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Parachutist Editorial

 


skyjumpsteve  (D 14734)

Jun 25, 2009, 9:07 PM
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Parachutist Editorial Can't Post

From this month's Parachutist. Thoughts? Discuss.....

http://www.uspa.org/...mfid/12/Default.aspx

A President's Perspective

July 2009 | by Jay Stokes

The definition of the word “educate” includes terms like “cultivation and training.” To USPA it means the establishment of recommendations that facilitate learning and the continuing development of a culture of safety, currency and proficiency.

The definition of the word “regulate” includes terms like “influence and regularize.” USPA regulates by developing and codifying standards—requirements—to be observed by all.

The two terms—educate and regulate—are not anathema to one another or mutually exclusive. This is especially true in skydiving where regulation and education are almost always derived from the harsh realities of our sport. All skydivers attend the School of Hard Knocks. Very few of today’s active skydiving professionals would argue that what the USPA has achieved would have “just happened” without the organizational discipline and procedures that we have all developed together over the years. The true business of USPA is saving lives. And so, as new equipment, methods and disciplines appear in our sport, the lessons we have collectively learned need to be taken into account, even in the face of vehement opposition that says, “We can do it ourselves.”

In January of this year a skydiver fell out of his wingsuit and died because his leg straps were not properly secured under his suit. This was only his second wingsuit jump. As an observer I was shocked by this incident, as were many others. How could this happen?

After discussion with several wingsuit manufacturers and their instructors, I have become aware of their specific training programs. Each wingsuit manufacturer endorses their own instructors for their specific gear. With at least five different makers, there are bound to be differing approaches and emphases. The current corps of wingsuit trainers are well versed in how to fly the suits, but have they learned basic instructional techniques, and do they know about teaching concepts to develop and maintain a safe jumping environment?

Wingsuiting is a radical form of skydiving, requiring different body positions, freefall strategy, deployment procedures, emergency procedures and even different canopy procedures. A “first-flight course” is conducted by a person endorsed by the specific wingsuit manufacturer. After that first flight these skydivers are generally released to jump on their own without supervision and without a syllabus for continued learning and proficiency. It makes sense that standardized techniques and procedures would be a great advantage to skydivers learning wingsuit piloting.

Of course, USPA already has wingsuit training recommendations (and in this case the jumper had 110 jumps—far fewer than the “minimum of 500 freefall skydives; or a minimum of 200 freefall skydives, made within the last 18 months” suggested by USPA to even begin training.) But is more than education needed? Specifically, does USPA need to regulate by establishing a wingsuit course, perhaps taught only by a USPA-rated wingsuit instructor? Some say, “yes,” that the over-arching instructional training concepts, techniques and standardized procedures that are part of the USPA training and instructional rating system would be a great advantage to skydivers learning wingsuit piloting, just as they have been beneficial in basic student training since the 1980s.

Or does USPA need to simply educate by developing more in-depth wingsuit recommendations, then educate skydivers and work with the manufacturers and their endorsed instructors? What is the safest course to take? Educate or regulate? Or use a combination of the two? Several members of the wingsuit community have stepped up to develop their ideas and offer them to USPA’s Board of Directors. Regardless of what form the ideas take—either as requirements or as recommendations—all those who want to try this new form of skydiving will benefit from the debate and the effort.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jun 26, 2009, 5:42 AM
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Educate don't regulate!


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 6:34 AM
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Quote:
Educate don't regulate!

That's a great slogan, but what does it mean?

Seems to me like the USPA educates and regulates already. They regulate who can teach an AFF or S/L course. They regulate who can jump with a student skydiver (i.e., instructors, coaches), and when a skydiver can start jumping with others (when they get an "A" license). They regulate how often people need to do recurrency jumps, among a whole bunch of other requirements...

As for the "educate" part, there is no USPA wingsuit instructor rating at the moment - so the USPA is not educating on wingsuiting at all. USPA has, up to this point, basically just suggested that all wingsuiters receive "one-on-one instruction from an experienced wing suit jumper". The concern I have there is the result is hit or miss. Being an "experienced wingsuiter" doesn't automatically make you a good instructor of wingsuiting any more than having attended kindergarten makes you a good kindergarten teacher.

So, when you say "educate", what do you take that to mean - what would you want it to be? Because clearly there's no "education" being done by USPA at the moment...

Now, if you're saying, "well, once I get my 'A' license, I should have a right to do whatever the Hell I want to and the USPA should just stay out of my way", I see your position, but I'd point out one problem - it's not just the wingsuiter that's put at risk when he puts on a wingsuit - it's pretty much everyone on the load. We're basically gravity-powered bombs cruising around the DZ's airspace. Sooner or later, we're going to hear about someone colliding with another skydiver or canopy - or even worse, a tandem - and we're collectively going to have the crap kicked out of us when USPA suddenly realizes they need to regulate us to protect other skydivers. It seems to me that navigation is a critical skill; if that's not being taught well, we're going to have to deal with the consequences of it, sooner or later.

Personally, I'd rather get out in front of the wave than get hit with it. If there is a push to help adopt standards, the wingsuit community ought to be the ones driving the bus.

I heard through the grapevine that the BPA Board accepted changes to their regulation of wingsuiting: a new training manual and a "sticker" system for categorizing new wingsuit flyers. If Mark Harris reads this, maybe he can comment on it further - I'd be curious what the accepted proposal was...

[In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not an intructor (wingsuit or otherwise) and never will be one. But I do have an interest in not seeing my friends and others in the skydiving community get injured or killed.]


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jun 26, 2009, 6:57 AM)


Butters  (C 37840)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:01 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
Educate don't regulate!

That's a great slogan, but what does it mean?

It means gather and give access to the latest information allowing adults to make informed decisions for themselves.

PS: Why are they thinking about regulating wingsuiting but no swooping? More people are getting into swooping and more people are getting injured or killed swooping ...


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:11 AM
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Quote:
It means gather and give access to the latest information allowing adults to make informed decisions for themselves.

So, then you would be in favor of getting rid of the AFF and SL programs and replacing them with a really kick ass user manual, right?

If not, what's the difference?


Butters  (C 37840)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:29 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
It means gather and give access to the latest information allowing adults to make informed decisions for themselves.

So, then you would be in favor of getting rid of the AFF and SL programs and replacing them with a really kick ass user manual, right?

If not, what's the difference?

We're not talking about learning to skydive, we're talking about a skydiver learning to wingsuit. What is the difference? The difference is that the former has no experience and no or limited knowledge where as the later has at least limited experience and limited knowledge.


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:35 AM
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The difference, Jeff, is that we're not talking about students here. What's wrong with an experianced skydiver getting advice from a more experianced one? Thats what we do in every dicipline.
The incident referenced in the editorial was not caused by the suit, it was caused by the victim failing to properly secure his harness.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:58 AM
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Quote:
We're not talking about learning to skydive, we're talking about a skydiver learning to wingsuit. What is the difference? The difference is that the former has no experience and no or limited knowledge where as the later has at least limited experience and limited knowledge.

Well, a licensed skydiver who has never wingsuited before sure does know about a few things about skydiving, for sure.

But I'd argue they a skydiver with 200 jumps who has never put on a wingsuit isn't all that much different than a late stage, pre-A license student - with respect to the differences created by the wingsuit.

Stop and think about it - wingsuiting has a HUGE number of differences between it and "traditional skydiving". Just a few:

- We wear an additional piece of gear (the wingsuit) that can be misthreaded, set up wrong, or otherwise fouled up. ("Surpise! you misthreaded your wing!")

- The additional piece of gear can make inspection of the other skydiving gear difficult for the inexperienced (e.g., the hidden leg strap issue).

- We exit out of the aircraft differently than any other type of skydiver. How so? Try doing a count with your leg, RW-style, while in a wingsuit. I watched a very experienced RW chick get peeled off the plane on a FFC because she didn't realize that or remember not to do that.

- We're way more prone to instablility (whether true flat spins or tumbling), and we get out of it in different ways than your typical skydiver. (I learned in AFF that arching solves most stability problems - not so for a wingsuit flat spin, right?)

- We have to navigate! You can't just wait for the 5 to 10 second separation and jump, you need to plot where you are, where you're going, and (most importantly) where everyone else is.

- Our waiving off and deployment sequence is very different. We all know that.

- On most suits, we have to deal with unstowing/unzipping/dealing with our suit after deployment. We all know that can be a problem given a surprise situation (a malfunction, another canopy coming straight at you, etc.).

It's large set of different skills. Sure, some of the skills used in wingsuiting carry over from traditional skydiving (an experienced skydiver knows his or her rig better, can pilot a canopy better - all things being equal, for instance).

But there's enough differences that it's almost a different species of skydiving.

Think of it this way, Butters: when you first wanted to wingsuit, you sought out an instructor, right? Why was that? Sure, the SIM says it's recommended, but I suspect the real reason you did it because you wanted to learn how to do it safely (and well). The reason you felt you needed to do that was the significant differences between the two, right?

Now, the truth of the matter - that very few of us are willing to admit - is that not all instructors are equal. Most are great. Others, maybe not so much. Some teach a lot. Some give you the bare minimum and show you out the door. The different manufacturers use different curricula.

What I think Jay Stokes was getting at is, does the USPA want to have a formal, standardized program (so we have all the information in one place, as you suggested) and roster of wingsuit instructors (in the same way that USPA has a roster of AFF instructors)?


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jun 26, 2009, 11:42 AM)


Butters  (C 37840)

Jun 26, 2009, 8:21 AM
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In reply to:
- We wear an additional piece of gear (the wingsuit) that can be misthreaded, set up wrong, or otherwise fouled up. ("Surpise! you mistheaded your wing!")

This risk can be reduced with education and awareness.

In reply to:
- The additional piece of gear can make inspection of the other skydiving gear difficult for the inexperienced (e.g., the hidden leg strap issue).

This risk can be reduced with education and awareness.

In reply to:
- We exit out of the aircraft differently than any other type of skydiver. How so? Try doing a count with your leg, RW-style, while in a wingsuit. I watched a very experienced RW chick get peeled off the plane on a FFC because she didn't realize that or remember not to do that.

This risk can be reduced with education and awareness.

In reply to:
- We're way more prone to instablility (whether true flat spins or tumbling), and we get out of it in different ways than your typical skydiver. (I learned in AFF that arching solves most stability problems - not so for a wingsuit flat spin, right?)

This risk can be reduced with education and developing certain skills.

In reply to:
- We have to navigate! You can't just wait for the 5 to 10 second separation and jump, you need to plot where you are, where you're going, and (most importantly) where everyone else is.

This risk can be reduced with education, awareness, and developing certain skills.

In reply to:
- Our waiving off and deployment sequence is very different. We all know that.

This risk can be reduced with education and developing certain skills.

In reply to:
- On most suits, we have to deal with unstowing/unzipping/dealing with our suit after deployment. We all know that can be a problem given a surprise situation (a malfunction, another canopy coming straight at you, etc.).

This risk can be reduced with education and awareness.

In reply to:
Think of it this way, Butters: when you first wanted to wingsuit, you sought out an instructor, right?

Wrong.

In reply to:
What I think Jay Stokes was getting at is, does the USPA want to have a formal, standardized program (so we have all the information in one place, as you suggested) and roster of wingsuit instructors (in the same way that USPA has a roster of AFF instructors)?

Why focus on wingsuiting and not swooping (which is injuring and killing more of our friends and fellow skydivers)?


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 8:26 AM
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Quote:
The difference, Jeff, is that we're not talking about students here. What's wrong with an experianced skydiver getting advice from a more experianced one? Thats what we do in every dicipline.

Hey Dave,

That's a good point, but I'd suggest that the difference between going from other forms of skydiving to wingsuiting is bigger than the difference from going from belly flying (for example) to free flying.

I know a lot of people who started free flying right after getting their A license. There are a few differences between the two, for sure, but nowhere near as many as with the transition from other skydiving to wingsuiting. I think what I'm suggesting is that wingsuiting is just different enough to warrant special training.

Quote:
The incident referenced in the editorial was not caused by the suit, it was caused by the victim failing to properly secure his harness.

Yep. I agree 100%.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 8:42 AM
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I think we're talking past one another.

You keep saying "This risk can be reduced with education and awareness."

Yes. I agree. Absolutely. Fo' sho.

That's not what I'm questioning, though. Here's the issue put more succintly: "How do we convey the education and awareness that you're talking about?" How does it go from the brains of the people who have it to the brains of the people who need it?

What I think Jay Stokes is pointing at - if a little indirectly - is "do we want to have a USPA wingsuit instruction program?"

There is no USPA instruction on wingsuiting at the moment, so they aren't fulfilling the "education" role that you want them doing, right? So if you want them "educating", how do you want them doing it?

Do you want them to develop a "First Flight Manual"? If so, no argument here.

However, as I hope you'd agree, there's a lot of skydiving that you can't get from reading a book. If they're going to come out with a First Flight Manual, you'd want to be able to identify people who are qualified and capable teachers. That would lead to a USPA wingsuit instructor role.

If you don't want the USPA educating, and want to leave it to skydivers to instruct other skydivers or gear manufacturers, then your slogan for the USPA ought to be "neither education nor regulation".

And as for you never having sought out instruction: I'm glad it worked out well for you. I hope that all skydivers who want to try out a wingsuit have your natural ability to fly one. My suspicion, though, is not everyone does.


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 26, 2009, 9:17 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:

I think what I'm suggesting is that wingsuiting is just different enough to warrant special training.

What I'm suggesting is that "special training" is available to anyone who seeks it. We DON'T need any more mandates from uspa.

I'm not easily offended, but i get very offended when some authority figure tries to protect me from myself.

I used to do the occasional demo. I don't anymore because it"s not worth my while to jump through the hoops and pay the tax to uspa.
Same deal with level 8 (now called "coach jumps") I guess I've trained my last wingsuit pilot too. Frown


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jun 26, 2009, 10:20 AM
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I think the main issue is

Are we COACHING people (like freefly and swooping) or are we INSTRUCTING people on something completely new.

With the experience levels dropping more and more with regards to who 'instructors' are taking on for a first flight course, it does almost tend to lean towards AFF consolidation jumps at times...


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 26, 2009, 11:29 AM
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In reply to:
I think the main issue is

Are we COACHING people (like freefly and swooping) or are we INSTRUCTING people on something completely new.

With the experience levels dropping more and more with regards to who 'instructors' are taking on for a first flight course, it does almost tend to lean towards AFF consolidation jumps at times...


I would agree with this rhetorical, Jarno....
As the guy that gave Jay Stokes his first flight course, it was enlightening for both of us. He was treated in much the same manner as I treat AFF students; as though he had no jumps.
There are many aspects of a wingsuit jump that Jay had never considered, suit issues aside. Yet you'd struggle to find a skydiver more experienced in a wide variety of skydiving experiences than Jay Stokes. He had a lot of questions, and admitted that he'd never thought about this or that in terms of a wingsuit skydive. He knew why the number of recommended jumps existed, but hadn't thought about what those numbers may or may not mean.

Flip side to that; 3 months ago there was a newsletter from a wingsuit manufacturer's examiner pleading that "we gotta obey the rules, guys," who a few days later took out a student without even 100 skydives.

Self-regulation only works in a perfect world. The last two deaths alone have proved that it's not a perfect world. The Sebastian fatality would not have occurred had his instructor followed recommendations (USPA or manufacturer). He was turned down by more than one instructor, so he searched til he found one that would take him. The Moab fatality would not have happened had his instructor followed recommendations; I was there when the S&TA at my DZ told Race he couldn't fly a wingsuit jus a few weeks before.
There is no acountability nor responsibility placed on their instructors shoulders. Both young men died with fewer than 118 skydives.
Both might not be alive today had their instructors "followed recommendations" but they sure as hell wouldn't have died that day.
Requiring 100 wingsuit skydives and having a beer with a buddy who is an "examiner" for PF or Birdman is a joke. 100 WS skydives isn't shit, and everyone of us know it. Couple that with the fact that most wingsuit "instructors" don't have coach or AFF ratings, they likely don't know how to teach in a manner that is effective and embedded.

I believe when the Birdman program was initially set up by folks like Jari, Chuck Blue etc, the intent was that instructors would maintain integrity and uphold the standards they'd agreed to. Yet the lure of manufacturer incentives to sell suits is pretty strong and provides a provocative temptation to take someone out for a First Flight when they're maybe "just a few jumps short of the recommendation." In the case of one of the two deaths, I personally heard the "instructor" say "I'm a wingsuit instructor, I'm an AFF instructor, I can look at a student and know if he can do it or not. Numbers don't matter."

We've all watched "instructors" give FFC's without teaching COA's, PCRP's, flatspin management, emergency procedures, navigation, waveoff, and stabilization techniques. One instructor (the one who inspired me to want to be an instructor) gives a first flight course away from the DZ that lasts about 10 minutes, and then expects the student to jump without his instructor being there to brief, observe, and debrief.

There is a video of a guy on YouTube bragging about doing his first wingsuit jump, shows his Birdman "instructor" and the jump, and the guy later talking about how he celebrated his 75th jump in a wingsuit. It ws pretty obvious he didn't have very many skydives under his belt.

Comparing wingsuit instruction to freefly or swooping instruction/coaching are absurd. They're irrelevant (IMO) for the reasons Jeff mentions above and more.
Who's training the trainers right now? No one, really. If you've got a wingsuit, 100 jumps, and a few bucks, you're a "rated instructor." The jokes about ratings over a beer were once funny. My own first flight course included nothing about flying 180 degrees to others, navigation, emergency procedures, practice touches...It was just about putting the rig on the suit and deployment. Nothing more. The DZM pleaded with me to not go on that jump but I stupidly did anyway. It took a long time after that jump til Scott Campos convinced me to do another FFC with a good instructor.

I don't know if I'm a good instructor or not. I'm an AFFI, professional trainer outside of the sport of skydiving, professional motivational speaker, and I feel I do a decent job of building blocks and goals for my students. I didn't feel remotely qualified to "teach" until I had 400+ wingsuit skydives. And I'm still learning various methods of teaching and flying. Yet there are guys hanging out shingles as "instructors" that have 100 WS skydives or less.
Self regulation doesn't work. It hasn't worked. It can't work.
That said...
I'll be surprised if the USPA board will pass a wingsuit rating program, as they foolishly didn't pass an advanced canopy coaching rating program either. Many members of the BOD don't skydive anyway. At least Jay Stokes has sought out every discipline of skydiving there is, and has recently added BASE jumping to his repertoire of experiences so that he can better understand the relative aspects of the sport he's responsible for leading and guiding into the future.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jun 26, 2009, 4:09 PM
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Self regulation doesn't work. It hasn't worked. It can't work.
That said...
I'll be surprised if the USPA board will pass a wingsuit rating program

Sure it can. I hope you don't think that regulation would have kept people alive that didn't follow the currently established recommendations.

Sure you can make a gesture of a measure to keep everyone who openly regards themselves as a wingsuit instructor actually rated in some form or another. But guess, what every stooge instructor on a website roster will probably be grandfathered guaranteed!

People wanting to try out demo suits at a boogie could be properly screened as long as they are honest enough to present an undoctored log book, maybe.

But how do you propose to keep an overconfident skydiver , regardless of jump experience, from just calling up a wingsuit vendor or a used wingsuit in a classified add. Reading the manual and just winging it on their own? That would be an impossibility.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 26, 2009, 8:55 PM
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In reply to:
I hope you don't think that regulation would have kept people alive that didn't follow the currently established recommendations.
I know with a 100% certainty that Race Price and Dan Kulpa would not have died at jumps 118 and 110 had their instructors followed the currently established recommendations. Dan Kulpa would have turned 23 years old today.


In reply to:
Sure you can make a gesture of a measure to keep everyone who openly regards themselves as a wingsuit instructor actually rated in some form or another. But guess, what every stooge instructor on a website roster will probably be grandfathered guaranteed!


Of the two proposals I've seen that were going to be submitted to USPA, neither of them allowed for "grandfathering" of anyone. The recommendations for becoming a USPA-rated wingsuit instructor are significantly more stringent than those currently required by PF or BM. There may be a third, fourth, or tenth proposal that may allow for grandfathering, I dunno. I think doing so would be a huge mistake and an immediate hit on the credibility of any USPA program.

I'm not in favor of more regulation either, but at least with USPA-designed/collated training, training would be consistent, instructors could be held accountable, and instructors would be tested or have documented evidence of their training for their renewals every year just as we are now.

Will a rating system make for a perfect world? Hell no. There are a lot of AFFI's, TI's, coaches, S/L, and IAD instructors out there that shouldn't likely be allowed to be within 10 feet of a student. But a rating system overseen by the USPA would at the least, force SOMEONE to test and observe a potential wingsuit instructor candidate. I would expect the USPA to initially appoint a few Instructor/Examiners that would be responsible for certifying a candidate to be a wingsuit instructor, but at some future point in time, the I/E rating would have to be earned, just as it has happened/is happening with TI ratings. I can easily see people like Chuck Blue, Ed Pawlowski, Scott Callantine, and others like them being tapped out to be Examiners given their time in sport, current ratings, and wingsuit skills.

In reply to:
But how do you propose to keep an overconfident skydiver , regardless of jump experience, from just calling up a wingsuit vendor or a used wingsuit in a classified add. Reading the manual and just winging it on their own?

That's a very valid point, and a scenario that can't be easily addressed, just as you can't prevent a 100 jump wonder from buying a Velo 90. Hopefully the GM program and S&TA oversight, plus common sense will help prevent this from occurring. If nothing else, hopefully a better educational focus on the part of the USPA will help reduce the number of "stooge instructors" that are out there.


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jun 26, 2009, 9:16 PM
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The key words there are recommendation and regulation. Were it a regulation presented in the SIM by the USPA then dropzones, vendors, and instructors, coaches, or friends would not let people fly with less than 200 jumps.
The question is should it be a regulation? If so, it seems like it could be, given the types of accidents we've seen. If we generally get behind it, that would probably influence the USPA to some extent.


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 26, 2009, 9:37 PM
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Quote:
I know with a 100% certainty that Race Price and Dan Kulpa would not have died at jumps 118 and 110 had their instructors followed the currently established recommendations. Dan Kulpa would have turned 23 years old today.

Putting all the blame on the instructors is unfair. Both these young men knew they were violating the established recommendations, and sought out "instructors" who didn't care.

Who is responsible for your skydive?


(This post was edited by skydave114 on Jun 26, 2009, 9:43 PM)


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jun 26, 2009, 9:54 PM
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I know with a 100% certainty that Race Price and Dan Kulpa would not have died at jumps 118 and 110 had their instructors followed the currently established recommendations.
In reply to:

That is a HUGE assumption. What you mean to express is that they would not have died with the assistance of an instructor type to blame. But in each of these liscensed and qualified to self regulate skydiver's cases they were previously turned away by someone who explained why. They each knew they were traveling beyond what was recommended for their experience level. They were bound and determined.

I'm not sure Price suffered from a situation 100% directly related to wingsuits, to me it sounds like altitude awareness. I loathe to speculate in these fatalities. Dan's issue with legstraps after a second acceptable flight? Altitude awareness and proper harness/container fitment were taught in AFF.

Back before my first wingsuit flight myself and six or seven other guys already owned our own suit and the manuals or copys of. Do you want to venture a guess as to how many in our group got intructors for the first flights?

You will never ever regulate an under experienced jumper getting their hands on too small of a canopy or a wingsuit. The concept is pure fantasy!


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 26, 2009, 10:51 PM
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Back up the bus. I'm not putting ANY responsibility for the fatalities on the instructors, and if it appears that way, mea culpa.
These young men knew they were violating the rules; they're 100% responsible for their failure/fatality, just as I was responsible for the fuckups that occurred on my first flight.

That said...
A responsible skydiver who wants to learn a new discipline responsibily seeks out someone who can train them, guide them, and teach them. If the instructor fails to teach something critical, is it the student's fault for not knowing what he doesn't know?

An example I recently used:
A new skydiver wanting to know more about flying camera with a tandem came to me asking if I'd show him some things. We started out with safety discussions such as being aware/clear of the deploying drogue, being under/over the tandem, cone of danger, etc. Suppose I forget to teach him about the trap door that a tandem might catch him with, and he falls into that burble, taking out himself, the TI, and the student. Do I or don't I bear some accountability as an "authority figure" asked to train? I submit that I do. I'm not responsible for the incident, but I should be held accountable for what I failed to teach, just as an AFF instructor is accountable for what he/she may fail to teach?

Glenn says:
Quote:
That is a HUGE assumption. What you mean to express is that they would not have died with the assistance of an instructor type to blame. But in each of these liscensed and qualified to self regulate skydiver's cases they were previously turned away by someone who explained why. They each knew they were traveling beyond what was recommended for their experience level. They were bound and determined.

Agreed, these guys knew they were stepping out of the boundaries, and were determined. In Kulpa's case, he drove all the way across Florida on New Year's Day to get to a DZ where he knew he could get coaching.

No one should be looking to place blame on the instructors involved in either of these fatalities. The "blame" has to lie with the deceased in both of these instances.


I don't agree it's a huge assumption that they wouldn't have died, however. They may have still gone in, but they wouldn't have gone in on THAT particular day, were there a fear of official repercussion from an officating body. At least that's my take on it. If I know I could lose my rating, license, ability to skydive because I take someone out on a wingsuit jump before they reach required or recommended numbers, then I'm not even going to think twice about saying "no." The risk/reward is just too high. Perhaps I simply feel a higher degree of responsibility to my students than others may feel. If in my non-skydiver training world I fail to teach a critical component of an exercise, no one will die, they simply may lose their job. But they'll look to me to bear some level of accountability for failing to fully inform. In other words, I might not be indictable, but I believe I'm guilty of dereliction of duty.
I find that reprehensible.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jun 27, 2009, 1:28 AM
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 I don't understand how it could be stated that these instructors failed to teach a component of a proper first flight course. Failed to properly screen or willfully allow low experience skydivers to jump wingsuits I'll give you that.

Altitude awareness issues and forgetting legstraps has happened before to very experienced jumpers. I'm talking jumpers with thousands of jumps and many wingsuit jumps. Sadly both will probably happen again. Not because of jump numbers but because we are human, we forget, we loose awareness. We are not inertial guidance systems with built in telemetry. We are freaky styley humans and on any given day we might not be a 100%.

DZ operators work hard at screening people off canopys they shouldn't be on. Some work real hard at it. But all that effort doesn't keep someone from going someplace else to die or femur. Lets face it there are a lot of places we can go and nobody will be looking after you, just ourselves.


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 27, 2009, 6:13 AM
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back to the question at hand;
do we need a uspa wingsuit instructor rating? it's a fair question, and one that deserves debate. I vote hell no. such a thing will only increase cost, and restrict access. will a wingsuit license, with another tax, be required next?
imo, the proper regulating authority for such things is the dzo / s&ta.


scottygofast  (D 28686)

Jun 27, 2009, 8:42 AM
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In reply to:
back to the question at hand;
do we need a uspa wingsuit instructor rating? it's a fair question, and one that deserves debate. I vote hell no. such a thing will only increase cost, and restrict access. will a wingsuit license, with another tax, be required next?
imo, the proper regulating authority for such things is the dzo / s&ta.



I will be glad to respond in greater length and details to my view on this subject, but first a quick question~


So a guy has his private pilots liscense and has about 40 hours, which is alot more time than a liscensed skydiver, and also much more complex than simply jumping out a plane with a parachute on. Now would it be ok to take that same private pilot, and tell him, hey, i know you want to fly jumpers, so why dont you come out to the Huey with me, and ill give you an hour breifing and set u loose to take the next load up?


This relationship is akin to the newer skydivers inability to comprehend all the forces involved, and profeciancy required in order to safely execute the plan... I know I wouldnt get on that huey~


Just a thought... be back later


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jun 27, 2009, 9:56 AM
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Quote:
I think the main issue is

Are we COACHING people (like freefly and swooping) or are we INSTRUCTING people on something completely new.

I INSTRUCT first flight students and I coach people who have the rudimentary skill-set. That's the difference and that's what I will be telling the board of directors in July.


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Jun 27, 2009, 4:38 PM
Post #25 of 234 (4531 views)
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In reply to:
back to the question at hand;
do we need a uspa wingsuit instructor rating? it's a fair question, and one that deserves debate. I vote hell no. such a thing will only increase cost, and restrict access. will a wingsuit license, with another tax, be required next?
imo, the proper regulating authority for such things is the dzo / s&ta.


And alls I can think if it were to pass.....
Next-arguments for-
Required Instructor ratings for
FF
Camera
Automauti
etc, etc..........


