Forums: Archive: 2013-2015 USPA BOD Elections:
Summer Board Meeting

 


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Jul 7, 2011, 6:48 PM
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Well the summer meeting is upon us and hopefully everyone has been hard at work in the off months preparing. Maybe we can use this thread to update the online community, or more importantly have them voice their opinions.

There are some very important topics that are going to be covered and I think it is important to keep everyone in the loop.

Thanks,
Rich Winstock


Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

Jul 8, 2011, 8:11 AM
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Interestingly enough, I am the only gallery member (so far). I am posting updates on the Skydive Raeford Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/RaefordDZ


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 8, 2011, 8:36 AM
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Seems a reasonable request.
I hope the BOD will keep us the General Members in the loop here.
And as you may have knowledge of the BOD efforts this weekend maybe that will be accomplished!

Matt


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Jul 8, 2011, 6:24 PM
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Good first day. The proxy passed with approx 3500 votes.
Also some very proactive changes coming out of Sfaety and Training regarding canopy education. Looks very good to hav a new canopy proficiency card requirement for the B license., all input has been excellent.
We also spent a good amount of time going over the tandem's 19 commandments and how they relate to USPA.
All updates to follow but I would suggest following slot perfects updates on the raeford facebook page, link above.
Rich Winstock


MikeTJumps  (D 5957)

Jul 9, 2011, 7:20 AM
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The Argus AAD situation with cutter malfunctions was discussed but the only thing that the USPA BOD was involved with is getting the manufacturers of the rigs and the AAD to discuss the situation with each other. USPA will have no recommendations as to the outcome of the situation.

The PIA's views: Still five manufacturers not allowing Argus in their rigs unless a cutter redesign occurs making it more reliable.

Lawsuits naming USPA: There are three currently in contention. One of which I informed the plaintiff's attorney that they did not have a vialble case against the USPA. I have been informed that there are numerous "bad vibes" about me being an expert witness in skydiving matters simply because I was a plaintiff's expert witness against a pilot who, in the opinion of five major MEL Jump Pilots was not operating an aircraft safely leading to an injury of a skydiver (partial permanent paralysis). What the public has not been told is that I have helped shut down at least 12 other lawsuits where either I informed the plaintiff's attorneys that they didn't have a case or that the attorneys settled for fear of a costly court battle. No matter what I said was the responsibility of the injured party, it seems that insurance companies prefer to settle rather than fight it out in court.

We have been informed that Rick Horn, one of the second tier of the original AFF Course Directors passed away three weeks ago. He was Alpaca farming/raising in CA. Cancer got him.

The Summer 2012 meeting location has been selected as Minneapolis, MN.

The S&T committee is working on issues involving Tandem Demo Jumps into Level 2 stadiums.

Tandem Manufacturer's "19 Commandments" are being examined.


(This post was edited by MikeTJumps on Jul 9, 2011, 7:24 AM)


MikeTJumps  (D 5957)

Jul 9, 2011, 3:08 PM
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Oops. Spelling error: Viable, not vialble.


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Jul 10, 2011, 10:05 AM
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I am very pleased to announce that the full BOD accepted the requirement for a canopy piloting proficiency card for a B license, effective 1/1/2012. The S & T commitee along with help from some key individuals present at the meeting worked hard on this card all weekend. The card is in conjunction with section 6-10 & 6-11.

Also tandem passengers do not need helmets or altimeters as per USPA but manufacture requirements might be different.

Just to name a few things.

Rich


Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

Jul 10, 2011, 3:43 PM
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http://www.uspa.org/...9/Default.aspx#22779


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Jul 10, 2011, 3:45 PM
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In reply to:
The Argus AAD situation with cutter malfunctions was discussed but the only thing that the USPA BOD was involved with is getting the manufacturers of the rigs and the AAD to discuss the situation with each other. USPA will have no recommendations as to the outcome of the situation.

The PIA's views: Still five manufacturers not allowing Argus in their rigs unless a cutter redesign occurs making it more reliable.

