Eighteen deaths? No problem!

Skydive Lodi Parachute Center owner Bill Dause addresses the media after two men died in 2016 during a tandem jump at his drop zone.

The FAA cleared the dubious Skydive Lodi Parachute Center of wrongdoing in a double skydiving death that occurred last year — appallingly, the 17th 18th fatality at that drop zone, as best we can tell.

“The FAA could not take action against the Parachute Center for using an non-certified instructor, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said,” in a Sacramento Bee story running in today’s Record.

“The reason: Kwon had paperwork indicating he received the training he needed for certification, Gregor said.”

In other words, the drop zone is the victim of the instructor’s impostiture.

The story quotes owner Bill Dause’s comment earlier this year that there’s no problem. That’s false. The FAA caught his drop zone neglecting legally required airplane maintenance on over 2,000 flights. Authorities slapped him with $1 million in fines.

Dause simply refused to pay. Because of cockamamie federal regulations, the case went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which declined to prosecute — a glaring failure that has allowed Dause to go on running things his way.

“A man answering the phone Monday at the Parachute Center refused to identify himself and hung up in response to a request for comment,” the story says.

Why would drop zone people scoff at oversight? Because they can.

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  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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