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 27, 2009, 5:27 PM
Post #26 of 234 (1975 views)
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Quote:
So a guy has his private pilots liscense...

apples & oranges, Scotty. The FAA regulates pilots. uspa regulates skydivers.
like I said earlier, I think we are already over regulated.


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jun 27, 2009, 5:59 PM
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I believe there is a more basic question at hand: Should the USPA make it a requirement to have 200 jumps? That they then need an instructor is another issue, and I'd vote they find whoever they want. Manufacturer instructor ratings, Wingsuit schools, word of mouth. Me (!) A skydiver with 200 jumps should be able to pick who they want, and be capable of making decisions for themselves. Don't forget that the existing recommendations have no problem with someone with 500 jumps getting a wingsuit and a manual and just going for it. That is unlikely to change IMO, and I'm sure it's been successfully done.
I'll bet we all know wingsuitors that have started with less jumps or without an instructor that are doing just fine now. The problem came from 2 low timers going in and now people are looking at what to do about it. There may be a push to regulate 200 jumps, and I think that is going to come before or along with debating what an instructor is. I think the instructor debate is fine but not what USPA is looking at as much as the jump numbers issue.
In that area I side with DSE that those guys would not have gone in for the simple reason that a regulation rather than a requirement would have kept them out of wingsuits at that particular time. DZOs, if faced with a regulation that every wingsuitor has at least 200 jumps would simply enforce it, IMO. A recommendation is a whole different thing and that is how these incidents came about.
I'll let an instructor chime in to say that they would let someone fly if it was against a regulation to do so, but IMO there won't be any.
For the record, I had 165 jumps, paid for a lot of coaching and flew a tracking suit before my FFC. A reputable instructor taught me, and on my own I decided to ignore the USPA recommendation to wait for 35 more jumps. I doubt my instructor would have taken me if it was a regulation, and I know I would not have tried. As it was, it worked out OK for me but despite that I would agree with a 200 jump rule.
I do think it will happen eventually and think it may be a good idea for us to get on board with it now. I'm interested to see what others think of it, and not just USA as other countries may follow the lead on it,


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 27, 2009, 6:02 PM
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Quote:
I know I wouldnt get on that huey~

do you want a third party telling you that you can't get on?


(This post was edited by skydave114 on Jun 27, 2009, 6:07 PM)


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jun 27, 2009, 6:38 PM
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So a guy has his private pilots liscense and has about 40 hours, which is alot more time than a liscensed skydiver, and also much more complex than simply jumping out a plane with a parachute on. Now would it be ok to take that same private pilot, and tell him, hey, i know you want to fly jumpers, so why dont you come out to the Huey with me, and ill give you an hour breifing and set u loose to take the next load up?


This relationship is akin to the newer skydivers inability to comprehend all the forces involved, and profeciancy required in order to safely execute the plan... I know I wouldnt get on that huey~
Thats a ridiculous comparison. In the rotorcraft world you would not pilot a huey with 200 hours of stick time in a basic rotor bird. Unless maybe you are a warrant officer in a war and your side is loosing...... badly or you stole one for a bandit jump!


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 27, 2009, 7:43 PM
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In reply to:
And alls I can think if it were to pass.....
Next-arguments for-
Required Instructor ratings for
FF
Camera
Automauti
etc, etc..........

None of the above disciplines require unique equipment that dramatically affects flight. None of them incur significant forward movement. They do not have unique deployment procedures, they do not require unique post-deployment procedures, they do not involve unique navigation skills, They don't have specific recommendations for equipment, and none of the above have a high potential for flatspins. None of them offer the opportunity for parts of the rig to be hidden or sucked inside the jumpsuit. A wingsuit skydive is more like a tandem skydive than any other discipline, IMO, simply because of the unique equipment and flight characteristics.

All that having been said, I submit it's a valid debate that the USPA is negligent in not offering an "advanced coach" or similar rating for swooping/canopy control, and perhaps for other high-risk disciplines.
I'd think that a wingsuit instructor rating would essentially be that; an "Advanced Coach" or "Coach II" rating.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jun 27, 2009, 8:33 PM
Post #31 of 234 (1919 views)
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All that having been said, I submit it's a valid debate that the USPA is negligent in not offering an "advanced coach" or similar rating for swooping/canopy control,
The one facet that represents one third of all fatalities. And wingsuit fatalities represent what percentage? Is it even 3%?


The111  (D 29246)

Jun 27, 2009, 11:36 PM
Post #32 of 234 (1889 views)
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In reply to:
The one facet that represents one third of all fatalities. And wingsuit fatalities represent what percentage? Is it even 3%?

Well, you need you look at per capita stats and not total percentages. In which case I'd guess swooping would still "win," but not by nearly as large of a margin.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jun 28, 2009, 6:58 AM
Post #33 of 234 (1851 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
back to the question at hand;
do we need a uspa wingsuit instructor rating? it's a fair question, and one that deserves debate. I vote hell no. such a thing will only increase cost, and restrict access. will a wingsuit license, with another tax, be required next?
imo, the proper regulating authority for such things is the dzo / s&ta.



I will be glad to respond in greater length and details to my view on this subject, but first a quick question~


So a guy has his private pilots liscense and has about 40 hours, which is alot more time than a liscensed skydiver, and also much more complex than simply jumping out a plane with a parachute on. Now would it be ok to take that same private pilot, and tell him, hey, i know you want to fly jumpers, so why dont you come out to the Huey with me, and ill give you an hour breifing and set u loose to take the next load up?


This relationship is akin to the newer skydivers inability to comprehend all the forces involved, and profeciancy required in order to safely execute the plan... I know I wouldnt get on that huey~


Just a thought... be back later

I don't think it would make much difference to ability to fly a Huey if the guy had a PPL and 40 hours or an ATP with 5,000 hours, all on airplanes.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jun 28, 2009, 7:05 AM
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I see this as a solution for an almost non-existent problem.

There isn't an epidemic of WS accidents due to poor instruction.

Sounds like something the TSA would propose.


IslandGuy  (C License)

Jun 28, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Just seems to me that the wingsuit community looking to the USPA for regulation is tantamount to the skydiving community looking to the FAA for regulation. Do you really want to go there? Are things really that bad?

Personally, I’m happy with the way things are. I’ve never been one to subscribe to the notion that somebody else, or governing entity, is more committed to my best interests than myself. The guidance is, and resources are, widely and readily available to make wise choices without more rules and regulations.

What might help and be worthy of an experiment is a rating system like they do for washer/dryers and college professors. If you claim to be a wingsuit instructor or coach, put your name on the board and let the ratings and comments come.

Ya, there are all sort of pitfalls in the implementation (preventing the posting of multiple glowing reports/high ratings for one’s self, etc.), but, with a bit of thought it could work. And, if it isn’t working, I’m fairly sure folks that listed their name will remove it, and so the whole thing will just go away.

If regulation really up for serious consideration, just wondering what can of worms we might be opening. Once you go down that road – there is no turning back.


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Jun 28, 2009, 6:58 PM
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Jumper with 200 jumps shows up at a new DZ with a 96 Velo.

DZO laughs and says not here.

Jumper with 150 Jumps shows up with a WS.

DZO laughs and says not here.

Another perspective....

Jumper shows up at a new dropzone with a WS. How are other jumpers supposed to know if he has done it before or how much?

With any instructor comes a training progression. How many flights before you set a new bird loose. You train a new bird out of a Skyvan, and he goes back home and promptly hits the rear stabilizer of a PAC.

Every dropzone has at least one instructor on staff, S/L. AFF, TI whatever. How many DZ's have a WS Instructor? A new bird goes home and is the only one at his DZ. Goes out and tries backflying. Promptly flies across jump run. Are you going to require people from smaller dropzones to travel across the country for a FFC? What then they go home and in most cases have no one to talk to about about continuing their learning?

A wingsuit instructor rating means little without a corresponding license or certificate. So is that the next step a WS "endorsement" on your USPA card?

In response to your post, camera does not require unique equipment that alters flight? Camera wings? Pulling your PC through your wing? What about snag hazards? What about getting fixated on getting the shot. Freeflying, someone with a Vector 2 goes with another jumper with a Flexon. They do a linked exit, the Vector 2 has a premature opening and entangles with the other jumper. Also, I am sorry but I do not see the relationship between a tandem and a wingsuit jump. Your main handle is in the same place as every other jump. Your emergency procedures are the exact same. On tandems, your handles are in different places. Your emergency procedures are much more complex, and you have someone attached to you that has no idea what is going on and has a mind of their own. Oh yeah they are trying to kill you, even if they don't know it.

But... what do I know, I only have 160 wingsuit jumps, and a fresh tandem rating, ~50 tandems. Feel free to discount anything I have to say.


(This post was edited by mnskydiver688 on Jun 28, 2009, 9:45 PM)


pms07  (D 7571)

Jun 29, 2009, 7:32 PM
Post #37 of 234 (1646 views)
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I think the basic question is; what is it you would like the USPA to accomplish, if anything, in regard to wingsuits? Once we understand that goal, then a plan for how to get there may become more apparent. Vague notions like "make wingsuiting more safe" probably need refinement. What specific problems would the USPA be addressing? Would it be jumping without donning your legstraps? Or is that too many inexperienced (or experienced) jumpers are getting in trouble with wingsuits because of inadequate training? Are the current instructors (pick the title you like; experienced wingsuit flyer, coach, advanced coach, or whatever...) not up to the task? Or is that too many start wingsuiting without an instructor and get hurt or dead? Or is that there is insufficient knowledge readily available on how to fly a wingsuit? Or is that the standards (assuming there any...) are too lax, ill defined or not enforced. Once you define more specific the objectives, then I think you can make decisions about how to get there. And I think at the end of the day, arguing about a rating and whether it's a wingsuit instructor, or coach, or whatever, is really just semantics. Maybe not worth arguing about...
Personally, I've worked in the USPA instructoral system for about 30 years and am a USPA supporter generally. I'm not enthusiastic about USPA implementing a wingsuit "instructor" rating at this point however, at least not with the information I have. Does anyone have the proposals being considered and can send to those interested?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 29, 2009, 8:25 PM
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In reply to:
A wingsuit instructor rating means little without a corresponding license or certificate. So is that the next step a WS "endorsement" on your USPA card?

In Australia, a "cloud stamp/endorsement" is required to be in your log book before you're allowed to jump through clouds. I don't see the USPA requiring a wingsuit stamp/endorsement as being any different, thus demonstrating to a DZO or manifest that the bearer has been through a USPA wingsuit instruction course.


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jun 29, 2009, 9:39 PM
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This sounds like a significant change from the current recommendation that someone with 500 jumps can fly without formal instruction. Do you feel that this is a needed change, as most of the justification for this is from low timers rather than experienced jumpers?
Granted, someone with 10,000 jumps will not know every aspect of wingsuits, however, they could quite easily learn by other methods than taking a rated course IMO.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 29, 2009, 10:12 PM
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I don't think jump numbers have all that much to do with it, frankly.
There are some absolute shit instructors out there, and some absolute gold ones out there. Unsuspecting kid that wants to jump a wingsuit and has 50-100 jumps doesn't know the difference.
That's merely one point in favor of a rating system.
Obviously, it's been felt for over a decade that quality wingsuit training is necessary. Jari/Chuck and others started it, Phoenix Fly continued it. Both programs have become so saturated with "first cousins" that it makes the genepools in Alabama look downright brilliant. Both are somewhat of a joke, IMO.
The myriad reasons for a non-manufacturer-operated wingsuit training program is obvious, IMO. That doesn't mean that the number of totally awesome wingsuiters will increase, but I'll wager hard that the "no shit, there I was" stories will decrease, and the quality and advancement of wingsuiting will exponentially increase.


Zoter

Jun 30, 2009, 3:00 AM
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Quote:
heard through the grapevine that the BPA Board accepted changes to their regulation of wingsuiting: a new training manual and a "sticker" system for categorizing new wingsuit flyers. If Mark Harris reads this, maybe he can comment on it further - I'd be curious what the accepted proposal was...

The new 'rules' for us ...are here.
http://www.bpa.org.uk/...raining%20manual.pdf

Firstly....its important to note, in our organisation (The BPA) that most skydiving disciplines have a 'sticker' based system showing your basic competency in that discipline
There is usually a 'basic' and 'advanced' grading for each discipline.

'Basic' and 'Advanced' ...Those terms are relative of course, but basically the competencies required for getting each grade are put up by our organisation ( BPA) and if you are assessed to have completed them....you are awarded the relevant 'sticker' to put in your FAI licence book.

It also makes things a little safer as you are not allowed to do certain things without having the relevant qualification /'sticker'
(example.....a bunch of new jumpers with no freefly experience would not be allowed to do a head down multiway !)
Having the 'sticker' is just a quick, easy way (along with a log book) of a DZ or an Instructor knowing where you are 'at' ....important if they don't know you, and alot safer than just letting you do whatever you want, irrespective of your actual ability.

In the BPA environment , it was inevitable that we would be 'grading' wingsuit flying and slotting it into our 'sticker' based competency system.

I think Mark Harris et al have done a great job at taking a stab at drawing together best practice in WS flying to put it into a structured format for this type of grading system.
Its not perfect..and its not radically different from what is already best practice....but its a good start.

It seems to have the support of our more experienced wingsuit flyers and Instructors.
Most of the noise against it seems to be coming from beginners who may find its not quite as easy to just do what they want to do, after WS flight #1 ....and maybe a few individuals sulking because they were not automatically listed as an authorised BPA Wingsuit Instructor

Its true there are few, true serious WS 'incidents' ( well reported ones anyhow)....but waiting until there are, before doing anything about it.....is bad practice in my opinion.
As the number of people getting into the discipline increases , having a decent , nationally adopted system in place that looks at all aspects of safety in wing suiting can only be a good thing.

I personally think a standalone BPA /USPA etc implemented set of guidelines is preferential to the manufacturer based system....where ( how can I put this tactfully) the geographical location of the instructor may sometimes be of more importance than experience/ability, in terms of getting an 'Instructor' rating ;)


(This post was edited by Zoter on Jun 30, 2009, 3:09 AM)


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jun 30, 2009, 4:33 AM
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Its a nice bit of text, but in the end the UK 'rules' are nothing more than recommendations as well, and dont prohibit non-BPA coaches or flyers (with a factory coaching/instruction badge) to teach students.

Quote:
It is recommended that only a BPA Wing Suit (WS) Coach or a wing suit coach, acceptable
to the Club CCI, from a reputable wingsuit manufacturer/organisation teaches a wing suit
first flight course.

Next to that, the jumps proposed (to me) dont really ad a whole lot, and Id have a sincere feeling of ripping someone off by having them do the same FFC jump 3 times to get a sticker for their logbook. You could do so much more in 3 coached jumps than just watching someone do dummy-pulls.

This BPA document could have been much more IMO, had more people been involved in writing it and giving input. But seeing its accepted, it might be a nice startingpoint for future versions.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 30, 2009, 5:19 AM
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Quote:
It is recommended that only a BPA Wing Suit (WS) Coach or a wing suit coach, acceptable
to the Club CCI, from a reputable wingsuit manufacturer/organisation teaches a wing suit
first flight course.

This is not terribly intelligent, as it allows the exact "grandfathering" Glen mentioned up-thread. If you have a BMI or PFI, you're automatically a BPA instructor. Frown

Quote:
Its true there are few, true serious WS 'incidents' ( well reported ones anyhow)....but waiting until there are, before doing anything about it.....is bad practice in my opinion.
As the number of people getting into the discipline increases , having a decent , nationally adopted system in place that looks at all aspects of safety in wing suiting can only be a good thing.

I personally think a standalone BPA /USPA etc implemented set of guidelines is preferential to the manufacturer based system....

Couldn't agree with this more. Get the manufacturers the hell out of the training aspect of wingsuit flying. They did a great job of identifying the necessity for training, and a very good job of identifying the parameters of a training program. However, they also incentivize trainers to sell suits, and therein is where the first part of the problem begins. I agree, Mark made some significant strides towards improving the credibility of wingsuit instruction in the UK. It's my understanding that the APF (Australians) are looking at a similar system.
Does anyone know what the acceptable percentage of incidents/fatalities is for the USPA?


notsane  (D 9465)

Jun 30, 2009, 1:52 PM
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Re: [IslandGuy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to agree with Mike here ... and also take issue with the idea that USPA should implement a BPA-style handholding system. I'd certainly like to think that we're somewhat more self-reliant here in the US.

Regulations should address systemic problems. If wingsuit instructors were regulated by USPA and 200 jumps was a mandated minimum number of jumps for a FFC, I don't think the accident the editorial mentions would have been prevented. The way I understand that incident, the jumper misrepresented their jump numbers to the instructor, and a rigging mistake by the jumper went undetected. I don't see how a regulation would have prevented that one accident.

As an instructor myself, I am quite comfortable with the current system, with one exception: if the manufacturer guidelines recommend 200 jumps minimum for a FFC, why would someone, like Fasted3's instructor, instruct him with fewer than that number of jumps? Did they have a bent for self-destruction? Putting aside the fact that the guideline is just plain a good idea, what will you, as an instructor do if things go bad? You want to be able to stand in front of the judge and say that you followed all the rules, and that what happened was outside your responsability.

If a wingsuit instructor is doing FFC's with folks who have less than 200 jumps, their instructor status from the manufacturer should be forfeited, IMO.

Scott


(This post was edited by notsane on Jun 30, 2009, 1:54 PM)


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jun 30, 2009, 2:02 PM
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Though I think many would love seeing the current 'do as you wish/there are rules and recommendations, but you dont HAVE to follow them if you dont want to' thing just stay as is, wingsuit flying is definitely in need some some stricter policy as to who teaches what.

And the current system(s) have a right intentions, but with some of the key people in/from some of the current big-name teaching programs doing the opposite of what they are trying to get everyone else to do (teaching people with less than the recomended experience etc) I think its becoming more and more clear its really an ugly and rotten girl underneath all that pretty makeup on the outside.

Though this letter in the Parachutist may not be the thing everyone wants to read, I think its a strong signal...and luckely one where several people are already working on a good and thourough solution behind the screen. One I applaud and really like as to what Ive read and seen so far...

No more handouts...no more 'pay 300 euros to listen to me talk for a day' and be an instructor. Regardless of skill or teaching ability.
Even if thats only 1% of the 'instructors' currently out there. Thats 1% too much.

Wiping the slate clean, learning from past experiences and starting over sometimes is the best thing to do.

Viva la revolution..Wink


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jun 30, 2009, 2:31 PM
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I think the key word is recommendation vs regulation. Have you ever had someone give you advice that you chose not to follow?

Do you know what the manufacturer requirements were for my suit at the time and place of my FFC? Again, if it were breaking a rule I would not have done it, and I'm sure my instructor would not have let me anyway.

If 200 jumps should be a minimum then make it a regulation.

I am also interested in how many agree with DSE that a FFC by a USPA rated instructor should be a mandatory requirement for 500+ jumpers.

I'd recommend it but not require it.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 30, 2009, 2:50 PM
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Quote:
If a wingsuit instructor is doing FFC's with folks who have less than 200 jumps, their instructor status from the manufacturer should be forfeited, IMO.

I'm not going to argue with the sentiment behind Scott's idea, but I want to point out an unintended consequence of it.

Suppose I'm a manufacturer-licensed WSI, doesn't matter which one (a BirdFly instructor!) Some guy comes to me with 102 jumps and wants a first flight course. I'm going to say "come back when you have more experience", because I don't want to lose my BirdFly instructor ticket.

What is the aspiring wingsuiter going to do? If all of the manfacturers hold to the 200, he's going to read the part of SIM 6-9 where it says "recommendation". Then he's going to read about the stuff he thinks he needs to know on dz.com and in user manuals and self-teach.

I'm guessing that most of you instructors think doing the self taught thing is not a great idea. Maybe I'm wrong on that, I dunno.

Before anyone mis-reads my intent, I'm not disagreeing with Scott at all - they should have their tickets yanked by the manufacturer if hey are breaking the manufacturer's rules. I'm just pointing out an side effect of the "recommendation" language.

The whole "recommendation"/"requirement" thing is really an entirely different conversation, though - I'm not trying to de-rail the thread.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jun 30, 2009, 3:22 PM
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Quote:
I think the key word is recommendation vs regulation. Have you ever had someone give you advice that you chose not to follow?

The biggest issue is that people who really NEED rules, often come in here, asking if they are okay bypassing the RECOMMENDATIONS....
They dont really want advice..they want justification and confirmation on it being okay for them to bypass the very thing everyone is telling them they should do.

Having some solid rules, and also some firm parameters in which instructors work and follow those rules in what they teach..

It will be a step forward..
If I choose to teach someone straight from AFF, fuck up his FFC by doing the teaching over the internet and only being on the plane with him, going low directly on exit and signing his logbook without even seeing him jump, nobody is gonna come in an take my BMI patch away (the course I took in terms of getting into instruction).

If you do this on a Tandem of AFF, you'll be done teaching real soon, and have your instructors licence pulled.
But in wingsuit flying, there is always new peeps who dont know who is teaching what and how. So even the worst 'instructors' will always have an audience. And nobody will slap them on the fingers. They might see their load organising scedule grow a bit empty. But there will always be new first-timers for them to prey on..

Wiping the slate clean, and having people prove their skills (in both teaching and flying) and having one unified way of teaching. It will be a big step forward.


PhoenixRising  (D 28021)

Jun 30, 2009, 3:26 PM
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Wiping the slate clean, and having people prove their skills (in both teaching and flying) and having one unified way of teaching. It will be a big step forward.

I CANNOT agree more. That is how it should be, and how we proposed it.

Justin


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jun 30, 2009, 3:58 PM
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In reply to:
The whole "recommendation"/"requirement" thing is really an entirely different conversation, though - I'm not trying to de-rail the thread.

But that is the real point of this thread. What difference does it make who is an instructor if the new bird does not have to use them? As long as things are only recommendations then anyone can do what they want anyway.
If they are going to regulate anything, it will start with defining who can participate, then what skills need to be instructed to whom, and by whom.
I see jump numbers as a key part of this discussion, and the desire to make regulations about that issue by some. Fair enough; the accidents have been by low timers and now there are eyes pointed this way. Stating instructor requirements or comparing different methods is fine, but defining who has to do what to get in the air and regulating it is what it's all about. What do we want, and what are we going to get? As I stated, I'm all for following rules, so whatever is regulated is fine by me.
I see this change as drawing a line at 200 jumps. After that everyone needs a FFC. The instructors will have to follow a syllibus, and also follow the rules, if they come about and however they are defined; not a bad thing.
Still and all, would I recommed that this become a regulation? I'd like to see the actual proposals and then decide. I've noticed that wing cutaways are recommended too, what if I don't have them?
Now that may be a hijack...


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 30, 2009, 5:40 PM
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In reply to:
I see jump numbers as a key part of this discussion, and the desire to make regulations about that issue by some. Fair enough; the accidents have been by low timers and now there are eyes pointed this way. Stating instructor requirements or comparing different methods is fine, but defining who has to do what to get in the air and regulating it is what it's all about. What do we want, and what are we going to get? As I stated, I'm all for following rules, so whatever is regulated is fine by me.
I see this change as drawing a line at 200 jumps. After that everyone needs a FFC. The instructors will have to follow a syllibus, and also follow the rules, if they come about and however they are defined; not a bad thing.

It's not about the jump numbers. What it's really about is:
-Getting manufacturers out of incentivizing instructors (which in turn gets a lot of them taking people out with low numbers) and the training game.

-placing a cohesive instructional method and syllabus akin to IAD, AFF, S/L, and Tandem instruction that is one color, one message, and that everyone who instructs uses so that confusion amongst the "wild wild west teaching methods" are eliminated.

-Bringing instruction in line with USPA guidelines so that instructors are also accountable for their mis-steps (ie-Scott's comment) But this isn't about the jump numbers of the Sebastian fatality, it's about procedures, consistency, and conforming to a long-established methodology of instruction.

-Regardless of jump numbers (ie;500 jumps) anyone wanting to jump a WS will need an FFC. At 500 jumps, you can be a TI, too. With training.
I'll use Jay Stokes as my example. Jay rec'd his FFC from me. More than once he commented "I'd never considered that."
John Mitchell, an AFFI/TI with 5000+ jumps made similar comments during his FFC. I'm sure anyone who instructs has run into this sort of commentary. A wingsuit skydive isn't just another skydive. There is a lot to know, a lot to do, and it can't be taught in 10 minutes.

When has Birdman or PF _ever_ pulled a rating from anyone for taking someone out with low numbers?
Rolf Brombach, a Birdman I/E sends out a newsletter pleading with people to follow the rules, and less than 2 weeks later takes out someone with only 70-odd jumps. We _all_ know stories like this. One BMI/PFI looked me straight in the eye and said "I'm an AFFI, I'm a BMI/PFI, I can tell if someone is ready for the wingsuit or not." One of his students is dead at 118 jumps. Was his rating pulled?

I'm told this discussion is no different than when AFF was brought to the USPA; no one thought it was necessary, a number of jumpmasters fought it. Yet AFF has proven to be one of the greatest assets of the USPA, and adopted in some format or another by nearly every other governing body in the world. It has opened another door for USPA to promote skydiving. USPA doesn't promote wingsuiting, we're not a recognized discipline by the FAI. This is a great first step towards achieving promotion and credibility, IMO.


(This post was edited by DSE on Jun 30, 2009, 8:17 PM)


notsane  (D 9465)

Jun 30, 2009, 6:37 PM
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Quote:
I CANNOT agree more. That is how it should be, and how we proposed it.

I am curious who "we" are, because I know for sure that no one has asked for my opinion ... not that they should have.

But have "we" considered the price of this new rating system? I'm just a fun jumper. I don't make any money from jumping (other than for writing articles .. enough to buy a nice dinner altogether) ... this is not my job. No one has ever given me a suit or gear for free. After taking the BMI course years ago from Chuck Blue and Scott Campos, I've taught people for the love of the sport.

If the process of being a wingsuit instructor becomes too much of a hassle, I'll simply stop doing it. I have other priorities, the ones I like to call "a life". And I'm sure there will be plenty of others in the same position. The growth of the sport, which was the honor of many will become the job of a few ... and that growth will likely be slower.

So, good luck, "we". I hope someone was breathing down our necks to regulate ourselves, before they did it to us.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jun 30, 2009, 6:49 PM
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Im in the same boat as you are....Im not making any money on the sport.
Im happy if I get a free trip out of it every once in a while, but its all for the love of the sport.

But the work currently going on behind the screens is good stuff, and is a thing thats (in my view) workable to a point where even someone like us could easily adopt and join in on this new instruction standard.

Im not part of all this, but having seem some bits and pieces, I cant say anything else but 'Im impressed and hope its what gets accepted as the new standard'


pms07  (D 7571)

Jun 30, 2009, 8:13 PM
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In reply to:
Im in the same boat as you are....Im not making any money on the sport.
Im happy if I get a free trip out of it every once in a while, but its all for the love of the sport.

But the work currently going on behind the screens is good stuff, and is a thing thats (in my view) workable to a point where even someone like us could easily adopt and join in on this new instruction standard.

Im not part of all this, but having seem some bits and pieces, I cant say anything else but 'Im impressed and hope its what gets accepted as the new standard'

Just a thought; maybe the proposal in the hands of the USPA for consideration needs wider distribution so those interested can consider and comment. Or maybe even attend the Board of Directors meeting to advocate.


PhoenixRising  (D 28021)

Jun 30, 2009, 8:14 PM
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"We" is a group of wingsuiters that collaborated on a document, similar to what Mark Harris did for the B.P.A. We were informed a wingsuit rating was was in consideration. Better to be in front of the train, running at the same speed than to be hit by it. "We" are not the only ones who submitted.

I hope that a ws rating does not take over and slow the growth of the sport. I feel it will not, only it will weed out the ones who are not pulling their weight, so to speak.Smile

Look at Aff, or Tandem etc. The growth is not slowed by the rating required to teach it, it simply helps make sure the individuals teaching it are competent.

Justin


(This post was edited by PhoenixRising on Jun 30, 2009, 8:17 PM)


PhoenixRising  (D 28021)

Jun 30, 2009, 8:15 PM
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Just a thought; maybe the proposal in the hands of the USPA for consideration needs wider distribution so those interested can consider and comment. Or maybe even attend the Board of Directors meeting to advocate.


you can


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
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Jun 30, 2009, 9:47 PM
Post #57 of 234 (1189 views)
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Quote:
When has Birdman or PF _ever_ pulled a rating from anyone for taking someone out with low numbers?