Lawsuits naming USPA: There are three currently in contention. One of which I informed the plaintiff's attorney that they did not have a vialble case against the USPA. I have been informed that there are numerous "bad vibes" about me being an expert witness in skydiving matters simply because I was a plaintiff's expert witness against a pilot who, in the opinion of five major MEL Jump Pilots was not operating an aircraft safely leading to an injury of a skydiver (partial permanent paralysis). What the public has not been told is that I have helped shut down at least 12 other lawsuits where either I informed the plaintiff's attorneys that they didn't have a case or that the attorneys settled for fear of a costly court battle. No matter what I said was the responsibility of the injured party, it seems that insurance companies prefer to settle rather than fight it out in court.

We have been informed that Rick Horn, one of the second tier of the original AFF Course Directors passed away three weeks ago. He was Alpaca farming/raising in CA. Cancer got him.

The Summer 2012 meeting location has been selected as Minneapolis, MN.

The S&T committee is working on issues involving Tandem Demo Jumps into Level 2 stadiums.

Tandem Manufacturer's "19 Commandments" are being examined.

So you went to the board meeting?


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 10, 2011, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Also tandem passengers do not need helmets or altimeters as per USPA but manufacture requirements might be different.

Clarify please. Has the BOD removed the requirement that tandem students have access to a visual altimeter?


MikeTJumps  (D 5957)

Jul 10, 2011, 9:03 PM
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Yes Chuck. I've been to all but 2 BOD meetings since 1997. I am the PIA's representative to them and Dan Poynter funds my trips there. I am an advisor to the S&T committee and I have input at the BOD meetings whenever I find something important to address.


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 11, 2011, 9:08 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
Also tandem passengers do not need helmets or altimeters as per USPA but manufacture requirements might be different.

Clarify please. Has the BOD removed the requirement that tandem students have access to a visual altimeter?

I've had a confirmation from a BOD member that this is the case. The BSR has been changed so that a Tandem Student no longer has to have access to an altimeter.

I'd LOVE to hear the BOD's explanation for this.


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 11, 2011, 10:33 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Quote:
Also tandem passengers do not need helmets or altimeters as per USPA but manufacture requirements might be different.

Clarify please. Has the BOD removed the requirement that tandem students have access to a visual altimeter?

I've had a confirmation from a BOD member that this is the case. The BSR has been changed so that a Tandem Student no longer has to have access to an altimeter.

I'd LOVE to hear the BOD's explanation for this.

This seems a step backwards in my opinion. Now it appears even USPA has stepped back from tandem as a Training method and the Students are no longer Students.

Matt


peek  (D 8884)

Jul 11, 2011, 11:13 AM
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In reply to:
The BSR has been changed so that a Tandem Student no longer has to have access to an altimeter.

What is interesting is that many people (BOD members and other alike) think that an altimeter on the instructor's wrist is "accessible" to the student. It _can_ be, but I don't think that it necessarily is, and certainly isn't all the time.

By the way, Gary Peek and Vic Johnson voted no to that BSR change. If enough members think this BSR change was not a good thing, then by all means contact the Safety and Training committee members.

(Discuss it here, complain there.)

Perhaps someone could start another thread in the Instructors or S&T forum.


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Jul 11, 2011, 1:36 PM
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Hey Diablo,

I can give you the thought process that took place in S&T regarding the altimeters for tandem students.

Across the country many many dropzone interpret visually accessible to mean the tandem instructors altimeter would suffice to meet the requirement. I know of several large dropzones that do not give their tandem students altimeters on the first jump, but consequently give them one for a training tandem. I personally have fielded many calls asking for a clarification. the problem was that even the BOD had differnet opinions. Which in turn means it is not clear. All we did was add (except tandem students) to the wording. This makes it clear that a tandem student does not need an altimeter. Keep in mind it doesnt say they cant have one, so if you give your students altimeters that is completely up to each DZ.

The S&T felt it was not a safety issue. The arguement was if a tandem instructors altimeter malfunctioned they could use the students as a back up. It was strongly believed a tandem instructor should be able to know via time clock, visually, or through experience that his altimeter is not functioning properly.

