Wednesday, August 09, 2017


by Bob Walsh

Sport parachuting is an interesting pastime. It is almost completely unregulated and it is inherently dangerous. Every now and again something goes wrong and the consequences are usually very bad indeed for those immediately involved.

There is a fairly large sport parachuting operation at the Lodi (CA) airport. You can see it easily from Hwy 99 as you drive buy and the parachutists are often clearly visible coming down in the fields around the airport.

The FAA has just announced that they will NOT take any action against the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center relating to the deaths of two young men a year ago. They were in a tandem jump and they ended up splatting rather than landing gently.

The tandem jump instructor, Yong Kwon, 25, it turns out was NOT properly certified for tandem jump instruction. That is a violation of federal regulation. It turns out, however, that the regulation is incumbent on the INSTRUCTOR, not the employer. Kwon's certificate was signed by a trainer who was out of the country at the time the document was signed, making it invalid for USA requirements.

The United States Parachute Association has revoked the memberships and instructional ratings of several people associated with the incident at the Lodi operation. Since the accident 140 Tandem instructors who received training at Lodi were required to re-certify.

There have been 18 fatalities at the Lodi center since 1981.

Perhaps people should avoid jumping out of perfectly functional airplanes. Just a thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gravity is a bitch.