You have my phone number. Call me and I will tell you if it's that important to you.


On a different note. I have been following this thread and when I actually have some time to sit down and type something longer out I will. A few good comments so far but just keep in mind, you don't know what you don't know and be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Jun 30, 2009, 10:16 PM
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Response to no one in particular.....
Yes, some kind of across the board standardization is a real good thing.
Make a minimum jump number for WS a regulation-OK, now DZO's can enforce it even.
But I'm just having a hard time comparing the "need" for an "official" WSI rating with AFFI or TI.
Just seems ....well not quite apples and oranges but kinda.......
I'm I the only one having a hard time with the comparison????


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 1, 2009, 1:52 AM
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Quote:
A few good comments so far but just keep in mind, you don't know what you don't know and be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

It shows you dont know what you dont knowWinkTongue
Having seen what the boys are working on, I hope we get what we ask for.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:39 AM
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In reply to:
Having seen what the boys are working on, I hope we get what we ask for.

I hope not. I prefer freedom and am willing to accept that with great freedom comes great responsibility ...


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:53 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Having seen what the boys are working on, I hope we get what we ask for.

I hope not. I prefer freedom and am willing to accept that with great freedom comes great responsibility ...

Please define specifically how the implementation of a USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating would restrict your freedom as a skydiver/wingsuiter? Otherwise, it's just FUD, and about as valuable and condescending as saying "you don't know what you don't know."
I'm impressed as hell that the team FlyLikeBrick are endorsing this sort of program, that tells me it's got some significant merit.


skydave114  (D License)

Jul 1, 2009, 8:06 AM
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Quote:
But I'm just having a hard time comparing the "need" for an "official" WSI rating with AFFI or TI.
Just seems ....well not quite apples and oranges but kinda.......
I'm I the only one having a hard time with the comparison????

No.
Experienced jumper learning a new trick vs. 1st timer?
more like apples & orangutans.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 1, 2009, 8:26 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Having seen what the boys are working on, I hope we get what we ask for.

I hope not. I prefer freedom and am willing to accept that with great freedom comes great responsibility ...

Please define specifically how the implementation of a USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating would restrict your freedom as a skydiver/wingsuiter?

A USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating will limit my freedom to instruct (if I ever choose to do so) ... not mention that a rating will likely be followed by regulations (instead of the current recommendations).


(This post was edited by Butters on Jul 1, 2009, 9:04 AM)


notsane  (D 9465)

Jul 1, 2009, 9:00 AM
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Spot,

As much as I like Jarno and the FlyLikeBrick folks, a proposal for USPA to regulate wingsuit instruction doesn't affect anyone but us USA folks. So, while their input is appreciated, it's us here who will reap whatever rewards or suffer whatever consequenses. The USPA and FAA have long held a fairly "hands-off" approach for all of us, as opposed to other countries.

So, late in the discussion here, we learn that USPA has "regulating wingsuit instruction" as a discussion topic, and there are multiple groups proposing how such regulations should look before USPA unilaterally regulates us. I hope that the need and costs of that regulation are also on the table.

I can only assume that I've been asleep for months and that FFC folks are lawn-darting into the ground by the dozens. After all, swooping kills 10 or more jumpers a year, and they don't have a formal ratings system. Rated AFF instructors hold on to the student 2 at the time during freefall and require significant air-skills. For us, once a FFC student is out the door, there's little the instructor can do, other than point back to the dz and take pictures. Tandems, AFF and S/L all involve people with no experience and no ability to choose a responsable instructor. FFC students are supposed to have 200 jumps ... that used to mean that person was experienced and able to make intelligent choices for themselves here in the states.

An aside to the folks crafting these proposals ... invite paticipation and you might get some buy-in.


(This post was edited by notsane on Jul 1, 2009, 9:36 AM)


The111  (D 29246)

Jul 1, 2009, 9:25 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Please define specifically how the implementation of a USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating would restrict your freedom as a skydiver/wingsuiter?

A USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating will limit my freedom to instruct (if I ever choose to do so) ... not mention that a rating will likely be followed by regulations (instead of the current recommendations).

Isn't safety of the student far more important than "freedom" of the instructor?

And as far as recommendations turning into regulations... I can't think of one intelligent person on this forum who would say "yes" to a 150-jump wonder asking to jump a WS today. So if we all agree on the recommendations, what is the harm in making them stick, so that DZ's actually pay attention to them too?

It's funny, I am normally a counter-culture anti-rules kind of guy... but really how much would it hurt any of us if we just made people take the current recommendations more seriously by making them concrete guidelines? Nobody has provided a good answer to that question, just vague fearmongering like "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it." Well, we've been asking that sub-par "instructors" and people with under 200 jumps stop making asses of themselves and the rest of our community. Would it be so bad if we actually got that?

Seriously, if I am wrong here, somebody give me a precise example of a negative consequence (to us) of turning recommendations into rules.


notsane  (D 9465)

Jul 1, 2009, 9:56 AM
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Matt,

I think I can address that:

The overall goal is to increase safety for the FFC student. A rating system may do that.

The knowns:
A rating system will cost dollars, time and effort for USPA and participants alike.

Those costs will be passed along to the FFC student.

Instructors unable or unwilling to incur or pass along those costs or obtain the rating will remove themselves from the system.

The unknowns:
What previous incidents would have been prevented by such a rating system?

Will safety for FFC students be increased, and by how much?



There's all this talk about current ratings being given "over a beer" and reigning in instructors who aren't following the guidelines. Do we simply not have the balls to out those folks now (whoever "they" are)? Is calling the USPA to out them going to be easier?

If you think folks used to bitch about instructors making money off FFC's, just wait. If someone is forking out the time and money for a rating, they will want to get paid ... and rightfully so. Tandems and AFF's aren't done for free. Where's VooDoo when you need him? Smile


(This post was edited by notsane on Jul 1, 2009, 10:08 AM)


The111  (D 29246)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Yeh, but AFF and tandem instructors both get paid. People that want to fly a wingsuit will pay for it... they're gonna pay over a grand for a suit soon anyway.

It's a funny issue for me. It's not important enough that I would go crusading for regulation... but at the same time I have no good reason to say no to it either, if others want to do the legwork.


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:09 AM
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This may seem a bit fatalistic and please excuse me if I offend anybody. However, isn't it somewhat of a benefit for wingsuiting to be viewed as a more "dangerous" discipline? Without the presence of death in skydiving very few people would voluntarily take a big bite of humble pie. Consider CReW for example. Almost all new jumpers have heard crazy stories about CReW and how close people have come. When I ask around very few new jumpers want to get into CReW. While death is a horrible result that can occur in the sport, isn't it what keeps the rest of us alive?
I understand this doesn't directly relate to the thread, but it is something to consider as we continue to change and evolve the methods of training and instructing, which in turns affects the attitude towards the sport.


notsane  (D 9465)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:13 AM
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Comparing teaching CRW to a FFC is actually a perfect analogy. Nice insight.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:14 AM
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People pay money to earn a coach rating too. Spend a few search key moments in the Instructor forums and see how many Coaches are making money for their coached jumps, or are passing along the cost for earning that rating.
Damn few. If you're a wingsuit instructor because you want to make big $$, then you must know something I don't. It'll be a long while til I've earned enough from FFC's to pay for my Intro's in various sizes. I do it for the love of teaching, and the $20.00 a year to renew my rating isn't enough for me to be concerned about. Tell you what, Scott....become a USPA Wingsuit Instructor and *I'll* pay your yearly WSI renewal for as long as you're instructing, because I think you're that valuable to the wingsuiting community.

At this point, it's all FUD. Gee, damn, whiz, wow. Butters is worried that as an instructor, his "freedom" will be restricted. Yeah, it would *really* suck to have to be able to demonstrate you can:
-actually teach so that the student comprehends what you have to share
-actually fly _with_ the student so they can see you during the jump and potentially receive hand signals
-pass a written test of common sense questions that every wingsuit instructor should know.

Damn, that means you'll actually have to prove competency. I can see how that would limit the "freedom" of an incompetent. Which is exactly what a coach rating, AFF rating, TI rating, SL rating, and IAD rating test program actually does. It weeds out those that aren't ready or able.
I can see how those that got their rating over a beer or a lunch are worried about this program going through. I know of several guys that never once saw their instructor during their FFC (including me) or had their instructor flying straight towards them. Those guys can't pass the USPA rating program and therefore won't be able to teach anymore. Good riddance, AFAIC.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:57 AM
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In reply to:
Butters is worried that as an instructor, his "freedom" will be restricted.

That isn't what I'm worried about (I have no intentions of becoming an instructor). I'm worried about all the regulations that will go along with the instructor rating ...


PhoenixRising  (D 28021)

Jul 1, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Re: [skyjumpsteve] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

The proposals can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/...ng-Executive-Summary and here: http://www.scribd.com/...roposed-Wingsuit-IRM

The first one is an executive summary. It's a good place to start to get the basics. Please do not comment on this document if you do not Read the summary first.

The second one has two parts to it. The first part is the content that would go into the USPA's Instructional Rating Manual. If the organization on that one seems a little weird, it's because it had to match the other sections of the IRM. The second part is the first flight course syllabus.

We'd welcome any constructive feedback.

Justin


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 1, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Oh, you mean Article IV, Section 9, paragraph 3: "No Butters Allowed." Wink

Gotcha.

[For the humor impaired, this is a joke - it doesn't refer to him by his dropzone.com nickname...]


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 1, 2009, 11:06 AM
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In reply to:
Oh, you mean Article IV, Section 9, paragraph 3: "No Butters Allowed." Wink

For now it's only a recommendation ... Laugh


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Jul 1, 2009, 11:09 AM
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"No.
Experienced jumper learning a new trick vs. 1st timer?
more like apples & orangutans. "

Again-you want to make minimum jump numbers a regulation-I don't see as anyone would argue the point. Hell, even require "RTFM". (Start with the SIMCrazy).

But sorry, but I can't help getting hung up on the comparisons....
TI, you're attached to the student.
AFFI, initially you're harness hold out the door with them, stabilize and pull for them if need be..
WS? They've already learned to jump, been doin it-
Yes, you're imparting knowlege to them pre jump,
But reality is even if you're flying right next to them-they're on their own once they're out the door......


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 1, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Re: [mccordia] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 wingsuit flying is definitely in need some some stricter policy as to who teaches what.
Viva la revolution..Wink
How do you conclude that?

For example if someone has more than 500 jumps it is excepted by governing body guidelines, and the manufacturers that they can just read the manual and proceed from there. Unless they want the benefit of some 1 on 1 with an experienced coach, instructor it is not a mandatory recommendation.

500 jumps use to mean someone had a few seasons of experiences, knew to take thing slower and not push the envelope,think about safety more, maybe even have had a cut away and saved themselves.

Does this need to change? AND WHY, examples please? What exactly are some current wingsuit instructors doing wrong or not doing that is drasticly different and harmful than someone ( with experience) just reading the manual on there own?

I gotta say this is the only skydiving discipline in my experience that has its own built in "wuffo fear/ TSA faction" within its ranks........ I expected much smarter than this.


peek  (D 8884)

Jul 1, 2009, 12:06 PM
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I ask that anyone suggesting that USPA "do something" about this issue take a step back and consider the following before getting into a lot of detail about the implementation of any program or rating.

1. Should USPA create or require "instructor" ratings for things being taught to licensed skydivers? This very basic question that needs to be answered first. If this is done it will create a precedent. Where will it stop? In other words, for every new "advanced" activity will USPA be expected to implement something? Does it have the resources to do that? Does it have the expertise to do that?

2. Understand the difference between BSR's and Recommendations, and decide which if either might be changed or added to.

3. At this point I think wingsuit recommendations are most similar to other "advanced" activities that licensed skydivers might do, like night jumps, water jumps, high altitude jumps. "Recommendations" seem to be working OK. (Few injuries/deaths.)


An additional topic to think about:

It seems like wingsuit flying is something that novice skydivers are in a very big hurry to try, to the extent of not following even the most basic recommendations. (You can include camera flying too.)

So I ask the skydiving community, "Are we failing these novice skydivers by not making available to them some type of activities in which they can have fun for a few hundred jumps and gain experience that will increase their margin of safety once they start participating in the more "advanced" activities?"


(This post was edited by peek on Jul 1, 2009, 12:08 PM)


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 1, 2009, 12:13 PM
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But have "we" considered the price of this new rating system? I'm just a fun jumper. I don't make any money from jumping this is not my job. No one has ever given me a suit or gear for free. I've taught people for the love of the sport.

If the process of being a wingsuit instructor becomes too much of a hassle, I'll simply stop doing it.
Yes as much as we like to complain about the gimmie ratings doled out over beers to friends we also need to consider that some of those easy bake ratings have given us some quality and available instructors along with some of the problem instructors. Those problem guys were ( are) not that big of a bad deal really, they are just silly.

People complain now that there are no instructors, of any quality or origin, or demo suits in their area. Wipe the slate clean and start over with a smaller fraction of governing body approved wingsuit instructors in fewer places and we will see a monumental increase in the plan C method of wingsuit first flights.

1 Buy a used suit ( all of those old style S3, V2, SM1 are so last year now that the new suits are out with a larger number following letter and a much better bargain than those classics.

2 Read the PDF manuals online. Read all of them its free

3 Watch a lot of You Tube video stuff for posing. Skip this step if you want.its only a recommendation.

4 Go to a boogie were the S&TA doesn't know you from Adam. After playing it cool and well behaved. Wait till manefest is real busy and get on a load solo.

For all of those viva la revolussheeiion movement guys that promiss to get out and be more places more often, who's traveling expenses will get grafted on to the costs of a first flight. You should get paid you are offically rated now not like all those other clowns from previous years..... My logic flow chart sez this will lead us to an increase in plan C first flights. Not all plan Cs are created equal, some have even lower quality.


Be real.


hjumper33  (F 1)

Jul 1, 2009, 1:26 PM
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Will I have to pay for a new license, (im fine with my A), pay for a coaches rating, pay to get wingsuit rated, and then pay to renew them evey year, all to do things the exact same way i do already?


bdrake529  (D 29503)

Jul 1, 2009, 1:29 PM
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Re: [peek] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
1. Should USPA create or require "instructor" ratings for things being taught to licensed skydivers? This very basic question that needs to be answered first. If this is done it will create a precedent. Where will it stop? In other words, for every new "advanced" activity will USPA be expected to implement something? Does it have the resources to do that? Does it have the expertise to do that?

This is an excellent point, and I'd like to hear a thorough answer from anyone on the pro-WSI rating side.

I'm a bit puzzled by the impetus for the call for USPA to regulate wingsuiting on the level of AFF and tandems. From the brief scanning of this thread I've done, it seems that "safety" is the driving motivation. But how many deaths/injuries can be attributed to manufacturer-rated instructors "not following the rules"? Perhaps 2 that I'm aware of (and even that's debatable). Are there more?

Each year's USPA fatality report shows multiple swooping deaths, most from people operating far below the USPA/manufacturer recommended experience for the maneuver, canopy choice, and/or wing loading. Is there a real probability that a USPA CPI rating system will be mandated any time soon? If USPA hasn't "regulated" canopy piloting instruction (which has a much worse safety record) yet, what makes us think they'll really bring the hammer down on wingsuiting first?

With that in mind, is the posted proposal really "in front of the train, running at the same speed than to be hit by it", or is it actually fueling a train that would run out of steam on its own before long?


notsane  (D 9465)

Jul 1, 2009, 2:03 PM
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That a really nice gesture, Spot. Thanks for that.

I'd like to ask folks here a slightly different question ... what if this proposed USPA approved WSI ratings system was instead a coordinated set of general guidelines, a single BSR for wingsuiting and wingsuiting instruction?

From the Long Island Skydiving website:
"Basic Safety Requirements. BSRs are USPA guidelines. They do not have force of law but are generally regarded as excellent minimum safety standards"

Could we all get behind something like that? Depending on the details, I think I could. It would have much of the clout with very little of the cost.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 1, 2009, 3:10 PM
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Quote:
As much as I like Jarno and the FlyLikeBrick folks, a proposal for USPA to regulate wingsuit instruction doesn't affect anyone but us USA folks. So, while their input is appreciated, it's us here who will reap whatever rewards or suffer whatever consequenses.

Just to clarify, outside of having some info on what USA/USPA wingsuit flying members are working on, we have ZERO involvement in all of this.
Outside of applauding the effort, and (if and when this comes through) advocating its use for our (and if possible neighbouring) countries.

Really breaking it down....It looks to me like the only critique people have on this is 'ooh shit...I may need to do 2 jumps to prove my skills' and follow one or two days of class to get everyone on one line in terms of instruction.....

I dont see the problem. Structure, safety and consistency in wingsuit FFCs regardless of which brand you fly. Thats the only goal as far as Im concerned.

Im just a bystander...but one who (so far) likes what he's seen...
And yes, even though Im not a USPA member, even Ill gladly sort out becoming one and taking the class required if it comes to that point sooner or later...


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Jul 1, 2009, 3:27 PM
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Re: [bdrake529] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

A couple different things that I have been thinking about.

First of all, since this particular discussion began as a response to a jumper not using their legstraps consider if the student had received instruction at the proper time. Who is to say that he would not have forgotten his legstraps at a later time? Is the instructor, properly rated or not, expected to hold the hand of every wingsuiter when they gear up?
Consider this person goes the next 20 WS jumps without an issue, but when he wants to hop on a load and has 5 minutes to gear up, he no longer has someone there holding his hand. His accident was not a matter of proper instruction. Now if the instructor was in charge of rigging up the student's suit and mis-rigged one of the arm cutaway cables around the reserve handle then by all means the instructor was at fault. But, then again the jumper should have checked his handles.

Secondly, someone with 100 jumps is not going to be grasping for a 96 Velo. Even low time jumpers realize it is quite a process to get to that sort of canopy proficiency. Therefore, they find other parts of the sport to keep them interested while they continue to get there numbers up and canopy skills down. Now, lets consider a wingsuit. Low time jumpers don't see wingsuiters doing what they do. They can't see them like they can see guys swooping the pond. Sometimes making it across and sometimes not. Low timers can't see a flat spin getting out of hand. They can't see a close call when someone buzzes the formation almost taking someone out. All they see is a bunch of guys getting down from a jump with the same smiles as everyone else. Also, when they read about a new Intro suit that is so easy to fly, doesn't get in the way of your hackey, and you can get right to your toggles, no wonder it is hard getting people to wait.
While it can be quite convenient to have a suit that zips from head to toe, is it so bad to have a suit that you must sit down to put it on?

Instead of looking at the problem from the end of instruction, how about looking at how our discipline is perceived? So easy a caveman could do it, may not be the approach. Say yes the wing can cover your hackey. Yes you could flat spin to the point of not getting to your handles. Yes you can fly yourself into other canopies. Yes the suit covers a portion of your rig and you can forget to use said portion. At my dropzone there are pictures of various CReW wraps, that look just plain ugly. Seeing that probably makes people think twice before going up to try some CReW with a buddy.

Keep it scary, keep it safe.

Just some stuff to consider before we go and get ourselves regulated, by non-wingsuiters.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 1, 2009, 4:04 PM
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Quote:
So easy a caveman could do it, may not be the approach.

As a caveman, I take great offense.

Quote:
Just some stuff to consider before we go and get ourselves regulated, by non-wingsuiters.

The threat of regulation by non-wingsuiters was precisely the reason I was willing to get involved. (Again, I'm not an instructor, coach, "experienced wingsuit jumper" as the SIM says, or even "helpful buddy". And I never will be.)

For what it's worth, the message I was hearing through the grapevine was that regulation was coming, and that proposals to regulate were being made.

It's worth noting, for example, that the proposal that Justin posted is not the only one that was submitted to the USPA. (I've not had access to the other one, however, so I can't comment on it.) I've worked with regulatory issues in a bunch of different industries (subject to a variety of different regulatory schemes), and one of the things that I've learned is that it's better to control the pen than be stabbed by it.

Quote:
BSRs are USPA guidelines. They do not have force of law but are generally regarded as excellent minimum safety standards. Could we all get behind something like that? Depending on the details, I think I could. It would have much of the clout with very little of the cost.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong (using that phrase on dz.com has got to be one of the most pointless things ever, since people will correct me regardless of whether I'm right or wrong), but the BSRs are the USPA's "basic safety requirements" (see SIM 2-1) for USPA member dropzones. There is no BSR relating to wingsuiting, unless I'm mistaken. However, there's a recommendation set forth in SIM 6-9.

So is what you're proposing, Scott, that the recommendations set forth in SIM 6-9 be made into requirements? If so, which ones? I'm assuming you mean just the 500 jump or 200 within 18 months and instruction recommendation, right?


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 1, 2009, 4:16 PM
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Quote:
Is the instructor, properly rated or not, expected to hold the hand of every wingsuiter when they gear up?

On jumps where you are hired as a coach/instructor. yes. Especialy when it comes to low experienced jumpers.
Though the missing gearcheck was one important aspect in the case you mention, the biggest one was someone teaching wingsuit flying before the generaly accepted experience level was reached for the student to even be allowed to actually make the first jump...

Wingsuit flying might not fully be the same as teaching an AFF course, but its also not on the same level as sitfly or CREW coaching.

Its introducing many new aspects in a jump in terms of gear, navigation, body restriction and added procedures in case of emergency. And thats all next to added difficulty in movement (flying).

During a FF, CREW or whatever coach jump, one can just say F*CK it, and quit the diveplan, and go back to normal freefall or canopyflight.
On a wingsuit, one can not. So I indeed rate it higher than 'just coaching' when it comes to FFCs.

The added mental and physical load requires someone to have an extra pair of eyes and an extra brain taking care of him/her.
Just like the current advice in the available programs. But what are the concequences if someone doesnt follow the advice he or she is teaching?
Nothing....he or she just does it again..and again...and again...

Its not making the sport safer..

Quote:
Just some stuff to consider before we go and get ourselves regulated, by non-wingsuiters.

And thats where you're missing the point IM(not so humble:)O

This thing going on now is 100% organized, written and set up by wingsuit flyers. Thinking about our best interests. Making sure we advance. Instead of making sure we get held back later..

With the current situation, and growing attention for our sport. keeping things the way they are (hiding our heads in the sand) is THE way to make sure we wake up one day and find a big set of rules and regulations made up by people who have no clue what it is we do...

Everyone thinks its 'them' making rules, while in fact it's 'us'....maybe not everyone here personaly. But people who know what they are talking about.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 1, 2009, 4:17 PM
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Everyone thinks its 'them' making rules, while in fact it's 'us'....maybe not everyone here personaly. But people who know what they are talking about.

Well, I did the proof reading, so 'people who know what they are talking about' and Donohue. Tongue


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jul 1, 2009, 4:34 PM)


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 1, 2009, 4:30 PM
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Really breaking it down....It looks to me like the only critique people have on this is 'ooh shit...I may need to do 2 jumps to prove my skills' and follow one or two days of class to get everyone on one line in terms of instruction.....
You are way over simplifying the probable end result. Many quality guys just won't take the steps to become the new and improved wingsuit instructor regardless of costs or time required. Some of us have a life. Two days to me are a pretty valuable resource not to be squandered.

All of this has come about because we , some of us not all, are tired from personal experience of a few assholes we believe to be tarnishing a part of our sport. So instead of encouraging the assholes to stop being assholes some of you want a more powerful sanctioned authoratative asshole...... NOT ME!

When it comes to assholes less is more! You can quote me on that.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 1, 2009, 5:11 PM
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Wingsuit flying might not fully be the same as teaching an AFF course, but its also not on the same level as sitfly or CREW coaching.

Its introducing many new aspects in a jump in terms of gear, navigation, body restriction and added procedures in case of emergency. And thats all next to added difficulty in movement (flying).
Do you even do CRW? Pulling a two stack at the end of a skydive with a sport canopy or larger more complex formations? CRW requires way more awareness in all of those things you mention above than wingsuits ever will. Emergency procedures that can change based on the situation. The possibility of being encouraged NOT to cut away until somebody else in the formation accomplishes some form of recovery first? Much more complex than a tandem.

You are right there is no comparison between CRW and WS, WS is a walk in the park by comparison. CRW relies on mentors and coaches that are not on any factory roster and will probably never see a USPA CRW instructor rating. Pretty good job of self policing and CRW is not new. Its been around for decades. Once more with the right gear and the right coach you are encouraged to play CRW with 50 jumps if you have the balls.
In reply to:








Quote:
Just some stuff to consider before we go and get ourselves regulated, by non-wingsuiters.


This thing going on now is 100% organized, written and set up by wingsuit flyers. Thinking about our best interests. Making sure we advance. Instead of making sure we get held back later..

With the current situation, and growing attention for our sport. keeping things the way they are (hiding our heads in the sand) is THE way to make sure we wake up one day and find a big set of rules and regulations made up by people who have no clue what it is we do...

Everyone thinks its 'them' making rules, while in fact it's 'us'....maybe not everyone here personaly. But people who know what they are talking about.


Regulated schmegmalated what secret pipeline of information leads you to believe that the regulators are coming? I don't know what I don't know but I do know that every time somebody is running around screaming we are going to get pinched by the regulator, complaining we all have our heads in the sand its typically one of our own with a pathological conspiracy theory disorder with their head up their ass trying to prove something they made up out of thin air "poof".

I can just see when these proposals are brought before the governing body the one word that pop into their minds regarding the presenters of this proposal,

"Pussies"


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 1, 2009, 5:26 PM)


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 1, 2009, 5:20 PM
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Glen..you are always the loudest voice when it comes to people flaunting a manufacturers rating...now that there might finaly be a program that makes sure it actually means something in terms of a rating, you say 'I dont want things to change'?

Though this could become a lengthy discussion, I think the simplified version is..

Rules and Regs. ARE gonna happen. Like it or not. And it doesnt matter what accident did or didnt start that process. But its happening. And some people want to try and make it the best one it can be.

Which is better than sticking your head in the sand while singing a happy song to make it go away....Tongue


bdrake529  (D 29503)

Jul 1, 2009, 5:38 PM
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Rules and Regs. ARE gonna happen.

Could you please explain this inevitability? Because Jay Stokes wrote an editorial where he floated the idea? Or is there something more substantive that leads you to this conclusion?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 1, 2009, 5:57 PM
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Re: [mccordia] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's even more simple than you're making it sound, Jarno.
Can you imagine the audacity of the USPA requiring someone demonstrate they can actually fly AND intelligently teach the subject which they claim to be able to teach and fly? My god! The nerve?!
Holy shit, to demand a higher level of competency from those that teach than merely 100 wingsuit skydives and a beer? How dare they?
Some may not recognize it, but the face of the USPA is changing. The president's editorial is merely one small piece of evidence that this is so. Glenn Bangs never would have had the balls to ask the question, let alone suggest an opinion.

For those thinking this all came about due to the Sebastian incident, you're wrong. The project began exactly one year ago, on July 10, 2008. When I presented it to the team that eventually came together in February 2009, a _lot_ of this was already put together, as any one of them will support. In fact, Monkey can attest to the fact that I showed small pieces of it to him during the Lodi event last year. The program I put together changed a lot, due to the thousands of jump experiences that other members of the team brought to the table, and it improved dramatically over what I'd written initially.

If wanting to get some of the shitty instructors out of the wingsuit instructing game makes me a pussy, Glen then all I can say to that is "meow."

I have a huge respect for instructors that can actually do what they claim to do, and know what they claim to know, and know how to teach in blocks and methods that stick with the student. Look at guys like Chuck Blue, Ed Pawlowski, etc, and there is great respect because not only can they fly well, but they've developed a solid teaching methodology based on their other instructional rating experiences. Look at most of the BMI/E guys, and you'll find mostly jokes being told (in the USA).

Self regulation hasn't worked. At all. As the discipline grows, DZO's find themselves less comfortable with what they see happening with wingsuiting. Some DZ's don't allow it. With a USPA-endorsed instructional rating (not regulation), it offers a greater level of credibility.
For those that don't hang a shingle as a wingsuit instructor, nothing at all will change. To suggest it's anything else is just FUD.
For those that do hang a shingle, what do you have to fear if you can actually demonstrate the skills you purport you possess? Is the 20.00 rating fee really that extreme?Crazy


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:03 PM
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In reply to:
Quote:
1. Should USPA create or require "instructor" ratings for things being taught to licensed skydivers? This very basic question that needs to be answered first. If this is done it will create a precedent. Where will it stop? In other words, for every new "advanced" activity will USPA be expected to implement something? Does it have the resources to do that? Does it have the expertise to do that?