There were some other very debated issues as well. Min. exit altitude of 7500', tandem canopies must maintain 100' seperation, deployment altitude to 5500. All of these and several others were not only voted down, it was unanimous. Many DZ's will exit with a tandem at 6, 6.5, and 7 k weather dependant. My thought on the 7500 exit altitude was that we have a min deployment altitude of 4500' so I felt it wasnt necessary to designate a min exit altitude. You must exit high enough to initiate deployment by 4500. I felt keeping it simple was probably the best route.
Another issue was requiring the tandem canopy to be fully inflated by 4k. Again, I felt this a bit ridiculous being the tandem instructor doesnt have control over the time it may take to open fully. If we went ahead and approved this one then you can open at 4600 but if you snivel to 3800 you would be in violation. It just seemed contradictory to me.

I hope that clears some of it a bit. I am always open to your thoughts and do not ever take offense to disagreement or debate.
Rich


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 11, 2011, 3:00 PM
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In reply to:
Hey Diablo,

I can give you the thought process that took place in S&T regarding the altimeters for tandem students.

Across the country many many dropzone interpret visually accessible to mean the tandem instructors altimeter would suffice to meet the requirement.This would be of course incorrect by the various Manufacturers and their course teachings. I know of several large dropzones that do not give their tandem students altimeters on the first jump, but consequently give them one for a training tandem. I personally have fielded many calls asking for a clarification. the problem was that even the BOD had differnet opinions. Which in turn means it is not clear. All we did was add (except tandem students) to the wording. This makes it clear that a tandem student does not need an altimeter. Keep in mind it doesnt say they cant have one, so if you give your students altimeters that is completely up to each DZ.

The S&T felt it was not a safety issue.but it is, if a student panics the arm the instructor just stick in front of them to show an altimeter is now "trapped". The arguement was if a tandem instructors altimeter malfunctioned they could use the students as a back up.a good argument It was strongly believed a tandem instructor should be able to know via time clock, visually, or through experience that his altimeter is not functioning properly.

There were some other very debated issues as well. Min. exit altitude of 7500', tandem canopies must maintain 100' seperation, deployment altitude to 5500. All of these and several others were not only voted down, it was unanimous. Many DZ's will exit with a tandem at 6, 6.5, and 7 k weather dependant. My thought on the 7500 exit altitude was that we have a min deployment altitude of 4500' so I felt it wasnt necessary to designate a min exit altitude. You must exit high enough to initiate deployment by 4500. I felt keeping it simple was probably the best route.
Another issue was requiring the tandem canopy to be fully inflated by 4k. Again, I felt this a bit ridiculous being the tandem instructor doesnt have control over the time it may take to open fully. the slower opening canopies of today is why the THREE US MANFACtURUERS are requiring 5500' AGL If we went ahead and approved this one then you can open at 4600 but if you snivel to 3800 you would be in violation. It just seemed contradictory to me.

I hope that clears some of it a bit. I am always open to your thoughts and do not ever take offense to disagreement or debate.
Rich

I think it just muddied up the waters a bit more.

I think Gary and Vic actually thought of Student Training, not the others.

I think voting against the safer altitudes in the 19 Commandments is actually a vote against Tandem Student Safety.

Matt


3331  (D 3331)

Jul 11, 2011, 5:31 PM
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http://www.uspa.org/...mfid/19/Default.aspx


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Jul 11, 2011, 7:49 PM
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In reply to:
I think voting against the safer altitudes in the 19 Commandments is actually a vote against Tandem Student Safety.

Hey Matt,
There was no vote against anything. We just left it alone. Meaning that the deployment altitude for tandems is 4500'. We didnt change anything. If we did as suggested by the manufacturers and changed the deployment altitude to 5500' how would we do student training tandems. We train to waive at 5500' by the time they actually wave and find the rip cord it is usually initiated around 4700-4800 depending on how much time you decide to give them. If we change the altitude to 5500 feet training tandems would have to wave at 6500.

There was nothing brought before the board that stated 4500 was an unsafe altitude to deploy tandems at. Do you feel differently? I deploy at 5k 99.7 % of the time but have on a few ocassions deployed below 5k and above 4500. I dont feel as if I was being unsafe to my student.

Again, to emphasis we did not do anything, we just didnt change what we currently are using.

