• Content

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


Community Reputation

0 Neutral


Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    Currently inactive -- various
  • License
  • Licensing Organization

Ratings and Rigging

  • Pro Rating
  1. I can even top that. At Cross Keys once ... I got on an Otter with just me, my instructor, and a video dude. It was sure a quick ride to altitude. :) Now I guess I should explain ... It was getting near sunset and we had three slots reserved for my student jump. A sunset load was forming and a few more people wanted on, but there was no room for them. Since they weren't yet ready to go, the dzo filled our three slots on what would have been that load, and told my instructor to haul ass. We had already practiced the dive and everything for quite a while. The Otter pilot rushed us up and got back down for the sunset load. Everybody was a happy customer that day. :) I even passed my jump. :) Blue skies ... --rita
  2. Turtletop, My heart goes out to your sister as well. In fact, when you next speak with her, tell her to email me at [email protected] -- we probably have a lot in common. I too was a skydiver, and I too was badly injured back in 1999. Today I am the proud owner of a lot of titanium hardware in both of my legs, and I no longer skydive regularly (just the occasional tandem). My life has taken on a lot of interesting turns since my skydiving days just as your sister's will. If she'd like to talk, I'd be more than happy to offer her all the encouragement and comradship as I can. I also have a book she might enjoy reading ... that might make her laugh, just a bit. Blue skies ... --rita
  3. Well, I won't say how many I actually failed ... but it took me a total of 44 jumps (some AFF, some S/L and some tandem) to get signed off student status. :) Let's just say I was having waaaayyyyy to much fun in my student progression. I didn't want to see it end. :) Blue skies ... --rita
  4. LOL ... that's a joke. I jumped at one place in particular ... a tandem ... where I was specifically told by the manifester what the "appropriate" tip amount would be for both my TM and the video guy. I personally don't have a big problem with tipping tandem instructors. Most of the people who come out to do a tandem never return. In many cases, as well, the tandem jump is not any sort of training jump anymore. Rather it's a joyride. So you tip the ride operator ... and the guy who takes the pictures and makes you look good. That's okay by me. But I have a real problem with tipping an instructor of any type ... no matter how good he is ... until I am done with the instructional course. To me, tipping an AFF instructor would be akin to an attempted bribe. "Please don't fail me even though I sucked on that level ... here's an extra $50 to make your sign off worthwhile." No, I'd rather he fail me if I sucked ... even though the cost will actually be far more than the tip. At the end of the ENTIRE course, then perhaps I'll show up at the dz, rolling a handtruck ... loaded down with cases of beer. Perhaps at that time, I'll throw a bit of cash around ... but not before. It's just the way I believe. You can certainly call me cheap if you want. Blue skies ... --rita
  5. Okay, then what do you call the typical tandem waiver? Is that not a contract the adherent has no choice but to sign if he wants to jump? I agree ... many states will honor the waiver simply because unlike the subject of many adhesion contracts, skydiving is not a product or service that the adherent MUST have. If he signs the contract and gives up his right to sue, he is seen as doing that willingly ... unlike your hypothetical gunshot victim who desperately needs medical treatment and thus signs the contract to ease his physical pain and discomfort. However, still ... most dz's will add that other clause to their tandem waivers ... regarding the $500 payment in order to keep your right to sue. Of course, it's actually a load of crap since anyone opting to retain that right by paying the $500 probably wouldn't be allowed to jump anyway. Blue skies ... --rita
  6. We had a situation down here "Philly way" a couple of years ago. An amusement park ride ... something went wrong ... not seriously, but some kids got banged up a bit ... bruises ... that sort of thing. I think one kid broke a thumb or something like that. Anyway, the paramedics were called, the ride was shut down, and everyone was being properly attended to. They estimated that about eight kids were on the ride. Guess what? Next thing the paramedics know, there are something like 20 kids laying on the ground moaning. Where did those other ten to twelve come from? Their parents sent them over obviously ... so that they could make a quick buck. Even if everyone ... from the paramedics to the ride operators know they are full of crap ... even if the insurance company gives them "meager" nuisance settlements ... that will still equate to a couple of thousand bucks ... easily ... per child. Just like the one paramedic said on the news that night ... "what can we do? We have to treat everyone seriously ... because you just never know ... but there was no way all these kids were on that ride ... the ride simply wouldn't hold that many." I still say ... blame your legislators and no one else. If the laws were changed, there wouldn't be the money in lawsuits that must be there to keep the personal injury attorneys; i.e., vultures, circling when something like this happens. I could well understand a law suit that is justified. A machine operator loses his arm at work because his employer was too cheap to have some simple safety devices installed on that machine he was operating ... or a woman who is run over and permanently disabled because of some drunk who decided he was perfectly capable of operating his motor vehicle in that impaired condition ... but some of these law suits that I see and hear about are nothing short of funny. You go skydiving and are injured ... and now you want to sue? Give me a break. For what it's worth ... and since getting my own legal education I've found out that this is against every single professional responsibility ethic on the books ... but after my accident at Deland in 1999 ... as I lay in the hospital in Orlando ... I had no less than three attorneys contact me by phone ... as well as one who "happened to be in the neighborhood and figured he would stop by to see if he could be of any service" to talk up the idea of a law suit against Deland with me. They were shocked when I told each and every one that my accident was just that ... an accident ... caused by my own incompetence ... and nothing whatsoever that Deland could have prevented. They were all absolutely floored by that response ... probably because it's one they had never in their lives heard before. Sad, huh? Blue skies ... --rita
