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Thursday, April 22, 2021

#13

A woman died Saturday after an accident at the Lodi Parachute Center, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office confirmed Sunday. 

Officials said that shortly before 2:30 p.m., the sheriff's office received a call of a parachutist who had come down with her parachutes tangled. 

And then there's this article saying 22 deaths since 1981:

A woman who died in a weekend parachute accident in Northern California had made thousands of previous jumps, the owner of the skydiving center said Monday.

Sabrina Call, 57, of Watsonville, Calif. died Saturday when her primary parachute and her reserve chute tangled, the Sacramento Bee reported, citing the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.

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13 deaths since 1999..... I think I'd find another place to jump.
That place is located just off Hwy 99, and I do mean just off the freeway. About 20 years or so ago, I was tooling up the freeway headed to Mendocino County and watched a skydiver land right in the fucking median.

27 comments:

  1. In 1985 I landed on the white line of southbound 99. Much less traffic back then.

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    1. Nowadays, you'd land on the roof of a a van loaded with illegals heading out for the fields.

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  2. One of the reasons I became an ED/trauma nurse was skydivers. They landed on the road in front of me. Their parachute hadn't opened. It completely cured me of all desire to go skydiving. Jennifer

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    1. I've never had an urge to jump from any heights whatsoever, parachute or not.

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    2. I've always liked the quote "Why would anyone jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane?".

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    3. "If it's such a good plane, how come they pay the pilots more than the jumpers?"
      "They figured anyone stupid enough to jump, was too dumb to complain about the pay!"
      Old paratrooper joke.

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  3. Drop zone = any geographic area clear of soft dirt and lush grass. Drop zones are also known for rocks, concrete, abundant trees, poison ivy and briers.

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  4. Something I don't do. Google says the odds are .0007%.
    Daryl

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  5. A couple of years ago one of their customers landed in one of the trailers of a truck pulling a set of doubles down Highway 99. It was an open topped ag trailer and the jumper landed inside, so the scene wasn't too grizzly.
    Not much fun for the driver, I'd imagine.

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    Replies
    1. Still and all, being in an open truck bed moving highway speeds (I'm guessing -- don't know the area) with a parachute attached to me sounds like more excitement than I'd want.
      Though it'd be a great scene for an action movie.

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  6. Why in the fuck would anyone with half a brain jump out if a perfectly good airplane?

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    1. I asked a skydiver friend that same question. He told me that assuming it was a perfectly good airplane was my first mistake. He said they referred to their plane as "Duct Tape" since that was what was holding the instrument cluster in. When I asked why he would leave the ground in that kind of airplane, he just laughed and said "I'm not worried, I have a parachute." It's kind of hard to argue with that kind of logic.

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    2. In the army we did it to go blow shit up
      Very relaxing past time.
      -B

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  7. Had 25 jumps, ate some shooms and had an vision about life. Took stock of some of the crazy shit I was doing, never jumped again.

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  8. Back around 1980-81 a bunch of us in my department at work were planning a skydiving outing, (“team-building exercise”). In passing, I mentioned it to my Dad. As I recall, his response was along the lines of, “It’s not as fun as you think it is”. He told me how in 1951, Uncle Sam had him jump from a C-47 during basic. The adrenaline junkies went to jump school. Dad went on to supervise a rifle company in Korea. I relayed his sage advice to my team members, and we decided it would be safer to drink in seedy strip clubs, which we did.

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  9. Reminds me of this: https://assets.amuniversal.com/22f82e6097a3012f2fe400163e41dd5b

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  10. Starker here,
    Back in 1983 a Philly news guy, had a skydiving accident.
    He and another jumper, after chutes opened, collided & tangled.
    Even though he was very experienced, he tried to untangle. He finally cut out & pulled his reserve chute. He had wasted too much time and the chute never had a chance to fully deploy. I seem to remember he packed his own. The suspicion was that he didn't repack it often.
    RIP Jim O'Brien.

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  11. I was a member of a collegiate parachute team. Mostly I was the pilot. As such, I was exposed to jumping accidents all over the country. Almost invariably it was the jumpers with very high experience levels that would get hurt. I never witnessed a newbie get injured badly - twisted ankles, yes, but never death. Don't know if the experienced guys were taking more chances or just the law of averages caught up with them. Use that information as you will.

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    Replies
    1. I did some parachuting in 1983/4 and our instructor told us that very same thing,newbies are generally OK because they`re nervous and expecting something to go wrong so they`re already mentally primed to use their malfunction drills if needed

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  12. One sure-fire way to thing the herd. I think Darwin would approve.

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  13. When I was 17 and still in HS, I had a chance to go to a local jump club's school, with one tandem jump - free! The only caveat was that at 17, I needed my parents written permission. I was all gung-ho to do it but when I asked my Dad, he said, "NO! NO! Hell NO!"

    What the hell. It was one of the worse fights I ever had with him as a teenager.

    Later, to try and make up for it. He introduced me to a friend of his who had been an avid skydiver but had broken both ankles in an accident and walked with a permanent limp. My Dad figured his friend would talk me out of it. Unfortunately, he hadn't talked to his friend about it beforehand and instead of trying to talk me out of it, he enthusiastically said I "...should not pass up the chance! It's the best rush you'll ever have and it's even better than sex!"

    My Dad was not pleased.

    He still wouldn't sign the paper. He insisted that when I was 18 and out of his house I could do whatever I wanted, but until then, he wasn't going to sign any paper allowing my 17yo self to jump out of an airplane.

    By the time I was 18 the opportunity had passed. And then I joined the Navy and rode around on submarines instead.

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  14. What I didn't realize was how it would follow me for the rest of my life. When I was young and stupid, I jumped out of an airplane a few times. Then I had a malfunction and ended up with bilateral tibia/fibula fractures. The surgeons put my legs together, and for years I was pretty much OK. But, every year, I lost a little movement in my ankles. Now I'm 65 and my right ankle is pretty much fused. I can't go up or down stairs in a normal manner, and I have this weird rolling gait. I can't run or do anything that requires having minimally useful ankles. All for one stupid decision 35 years ago.

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  15. If the 'chute doesn't open, they refund your money. You can't gt any fairer than that.

    Phil B

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  16. Lodi, you say? About 20 years ago I flew right through the jumpers. The jump pilot seriously screwed up. He didn't call his 2 minute warning and he hugely misjudged the winds. Just as I saw a jumper off to my left and thought to turn away, a clutch of jumpers passed just off my right wing not more than a wing span away. The FAA made mincemeat of that pilot.

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  17. Meh. One fatality every 19 months isn't exactly an epidemic. Esp. for skydivers.
    Not saying I'd do it.

    But Chicago homicide would kill their mothers to get numbers that good.
    Although that'd blow their average.

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  18. An avid skydiver friend at work tried to convince me to join him on many occasions. My stock response for issue like this: I am not as stupid as I look.

    One Monday, he told ma that his main chute had failed to deploy and he had to cut it away and deploy his reserve chute. This happened twice, on two successive jumps. I observed: That was God telling you it is time to quit.

    After a while, he purchased his own canopy. Soon thereafter, he was executing what I recall was called a "low altitude J hook maneuver" (or some such shit), his canopy collapsed, and he fell 15 feet to bounce off of the ground. Twelve hours later, after having never regained consciousness, he died of blunt force trauma. There was a huge debate in the local skydiving community about his using a high performance canopy that was beyond his skill level.

    An aside. A friend once tried the comment about being as stupid as he looked in response to something I said. I looked right at him, and in as serious a tone as I could muster, I said: You can't be, because you are breathing. Last time he tried that stunt.

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