As far as the exit altitude all we are saying is that having a 4500 deployment altitude answers the min exit altitude. High enough to deploy by 4500'agl.
If we said 7500' is a BSR for min exit that means every tandem that is done across the country below 7500 agl is a bsr violation. How many dropzones if weather comes in do tandems from 6k up to 7500k? I will answer for you, a lot.

As far as the altimeters, I agree they are a useful training tool and should be used on all training tandems. I do not believe we should make it a bsr violation if you dont put an altimeter on grandpa jones who is checking skydiving off his bucket list. I think it should be left up to the dropzones themselves.

It is a fine line we are trying to walk and not everyone will be happy but I guarantee if we made those changes dropzones and instructors across the world would be pretty pissed off.

Please keep in mind if you want to deploy at 5500, and only exit above 7500 you are completely free to adhere to those standards as set by your dz.


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Jul 11, 2011, 7:57 PM
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In reply to:
I think Gary and Vic actually thought of Student Training, not the others.
In reply to:

I have all the respect in the world for both Gary and Vic and would never speak against them.

I will add that by making the above changes student freefall would be drastically reduced. A 7500 agl exit and a deployment by 5500 agl. is not giving a tandem training student the time needed to accomplish anything. If they wave at 6500' to initiate deployment by 5500 that leaves 1000' to get stable throw a drogue and actual perform some skills: ie practice touches, turns, forward motion.

So although Gary and Vic have valid reasons and points not agreeing with them does not mean we are against the students, it is quite the opposite.

Your thoughts?


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 12, 2011, 8:27 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I think Gary and Vic actually thought of Student Training, not the others.
In reply to:

I have all the respect in the world for both Gary and Vic and would never speak against them.

I will add that by making the above changes student freefall would be drastically reduced. A 7500 agl exit and a deployment by 5500 agl. is not giving a tandem training student the time needed to accomplish anything. If they wave at 6500' to initiate deployment by 5500 that leaves 1000' to get stable throw a drogue and actual perform some skills: ie practice touches, turns, forward motion.

So although Gary and Vic have valid reasons and points not agreeing with them does not mean we are against the students, it is quite the opposite.

Your thoughts?

The 5500' AGL altitude is the same as an AFF Cat "A". We find that to be plenty of time.

True the BOD did not vote "against" the 19 Commandments but they should have voted "yes" to implement them. They are only Safety driven after all, and Safety should be USPA's first concern.

Bill Booth actually had good a argument for raising the minimum deployment altitude from 4500' to 5500'. I do not remember the exact wording but it involved the ~2500' AAD activation altitude and the combination of 1000' opening mains with a delay for any reason in the deployment process. The outcome could be a two out situation or a reserve main entanglement. The argument was sound enough ALL three of the US Tandem Rig Manufacturers signed that document and presented it to PIA.

Now with USPA NOT agreeing to the Safer Standards, we once again have a double standard with which we USPA and Manufacturer Rated Instructors have to follow. Since the Manufacturer and USPA have an agreement that if an Instructor Violates one or the others rules a rating can be pulled and that WILL BE honored by the other, so, we have a problem.

If UPT says: "Here is the 19 Commandments for Tandem Parachuting, follow them". I do Hop and Pop Tandems at 4500', UPT says: "No" and pulls my rating, I no longer have a USPA rating as well, per the agreement from 2008(?). I cry: "But USPA Said!" See?

The Tandem Students deserve our complete attention for their safety, that is all the 19 Commandments tried to get ALL of us T-I's to do. USPA should have agreed. By agreeing then the four major players that are not the FAA would be on the same page, giving us a better leg to stand on.

The other direction would be to have USPA get ALL THE WAY OUT of Tandem Skydiving Governing and then let the Manufacturers deal with each DZ and individual themselves. I know there are lots of T-I's that would prefer that.

Again this is my opinion, the BOD had theirs and the BOD voted as such. I see it as a Safety discussion, and am quite surprised that it was not implemented, as every one I voted for this past election ALL campaigned for Safer Skydiving.

Matt


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 13, 2011, 2:17 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I think Gary and Vic actually thought of Student Training, not the others.
In reply to:

I have all the respect in the world for both Gary and Vic and would never speak against them.