This is an excellent point, and I'd like to hear a thorough answer from anyone on the pro-WSI rating side.

I'm a bit puzzled by the impetus for the call for USPA to regulate wingsuiting on the level of AFF and tandems. From the brief scanning of this thread I've done, it seems that "safety" is the driving motivation. But how many deaths/injuries can be attributed to manufacturer-rated instructors "not following the rules"? Perhaps 2 that I'm aware of (and even that's debatable). Are there more?

Each year's USPA fatality report shows multiple swooping deaths, most from people operating far below the USPA/manufacturer recommended experience for the maneuver, canopy choice, and/or wing loading. Is there a real probability that a USPA CPI rating system will be mandated any time soon? If USPA hasn't "regulated" canopy piloting instruction (which has a much worse safety record) yet, what makes us think they'll really bring the hammer down on wingsuiting first?

With that in mind, is the posted proposal really "in front of the train, running at the same speed than to be hit by it", or is it actually fueling a train that would run out of steam on its own before long?

+10! The WL charts arn't even enforced.
Don't wanna be rude but why does all the self important calls for "atmo needs instruction" joke keep echoing in my head....


bdrake529  (D 29503)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:06 PM
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Self regulation hasn't worked. At all.

Could you please elaborate? (I.e., provide evidence for this assertion)


tr027  (D License)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:08 PM
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Re: [VectorBoy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 Good posts Glen, I couldn't agree more and you explained it better than I would have; thanks for the posts. A vote on this would be great.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:11 PM
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Quote:
Don't wanna be rude but why does all the self important calls for "atmo needs instruction" joke keep echoing in my head....

Playing with yourself too much while not having enough people around for inteligent conversations?
Dunno...I give up?

DO tell!


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:29 PM
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In reply to:
Glen..you are always the loudest voice when it comes to people flaunting a manufacturers rating...now that there might finaly be a program that makes sure it actually means something in terms of a rating, you say 'I dont want things to change'?

Though this could become a lengthy discussion, I think the simplified version is..

Rules and Regs. ARE gonna happen. Like it or not. And it doesnt matter what accident did or didnt start that process. But its happening. And some people want to try and make it the best one it can be.

Which is better than sticking your head in the sand while singing a happy song to make it go away....Tongue

Jarno you get me but not quite. I am the loudest voice when someone is abusing a manufacturers rating or miss representing the authority it brings, which is none. The frauds have given us all that have been around a while a lot of ammo.

But you know what? There are instructors on the lists and off that do good work when it comes to first flights. Some always did from the start. The fact that I personally haven't had to give one in four years and that I meet more and more nice young people that have wingsuit skills and just also happen to have a rating. I haven't been aware of any abuses like in the old days. Good news does not merrit gossip but bad news travels fast. The good work is being done.

Trust me in my "perfect world" there wouldn't be any wingsuit instructors per se. Instead just like in the CRW and canopy piloting disciplines you would have sought after very experienced people that can guide some one new through the first flight and on through various levels and challenges. More like a mentor organizer. In a perfect world every DZ would have a little of each but currently we have to travel a little , its worth a little road tripping I think.

Next I'd like to point out you not one but two-epic fails
First you have no ( as in none, zilch, zero, nada) correlation between any fatalities and the current system of available WS instructors and how they conduct operations. If you think its hard to change my perspective on the matter without an once of conclusive data your dreaming if this approach will work with a board who has done this for a very long time who will easily screwtinize every nuance of a presentation with no hard facts. It will get torn to shreds. The presenters will get screwed, thanked on the way out, but you know.SlyLaughLaughLaughLaugh laughed at.

Your second epic fail is the failure to realize your plight ( its not mine) is nothing next to perfectly healthy jumpers flying perfectly flying canopies at high loadings into the perfectly hard ground.... The USPA would love to solve that one if it was as easy as throwing out some regs. They would be the heros. The canopy manufacturers would love it all around too. Shit, S&TAs are having a hard time keeping jumpers from doing 270s into each other on approach at DZs where anything over a 90 on approach is already BANNED! This is your second epic fail and its a biggy.

You claim we have a train headed our way, brother you don't even have a steam whistle. I'm not a customer nor provider of wingsuit instruction so when your train comes buy I simply step to the side off the track, which currently looks pretty rusted.

You will never ever sell me on a bigger improved shinyer turd than our current wingsuit instructor program. A governing body level wingsuit instructor turd will still smell like shit.

I guarantee you will have fewer participants in the program from our current rank of wingsuit instructors. You might even be able to travel all together to boogies in a jetta.Sly


skyjumpsteve  (D 14734)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:42 PM
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Good news does not merit gossip but bad news travels fast. The good work is being done.

I could not agree more. We have all been hearing stories about the "beer" rating for years. Give me a break. Move on. Let's talk about and give credit to the excellent instruction across the country (and world) that has allowed WS'ing to progress immeasurably over the past few years. I have seen FFC's at 10+ DZ's over the past 3 years and all were of excellent quality. Documented guidelines and recommendations would be great I just don't know if we need to go down the path of mandatory instructor ratings. This absolutely 100% would limit the growth of the discipline and IMHO would not make it any safer.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 1, 2009, 7:00 PM
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Re: [VectorBoy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

So many good points ... and yet we still have a few adults wanting to regulate all the other adults "for their own good".

Quote:
"All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse." Benjamin Franklin


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 1, 2009, 7:06 PM
Post #99 of 234 (1551 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 

If wanting to get some of the shitty instructors out of the wingsuit instructing game makes me a pussy, Glen then all I can say to that is "meow."

Crazy
Well Douglas I can see you are taking this personal. After all everybody behind this "thing" only wants to do good things, I will concede that all intentions are good from the movement. But do realize that taking WSI from a recommendation level to a governed, regulated level will not clean up its act. Not like some hope.

You , Jarno, me we've all been burned by frauds and hacks in the name of the badge. Its painful but as real men we have to get over it and take it like a man, dammit! This is just not a solution, not like you want. Not Like I want. We can't let our personal disdain for the bad factory guys manifest itself into something like this. This is the creation of a bigger abomination.

I love you like an inspiring older brother, with all you have accomplished in such a short time in the sport. I'll still love you but I can't on this one instance forgive.

Its not me calling you a pussies Douglas, brother. The governing body has been around this sport a long time, seen a lot of bad ideas, deadly practices as an SOP. Maybe even had their hands on a corpse. You will have to arguably prove the need. They will be harsh. Hopefully not openly.

To everyone else in the " movement" shut yer fuckin pussie mouth!


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 1, 2009, 7:26 PM)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 1, 2009, 7:25 PM
Post #100 of 234 (1541 views)
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Re: [bdrake529] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Self regulation hasn't worked. At all.

Could you please elaborate? (I.e., provide evidence for this assertion)

Race Price-Dead at 118 jumps.
Dan Kulpa-Dead at 110 jumps.


They "didn't know what they didn't know" apparently.

There are more, but there's the most recent.
Couple these with the unexpected, exponential growth in the WS discipline, how many fatalities are acceptable before such a program is put into place?

Other than "fear of regulation," I haven't seen an intelligent comment that demonstrates why a single, cohesive and consistent methodology of teaching based on decades of proven methods is an undesirable progression in wingsuiting. The AFF program has been wonderful for skydiving, and this program isn't terribly different.
It seems the main argument is "the big bad USPA wants to regulate us" when in truth (assuming one of the multiple proposals from different sources goes through) the only thing that happens is that instructors have to prove their claimed skills. Whether you're a Peewee baseball coach, a forklift operator, or a Xerox machine repairman, you have to prove your mettle and demonstrate you know your stuff. And you're accountable for your fuckups. No one wants accountability for their fuckups, so I understand the reluctance to accept such a program.

3 years ago, a 9 way diamond was considered a major feat in the WS world. 3 years later, a 71 way accomplished and a 100 way in the planning.

No other skydiving discipline has moved at the pace of wingsuiting. People weren't showing up on DZ's 10 years ago saying "I wanna learn to skydive so I can freefly." Now, there isn't a weekend goes by without having someone come to our DZ wanting to do a tandem "because he/she wants to fly a wingsuit."

Anyway, I've said enough on the subject, you can read the proposal the team I was on has submitted, it would be interesting to hear commentary on the proposal itself rather than bitching that a proposal has been made.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 1, 2009, 7:40 PM
Post #101 of 234 (2046 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post


Whoa!

What exactly caused Price to go in? Do you know? Are you sure?

There were a few people who chimed in to posts after Dan went in with statements like " this couldn't happen under our instructional program its the most stringent"----- borderline marketing.

Huge contempt for this!!!!!!!

These lads payed the ultimate price, no payment higher. Don't use them to prove your point you couldn't prove otherwise with real facts.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 1, 2009, 7:51 PM
Post #102 of 234 (2042 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 


No other skydiving discipline has moved at the pace of wingsuiting. People weren't showing up on DZ's 10 years ago saying "I wanna learn to skydive so I can freefly." "
Wrong again after a 14 year lay off I came back into the sport just to Freefly. Pat Works came back in after a pretty good RW career again just to freefly. I know another old guy with a lay off that came back.

We wingsuiters are not growing as fast as you claim. The wingsuiters do not have sequential formations the size that the FFers can pull off. We will not be surpassing them any time soon.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 1, 2009, 9:10 PM
Post #103 of 234 (2021 views)
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Re: [VectorBoy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Whoa!

What exactly caused Price to go in? Do you know? Are you sure?

There were a few people who chimed in to posts after Dan went in with statements like " this couldn't happen under our instructional program its the most stringent"----- borderline marketing.
They both died wearing wingsuits, Glen, and for the purpose of any FACTUAL discussion, that's all that matters. I know the "altitude awareness" argument is bullshit; Race jumped at that altitude all the time.

I agree, the Birdman newsletter posts written by BMI/E's claiming "this never could have happened under our program" in fact, already had. Race was trained by a BMI. It was cheap marketing at best.

Either way, the only *facts* in evidence of any authority, is they both died wearing wingsuits and were taught to wingsuit far earlier than recommended numbers. Every other aspect of any other argument is subjective and you damn well know it.

As far as proving the growth of wingsuiting vs other discipines, it's already been proven. You should have been at PIA where the evidence was shown. It's on the web as well, but frankly, I don't feel like doing your research for you. Spend a bit of time researching, maybe even a phone call to the USPA might help you find your answer. Even a simple Googlefight would give you a pretty good clue.

No one is claiming a USPA-sponsored program would eliminate fatalities and it's strawman for you to imply that anyone is saying so. What it does do is provide a cogent, consistent program that carries accountability and responsibility on the part of instructors, something that doesn't exist today.

Like I said earlier, no one wants to take responsibility for their fuckups, they'd just rather sweep em' under the rug and move on. I was raised to try to make a difference. I knew Race, I knew Dan. Maybe my passion is a misguided attempt to make a difference in the world, but at least I'm doing something rather than making excuses or ignoring it. Even pussies can put their balls on the line for something they believe in.
Meow.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:46 PM
Post #104 of 234 (1996 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 I know the "altitude awareness" argument is bullshit; Race jumped at that altitude all the time.
Douglas, altitude lack of awareness phenom has nothing to do with actual altitude. Usually its being engrossed in an activity with disregard to altitude to the detriment of the jumper. But in this very case it refers to a lack of the typical visual cues we are use to seeing. Ever flown over water with no land in sight? How about an un-typical barren moon like scape different from the farm scape at our DZ back home?

I know I had some trouble with the terrain at Moab for a few seconds on a jump or two and I have way more jumps than Price did. I've experienced the exact same over water with no land in sight both piloting aircraft and under canopy. Its not bull shit. Its documented but outside of any experience you've had with it. Not that I'm advocating you start swooping large ponds to experience it.

Remember I personally don't instruct anymore. I don't have a horse in the race, don't even have a horse suitable for a first flight course in the stable. Anything that happens won't happen to me or effect me personally one way or another. After reading the proposal in whole I don't think it will pass on its own merit unless there is some secret unknown legal action presently breathing down necks to get it in writing. Something akin to the skyride counter suit and wouldn't that be embarrassing for the governing body, twice.

So lets be clear my head is not in the sand, I have no fear one way or another, I'm not stupid enough to walk down any rail tracks so that is not a concern of being run over.

If this is beyond the well meaning intentions of a small group of friendly wingsuiters and more a concession to a pressing legal matter that has a gag order then its beyond a wingsuit forum discussion. It will explode in the bonfire, general,instructor, incidents forums in the end.

Time to join basejumper dot com or start the non -USPA dropzone forum @dropzone.com I guess.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 2, 2009, 5:45 AM
Post #105 of 234 (1949 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Other than "fear of regulation," ...

It isn't fear of, it's contempt for ...


bdrake529  (D 29503)

Jul 2, 2009, 11:26 AM
Post #106 of 234 (1885 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
No one is claiming a USPA-sponsored program would eliminate fatalities and it's strawman for you to imply that anyone is saying so.

No? When you stated "Self regulation hasn't worked. At all." and I asked for support for this statement, you replied with 2 fatalities and the vague statement "There are more...".

So if 2 fatalities is proof that "self-regulation hasn't worked. At all.", isn't it fair to infer from the construction of your statements that you're claiming a USPA-sponsored program (i.e., not self-regulation) would lead to fewer fatalities? And if there are only 2 being presented as the negative consequence of the current situation, then less would be 1 or 0. Since "no one is claiming...eliminate fatalities", we can then conclude that you're claiming the proposed program would result in 1 fatality? Please clarify.

And please also explain how those 2 fatalities were attributable to "self-regulation". Did not both Race and Dan know ahead of time the 200 jump min. requirement? Weren't both jumpers turned away from other DZs/FFC instructors and told to come back when they had the required experience? Spot, I've read in other posts of yours that you agree each young man was 100% responsible for his tragic end. How does 100% leave room to claim responsibility is also shared by "self-regulation"?

The reserve repack cycle is indeed "regulation", from the FAA no-less. Yet I know several people that haven't had their reserves repacked in years. They simply pencil-pack when they need to. Should, God forbid, any of these people ever suffer tragic consequence due to a defective reserve, regulations will have been impotent to save them from their own decisions.

There is no way to ensure regulations are 100% followed, and those who choose to ignore recommendations, requirements, and regulations, can always find a way to slip through. At that point, isn't the responsibility theirs alone?


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jul 2, 2009, 11:58 AM
Post #107 of 234 (1864 views)
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Re: [Butters] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd call it a wide sweeping solution looking for a problem.
Are we overrun with 'bad' WS instruction?
If there is a problem, isn't it with just with low number jumpers? Do we need a whole new USPA program for Wingsuit Instructor Ratings to solve that problem?
Here is my idea: Lobby for the 200 jump minimum REQUIREMENT. RECOMMEND that instructors use the fine manual that has been developed, and let the INDIVIDUAL decide who is a good instructor and who isn't. When the USPA has ratings for FF, Crew, and Swooping Instructors will be a fine time to do it for WS. Not before.
How is a 50-100 jump wonder to know who is a good WS Instructor? He wouldn't need to know until 200 jumps, if you get that simple change alone.
At 200 jumps an individual should be able to make their own decision about who to train with, and I see no reason to add new requirements for those with 500 jumps. There is zero evidence that this group requires an instructor at all.
Of course, I'd recommend they use one.
Most of the time people complain about unsafe training, it's really about low timers that shouldn't have been there in the first place. 200 jumps is a reasonable number for anybody, I think, then find your own way to the sky. Nobody is going to be pulling for you if you get it wrong. When WS Instructors start flying in and saving people is when they should have ratings.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 2, 2009, 12:06 PM
Post #108 of 234 (1854 views)
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Re: [bdrake529] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Brian, the quoted fatalities might not have been illiminated by new regulations (or actually, current regulations just being enforced more strickt). And I dont think thats what DSE is saying.

But those fatalities maybe did help in putting us as a dicipline 'on the map' more, with regards to 'outside' people looking into how stuff is organised.

And the sad truth there is...there isnt a whole lot of organised stuff looking across the board...especially with some key-figures who are teaching the current standard/recommendations not even following their own rules and recomendations...

A reboot would be a good thing...


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 2, 2009, 12:27 PM
Post #109 of 234 (1839 views)
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Re: [bdrake529] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

  Well as I understand it this proposal was initially, partially drafted before the recent fatalities. Not driven by an event in particular but more from the dissatisfaction of a few with what we currently have for wingsuit instruction. Exactly what is lacking in the current system and precisely how it is failing is a bit of a mystery.

The statement that a factory instructor would be willing to bend the current recommendations just to "make a sale" is pure speculation. I'm sure rules have been disregarded for all kinds of bad reasons more like personal judgement and factors that can't be placed back on factory sale quotas. Maybe the factories love this movement because they can stop wasting resources on instructor qualification and all the responsibility can be shifted to a governing body. The makers can get back to just designing and selling suits. After all nobody is taking the roster guys seriously, not even the guys on the roster. It would be a load off them for sure.

Despite the claim this draft is not being driven by incidents or events. There is this constant abstract correlation between the recent fatalities but yet no direct link of a specific failure mode of the current system to these events. Sadly this is a lot like rolling out the gimp in a wheelchair to support the Brady bill ( y'all let me know if I need to delete this sentence if it violates forum rules). Yet everything proposed does nothing to guarantee these events won't happen again.

This reminds me of some canopy skills related proposal by jumpers themselves ( we) that was going around back in 03 were jumpers would have to demonstrate skills before being allowed on higher performance canopys or a higher loading of their current wing, a grass roots movement with USPA regulation. The responsibility would have fallen largely on the DZ's and the S&TAs or really the extra S&TAs needed to enforce this. The increase in staffing cost would in no doubt be passed on to jump tickets.

Whatever happened to that one?


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 2, 2009, 12:43 PM)


bdrake529  (D 29503)

Jul 2, 2009, 12:34 PM
Post #110 of 234 (1831 views)
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Re: [mccordia] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
especially with some key-figures who are teaching the current standard/recommendations not even following their own rules and recomendations

Under a new system, such a person would be in danger of losing their WPI rating, correct? But how would USPA know? Someone would have to report them, wouldn't they?

If someone is motivated enough to end someone else's wingsuit teaching career by reporting them to the USPA, why can't they simply out them publicly in the current arrangement? No one is preventing a "BAD Wingsuit Instructor - Avoid these people" thread from popping up here on DZ.com, or a "Wanted" style poster being put up at the DZ.

Wingsuit instruction is usually sought out by the student and if the student is heads-up enough to check if the prospective instructor has an official WPI badge, isn't it reasonable to expect them to spend a few minutes online checking the "wall of bad instructors" thread to prevent being taught by an unskilled or irresponsible teacher?


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 2, 2009, 12:59 PM
Post #111 of 234 (1810 views)
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Re: [bdrake529] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 

If someone is motivated enough to end someone else's wingsuit teaching career by reporting them to the USPA, why can't they simply out them publicly in the current arrangement? No one is preventing a "BAD Wingsuit Instructor - Avoid these people" thread from popping up here on DZ.com, or a "Wanted" style poster being put up at the DZ.
Yes you could have a sticky on this page featuring the culprits. There could be a section in each of the quarterly factory online newsletters. A little blurb in wingsuit world news. Scratch the names off the instructor roster. Nothing harsh mind you. Just something very diplomatic and professional. Then there is always a gentle reminder to those that apply to become a factory instructor. How its a serious responsibility, the publics perception of our beloved sport is at risk along with lives. How its a great honor and a priveledge, a priveledge that can be revoked if needed.

How about just as carefull screening of the instructor candidates as first flight candidates. " Why" do you wan't to become an instructor? To get rich, get chicks, get free suits, respect?

Nobody wants to be the bad guy, or the lead bad guy, when it comes to self policing. We want big brother to handle the dirty work and keep our hands clean.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 2, 2009, 1:01 PM)


BASEjumper375  (D License)

Jul 2, 2009, 2:28 PM
Post #112 of 234 (1766 views)
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Re: [VectorBoy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

As I have read and followed this lengthy thread, several questions come to mind. As someone who has some expertise in crafting propositions that engender trust and acceptance --- much of this dialog suffers from classical change management issues inhibiting buy-in. Full disclosure and willingness to accept the feedback, participation, and will of the community of stakeholders can only strengthen and improve the final product.

Without taking any sides or position, without intending to make any accusations - Please answer the following (which may help to raise the trust factor relative to the altruistic intentions here).

Who were ALL the contributors to the proposal?

Do they currently run or are they affiliated with a wingsuit school? If so, which ones?

Of the contributors, which contributors have USPA ratings and which ratings?

When did these contributors get their ratings?
Recently?

Do any of these contributors make a significant part of their income from skydiving?

Was there any non-advocate review done by parties not affiliated with the team, thus mitigating potential conflicts of interest?

Was there an intent to use such ratings as a discriminator for marketing or promotional purposes relative to other instructors or schools?

Was there a reason for a few individuals taking the proposal to the USPA without comment from the wider community of stakeholders?

Would the authors be open to pulling the current proposal pending before the USPA for wider comment and refinement based upon greater input?

Who would likely be tapped as Instructor/Examiners for the WSI? Who will certify the WSI I/Es?

If we believe our cause is just and without suspect, then we should not fear the light of day.

One option could be to make incremental steps rather than universal changes. Would the team be open to enjoining in consideration of such an approach? For example, moving current recommendations to requirements within the BSRs? Encouraging greater caution and information within the SIM?


(This post was edited by BASEjumper375 on Jul 2, 2009, 5:30 PM)


SuperGirl  (D 30091)

Jul 2, 2009, 2:38 PM
Post #113 of 234 (1756 views)
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Re: [BASEjumper375] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Who were ALL the contributors to the proposal?

Do they currently run or are they affiliated with a wingsuit school? If so, which ones?

Was there a reason for a few individuals taking the proposal to the USPA without comment from the winder community of stakeholders?

dude did you read the fuckin thing?
go back this thread to the links to all the documents justin posted and READ... names and other answers to your questions are all in there.

In reply to:
Would the authors be open to pulling the current proposal pending before the USPA for wider comment and refinement based upon greater input?

again, read through the thing and see that they actually ask uspa for a period of time in which the wingsuit community can digest this, comment on it, provide feedback/input...


BASEjumper375  (D License)

Jul 2, 2009, 2:42 PM
Post #114 of 234 (1754 views)
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Re: [SuperGirl] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Who were ALL the contributors to the proposal?

Do they currently run or are they affiliated with a wingsuit school? If so, which ones?

Was there a reason for a few individuals taking the proposal to the USPA without comment from the winder community of stakeholders?

dude did you read the fuckin thing?
go back this thread to the links to all the documents justin posted and READ... names and other answers to your questions are all in there.

In reply to:
Would the authors be open to pulling the current proposal pending before the USPA for wider comment and refinement based upon greater input?

again, read through the thing and see that they actually ask uspa for a period of time in which the wingsuit community can digest this, comment on it, provide feedback/input...

Thank you SuperGirl ---

I did read the entire thing.

I stand by my questions --- no offense meant.

I am actually attempting to help here -- full disclosure helps to foster trust and buy-in.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 2, 2009, 5:03 PM
Post #115 of 234 (1711 views)
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Re: [mccordia] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:

Really breaking it down....It looks to me like the only critique people have on this is 'ooh shit...I may need to do 2 jumps to prove my skills' and follow one or two days of class to get everyone on one line in terms of instruction.....

That is not an accurate summary at all.

I am against the proposal and since I have no interest in being a WS instructor/coach, your statement doesn't apply.

The issue is that this is a solution in search of a problem. There has not been an epidemic of accidents due to the poor quality of WS instruction under the status quo.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 2, 2009, 5:32 PM
Post #116 of 234 (1690 views)
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Re: [kallend] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
There has not been an epidemic of accidents due to the poor quality of WS instruction under the status quo.

Noop..luckely most FFCs with poor and/or way premature wingsuit instruction ended okayWinkTongue


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 2, 2009, 5:53 PM
Post #117 of 234 (1677 views)
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Re: [VectorBoy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 Does anybody else who has been around wingsuiting since the very early part of the decade, before any WS factory instructor program, think its Ironic that we sit here looking at a proposal of sweeping changes of a regulatory nature motivated on the high profile ill actions of a derelict select few within the factory instructor ranks?

The BMI program, the first, was concocted to ensure the quality of the FFC. It was there to protect us from rebel mentors of unknown quality and integrity. Remember the rebel WS instructors that were portrayed to be the doom of us all? Those rebel I s were projected to plunge wingsuiting into bannishment at one DZ after another. Those rebels could never be as good as the factory guys that were personally screened and flight test by the man Jari himself, with Chuck and Scott standing by. Remember those days? Chuck himself conceded that once they left he had no control over what happened. All that was between them and their dropzones. Then Pf came out with their roster.

The rebel instructor guys never went away, some flourished. It was perfectly acceptable just to be a mentor under the recommendation system. So we had the factory guys doing their course. Every once in a while some of them would do something silly we would all take notice but most of the real work was getting done. Then you had the independent instructors making their contribution of new wingsuiters without their Jari stamp. Just a low profile contribution of first timers.

We also had the people that had more than enough jumps 500+ and did it on their own. This jived with the recommendations.

So now we want to turn the whole thing upside down and close off avenues to first flights from the privateers and those with enough experience? Really not the disciplines target problem area I would say. All of this because of a few problem spots from the factory institution that was created to protect us from problems?

How bout the chief factory guys clean house first, or at least attempt some rehabilitation of the ranks of those who were trusted to protect us from bannishment before we give it up to higher order management?


notsane  (D 9465)

Jul 2, 2009, 7:29 PM
Post #118 of 234 (1656 views)
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Re: [BASEjumper375] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Great summary and insight, Frank.


notsane  (D 9465)

Jul 2, 2009, 7:34 PM
Post #119 of 234 (1650 views)
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Re: [VectorBoy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

All this discussion is great, as long as we keep it civil, and respect that the other guy, who disagrees with you, has good reasons for having their own point of view.

But none of this counts as a vote in the final tally.

If you want a vote, for or against, email your USPA regional director with your *reasoned* opinion. Include your USPA number and main dropzone.

http://www.uspa.org/...bid/140/Default.aspx

Scott


IslandGuy  (C License)

Jul 2, 2009, 8:08 PM
Post #120 of 234 (1641 views)
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THE NOTION
IMO, the proposed regulations are a complex solution for a non-existent problem. Furthermore, with the exception of AFF and Tandem, regulation of this nature is unprecedented in our sport, and for good reason, it is not needed. This isn't salvation - it's the train.

THE PRECEDENT
If you take the stance that it is warranted for wingsuits (which after doing some basic arithmetic actually shows a fine safety record), then it is warranted for other disciplines as well. Take this same document and substitute CRW, or Camera Flying, or Swooping, or Canopy Control, or Sky Boarding, etc. in place of Wingsuit, then the USPA governing body will have all the bases covered. Other disciplines should take note of what is happening here.

THE PROBLEM
DZOs not allowing wingsuits?
WSIs certified over a beer?
Bad instructors everywhere?
I must be living in an Easter Egg, I’m not seeing it, not to say it isn‘t happening, just a phantom problem as far as I‘m concerned.

Self regulation IS working - aside from the two very questionable incidents, wingsuiters are not dying. You can shout as loud as you want that it’s all going to hell in a hand basket, but that doesn’t make it true. The numbers don’t lie. I don’t buy it. You shouldn’t buy it.

THE COSTS
It's not the $20, it's the:
1. Coach Rating ($$$?) (I’ll bet not many current WSIs have a Coach rating.)
2. 2-Day WSI course - guessing here: ($200-$400-$???)
3. 4 jumps x 2 people x $25 = $200
4. 8 pack jobs x $6 = $48
5. Travel to/from the DZ. accommodations = $$$?
6. and everything else, meals, beer, gift for the GF or wife for taking a 3-day weekend.
7. Time off work/vacation.
8. plus, whatever else you’d be doing with that time - called life.

THE ASSUMPTIONS
1. That there will be a whole new group of better trained and available instructors.
More likely - the regulations will take qualified and experienced instructors and force them out of being WSIs. The regulation’s intent of weeding out the “bad” instructors will be foreshadowed by the reality that flocks of experienced and qualified instructors will abandon their instructing activities.
2. That regulation is going to make the wingsuiting safer.
More likely - that it will make it more dangerous by restricting access to good WSIs, tempting folks to self teach, do it on their own.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
1. Anyone that wants to get around the regs is going to amend (falsify) their logbook to show a WS flight before the “enforcement date”.
2. All these logbook entries - do they have to be signed?
3. If they are wingsuit solo jumps, who signs off on those ?
4. How about the folks whose logbook is their Neptune?
5. If you have more than 2 people in the 2-day WSI class, then the instructor can't possibly make the jumps and critique everyone on the 3rd day.
6. Are there enough first flight students to support the number of FFCs required by WSIs and WSI/Es to maintain currency? Especially in some parts or the country, I doubt it.
7. And, BTW, what do you do for two days in a classroom (one-on-one, two-on-one, you can complete all 7 levels of AFF in a weekend)?

