S&T News from USPA, 3/7/07

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Sa fety & Training Newsletter
A Bulletin for the training community
Vol. 7, Issue 3
March 7, 2007

USPA Safety Day

USPA Safety Day is now just a few days away, coming up this Saturday for most drop zones. Make sure you are ready for the big event, now in its tenth year! This is just a quick reminder that you can find some useful handouts and presentation materials at http://www.uspa.org/safety/safety_day.htm, including the Canopy Risk Quotient, the 2006 Fatality Summary and Fly to Survive video. These presentations, along with the safety checklist and planning and procedures guide, will make for a great event at your drop zone.

USPA will report on Safety Day activities in the May issue of Parachutist magazine. Drop zones are encouraged to submit reports on the day’s activities by March 21, 2007, for inclusion in the May issue. DZs should include the following information:

  • Drop zone name and location

  • Date of Safety Day event

  • Number of participants

  • Seminars held and names of speakers

  • Sponsors

  • Up to a 200-word description of new or innovative techniques, discussions or presentations used to promote safety

  • Ches Judy Award recipient, including reason for his or her selection

DZs are encouraged to submit a photograph of the event for publication consideration. Drop zones holding the event on a later date may submit a report by April 18, 2007, to be published in the June issue, provided space is available in the magazine.

Reports and photographs may be sent via e-mail to communications@uspa.org.

S&TA Renewals
Each USPA Regional Director is responsible for S&TA appointments and renewals within his or her region. The appointments are renewed for a two-year period, or the appointment will expire at the end of March following an election year. If you are currently an S&TA and have questions regarding the status of your appointment for the next two-year term, contact your Regional Director.

Drop Zone Waivers
Many drop zones have a waiver on file at USPA for student wind limits or use of water gear based on the landing area location in relation to a water hazard. These waivers expire each year on December 31 and must be renewed annually in order to remain valid. The waiver form is available as a download at http://www.uspa.org/safety/waivers.htm. The S&TA filing the waiver should complete the form and send it to USPA Headquarters, where it will remain on file. The form can be mailed to USPA, faxed to 540-604-9741 or sent via e-mail to safety@uspa.org. The S&TA will receive a confirmation letter, which lists the waivered items on USPA letterhead for the drop zone’s records. Based on the number of waivers filed in past years, it appears many have not been updated for 2007. S&TAs should check to ensure the waiver is in place or file the paperwork as soon as possible.

Staff Meetings
Almost every drop zone will hold a staff meeting in preparation for the upcoming season. Depending on the location, the meeting can vary widely in content and length, as well as subject matter. This year, make sure the tandem staff gets a thorough refresher along with the other rating holders. A USPA Tandem Course Director (or senior tandem instructor if no TCD is available) should lead the tandem staff on a review of standard operating procedures for all phases of a tandem skydive. Topics covered should include standard jumps as well as all emergency procedures. In addition to aircraft-, freefall- and canopy-related topics, make sure each tandem instructor reviews the manufacturer’s instructions for student harness adjustments. A properly fitted harness is more than just a critical safety issue for each tandem student; it also greatly improves comfort during freefall and canopy descent and lessens the chance of the student suffering an ankle or leg injury during the landing. Let’s all work together to keep all skydivers safe this year, especially our students!

(drink Mountain Dew)

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