I will add that by making the above changes student freefall would be drastically reduced. A 7500 agl exit and a deployment by 5500 agl. is not giving a tandem training student the time needed to accomplish anything. If they wave at 6500' to initiate deployment by 5500 that leaves 1000' to get stable throw a drogue and actual perform some skills: ie practice touches, turns, forward motion.

So although Gary and Vic have valid reasons and points not agreeing with them does not mean we are against the students, it is quite the opposite.

Your thoughts?

A 4500' AGL exit doesn't allow the Student to do any training, unless the T-I uses it as s chance for Canopy Control.

A minimum of 7500' would at least let them, arch, read an Alti (if they still wore one) and then attempt a pull on time.

Matt


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Jul 14, 2011, 12:28 AM
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I am all for a recommended min altitude for a training tandem. 7500 would be good for that. I dont think it needs to be a bsr though. How about 7500 feet agl and an altimeter as a recommendation for training tandems.
.


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 18, 2011, 9:22 AM
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In reply to:
I am all for a recommended min altitude for a training tandem. 7500 would be good for that. I dont think it needs to be a bsr though. How about 7500 feet agl and an altimeter as a recommendation for training tandems.
.

Sure, and remember, all tandems should be for training as all Tandems have an Instructor and Student as well as handles to facilitate this. Even says so on the Student harness for UPT.

I personally think, that if the BOD was wanting to take a step back from Tandem Instruction, then step all the way out. But, if they still want to be involved in Tandem Instruction step back in all the way and Hokie Pokie.

Matt


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Jul 18, 2011, 7:01 PM
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I do not disagree with what you are saying. Tandems are meant to be a training tool vs an amusement ride. The problem is not everyone wants to be trained. Some people want to show up and just experience the thrill of freefall and a canopy ride. Should we push it on these folks? I usually give them what they want.


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 18, 2011, 9:03 PM
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From FAR 105.45

Quote:
(2) The person acting as parachutist in command:

(i) Has briefed the passenger parachutist before boarding the aircraft. The briefing must include the procedures to be used in case of an emergency with the aircraft or after exiting the aircraft, while preparing to exit and exiting the aircraft, freefall, operating the parachute after freefall, landing approach, and landing.


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 19, 2011, 6:31 AM
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In reply to:
From FAR 105.45

Quote:
(2) The person acting as parachutist in command:

(i) Has briefed the passenger parachutist before boarding the aircraft. The briefing must include the procedures to be used in case of an emergency with the aircraft or after exiting the aircraft, while preparing to exit and exiting the aircraft, freefall, operating the parachute after freefall, landing approach, and landing.

Why would USPA not back that FAR with the BSR?

Matt


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 19, 2011, 6:44 AM
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In reply to:
I do not disagree with what you are saying. Tandems are meant to be a training tool vs an amusement ride. The problem is not everyone wants to be trained. Some people want to show up and just experience the thrill of freefall and a canopy ride. Should we push it on these folks? I usually give them what they want.

FAR aside.

Yes, train them how to read the Alti and pull as the Tandem is meant to introduce the Student to our sport with minimum stress and TRAINING. In the industry standard "meet at the 20 minute call" you can still explain to them how to arch, put their hands on the harness (arms not crossed of course), legs near together between yours, bring their hands out when signaled, read the alti and reach back and pull with assistance (that last part sounds like a Cat "A" huh?).

When they balk, reassure them your right there with 'em! They laugh and giggle and then most try!

Sunday, last Sunday, we had a Tandem Student who liked his jump so much he jumped again within the hour! On his second jump (I was his T-I) I had him pull, fly the canopy (taught him a controlability check, wind line, play area, pattern and he flew it to the Base leg). He bought his AFF jump before he left!

I think he became an AFF student because he attempted to pull the first jump, and got even more to do on the second, he was involved.

Yes, a few will just want to check the box and move on (others won't be able to participate as much for various reasons). They can still get the brief, they may change their minds when the students see the others in their group getting training, better to dirt dive on the ground than in the plane right?

