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

 

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wmw999  (D 6296)

May 18, 2012, 8:12 AM
Post #26 of 32 (585 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Summer BOD Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
There no free lunch
And there's no way for a solution to be thought of that won't make someone unhappy. And that someone will spend a lot of BOD time talking to them, when they'd really rather just keep going.

This is a time when it might be tougher to be a BOD member, really, if anything is going to be legislated about wing loading. People will be nominated in the future based on their views on this issue, and on whether they think they can either enforce or dismantle any regulations.

For a BOD member, it's kind of like a lose-lose situation. That's part of the job, but might just be part of the reason why they're kind of loath to take the lead here.

Wendy P.


davelepka  (D 21448)

May 18, 2012, 8:25 AM
Post #27 of 32 (579 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Summer BOD Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
This is a time when it might be tougher to be a BOD member, really, if anything is going to be legislated about wing loading. People will be nominated in the future based on their views on this issue, and on whether they think they can either enforce or dismantle any regulations.

For a BOD member, it's kind of like a lose-lose situation. That's part of the job, but might just be part of the reason why they're kind of loath to take the lead here.

I accept your analysis of the situation, but not that it's a valid reason for the inaction.

Not a single current BOD member was elected before this problem had been apparent and long standing, and if they took a leadership position within the comminuty, it's their reposnsibility to lead, and that includes taking care of the tough issues.

It's a clear dereliction of duty on a grand and sweeping scale. The US is by and far the most active and highest concentration of jumpers, DZs, and manufacturers on the planet, yet our governing body has let this issue sit idle for years.

There simply is no excuse for canopy control and selection to be the #1 issue for the BOD. Literally 100's of jumpers have died under open canopies, and 10 times that have been severly injured, and this is not on the top of the page for the BOD?


wmw999  (D 6296)

May 18, 2012, 8:30 AM
Post #28 of 32 (575 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Summer BOD Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not that it's a valid reason, it's just a reason. People are people, and not all of them are brave in the face of disapproval of their peers. One way around it is to form another peer group to provide support; effectively an organized PAC that will run some interference for the BOD members who do what the peer group wants.

Kind of like how it happens with the PACs in congress today Unimpressed. It's politics, and it's how things happen. But if you treat it as a human organizational problem, rather than as a technical problem, the reason for the inaction becomes clearer.

Wendy P.


(This post was edited by wmw999 on May 18, 2012, 8:32 AM)


Para5-0  (D 19054)

May 22, 2012, 12:56 PM
Post #29 of 32 (515 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Summer BOD Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
"How about this - come up with a plan, an idea for how we can better train and equip jumpers in the areas of canopy control and selection. Then plot out all the steps needed to make it happen, and a rough time-table for completing those steps. Finally, appoint someone to tackle step #1 and let them get to work."

Okay- I dont have time for a lenghty response but believe me when I say I understand how to get started. I just didnt have two hours to spell it out in one response. I along with others tackled the B license proficiency card and implemented it. This was done by the second meeting. For something so seemingly sinple it took monthes of work, hundreds of emails, tons of calls. Each member is working on specific items. Specifically, I am the chair of the Wingsuit Instructor sub committee. My task is to gather as much information from the field as possible and organize it and come up with a recommendation by next meeting. Just gander the wingsuit thread on it. We are attempting to include as many people as possible (reaching out for help) and not waste time in doing it. The canopy issue is an ever evolving issue and we will continue to change it. In fact we already made several improvements. I am also trying to tackle making canopy evaluations air and ground part of the AFF I/C course.

For lack of a better description, "this shit takes time"

I admit I volunteered for the job but it is very easy for 32000 members to sit back and say I would do this or that. I enjoy working towards a goal and watching it come to fruition, especially if you can attribute it to potentially saving lives.

Rich


(This post was edited by Para5-0 on May 22, 2012, 2:43 PM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

May 22, 2012, 9:15 PM
Post #30 of 32 (488 views)
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Re: [Para5-0] Summer BOD Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Rich,

We've talked before, and I know you're a good dude and trying the best you can. Keep in mind that when I point out the things I do, I'm calling out the BOD as a whole. Just like there's nothing one person can do to make the changes I suggest, I don't want one person taking what I say personally. I speak about the BOD as a whole, because it would take an effort from the BOD as a whole to make changes.

In this case, look at your response to me. You outline how your balls are to the wall tyring to get the WS Instructor rating together in time for the next meeting. You explain some of the steps you're taking and the mountain of hard work you're putting in.

Your efforts should be applauded, but at the same time I can't ignore that fact that nobody is 'front burner-ing' the canopy control issues. Who's balls are to the wall to get that together in time for the next meeting.

I'll be frank for a moment, let's face it, the hoopla about the WS rating stems from the kid who fell out of his harness during a coached WS jump. That was one kid, and maybe there's another one or two that I'm not thinking of, but that leaves three (at most) WS training related fatalities. I'm not suggesting that they're acceptable in any way, but how many canopy related fatalities have there been since the kid fell out of his harness? Again, who is buring the midnight oil getting the canopy control program together?

