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  1. So let's review DZ etiquette. Rental rigs are snatched up quickly because they're in short supply. If someone is ahead of you and tells you so, the rig is theirs, no problem. Similarly, if they alert the packers to let others know, same thing. If no other claims exist, the rig needs to be put aside, or someone else grabs it. This has happened to me on a number of occasions. There's always a little confusion, but it usually works itself out. It is obvious the incident you posted has caused an enormous amount of enmity, especially as described from your standpoint. Absolutely it was an honest error. I apologized to you and the packer. However, when the packer insists a rig was deliberately hidden, I think the jumper has every right to stand up to that accusation, loud and clear. Both sides were angry, both sides raised their voices. Since then, there's a definite attitude on anything that takes place. But it's difficult to defend accusations once people have made up their minds, especially in your absence. Conclusions are drawn, hard feelings exist and spread. This is evidenced in your post. After a three month layoff, it's wise to jump a rental in a larger size before making a first jump on a new rig with a smaller canopy. I waited three hours for one of the rentals, one of your friends chose not to. My next jump was the first ever on my own rig, to free up the rental for the next person. Spin it any way you choose. You speak of a sense of family. Families and friends talk about it, and forgive errors. Apologies can be made, but sometimes they're not heard.
  2. If the incidents you describe had occurred on a chronic basis, the coaches and the S&TA would have been all over that jumper fast. Except for a single instance of a low opening near you, which the jumper concurs, not one other individual has discussed that with her. If indeed this was happening, is it not our responsibility to have a discussion with the other jumper so they can be more heads up not just for you, but for everyone else? If not your responsibility, shouldn't it have been brought to the S&TA's attention? Since none of the many, many issues you mention were ever discussed, then this obviously means you are responsible, as well, for a safety issue at this DZ. Policy at the DZ is to share rigs, and packers always try to alert waiting renters as to who's next in line. This is always appreciated, and helps to keep things happy. They would never allow one person to monopolize all the rigs as you describe. A rig was once mistakenly put to the side when your partner was waiting to jump it. It was an honest mistake, which you may not have been aware, and was apologized for. Would any skydiver ever be rude or abusive to packers? Doubtful, since they keep us safe in the air, and we appreciate all their efforts, especially on the busy days. Guess you consider it abusive to ask a packer if they can finish in time to catch the next load so you can manifest. Trust me, they tell you if they can or cannot, and you're happy that they do. And, golly,if someone doesn't know where risers or toggles are, well, let's get serious. Your post is a clear indication of personal issues you should have taken up with the other jumper. It is unfair to ask her to PM you, after you've publicly trashed her in every way possible.
  3. Just to say thanks for some of the messages and phone calls I've received the last few days following my cutaway Sunday p.m. Its nice to put that event behind me, and good to hear some kind words of support. Thanks as well to all at the DZ who were kind enough to search for the jumper and the gear. As I'd mentioned, the gear had already been found when I posted the thread, and it's certainly proved to be an interesting and informative discussion, with a wide range of viewpoints. Must comment, however, on some character assaults that surfaced in the thread, one person to whom I've already responded, the other who posted that I had "a history of losing altitude awareness and pulling lower than expected". Kindly provide the source of your misinformation. My logbook shows a single opening at 2800, also the result of a hard pull, and, except for a couple training tandems, I have NEVER lost altitude awareness. Perhaps you should think before posting garbage like that, and I don't know what your personal agenda or vendetta might be, but in my book, this is libel. Secondly, I was already walking back because it was getting dark. I was not annoyed it took "so long to find" me, and this remark is taken totally out of context. Statements made in this manner are malicious, and circulating them ruins a jumper's reputation both from a personal and an ability standpoint. Having a cutaway is stressful enough, being the vicitm of a character attack is worse. Let's be more heads up and look at both sides of a situation before jumping to conclusions.
