As the league director who made the call in this instance, allow me to make a few points....
The host DZ in question was promised a caravan from another nearby DZ (I will be kind). What actually arrived was a Beech 99.
All competitors present walked out and examined the bird in question and an actual vote was taken. Factors involved in the decision were:
Door - almost the same rectangular dimensions as an Otter (maybe bigger in a direct linear measure) BUT - the major problem is that the top of the door curves inboard with the skin of AC. Head-jams were not going to be possible, and were needed on 2 of the six exits. The lateral (left to right) difference means that the top of the door is 6-8 inches further "into" the bird than the floor.
Camera - while there is a step on the bird, there is no outside rail. This would leave the cameraflyers closer than is best for the teams, and one of their hands would actually be inside a plastic housing duct (of some type) that was already broken. Further, the relative tail height was low enough to make me wonder about safety issues. Remember camera positioning for 4way calls for the camera to be higher at the door than (for example) tandem video where the flyer has to get low to get the passengers face.
Flight Profile - while direct prop blast would not be a huge issue because the pilot had been trained to fully feather the left hand prop, jump run had to be at 100 knots indicated to be safe. That's a bit stiff.
Additional factors included in my thoughts, but not discussed with the teams were:
INTERNATIONAL flavor of the weekend's competition - as Eric has so ably pointed out and Ron has followed up on.
The fact that one of the teams is actively training for Nationals and has at least a 50/50 chance to be in the running for a medal. (For the record, if that team had not had its infringements and minor funnel in one round their average for this meet would have been an 11, which would have put them at the top of the leaderboard). At this stage of the season, they need every valid skydive they can muster. A caravan would have been acceptable, a Beech 99 was not.
The host DZ did their job. This is a fact that was clearly understood and acknowledged by the teams.
While I was not pleased by the situation, I took the steps that I felt were in the best interests of MY clients(the teams). That's the way business is done. I apologized to the DZO. When I was informed that the aircraft provider had decided to waive the ferry fee, I was immensely relieved for the DZ's sake.
The responsibility for the decision lies exclusively with me. I asked the teams to vote, but the actual decision was mine. I still stand behind that decision. I do regret the circumstances that made the decision necessary. Thank you to those who have contributed to this thread in a positive fashion.
D19133 AFF-I RJ-FS
Director, Mideast Skydiving League