Let's look at the newest issue, this business with allowing tunnel time to count toward an AFF rating. This is 'front burner' enough that it took top billing in the e-mail newletter, and got it's own online poll. Who the hell put this motion forth, and why is it getting such preferential treatment? Is this urgent BOD business, are there that many tunnel instructors chomping at the bit to get AFF ratings, and that many DZOs lining up to hire them?

I'm sure you see my point, and why I made the comments you quoted. There's action and progress galore on all sorts of other issues, but the canopy control thing continues to get short-shrift, and band-aid type solutions thrown at it. It's going on a decade of clearly being the biggest problem in the skydiving community, but it just continues to appear like it can't get any traction of any kind with the BOD.

Maybe it's easy for me to sit on the outside and point fingers, but at the same time, why wouldn't I be honest with my assesent, and simply be calling it like I see it? I have no reason to bad-mouth the BOD, or any desire to see them fail. I only wish that they would prove me wrong and take swift and significant action. Maybe I'm on the outside looking it, but maybe my vantage point gives me the clearest view of what's happening.

Seriously, thanks for your hard work. Thanks to all the members of the BOD for everythying they do because all of it has a place in skydiving. It's the things they don't do, and the place some of things should be taking (center stage) that bug me.


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
May 23, 2012, 8:35 PM
Post #31 of 32 (455 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Summer BOD Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'll be frank for a moment, let's face it, the hoopla about the WS rating stems from the kid who fell out of his harness during a coached WS jump. That was one kid, and maybe there's another one or two that I'm not thinking of, but that leaves three (at most) WS training related fatalities. I'm not suggesting that they're acceptable in any way, but how many canopy related fatalities have there been since the kid fell out of his harness? Again, who is buring the midnight oil getting the canopy control program together?


I have to say I am in agreement with this statement and the questioning of priorities. I was at the meeting in Phoenix and sat in the room with a few other people from the wingsuiting community along with Jay Stokes where he said that the USPA doesn't support or want to entertain having to run a wingsuit instructor program, its one of the reasons the BSR on 200 jump minimum was passed. Yet here we are again tabling a discussion and a committee looking to fix a non existent problem that even if it is created, will do nothing to mitigate or eliminate any of the issues that the proponents of the rating are claiming exist.

However, there exists posts here on DZ.com dating several years back where the moderators among other users even went so far as to sign a document and send it to the USPA supporting the creation of a canopy control program by the USPA to address the number of people that continually kill themselves under perfectly good canopies. And here we find ourselves almost a decade later still wondering when USPA will make this one of the front burner priorities that will be seriously addressed and steps taken to at least start a program of some kind to move us closer to a workable solution. The canopy issue is like cancer, everything else that is getting front burner attention right now is like a runny nose. These issues need to be triaged and addressed in the order that is mostly like to keep skydivers alive, even if its despite themselves.

I will concede that this is not a black and white, clear cut issue with simple and easy solutions that will keep people from killing themselves under canopy. Even after one is created and steps taken by the USPA, there will be people who will still find a way to kill themselves and others under canopy but more needs to be done NOW to move us closer to a solution instead of continuing to sit on our hands and moan about how difficult a task it is while people auger themselves into the ground. Why this issue that has claimed more peoples lives than any other issue in our sport is still not at the forefront of the USPAs "get done now" list is beyond me. The BOD needs to stop shirking this issue to the side and stay on this issue until something is instituted, then it can move onto other matters within the sport. I am well aware the BOD works hard( and most appreciate that) and tries to get things done but I can honestly say that they need to reassess their priorities.


davelepka  (D 21448)

May 23, 2012, 9:04 PM
Post #32 of 32 (453 views)
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Re: [LouDiamond] Summer BOD Meeting [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I was at the meeting in Phoenix and sat in the room with a few other people from the wingsuiting community along with Jay Stokes where he said that the USPA doesn't support or want to entertain having to run a wingsuit instructor program, its one of the reasons the BSR on 200 jump minimum was passed. Yet here we are again tabling a discussion and a committee looking to fix a non existent problem

Just to add fuel to that fire, we had a wingsuit FJC held at our DZ this weekend by a factory rated WS instructor, and he seemed organized, preparred, and worked with a group of 4 or 5 experienced jumpers for several hours before manifesting for jump #1.

As far as I'm concerned, if that's representative of what the factory ratings produce in terms of instructors and cirriculum, I say 'problem solved' and let's move on.

It seems that in the case of WS, the manufacturers saw the writing on the wall. Perhaps it was the example set by the canopy market, but they could see that the performance of their product was rapidly advancing, and that the skills of the users would need to advance as well. So they put a program toghether, and now they have an instructional method in place, and people to teach it.

Why does the USPA feel the need to persue this issue any further? They made a brilliant move with the WS BSR, but now they're lingering on the issue, and only going to muddy the waters if they start with their own WS rating. They laid down the BSR, so let the factory rated instructors deal with the relatively small number of jumpers (with 200+ jumps) who want to fly a wingsuit.

It's not like the tandem rating, where the 'students' are primarily non-jumpers, and there are 1000's of tandems being conducted every weekend as the backbone of the DZ industry. In that case, and in that scope maybe the USPA has a place in the ratings business, but when it comes to experienced jumpers who want to fly a wingsuit? Let the factory guys do their job.


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