IMO
First off, I have no vested interest in any of what is being proposed, other than the good health of the sport. I'm a fun jumper... don't make a penny off any thing wingsuit related.

Despite what has been suggested, wingsuiters do not exist in a state of chaos. Facts prove quite the opposite. You don’t go from 9-ways to 71-ways in 3 years without viable self organization. To subscribe to the notion that everything is going to deteriorate and people will start dying if we do nothing is an unfounded and unsubstantiated fear.

All the information and instruction one needs to safely learn to wingsuit is out there, internet, books, many qualified instructors. What exists - works.

What’s surprising is that no wingsuit manufacturer has put together the instructional material in a DVD that they ship with the suit that covers the course or attempted to standardize the instructional material amongst the industry at large. A missed opportunity.

I concur, the proposed regulation is well crafted and highly polished, but it’s still a turd. I believe that what is proposed will do more harm than good.
-------------------------------------
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Karl Marx


DesertDevil  (D 6323)

Jul 2, 2009, 10:23 PM
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, the Birdman newsletter posts written by BMI/E's claiming "this never could have happened under our program" in fact, already had. Race was trained by a BMI. It was cheap marketing at best.
Quote:

I'd like to clear something up right here. There were three wingsuit instructors in Utah at the time of Race's death. Neil, who is a Phoenix Fly instructor; Baxter, who is a Phoenix Fly instructor and examiner and a BMI; and me (I am a Phoenix Fly instructor and BMI) . Not one of us took Race on his first flight course. Race was not trained by a certifed wingsuit instructor. Race learned to fly a wingsuit from his friends, who were not wingsuit instructors. The accident happened in Moab--not one of us was at that Boogie.

Shame on you to use his death like this.

For the rest of you, have a great 4th of July.

Faris


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 3, 2009, 6:34 AM
Post #122 of 234 (1533 views)
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Re: [notsane] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
All this discussion is great, as long as we keep it civil, and respect that the other guy, who disagrees with you, has good reasons for having their own point of view.

But none of this counts as a vote in the final tally.

What? I'm the most diplomatic anti establishment wingsuit guy I know.AngelicLaughLaughLaugh
Alright, I'll try to keep my vulgarity in check. Its hard when I don't have the artist formerly known as Voodoo to work with in these matters.

And I do have compasion for the group that but this together. They are not strangers to me, I understand their delema.

But despite what everybody is saying this is just a more thought out polished response to previous years "consumer panic". There is no regulation coming, no train to run us over. The governing body does not have the resources. There is no infrastructure to support it. There is absolutely no need for it and that is easily proven. Its a cycle that keeps repeating itself here every few years, largely rumor driven, nothing more.


BASEjumper375  (D License)

Jul 3, 2009, 5:06 PM
Post #123 of 234 (1457 views)
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Re: [BASEjumper375] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As I have read and followed this lengthy thread, several questions come to mind. As someone who has some expertise in crafting propositions that engender trust and acceptance --- much of this dialog suffers from classical change management issues inhibiting buy-in. Full disclosure and willingness to accept the feedback, participation, and will of the community of stakeholders can only strengthen and improve the final product.

Without taking any sides or position, without intending to make any accusations - Please answer the following (which may help to raise the trust factor relative to the altruistic intentions here).

Who were ALL the contributors to the proposal?

Do they currently run or are they affiliated with a wingsuit school? If so, which ones?

Of the contributors, which contributors have USPA ratings and which ratings?

When did these contributors get their ratings?
Recently?

Do any of these contributors make a significant part of their income from skydiving?

Was there any non-advocate review done by parties not affiliated with the team, thus mitigating potential conflicts of interest?

Was there an intent to use such ratings as a discriminator for marketing or promotional purposes relative to other instructors or schools?

Was there a reason for a few individuals taking the proposal to the USPA without comment from the wider community of stakeholders?

Would the authors be open to pulling the current proposal pending before the USPA for wider comment and refinement based upon greater input?

Who would likely be tapped as Instructor/Examiners for the WSI? Who will certify the WSI I/Es?

If we believe our cause is just and without suspect, then we should not fear the light of day.
--------------------------------------------------------

About the authors – pulled from Google searches.

Douglas Spotted Eagle – Flock University, VASST & USPA-AFFI Rating

Scotty Burns – Flock University & USPA-Coach Rating

Scott Callantine – Flock University / World Record - Big Way Plane Captain & USPA Tandem, AFFI and Static Line Ratings

Jeff Donohue – Flock University

Sean Horton – Flock University & USPA-Coach Rating

Jeff Nebelkopf – World Record - Big Way Founder / Organizer & USPA-Coach Rating

Phil Peggs – Flock U Wingsuit School/Team, World Record - Big Way Organizer

Justin Shorb – Flock University / World Record - Big Way Plane Captain & USPA-Coach Rating

Chris Warnock - VASST

Taya Weiss - World Record - Big Way Lead Organizer & USPA-Coach Rating


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Jul 3, 2009, 7:24 PM
Post #124 of 234 (1412 views)
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Re: [BASEjumper375] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

About the authors – pulled from Google searches.

Scott Callantine – Flock University / World Record - Big Way Plane Captain & USPA Tandem, and Static Line Ratings

CLARIFICATION ON ME--> Please note that in the search results mentioned I am noting that I am not currently rated as an AFFI nor am I claiming to be. I have just under 4000 jumps and have been jumping for ~18 years. Not that this adds any additional merit but I also hold a SEL Pilots license with about 700+ hours of total PIC time..

WOW!! This is really getting a lot of discussion. I wanted to chime in here to at least give my point of view.. I was asked to review and give opinion on the proposal with the next step being asked to give comment and add to the existing (at the time) rough draft sections. I was asked as a very active member of the wingsuit community in terms of active jumping, Organizing at various Boogies, involvement in the record jumps and future attempts and of course FFC training of which I do not rely on in any terms of my overall $ viability in real life.... When approached, it was my understanding that there was at least 1 other group working towards a similar proposal for USAP and the beginnings of this came from members of the USPA Board looking into an increased involvement from the USPA with WS community. That said, the opportunity to be involved in the future direction of WS training was worth helping out with, a little of being in front of the train compared to getting run over with it attitude. Through conference calls and a fair bit of back and forth discussion amongst the named group, we generated the proposal that Justin made public. Is it perfect, well obviously a lot don't think so but at the same time this group felt the need to and had a stated goal of working within the existing USPA SIM/IRM format. This was paramount in the formulation of the proposal but so was the need to eventually get open feed back on the proposal as was stated in the documents which is where we are now.

My participation was also encouraged by the possibility that some involved members of USPA Board were looking at more wingsuit regulation (editorial that sparked by this thread given as an example) . My personal opinion is that WS training and self regulation has previously been good but with the extremely fast growth and a wide range of Instructor abilities leaves a system that is not with out faults. Looking through the posts and the statements in this thread either for or against the belief that our self regulation is working, it is obvious that there is a big difference of opinion. My personal feeling is that some additional testing to consolidate to an accepted standard both for First Flight Participants and for the people giving the FFC's, e.g. the WSI's, would not be a bad thing... I think we can all agree that there is an accepted standard that should be adhered to with the 200 in 18 months or 500 total. Is the term "WingSuit Instructor" the big bugaboo for people?? Would an Advanced Coaching rating be a better fit??? Leve it as it sits now and hope something does not come our way later we did not work at creating??? I don't know for sure and the point of an open discussion is to better gain that understanding.

Given the parameters of my involvement in the process to date, We put forth a program that met our goals when we became involved as a group:

--> One that fits into existing USPA instructional structure
--> One that does not deviate from the accepted "Standard" for beginning WS flyers
--> One that would add a level of consistency in to training FFC's
and
--> One that would help standardize the minimum requirements for the people teaching Wing Suit flying based on teaching and flying abilities.

I think the proposal does met those goals and has moved on to the "Open Discussion" mode. No idea if it will get accepted or not by USPA now, later or never but I do hope it has raised a level of awareness that we all have a responsibility to not only skydiving but also our wingsuit sub-group in the sport. Countless hours has been spent on this not to hurt the system but to help it. Taken in that context I believe that the proposal can help move us to an agreement or common ground and improve the sport. This proposal has not yet passed and if it does as is or in some variation or not at all, increased awareness is NOT a bad thing though sticking your head in the sand to save the same old same old will put us squarely in a bad position.

Scott Callantine
D-16437
USPA TM-I, S/L-I


(This post was edited by sdctlc on Jul 3, 2009, 7:25 PM)


pms07  (D 7571)

Jul 3, 2009, 8:37 PM
Post #125 of 234 (1386 views)
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Re: [sdctlc] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Scott,

It's well thought out and written proposal. Here's a question I'm curious about though (okay, maybe more than one question...). Why does the the future of the FFC have to fit within this concept: "One that fits into existing USPA instructional structure"?

Seems like there are other options including something like developing a comprehensive educational guide/lesson plan for beginner wingsuit flyers and experienced wingsuit flyers/coaches. The SIM is obviously inadequate...

And isn't that instructional structure designed to deal with unlicensed/not yet "A" qualified students? I'm not sure this new direction is good precedence for USPA. Thoughts?

I also want to understand how very experienced skydivers (zero wingsuit jumps...) fit into this model. Does it work the same for a guy with 4000 jumps, vice the guy with the minimum 200, for a FFC?

Any thoughts on what this will potentially do for those of us at smaller drop zones out in the midwest? What kind of access to a FFC do you think this will give us? I can tell you that where I normally jump and at the nearest 3 or 4 drop zones, there is no market currently to keep such a rating current. That might result in the only option for a FFC is to go to Florida or wherever (same for someone very experienced that wants to seek a WSI rating...).

Is this the proposal the one the S&T committee has in hand? I've seen another that is similar, though not as lengthy and complete. If so, why the late public viewing just about a week prior to the BoD meeting? Or was this proposal meant to be considered at a later time or BoD meeting?

I appreciate the hard work and thought you and others have put into this proposal. I want to better understand it and all the ramifications so appreciate any insight you have. Thanks!

Pat


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 3, 2009, 10:15 PM
Post #126 of 234 (1853 views)
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Re: [pms07] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Scott,

It's well thought out and written proposal. Here's a question I'm curious about though (okay, maybe more than one question...). Why does the the future of the FFC have to fit within this concept: "One that fits into existing USPA instructional structure"?

I'll answer this since the "request/directive" I received was to "make it fit within the existing structure."
Firstly, THANK YOU for taking the time to actually read it.
Rather than the words "existing structure" the words "formatting and language" are probably a better description. The SIM is already a little difficult to read, and woefully inadequate in some places as is the IRM when you jump from section to section, because the various sections are by different authors. Recently some mistakes were found in the newest bylaws and SIM as well, simply because of things being changed around.
With this in mind, language and paragraphical formatting plus paragraphical and linguistic referencing was matched to the IRM and SIM as much as possible. Yet the teaching methods are quite a bit different than the IRM methods used for say, AFF, S/L, IAD. Because the wingsuit skydive is an entirely different type of skydive, there are some components that treat experienced skydivers as though they have no jumps, because in fact, they have no WS jumps.

Then there was the challenge of creating a rating that would fit within the ORGANIZATIONAL structure. That too, brought some challenges and a _tremendous_ amount of discussion between all of the team members working on the project. This group was by no means a "happy feely, we all agree on everything" effort, which is why I personally feel we met the goal asked for. We wanted a rating that wasn't a cakewalk to achieve that would assure quality instructors, but that wasn't so difficult to achieve that it was like gaining an AFFI rating, either.
To answer your next question, experienced jumpers aren't treated any differently than 200 jump jumpers.
Keep in mind that the USPA essentially just rubber-stamped the original Birdman recommendations from years back, and this doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing, just because it's been the accepted norm. As mentioned up-thread, John Mitchell and Jay Stokes are both EXCEPTIONALLY experienced skydivers, and both very much appreciated "new" things learned in their FFC's.
We did talk a lot about the small Cessna DZ's, and that was one of the determining factors when creating recommendations for the minimum WSI requirements as well. We see people from small Cessna DZ's at the large flocking events and bigway camps, and so it shouldn't be too much of a hardship for these folks to become WSI's, and/or there are of course, always boogies where there will continue to be free or low-cost FFC's just like there are now. Keeping the rating current is very easy, IMO. If you're not doing a couple FFC's a year...you probably don't want/need the rating anyway. Bear in mind, coached WS jumps have merit to currency.
As far as what the S&T committee has, the document you're seeing here online is the same one as was handed over to them earlier, excepting one small deletion.
One other clarification I'd like to make about the people involved, the post above this one mentions Chris Warnock, but not his AFFI, TI, Senior Rigger, and World Record CRW status/ratings, nor does it mention Taya Weiss holds a USPA Coach rating, as does Jeff Nebelkopf. FWIW, I hold Coach, PRO, and AFFI ratings. If this current proposal passes, all wingsuit Instructors will be required to pass.
That said, there is at least one other proposal that was submitted to USPA that is much less complete than ours is, submitted by another person/team. I'd hate for ours to be mixed up with theirs.
Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 3, 2009, 10:39 PM
Post #127 of 234 (1845 views)
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Re: [sdctlc] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 This proposal has not yet passed and if it does as is or in some variation or not at all, increased awareness is NOT a bad thing though sticking your head in the sand to save the same old same old will put us squarely in a bad position.

Scott Callantine
D-16437
USPA TM-I, S/L-I
What?!?!

Sticking our head in the sand to save the same old same old? How exactly has the same old not worked as recommended?

A long time ago there were people who were trusted to take the box of demo suits from one boogie to the next, call them suit porters. It was a thankless demeaning job. An informal instructor title was created for these poor schleps to give them more prestige than just being suit porters. Since they had some, even if only a little, knowledge of wingsuit flying they could answer the off the wall questions someone wanting to demo a suit might ask even though all the common sense stuff is handled by the manual,

Later to save money the factory just mailed the suits to the next event. After an attempt to save money on shipping insurance failed and demo suits were lost in transit the factory encouraged these suit porters who were now factory fleet instructors to invest in their own training suits. Boom now we have our modern instructors of the current day. The company tells us that they are awefully good at what they do and should be sought out for instruction. Fair enough.

One of the most prolific and respected suit porter/ instructors , Chuck Blue, with over 45 suits from every manufacturer and a lot of experience takes up a new bird. The report is that the new bird does a flat spin so hard he pops blood vessels in his eyes, but recovers and goes on to get a great deal of experience himself. I haven't personally seen the video, or any videos of flat spins, but I except their statements as honest enough.

That bird, Jeff N, goes on to get a great deal of his own experience. Not just in flying but also in teaching new birds , organizing and suit development for Tony suits. Years later with a lot of experience under his belt he takes up a new bird. An experienced skydiver well within the guidelines of the USPA recommendations and this new bird, she gets unstable, words like flat spin are used post dive to describe the jump ( yes she lived).

We are talking two of the most experienced wingsuit instructors at the time of these events. You will not argue that and win. Both take up students well within the excepted guidelines, no jump number funny business. The jumps go less than perfect but yet our heros are helpless to intervene and save the day. They can only watch and hope the students save themselves. Which in these cases they do.

So now we have a couple of different proposals from a few different groups advocating the creation of a super USPA instructor. " to ensure they can actually fly like they say they can fly" For what? I don't care if you create a person who can fly a wingsuit to mars and back before beerlight. When things go bad or real bad on a first flight what will they give us? Better hand signals? Fantastic horrific video? Do you really expect them to grapple with a flying cuisinart of a tumbling first flight gone bad? Your USPA instructor will be helpless despite flying skills just like anyone before instructor or otherwise.

What do you really want a more capable instructor , like that will make a difference, or do you want gear porters to stop letting under qualified jumpers get their hands on gear? Good luck stopping loaners and classified deals. Better yet how about creating a super knowledge database with everything one needs to know in regards to wingsuits. Put it on 3 DVDs. yes it will fit we are not that special.

BTW stop saying some of us have our heads in the sand. We see the facts, we understand the emotions and we see those very emotions cloud your vision from the facts. In fact we can say you guys have your heads in your own cool-aid.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 3, 2009, 10:46 PM)


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 4, 2009, 4:45 AM
Post #128 of 234 (1797 views)
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Re: [BASEjumper375] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Jeff Donohue – Flock University

Huh. I always thought of myself as a Leo who likes long walks on the beach and fireside conversation.

Impressive research effort, but a little off. I was trained by Flock University instructors - and I certainly jump with the Flock U guys regularly - but I'm not a Flock University instructor or coach. (Nor do I do any other form of skydiving instruction or coaching.)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 4, 2009, 3:59 PM
Post #129 of 234 (1715 views)
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Re: [VectorBoy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
. The jumps go less than perfect but yet our heros are helpless to intervene and save the day. They can only watch and hope the students save themselves. Which in these cases they do.

So now we have a couple of different proposals from a few different groups advocating the creation of a super USPA instructor. " to ensure they can actually fly like they say they can fly" For what? .

Sometimes AFF jumps go that way too, and even the best "super" AFF instructor heroes in the world can't get to a rogue student either.
Let's just do away with that program.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 4, 2009, 4:21 PM
Post #130 of 234 (1710 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
. The jumps go less than perfect but yet our heros are helpless to intervene and save the day. They can only watch and hope the students save themselves. Which in these cases they do.

So now we have a couple of different proposals from a few different groups advocating the creation of a super USPA instructor. " to ensure they can actually fly like they say they can fly" For what? .

Sometimes AFF jumps go that way too, and even the best "super" AFF instructor heroes in the world can't get to a rogue student either.
Let's just do away with that program.

Very poor and inappropriate analogy. AFF is for ab-initio students. Wingsuit instruction is for licensed skydivers. The USPA BOD will not be impressed with logic like that.

I'm still waiting to hear what the actual proven problem is that your proposal will be sure to fix.


bdrake529  (D 29503)

Jul 4, 2009, 4:57 PM
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Re: [kallend] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'm still waiting to hear what the actual proven problem is that your proposal will be sure to fix.

Since this request (in various forms) has been put forth by several people now, I'm starting to wonder if it's being intentionally ignored. An "inconvenient question" perhaps?

I don't consider the "putting your head in the sand" cliche a substantive answer either (if that is the official response). And if the train metaphor isn't going away, we'd like to see what copy of the schedule you're all looking at, cuz some of us aren't convinced one is on the way.


Yeah... I'm at work on a Saturday instead of the DZ. Laugh it up. I'm not.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 4, 2009, 7:19 PM
Post #132 of 234 (1687 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Sometimes AFF jumps go that way too, and even the best "super" AFF instructor heroes in the world can't get to a rogue student either.
Let's just do away with that program.
Not sometimes BUT Rarely does that happen! level 3 anyone? But do that in Jay stokes AFFI course and you ain't passing..... I've seen him make grown people cry over it. Of course there are shitty AffI course instructors and shitty AFF instructors and shitty tandem masters, shitty DZOs, Shitty S&TAs, Shitty pilots. But they are a small percentage, Hopefully very small. Should we get rid of all that?

Remember not one, repeat after me, not a single one instructor regardless of back ground or capability can ever correct a student in a wingsuit, while also wearing a wingsuit them selves and that is the way we conduct first flight courses love.

These were hard facts back when there were only two companies making suits and just a handfull of personal suits in the world and now that wingsuiting has given us over 5 companies and a growth that you describe as exponential its still true. You just can't alter the laws of physics. You can how ever do a search of these very discussions from back in 04,05 etc. Nothing has changed, there are no new angles, just new faces.

Question: Do you really have a pro rating?


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 4, 2009, 10:07 PM
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Re: [LouDiamond] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 
On a different note. I have been following this thread and when I actually have some time to sit down and type something longer out I will. A few good comments so far but just keep in mind, you don't know what you don't know and be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

Somehow I expected a post in these regards by now. Although I can't predict your stance on the matter.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 5, 2009, 6:42 PM
Post #134 of 234 (1604 views)
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Re: [bdrake529] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I'm still waiting to hear what the actual proven problem is that your proposal will be sure to fix.

Since this request (in various forms) has been put forth by several people now, I'm starting to wonder if it's being intentionally ignored. An "inconvenient question" perhaps?

I don't consider the "putting your head in the sand" cliche a substantive answer either (if that is the official response). And if the train metaphor isn't going away, we'd like to see what copy of the schedule you're all looking at, cuz some of us aren't convinced one is on the way.


Yeah... I'm at work on a Saturday instead of the DZ. Laugh it up. I'm not.

In light of the APF, BPA recently passing programs, doesn't that alone suggest change is in the wind? What do you suppose motivated the president of the USPA to write such an editorial if there isn't a desire to at least open a discussion at an administrative level? It seems to me the answer to the question was self-evident and didn't need to be repeated (again) since it's been mentioned in at least four posts in this thread.
Either way, I suppose it doesn't matter at this point. it's only a matter of time before another newbie wingsuiter burns in, takes out a tandem, hits an airplane, or has an off landing that turns into a nasty situation. And the "correct" answer will be "they're an experienced skydiver, they knew what they were doing when they jumped out of the plane."


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 5, 2009, 7:56 PM
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Quote:
In light of the APF, BPA recently passing programs, doesn't that alone suggest change is in the wind?

Not really. They are use to more government intervention and management. That is there not here. I doubt their jumpers are happy about it. You can examine the level of aviation oversight by their governments and what the the FAA does for us. I say does for us because they work for us as an example. Your best bet would be to talk to a foreign pilot that has traveled here and seen some of the freedoms and services we have and take for granted as general aviation airspace users that are just not offered anywhere else. I would like to think our USPA is more an agency of the culture its serves and not others subject to different rules.


Quote:
What do you suppose motivated the president of the USPA to write such an editorial if there isn't a desire to at least open a discussion at an administrative level?

It merits discussion, it merits an editorial, anything to make people think and not be complacent. Just like last years event were we lost two non skydivers from slipping out the back of tandem harnesses. Just like forgetting leg straps under a wingsuit. Complacency kills.



Quote:
Either way, I suppose it doesn't matter at this point. it's only a matter of time before another newbie wingsuiter burns in, takes out a tandem, hits an airplane, or has an off landing that turns into a nasty situation. And the "correct" answer will be "they're an experienced skydiver, they knew what they were doing when they jumped out of the plane."

This is an emotionally charged response but it is completely correct. There is no way of knowing when the next wingsuit incident will take place. No way to predict someones suitability to the particular discipline and worse yet no way to save someone regardless of instructor capability or a student's actual suitability to be in the suit once the first flight is taken. Everybody who puts on a wingsuit for the first time is completely on their own with only their experience and knowledge to protect them. If a jumper wants to short cut the recommended experience required while they are on their first flight all alone, this might just get them killed.

We are using emotion in a discussion yet we don't have a clear failure mode or exact reason why things went bad in a couple of events. We are proposing sweeping changes to a system without having identified the weak link in it. The new system can not guarantee to protect us from issues, currently, that are claimed to have failed us that haven't even been identified. None of this would fly in an NTSB aircraft crash or a crime scene investigation report. BTW a wingsuiter has already hit a plane and lived. That event created changes locally in WS operations that have made it into the BMI instructor program and the way all drop pilots operate when a wingsuiter is on the load. "off landing that turns into a nasty situation" -----Sounds like a third of our CRW jumps. Should CRW expect further regulation?.

You can't re-write the constitution because of a bad feeling.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 5, 2009, 8:16 PM)


skydave114  (D License)

Jul 6, 2009, 6:06 AM
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Quote:
... And the "correct" answer will be "they're an experienced skydiver, they knew what they were doing when they jumped out of the plane."

ding ding ding we have a winner! Tongue

Some of us met with our regional director sat. to discuss this issue. I got the impression that the instructor rating is unlikely to be adopted. More likely that the current jump # recommendations could be BSR's, and/or be converted to C / D license.


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
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Jul 6, 2009, 9:55 AM
Post #137 of 234 (1483 views)
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I've finally caught up on this thread and all I can say is that it gives me a headache for a multitude of reasons.

Most of the people who were around back when this all started and were some of the most verbose, have proved to be tourists in the sport and are no longer around. With exception, Glen and one or two others are probably the only ones who were not only in the sport at the time, they were also flying a wingsuit. The point being is that there is a long history that I don't care to recount here and most around now and or posting in this thread weren't even in the sport and or flying a wingsuit. In order to understand how the current topic plays into the grand scheme of things you really need to know what happened in the past, otherwise some of what I am about to skim over may not paint the entire picture for you. So if you really want to know, do some searches and be prepared to read for many hours.

My intent is to not write a long and drawn out rehashing of the past or repeat what a few others have already said in this thread. Quite frankly, I am tired of the petty bickering in this forum and within the wingsuiting community in general. Some of the posts that have some of the best insight and or comments/information in this thread were written by Kallend, Peek, Bdrake and the last but not least Glen. All have either asked very relevant questions, pointed out glaring inconsistencies and or provided accurate feedback on how this topic will be received.


As I am sure Glen can tell you, I have always been an advocate for proper wingsuit instruction and safety, even when it was unpopular.
The intent and point of contention then was to keep instruction within the community and to police ourselves so wingsuits wouldn't be ostracized at DZ's and ultimately banned or regulated by the governing body. Problem was, back then, we had a shortage of instructors and it was difficult for people to get training by an instructor, so many self taught or had a buddy, you know the rest.
That’s as deep as I am going to get into that part of history. From that a standardized program of instruction was created by Chuck Blue, myself and Kim Griffin. Chuck and I actually sat down in the loft of the original Birdhouse in Deland and started writing it and I have maintained and updated it since then along with input from other BMCIs over the years.

From that, several other instructor programs have emerged using the Birdman instructor program whether they realized it or not. Some simply took Birdman off the cover and out of the body of the documents and replaced it with their company, some simply repeated what they saw being done by BMIs at the DZ. Again, that’s factual history and I'll not re-hash or argue about it.

What this lead to was an increase of instructors, some of which were questionable then and even now, but the effect has been that we have seen a large growth within the discipline and more people are now flying wingsuits. Do I agree with the way some other schools of thought or individuals teach, yes and no. It's like Glen said in one of his posts above, every once in while you get a shitty one, YOU CANNOT CONTROL IT, it happens and it’s a direct reflection on that individual instructor.

Were there and are there some bad ones? Yes there are/were. However, most of the people reading this have either heard or have repeated the story about instructor ratings being given over a beer or in 30 minutes. Few however, actually KNOW what the facts are, they simply repeat something they have no first or even second hand knowledge about, they simply keep repeating the BULLSHIT. I'm not saying it didn't happen, I'm saying the incidence was and is very small. Those who turned out to be shitty instructors are usually "outed" fairly quickly and either stop teaching or have moved on to something else.
Which leads me to my next topic.

I am issuing a challenge from here on, however, what I am about to write must be read and taken with an understanding of "if the shoe fits, wear it", if the shoe doesn't fit you then simply disregard; what I am saying doesn't pertain to you. You be the judge and let your conscience be your guide.

* Grow a backbone, a pair of nuts, some intestinal fortitude or whatever you want to call it. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

This applies if you're going to post “bitches and moans” about how this one guy is a bad instructor/did something messed up without naming said person or using any type of beating around the bush/passive aggressive attacks. Also, have the balls to confront and bring these same issues up with said person in person and not change your story.
I'm not talking about rolling around in the dirt doing the man dance, unless it comes to that, but actually talk to that person and not behind their back. The shit I have seen in this forum and on the DZs as of late is pitiful. Be a man. If you're going to call someone out, call them out, otherwise STFU.*


Now, I'll address some of the issues I see. I won't repeat the questions that have already been asked by Bdrake/Glen/Kallend or others in this thread. As far as I am concerned, they still stand and have not been addressed with a viable answer yet. I'd like to hear the answers myself as I also have the same questions/observations.


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 it’s 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.

What I do find highly annoying is that those who choose to bash the Birdman program are using the same program of instruction/methodology as their own program. HELLO? Does anyone else see the irony/hypocrisy in this?

