Forums: Skydiving: General Skydiving Discussions:
Notes from the Minneapolis

 


MikeTJumps  (D 5957)

Aug 3, 2012, 6:46 PM
Post #1 of 15 (1442 views)
Shortcut
Notes from the Minneapolis Can't Post

Mike Turoff reporting here. I took these notes while in attendance at the 2012 Fall BOD meeting. I tried to make them as accurate as possible, but if I make a mistake, I apologize in advance.

Summer 2013 meeting location selection:
The vote for the location is to meet in Fredericksburg, VA. It will be from July 26-28,
Safety and Training Committee:
Credential information of prospective candidates will be made available to Instructor Examiners for the purpose of verifying credentials prior to course attendance/completion.
Wing suit instructor ratings program suggestion:
This was bantered back and forth and various people made passionate arguments both for and against it. Nothing was decided at the first session.
A-License cards:
Many are not being filled out correctly and there is no way for HQ to track A licenses that are just stamped cards that are never sent in for validation. Further discussion will be held on this matter to determine just how we want to proceed on this issue.
Wind Tunnel Time as a substitute for actual freefall time for AFF ratings:
The on-line poll results were presented. 821 said leave actual freefall time requirement as it is. 141 said an hour should count for an hour as specific training. 96 said allow two hours of tunnel time as freefall time. As it stands now, there will be no change to the existing requirements for the rating.
Examiner version of Instructional Rating Manual:
There is a suggestion of creating a document for course examiners/directors to assist them in emphasizing aspects of the instruction that appear to be lacking in current practice. It is thought that this document will be somewhat like an S&TA guidebook in thickness rather than duplicating the IRM with additions.
Age Requirement BSR Discussion:
USPA’s attorney stated that putting the language of requiring all jumps to be done in compliance with a manufacturer’s age requirement would put the association in a more libelous position. The formerly approved motion for applying age requirements for jumping is therefore defeated and there will be no formal statement in the USPA’s documentation as to that matter. Further removal of any age reference/requirement for any type of jumping (e.g. Tandem) will be considered upon consultation with the USPA’s attorney. The manufacturers will therefore become the regulating authorities on the use of their equipment.


FAI equivalent licenses:
These are not the equivalent of a COP (Certificate of Proficiency). This has created a problem for course directors in the field approving ratings when there was not a true COP from that foreign skydiver’s country. A way to rectify this situation is to mandate that the foreign applicant for a USPA rating get a USPA membership and a USPA D license to ensure their credentials are correct according to USPA’s document requirements if they do not have a proper COP from the foreign candidate’s country.
Randy Schroeder’s waiver request for being allowed to continue as an IE in his other disciplines which are Static Line, IAD and Coach is going to be granted for ground instruction. As a waiver was granted previously for his AFF rating, this is going to be allowed. (Randy is essentially wheel chair bound with very little prospect for a useful recovery.)


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 4, 2012, 7:01 AM
Post #2 of 15 (1337 views)
Shortcut
Re: [MikeTJumps] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

Wing suit instructor ratings program suggestion:
This was bantered back and forth and various people made passionate arguments both for and against it. Nothing was decided at the first session.

In reply to:

I'm real curious Mike...

WHAT exactly are the passionate arguments AGAINST the wingsuit rating program...and WHO exactly is making them?


Inquiring minds AND membership voters NEED to know!

Hopefully they're not the same old bullshit arguments against 'change' in general, for various and sorted misconceptions that come down to a lack of 'big picture' foresight!

Anybody remember AFF in it's infancy? Crazy

This is an extremely fast growing branch of the sport, the ratings program isn't about regulation it's about intelligent direction.

IIRC the USPA did a poll a while back and the overwhelming response was to implement a ratings program...how can it be that NOW certain members of the BOD are choosing NOT to do what the people that voted them IN are asking?!

Lets think about tail strikes, leg strap neglect, unnecessary cutaways, off landings...on & on.

If the program isn't implemented, this thing WILL go the exact same way the HP canopy 'problem' has manifested itself.

Unqualified people using complex equipment sans structured instruction...and the results will be similar.

