Jump 321a – No politics in the plane. Take two.

For a post I said I didn’t enjoy writing, I sure did write a lot, over 900 words! You can see the original here. I think there is an important message here, so I have edited for increased clarity. Thank you Montana for pointing out my mistake! Here is a remake of my original post, in the spirit of… Just the facts, ma’am.

  1. Jump 321a did not happen. The plane went up and then landed, no exit’s occurred.

  2. At 6000 feet, the Jump Master opened the door for the first hop-n-pop scheduled to exit the plane. He relayed to the pilot that there was a complete and total cloud cover and that the jumper could not exit with the current conditions.

  3. Rather than allowing clear communication between the Jump Master and the Pilot, some jumpers debated the situation below the plane – even though only the Jump Master was in a place (with his head outside of the door) to know the conditions.

  4. I interpreted this debate as “heated”, as their was no order and each person seemed only to attempt to over-speak each other, as if the loudest opinion would be correct.

  5. The Pilot did sharply quiet the passengers by announcing he was landing the plane.

In any situation, I feel communication between the Jump Master and the pilot is essential. Though this was a non-emergency situation, I believe it shows a breakdown in the chain of command of the plane, at that time.

I am unsure exactly why the Pilot choose to land the plane, either because he had finally heard and understood the Jump Masters appraisal of the conditions, or if was simply perturbed by the “heated” debate aboard the plane.

In summary, if you’re not the Pilot or the Jump Master (or an Instructor relaying instructions to your own Student), I recommend, in any similar situation, to stay quiet and allow the “powers that be” decide the matter at hand. If you’ve got another opinion, bring it up when you’re back on the ground.

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