What I am reading/hearing in all of this commentary is what sounds like a personal issue with a particular instructor(s). Perhaps that person is messed up or does something you don't agree with. That doesn't mean the instruction program is at fault, it means the instructor is either messed up and or you don't agree with something he/she has done. We've seen it happen in all the manufacturer camps, it seems to change weekly and no one is immune. At the moment, Tony is under the microscope for putting a newbie with 4 Wingsuit jumps up in the latest and greatest big suit in another thread. The simple solution to this is not to bash the program, but to deal with the person you have issue with, man to man( see asterisk above).


Second, I have heard words like accountability used as justification for this USPA instructor rating. Coupled with that are the 2 recent fatalities, used as an example why this need exists. I can't remember who pointed it out, but up thread someone pointed out that following the fatalities Doug(DSE) said the instructors were not at fault for the deaths, at least the one in Sebastian. And here now, in this thread, those deaths are being used as an example of why a USPA instructor rating is needed and instructors need to be held accountable. What's even more mind boggling to me is that one of the people behind this proposal(Jeff), who all feel instructors need to be held accountable by the USPA, is the instructor who taught the student who died in Sebastian. I don't know what word to use but words like inconsistent, ironic, hypocritical come to mind. Granted there were extenuating circumstances in both incidents and both victims went out of their way to get themselves into a wingsuit despite warning from others. In the last instance, if there had been a USPA rating in effect, would that mean the instructor was at fault? Again, be careful what you ask for, you might get it. Peek even alluded to that in his post up thread.

What I haven't seen addressed at all, is exactly how is the USPA expected to hold a wingsuit instructor accountable? In the last incident, how would this have affected the instructor and how would this affect others to want to become wingsuit instructors in the future? As has been stated, we are not talking about AFF/Tandem here but an experienced and licensed skydiver who, once they leave the door of the aircraft cannot be physically controlled like an AFF/Tandem student can. So this raises the question, what type of accountability is being proposed here and how is it going to change anything from the way it is now?


Third, I don't see an overwhelming amount of sub-standard wingsuit instructors out there( I do see a lot of pettiness though). I also don't see an epidemic of people killing themselves within the wingsuiting discipline to justify implementing a USPA regulated rating instead of a manufacturer issued rating, and I and a few others have been doing this longer than anyone currently involved in this thread and in the sport. Granted, even one death is too many but in the last 2 fatalities you could easily replace the word wingsuit with canopy and the story would sound familiar, and people’s reaction would be the same. Dude wants to jump a small canopy, dude is told/warned by those around him, dude sneaks around/lies and gets a small canopy, dude kills himself.
Yeah, we've all heard that story a lot more but we don't see the USPA or anyone else saying we need to have a canopy/swooping instructor rating. Again, how would you hold an instructor accountable? What is the problem that this USPA rating is supposed to solve? I'll answer both question.
You can't do it and there isn't a problem.


Fourth, wingsuiting is a discipline just like CRW, VRW, RW, Freestyle, Skysurfing and Swooping. People receive instruction in these disciplines from others without a discipline specific instruction rating every day. If you implemented something like that along with the certification, fees, etc, how many people do you think would pony up and do it for the other disciplines? We'd see a shortage of wingsuit instructors and less people joining the discipline. It would actually revert to the way it was back in 2002 where it was hard for someone to find a wingsuit instructor close to them or another wingsuiter willing to teach them.


Do I believe there needs to be quality instruction and instructors in wingsuiting? The answer is yes. Do I think the manufacturer programs work? While not perfect, the answer is yes. So far we have policed ourselves fairly well. If you were around from the beginning you'd understand, as now we have people jumping on others when they talk about not using an instructor where as before, you got jumped on for suggesting using an instructor or the need for them. We've seen both ends of the spectrum, from those voicing warnings and from those scoffing at the warnings. The result is we now have a community of people that for the most part agree that we need instructors and a need to know how to fit into the rest of skydiving and not ostracize wingsuits. We've managed that on our own and I see no good reason to purposely impose more restrictions and bureaucracy into something that is working on its own.


Lastly, the USPA has far bigger issues to deal with and Glen's post above on how it will be met and viewed by the BOD is probably close to 99% accurate. This thread has generated a good deal of responses and views. I'll repeat what Scott Bland put out there already. If you can take the time to write a post here on DZ.com or read this thread, you can take the time to e-mail your Regional and National Director and voice your stance in a few sentences. I have and they have already responded and shared their thoughts on it with me.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 6, 2009, 10:35 AM
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What I do find highly annoying is that those who choose to bash the Birdman program are using the same program of instruction/methodology as their own program.

I think most people are not bashing the program, but several key people who methodicly, repeatedly and deliberately choose to not stick to their own program they are instructing other BMI's in when it comes to experience levels of first-timers and instruction.

And the whole debate is on ensuring that instruction happens at a certain level of quality. One that is currently up to each instructor and his/her (high or low) standards. If I start training people straight from AFF, there is nobody taking my BMI number away. With several profilic forum members having (knowingly) received their training from well known BMCI's at around 80/90 freefall jumps in experience. I think it shows that the program might be great in writing. But often poor in practice...
There is a list circling around on email with BMCI names, and the people they instructed and at which experience level. And when I read that one. I was shocked. As it wasnt a short list.
And some of those people critisized Jeff for taking up someone at a low experience level, yet do exactly the same again and again themselves (still!).

That aside, nothing but praise for the actual program.

On a sidenote, several of the people you mention only account you for a re-write 4 years after the initial version. And not for writing the full thing from the start. Even the Birdman website doesnt list you as the original writer, as you claim here, but merely as someone who helped in some of the updates. Not underplaying your role, but whats the story on that one? Are you one of the founding fathers, or are you putting yourself into wingsuit flying a few years before you actually made your first flight? As hearing 10 different versions on the BMI program and who wrote it does get a bit confusing.

And does it really mater? In the end, WHO wrote what isnt important. Its more importent WHATS written, and HOW its used. And at the moment, thats where things go wrong...

Quote:
Do I believe there needs to be quality instruction and instructors in wingsuiting? The answer is yes.

I think in the end, thats a common goal. With several people working towards this, you'd say something good has to come out of it at some point.

And though some people are not thinking of it this way. But imagine the people knowing what they are talking about do nothing with regards to the USPA and wingsuit instruction. And some over-active person with a nack for typing but total lack of knowledge on wingsuit flying writes a proposal, and that gets accepted or approved (as the letter by the USPA director DOES kinda hint at them WANTING something in form of more structured instruction/limits).

Personaly, I would (world-wide) like seeing the jump limit becoming a hard rule (and hope people are honest about their jump numbersWink)

And also putting some classes/limits as to what suits people are allowed to fly at what experience levels. As currently, putting people in big ass suits right from the start seems to be getting the norm.
And though we're not seeing tons of accidents, just because things are going okay, doesnt mean they are okay.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 6, 2009, 11:12 AM
Post #139 of 234 (1416 views)
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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 it’s 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 don’t 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" – that I stole Birdman’s 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 I’m 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)


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
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Jul 6, 2009, 11:35 AM
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I think most people are not bashing the program, but several key people who methodicly, repeatedly and deliberately choose to not stick to their own program they are instructing other BMI's in when it comes to experience levels of first-timers and instruction.


Refer to my post above and see the part about people having personal issues with others. Also lets not forget, this is not limited to one camp, it has and does happen in all of them.


Quote:
And the whole debate is on ensuring that instruction happens at a certain level of quality. One that is currently up to each instructor and his/her (high or low) standards. If I start training people straight from AFF, there is nobody taking my BMI number away. With several profilic forum members having (knowingly) received their training from well known BMCI's at around 80/90 freefall jumps in experience. I think it shows that the program might be great in writing. But often poor in practice...


No argument there. But how do you or anyone propose implementing a method of ensuring those levels of quality are met after the person gets their instructor rating? They obviously met the standard and could train to standard to get the rating. Once any instructor sets out on his own, it's up to him to maintain the standard or to become "that guy". In either case, there is no sure fire way to hold anyone to this be it wingsuiting or an AFF instructor. Glen covered this quite well a few posts above.


Quote:
There is a list circling around on email with BMCI names, and the people they instructed and at which experience level.


A good example of the pettiness I mentioned in our community. Grow the fuck up people. We're a small community as it is, and this type of shit only further subdivides us and bleeds all the fun out of why people want to wingsuit.

Quote:
On a sidenote, several of the people you mention only account you for a re-write 4 years after the initial version. And not for writing the full thing from the start. Even the Birdman website doesnt list you as the original writer, as you claim here, but merely as someone who helped in some of the updates. Not underplaying your role, but whats the story on that one? Are you one of the founding fathers, or are you putting yourself into wingsuit flying a few years before you actually made your first flight? As hearing 10 different versions on the BMI program and who wrote it does get a bit confusing.


Technically, Jari started the instructor program but the standardized method of instruction and the instructor program, the one most are familiar with and that I have referred to, was conceived and agreed on one evening with Jari, Chuck, myself, Kim and Asaf present. Chuck and I started actually putting it on paper(computer) the following day as I described. Scott Bland was in one of the first classes following the creation of the program along with several others. Since then it has been a living document and has undergone many changes over the years and several people have had input. Until Chuck and I put it down on paper, there was no tangible program or standardization to teaching to speak of. I don't think you can get any more original than that.


Quote:
And does it really mater? In the end, WHO wrote what isnt important. Its more importent WHATS written, and HOW its used. And at the moment, thats where things go wrong...

Well since its been adopted and applied throughout the community it does matter as if there was something wrong with it, it wouldn't have been adopted as it has. I think the issue you and others have has more to do with individuals actions based on he said/she said information sharing. Again, not saying it hasn't happened, just that things the issue is with the person in question.


Quote:
And though some people are not thinking of it this way. But imagine the people knowing what they are talking about do nothing with regards to the USPA and wingsuit instruction. And some over-active person with a nack for typing but total lack of knowledge on wingsuit flying writes a proposal, and that gets accepted or approved (as the letter by the USPA director DOES kinda hint at them WANTING something in form of more structured instruction/limits).


And thats why USPA members who do know can write their Regional and National directors and share their thoughts on the topic and hear what their RD/ND thinks on the matter. Which several have done and from what's been posted, we have a general idea which way the RD/ND are leaning.


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Jul 6, 2009, 11:37 AM
Post #141 of 234 (1389 views)
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In reply to:
This thread has generated a good deal of responses and views. I'll repeat what Scott Bland put out there already. If you can take the time to write a post here on DZ.com or read this thread, you can take the time to e-mail your Regional and National Director and voice your stance in a few sentences. I have and they have already responded and shared their thoughts on it with me.

I 100% agree with that statement...

http://www.uspa.org/...bid/140/Default.aspx

At least 2 groups have submitted something per the request of a USPA Board Member with that request being very specific in terms of goals.. What the driving force was or support behind that from other USPA Board members or RD's I dont know for sure. I spoke to my RD this weekend as well as a AFF I/E who knows a little about it and now have a better understanding of the situation. If you cant talk to yours at least fire off a E-Mail using the link above if you don't have their contact info, BEFORE the meeting. This is a public forum and not the place where a/any decision will be made ultimately.

The document that was created within the group I was asked to participate in, I think met the goals asked. Is it perfect, I wish I could say it was but given it was generated by an experienced yes, but small group of people does not make it the be all end all. As I understood it,t once we were finished it was going to go into an open review period for comment which was part of why I agreed to work on it. All of that said, Does it carry a good amount of information that can be drawn from and used to formulate something different if that is what ultimately is decided, I hope the answer is a resounding yes.

I stated above I don't think the system is completely broken as it is but I do think it can be improved and this discussion having been generated by the editorial and then the public link to a proposal hopefully will lead to that.. If nothing else people should agree, after readig the thread here, that the minimum standards need to be adheared to given so many posters in this thread, even some of the ones railing against the idea of a WSI, have noted knowledge of wingsuit flights by under experienced jumpers and classes being taught by manufacturer Instructors, not just one manufacturer program but all of them..

IF you want or don't want to have some program, IF you want the recommended (and I would say accepted) standards to fly a wingsuit be bumped up to a BSR, IF you feel an expansion of the Wingsuit section in the Sim will help, of IF you want nothing --> take a minute and use the link above..

Scott Callantine
D-16437
USPA TM-I, S/L-I


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
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Jul 6, 2009, 11:50 AM
Post #142 of 234 (1366 views)
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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.


Jeff, I don't question your integrity in this matter and as you said, you were the scribe. I do know that at least one if not two of those instructors has the Birdman materials. While I can understand your being pissed in this matter, if you were an indifferent 3rd party and I handed you the two documents and told you which one was created first and had you compare them I am confident you could draw your own conclusion as to how it would appear.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 6, 2009, 12:03 PM
Post #143 of 234 (1351 views)
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I don't question your integrity in this matter and as you said, you were the scribe.

Well, you just did, right?

Quote:
While I can understand your being pissed in this matter, if you were an indifferent 3rd party and I handed you the two documents and told you which one was created first and had you compare them I am confident you could draw your own conclusion as to how it would appear.

I would welcome the opportunity to do so. My email is jeff.donohue@gmail.com. If Birdman is concerned about non-Birdman people seeing that document, I'll agree in writing not to disseminate the materials to anyone else, and to destroy them upon completion of the review.


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
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Jul 6, 2009, 12:32 PM
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Jeff, no problem. Check your PMs.


(This post was edited by LouDiamond on Jul 6, 2009, 12:35 PM)


LetsGoOutside  (D License)

Jul 6, 2009, 12:35 PM
Post #145 of 234 (1314 views)
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Back when I became a BMI in 2003, I lacked any USPA ratings and was not familiar with the USPA instruction method. Having since gone through the coach course and getting ready for AFF, I regret getting that head start.

USPA's instruction method is extremely effective for this type of activity. If you've earned this basic instruction rating, you're at least going to (or should) have a solid instruction methodology, proper observation skills, and will likely pay very close attention to the details of your students' gear.

Whether there is an actual instructor rating for wingsuits or manufacturer ratings akin to tandems, I strongly feel candidates should have a coach or equivalent rating at a minimum.

My 2¢.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 6, 2009, 1:04 PM
Post #146 of 234 (1280 views)
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Quote:
There is a list circling around on email with BMCI names, and the people they instructed and at which experience level.


A good example of the pettiness I mentioned in our community. Grow the fuck up people. We're a small community as it is, and this type of shit only further subdivides us and bleeds all the fun out of why people want to wingsuit.

Really?
You think people pointing out a problem which could almost be described as a cancerous growth at the basis of the teaching system you are advocating is an example of pettiness?

But happy to see the whole 'ignore the problem and it will go away' works for you...Wink


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
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Jul 6, 2009, 1:27 PM
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Dude, I've tried explaining things to you over the internet before and I honestly don't know if it's a language/cultural or ADD issue on your part. When I've spoken to you face to face you seem to understand and grasp far more than you let on here, you also aren't as passive aggressive. If I have to explain this to you, you've obviously missed the other points I mentioned in my post that address your question.

Didn't you train someone that didn't meet the minimum requirements? Guess you're part of that cancerous growth eh? Recap here for you. If you have an issue with someone, deal with that person. Perpetuating he said/she said stories and creating and passing around lists of peoples infractions is fucking petty. If you want to continue with this line of discussion take it to PM so the thread doesn't drift.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 6, 2009, 2:34 PM
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Dude, I've tried explaining things to you over the internet before and I honestly don't know if it's a language/cultural or ADD issue on your part.

Its the fact that I give straight answers to questions, and you always skim the subject by by diverting the issue to something or someone else. Not an issue I have with anyone else but you.
Again, Im not trying to be an ass here. But just trying to get a straight answer, for once...

Quote:
If I have to explain this to you, you've obviously missed the other points I mentioned in my post that address your question.

Yea..I missed it. So please answer it again. As you answered just about everything exept my question. And Ill be very precise in explaining this time.

Three people. Ill give you the names in a PM if you want em, but you quite well know who they are, so why even bother...

BMCIs. You know, the guys who TEACH all other new instructors THE standard by which they should be instructing.

When someone with 80 jumps walks up to them. The chief-instructors of the program thats set to be the basis of all instruction.
And that 80 jump wonder says "can you teach me to fly a wingsuit". Then they....the BMCI's say "sure...come allong!" instead of appointing them to an RW/FF or whatever coach for another 100 or more jumps.

No lying about jump numbers. No accidents in taking someone up thinking it was someone with more experience than they actually had.

No..KNOWINGLY doing so...not even sticking to the standards they should be teaching.

And now my question again. How can people willingly, and knowingly teach and instruct people way bellow the set standards. When out of all people, THEY should be the ones following this stuff down to the letter?

And with them currently being 'self appointed chairman' of their own organisation, nobody will ever pull them back, and give em a slap on the wrist. They are above their own laws. Appearantly.

And anyone who tries to point that one out is made out for a fool..
heyhey...Jarno has ADD...he doesnt understand...
Sure Scott..whatever makes you sleep better at night..

Quote:
Didn't you train someone that didn't meet the minimum requirements? Guess you're part of that cancerous growth eh?

I have.
I trained one individual who was appointed to me by someone who I trusted, saying he had the required 200 jumps.
A big mistake on my behalf trusting someone else, instead of my own eyes reading a logbook. 100% me to blame.
A mistake. And a big one Im ashamed and learnt from.

But explain how several instructors can ASK someone for their jump numbers. Get an honest answer with low jumpnumbers. Not even HALF of what they should have. And then choose to take said individuals up on a jump.

I can say in full honesty, had I know beforehand that aforementioned person had less than the required jump numbers, I would NOT have taken him up.

But again, the people we are talking about would have...just having someone to fly with seems their only interest.

I just wished the people I so want to be my shiny example of how things should be done, cant see whats happening here (and mostly, to their own credibility) and change their actions...

Quote:
Recap here for you. If you have an issue with someone, deal with that person.


Ive voiced my concerns about certain things in the past, and my 'worries' about that subject where just plane/rude ignored. Not even answered. Just ignored. Ive tried discussing the subject in a straight and to the point manner. But only one person seemed up to actually discussing the problem. Yet (sadly) not changing his/her actions on the concerns I voiced...but so be it.

My biggest gripe is that certain personal emails Ive sent to the individuals we talked about ended up in other peoples hands. I know so, as I got them forwarded back by other people asking 'what this was about'.

If someone handles 'personal emails' from me to him/her that way, thats the last personal note Im sending that way. And that pretty much limits how much you can discuss at a 1 on 1 level with that person.

Quote:
If you want to continue with this line of discussion take it to PM so the thread doesn't drift.

With the current topic being, do we need a change in the way things are being done with regards to instruction, this is as ON TOPIC as we can get.

When it comes to instruction....Practice what you preach...
Nothing more...nothing less...


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 6, 2009, 2:47 PM
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Re: [LouDiamond] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the PM, Scott - I look forward to seeing it when you get it from the other computer. When you send it, I'll review and give you a call.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 6, 2009, 2:57 PM
Post #150 of 234 (1192 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Quote:
I'm still waiting to hear what the actual proven problem is that your proposal will be sure to fix.

Since this request (in various forms) has been put forth by several people now, I'm starting to wonder if it's being intentionally ignored. An "inconvenient question" perhaps?

I don't consider the "putting your head in the sand" cliche a substantive answer either (if that is the official response). And if the train metaphor isn't going away, we'd like to see what copy of the schedule you're all looking at, cuz some of us aren't convinced one is on the way.


Yeah... I'm at work on a Saturday instead of the DZ. Laugh it up. I'm not.

In light of the APF, BPA recently passing programs, doesn't that alone suggest change is in the wind? What do you suppose motivated the president of the USPA to write such an editorial if there isn't a desire to at least open a discussion at an administrative level? It seems to me the answer to the question was self-evident and didn't need to be repeated (again) since it's been mentioned in at least four posts in this thread.
Either way, I suppose it doesn't matter at this point. it's only a matter of time before another newbie wingsuiter burns in, takes out a tandem, hits an airplane, or has an off landing that turns into a nasty situation. And the "correct" answer will be "they're an experienced skydiver, they knew what they were doing when they jumped out of the plane."

Nice way of completely avoiding the questions. You have not shown that there exists a systemic problem with existing WS instruction, nor have you provided one shred of evidence that your "solution" will have any actual effect.


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
Jul 6, 2009, 3:06 PM
Post #151 of 234 (1712 views)
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Re: [mccordia] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Yea..I missed it. So please answer it again. As you answered just about everything exept my question. And Ill be very precise in explaining this time.

Three people. Ill give you the names in a PM if you want em, but you quite well know who they are, so why even bother...

BMCIs. You know, the guys who TEACH all other new instructors THE standard by which they should be instructing.

As I pointed out in my post above, this isn't limited to just one manufacturer camp, it has happened in all of them, some more than others. Do I condone it, no I do not.



Quote:

Didn't you train someone that didn't meet the minimum requirements? Guess you're part of that cancerous growth eh?

I have.


Talk about not addressing questions. So, you admit you're part of this cancerous growth as you call it, yet here you are complaining about others doing it.




Quote:
Ive voiced my concerns about certain things in the past, and my 'worries' about that subject where just plane/rude ignored. Not even answered. Just ignored. Ive tried discussing the subject in a straight and to the point manner.

I've had conversations with you, much like this one and "straight and to the point" is not the term I would use to describe how they went. So you voiced your concerns and didn't like the response you received, fair enough. So that justifies talking smack about that person behind their back when you're just as guilty as they are?


Quote:
With the current topic being, do we need a change in the way things are being done with regards to instruction, this is as ON TOPIC as we can get.

When it comes to instruction....Practice what you preach...
Nothing more...nothing less...



With that said then, seeing how you've admitted you're just as guilty as all those who you point your finger at and cry foul, what is there that a governing body can do to ensure it doesn't happen again and what are the fitting repercussions?


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 6, 2009, 3:49 PM
Post #152 of 234 (1697 views)
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Quote:
Talk about not addressing questions. So, you admit you're part of this cancerous growth as you call it, yet here you are complaining about others doing it.

Talk about selective quoting Scott...
But you have made it clear you ARE fully missing the point and uncapable of actually understanding what I and many are people are talking about.
Stick your head back into the sand, and have fun I guessWink

Quote:
With that said then, seeing how you've admitted you're just as guilty as all those who you point your finger at and cry foul, what is there that a governing body can do to ensure it doesn't happen again and what are the fitting repercussions?

I made the mistake of NOT reading someones logbook, and thus not finding out sayd person didnt have the experience level quoted to me when I took him up. A mistake. And unlike you (where a question like this would be met with a deaf response), actually being man enough to admit to it. Its not a fact I ever tried to hide or lie about. Nor do I care. I fucked up, hope you or someone else learns from it, and makes sure he doesnt repeat the same mistake.

To answer your question. And you answer this one.
Would mentioning the names of the 'corrupt' BMCI's result in them publicly accepting responsibilty for what they did?
Or will they ignore it, and continue their biz as usual.



Its a giant shame, that the people I looked up to, people who where my hero's, my examples and the whole reason I wanted to get into wingsuit instruction....that those same people are now the reason for me to be close to ambaressed to even mention the fact that I took a BMI course in the first place.


michalm21  (Student)

Jul 6, 2009, 5:00 PM
Post #153 of 234 (1664 views)
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Re: [all] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

geez, I'm fucking tired of the drama in this thread CrazyShocked

can we just get out of the planes already?


(This post was edited by michalm21 on Jul 6, 2009, 5:01 PM)


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 6, 2009, 5:05 PM
Post #154 of 234 (1659 views)
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Re: [michalm21] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

If you dont like it, dont click it?TongueWink


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 6, 2009, 5:09 PM
Post #155 of 234 (1657 views)
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Re: [michalm21] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
geez, I'm fucking tired of the drama in this thread CrazyShocked

can we just get out of the planes already?

It depends, do you want an instructor,, do you want a reeaallly good instructor, will you promiss to follow the recommendations so that you won't die before its time, Do you promiss to not start rumors about regs and trains?

As a licensed skydiver do you promiss to accept full responsibility for your actions and decisions?


michalm21  (Student)

Jul 6, 2009, 5:09 PM
Post #156 of 234 (1654 views)
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Re: [mccordia] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

no pony for you TongueWink


michalm21  (Student)

Jul 6, 2009, 5:15 PM
Post #157 of 234 (1645 views)
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Re: [VectorBoy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

As a licensed skydiver do you promiss to accept full responsibility for your actions and decisions?

Don't we all?


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 6, 2009, 5:48 PM
Post #158 of 234 (1630 views)
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Re: [michalm21] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 Most but not all.


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jul 6, 2009, 6:09 PM
Post #159 of 234 (1619 views)
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Re: [michalm21] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
geez, I'm fucking tired of the drama in this thread CrazyShocked
Not me! Save me a seat on Scott's side while I pop some corn.
To recap:
A need is seen to regulate wingsuits. (Unknown.)
A proposal is created. (Flock U, Tonysuits.)
The proposal is criticized. (Almost everybody.)
"Bad" Birdman and PF Instructors are cited as the reason for the proposal. (A few people. Flock U)
Questions are raised about the need for this: What exactly is the problem? (Everybody else.)
Answer: "Bad Instructors are cited. Examples given: Low timers having problems. Examples given: Birdman instructors. (By the same few people.)
Writers of the proposal publicly named. (Flock U.)
News of BPA change. (Glad I don't live there.)
More questions raised about the need for this. (Everybody else.)
Examples given: Wingsuitor in Utah with no instructor, (as per DesertDevil,) and Sebastian incident. (Instructor, Jeff, Tonysuits, as per LouDiamond.) Conclusion drawn by the few? USPA Instructors are needed.
Answer: No. Maybe a BSR for 200 jumps, but nothing like USPA instructors is called for. (Several people including me.)
LouDiamond speaks up for Birdman, outs Jeff as the instructor in Sebastian. (Scott.) Points out that one of the best instructors in wingsuiting is also one of those 'bad' instructors. Shocked
Jarno starts a fight with Scott, or vise versa, use search damnit!
I might add that Jeff is not alone in thinking that some low number jumpers can learn to fly. West Coast Wingsuits comes to mind. Oh yes, me too.
Can I change seats?
Where was I?
Never mind, my popcorn is done.
Carry on.
BTW: Here is what I sent out:

Dear XXX,
I understand that wingsuit regulation is being proposed and would like to share my thoughts. I jump at Gold Coast Skydivers and have 300+ wingsuit jumps.
I do not support the USPA creating a wingsuit instructor rating. I think the current structure provides adaquite instruction. The only area that has been a problem is low timers, those under 200 jumps. If something 'must' be done, a requirement for 200 jumps minimum is all that is needed. I feel the the proposed regulations go too far and are not needed.
Regards,
Ed Cummings
C36539


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
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Jul 6, 2009, 6:38 PM
Post #160 of 234 (1603 views)
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Quote:
Talk about selective quoting Scott...
But you have made it clear you ARE fully missing the point and uncapable of actually understanding what I and many are people are talking about.

I beg to differ, it is you that is missing(avoiding?) the point. Continuing with this line of discussion is pointless.


Quote:
I made the mistake of NOT reading someones logbook, and thus not finding out sayd person didnt have the experience level quoted to me when I took him up. A mistake. And unlike you (where a question like this would be met with a deaf response), actually being man enough to admit to it. Its not a fact I ever tried to hide or lie about. Nor do I care. I fucked up, hope you or someone else learns from it, and makes sure he doesnt repeat the same mistake.

So ignorance grants you clemency and gives you the right to harp about others? Give me a break. Rationalize it all you want, it doesn't exempt you from being just as guilty. Do you know all the circumstances/details behind the others whom you cry foul or are you going on what you have heard?



Quote:
And you answer this one.
Would mentioning the names of the 'corrupt' BMCI's result in them publicly accepting responsibilty for what they did?
Or will they ignore it, and continue their biz as usual.


Lets not focus on just one camp, as it crosses over into all of them. I cannot comment on how each individual would respond but making veiled comments online and compiling lists and passing them around and not asking the person face to face when you have the chance isn't going to resolve the issue. Have you ever considered that some of those people whom you have issue with found themselves in the same or a similar situation as you did? Not saying thats the case but it is a possibility that should be taken into consideration. The only way you will ever know is if you ask the person and not rely on what you've heard.


Quote:
Its a giant shame, that the people I looked up to, people who where my hero's, my examples and the whole reason I wanted to get into wingsuit instruction....that those same people are now the reason for me to be close to ambaressed to even mention the fact that I took a BMI course in the first place.


Dude, I don't know what world you're living in but you're looking for the impossible and expecting humans not to act like humans. You can't honestly put hero expectations on another person and expect them to live up to them, they're human just like everyone else. People make mistakes and bad decisions every day and to keep things in perspective, we're talking about just skydiving here.


