heed.



Chris,
I guess I should have been a little less vague in my last post regarding the the above.
The FAA may mandate that operators adhere to the engine TBOs, but the also must give the operators the option of maintaining those engine(s) on an APPROVED ON CONDITION PROGRAM.
If they, the FAA, were to make it MANDATORY that all skydive operators of turbine aircraft overhaul their engine(s) at TBO then they would be holding jump operators to a HIGHER standard than 135 & 121 operators. 135 & 121 operators are given the option to do either.
The key word is APPROVED. I don't think that they will allow operators to just maintain their aircraft any old way anymore. If operators want to run past TBO and be on condition, then they are going to have to have an APPROVED ON CONDITION PROGRAM to do so.
Please don't take these as "fighten words" because I do agree with you that there is a huge short coming in the industry that needs to change.

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This engine that blew up wasn't just a little over TBO. IT WAS TWICE THE TIME OVER TBO. WTF.



I do disagree with this statement, though.
It is not a matter of how much TIME SINCE OVERHAUL is on the engine, but what was done in that time to the engine.
I work for a 135 operator that runs single engine turbine aircraft. We operate ON CONDITION as part of our GMM. We have one aircraft that has just under 8000 hours since overhaul. That's more than twice the TBO of 3600 hours. It is a strong running engine and I have no issues with myself or my family riding in that aircraft.
The difference between us and the typical skydiving operator is the way we maintain it. Fuel Nozzles every 400 hour w/ a borescope inspection. Nightly Turbine Rinses & Comp washes. We do propeller balances and vibration analysis of the engine every 400 hours. We do oil analysis and Trend Monitoring.
This is where the changes to Part 91 or 105 will be made.

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don't expect USPA to say shit about the bad guys,



They don't have to name names. They just have to show the pictures from the NTSB report.

Since NTSB has directly asked USPA to assist, it would be difficult for USPA not to publish these items. People might look at the single point restraints in their planes, and the other planes that already have better restraints, and make the decision to jump at places that have already spent the money.

If nothing else, it might get some more people asking the right questions.

BSBD
"Harry, why did you land all the way out there? Nobody else landed out there."

"Your statement answered your question."

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From the cypress packing manual!



The Cypres Packing Manual does not come with the unit, the Cypres User’s Guide does. They don’t have that manual to read. They didn’t toss the manual into the pile of extra stuff;

“General information:
At every repack the loops must be checked carefully and be replaced if necessary.”

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If they had read the manual and "did their homework" (instead of throwing it in the closet with all of the "EXTRA" unnecessary jump items), they would be knowledgable that the loop is to be replaced at every inspection.



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I would…………



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do you get diffrerent answers from each staff person



What questions would you ask?

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whom is responsible for maintanance?



Who would you ask this? What do you do if they do tell you who is responsible? That does not tell you if the aircraft has been properly maintained.

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Whom is the pilot, what ratings, is he current?



Would you ask to see their logbook and certificate(s) or just ask them if they are rated and current? How many jumpers know what it means for a pilot to be current?

What should a student look for?

In order to determine if the DZ is ‘safe’, you would have to really investigate the place. That would take a lot of time and experience to know what to ask and look at and be able to make sense of the answers and what you see. Odds are that a jumper would never get far enough into that process to make a solid evaluation of a DZ before being asked to leave. A first jump student has absolutely no hope of making an evaluation of a DZ. Interviewing multiple staff members, the pilot(s), the DZO, the A & P (which may or may not be on-site), going through maintenance records, etc, is a time consuming endeavor for everyone involved. I don’t think that going through all of that for every new jumper is an efficient system for ensuring compliance with FAR’s and industry standards. How would a DZ stay in business if they had to spend all that time and energy going through everything with every new jumper that walks through the door?

I don’t ask for the airline pilot’s log book, aircraft maintenance records, etc when boarding a commercial flight. If every passenger on every flight did, and the airlines were required to allow them access, the system would collapse. It is much more efficient for the FAA to ensure that the airlines comply with the FAR’s. The FAA does a fairly good job of it and the airlines have a remarkable safety record.

No one checks up on DZ’s and the safety record reflects the current, failed, system of self-regulation.