I'm tellin' ya now, when some n00b with a mail-order RENTED suit & no training, takes the tail off an Otter and it spins into a bus full of nuns & orphans...the Feds WILL have something to say about it, and the USPA can explain how even with an outlined program in hand, they chose NOT to take the high road.

Pull your heads out of then sand guys, DO what the people have asked you to do and get this sewn up now!

Please DO what your constituency has ASKED you to do!


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Aug 4, 2012, 7:07 AM)


MikeTJumps  (D 5957)

Aug 4, 2012, 7:07 AM
Post #3 of 15 (1329 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

I will bring your comments to Todd Spillers' attention. All I can say is that Taya Weiss presented an impromptu survey that was very much against yet another ratings program. I don't know how this will all end up.


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 4, 2012, 7:40 AM
Post #4 of 15 (1321 views)
Shortcut
Re: [MikeTJumps] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I will bring your comments to Todd Spillers' attention. All I can say is that Taya Weiss presented an impromptu survey that was very much against yet another ratings program. I don't know how this will all end up.

Thanks Mike, please do...

And for the sake of discussion, I too would be curious as to the content of that survey and not just the results.

I've spoken with quite a few people on this matter and there seems to be a lot of less than factual 'information' being disseminated by those against it.

Lets be real, I could word a 'survey' that would have 90% of the people taking it, vote against breathing air. Here's a 'survey' question~
IF utilizing a program to teach safe & proper use of complex equipment will save lives should we do it?

The USPA at least USE TO think so...they have the PRO rating!
They also have AFFI's and Tandem ratings, so structured teaching method isn't new.

...intelligent factual discussion with verifiable numbers is the right way to go about this~

Use of an impromptu survey in instances such as this would be laughable were people's lives not possibly in the balance...here it's just sad.

Actually, some of the misconceptions I've heard regarding the terrible things that will happen adopting 'another ratings program' are ludicrous to say the least when viewed in the proper light of day.

I'm not a wingsuiter and I can see the need for this, my eyes were shocked open a short while back while performing at an airshow, when a young woman approached me as a 'Skydiver' wanting to know where she could rent a parachute.

It seems she had made ONE tandem 5 years prior thus qualifying her as a jumper, she found the website on-line and rented a wingsuit so she could emulate the wingsuit videos she'd seen on YouTube.

Dismayed the suit did not come with the parachute she was trying everything she could to get a rig in the next few days to 'go out west' and jump.

Somebody is gonna make the headlines in a big way one of these days, and 'WE' will be the villains for turning a blind eye.

I seriously AM curious as to the reasoning against this, are some current 'instructors' fearful they won't be able to make the program quals?
Is the USPA worried about the time & money the program will involve?

Todd's my director & has my number, I know he's busy but maybe I need some edumacation on this and there is something I'm not seeing...however it seems pretty cut & dried to me.

But what do I know, I'm just an old guy that thinks taking ones time to be safe and do it right ~ are a GOOD thing. Unimpressed


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Aug 4, 2012, 7:48 AM)


MikeTJumps  (D 5957)

Aug 4, 2012, 8:12 AM
Post #5 of 15 (1305 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

Todd is aware of your post.


pms07  (D 7571)

Aug 4, 2012, 8:31 AM
Post #6 of 15 (1296 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

Curious; why do you think wingsuiting, taught to licensed skyfivers, needs an instructor rating program? What is the compelling argument for a wingsuiting rating program, in particular compared to other disciplines such as CRW or swooping?

I do fly wingsuits and am an old guy also. Likewise, I bellieve taking one's time to be safe and do it right are a good thing. Meeting a wufffo that somehow had gotten access to a wingsuit seems less a than compelling reason for a rating program, however...

I am not inherently opposed to a rating program but believe USPA's first instinct should be to educate rather than regulate. I also think USPA's current focus is too narrow; essentially, do you support a wingsuit rating or doing nothing.

There are many alternatives in the educational realm and some of us have made suggestions in that direction.


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 4, 2012, 8:40 AM
Post #7 of 15 (1291 views)
Shortcut
Re: [pms07] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Curious; why do you think wingsuiting, taught to licensed skyfivers, needs an instructor rating program? What is the compelling argument for a wingsuiting rating program, in particular compared to other disciplines such as CRW or swooping?

