Questions and answers

Okay, so… now the story is out. And I feel good.  Seventeen months was too long to hold that inside of me and still wasn’t long enough to figure out the right way to let the cat out of the bag. So I used my new found gift and did it the ‘write’ way… writing it down as best as I can.  Here are the first round of comments and questions from (presumably) skydivers in the US Fun Jumpers Facebook group.

    • You didn’t get wet. Your shoes didn’t come off. Lame.1/10, suck less after you heal.
    • I’m really confused. But like, have you ever read a story and respond to every sentence with “that’s not how that works”?
    • Are you putting your coach on blast for your mistake? You signed the waiver just like everyone else.
    • Who got the spark notes ?
    • Tl;Dr “dear diary, I’m retarded”
    • Wut? There’s a whole book of this?
    • because how could a canopy piloting error possibly be the fault of the pilot flying the canopy?!
    • Ok…after 5 (excruciating) minutes of reading, I’m convinced dude has a TBI. A TBI he inflicted on himself by being an absolute muppet. Seriously…216lb under a Xaos 84 and you don’t know that a downwinder will be different? You have a child?!! Darwin is doing barrel rolls in his grave.
    • Put your big boy pants on and take accountability for your own fuck up “Mayor Jeromy”
    • Wow… that was painful… didn’t anyone pay attention to you as a child? So much unnecessary info
    • Damn dude did you forget your schizo meds this morning?
    • I’m trying to figure out if this is a case of too many drugs or not enough drugs. Definitely the wrong amount of drugs, although it could be just the right amount of drugs too.
    • Also this seems like a serious issue , consider posting in United States Serious Jumpers
    • Did anyone check on him to see how many tabs he dropped? That looks like some acid writing if I’ve ever seen any.
    • Here’s a picture of another Rambler. Get to the point. That was painful to read.
    • But…. what happened?
    • I’m confused completely reading this.
    • Can’t believe I read all of that. But sounds like: swooper fucks up, swooper blames anyone but himself, ego, no coaching, why can’t I set up a downwind pattern on my 84sqft canopy, blah blah blah.
      I’m surprised a lawyer even took on his case.

      • lawyers will take on almost any case… You pay them. A lot. (especially when they have no idea what you’re talking about)
      • I had to skim through it but pretty much sums it up. He said numerous times he made a mistake and “should have” etc.
    • Wow you should right a book and name it “my struggle”
    • Wtf is a “flat” 270? None of this made sense..the fact I made it to the end of the story and still don’t understand what your talking about, is absurd. Please, do not write a write about as well as you swoop apparently.
      I’m still just mind blown dudes got that many jumps on the same planform and still doesn’t know the pattern will change with varying wind conditions..Literally B license canopy information..
    • Dude for everyone involved you look like an idiot you sound like an idiot…..I’d delete this and never complain about shit again and what tf did shaggio have to do about this??? Literally nothing
    • Skill issue
    • Also, I’d like to offer you my editing services… I’ve never seen an entire paragraph of One obscenely long run on sentence before… Impressive.
    • Jeromy, to be honest to be professing God and at the same time passing unfounded judgement might be a little oxymoronic. Try humbling yourself and accept that you and you only own the decisions you made under canopy that day. If outside influences clouded your judgement that day as you stated you should not have jumped or at least do high performance maneuvers. With the amount of years in the sport and number of jumps you have I would have expected a different discourse on this topic. We always say as skydivers only you can save yourself. I hope you the best and you find peace and happiness away from the negativity.
    • Is the future trying to sue canopy coaches after you pound in?

Okay, that is enough to begin, more comments are of course pouring and maybe that will be Q&A part 2, if need be. For the most part, I’ll ignore the comments made in jest – skydivers do have a unique humor and some should taken tongue in check, such as “You didn’t get wet. Your shoes didn’t come off. Lame.1/10, suck less after you heal.” This is a very kind and friendly (and appreciated) comment.

The essence of many questions is simple, how was my injury someone else’s fault if I was the PIC (pilot in command)?   I was alone under my canopy, no else touched the control inputs of my parachute.

Simply stated, I did not know I was landing downwind.  My “coach” did. In hindsight, this is obvious. At the time, I was fooled. I was an idiot and likely still am for thinking anyone might care.

The act of coaching in our sport is sacred. Every single student looks at their instructor/coach with trust to learn something they do not know.  If you are coaching or instructing someone, you have the obligation to be open and honest with that student as to the repercussions of the jump, even if the student is not aware.

I don’t have a lot of formal canopy coaching, because I worked full-time flying video and jumping 8 to 10 jumps a day for the 2020/2021 seasons. I did get one class with Greg, though grounded for weather it was spent in the classroom.

At SDT in the two years, I worked with shag, landing direction became an issue and point of contention with new staff members, Hallie and Sean- from Cali, their dropzone had a “follow the flag” rule for landing, whereas SDT was always “follow landing direction”. It is a better way to ensure all landings are in parallel.

For the two years Shaggie knew me, he knew I was nearly robotic with my landings. On direction, on target, usually setting down between the windblades in our tandem landing area. I don’t use fronts to swoop, I only use the rears (and just been working on learning fronts, that was the point of taking canopy course with Greg) and I am not an aggressive pilot, even with smaller canopies.

So how is this Shaggies fault?  He lied to me.  He read the windsock, he announced the wind coming from the west and helped make the plan, then convinced me to follow the plan under guise of “coaching”.

I did not know I was about to swooping down wind, until about 400 feet, halfway through my turn when I saw the arrow — check the video, it’s right there at the beginning.

And that was when I knew I was fucked.  A book smart idiot fooled by the cool canopy coach.

Then, he decided to convince everyone I was an idiot too (see comments above.)

I’ve had to be okay with that.

If you check the go fund me, that is the most up to date writing about my medical condition.

Yes, I do have a TBI. Yes, I do have an incomplete SCI. Yes, I do have a syrinx in my spinal cord, SM. And, I have to admit that anyone of these mental issues could affect the validity of my testimony.. yet that is what is still is, my testimony.

A few questions that no one asked. What did you do at the gate?  Was that were the coaching took place? Why didn’t you double-check the wind and landing directions there?

Well, I was in Florida with my son, he eventually earning his A license on that trip. He was on the load doing a hop & pop.  After my coaching session with Shaggie, I went off to prepare my student, with his landing directions in the student landing area 1/2 mile away from the pond.

Shaggie knew my ingrained training, to follow the plan. If I planned on landing west on the ground, I wouldn’t change my mind in the air.

Shaggie knew I was about to go swoop downwind, because he’s the one that gave me that faulty information.

And I believe he did it with motive and malice.

That would have been manslaugher, at least.

Time to go – it’s my birthday!

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