DV

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In order to determine if the DZ is ‘safe’, you would have to really investigate the place. That would take a lot of time and experience to know what to ask and look at and be able to make sense of the answers and what you see. Odds are that a jumper would never get far enough into that process to make a solid evaluation of a DZ before being asked to leave. A first jump student has absolutely no hope of making an evaluation of a DZ. Interviewing multiple staff members, the pilot(s), the DZO, the A & P (which may or may not be on-site), going through maintenance records, etc, is a time consuming endeavor for everyone involved. I don’t think that going through all of that for every new jumper is an efficient system for ensuring compliance with FAR’s and industry standards. How would a DZ stay in business if they had to spend all that time and energy going through everything with every new jumper that walks through the door?

I don’t ask for the airline pilot’s log book, aircraft maintenance records, etc when boarding a commercial flight. If every passenger on every flight did, and the airlines were required to allow them access, the system would collapse. It is much more efficient for the FAA to ensure that the airlines comply with the FAR’s. The FAA does a fairly good job of it and the airlines have a remarkable safety record.



Hummm? so you are saying the the USPA GM program, is basicly meaningless? Thanks! The point I have made many times.
Here is the basics of what I read posted in response to my thoughts,

"We are to be safe, at the DZ and on the ride to altitude, because we pay money for the experience, it is the responsibility of the FAA USPA, and the DZO to provide this to us!"

If you believe this I have some ocean front property in kansas that I'll sell cheap! Let me see how do I do this use the word "safe" in a sentence with "Skydiving" Hummmm? Why do you think that people get involved in the sport? The risk? What gives the buzz on a dive? The assumed risk!! You want your cake and eat it too!

This is an adult sport with adult benefits, but it also has adult risks and consequences! If you want to start paying $50.00 a jump Hell DZs will give you any safety guarentee you want! But if you want the $20.00 cheapo that you are willing to pay for now, you get what you get, if this is the crux of the problem than the FAA should require all operations go to 135 standards, you can all be safe, with the few jumps you can afford to make per year and all will be well! Safety cost money! How safe can you afford to be?

No don't assume any responsiblity for your own devisions or actions that is not the american way we are all entitled to the very best at little or no cost, because it is the responsibility of the government, the organization, and the businesses we visit! Bull Shit!

.

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Well we at Quantum Leap would have passed your inspection with flying colors. 12 "safe" years in the business, 2 accidents which were very explainable causes; one was due to pilot error (canopy collision) and one was due to what I consider equipment failure of an experimental canopy that spun a straight in approach to the ground. As far as I know, very good BBB standings, good relations with airport manager and FSDO. In fact our FSDO guy Mark loved us and visited us often. We were incredibly organized, manifest was run by an ex-military manifest b who knew exactly how to run things smoothly, efficiently and did a good job of keeping everyone happy. Our staff was over-standardized so that every instructor knew and kept records and logs of every student in their progression. There was also strong cohesion and a team comradery atmosphere between staff members inside and out of the workplace. Equipment was always stored inside a covered area, we had one of the most anal riggers and master riggers in the industry, I know because he trained me and nothing got by him... The aircraft was always hangared safely and appropriately, the pilot who was in his early 40s, started flying when he was 16 and was currently an airline FO for a major airline so he was very current. The facility was in above average condition, staff and customers were happy to the best of my knowledge without friction or confusion. Our staff was professional, knowledgeable, dressed for success and uniformity, organized and had excellent skills in AFF, Tandem and rigging. Our DZO and pilot was also a World Champion Crew Dog.

Now what?



I agree all of these things were in place and worked well, 12 years ago when the money that was paid for the service actually covered the costs and produced a profit!
But during that time costs continued to increase, more rules were added, customers expected more perks, and the only thing that didn't change was the prices that customers were charged for the service, I' am sure i'll here, Oh they raised lift ticket prices, really! What $2.00? when the cost to offer the service had increased by 50%? The reasons for the accident are very basic! MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! If you are willing to pay you can get anything you want, if you are not, you get what you get!
The answer is very simple, you want safe? pay the price! or we continue down the path we are on! Aviation, especially by the standards of safe Aviation are not cheap! Unless you can get the government to subsidize all the DZ like they do the airlines?

.

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You really missed the point here, a few years ago the USPA kicked out for life a shithead DZO's DZ from the GM, yet the USPA never published anything about the actions they took or the reasons why they took them......