I do fly wingsuits and am an old guy also. Likewise, I bellieve taking one's time to be safe and do it right are a good thing. Meeting a wufffo that somehow had gotten access to a wingsuit seems less a than compelling reason for a rating program, however...

I am not inherently opposed to a rating program but believe USPA's first instinct should be to educate rather than regulate. I also think USPA's current focus is too narrow; essentially, do you support a wingsuit rating or doing nothing.

There are many alternatives in the educational realm and some of us have made suggestions in that direction.

I think that it's utilizing a specialized piece of equipment that isn't addressed during basic skydiving instruction in any way shape or form.

We have a PRO rating to address these very issues, if one wants to jump flags and smoke they 'should' jump through the proper hoops of training and qualification in order to do that...certainly it can & will be done without said rating, but in the big picture the USPA sees the need to oversee some kind of skill requirements prior to green-lighting someone doing it.

I think an outlined training program that's overseen would be beneficial in that a structured set of skills would be taught in an acceptable manner uniformly and universally.

As a fellow 'old guy' you surely remember when AFF first started out, no two dropzones were teaching from the same book... and 'some' teaching it had absolutely no business doing so.

When that became more mainstream and accepted, and one needed the rating to teach there was a scramble to earn it...and some did not qualify. Eye-opener to say the least.

Weeding those out now is a start, having a program that states exactly what skills are needed to progress is not something that's new to our sport.

Why do we have a tandem examiner rating, isn't it to oversee and insure the quality of the TI's out in the field?

Those TI's are licensed skydivers as well, yet both the manufactures and the USPA feel the need to see that everything is being taught a certain way.

Isn't that also why they implemented the 'coach' rating...that too is 'regulation' that initially met with a lot of friction, but without argument now is seen as a plus regarding progression & safety.






What are your alternative recommendations regarding instruction in this matter?


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Aug 4, 2012, 9:14 AM)


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Aug 4, 2012, 9:10 AM
Post #8 of 15 (1272 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I'm real curious Mike...

WHAT exactly are the passionate arguments AGAINST the wingsuit rating program...and WHO exactly is making them?


Inquiring minds AND membership voters NEED to know!

Hopefully they're not the same old bullshit arguments against 'change' in general, for various and sorted misconceptions that come down to a lack of 'big picture' foresight!

IIRC the USPA did a poll a while back and the overwhelming response was to implement a ratings program...how can it be that NOW certain members of the BOD are choosing NOT to do what the people that voted them IN are asking?!


Pull your heads out of then sand guys, DO what the people have asked you to do and get this sewn up now!

Please DO what your constituency has ASKED you to do!
I can possibly shed some light as to why there is hesitation. Currently there is poll of well over 2oo actual wingsuiters against this. Enough to build the wingsuit world record three times over. They are also part of the constituency. Not sure of who will be allowed to vote, whether it will be a sub committee or the whole board. Some of the BOD have actual personal wingsuit experience and don't have to rely on sensationalized facts or fiction to decide.

I'm sure others don't want to jump down the wrong track as an example the decision to make the USPT a demo money maker for the team fund.

They have to represent everybody involved.


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 4, 2012, 9:30 AM
Post #9 of 15 (1254 views)
Shortcut
Re: [VectorBoy] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm real curious Mike...

WHAT exactly are the passionate arguments AGAINST the wingsuit rating program...and WHO exactly is making them?


Inquiring minds AND membership voters NEED to know!

Hopefully they're not the same old bullshit arguments against 'change' in general, for various and sorted misconceptions that come down to a lack of 'big picture' foresight!

IIRC the USPA did a poll a while back and the overwhelming response was to implement a ratings program...how can it be that NOW certain members of the BOD are choosing NOT to do what the people that voted them IN are asking?!


Pull your heads out of then sand guys, DO what the people have asked you to do and get this sewn up now!

Please DO what your constituency has ASKED you to do!

I can possibly shed some light as to why there is hesitation. Currently there is poll of well over 2oo actual wingsuiters against this. Enough to build the wingsuit world record three times over. They are also part of the constituency. Not sure of who will be allowed to vote, whether it will be a sub committee or the whole board. Some of the BOD have actual personal wingsuit experience and don't have to rely on sensationalized facts or fiction to decide.

