Skydiver Arrested in AAD Theft

Well known wingsuit skydiver Justin Shorb was arrested on August 10th, 2011 by the police departement in Derry, NH. Shorb has been charged with larceny and reckless endangerment following the sale of stolen Cypres units.

CBS Conneticut posted the news item below on their website on August 19th, 2011:

Police say an Ohio skydiver had a close call when a re-programmed safety device stolen from a South Windsor company caused his reserve parachute to open and become entangled in his main chute.

The small computers are used to deploy a reserve parachute at a specific height, if the main chute does not open. The safety devices which were taken had been re-programmed for product testing to open at a higher-than standard altitude, and had a warning label – but police believe the label was removed before the device, known as a Cypress, was sold.

A three-month investigation led police to 30-year-old Justin Shorb, now of Derry, New Hampshire. He’s charged with larceny and reckless endangerment. Police say he has helped them track the buyers. They he sold each Cypress — which retails for $1,200 to $1,800 over the internet for $400 to $800.

And that said – cast your vote in our poll to the right, we are curious to know if there really is “honor amongst skydivers” or if are we too trusting of each other. Vote away.

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    • Is theft in the parachutist creed?  I usually just sign for a rig and jump, but steeling one to sale well…now that’s down right vulgar isn’t it?

  • 100.00 says he’ll get away with it, 200.00 says USPA won’t give a shit/respond to it, and 300.00 says that skydivers will just say “well…that’s skydiving” and turn him into a magazine hero just like they did with his business partner and best buddy.

  • Speaking of D-bags. WTF is wrong with people. Endangering lives just to make a buck. He should never be allowed to skydive ever again! Clip his wings

    • how can one lose something they don’t have?

      His best buddy helped a young skydiver kill himself at 100 jumps in a wingsuit. No gear checks, kid wasn’t wearing legstraps.
      USPA Examiner *gave* his best buddy a coach rating and put him on the cover of Parachutist.
      Justin will likely do just as well, maybe better.  
      This seems to be the norm for a certain group of skydivers; Lie, cheat, steal, and f**k whomever is caught in the burble.Hey Justin, since you’re reading this…do you still think this is all about you? Is it just someone “trying to make you look bad” again? (per what your words January 2011). Then again…maybe someone else did it.

      • in his buddys defence.. that young skydiver lied to him and everybody about the amount of jumps they had and regardless they themselves were responsible for not doing something as basic and simple as there own leg straps.. maybe the AFF instructors who did the original training should be blaimed too?

  • I couldn’t care less about the AADs being stolen.  Not my problem, doesn’t matter to any of us.  

    Knowing the AADs could/would then make their way into someone’s rig is completely different, and it should matter to ALL of us.  

    IF Justin knew they were set to fire differently that puts us ALL in danger.  This could cause malfunctions like main/reserve entanglements or two canopies out, or unfortunate circumstances like high AAD firings which could cause any of us to slam into someone’s open reserve during freefall, or just as likely, an AAD firing low or not at all, causing someone to freefall into us while we’re under canopy.

    I only jumped with Justin a few times, so I cannot speak to his or anyone else’s character.  I do hope that no one who gets in the airplane with a fellow skydiver of any discipline has not recklessly put any of us into any more danger than we have been trained to handle.  I hope for all our safety that Justin did NOT know the AADs were calibrated differently.  

    We’re all trained from our first student jump that “Everyone is trying to kill you, so be aware and stay safe”.  Let’s just hope that adage always remains half joke, half truth.  When people start selling gear they know to be inferior or defective to other skydivers then everyone really IS trying to kill you.

    Whether Justin knew they were calibrated differently or not, this isn’t a great public-relations day for the sport.  It just makes us all look like a bunch of idiots, and let’s face it – we don’t need any more help in that department.

  • Hey folks, let this thing shake out.  This whole thing could be a result of the Argus situation and the scarcity of Cypres’s and Vigils during this situation when dealers and skydivers were scrambling to get their hands on replacement AAD’s.  He could have easily been duped by someone passing off these units as legit.  We just don’t know till the facts come out.

  • The guy or kid I should say is a dick. I have jumped with him many times. His arrogance shows what his real character is. He should be kicked out of the sport. The guy is a real scumbag. yeah probably a great wing suiter but a shitty person. Just ask any of the women he has been with.

  • Well Bob (and others), my experience of Justin is that he is an awesome wingsuit flyer, great instructor and first rate load organiser. I don’t know what went on here, but then again, neither do you. What the hell happened to innocent ’til proven guilty?

    The only thing that matters right now is that the units get recovered. But seriously, lay off with your nasty personal jibes until we actually know what happened!

  • Wow, Bob and others, what a wonderful lot of heroes you are… quick and brave to kick a man on the floor… and all because you think he is a dickhead. Don’t let it ever happen to you…

    And let the facts come out before you talk any more crap.

    • Well, I myself have just recently read about this, but he is an arrogant scumbag piece of shit. Explains why he is still a thief to this day. What a loser.

  • I think we should wait for the full facts & final verdict before condemning the guy.  From my own personal experience, I believe that there is a high level of honor amongst Skydivers.  I do not know Justin at all, but I’m prepared to give him the benefit of doubt!  Innocent until proven guilty!  My 2 cents….

  • when i buy new or used gear i have my rigger inspect and install everything. stolen has nothing to do with the opening altitude. it was set just like it came out of the box.the idiot is the guy who threw it in his rig without having a rigger check that and install it to the right opening altitude. plus like i allways say your right hand is your AAD! JUST PULL!

    • The rigger cannot set (or even verify) the firing altitude on a CYPRES. It is set at the factory. Without the warning label (which was allegedly removed), there would be no way for the rigger or the user to know.

      Perhaps you should get a clue before calling someone an idiot.

  • Skydivers are just humans.  There are honorable ones, dishonorable ones, and everything in between.  Believing anything otherwise is naive.

    Sharing a common interest of freefall makes us neither trustworthy, nor beautiful, nor pure… though the experience of freefall is both beautiful and pure.

    Trusting someone who hasn’t earned it is a form of complacency, and we as skydivers should know very well that complacency is dangerous.

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