A few weeks, days, years later here comes happy go dipshit to make a jump, finds they like the sport and starts going to the DZ in question, and after awhile starts to hear things around, but is told by the regulars it's all BS and crap told by axe grinding former staff and it's not true.

Now had the USPA done a real service and published the reasons and the names of the offending operators then the membership and new people would have a record to learn about and then make up thier own mind based on known fact and not as the prop turns BS and try to decide who's story to believe.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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Well I am in agreement with you there on that one... And I am also in agreement with you on the issue related to rigging and arming yourself with knowledge (to the extent of the experienced jumper). I don't think it is necessary for a first time jumper or tandem to become familiar with the technicalities of all of the gear and such.

I know when I was an early jumper and got my rig, it came to me fully assembled and I was one of the guilty ones who kept my manuals in a safe place (the closet). I did skim over them briefly but after learning more about my reserve and the problems people were having with it, my interest in rigging and maintaining my own gear became greater. My quest for knowledge got me through my riggers ticket so at least I didn't stay ignorant forever but I find there is always more to learn. I still feel ignorant when it comes to understanding engine mechanics but I am trying to arm myself with that knowledge now too.

Someone asked earlier without offense (no offense taken by the way) about didn't I know or ever see the otter gone for any kind of routine inspections? Well to be frank, that otter was in the shop the last year I worked there full time more than it was out of the shop. It seemed like there was constant maintenance being done to it and that is where my experience comes in with the mechanic. Again, not caring to get into major details or finger pointing but I was less than impressed with him from the beginning and tried a number of times to get Scott to get rid of the guy and hire someone I KNEW to be competent.
Roy Bacon: "Elvises, light your fires."

Sting: "Be yourself no matter what they say."

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Care to elaborate on what those airline subsidies are ?





Airlines whine about "regulations" and "freedom of the skies", but it in fact they receive a wide range of subsidies, tax preferences, and other forms of special treatment from Federal, state, and local governments in the USA. (The phenomenon is widespread elsewhere in the world, even if the details vary from country to country.)

How? Let me count the ways (in no particular order):

Airports and air trafffic control infrastructure are built and operated by tax-exempt government entities (consider the real estate and other taxes that would be paid by privately owned airports on huge tracts of land in prime urban and suburban locations) with below-market capital costs (tax-exempt government bonds).


Employee training for pilots, mechanics, etc. is provided by the military at no cost to airlines. (Ex-military pilots and mechanics may require additional training and certification for specific civilian aircraft types, but they've already logged thousands of very expensive hours of jet aircraft experience.)


Air traffic control and other services to airlines was provided by the government. (Airlines did claim that they pay for this in user fees, but that ignores the taxes that would be paid on private ATC infrastructure, and the artificially depressed labor costs: As government employees, air traffic controllers and many other civil aviation workers are forbidden to strike, enabling the government unilaterally to impose below-market wages.)


Airlines are paid all the time, even when their aircraft aren't being used, for agreeing to make their planes available on demand to the government as part of the "Reserve Air Fleet". But the times when they are needed -- times of war -- are generally times of reduced civilian air travel, when they would otherwise be idle. And when the "Reserve Air Fleet" is used, airlines are paid market rates for government charters.


Government funding for military aircraft subsidizes production and operation of civilian aircraft: Manufacturers of aircraft and associated equipment pay nothing for knowledge transfers from government-funded military aircraft research and development, prototyping, testing, maintenance experience, etc. to civilian aircraft. Military aviation provides critical support for economies of scale and continuity of operations for manufacturtes of aircraft, support equipment, and related services during cyclical declines in civilian aircraft demand. Many civilian aircraft types are sold directly to the military, and these sales are often essential to enlarging production runs to the break-even point.


Airlines have a statutory exemption from Federal anti-trust law to allow them to participate in IATA "traffic conferences" to fix standard "industry fares".


Under the preemption clause of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, airlines are exempt from state and local truth-in-advertising and other consumer protection laws. (This wouldn't matter if the Federal government enforced similar rules, But, as state Attorneys General have pointed out , the Feds allow many practices that enhance airline profits but would be forbidden under state and local fraud laws.)


