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Wingsuit Instructor/Coach Rating Input Needed.

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Unfortunately, I have been away for a few days and just caught up on the thread. It was actually pretty on point whether or not you are for or against this. I did notice many many misguided statements of fact with regards to what may or may not happen.

I wanted to give a brief update and I promise to share the complete end results in terms of stats not names or opinions.

For now, I can thank those of you that have stepped up and truly helped. I have read every questionnaire thus far (approx. 50) and I will publically admit I have learned from all of you, to include the best wingsuitters in the country if not the world to the brand new guy who just made his first ws jump. I never claimed to be a wingsuitter with mad skills but I feel I am fairly logical and intelligent enough to objectively see each persons point of view and reasons why they have that view. I may not agree completely or may have a different pov, but that is exactly what healthy debate is all about, or so I was told.

A questionnaire is in the process of being delivered to all DZO's and S&TA's to acquire their point of view as well. Their questionnaire is more geared towards their roles in the skydiving community. All in the attempt to try to get as many different vantage points. The meeting is in August and we hope to be able to make a sound recomendation to the S&T committee. I do understand whatever comes out not everyone will be completely happy and say "We got it right" but I can say we have tried to make this decision as a group that represents a community.

I also appreciate the emails and phone calls. It has been a pleasure chatting with many of you.

Rich Winstock

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Taking a 3 day USPA coach course (or equivalent) and believing that you have been "taught how to teach" is an insult to real teachers.



I don't think the majority of my college professors could teach ... just saying.



That's because they only spent about 3 weeks learning how to teach. Less if you went to a big name research university.



I don't know how much time they spent learning how to teach (and I'm not saying all professors are the same) ... just saying that there are plenty of people in positions to teach that can't.
"That looks dangerous." Leopold Stotch

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I think Wingsuiting is a lot more like CRW than it is similar to AFF, Tandem or swooping.

In CRW you have to understand and respect equipment, aircraft, exits and airspace to name a few.



Simon



Hey come on-don't mention CRW here!
I was planning on lookin up the local
CRWdogs to learn ....now I'm going to have to end up finding an "official" instructor!!!!
Though the "official" instructor might be cheaper than the bar tab for a CRWdog!

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Just call upon the great "DW" for instruction. Apparently before he came along we were all lost souls on a path of death and destruction.........phew but now I am sure we will all be safer. ;);)
Wingsuit organizing, first flight courses and coaching
Flock University
Tonysuits

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Reference the fees. It has no bearing on the outcome. All coaches or instructors pay one fee to USPA to keep them.


I thought it sucked when the USPA started charging that fee. You didn't for years, and what does it cost to look at the check mark in that little box every year? That's the thanks we get for training all your new members?

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Hello WS'ers,

Just a bit of an update. It seems that the questionnaires have slowed down. So we are compiling all of the data to see where everyone stands. I have read every single one and learned a great deal in the process. I appreciate those that took the time to educate and assist us. Recently, an email went out to all DZO's, STA's, and I/E's asking similar questions. They have been pouring in filling my inbox. As soon as I get them all in we will look at the data from that group as well.

So the goal was to get input from as many members as possible before making a recommendation to the Safety and Training committee regarding a Wingsuit Instructor rating and First Flight Course. I think we tried. If you know of anyone else who would like to give a point of view for or against it please just send it to me before the meeting in August. I am running out of time though, so please dont wait til the 23rd hour and then say I didnt listen to you.

As always, i am still looking for any feedback in this area, It is a big decision either way.

Regards,
Rich Winstock
USPA National Director

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Hello WS'ers,

Just a bit of an update. It seems that the questionnaires have slowed down. So we are compiling all of the data to see where everyone stands. I have read every single one and learned a great deal in the process. I appreciate those that took the time to educate and assist us. Recently, an email went out to all DZO's, STA's, and I/E's asking similar questions. They have been pouring in filling my inbox. As soon as I get them all in we will look at the data from that group as well.

So the goal was to get input from as many members as possible before making a recommendation to the Safety and Training committee regarding a Wingsuit Instructor rating and First Flight Course. I think we tried. If you know of anyone else who would like to give a point of view for or against it please just send it to me before the meeting in August. I am running out of time though, so please dont wait til the 23rd hour and then say I didnt listen to you.

As always, i am still looking for any feedback in this area, It is a big decision either way.

Regards,
Rich Winstock
USPA National Director



Just curious Rich, how many responses did you get?
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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So what discipline is next on the list? Does anyone else find it odd that wingsuiting is the next "target" in the name of "safety" before other, blatantly obvious disciplines?

Why is a swoop course not on the radar? Not the next "hot thing" to cash in on?

I mean seriously, what data points to the need at this time for a wingsuit instructor program over ANY other disciplines?

This will get ignored I am sure.....

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So what discipline is next on the list? Does anyone else find it odd that wingsuiting is the next "target" in the name of "safety" before other, blatantly obvious disciplines?

Why is a swoop course not on the radar? Not the next "hot thing" to cash in on?