I'm sure others don't want to jump down the wrong track as an example the decision to make the USPT a demo money maker for the team fund.

They have to represent everybody involved.
Again, my question is what kind of poll...how exactly were the polling questions phrased? Wink

Was the poll structured by someone with an agenda against the program? (it was, there by invalidating any use as a tool to show much of anything other than transparent desperate measures )

A question like 'are you against USPA regulating wingsuit instruction' isn't really a 'poll' at all, and representing it as signed by all active wingsuiters when in fact it isn't, some aren't even skydivers ...is rather telling in regard to it's validity. Laugh

I doubt that anyone giving that 'poll' a hard look will think much of it. Monkey

I'm not a wingsuiter (yet) but this issue interests me because even the most basic research that I have done shows me there is quite a bit of disparity in the instructional programs as they now exist, I do a lot of research before 'jumping' into something new.

I find with this, as in a lot of things,... that it's not until you begin to ask the follow-up questions, check the 'facts' being stated and demand acceptable responses do you begin to get the whole picture.

Lets face it, most people passionate on either side of the issue have an agenda that they are pushing...true in most arguments.

I'm saying I believe that having some oversight and direction regarding who teaches what and how pertaining to a new branch of the sport in which improper or incomplete education can & has killed people... is positive & forward thinking.

Opponents to that opinion thus far have countered with things like it's an unnecessary layer that will hinder the sport. . .and offer little else.

OK, ...how so exactly?

Show me logically and with referanceable data that speaks directly to how the program will hinder the safe growth of the sport in that new area.

In other words CONVINCE me with something other than blind emotional rhetoric and laughable 'polls'...it's the same way we got USPA to take the 2nd look at at USPT's demo debacle, cut through the blind emotional 'agenda' bullshit and look at the facts.

Personally I have no agenda with this issue, I see a side with a positive outcome and no real downside ~

~and then there are those opposing ...that have no real reason they can logically put forth, and attempt to use mis-information as a platform to stand on.

Buzz words and scare tactics have little effect on me, I've been around the block a few times and I know how the 'Chicken Little's' operate...Don't just sensationalize and tell me the sky is falling, prove it.

Sorry, but give me an argument against that actually tells me something, I'll check your facts and THEN decide if you're shooting straight.

When ya build a platform on bullshit you tend to sink to your elbows in it ~and that throws off the aim... Wink


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Aug 4, 2012, 10:21 AM)


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Aug 4, 2012, 9:37 AM
Post #10 of 15 (1248 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is the "survey" http://tayaweiss.com/

Its not a survey but more of a "If you are against the USPA doing a Wingsuit Instructor program sign this". I see a few names on there that I know only have 100 jumps or so and a lot of foreign jumpers also.

One issue with the "survey" is there is no way to validate the person is a current USPA member since those data points were not collected and nothing is preventing someone from just typing names away and keep pressing submit.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Aug 4, 2012, 9:39 AM
Post #11 of 15 (1247 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I've spoken with quite a few people on this matter and there seems to be a lot of less than factual 'information' being disseminated by those against it.

In reply to:
And by those for it. Some of the events in the report happened in other countries were a USPA WS instructor would not/ will not have had an effect.
In reply to:


I'm not a wingsuiter and I can see the need for this, my eyes were shocked open a short while back while performing at an airshow, when a young woman approached me as a 'Skydiver' wanting to know where she could rent a parachute.

It seems she had made ONE tandem 5 years prior thus qualifying her as a jumper, she found the website on-line and rented a wingsuit so she could emulate the wingsuit videos she'd seen on YouTube.

Dismayed the suit did not come with the parachute she was trying everything she could to get a rig in the next few days to 'go out west' and jump.

Somebody is gonna make the headlines in a big way one of these days, and 'WE' will be the villains for turning a blind eye.
In reply to:


That is an insane example. That would be the equivalent of a non pilot getting access to an aircraft, which has happened may times, and the untrained airman proceding to steal, fly and crash it as the reason for the FAA to impose new regulation in general aviation. You gotta be smarter than that.


I seriously AM curious as to the reasoning against this, are some current 'instructors' fearful they won't be able to make the program quals?
Is the USPA worried about the time & money the program will involve?