Airlines based in the USA are protected by Federal law from all foreign competition: No airline based anywhere else in the world is allowed to carry passengers between points in the USA, and no foreign entity is allowed to own more than 25% of the voting stock in any airline based in the USA. This applies even to US colonies: It's illegal to buy a through ticket on a foreign airline between Guam and the mainland USA via e.g. Seoul, Taipei, or Tokyo (even though travel agents occasionally issue such tickets by mistake), no matter how much cheaper that would be than a ticket on Continental Micronesia, the only USA airline with service between those places. You have to buy 2 separate tickets, and claim and re-check your luggage at the transfer point. Under "Buy American" rules, all travel funded, even in part, by the US government must be on a US-flag airline, no matter how much more it costs than a foreign-flag competitor. Where, as is often the case, there is often only one US-flag airline serving a given destination, this gives them a de facto monopoloy on government-funded travel, a large and often high-revenue (last minute business travel by government contractors, etc.) portion of the traffic on some routes.
If airlines really want to be free of government regulation and oversight, they first should have to agree to give up their government subsidies and special privileges and protections.

Does that answer your question?

.

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Employee training for pilots, mechanics, etc. is provided by the military at no cost to airlines. ...Does that answer your question?



Sorry. I was laughing so hard after reading this part, that I couldn't get to the rest. Let me see if I understand you correctly. Are you saying that the U. S. government operates the military and trains military pilots and mechanics for the purpose of subsidizing the civilian airlines ??:S

I'm not sure if that is the biggest crock of shit ever posted on this site, but it certainly ranks way up there. Now that I've stopped laughing, I'll try to read the rest of your well-reasoned and intelligent post.;)

Kevin Keenan
_____________________________________
Dude, you are so awesome...
Can I be on your ash jump ?

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Geez, after reading your posts I was like this guy is pretty smart and seems to know a lot about what is up even though we don't agree on everything 100%. Come to find after doing a profile search it is my DPRE Tom Dolphin... Well Duh. :S:$:oB|
Roy Bacon: "Elvises, light your fires."

Sting: "Be yourself no matter what they say."

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Are you saying that the U. S. government operates the military and trains military pilots and mechanics for the purpose of subsidizing the civilian airlines?



Kevin, what he meant was that the airlines benefit from the previous training that pilots receive in the military. It is an indirect benefit, and perhaps Tom was overly inclusionary in his examples.

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Are you saying that the U. S. government operates the military and trains military pilots and mechanics for the purpose of subsidizing the civilian airlines ??:S

I'm not sure if that is the biggest crock of shit ever posted on this site, but it certainly ranks way up there. Now that I've stopped laughing, I'll try to read the rest of your well-reasoned and intelligent post.



No Kevin I didn't say that they do this to subsidise the airlines, but when ex military apporach the airline for a position they are allowed to fast track through much of the requirements, with reference to the military experience flight time and training that they received, Maybe not the best method to offer it? but still a fact! This privilage is not recognized in all types of training or skills that may be pocessed by a person whom leaves the service, but is supported and allowed by the government to support the US transportation system, (Airlines) Hope you don't tear a sphineter from laughter!

.

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>That would be like me saying when someone brings their reserve parachute to me >for a repack, I am a little poor this month and cannot afford to purchase Cypres
>loop material for your reserve closing loop. . . .But oh well, it was their
>responsibility to know better... They should have done their homework...?

I would argue that it certainly is your responsibility to tell them you've done that. That way they can make up their own minds as to whether or not that's safe or not. However, if they are OK with it, and you feel it is acceptably safe, then you have done your job.

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>Let me see if I understand you correctly. . . . I'm not sure if that is the
>biggest crock of shit ever posted on this site. . .

Just as a note, the above was not written by Chutejump; it was written by Edward Hasbrouck in 2006 for an Internet forum. So you might be asking the wrong person for clarification.

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>That would be like me saying when someone brings their reserve parachute to me >for a repack, I am a little poor this month and cannot afford to purchase Cypres
>loop material for your reserve closing loop. . . .But oh well, it was their
>responsibility to know better... They should have done their homework...?

I would argue that it certainly is your responsibility to tell them you've done that. That way they can make up their own minds as to whether or not that's safe or not. However, if they are OK with it, and you feel it is acceptably safe, then you have done your job.