I mean seriously, what data points to the need at this time for a wingsuit instructor program over ANY other disciplines?

This will get ignored I am sure.....



I'm fairly sure it has come up because certain individual(s) is/are making a lot of noise about it. And I suspect (t)he(y) has/have a financial interest in the outcome.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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So what discipline is next on the list? Does anyone else find it odd that wingsuiting is the next "target" in the name of "safety" before other, blatantly obvious disciplines?

Why is a swoop course not on the radar? Not the next "hot thing" to cash in on?

I mean seriously, what data points to the need at this time for a wingsuit instructor program over ANY other disciplines?

This will get ignored I am sure.....


Believe me brother I feel you. Ironically wingsuits is my discipline I have chosen one reason being I can get rid of airplanes and regulation and fly in the mountains alone away from this type of control/manipulation.

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So what discipline is next on the list? Does anyone else find it odd that wingsuiting is the next "target" in the name of "safety" before other, blatantly obvious disciplines?

Why is a swoop course not on the radar? Not the next "hot thing" to cash in on?

I mean seriously, what data points to the need at this time for a wingsuit instructor program over ANY other disciplines?

This will get ignored I am sure.....



We are not a "target" or "on the radar". I believe this is an effort generated from within our own community to address what some see as serious issues although I am not involved so cannot speak for those with proposals before the BoD. Whether current proposals are the best solution is the core of the discussion.

Make direct contact with the USPA BoD sub-committee members and I don't think you will feel ignored. I have found fhe Board very willing to listen and consider all sides of the issue...

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Okay,

First off, I will not ignore you at all. In fact I have responded to every single inquirry and questionnaire that was put in. I can only answer to the best of my knowledge though so bare with me. I will gladly chat on the phone if you give me a ring.

A sub committee was formed because a member came to the BOD and requested it. He based it on his data and research. The presentation was very thorough and covered several serious concerns. First and foremost was tail strikes or near tail strikes. If my memory serves me correct the number was one every 27 days, documented. Second was off field unintentional landings. Third, was concerns over standardization regarding first flight courses,exits, patterns, instability recovery,...and a few others. I do not have it right in front of me but I can ellaborate if you want.

I have read a great deal of responses that represent the no need to over-regulate. I have also read a shit ton of you saying why worry about this when canopies are killing more people. I can say that we are actively pursueing canopy education, look at the newly implemented B license proficiency card. That just didnt happen over night it took hundereds of hours of work on many peoples parts.

Again, this was brought to us as a concern and we felt it important enough to take a look at. Just because there are many different issues doesnt mean we only concentrate on number one. We must work hard at all and any issue that involves safety. With that being said, we decided we did not have enough experience, knowledge, or even data to vote on anything. Or more importantly we werent even sure it should fall under our jurisdiction. Hence the formation of the committee.

The committee decided to reach out to general members, wingsuit'ers, winguit community, DZO's, STA's. I/E's, and also the top dogs in winguitting to try to educate ourselves. Isnt this the complaint we have heard so many times that the BOD insulates themselves and fails to represent members. Well in this case the arguement cannot be made we did not try to incorporate everyone and their opinnions. Ultimately, we will make a recommendation, either way. I am sure some will be happy and I am positive some will not.

Looking at canopy incidents and the trend imagine if ten years ago we got ahead of the curve and started to do everything in our power to regulate it. Maybe unfortunate injuries and fatalities could have been avoided. In this case it may not seem like a major issue to some but if we are ahead of the curve now then maybe we are doing exactly what we should have done with canopies ten years ago or longer.

I think debate is a good thing, I have my own opinnions on the topic as all of us do. But I did make a promise to remain objective until I heard as much as humanly possible from anyone who would talk to me. I can confidently say that all points of view are represented and have been conveyed to the committee.

I am not sure what else we can do, if you have suggestions like I mentioned above I will listen to you or anyone else for that matter. PM me or better yet call me. I am available.

I hope that answered the question. As for agendas, I personally have none, nor does any other Sub Committee member I can promise you that. If there was any agenda as suggested, we are well aware of what comments came from who and usually can put two and two together. Many have explained potential ulterior motives for attempting to tackle this issue. I can only speak for myself and safely for the other BOD members when I say they will do what they feel is in the best interest of the sport and the members. That is what they were elected for, or at least it should be why they were elected.

Rich Winstock
USPA
National Director

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Does anyone else find it odd that wingsuiting is the next "target" in the name of "safety" before other, blatantly obvious disciplines?



Look inward to find your answer. The wingsuiting community created it's own instructional program and first flight courses. They set up the rating system and in turn set the precendent that such a rating and structured first flight courses were neccesary for the safe advancement of wingsuiting.

That said, you're surprised that the USPA took interest in this when you want to fly wingsuits in the US? Technically, it falls under the purview of the USPA because it's skydiving in the US, and when the experts (the wingsuiting community) set the standard, the USPA is apt to follow.

