I would definitely visit it, if it comes to pass. I realize financing is more readily acquired for new buildings/structures - but still question the wisdom of building a huge, shiny, new building - when the economy is such that a suitable existing building could be financed for a fraction of the cost of a new facility.
Is a good and bad idea, good because it will show the evolution of this awesome sport, it will be educative, and bad because 'funds' will be needed to build the museum, of course, it may (or may not) generate revenues, we don't know if people would be interested in seeing parachutes and jumpsuits (just to give an example). I hope for the best.
I personally think that to anyone thats really interested in the history of jumping a trip to their local rigging loft would be as much use as a trip to this museum. Sure, there might be more stuff in this place, but at the loft you can talk to the people who lived it and jumped it every weekend.
you can talk to the people who lived it and jumped it every weekend.
Yes but what about in 10 years or 15 years or 20 years? Why not start something like a museum while we still have these guys around to help give a story behind all the stuff that I'm sure they'll collect for exhibits? Before you know it, guys like you and I will be drinking a beer around a bonfire and some new jumper will ask questions about "back when we still jumped square ram-air canopies" or something along those lines and the guys we like hearing stories from and learning from won't be there.
BAD idea...although I think it would be interesting to visit. But let's say that EVERY active skydiver in the US went to see the museum...then what? It's simply NOT going to generate enough revenue to stay open. Therefore the money should never be spent to open it in the first place. the interest just isn't wide enough to fund the museum.
If I was in the area and had nothing else to do, I would probably go see it. But, I would never plan a vacation around it as the main point of interest.
And that is exactly the problem. You're a skydiver and you're not planning on driving or flying across the country to see it, what makes them think that a non-skydiver would have ANY interest at all in this silly little project?
A while back someone suggested the idea of a museum on wheels. If there's going to be a museum I'd rather see it done this way. It could travel to major boogies, state fairs, etc... If you want people to visit you're going to bring the museum to them, you can't expect them to go to the museum.
My opinion? It's an irresponsible use of our dues, it won't generate enough money to be self sufficient, and finally we'll end up paying for it.
Fuck it, sell the land to McDonald's and call it done.
It's not USPA that would be building it. It's actually a committee started within PIA. See PIA committee list at http://www.pia.com The idea is to build a combination museum and PIA headquarters on the same site as the USPA headquarters. What support USPA might provide is unknown, but PIA has been collecting material and funds for many years. The idea is to preserve some of our history and heritage, much of which is being lost as gear get thrown out and pioneers die. Only by the work of indiviuals and indiviual corporations is much of our history being preserved. Irwin was able to donate to the presidential museum an unissued seat WWII emergency rig from the same production run as the one G. Bush the daddy used when shot down. In return senoir Bush was the key note speaker at the 1997 Symposium (normally a $40,000 fee). These private collections and corporate collections could be donated or loaned to a central museum for all the newbies to wonder at. If your in Jacksonville early for the symposium stop by the PIA committee meeting to find out the latest. Schedule is on the web site.
A museum is a good idea, but I would prefer to see traveling exhibits. Sure visiting lofts is less expensive, but POPS are retiring from the sport. One of the problems we face in B.C. is that most of the riggers are crusty old farts (hint I am 45), but no new riggers are being trained. In the not too distant future, DZs and lofts will be staffed by people who have never jumped round parachutes and just don't care. A fascinating and related project would be to collect oral histories from POPs. Maybe we could sic some graduate students on this project. It should be easy to incorporate these oral histories into a traveling exhibit. Bytes and pixels are far easier to transport than dusty old silk parachutes.
Harley-Davidson has a traveling motorcycle history exhibit that's pretty good; I'd think that a traveling museum would work for skydiving too. It'd be very popular at boogies, especially on weather days.
History will be lost; that's just how things work. But as a former round jumper, I'd really like to have it preserved that rounds are, in fact, steerable and can be safe to jump. Pictures jumpers dead centering a PC and demos into NYC on rounds would go a long ways towards preserving that kind of history.
A lot of it's written down already (the BBMSCR website and ParachuteHistory.com for example). Cataloguing and maintaining the information would be good.
quade (D 22635)
Jan 3, 2003, 11:24 AM
Post #17 of 30
A dedicated museum may sound like a money making idea if you think about the general interest in aviation museums. For instance, the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. is the most visited museum in the world, but then again, it's FREE.
However, in order for a skydiving museum to support itself, it wouldn't be free and would be off the beaten path from the tourists in the D.C. area.
I -personally- think a privately run USPA musuem is an OK idea IF the business model pencils out, but I think a FAR better use of the artifacts would be to donate them to the NASM with the proviso that a percentage of floor space be devoted to showing them. This would guarantee a high viewership of the materials, educate the masses and would generate far more interest in skydiving than anything we could ever hope to achieve with a separate museum.
billvon (D 16479)
Jan 3, 2003, 11:24 AM
Post #18 of 30
I think that any form of education to the public about our sport would be great! Education is the key to ignorance. So, once the public starts to underastand how far this sport has come, and how safe it can be, the better this sport may become. And yes if I where in ther area with nothing better to do, I would pop in.
PhreeZone (D License)
Jan 6, 2003, 12:03 AM
Post #22 of 30
So, once the public starts to underastand how far this sport has come, and how safe it can be, the better this sport may become. And yes if I where in ther area with nothing better to do, I would pop in.
The problem is that most of the public don't know that skydiving exists outside of extreme movie stunts. The USPA museum, while nice in the sense that it preserves our history just won't draw enough people to be self supporting. Again I'll ask, who's gonig to pay the bills?
I'd say make it a section in the Air and Space museum at Washington D.C That way I think it would get visited more. People probably wouldn't plan a trip around visiting it alone but I'm sure if it was part of some popular aviation museum it would draw enough of a crowd as a seperate section. May be they should get together with other organizations and have a museum for all aviation sports. That could be a large enough concept to sell. I doubt if Skydiving History alone is a large enough banner to generate some meaningful revenue.
I'd say make it a section in the Air and Space museum at Washington D.C
I was thinking along those lines too. Although I am very in favor of having a Skydiving Museum, it would be a natural addition to the Air&Space in DC. The problem would be having it shown not as a temporary exhibit, thus a seperate skydiving museum would probably be eventually needed anyways.