Experience the Lodi skydiver plane crash
A skydiver is in critical condition after his chute tangled Thursday afternoon near the Lodi Parachute Center, according to Woodbridge Fire District Chief Steve Butler.
The skydiver landed on top of a horse trailer at a company called The Trailer Specialist across the street from the Lodi Airport.
The skydiving center in Acampo has been the starting point for numerous parachute-related deaths in the last few years.
A person died in May after jumping in a specialized jumpsuit called a wingsuit, and three people died in jumping accidents related to the Lodi Parachute Center in 2016.
In May 2016, a Lodi Parachute Center plane carrying 18 people landed upside-down in a vineyard. No one was seriously injured and the incident was recorded on a helmet-mounted camera.
The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct the investigation of Thursday’s incident, said San Joaquin County sheriff’s spokesman Dave Konecny. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said via email the agency will investigate whether the parachute was properly packed by the appropriate person.
Staff at the Parachute Center and The Trailer Specialists declined to comment.
After Tuesday’s accident, dozens of young skydivers continued about their day at the Lodi Parachute Center inside a large, colorful hangar. People worked mostly in pairs, in various stages of preparing for their next skydive. They were pleasant but did not want to talk to reporters.
There has been no official count of fatalities, but a review of news stories shows that at least 18 people have died flying out of the Lodi Parachute Center since 1981.
Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, introduced legislation this year after the deaths of Tyler Nicholas Turner, 18, and Yong Kwon, 25, in a tandem jump with the Lodi Parachute Center in August 2016. They died after their parachutes did not open.
Eggman said in February she is disappointed with the enforcement of federal regulations at the center. The FAA has twice levied fines against the facility for maintenance and operations issues, but the fines apparently went unpaid and the owner was not prosecuted.
Assembly Bill 295 would require operators to follow federal law for tandem jumps and would allow state and local officials and the general public to take non-compliant operators to state court. The bill has passed both houses and is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
“This is why we introduced legislation and it’s another tragic incident,” said Eggman’s chief of staff David Stammerjohan.