Swooping (or even canopy manufacturers in general) have yet to establish their own ratings systems or required training before using their products. They have avoided that end of the market, but if they ever do set that standard, there's a good chance the USPA will also follow suit in that as well.

Of course, the other side of it (as mentioned) is that someone took the initiative to step forward and make a presentation to the BOD. Whatever they said, it was convincing enough to get the idea passed to the next level, so here we are.

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I am sure there is a member link to the presentation? I would really like to see it.

I wonder what a "near tail strike" is....by some definitions I have a "near tail strike" on every jump....
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I am with the Englishman... near tail strike... almost dead... You're dead or not, it was a tail strike or it wasn't but more on topic re 1 near tail strike every 27 days and toolbags going closes to the tail are those in giant suits that should know better yet we think standardising a system that is, by and large already standardised as it is a small pool of knowdledge that has been largely shared, is going to make wingsuiting safer... there are bigger boggie men to worry about in skydiving.

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Just to clarify,

I am not argueing the point just passing on information. If I were to define a near tail strike it would be a wingsuit exit that the pilot inflated to early and almost hit the tail. Maybe one that if you were in the door watching you would say OH SHIT that was a close one. Not rocket science.

There were a few pictures to explain this further. Am I really defining a near tail strike here?

If there is a confirmed tail strike which would be defined as a skydiver wearing a wingsuit that physically hits the tail causing death or severe injury to himself and then the plane crashes specifically due to said tail strike, I am willing to bet there will be many out there screaming that USPA did nothing to protect those aboard or the wingsuitter himself.

If such a tragedy occurs you think you are regulated now?

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I am with the Englishman... near tail strike... almost dead... You're dead or not, it was a tail strike or it wasn't



That's just dumb. So if you saw a swooper who turned low every time, and just barely dug out on every swoop, that would be OK because he never actaully hits the ground, right? You would suggest just letting him continue on without saying anything until he actually hits the ground, and then you would let him know that his technique is flawed?

Sticking with Rich's definition of a 'near' tail strike, which I think is correct, that being any exit where the jumper inflates their wings too early and comes closer to the tail than a jumper who exits with proper technique, if you see that behavior from a jumper, you don't wait until they hit the tail to mention it to them. It's just dumb luck that keeps them from actually hitting the tail, and I don't think the prudent action would be sitting around waiting for that luck to run out.

The simple fact is that anyone using improper exit technique is a candidate for a tail strike, and a danger to the aircraft, the pilot, others in the aircraft and people on the ground near the eventual crash site. If this behavior is recognized as widespread, then there is a problem in the training system for wingsuit pilots.

You don't have to actually hit the tail to have a problem, or have an indication that better, or more consistant, training is needed.

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Every skydiver that exits has the potential to hit the tail. I agree that people should be educated but it isn't restricted to wingsuiters. It's like having wingsuiters focus on leg straps...so much that they forget their chest strap.

Wingsuiting is still skydiving, it just amplifies some of the concepts that already exist
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So what discipline is next on the list? Does anyone else find it odd that wingsuiting is the next "target" in the name of "safety" before other, blatantly obvious disciplines?

Why is a swoop course not on the radar? Not the next "hot thing" to cash in on?

I mean seriously, what data points to the need at this time for a wingsuit instructor program over ANY other disciplines?

This will get ignored I am sure.....



I'm fairly sure it has come up because certain individual(s) is/are making a lot of noise about it. And I suspect (t)he(y) has/have a financial interest in the outcome.



The USPA is doing this the right way. The wingsuit sub- committee doesn't have enough first hand knowledge of wingsuiting and they need our help. Sadly most skydivers/ specifically wingsuiters will not respond to the questionaire. Most don't know it is out there or even of the sub-committees existance. They have fun jumping and are not political enough to care about the BOD's activities representing...... them. Some won't care one way or the other regardless.

I urge you guys that care to get all the wingsuiters you know to get involved in this one issue and respond. Don't let an ultra small segment of our discipline try and represent us all. Don't let ,basically, one individual tarnish the view of wingsuiting from the BOD's perspective with scare tactics.

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Sadly most skydivers/ specifically wingsuiters will not respond the questionaire. Most don't know it is out there or even of the sub-committees existance. They have fun jumping and are not political enough to care about the BOD's activities representing...... them. Some won't care one way or the other regardless.

I urge you guys that care to get all the wingsuiters you know to get involved in this one issue and respond. Don't let an ultra small segment of our discipline try and represent us all. Don't let ,basically, one individual tarnish the view of wingsuiting from the BOD's perspective with scare tactics.



Very well said; +1
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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Believe me brother I feel you. Ironically wingsuits is my discipline I have chosen one reason being I can get rid of airplanes and regulation and fly in the mountains alone away from this type of control/manipulatin.



You are fooling yourself. There isn't a real base jumper that does not test new wingsuits or other gear out of planes before they take it to the mountains. You can't realistically " run to the hills".
BASE pouch deployments are banned at the winsuit intructor creator's home dropzone. Something to think about if you want to work on muscle memory before a trip to a big wall.

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