  4. Sorry, but you're very wrong and I stand by my last post. Although this does not relate to the original post, I feel forced to respond to your very offensive attitude. Yes, I know very well how to clear a pilot chute from the burble, having reviewed malfunctions the previous day. A cutaway was made regardless of cause, but the power lines were more of a concern at the time than discerning exactly why I still had no canopy overhead when I looked up. I may have still been a bit shook up, but of course I was very grateful for everyone's help! I thanked the person nice enough to pick me up, and another jumper who'd come out, but, sorry, when I got back, all I got were a lot of questions from a lot of people at the same time, so forgive me if I forgot any extra thankyous. My attitude was nothing as you describe it. I know exactly what I said about looking for gear, so please don't accuse me of not caring. To ask if it was not part of the DZ's routine to search for the rig seems reasonable. I had never cut away before, and I had always seen the staff driving out to rescue other jumpers' cutaways. Now I was being told I had to come back in the morning and search for it myself. Sorry, but that just didn't sound right, after what I'd seen at the DZ in the past. So forgive my naivete', but I just didn't know the protocol, and again, I wouldn't have known where or how to begin. The woods are extensive, and I have no idea how to search for something as small as a D-baq. The invoice was very quickly drawn up, and again, there was no inference of any negotiability. I cannot imagine why you are so willing to see things from only one perspective. I have not been around DZ's long enough to understand all the protocols which exist for incidents such as this one. Let's try being a little more open-minded. I do appreciate your comments. I don't appreciate your attitude.
  5. How can you say she did she not volunteer to help look for the gear? She said she had to work Monday and Tuesday, that she could get there Wednesday, and, not knowing the protocol in the situation, questioned how she could find the gear out in the middle of the woods when told she would need to walk through the woods looking. She called the DZ the next morning to let them know she could be there and was arranging to get off early Monday afternoon. They told her no one was available to help her look. She called 2 hours later and was told the gear had been spotted in the trees, and would cost $300. to retrieve. The rest of your post is equally inaccurate. You weren't present the entire time the story was recounted, so you should reserve your comments for what is correct, not what is hearsay. This jumper waved off at 4200, had a hard pull, levered it out with her elbow, waited, looked up and saw nothing,waited 3 more counts, then went to handles and chopped because she was in the vicinity of high tension powerlines and was continuing to freefall. You were in the room when she said she looked up and saw nothing. So why are you accusing her of not looking up? Also, when that canopy isn't out at all, and you're still in freefall after 6 seconds, you don't recheck your altimeter, you get on your handles. No panic, smooth cutaway. Saw the reserve freebag falling, but not the main, but didn't search further because she needed to find a safe landing area away from the woods. LACK OF AWARENESS? I think not. Patterned into a nearby field and started walking back because it was already getting dark. That's the story and it wasn't "changed six times". How do I know? I'm the jumper, and this was posted as a rhetorical question,since the gear had been found already. As`for packing, I just got my own rig and wanted to retrain on packing after the long winter layoff, so had requested packing lessons at the DZ now that I had a rig. Sorry, but you're making me out to be a jumper of little conscience. I spent several hours reviewing training and safety before returning for the new season, and I do care about the equiptment I rent. Since I paid the DZ for over a hundred jumps on their rental gear before getting my own, it would have been far more fair to cut some slack on the replacement cost. A retail cost invoice was shoved at me and I was even told to leave my new rig as security! That said, I feel as though an apparent misunderstanding regarding searching dense woods for missing gear, on my own, on the following day has been blown up out of all proportion . Further, I feel that in my absence accusations have been made that could not be defended. All in all, the cutaway was the most pleasant of my experiences at this DZ that evening. People I thought were friends have let me down. Customer service is an issue in this case, yes, but the lack of support for a regular and conscientious jumper with a first-time cutaway is the real issue.
  6. Hard pull and baglock force a cutaway on a rented rig, with loss of main, freebag, etc. Jumper fortunately ok, but DZ wants to charge the jumper for the lost items and a reserve repack to the tune of $2200. The main was well-used, with several thousand jumps, and the reserve would have been soon due for a repack anyway. Additionally, the DZ would certainly acquire the replacement items at wholesale, not retail, cost. And wouldn't most of this cost likely be covered by their business insurance? Doesn't seem fair to get a brand new updated canopy at the customer's expense, particularly when the pack was provided with the rental, and then bill the jumper for the retail as well. The jumper is a regular at the DZ, and probably has rented that rig several dozen times. Have we reached a new low in customer service?