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Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Department Threatens Skydivers With Being Arrested

Well I’m a bit bummed!  I was invited to go tandem skydiving with Skydive Hawaii on the Kona side of the island on Friday but it now looks like I won’t be going due to some tight restrictions and a threat of arrest!

I received the following in an email today from the owners of Skydive Hawaii:

…we’re being shut down for tandems and it  looks like sport skydivers will be arrested. It doesn’t seem that the City will allow us to tandem, as there is not any insurance which we can name them as additional insured.  I have told the County Parks Director that all the skydivers have 3rd party liability insurance through their membership in USPA (United States Parachute Association), but it now does not meet their requirements.

Even though DLNR says the skydivers are free to land their parachutes on the beach next to the Old Kona Airport Park, County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation Director, Robert Fitzgerald, has threatened skydivers with arrest if they then attempt to walk onto the Old Kona Airport Park for egress from the beach. He likened me to a drug dealer trying to find a place to operate.  I thought that the skydivers on the Big Island would be able to enjoy one of their favorite sports on their own island, as they invited me to come over to provide air support which would allow the to use the DZ (Drop Zone) which they have used for some 30 years.

We did fly the flag today we intended to fly over for the 4th.  I have attached a couple of photos.  We’ll have to take you up for another skydive another time another place it seems.  Everyone who has jumped with us in the last month from the Big Island has said that they have friends on Hawaii who would love to skydive, but can’t make the trip. Please extend my sincere apologies to all those who read your blog and had interest in skydiving.

*UPDATE* the following email was sent to Mr. Fitzgerald as well as the Mayor’s office from the owner of the company.

Aloha Mr Fitzgerald,

I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you last Friday.  During this conversation you likened my legal profession to that of a drug dealer and further threatened to arrest any skydivers leaving from property on which we can lawfully land their parachutes.  Would you please provide me the authority under which you can both threatened to and have citizens arrested for simply walking on public property?

Blue skies,

Frank Hinshaw

Skydive Kona Corp