  7. that is still in play at some DZs. If any dz wants their waiver to hold up in court, that offer had better be standard on all the waivers at any dz. Otherwise, the entire waiver would be thrown out of court as a "contract of adhesion" ... i.e., the person only waived his right to sue because he had to in order to be permitted to make the jump. By offering this "out" with the $500, the dz can show that the customer did have a choice, and merely opted to waive his right to sue. Of course, this strategy works very well. Few people are likely to demand to retain the right to sue and willingly pay $500 for the privilege of that retention. Of course, they check "no" next to that line on the waiver and thus "voluntarily" relinquish that right. Since they had a choice, the contract is not one of adhesion and the waiver holds up in court. Like I said in the other post, though ... wonder what would happen if someone opted to retain their right to sue by paying the extra $500? Wonder if the dz would take their money and allow them to make the jump? Any dzo's out there willing to comment? Blue skies ... --rita
  8. There is an option on the waiver forms ... so that they will not be considered a "contract of adhesion" ... where you can voluntarily pay an extra $500 and then retain your right to sue in the event something goes wrong. Of course, most people just check "no" next to that little box. Who the hell is gonna pay close to $700 bucks just to make a tandem? But, the option is there if the right to sue was that important to these people. Of course, I can only wonder how the drop zone would respond if a potential tandem student did check the "yes" in that box and hand over the extra $500. Wonder if the drop zone would decline to accept their money in that situation and refuse to allow them to jump. That would be an interesting situation. Blue skies ... --rita
  9. She knew ... but did her family know? I know this type of situation stinks ... but think about it from the standpoint of an unknowledgeable family member. Your beloved daughter went out to the drop zone to do something exciting ... something all her friends had told her would be an awesome experience. She was not a hardcore skydiver ... probably never had any desire to make a "career" out of this ... just wanted a day's fun ... the same kind of fun (at least in her family's mind) that she could have had going out to the amusement park for the afternoon. Then tragedy strikes. She is killed. Of course her family is angry ... they are hurt beyond words. This should have never happened in their minds ... clearly "somebody" screwed up. A lawyer approaches them ... while they are in this state of mind ... of course they are going to want to exact revenge. No, this is probably not about money at all ... it's about making someone pay for the death of their daughter, their sister, maybe even someone's mother. The problem here is not necessarily with the lawyers ... rather it is with our legal system and the concept that someone has to pay ... someone screwed up ... someone needs to be held accountable. So don't be angry at this woman's family. Rather be angry with your State legislators who allow for a legal system where suing has become a natural right. Maybe legislation needs to be enacted that distinguishes those situations where law suits should be permitted (work injuries on faulty equipment, traffic accidents where injuries are sustained due to the gross negligence (or incapacity of the other driver) ... in other words situations where the injured party did little to contribute to his own injury ... he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time ... from injuries occurring when someone voluntarily places themselves in a "risky" situation ... as would be the case with skydiving or any other high risk endeavor. But, just think for a minute before you blame this family. How would you feel ... if you had no real knowledge of the sport other than tandem is a fun thing to do ... something a lot of your acquaintances have done over the years with no ill effects whatsoever ... and now you get a phone call telling you that your daughter ... that precious person you so love ... died doing something that should have been "safe?" I think in the state of mind these folks must be in right now ... if you were in their shoes ... you'd be considering a law suit as well. Blue skies ... --rita
  10. It's my understanding that anytime you are covered by a group policy ... such as what you would have with your employer ... the insurer cannot deny coverage to individual members even for "high risk" sports injuries. The rationale for this is that they insure the "group." That group will have lots of couch potatoes in it ... it will have loads of "average" folks in it ... whose worse injury may be a sprained ankle sustained at a local softball game ... and then it will include a few "nuts" ... those extreme sports addicts who have a higher than normal risk for serious injury. So, if you are insured through your employer's group plan, you should have nothing to worry about. For what it's worth, I was badly injured in 1999 ... two broken femurs and a few other minor injuries ... in a landing accident. My medical bills easily topped $100,000 ... and I think my out of pocket expenses amounted to $500 tops. Everything was picked up by Blue Cross Personal Choice ... including air transfer back to Philly from Florida via a private medical charter. My employer's sick leave plan also made sure I received my full paycheck for each week of the 5+ months I was out of work recuperating. Blue skies ... --rita
  11. If you have group coverage through your job, they are required to cover you for a skydiving accident. Apparently, at least here in the U.S., there is some sort of requirement that if you insure a group, you can't discriminate against individual group members because they happen to engage in "risky" pursuits. My medical insurance is through my employer and I've had the same coverage for well over 27 years. They covered EVERYTHING for my skydiving accident in 1999, including private lear jet medical transport from Florida back to my home state of Pennsylvania. Blue skies ... --rita
