Oh Lord, I’m stuck in Lodi again.


I bet that’s what the FAA Administrator assigned to Lodi had stuck in his head while investigating the alleged 80 instances of safety violations between 2008 and 2009, and subsequently fining the DZ over half a million dollars. Photographer Brian Buckland was at the recent ladies sequentials. Check out his thoughts on the whole situation.

PD New Beginning

What do you all think? Have you jumped at Lodi? Did you know any of this was going on? Does it change what you think of the drop zone or DZO Bill Dause?


  • Any business that includes the operation of aircraft takes on the added responsibility of ensuring that the aircraft are maintained at the level required by the FAA as a minimum. Whether the flight will last 20 minutes or 2 plus hours, whether it is carrying 2 or 200 plus passengers should make no difference to the level of care and maintainence an aircraft recieves. The qualifications and skill of the crew(s) flying these aircraft should be of the same high standard. Does it cost more? Yes! Is it worth it? Ask anyone who has lost someone in an aircraft accident that was caused by poor maintainence and/or inexperienced air crews. If you are the type of skydiver that would jump with a damaged canopy or no training then this could be the kind of experience you want. For me, I’ll pay for quality.

  • Far too many people cut corners these days. Maintenance costs money and time. Why waste both when you can get 100 loads in the sky? No amount of successful skydives is worth that one load where the plane never comes back.
    Yes, the fine is a large sum and the economy is bad. But imagine the situation if there was no fine because some of this the money had been spent keeping us safe?

  • You are both insinuating that Bill doesn’t pay the cost for maintenance and high quality air crews which is just not true. You are right, maintenance does cost money. What’s your point? The money is paid, the planes are maintained. Just because we fly a lot of loads doesn’t mean the planes aren’t worked on. It’s not like one of the planes needs something done to it but it goes up anyway. We have six airplanes. We can fly a different plane.

    Read Brian’s article and the responses. Since 1964 when Lodi went into operation there hasn’t been one single fatality as a result from a plane crash. Lodi is open everyday, not just weekends, flying tons of loads. The plane comes back.

    I don’t care if either of you guys ever come and jump in Lodi, but at least don’t go bad mouthing something you don’t even know about.

  • Well Katie,

    our responses were not personal or “bad-mouthing”. We were responding to the article. The article (yes the media blows stuff out of proportion) mentioned fines and maintenance and other things which we commented on. As more facts come in we’ll know more. Are we to believe the FAA is an evil empire out to personally “get” Bill Dause? NO! Are we to believe the FAA is frivolously fining for shits and giggles? No.
    My point about the maintenance costs were aimed at making a comparison about the cost of the alleged lack of maintenance in the article and the not-so-alleged proposed hefty fine. Which would have been cheaper? I naturally assume people do their maintenance. An investigations says it wasn’t. Who do I believe? The FAA or you?
    I know very well Bill’s safety record. I know his planes are doing well and fly great. If I were Bill or his mechanics then I would know what maintenance was done and when but, I’m not. I comment on the story before me.
    I will also keep commenting on things I have been provided info on. It’s the whole reason for websites like this.
    I have read Brian’s article and the responses. Now I am going to do what I’ve been doing since the news came out: await the results of this situation and see whose facts are more factual.

  • I love Lodi and always will….thanks Bill Dause for providing us with so many opportunities and amazing skydivers!! I would have never been on that Women’s Vertical World Record without MX, Mikey Knight, Robby Bigley, and so many more mentors!! LODI ROCKS!!

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