As a Member of the BOD, I want to ask you why you did not see this as a good thing?

I do not understand why this was not adopted, the Big Three gave USPA an Olive Branch and we used it to roast the wiener.

The 19 are safety first items, USPA should be a safety first organization.

Matt


SkyPiggie  (D License)

Jul 19, 2011, 7:56 AM
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In reply to:
Lawsuits naming USPA: There are three currently in contention. One of which I informed the plaintiff's attorney that they did not have a vialble case against the USPA. I have been informed that there are numerous "bad vibes" about me being an expert witness in skydiving matters simply because I was a plaintiff's expert witness against a pilot who, in the opinion of five major MEL Jump Pilots was not operating an aircraft safely leading to an injury of a skydiver (partial permanent paralysis). What the public has not been told is that I have helped shut down at least 12 other lawsuits where either I informed the plaintiff's attorneys that they didn't have a case or that the attorneys settled for fear of a costly court battle.

How is it that you find yourself involved in so many skydiving lawsuits?


topdocker  (D 12018)

Jul 19, 2011, 9:45 AM
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In reply to:
The 19 are safety first items, USPA should be a safety first organization.

Matt

#2 has nothing to do with safety. (A signed waiver does not make your jump inherently more safe)

top


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 20, 2011, 7:28 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
The 19 are safety first items, USPA should be a safety first organization.

Matt

#2 has nothing to do with safety. (A signed waiver does not make your jump inherently more safe)

top

True.
It was a general statement of safety. But it does make it safer for your assets, according to a few lawyers. Is that the only flaw you can find in the thought?

IMO, Not adopting them was a step backwards in safety and alignment of one standard for us. Now we are back to two standards and no enforcement in either. No Bite with the Bark.

Matt


Premier TomNoonan  (D 24313)
Moderator
Jul 27, 2011, 3:31 PM
Post #31 of 34 (647 views)
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I have been meaning to respond to the results of the summer BOD meeting, but I wanted to do it after I had some time to consider the ramifications of what did (and didn't) occur there.

Regarding the vote to exempt tandems from the BSR that requires students be given altimeters, I am really disappointed that the vote occurred.

The reasoning behind the vote as I am told is that it was felt that an experienced TI should not need a second visual altimeter in the unlikely event that his (or her) visible altimeter fails. That they should be able to rely on their internal "jump clock" to remain altitude aware.

The incident in Jonesboro was not that long ago, an incident that was argued could have began due to loss of altitude awareness if I remember correctly. To make a case that a TI should not need a secondary visual altimeter reference in such short order after the Jonesboro tandem incident is completely inappropriate in my opinion. Should loss of altitude awareness happen? No. Could it happen? Obviously it is possible, so why take something out of the BSRs that could help avoid loss of altitude awareness?

The answer I got was that alot of DZs are already not giving tandem students altimeters.

That makes no sense to me. I understand the logic behind it, but I don't agree with that logic. Instead i would have suggested that we keep the BSR as is and educate/campaign to reach the non-complying DZs to assist them into compliance. Altimeters are just not that expensive. It's not a financial burden. And giving tandem students all altimeters does nothing but INCREASE the safety of both the instructor and thus the student.

USPA questions "Do the manufacturers want us to manage the program or not?". I don't speak for the manufactures, but in my opinion, in a perfect world, USPA could admin the program successfully like the BPA, APF and NZPIA are able to. Unfortunately, as it stands, the current incarnation of USPA oversight of the tandem program is not working. This vote on the BSRs is a perfect example. Our BOD voted to make tandem less safe and our non-complying DZs, now BSR compliant in the process. Does that bother anyone? It should.

Can anyone blame the manufacturers for being concerned about this level of mismanagement of a program so vital to the sustained growth of our industry?