  12. I have long been lurking this board, though not posting in quite a while. But this thread forced me to break my silence, despite the fact that I will probably get flamed to all get out. I too suffered a skydiving injury. At close to 100 jumps, I botched a landing badly, breaking both femurs. This happened in 1999. Though I was only grounded for one year, I made the decision not to jump anymore due to my poor apptitude for the sport. I ran up a lot of medical bills too ... over $60,000 worth for surgery, close to a month of in-patient hospitalization, a $10,000 lear jet ride to get me home from Florida (where my accident occurred), over six months of physical therapy ... the list goes on and on. The difference between myself and this lady is that I had medical insurance to cover most of those bills ... even the lear jet was picked up by my insurance carrier because they wanted to get me back into their provider network. Skydiving is a sport that is all about personal responsibility. You make your jumps and you take responsibility for them. There are no guarantees for your safety ... even if you make no mistakes whatsoever (highly unlikely for someone with low jump numbers). If something does go wrong, and you are injured, then my feeling is that you take your lumps and move past them. I feel that Shayna has no medical insurance to pick up her bills, but surely she knew that before she boarded that aircraft for her first jump? I could not imagine jumping with the knowledge that if I were to be injured ... even in a relatively minor sort of way ... that my family or the state or whoever would be stuck holding the bag to pay my medical bills. Nor would I expect the general public to pity me and send me contributions because I busted myself up doing something that I wanted to do ... something that most people wouldn't consider themselves "stupid" enough to try. I am disappointed that Shayna has chosen to go public with her needs. I am disappointed that she left Medicaid to pay her bills because she didn't have enough of a sense of financial responsbility to either provide insurance for herself, or refrain from indulging in high risk pursuits. Of course, people will say that medical insurance is expensive and maybe she didn't have the money for it. Well, fine ... skydiving is expensive too ... especially for a student progression. But obviously she had the money for that, right? And now she is willing to parade herself before the media ... letting people think that this poor woman somehow incurred all these bills because of an "unexpected" accident she suffered while skydiving? No accident in skydiving is unexpected ... unless the participant is a total fool. And, what's with the teeth deal? She needs expensive implants? What's wrong with dentures? A lot cheaper than implants and certainly an acceptable solution. After all, millions of senior citizens eat damned good with a mouthful of dentures. What? They aren't good enough of Shayna? Finally, as to Medicaid getting stuck picking up her medical bills ... don't think they will just pick them up without a fight. They're gonna look around to see if there are any sources to which they can subrogate some of the costs. I'm not aware of where Shayna was jumping when she suffered this accident, but if it was at a large dz here in the U.S., I would imagine that dz is gonna get "asked" to make a substantial contribution to those medical bills as well. Maybe that's why Shayna's instructor was just sitting by as she blithly gave her interview to the media. Maybe the dz that employs him required it. So ... sadly, I have no pity whatsoever for this woman's plight with her medical bills. I am certainly sorry she was hurt and I wish her nothing but the best for her ongoing recovery, but frankly I am embarrassed by her behavior in bringing her "case" to the public in the hopes of elicting contributions to cover the cost of her medical and other care. This, too, will be my only post on the subject. Blue skies ... --rita aka "Faceplant"
  13. Need I discuss how many levels I failed? :) Skydiving training is a progression. Never forget that. Not everyone is a natural. Some of us are unluckier than others. On every jump, pass or fail, you learn something and that is the important thing. So, take your progression as it comes and no, you aer certainly not an idiot. As for the money thing, if you really are strapped, perhaps you should consider saving up the money for training first, and then buying a "package deal" which includes wind tunnel training. On the other hand, if you can pull the money together to train now, then I would suggest you not worry about getting a reduced rate by jumping next week without taking advantage of the tunnel time. Do things in a logical sequence and you'll probably have more success than if you go back out there next week ... just to save $80 ... and wind up failing the level again and thereby blowing $100 bucks. Hope this helps. By the way, it took me 46 jumps to finish student progression ... and I'm far from an idiot. Blue skies ... --rita
  14. You say the market is "red hot" in your area. These people give you guaranteed leads for a set amount of cash. You are the only one to get the leads in a given zip code. You say you've already gotten 4x the amount of leads promised on the one zip code. Tell me, have you converted any of those leads into a listing? A sale? Anything that brings in money? Evaluate that second part of the equation before making a final decision on purchasing the additional zip code. You are clearly getting more leads that promised, and that's a good thing. But, as you say, are those "leads" leading anywhere? If they are, then you've got a money-making winner on your hands, and I say buy the second zip code ASAP. Unfortunately, you sometimes you have to spend money to make money. True, credit card debt sucks, but if you really think the proposal is a money-maker ... and from the information you give, it would appear to be, then I say you would be foolish not to spend the money. You can make it a priority to pay off the credit card debt with your earliest proceeds from the investment. Blue skies and good luck! --rita
  15. I haven't heard much about Chris lately ... the freeflyer injured in the freefall collision at Deland. Last I heard, he was being transferred to a VA rehab center for therapy. Any updates? I think about him often. Blue skies ... --rita