First off, the syllabus. Well done and I mean that. I mean after all it is damn near identical to the Birdman instructor program that Chuck Blue and I wrote about 8 years ago and is still being used today. Now before anyone gets their panties in a wad, I understand the basic information can only be presented in a few ways. I am not talking about that, what I am talking about is the way it is formatted, the standards, requirements and the teaching methodology. Now it's not like this information was or is a secret as it has been used to teach people for years now, and itís been handed out to those who have actually gone through the BMI course. There are a few minor differences; however, if you were to take the two documents and do a side by side comparison it would be glaringly apparent. I can overlook that as it's not the first time someone has done that with the Birdman instruction program and claimed it as their own. The fact of the matter is that in one way or another, every instructor program currently out there uses teaching methods that come from the Birdman instruction program.
OK, I'm going to jump in here, and take your advice and call a spade a spade. I think what you're saying, Scott, is that the syllabus in those materials was taken from the Birdman documents.
On this, I call bullshit.
Why do I know that it's bullshit? Because I have never in my life seen the Birdman instructional materials and I was the principal architect of that document. I'm not saying that I came up with the information - that was provided by the various instructors in the working group through a long series of conference calls, meetings and summits. My job was to be the scribe. I got all of their information and feedback, and I turned that into a document that they then reviewed, made edits to, and approved.
Now, without having seen the Birdman documents, I am willing to bet that they are indeed similar. As much as we love to breathe our own fumes in this forum, wingsuiting ain't rocket science. And there are only so many topics taught in a first flight course. You donít need to talk about canopy control. And there's a logical order in which stuff gets taught. It would be bizarre to talk about how to unzip your stuff after a deployment without talking about the freefall. But that's about it. So implying - without adhering to your own request that we "grow a backbone and say what you mean and mean what you say" Ė that I stole Birdmanís stuff is utter bunk.
I'm an intellectual property rights attorney and I teach intellectual property law at a law school. So I take accusations of plagiarism - which is basically an accusation of theft and unprofessional conduct - really fucking seriously. I never claim to be a wingsuit instructor (in fact I have made crystal clear that Iím not), but what I am is a professional who takes any job that gets assigned to me seriously.
Scott, I give huge deference to your extensive experience and what you've done to make this sport safer and more fun for everyone, but the bottom line is that I don't care if you're a 99 jump wonder who wants to get into wingsuiting or the fucking ancient wizened guru elder of wingsuiting - if you call my work stolen (even if in a very coy manner), I'm going to call you on it.
Because it wasn't. Period. And the accusation is utter fucking bullshit.
I'm done with this project and this thread.
(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jul 6, 2009, 11:25 AM)