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S&T News from USPA


livendive  (D 21415)

Oct 3, 2003, 9:52 AM
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S&T News from USPA Can't Post

Received this morning from Jim Crouch (.pdf attached):

A Bulletin for the training community

Vol. 3, Issue 7

October 2, 2003


USPA continues to receive outdated instructional rating proficiency cards from

course candidates and course directors. These outdated cards result in rejected

applications returned to the candidate or course director. USPA HQ cannot issue

a rating unless the proper materials are used for the course syllabus. Since

January 1, 2003, all USPA rating courses have required the USPA Instructional

Rating Manual and Skydivers Information Manual, each dated within two years

of the course. Both manuals are available through the USPA Store, and the SIM

is available online. Each candidate must have his or her own manuals during the

conduct of a rating course. One IRM can be used for all of the USPA instructional

ratings and contains the forms necessary for each course.


The 2004 Skydivers Information Manual and the 2004 (Edition Three)

Instructional Rating Manual are now available through the USPA Store. Input

from the membership continues to improve both manuals. New to the SIM in

2004 is a section for advanced canopy flight, with recommendations for

downsizing and learning performance canopy maneuvers. The section on canopy

formation received a much-needed rework, thanks to CF specialist Wendy

Faulkner. Section 3 covering USPA licenses has been updated to reflect the

September 30 alignment with FAI standards.

Other miscellaneous SIM updates include:

The cutaway alternative has been added to the first-jump course and in the

recommendations for experienced jumpers to address a side-by-side (main

and reserve) canopy formations. USPA is looking for more research on two

canopies out to update its recommendations, which may or may not work with

the smaller canopies now in use.

The outmoded height-weight table in Section 4 was deleted.

The section on skydiving emergencies now includes a recommendation for

jumpers to simulate malfunctions on the ground at every repack cycle and to

operate the emergency handles on their equipment (probably best done with

the rigger present to recover the equipment).

A new passage in the recurrency recommendations addresses longer periods

of inactivity or sporadic activity.

Jumpers are reminded to take extra care when reassembling reserve static

lines after disconnecting them.

In the spotting section, recommendations include staying in position on the

line of flight after opening to allow jumpers from other groups to open.

Whenever possible, jumpers should fly perpendicular to the flight line after

opening until they see the next and previous groups open their parachutes.

Also, whenever the plane takes a second pass or if there is more than one

plane flying jumpers, enough time must be allowed for everyone to fly clear

before the next pass. Flight operations need to accommodate the broader

range of altitudes at which jumpers now choose to open.

The freefall timetable, at least two decades old, now includes average freefall

times for freeflyers and wingsuit jumpers.

The night-jump recommendations include new information on hypoxia and

night vision and advice for using whistles or other noisemaking devices.

In the SIM section on PRO Ratings, USPA further clarifies that the ten jumps

to qualify need to be successive or successively declared. If a jumper

declares a jump and misses, he must start again from jump number one.

The Membership Services Committee updated a number of the service


USPA Headquarters checked the FAA website for new editions of the FARs

applicable to skydiving and included any corrections or additions.

License exam answer sheets no longer need to be forwarded to USPA

Headquarters, and drop zones may develop their own written tests for the

USPA A license in lieu of the oral testing now required as part of the USPA Alicense

check dive. Procedures for license testing are reviewed in the IRM for

use with the USPA Instructor Rating Course.

For D License applications received after September 30 from applicants with

500 jumps or more, the written D License test has been eliminated. The test

questions for the B and C Licenses have been updated and are available at



The 2004 IRM (Edition Three) has also been changed to reflect the updates to

the SIM. The USPA Coach rating had required a C license. Now it requires only a

B license with 100 jumps, keeping the experience level the same. All USPA

Instructor ratings had required a D license, but now any C-licensed Coach may

apply for an AFF, Instructor-Assisted Deployment or Static-Line Instructor rating.

As before, AFF applicants also need six hours of freefall time. USPA Tandem

Instructors still need a D license which is a requirement listed in the FAA Part

105 regulations.


The USPA B and C license tests have been changed to reflect the latest USPA

policies and procedures. Copies of the written tests and answer keys will be

mailed to all S&TAs, I/Es and USPA Board members along with their new 2004

SIM. Any USPA official authorized to administer license exams may request the

new tests from USPA Headquarters. In the meanwhile, pre-September 30 exams

may be substituted. In that case, applicants for the USPA C license must pass

both the C and D exams. The USPA A License continues to be an oral exam

using 20 questions from the A-H Category quizzes found in Section 4. Drop

zones may also create their own written tests for the A License using the same

pool of questions.


The number of incident reports sent to USPA has increased slightly in 2003 but

still does not reflect the actual number of accidents occurring around the country,

according to reports found on various Internet websites. Any accident or incident

should be reported to USPA HQ using the new accident report form, which is

confidential. No names or locations are required to be listed on the form, unless

reporting a fatality. USPA uses the reports to help identify trends in skydiving and

to help educate the Membership. USPA cannot keep track of incidents unless

they are reported. The forms take only a few minutes to fill out and the

information is invaluable to USPA and its Membership. An S&TA or an instructor

whom the S&TA assigns should complete the form whenever possible. However

USPA will accept forms completed by other individuals.


Plans continue for the development of the top-level training course where the

successful candidates will most likely come away with a USPA Coach Course

Director appointment and Skydive University Coaching rating. This new course

will train very experienced instructors to be course directors for USPA Coach

Rating courses. The course is still in early development, and will eventually

become the avenue to follow for anyone interested in teaching instructor courses

for USPA ratings. The rating has yet to be named and no deadline has been set

for a completed syllabus. USPA is looking for input from interested course

directors. The next workshop will be held at Skydive Dallas from November 6-9,

2003. This workshop and program will benefit candidates in several different

ways, including:

1. Those who would like to become USPA course directors or possibly USPA

Instructor Examiners, depending on the final title for the rating

2. Those who would like to become Skydive University Coaches

3. Those who are interested in updating their teaching skills and learning the

latest techniques in skydiving instruction

The cost per candidate to attend this Dallas workshop is $400 per candidate.

Those interested in attending should contact Rob Laidlaw at (386) 738-7699 or The class is limited in size."
Attachments: STNews100203.pdf (27.4 KB)

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