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 27, 2011, 9:17 PM
Post #32 of 34 (635 views)
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Re: [TomNoonan] Summer Board Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a lot more to say on this, but I'll start with a +1 on Tom's sentiments.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Jul 28, 2011, 7:17 AM
Post #33 of 34 (617 views)
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Re: [SkyPiggie] Summer Board Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
[MikeTJumps:] Lawsuits naming USPA: There are three currently in contention. One of which I informed the plaintiff's attorney that they did not have a vialble case against the USPA. I have been informed that there are numerous "bad vibes" about me being an expert witness in skydiving matters simply because I was a plaintiff's expert witness against a pilot who, in the opinion of five major MEL Jump Pilots was not operating an aircraft safely leading to an injury of a skydiver (partial permanent paralysis). What the public has not been told is that I have helped shut down at least 12 other lawsuits where either I informed the plaintiff's attorneys that they didn't have a case or that the attorneys settled for fear of a costly court battle.

How is it that you find yourself involved in so many skydiving lawsuits?

By context, that inquiry seems to have the message "How dare you?" implied with it.
As both a skydiver and a litigation attorney, but one who dislikes skydiving lawsuits, let me lend a little un-emotional perspective.

He's really not a "traitor to our tribe" deserving of banishment, ostracism or tar-and-feathering. Expert consultants, to industries outside the expert's field of practice, exist in every field. Doctors, engineers, architects, psychologists, etc., all do it. And just like any form of professional networking, whether active or passive, when an expert undertakes one outside consulting project, he often becomes known as someone with whom one can consult for a professional evaluation.

And, as his post suggests, if they consult to the legal community, it's not at all unusual for an expert to have to give an attorney-client the frank news that their side of the case (or potential case) is weak. In that regard, keep in mind the part of his post where he noted that he's told about a dozen attorneys that their side of a skydiving case is weak.


Premier TomNoonan  (D 24313)
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Jul 28, 2011, 4:02 PM
Post #34 of 34 (589 views)
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Re: [matthewcline] Summer Board Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Now with USPA NOT agreeing to the Safer Standards, we once again have a double standard with which we USPA and Manufacturer Rated Instructors have to follow.

That was very well put Matt, and very accurate. The tandem group came together primarily for two reasons:
1) Increase the safety margins that the tandem industry operates under.
and
2) Standardize the rules and regulations for all three manufacturers to remove any confusion resulting from operating one system over another.

As with the change to the BSR to exempt tandem students from being required to have visual altimeters, I also believe that the failure of S&T and the BOD to adopt the tandem commandments is also a step in the wrong direction.

For example: When people talk about getting out low on tandems. What UPT, Strong and JS have seen and understand better than anyone is that when you look at the "domino effect" leading to malfunctions and problems on tandems, it often starts with getting out lower than usual. Side spins, drogue entanglements due to sloppy/unstable drogue throws, etc, simply have a greater chance of occurring when we get out lower. Why? The normal operating procedure changes. Hook up sequences start lower, some TIs feel anxiety about doing a lower exit, get tense, and that's all you need to start a tandem jump under less than optimal conditions.

Is there a magic line between 6500ft and 7500ft that makes it safe to get out at 7500ft and not 6500ft? Of course not. But what the increase does is give TIs additional valuable time to sort out any issues they encounter on exit. UPT, Strong and JS have the experience on malfunction reporting to show that getting out a little higher, greatly reduces the chance of a bad exit.

It's a skydiving interpretation of the saying "what's the most useless thing in all aviation?.....the runway behind you." For us it is the altitude above us. I've seen some of the videos, and read some of the reports. It's not just the new TIs, it could happen to anyone with 1000s of tandem jumps, even those that consider themselves true professionals and immune to all this.


The 19 Commandments were created to increase safety margins for the entire tandem industry.

That the BOD did not fully grasp this may just signify that the concept of the commandments needs to be better explained. I expect at the next BOD meeting you will probably see reps from all three manufacturers to assist in that understanding.

In the interim, I am putting the back stories of each of the commandments (the "why do they exist?") into a manual. When it is done I will release it to USPA for dissemination to any and all that care to better understand where this process came from.

If you go back and reread the commandments, and ask yourself, why did Mark Procos, Bill Morrissey and Nancy LaRivierre put all this information together, I mean really give it some thought, you'll understand why this commandment project was undertaken.

As for USPA's role, I'll end on a positive:

Everyone wants to see this situation improve and it will. The manufacturers have and continue to put in the time needed, and I think the future will see more of that time communicating with USPA.



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