In reply to:

There are plenty of good qualified people available to mentor wingsuits to an experienced skydiver as domestically defined by the SIM that simply want to grow their discipline but don't want to get a full blow AFF type rating to do so. Just like the people that mentor in CRW or FF. There is nothing more complex about wingsuits than say CRW and we are not requiring a rating there.

More than half of all wingsuit manufacturers rely on the mentors in the field and don't have an in house instructor program... The system works it does not need fix.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Aug 4, 2012, 9:50 AM
Post #12 of 15 (1244 views)
Shortcut
Re: [PhreeZone] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

 Yeah it was recommended to enter USPA # but after the fact in my case. I can't drop my name twice. I don't know how you can tell who is and isn't a skydiver. I personally know over 50 people on the list all active wingsuiters. The WSI poll here had what 50 responses from us? Not counting what was gathered from DZOs and others.


pms07  (D 7571)

Aug 4, 2012, 10:20 AM
Post #13 of 15 (1216 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

 
airtwardo; I don't think the AFF and tandem comparisons are very compelling. In those programs we are not teaching licensed skydivers with a minimum of 200 jumps. Rather we are teaching basic students. Much different...

If we are to have rated instructors for specialized equipment I suggest we start with high performance canopies/performance landings as that is an area where we clearly have a problem. Then add CRW to the list, style and accuracy, etc, as many skydiving activities use specialized equipment.

I was attending USPA Board meetings when we implented the PRO rating. The purpose had little to do with smoke and flags (specialized equipment) at the time...rather accuracy skills were the primary issue I remember.
I was involved in the AFF implementation also and earned the USPA rating the first year of the program (1982). The USPA program is what made AFF mainstream…I just don’t see much similarity to AFF in 1981-82 to where we are with wingsuits in 2012.

I provided the USPA sub-committee with input. Briefly that included; we have a basic standardized wingsuit FFC syllabus (it's in the SIM). That should be greatly expanded as a starting point…using widely gathered input from the community.

We need a significant educational effort for S&TAs, DZOs and jump pilots to better understand wingsuit flight patterns and jump run issues, deconflicting airspace, airspeed and tailstrike issues, etc. Handouts or video educational materials, or seminars, would be very useful in that effort.

We also need to help DZOs better understand the differences in the size and performance of various size/model wingsuits...and which are appropriate at what experience level. A chart or similar product that shows common models and performance characteristics might be useful.

I don’t run a wingsuit school, sell wingsuits, or coach a FFC. Nor do I intend to anytime in the foreseeable future. So, if USPA decides to implement a program based on the current proposal there is little impact to me personally.

I have also seen the wingsuit program that DSE runs and it is very professional and thorough. If the USPA does approve this proposal I would probably go through the instructor rating course just to expand my knowledge. I just don’t believe implementing this program right now is a decision the USPA has fully considered or gathered input on.

I do appreciate that the USPA has spent so much time and effort in helping the wingsuit discipline mature. Bottomline; I don't believe we have consensus in the community on what a uniform or universally accepted FFC would look like. Nor do I believe the USPA has gathered all the input to make that decision. In fact wingsuiting is rapidly evolving and there isn't a "certain way" as you suggest.


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 4, 2012, 10:23 AM
Post #14 of 15 (1213 views)
Shortcut
Re: [pms07] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

Food for thought...I thank you for that!

I condend however that 'gathering more information' is at this point a way of ignoring the issue to an extent.

The USPA has been given a well conceived, thoroughly thought out, properly written set of guidelines with which to move forward. . .failure to do so after what's already been looked at says (to me anyway) that some other kind of issue is retarding the implementation.

Is it financial concerns? I truly don't know...but if that's NOT the sole reason, what MORE do we need to look at regarding the downside?


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Aug 4, 2012, 10:34 AM)


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Aug 5, 2012, 12:00 AM
Post #15 of 15 (1128 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Notes from the Minneapolis [In reply to] Can't Post

Rather than repeating most everything in this thread....
Take a look at the wingsuit forum /Wingsuit Instructor/Coach Rating Input Needed.
thread.



Forums : Skydiving : General Skydiving Discussions

 


Search for (options)