Following an August fatal tandem skydiving accident, the United States Parachute Association has concluded some people who took courses at the Parachute Center in Lodi were not properly taught and/or certified.
USPA officials noted certain courses may have been abbreviated or incomplete, and people did not meet initial qualifications.
Officials specifically mentioned Rob Pooley and Yuri Garmashov as instructors who taught those courses.
The findings are prompting USPA officials to ensure 140 tandem instructors and candidates affected can demonstrate “proper emergency procedures, have completed the knowledge tests from USPA and tandem manufacturer United Parachute Technologies and have submitted proper rating applications to both UPT and USPA.”
140 tandem instructors have to retake classes. Twenty of them have had their ratings suspended and must undergo a full and complete tandem instructor rating course conducted by a current USPA Tandem Examiner.
In addition, Pooley and Parachute Center owner Bill Dause have had their USPA memberships and all USPA ratings suspended depending on the outcome of the investigation. Garmashov had his USPA Tandem Examiner rating suspended pending completion of an investigation as well.
On Aug. 5 a pair of tandem parachute skydivers died, including 18-year-old Tyler Turner and his instructor.
The parachute center has been the subject of at least 13 skydiving-related deaths since 2000.