To try and steer this back on topic, the real issue here isn't about crying over milk spilt in the past, but how the USPAs involvement would do a better job. How would it change anything from how it is now and more importantly, how would USPA rated wingsuit instructors be held accountable for their actions and who would enforce it?


SuperGirl  (D 30091)

Jul 6, 2009, 7:18 PM
Post #161 of 234 (1574 views)
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Re: [fasted3] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
A proposal is created. (Flock U, Tonysuits.)
...
Writers of the proposal publicly named. (Flock U.)
...
"Bad" Birdman and PF Instructors are cited as the reason for the
proposal. (A few people. Flock U)

You should try to get your facts straight...
This is NOT supposed to be a Flock U rating.
It just so happens that some of the people involved are Flock U instructors (it also happens they are really good instructors/wingsuit flyers with a ton of experience)
But FlockU-wise that's just four of them: JSho, Spot, Callantine and Monkey.
All other writers are NOT Flock University instructors.


In reply to:
The proposal is criticized. (Almost everybody.)

since when does a pretty damn limited sample of a few very vocal people represent everybody?
okay, a bunch of people voiced their concerns, but please don't generalize so easily to "almost everybody" or we'll just have another silly discussion similar to that "you europeans" vs "you americans" thread from a few days ago


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 6, 2009, 7:48 PM
Post #162 of 234 (1562 views)
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Re: [fasted3] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Not me! Save me a seat on Scott's side while I pop some corn.
To recap:
A need is seen to regulate wingsuits. (Unknown.)
A proposal is created. (Flock U, Tonysuits.)
The proposal is criticized. (Almost everybody.)
Well to be more accurate.

1 A rumor of oncoming regulation was heard. This was followed by an unheard proposal by parties unknown to this discussion.

2 The panel's proposal brought to this discussion isn't Tonysuits and some of the people on the panel are BMIs and PFIs and I don't think they are all Flock-U Is. They don't all agree on everything but they all agree that the first proposal by some unknown group was junk.

3 This proposal isn't some part of a brand war or linked to any manufacturer. In fact our panel would love to keep it non-denominational.

4 This proposal is a very well intentioned idea that is a group overreaction to a rumor. Although Douglas has expressed this was a need and his actions are not reactionary to a rumor and make no mistakes I'm sure there are some very seasoned BMI's not on the panel who give this concept as much support as Douglas gives it passion and drive.

5 There are no facts as to why a change is needed. No sure promiss to fix anything that isn't broken now. The whole thing is based on feelings.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 6, 2009, 8:19 PM)


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jul 6, 2009, 7:53 PM
Post #163 of 234 (1557 views)
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Re: [SuperGirl] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the input, Supergirl.
It just so happens that most of the contributers to this proposal are from Flock U.
I don't have a problem with that; Flock U represents the pinnacle of wingsuit flying in the US, IMO.
As for the proposal being viewed as going further than is called for, I will stand by that. I like the new sylliblus for wingsuiting. I would strongly support it as a recommendation. Please do not mistake my comments as being critical of Flock U. I am not, and I support them in the goal of making wingsuiting as safe as it can be.
If I disagree with the method that is currently being discussed, it does not mean that I disagree with the goal.


QuietStorm  (D 28724)

Jul 6, 2009, 11:04 PM
Post #164 of 234 (1504 views)
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Re: [Skwrl] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Jeff:

Nicely said....and well stated

Wink


peggs82  (C 36427)

Jul 6, 2009, 11:16 PM
Post #165 of 234 (1500 views)
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Re: [fasted3] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Ed.... please get your facts straight before passing them along like correct information.

As someone who has known you from BEFORE YOUR FIRST WINGSUIT JUMP, I thought you would have a little more integrity before bashing people who looked out for you and brought you into the discipline (specifically myself and jeff). Was this issue important enough for you to sling mud at your friends?

My first point - I am not, and never have been, a Flock University Instructor. My name may appear on the Flock University website, but no where does it list me as a "Faculty Member". I consider my MENTOR and ONLY TEAM MATE to be Chuck Blue. The only wingsuit school I claim is Z-Flock

Continuing on with that thought....neither is Taya Weiss, Jeff Nebelkopf, or Jeff Donahue part of Flock U. So 4 out of the 9 people involved with this project were NOT affiliated with Flock University.

Are we friends? Yes. Have we worked together before? Yes. Did you like the 71 way? Guess what...its the same team! No one said the 71 way was a Flock University conspiracy to take over wingsuiting...we were just a bunch of people who wanted to do something great for wingsuiting.

By no means was this a lovey "yes man" group. Many times I was personally offended by the heated discussions and arguments that went on. If you think this was a conspiracy to make Flock U the default trainers of the US, you are wrong wrong wrong. It was a bunch of people who care about safety and quality of coaching. Maybe our methodology and outlook on the issue differ from yours, but there is no reason to insinuate conspiracy and post FALSE information.

I took part in this because we were ASKED by the BOD. When the Board asks for my participation in a discipline I care about, you better believe that I will take part in it. To pass up that offer is foolish. I care too much to let some no name twat who may have never even seen a wingsuit make the only proposal which may (however slim a chance) get passed.

On all other discussion...talk to your RD's, email the BOD...thats the system. Myself and 9 other wingsuiters from the Boston area did just that this past weekend. Remember, this was ASKED for by a member of the BOD. If you don't like that idea, VOTE for people who reflect your thoughts.

Just because you shout the loudest on an internet forum does not make you right nor does it necessarily make you the majority. If you care..pony up and by a plane ticket for Dallas TX this week. I just did.
Attachments: gforum.jpg (13.7 KB)


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jul 6, 2009, 11:57 PM
Post #166 of 234 (1486 views)
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Re: [peggs82] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Please tell me what mud I slung and I will sincerely beg your forgiveness for doing so.
I state no conspiracy, but why not comment on the fact that MOST of the contributors to this come from the same place. My intention was to show the closed nature of this thinking rather than a conspiracy. When I discussed this with my non-wingsuit friends this past weekend, they attributed it to a USPA conspiracy. Go figure.
The fact that you were asked by the USPA to provide a ... whatever this is ... does not give you and/or your friends free reign to regulate everything you want.
Please understand that I still like everybody and hope they will feel the same towards me. If you think this amount of regulation is needed, by all means try and get it done. I think I've raised some fair questions about it, and openly disagree that it is called for. At the same time, I've commended this work and think it should be incorporated into the standard FFC. Just because I would not like to see it as a regulation does not mean that I'm against it, or anybody.
I didn't think I passed along any false information. Please let me know what that was so I can correct it.


QuietStorm  (D 28724)

Jul 7, 2009, 3:03 AM
Post #167 of 234 (1455 views)
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Re: [michalm21] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

No better yet.....

Apparently lines have been drawn, sides chosen, allegience pledged over the past few years.

So I guess its now time for "COLORS" in wingsuiting?

Time for Prospects and earning "Full Patch"

Time for Territory? Us vs. Them? An occasional fight at a boogie or two to "settle things" once and for all.

Seems to me wingsuiters are fast becoming the 1% ers of skydiving and we are heading in this direction.

There seems to be some very hard feelings out there and it doen't look like its going to change.

Maybe we don't have to get along anymore. Maybe we need to stop trying and just end the discussion.

Maybe we need to accept that too much damage to good will and trust has been done in our little "wingsuit civil war"; and it won't get fixed. Too much ego and pride.

While try to reconcile the irreconcilable?


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 7, 2009, 3:42 AM
Post #168 of 234 (1447 views)
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Re: [LouDiamond] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Do you know all the circumstances/details behind the others whom you cry foul or are you going on what you have heard?

I was THERE when people where trained Scott.
I have video's of said person(s) training low timers. I was THERE, protesting what they where doing. There was no error in info on their students experience level. It was a deliberate decission to do so.
And its only a matter of public image by which you choose to steer this conversation in a different direction.

Quote:
Quote:
And you answer this one.
Would mentioning the names of the 'corrupt' BMCI's result in them publicly accepting responsibilty for what they did?
Or will they ignore it, and continue their biz as usual.

Lets not focus on just one camp, as it crosses over into all of them.

ANSWER THE QUESTION scott.....
Will we EVER see any of the self-proclaimed instructor-instructors having to take ANY responsibility for what they do? Or (again) do they live above their own laws?

Quote:
Have you ever considered that some of those people whom you have issue with found themselves in the same or a similar situation as you did?

As mentioned, I was THERE when it happened. I can even point it out in video to you if you want. Its not hear-say. Its KNOWING.

Quote:
To try and steer this back on topic, the real issue here isn't about crying over milk spilt in the past,

This is happening NOW..not in the past.

Quote:
but how the USPAs involvement would do a better job. How would it change anything from how it is now and more importantly, how would USPA rated wingsuit instructors be held accountable for their actions and who would enforce it?

Like any instructor in other diciplines. Not adhering to rules, get a slap on the fingers, or worse, loose your rating.
You could take people up in a wingsuit straight off AFF, and still keep flaunting your BMCI title everywhere....


JohanW  (D 86318)

Jul 7, 2009, 4:52 AM
Post #169 of 234 (1427 views)
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In reply to:
You could take people up in a wingsuit straight off AFF, and still keep flaunting your BMCI title everywhere....
How much beer for a BMCI rating title straight off AFF? Inquiring minds want to know .. Angelic


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 7, 2009, 10:08 AM
Post #170 of 234 (1330 views)
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Re: [bdrake529] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I'm still waiting to hear what the actual proven problem is that your proposal will be sure to fix.

Since this request (in various forms) has been put forth by several people now, I'm starting to wonder if it's being intentionally ignored. An "inconvenient question" perhaps?

Still no answer - I guess it's being intentionally ignored.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 7, 2009, 10:22 AM
Post #171 of 234 (1319 views)
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Re: [kallend] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Quote:
I'm still waiting to hear what the actual proven problem is that your proposal will be sure to fix.

Since this request (in various forms) has been put forth by several people now, I'm starting to wonder if it's being intentionally ignored. An "inconvenient question" perhaps?

Still no answer - I guess it's being intentionally ignored.

Nothing can be proven to fix anything, regardless of whether we're talking about bug spray or hitting Mars with a probe.
No answer regardless of how intelligent or unintelligent it may be, will not satisfy you. Fatalities and bad instruction tend to bother me; you don't give a shit.We differ in philosophy.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 7, 2009, 10:27 AM
Post #172 of 234 (1316 views)
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Quote:
Still no answer - I guess it's being intentionally ignored.

Well, I have zero interest in wading into this discussion any more than I have, but that statement is disingenuous.

The question has been answered by Spot several times: in a nutshell, it was a perceived problem with the existing instructors, in terms of quality control, and a perception that there was no consequence to being a shitty instructor. It may not have been put in the form that I just did (a quotation of Brian’s or your writing followed by a response), but it's been addressed. In painful detail. On both sides. Ad nauseum. Like to the point where I want to go, "Please, merciful Jesus, make this thread go away..." And I'm an atheist.

Whether you agree or disagree with Spot’s response is another matter entirely (and, like I said, not one I have any interest in championing at this point, since this thread has devolved into just a stream of gibberish), but it was addressed.

[Shrug.]


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jul 7, 2009, 10:37 AM)


michalm21  (Student)

Jul 7, 2009, 10:45 AM
Post #173 of 234 (1296 views)
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DSE
In reply to:
Fatalities and bad instruction tend to bother me; you don't give a shit.We differ in philosophy.
skwrl
In reply to:
The question has been answered by Spot several times: in a nutshell, it was a perceived problem with the existing instructors, in terms of quality control, and a perception that there was no consequence to being a shitty instructor.

Since Dan Kulpa's fatality was mentioned in this thread as one of the triggers, mixed with above statements, I would now have to assume his instructor did a shitty job and is not good at what he does.

This is not what I think about this instructor. And Dan was my friend.

As much as I like and respect people behind this proposal, I don't think an official instructional rating is the solution in this situation.
Life, however, tends to prove me otherwise sometimes so I'm curious to see how it all turns out.

In the mean time, I hope everyone enjoys their summer puffy surfs.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 7, 2009, 10:49 AM
Post #174 of 234 (1279 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Quote:
I'm still waiting to hear what the actual proven problem is that your proposal will be sure to fix.

Since this request (in various forms) has been put forth by several people now, I'm starting to wonder if it's being intentionally ignored. An "inconvenient question" perhaps?

Still no answer - I guess it's being intentionally ignored.

Nothing can be proven to fix anything, regardless of whether we're talking about bug spray or hitting Mars with a probe.
No answer regardless of how intelligent or unintelligent it may be, will not satisfy you. Fatalities and bad instruction tend to bother me; you don't give a shit.We differ in philosophy.

If you can't present any evidence of a systemic problem (and the two fatalities that you cite, however unfortunate, do not even indicate a problem with individual instructor quality, let alone a systemic problem) then I think the BOD will be quite unimpressed.

"On a personal note, I was with the decedent and his instructor moments before the skydive, and can't agree with the posts disparaging the instructor.", DSE, Jan 2, 2009


(This post was edited by kallend on Jul 7, 2009, 11:01 AM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 7, 2009, 11:03 AM
Post #175 of 234 (1256 views)
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In reply to:
DSE
In reply to:
Fatalities and bad instruction tend to bother me; you don't give a shit.We differ in philosophy.
skwrl
In reply to:
The question has been answered by Spot several times: in a nutshell, it was a perceived problem with the existing instructors, in terms of quality control, and a perception that there was no consequence to being a shitty instructor.

Since Dan Kulpa's fatality was mentioned in this thread as one of the triggers, mixed with above statements, I would now have to assume his instructor did a shitty job and is not good at what he does.

This is not what I think about this instructor. And Dan was my friend.

.

DSE agrees with you:

"On a personal note, I was with the decedent and his instructor moments before the skydive, and can't agree with the posts disparaging the instructor.", DSE, Jan 2, 2009


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 7, 2009, 12:43 PM
Post #176 of 234 (1089 views)
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No answer regardless of how intelligent or unintelligent it may be, will not satisfy you. Fatalities and bad instruction tend to bother me; you don't give a shit.We differ in philosophy.
Do you really think that statement is fair Spot? Do you think some of us who do not agree with your philosophy ( because it is not a direct action to correct an easily indentifiable root cause) are not bothered by bad practices in instruction and wingsuit fatalities?

If it was an easy fix to an easy problem we would be all over it. BUT, I actually see this doing more harm than good. I see it pushing people more towards the plan C method of self instruction. Correct me if I read the proposal wrong but will it not do away with someone of sufficient experience, 500+ jumps per the previous recommendations, from self instructing? Do I understand this part correctly?


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 7, 2009, 12:59 PM)


tr027  (D License)

Jul 7, 2009, 12:49 PM
Post #177 of 234 (1074 views)
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In reply to:
DSE agrees with you:

"On a personal note, I was with the decedent and his instructor moments before the skydive, and can't agree with the posts disparaging the instructor.", DSE, Jan 2, 2009

Damn, got him on that one. That kind of skill in playing both sides is usually well demonstrated in government politics. However it would also apply to the politics of selling the BOD and WS community on Flock U saving us from a 'bad instructor' epidemic.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 7, 2009, 2:05 PM
Post #178 of 234 (1026 views)
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Quote:
"on Flock U saving us"

Actually, it was the Republican Party. I know that at least some of the members of the working group are members of the Republican Party, so it must be an elaborate plot to control wingsuiting that the Republicans are pushing.

That's how your logic works on that one.

Let's break it down:

DSE - Flock U
Scotty Burns - Flock U
Scott Callentine - Flock U
Jeff Donohue - not
Monkeyboy - Flock U
Nebelkopf - not
Peggs - not
Shorb - Flock U
Warnock - not
Weiss - not

But wait! Lurch is a Flock U instructor, and he's said publicly that he's not in support of changing the rules. Harry Parker's a Flock U instructor also, but I don't know his opinion - he's probably too busy jumping and taking kick-ass pictures...

Oh noez! Could it be that it just happened to be a bunch of friends, some in a wingsuit school and some not, who got together to make a proposal?

Naaaaaah... You don't need to worry about letting facts get in your way, right?

At this point, I think the thread is just populated by trolls. I'll let you guys breathe your own fumes from here on in.


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jul 7, 2009, 2:07 PM)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 7, 2009, 2:28 PM
Post #179 of 234 (1012 views)
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I have never, ever suggested Dan's death was due to instructor failure. To suggest I ever have is a bullshit argument, and demonstrates the fucked-up cowardice of some in and of itself.
I don't blame anyone for Dan's death but Dan. Was he managed the way *I* would have managed his instruction? No. But that doesn't mean the instructor failed. The system failed. And it's that system that motivated myself and others trying to make a difference. Take your shots at me. I'm the guy approached by BOD members of the USPA nearly a year ago about the potential for this sort of program. I assembed a group of what I feel are some of the best wingsuiters in the USA. We fought a lot, we argued more than we needed to, but we all had one common goal; making wingsuiting better, safer, and to set a standard of excellence for an instructional standard. It improves on the excellent foundation set forth by Chuck Blue and others when the BMI program was begun, and reflects current wingsuiting needs that could not have been foreseen a decade ago.

"I began working on a WSI program back in July of 2008." I'd been considering it much earlier than that.
Do I feel Race Price' death contributed somewhat to my motivations? You bet it did.
I've been to boogies and wingsuit events all over the world in the last 18 months but I (and others) observed a lot of poor wingsuit safety behavior and awareness. At my own DZ, I can name three occasions where an "instructor" has taught someone in his living room and then sent the student (sans instructor) to jump on his own. No last moment review, no gear checks, no nothing. A BMI. But hey, there's no problem here at all, right?
I'm not the first to have begun thinking this way. There are at least two other groups that have put together proposals and a ratings suggestion. The difference is, they don't have the balls to stand up for what they've got to say.

Getting back to the origins instead of looking for needles in the bullshit, all I'm seeing is words masking fear and desperation for being acountable for instructor's actions, which at the end of the day, is really all the WSI rating is about. What else is it you're so afraid of?

Having a well-written national instructional standard is better than no standard at all. Most everyone can at least agree on this.

Pretty sad that when a group of people try to make a difference for the better they're tarred and feathered for it as opposed to a rational, intelligent discussion. Oops, it's the internet. What was I thinking?Crazy Those nasty, cowardly, anonymous emails are greatly appreciated. And the guy that showed up at the hospital to "beat me up?" It takes BIG balls to threaten someone in critical condition in the ICU. Wow. The machismo in the wingsuit community is stunning.


bdrake529  (D 29503)

Jul 7, 2009, 2:34 PM
Post #180 of 234 (1008 views)
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Quote:
And the guy that showed up at the hospital to "beat me up?

Woah... are you ok? What happened? Was this physical altercation in response to the WSI proposal (as is implied)?

Hope nothing bad happened. Civil disagreement on this subject doesn't negate respect and friendship and though we may "not give a shit" about fatalities and bad instruction, I, for one, give a shit about your well-being.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 7, 2009, 3:07 PM
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Quote:
Woah... are you ok? What happened? Was this physical altercation in response to the WSI proposal (as is implied)?

Dang...I already thought those comments on DSE on skydiver network a while ago where scary shit. Whats it this time? Is stalking the new underexposed subdicipline in wingsuit flying?


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 7, 2009, 3:19 PM
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Actually, it was the Republican Party.
You mean the Socialist Repubic Party. The government will protect us from our selves mentality.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 7, 2009, 3:22 PM
Post #183 of 234 (975 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
And the guy that showed up at the hospital to "beat me up?

Woah... are you ok? What happened?

Did nurse Ratchet give the intruder an enema?

Now that last sentence is clearly token gibberish.


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jul 7, 2009, 3:34 PM
Post #184 of 234 (966 views)
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What else is it you're so afraid of?

-New regulations.
-USPA Involvement within our discipline not seen in other, more accident prone disciplines.
-Licensed skydivers to be protected like AFF or Tandem students, by people that can't protect them.
-Jumpers with 500 jumps being required to use a USPA approved instructor.
-Resistance to change that is not seen as needed.

An honest disagreement that I find interesting, sometimes irritating, but not so much that I'd want to fight about it. Heck, this is just politics.

Quote:
Having a well-written national instructional standard is better than no standard at all. Most everyone can at least agree on this.

I do. Lighten up on the regulations and I'm all for it.

Spot, They just want to beat you up because they wouldn't dare if you were in good shape; the sooner you heal up the better. Thanks for your work on this, and enduring all the flack about it. I think it will come out of the fire better for it.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 7, 2009, 4:10 PM
Post #185 of 234 (951 views)
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In reply to:
I have never, ever suggested Dan's death was due to instructor failure. To suggest I ever have is a bullshit argument, and demonstrates the fucked-up cowardice of some in and of itself..

"The Sebastian fatality would not have occurred had his instructor followed recommendations (USPA or manufacturer)." DSE, 6/26/09, this thread.


The two fatalities being discussed as rationale for this proposal were NOT instructor failures, they were trainee failures to follow the existing experience recommendations and good skydiving practice.

I suggest the experience issue is dealt with far more easily and effectively by requiring a "C" license before you may jump a wingsuit.


LetsGoOutside  (D License)

Jul 7, 2009, 4:33 PM
Post #186 of 234 (932 views)
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In reply to:
I suggest the experience issue is dealt with far more easily and effectively by requiring a "C" license before you may jump a wingsuit.
I agree with this. I also feel that the manufacturers should take it upon themselves to require instructor candidates to have a USPA Coach (or equivalent) rating (which I believe anyone who teaches any form of skydiving at any level should have). And those instructors would only need to be there for jumpers in that 200 - 500 range. An actual USPA instructor rating seems excessive, since we're not dealing with first jump students.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 7, 2009, 4:40 PM
Post #187 of 234 (925 views)
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In reply to:
No answer regardless of how intelligent or unintelligent it may be, will not satisfy you. Fatalities and bad instruction tend to bother me; you don't give a shit.We differ in philosophy.

That is a clear personal attack, Mr. Moderator.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 7, 2009, 4:41 PM
Post #188 of 234 (922 views)
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I suggest the experience issue is dealt with far more easily and effectively by requiring a "C" license before you may jump a wingsuit.
Fawking brilliant yet elegant in its simplicity !!!

Why didn't I think of that. Guess it proves I'm no professor. Well done indeed. Let me know if anyone threatens you physically over this cuz they're gonna have to get through me first.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 7, 2009, 5:47 PM)


tr027  (D License)

Jul 7, 2009, 5:09 PM
Post #189 of 234 (906 views)
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In reply to:
I suggest the experience issue is dealt with far more easily and effectively by requiring a "C" license before you may jump a wingsuit.
Yes!
As for the rest of the proposals and arguements in this thread I think the horse is thoroughly dead now (and not getting any more dead). The train and the surrounding railroad track has been blown up several timesCool so no need to worry about any of that Crazynonsense anymore, and those that set the train in motion have enough tar/egg to follow them around and be remembered by.Pirate


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 7, 2009, 5:42 PM
Post #190 of 234 (882 views)
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 What?!? there is 12, er, uh, 11 slots left until this thread reaches 200 posts. Come on who is with me.......


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 7, 2009, 5:47 PM
Post #191 of 234 (878 views)
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Quote:
and those that set the train in motion have enough tar/egg to follow them around and be remembered by

You keep acting like this is somehow an us versus them thing. This is why we can't have nice things...

Let's recap.

A proposal was made by a few groups in response to information that indicated that regulation was coming. One of the groups was willing to share their proposal with the public. In fact, those in our group all agreed that it was not just a really good idea - but the whole damn point. If I have a self-criticism or a "lessons learned" for our group, it's that we didn't present it to the wingsuiting community earlier.

Lots of people don't like the proposal. They wanted something else or nothing at all. Personally, I'm totally cool with that - I think I told that to a bunch of you in PMs already. Here's why:

We made a well thought out product. We made a damn good - and original - first flight manual (I got to see a copy of a Birdman manual earlier today, I stand by my earlier statement that ours is NOT a copy of the Birdman manual. They teach the same stuff, for sure, but we didn't copy theirs and it doesn't even really look like we did, as had been previously asserted.) The First Flight Manual summarizes many of the best practices that we were able to gather from the instructors in the working group and their friends. Did you even read the First Flight Manual? It very easily could serve as a useful resource for non-USPA regulated wingsuiters (be they Phoenix Fly, Birdman, or independents). If - as I suspect - USPA makes no changes, we still have offered up a great resource to all wingsuit instructors, not just in the US, but everywhere. That's a pretty neat thing, and I'm proud to have played a small role in it.

We got the community talking about the pros and cons of regulation - and I think we pointed out a few problems with some instructors and methods of instruction (that's not a comment about any school or rating, it's a comment about the stories of, for example, instructors who weren't there for first flights). I think we stopped talking about whether there are "problem instructors" and started talking about how to deal with them. That's progress.

We got people talking about the importance of standardization - to make sure that all new wingsuiters learn everything that they need to know to do it safely and to have fun doing it. Again, that's a good thing.

The very people who didn't like the proposal are now talking about making a C license a requirement. Stop and think about that! That itself is change. (I'm not going to get into how it's inconsistent with the whole "Freeeeeedoooooom" argument that some of them used, but if the general consensus is that USPA requires a C license, that's cool. It might reduce the 99 jump wonders who put on a wingsuit, who knows.) Others who didn't like our proposal have suggested that wingsuiting instructors should have a coach rating. In my opinion, that's a good idea, too. Hell, it was part of our proposal! (Oh, and by the way, I'm a professional instructor and I would benefit from a coaching course were I to want to become a wingsuit instructor. Different skills are taught and learned in different ways. Just because I'm a good law professor doesn't mean I could teach yoga well.)

If Stokes' letter and the various proposals hadn't come about, I wonder how much we'd be talking about these subjects. My bet is not at all. So I think the net result is a good thing, no matter how it shakes out.

Bottom line is that the proposal stirred dialogue. It was meant to be presented to the wingsuiting community for just that purpose (see, e.g., the memo... you did read the memo, right?). So whether it gets adopted or not, I view it as a success.

So if that's tarring and feathering, I dig it - you need feathers to be a good bird anyway, right?


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jul 7, 2009, 6:12 PM)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 7, 2009, 5:49 PM
Post #192 of 234 (875 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
No answer regardless of how intelligent or unintelligent it may be, will not satisfy you. Fatalities and bad instruction tend to bother me; you don't give a shit.We differ in philosophy.

That is a clear personal attack, Mr. Moderator.

It's not at all a personal attack John. We have strongly differing philosophies. Yours is one of bending contexts to suit your purpose, mine is one of being willing to listen to reason.
It's kind of like the coaching thread where you consistently took the position that because you're a professional teacher, no one can teach you anything about teaching. I'm a multi-Grammy, Emmy, DuPont award winner but you'll find me believing I have something to learn from all my contemporaries regardless of their years of experience (or lack of it).
No amount of argument is going to convince you that you're not correct in a subjective debate. Ever. Patently clear; brought up in dozens of posts over the years on this website.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 7, 2009, 6:07 PM
Post #193 of 234 (851 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
No answer regardless of how intelligent or unintelligent it may be, will not satisfy you. Fatalities and bad instruction tend to bother me; you don't give a shit.We differ in philosophy.

That is a clear personal attack, Mr. Moderator.

It's not at all a personal attack John.

Of course it was a PA. Telling me I "don't give a shit" IS absolutely a PA and you should know better.

Perhaps you should research the very large amount of work I've done and contributed on the topic of exit separation before telling me I "don;t give a shit".


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 7, 2009, 6:18 PM
Post #194 of 234 (840 views)
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 I knew it!
Now you are glad this didn't end back when you pleaded with Jesus. Jesus doesn't listen to me either bub.

When it comes to who wrote what first or best when it comes to first flights get over yourselves, all of you. It all sounds all the same because its not that complicated and you can't say the same thing so drastically different that it would sound original. Its not rocket science its not even as complicated as bicycle maintainance.

When it comes to pointing your fingers at the other instructor camps about taking up low timers everybody is guilty, seems everybody has done it knowingly, unknowingly, on purpose or by accident. And what is worse the pointing of the fingers. Seems like everybody has been to the food fight at the Donner party.

Picking on the instructors for doing whacky things is nothing new even if its disguised as a proposal to benefit everyones Safety. Voodoo and myself were doing that way back years ago just for pleasure.