And yes, I agree too and that is my point. But how many DZOs are telling jumpers/students/1st time tandems that there is something going on with the plane that they can't afford to fix and it may not be safe or airworthy? Or how about that their pilot is not commercially rated and has not been checked out properly on the airplane they are flying? I'd bet if there was one of those specials done (the name escapes me what I am thinking about) but the shows that are designed to reveal what is hidden from us, the public and consumers... people who go on a mission is to protect "us" from having the wool pulled over our eyes... I saw one show on red meat that was dated, redated, packaged and repackaged at many grocery stores revealing to the public that their meat that was bought was WAY beyond their packaging date and I mean way beyond... I'd be willing to bet lots of money that there are plenty of DZs out there who are doing the same things by trying to cover maintenance/pilot issues that need attention; secrets that only the DZO/pilot/mechanic know about. And, the only thing I don't agree with in your post above is that even if a DZO tells jumpers, Hey, this airplane can get us up to altitude and most likely will but there is this little problem with the elevator trim or the stabilizer so if the pilot stalls, the airplane will spin in (just an example). Now the DZO has made the jumpers aware of a potential problem. But like Stratostar mentioned, there might still be a load or two of asshats who are like, sheesh, no big deal because we have rigs on! Well, I know that kind of stuff actually does happen believe it or not.

Do I think that just because those jumpers have been warned that now it is OK for them to jump out of that plane if they deem it safe? Absolutely NOT. That is up to the FAA to determine it has passed the airworthy test. Most jumpers don't know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to airplanes. All they know is that they want altitude and some want it so badly they are dumb enough to take stupid risks to get it.

This is why I believe there needs to be more stops to more DZs by the FAA. Because we have seen too much tragedy lately with regulations not being followed. Just like in my example about breaking the law in an earlier post; just because there are plenty of criminals behind bars for committing crimes they are responsible for committing doesn't mean that they are ALL behind bars... Crime is still happening right now all over but only the ones who get caught by law enforcement are actually doing their time.
Roy Bacon: "Elvises, light your fires."

Sting: "Be yourself no matter what they say."

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>But how many DZOs are telling jumpers/students/1st time tandems that there
>is something going on with the plane that they can't afford to fix and it may not be
>safe or airworthy?

I think there are almost none, and I don't think that's the problem.

The problem is that there are A+P's out there who have been fixing airplanes for so long that they start to know what can go longer and what has to be fixed. They might think that fuel pump problem is a big one, and fix that in favor of fixing the HSI, because the HSI rarely gets used during jump (VFR) operations.

Now, is the airplane safe to fly with jumpers on a good day? Arguably yes. But if through bad luck/bad decision making the airplane ended up in IMC, then they could have a problem - and the NTSB would point to bad maintenance as one of the issues leading up to the crash.

I don't think there are any DZO's out there rubbing their hands together saying "those greedy skydivers will never know what hit 'em! I'll put this broken fuel pump back in the airplane, pocket the cash and buy a house in Florida." I think there _are_ DZO's out there who try to run their aircraft for as little money as possible, and use A+P's that are used to what they can 'let slide' on a given airplane.

In many ways, that's the big benefit of a standardized inspection program. Just another set of eyes is invaluable in situations like that:

"You should really fix the play in the stabilator of that 182."
"What? It's been like that for seven years and it's been fine!"
"Yeah, but in X it got worse suddenly and they had to land without elevator control."
"Oh . . ."

>Now the DZO has made the jumpers aware of a potential problem. But like
>Stratostar mentioned, there might still be a load or two of asshats who are like,
>sheesh, no big deal because we have rigs on! Well, I know that kind of stuff
>actually does happen believe it or not.

I agree. But that's the asshat's problem, not the DZO's.

>Do I think that just because those jumpers have been warned that now it is
>OK for them to jump out of that plane if they deem it safe? Absolutely NOT.

I guess that's where we differ.

Let's take an example. A warbird (say, a B-17) is making its final flight; its engines are no longer worth fixing. You are offered a chance to jump it on its final flight to the museum.

"It's up to you," says the pilot. "I won't tell you it's safe, because those engines really are on their last legs. But I think it's safe enough that I am taking myself and my crew on this final flight, and we'd love to open the bomb bay one more time and drop something."

Would you consider jumping it? I would.

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In my opinion Yes! They should have done their homework!



If you believe you can just walk onto a DZ start asking hard questions and looking around and either a) make an accurate determination if the DZ is doing things as they should be, or b) not get asked to leave, you are kidding yourself.

DV

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