Now we find out that some of defining questions we had were not not being answered the way we would like because we were discussing / debating with a guy in the ICU, well duh, ICU he is probably very nicely sedated. Thats like trying to get some answers to the universe while hanging out with Chuck Blue at 3 oclock in the morning at a major boogie. And that is not a personal attack as I will always cherish those times but it never brought me closer to being rested for the first load.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 7, 2009, 8:10 PM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 7, 2009, 6:29 PM
Post #195 of 234 (822 views)
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In reply to:
Just a thought; maybe the proposal in the hands of the USPA for consideration needs wider distribution so those interested can consider and comment. Or maybe even attend the Board of Directors meeting to advocate.

Now there is a thought....Smile


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 7, 2009, 6:32 PM
Post #196 of 234 (814 views)
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Quote:
I knew it!
Now you are glad this didn't end back when you pleaded with Jesus. Jesus doesn't listen to me either bub.

Well, I also said that I'm an atheist, so I'm going with something along the line of "the fucker doesn't like me."

Quote:
When it comes to who wrote what first or best when it comes to first flights get over yourselves, all of you. It all sounds all the same because its not that complicated and you can't say the same thing so drastically different that it would sound original. Its not rocket science its not even as complicated as bicycle maintainance.

Ding, ding, we have a winner.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 7, 2009, 7:14 PM
Post #197 of 234 (786 views)
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In reply to:

Perhaps you should research the very large amount of work I've done and contributed on the topic of exit separation before telling me I "don;t give a shit".

I do believe I've personally written (and thanked you for your research, and even thanked you for your powerpoint.
Failing that, thank you (once again).


pms07  (D 7571)

Jul 7, 2009, 7:22 PM
Post #198 of 234 (781 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Just a thought; maybe the proposal in the hands of the USPA for consideration needs wider distribution so those interested can consider and comment. Or maybe even attend the Board of Directors meeting to advocate.

Now there is a thought....Smile

Thanks for adding to the discussion JP. At this point, I'm not real optimistic about any forward progress on wingsuit issues by the USPA, at least right now. The late public viewing of the WSI proposal(s), the lack of debate on the need for such a proposal or appropriateness of USPA involvement, the apparent lack of community consensus, the very public pissing contest on this forum, the trend toward personal attacks vice substantive discussion, only serve to cloud the issues and important discussion. With that, I find it difficult to believe USPA can act at the upcomng BoD meeting. I could be wrong however. Anyway, I believe USPA will (and should) make changes to current wingsuit policy. How that turns out is largely up to us. Something to consider...


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 7, 2009, 7:42 PM
Post #199 of 234 (767 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Just a thought; maybe the proposal in the hands of the USPA for consideration needs wider distribution so those interested can consider and comment. Or maybe even attend the Board of Directors meeting to advocate.

Now there is a thought....Smile

Thanks for adding to the discussion JP. At this point, I'm not real optimistic about any forward progress on wingsuit issues by the USPA, at least right now. The late public viewing of the WSI proposal(s), the lack of debate on the need for such a proposal or appropriateness of USPA involvement, the apparent lack of community consensus, the very public pissing contest on this forum, the trend toward personal attacks vice substantive discussion, only serve to cloud the issues and important discussion. With that, I find it difficult to believe USPA can act at the upcomng BoD meeting. I could be wrong however. Anyway, I believe USPA will (and should) make changes to current wingsuit policy. How that turns out is largely up to us. Something to consider...

Step 1. ACCURATELY identify IF there is a problem that needs to be addressed, and if so WHAT EXACTLY IS IT.

Step 2. Collect CONVINCING evidence to support the assertion that you have identified the problem correctly.

Step 3. Identify a course (or courses) of action that addresses the ACTUAL problem and not an imagined one.

Step 4. Show convincingly that your solution IS the correct one.

Step 5. If more than one effective course of action is identified, select the one that is least intrusive on the skydiving community.

Step 6. Refrain from insulting those who disagree with you - they may just possibly be right.


SuperGirl  (D 30091)

Jul 7, 2009, 7:45 PM
Post #200 of 234 (759 views)
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In reply to:
Step 6. Refrain from insulting those who disagree with you - they may just possibly be right real sensitive and delicate, like a flower... .

fixed it Tongue


DangerDan

Jul 7, 2009, 8:09 PM
Post #201 of 234 (1414 views)
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Why is he real sensitive or delicate like a flower. He simply made a comment about a personal attack. I think the biggest motivating factor to this is that DSE is a mod, who is suppose to police the rules not break them.
As for the the topic, i think everyone can agree that the current state of instructors for wingsuits is not perfect. As for me, I dont care which ever way it goes. Some of the instruction I got with the current set up whether it be from Jeff or Ed was flawless and helped me out a lot. From the current arguments brought up here, hasnt proved to me that we need a change. Plus I love to see glen get all riled up and rant


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 7, 2009, 8:15 PM
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 Plus I love to see glen get all riled up and rant
You just wanted the 200th post sniper admit it.


DangerDan

Jul 7, 2009, 8:23 PM
Post #203 of 234 (1394 views)
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maybe thats the case but I will neither confirm or deny that


JohnDeere  (D License)

Jul 7, 2009, 9:10 PM
Post #204 of 234 (1370 views)
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Quote:
No amount of argument is going to convince you that you're not correct in a subjective debate. Ever. Patently clear; brought up in dozens of posts over the years on this website

LaughLaugh Oh shit the truth hurts so bad sometimes......LaughSly


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
Jul 7, 2009, 10:05 PM
Post #205 of 234 (1348 views)
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Re: [Skwrl] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure which document you looked at but check your mail, I have sent you the documents you requested.


SuperGirl  (D 30091)

Jul 7, 2009, 10:11 PM
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In reply to:
I'm not sure which document you looked at but check your mail, I have sent you the documents you requested.

seems to me (from skwrl's post) that he already checked his mail, looked at the documents and simply reached a conclusion different from yours.

sounds like you're in utter denial and can't accept that LaughLaugh


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
Jul 7, 2009, 10:16 PM
Post #207 of 234 (1338 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I'm not sure which document you looked at but check your mail, I have sent you the documents you requested.

seems to me (from skwrl's post) that he already checked his mail, looked at the documents and simply reached a conclusion different from yours.

sounds like you're in utter denial and can't accept that LaughLaugh


Since there are several documents he could have looked at, I cannot be sure what he has seen. If he looked at just the flight manual, thats not the correct document. But thanks for the smart ass remark.....it made me laughSmile


SuperGirl  (D 30091)

Jul 7, 2009, 10:24 PM
Post #208 of 234 (1332 views)
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In reply to:
Since there are several documents he could have looked at, I cannot be sure what he has seen.

fair enough... kinda reminds me of so many people who have posted in this thread without having read the new proposal documents and having no clue what they were talking about...
It's just that knowing Skwrl and how thorough he is in his work, I seriously doubt that he overlooked anything...
I guess we'll have to wait for his confirmation.

In reply to:
But thanks for the smart ass remark.....it made me laughSmile

always happy to entertain Tongue


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 7, 2009, 10:33 PM
Post #209 of 234 (1330 views)
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always happy to entertain Tongue
Friends with attitudes like this we can make it to 300! That would make Danny's post meaningless and I'm all for that. I don't believe he skydives anymore anyway.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 8, 2009, 4:37 AM
Post #210 of 234 (1292 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Step 6. Refrain from insulting those who disagree with you - they may just possibly be right real sensitive and delicate, like a flower... .

fixed it Tongue

Someone else who resorts to insults when their ideas are challenged.Unimpressed Thanks for making my point very effectively.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 8, 2009, 5:55 AM
Post #211 of 234 (1263 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
No amount of argument is going to convince you that you're not correct in a subjective debate.

And here lies one of the problems ... you want to create ratings and regulations based on subjective reasoning instead of objective evidence.


DangerDan

Jul 8, 2009, 11:25 AM
Post #212 of 234 (1174 views)
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Re: [VectorBoy] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

You believe wrong Glen, I make a wingsuit jump every blue moon. However it has to take a back seat to my new extreme hobby of underwater needle point. That really gets my heart racing and makes skydiving look like a waste of cash. I mean 1 jump can easily purchase 2 or 3 full things yarn (the good stuff too) and a dozen or so needles

edit to add, maybe if your lucky Glen I will make you a 3 stack keychain needle point


(This post was edited by DangerDan on Jul 8, 2009, 11:34 AM)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 8, 2009, 2:00 PM
Post #213 of 234 (1129 views)
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Re: [Butters] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Objective evidence:
~wingsuiters landing off and breaking bones and incurring other injuries.
~wingsuit instructors being told by other wingsuit instructors (on video) to not take a particular student because that student couldn't handle the jump. Student subsequently breaks themselves.
~wingsuiters colliding in clouds breaking bones
~wingsuiters routinely landing off
~wingsuiters colliding in clear air, breaking bones
~wingsuiters flying so far off-heading they end up in water.
~wingsuit students being taken up in 50Kt winds aloft
~wingsuiters with gear failure ending up dead
~wingsuiters with low jump numbers ending up dead.


Subjective responses;
"It's all their fault, they are experienced skydivers and should know better." Tough shit.
"The system didn't provide them enough information to know what they didn't know, and therefore didn't know to find information that might have saved them from incident. Change the system
With a lot of room for discussion in between. The incidents cannot be disputed. The question is whether there are enough incidents to justify change. In other words, at what level of injury/fatality does one begin to "give a shit?" and want to do something about it.
Any standard is better than no standard.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 8, 2009, 2:27 PM
Post #214 of 234 (1105 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Objective evidence:
~wingsuiters landing off and breaking bones and incurring other injuries.
~wingsuit instructors being told by other wingsuit instructors (on video) to not take a particular student because that student couldn't handle the jump. Student subsequently breaks themselves.
~wingsuiters colliding in clouds breaking bones
~wingsuiters routinely landing off
~wingsuiters colliding in clear air, breaking bones
~wingsuiters flying so far off-heading they end up in water.
~wingsuit students being taken up in 50Kt winds aloft
~wingsuiters with gear failure ending up dead
~wingsuiters with low jump numbers ending up dead.

.

One could globally replace "wingsuiters" with "freefliers" and make much the same statements. It is not evidence of a systemic problem with WS instruction.


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Jul 8, 2009, 2:42 PM
Post #215 of 234 (1098 views)
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Re: [kallend] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

One could also globally replace "wingsuiters" with "skydivers". Sh*t since we already have plenty of instruction with skydivers what are we to do?

Also the line about gear failure should read: "wingsuiters with mis-used gear ending up dead." DSE considering you are a Tonysuits guy you should know that in the incident this January the suit operated just as designed.

In regards to the incident involving legstraps:

I may be assuming too much, but I would hope that this discussion has occurred before considering this is not the first time a wingsuiter has forgotten their leg straps. Was it different in those cases because they were experienced flyers?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 8, 2009, 2:55 PM
Post #216 of 234 (1086 views)
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Re: [mnskydiver688] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Also the line about gear failure should read: "wingsuiters with mis-used gear ending up dead." DSE considering you are a Tonysuits guy you should know that in the incident this January the suit operated just as designed.

?
The gear failure I was referring to was a hackey that allegedly came off a PC at deployment time (wingsuit jump).
Dunnow where you got the idea I'm a Tonysuits guy. I own more Birdman and PF than I do Tonysuits. In fact, I'm considering taking the BMI course just so I can learn the famous Birdman "pout" that the models in their magazines do. Crazy
I'm aware of at least two additional instances where wingsuiters forgot their legstraps and exited. My submission is that the lace-up wings are what prevented these jumps from becoming a fatality.
In the case of Dan Kulpa/Sebastian, you're entirely correct; the suit operated 100% as it was designed to operate.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 8, 2009, 2:59 PM
Post #217 of 234 (1080 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 The incidents cannot be disputed.
Lets try.

Since no one is landing a wingsuit all of the issues with landing off injuries are canopy related. You don't need a wingsuit or CRW formation to land off. It can happen to anybody even with a huge dropzone. If the aircraft has an emergency and the pilot tells everybody to get out off, its happened to me. Off can happen to anybody be prepared! Canopy choice should reflect this preparation.

Bone breaking collisions in VFR/IFR: are we talking students or experienced wingsuiters? Are we talking events in countries that don't have any special regs in regards to clouds? In fact exactly what event(s) are you addressing in respect to bone breaking?

Water landing: Water is just an off landing with further complications. If you jump near water again it can happen regardless of discipline. Get training or Don't jump!

Students in 50 knot winds, really? Seems we already have regs that cover that not just wingsuiters but for everybody. Was it outside the FAA/USPA area of oversight IE: another country?

One instructor telling another instructor not to conduct a first flight course due to experience or other safety issues, on video even. ( very bad indeed) Why not take it up with the S&TA in charge?

Wingsuiters with low experience ending up dead for gear failure or any other reasons. I'll just have to give you these: We already have recommendations regarding these. But why not take the issue up with the S&TA, who will be the enforcement regardless if we are talking regs or BSRs or recommendations or a question of judgement? The USPA is not everywhere but typically someone like an S&TA is available for individual matters exactly such as this.


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Jul 8, 2009, 3:09 PM
Post #218 of 234 (1071 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

So with a wingsuit on you shouldn't pull your reserve? As with any other jump, you try twice and go to reserve. In this case, he tried but did not complete the steps that every skydiver is trained to do in a situation where the main cannot be deployed. What would the WSI have said in his training? Re-stated what the student was told in his FJC?


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 8, 2009, 3:10 PM
Post #219 of 234 (1070 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I'm aware of at least two additional instances where wingsuiters forgot their legstraps and exited. My submission is that the lace-up wings are what prevented these jumps from becoming a fatality.
Personally having known and flown with one of those guys and speaking with him after the event. No. He was experienced. During the instance of deployment, realizing he wasn't in his leg straps he reached up and grabbed his risers. Toggles still stowed he maneuvered to the large pond for a no flare landing.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 8, 2009, 3:15 PM
Post #220 of 234 (1064 views)
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Re: [mnskydiver688] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

  Re-stated what the student was told in his FJC?
That fatality was not a student. Most things presented about the jump are speculation to include hackey coming off before deployment or after impact.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 8, 2009, 3:18 PM)


174fps  (C 3060)

Jul 8, 2009, 3:32 PM
Post #221 of 234 (1046 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Objective evidence:
~wingsuiters landing off and breaking bones and incurring other injuries.
~wingsuit instructors being told by other wingsuit instructors (on video) to not take a particular student because that student couldn't handle the jump. Student subsequently breaks themselves.
~wingsuiters colliding in clouds breaking bones
~wingsuiters routinely landing off
~wingsuiters colliding in clear air, breaking bones
~wingsuiters flying so far off-heading they end up in water.
~wingsuit students being taken up in 50Kt winds aloft
~wingsuiters with gear failure ending up dead
~wingsuiters with low jump numbers ending up dead.


Subjective responses;
"It's all their fault, they are experienced skydivers and should know better." Tough shit.
"The system didn't provide them enough information to know what they didn't know, and therefore didn't know to find information that might have saved them from incident. Change the system
With a lot of room for discussion in between. The incidents cannot be disputed. The question is whether there are enough incidents to justify change. In other words, at what level of injury/fatality does one begin to "give a shit?" and want to do something about it.
Any standard is better than no standard.

Given the above response
Why (if you had not been injured) were you willing to come up to Canada and (as advertised on the DZ website)train First Flight Students who did not meet the CSPA minimum requirements?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 8, 2009, 4:06 PM
Post #222 of 234 (1029 views)
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Re: [174fps] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Given the above response
Why (if you had not been injured) were you willing to come up to Canada and (as advertised on the DZ website)train First Flight Students who did not meet the CSPA minimum requirements?

Bullshit. Lyle very clearly published the requirements to the best of my knowledge. At no point was there any offer to train anyone that didn't meet the requirements of a C CoP, 200 jumps, logbook demonstrating as much, and had I not been injured, the instruction would have included rigging, gear choices, heading, pilot communication, deployment, and emergency procedures. I did fly with one person (not a coached nor instructional jump) that didn't meet the requirements, who had already been jumping a wingsuit for "a while."
I suggest you ask Lyle about our several discussions that took place before I agreed to do the FFC weekend, before making bullshit comments such as this one.

Glen, re-read the 50knot comment. "Aloft" would mean "exit altitude."


174fps  (C 3060)

Jul 8, 2009, 4:17 PM
Post #223 of 234 (1024 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

From: Lyal Waddell [mailto:info@edennorth.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 10:27 PM
To: Lyal Waddell
Subject: Wing Suit course



Hello Jumpers



For those of you that are interested in a little wing suit instruction we have lucked out in getting the opportunity to introduce you to Douglas Spotted Eagle.

Wing Suit Instructor “Douglas Spotted Eagle” is coming to Eden North Saturday, June 20 and Sunday June 21, 2009

He has over 600 wingsuit skydives and was

Line anchor for the 71 way world record event (also was media coordinator for entire event)

Producer, editor of Wingsuit 101 and Wingsuit 202 training DVDs

These excellent DVD’s will be available at the Drop Zone



Douglas Spotted Eagle

Here on June 20 and 21, 2009

Wing suit instruction at its best.

He has the suits and the teaching experience and knowledge.

Now is the chance to take up the challenge.

Three slots available each day.

Register asap with a $50 deposit which will be applied to your coach jumps

*****Call Lyal 780 489 9000 ***** Limited slots available*****

We need your canopy size as well as your weight and measurements to accommodate you with a specific wing suit.

Questions answered by Douglas;

Number of first timers 2-3 each day is optimal, but no requirement

Base experience level required? They must have 200 jumps, Canadian equivalent of a USPA B license. 200 jumps is 200 jumps.





How many jumps expected? two jumps with each FFC/First Flight Course. Only one is necessary, unless they have so many air issues that I have to tell them “Let’s do another to see if we can clean that up.” I don’t sign logbooks that clear them if they’re not stable in two jumps.

Class time associated with your program two ways to run the FFC;



A- Two or more candidates, requires a 1 hour morning class



B- Individually. Approximately 35-40 minute class, pre booked



How many suits can you bring with you? 4-6 suits. I have petites to “big guy” suits.

What other costs would be associated with the coaching and or course for first timer’s vs. more experienced individuals?

Cost of FFC is jump ticket plus 20.00. This includes suit rental. Cost of standard coaching is 10.00 plus jump ticket.

Other FFC requirements. These aren’t USPA or CSPA requirements; these are “Douglas Spotted Eagle” and Flock University requirements;

~Must have a square parachute not loaded greater than 1:3

~Must have an AAD

~Must have an Audible Altimeter

~Must have a hard helmet

~I have a Flock University waiver that is an add-on to the DZ’s waiver.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 8, 2009, 4:39 PM
Post #224 of 234 (1012 views)
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Re: [174fps] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

So, lessee....you copied an email that was partially written by someone else (I'll assume Lyal) and partially written by me.
It's pretty clear. 200 jumps is 200 jumps. I didn't write the part about B or C CoP. My understanding is/was that a C CoP and 200 jumps are recommended by CSPA. If that's not the case, mea culpa, I trusted Lyal on that aspect. Either way, it's pretty clear. 200 jumps is 200 jumps. As are other things *I* require that CSPA doesn't such as audible, AAD, hard helmet, non-elliptical main, low wingloading etc.


174fps  (C 3060)

Jul 8, 2009, 5:03 PM
Post #225 of 234 (1000 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

On the original e mail the USPA B is written in blue
the question is in Black, ie your response to Lyal's question.

BS back at you.


LyraM45  (B 26378)

Jul 8, 2009, 5:05 PM
Post #226 of 234 (747 views)
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Re: [sdctlc] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
This thread has generated a good deal of responses and views. I'll repeat what Scott Bland put out there already. If you can take the time to write a post here on DZ.com or read this thread, you can take the time to e-mail your Regional and National Director and voice your stance in a few sentences. I have and they have already responded and shared their thoughts on it with me.

I 100% agree with that statement...

http://www.uspa.org/...bid/140/Default.aspx

At least 2 groups have submitted something per the request of a USPA Board Member with that request being very specific in terms of goals.. What the driving force was or support behind that from other USPA Board members or RD's I dont know for sure. I spoke to my RD this weekend as well as a AFF I/E who knows a little about it and now have a better understanding of the situation. If you cant talk to yours at least fire off a E-Mail using the link above if you don't have their contact info, BEFORE the meeting. This is a public forum and not the place where a/any decision will be made ultimately.

The document that was created within the group I was asked to participate in, I think met the goals asked. Is it perfect, I wish I could say it was but given it was generated by an experienced yes, but small group of people does not make it the be all end all. As I understood it,t once we were finished it was going to go into an open review period for comment which was part of why I agreed to work on it. All of that said, Does it carry a good amount of information that can be drawn from and used to formulate something different if that is what ultimately is decided, I hope the answer is a resounding yes.

I stated above I don't think the system is completely broken as it is but I do think it can be improved and this discussion having been generated by the editorial and then the public link to a proposal hopefully will lead to that.. If nothing else people should agree, after readig the thread here, that the minimum standards need to be adheared to given so many posters in this thread, even some of the ones railing against the idea of a WSI, have noted knowledge of wingsuit flights by under experienced jumpers and classes being taught by manufacturer Instructors, not just one manufacturer program but all of them..

IF you want or don't want to have some program, IF you want the recommended (and I would say accepted) standards to fly a wingsuit be bumped up to a BSR, IF you feel an expansion of the Wingsuit section in the Sim will help, of IF you want nothing --> take a minute and use the link above..

Scott Callantine
D-16437
USPA TM-I, S/L-I

Done.

I am not a wingsuiter, but I felt I could voice my opinion to my regional director as a member of the skydiving community. Wingsuits are typically none of my business, but because 1 wingsuiter can kill or harm anybody on the load with them, then I think that makes it my business. For example, take the fatality at Sebastian. What if Dan had fallen out of his harness and down through my canopy 500 or 1000 feet beneath his and killed me? Or another jumper? So, yes, I am concerned about whats going on here even though this is outside of my discipline of choice in skydiving.

Has anybody put out in plain language or a table the good vs. the bad if this proposal was actually put through? Even if it were to make it just a smidge safer out there do you think its worth it? I'll use the Sebastian incident again as an example. Say a system was set up with a USPA WS-I if he met all USPA reccomendations, same as if somebody has passed level 3 AFF in their log book would get assigned to an instructor for AFF 4. I would picture it much like AFF-I or T-I where the student, Dan, would have to go to manifest and check in with his log book and they would pair him up with the rated WS-I. Now we can get into a whole other argument about padding the log book and getting around the standards that would be set and more enforced through this program, but thats a whole other thread. Theoretically, maybe this would have saved him from himself (I'm sure he was a great guy, but it's stupid to try and pull what he pulled IMO) and helped an instructor not aide people in their stupidity.

Is this proposal going to make wingsuiting any LESS safe? Stay the same? Safer?

Just my .02, and maybe some of this is over my head, but like I said I feel it affects me when I am on a load with a wingsuiter. If the USPA can help better regulate wingsuiting so incidences maybe have less chance of occurring where a 100 jump wonder falls out of his harness and possibly plow through my canopy underneath him, then my opinion is for the USPA to do what they can as long as it makes it safer for everybody.


bdrake529  (D 29503)

Jul 8, 2009, 5:30 PM
Post #227 of 234 (729 views)
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Re: [174fps] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't get it. DSE is an advocate of a 200 jump minimum for wingsuits. The email you posted clearly says 200. What's your point?


174fps  (C 3060)

Jul 8, 2009, 6:09 PM
Post #228 of 234 (716 views)
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Re: [bdrake529] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

The CSPA technical recommendation is a C CoP
and just to remind you the USPA recommendation is not 200 jumps but
200 in the last 18 months.

If you are going to set yourself up as an advocate for safety
going to an other country and deciding their recommendations are not necessary is somewhat hypocritical

that is my point.


bdrake529  (D 29503)

Jul 8, 2009, 6:49 PM
Post #229 of 234 (702 views)
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Re: [174fps] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
not 200 jumps but 200 in the last 18 months.

That is a valid point.

Quote:
If you are going to set yourself up as an advocate for safety
going to an other country and deciding their recommendations are not necessary is somewhat hypocritical

I don't see that as "hypocritical" per se. If an instructor advocates 200 in 18 months, and a country recommends say 300 in 18 months (just making that up), it's not "hypocritical" for the instructor to go with the number he personally believes in. You may disagree with that, but it's not hypocritical. Hypocrisy is declaring one thing and doing another. To stick with 200 is consistent.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 8, 2009, 7:06 PM
Post #230 of 234 (698 views)
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Re: [LyraM45] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 Asley,

I don't need a wingsuit to plow unresponsively through your canopy or deploy up from beneath you. Anybody on your load with wrong ideas about exit separation or poor tracking skills can do that.

In fact on an average flock you would be on the ground before the wingsuit group returns to the pattern area. Once more since we tend to fly docile mains there is less of a chance of us performing a poor attempt at a high performance turn into you while you were on approach. We are not angels but there are much higher threats to your safety on a dropzone.

You may like to do a little easy research. Most of the wingsuit instruction manuals are on PDF on the manufacturers websites along with other valuable educational materials thoughtfully prepared, it free. They may answer some questions you never knew you had or inspire you to try wingsuiting when your time is right if you have the desire.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 8, 2009, 7:27 PM)


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jul 8, 2009, 7:11 PM
Post #231 of 234 (696 views)
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Re: [174fps] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The CSPA technical recommendation is a C CoP
and just to remind you the USPA recommendation is not 200 jumps but
200 in the last 18 months.

If you are going to set yourself up as an advocate for safety
going to an other country and deciding their recommendations are not necessary is somewhat hypocritical
Going to another country without knowing the letters of their law is somewhat common. The C CoP requires 200 jumps, so not that big a deal anyway, and similar enough to ours that it's easy to overlook, IMO. Another issue is that pesky word recommendation. Nobody commented on another one I threw out there: Wing cutaways. They are recommended now, and who knows, may become a regulation. I don't have, need or want any. Right now it's a recommendation I am free to ignore; am I wrong to do so?


174fps  (C 3060)

Jul 8, 2009, 8:10 PM
Post #232 of 234 (673 views)
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Re: [fasted3] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
The CSPA technical recommendation is a C CoP
and just to remind you the USPA recommendation is not 200 jumps but
200 in the last 18 months.

If you are going to set yourself up as an advocate for safety
going to an other country and deciding their recommendations are not necessary is somewhat hypocritical
Going to another country without knowing the letters of their law is somewhat common. The C CoP requires 200 jumps, so not that big a deal anyway, and similar enough to ours that it's easy to overlook, IMO. Another issue is that pesky word recommendation. Nobody commented on another one I threw out there: Wing cutaways. They are recommended now, and who knows, may become a regulation. I don't have, need or want any. Right now it's a recommendation I am free to ignore; am I wrong to do so?

Spot stated the C CoP recommendation in two posts ..he knew.

Thats all I'm going to say

Hope you heal up soon Spot, get back to flying


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 8, 2009, 9:43 PM
Post #233 of 234 (654 views)
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Re: [174fps] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Spot stated the C CoP recommendation in two posts ..he knew.

Thats all I'm going to say

Hope you heal up soon Spot, get back to flying

I knew, after I'd already had a couple of email discussions with Lyal and a wingsuiter in the area.
I also met someone on the Saturday I was there who had 300 jumps over 3 years. I explained to her that I'd need to do a tracking jump with her to evaluate whether or not she could participate or not. I guess that makes me a bad person too.
I've taken up one person prior to 200 jumps, learned the hard way when he had a cutaway. I don't fuck with that rule/recommendation/requirement at all as a result. I usually learn in one. Let's hope I've learned to never drop a toggle again.Unsure


Taz  (D 27874)

Jul 12, 2009, 2:19 PM
Post #234 of 234 (527 views)
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Re: [skyjumpsteve] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

UPDATE: Thought I'd report in from the USPA Dallas Board meeting.

The Safety and Training Committee, after hearing a presentation and Q&A from me on Friday and from DSE yesterday (Subject: Wingsuit Safety & Training discussion + Instructor Rating Proposal), presented a motion to the full board.

The motion was to place the "best practices" first flight course syllabus put forward at this meeting onto the USPA website for public viewing and feedback prior to the next Board meeting in the winter. The GOAL is to include a collaboratively edited version of a First Flight Course syllabus in THE NEXT SIM (Skydiver's Information Manual) section 6-9, WINGSUIT RECOMMENDATIONS.

Since the current recommendations are under 2 pages long and were adopted in 2002, it's a good time for an update. It's also an open process where written feedback will be accepted from anyone who wants to make constructive and specific comments between now and January 2010. It also keeps everything in the realm of recommendations and education/information.

There was no motion for the creation of a new rating or changes to the USPA Instructional Rating Manual (IRM).

Those are the facts as they stand.

Thanks, -T



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