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baronn

BOD Meeting July 2018

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Mike,
I couldn’t help but notice a few things as I was reading your comments and had a few questions that I feel are worthy of some public scrutiny:

-That the reason the USPA adopted the changes was so that our licenses would be recognized internationally, thus allowing our athletes to compete. But how does those changes advance the sport for those who don’t compete and who comprise the vast majority of our organization (fun jumpers) who don’t travel?

-That these changes will not require athletes in possession of those licenses to perform any of those new skills due to “grandfathering.” Why did the USPA make a decision to benefit a very small group of skydivers (athletes) while making them a little harder on a great many more (students, A/B license holders)?

-That these changes address freefall skills when the majority of the deaths in our sport occur under canopy. Shouldn’t the Safety and Training Commission be more focused on that phase of our sport in light of the statistics that appear in Parachutist?

-That the USPA – an organization that I’m paying to oversee our sport – decided to adopt licensing standards from an international organization based in Paris whose executive board includes not a single representative who is originally from the US (per their last website update). Why did the USPA decide to abdicate its responsibility for overseeing our sport to an organization that we as US skydivers can’t hold directly accountable? I’m sure our fellow jumpers in other nations who abide by USPA governance and with no representation up at FAI could also agree with me on this one.

While these changes might not amount to much more effort on part of our skydivers to achieve – unless you’re jumping from a 182/206 with barely enough room to fit four jumpers to begin with – they establish a poor precedent: that it’s OK to benefit a few and make things more difficult for many more while failing to address those aspects of our sport that require the most attention. Just my five cents…

-JD-

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Fer cryin' out loud people. I've jumped at a Canadian DZ with one 182 for many years. We have pretty much the same or higher standards for FS endorsements and CoPs. We have never had any problem getting enough 4 way FS jumps for our people to qualify to the international standard. And you won't either.

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Guess what I dont do FS ? I don't want to do FS?

I've been to two world meets and multiple world records for CF. I don't think making me do FS makes it any more useful for me to be able to compete at an international competition.

Yet you seem to think an AFF jump as a student seems to be so much more useful for a qualifying license requirement jump.

IPC/FAI/USPA all should get there head out of their ass and realize there are different disciplines.

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skytribe

Guess what I dont do FS ? I don't want to do FS?

I've been to two world meets and multiple world records for CF. I don't think making me do FS makes it any more useful for me to be able to compete at an international competition.

Yet you seem to think an AFF jump as a student seems to be so much more useful for a qualifying license requirement jump.

IPC/FAI/USPA all should get there head out of their ass and realize there are different disciplines.




Almost no one starts out with CF as their main discipline. I'm betting you did not.

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gowlerk

***Guess what I dont do FS ? I don't want to do FS?

I've been to two world meets and multiple world records for CF. I don't think making me do FS makes it any more useful for me to be able to compete at an international competition.

Yet you seem to think an AFF jump as a student seems to be so much more useful for a qualifying license requirement jump.

IPC/FAI/USPA all should get there head out of their ass and realize there are different disciplines.




Almost no one starts out with CF as their main discipline. I'm betting you did not.

I did!

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Jump more, post less!

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skyfox2007

Mike,
I couldn’t help but notice a few things as I was reading your comments and had a few questions that I feel are worthy of some public scrutiny:

-That the reason the USPA adopted the changes was so that our licenses would be recognized internationally, thus allowing our athletes to compete. But how does those changes advance the sport for those who don’t compete and who comprise the vast majority of our organization (fun jumpers) who don’t travel?

-That these changes will not require athletes in possession of those licenses to perform any of those new skills due to “grandfathering.” Why did the USPA make a decision to benefit a very small group of skydivers (athletes) while making them a little harder on a great many more (students, A/B license holders)?

-That these changes address freefall skills when the majority of the deaths in our sport occur under canopy. Shouldn’t the Safety and Training Commission be more focused on that phase of our sport in light of the statistics that appear in Parachutist?

-That the USPA – an organization that I’m paying to oversee our sport – decided to adopt licensing standards from an international organization based in Paris whose executive board includes not a single representative who is originally from the US (per their last website update). Why did the USPA decide to abdicate its responsibility for overseeing our sport to an organization that we as US skydivers can’t hold directly accountable? I’m sure our fellow jumpers in other nations who abide by USPA governance and with no representation up at FAI could also agree with me on this one.

While these changes might not amount to much more effort on part of our skydivers to achieve – unless you’re jumping from a 182/206 with barely enough room to fit four jumpers to begin with – they establish a poor precedent: that it’s OK to benefit a few and make things more difficult for many more while failing to address those aspects of our sport that require the most attention. Just my five cents…

-JD-



Not only is it necessary for our members who wish to travel or compere internationally, it is necessary for our jumpers who wish to set world records in the US.

This has nothing to do with safety, it has to do with bringing our license requirements in line with the international standard. For example, USPA also has the requirement for 2 night jumps to get a "D" License, which has been debated endlessly. The international license has no such requirement, and making 2 night jumps has nothing to do with safety.

We do indeed have representation. The FAI Parachuting Commission (IPC) is the division of the FAI that represents parachuting. We have a delegate on the IPC who represents the interests of the US and USPA. Each country has a delegate.

Cessna 182s have been the backbone and the standard for skydiving for many years and probably more 4 ways have been done out of them than any aircraft in history. Why do you think that the first RW competitions were 4 way and 4 way persists to this day? It is because a Cessna 182 holds 4 jumpers. If Cessna had originally decided to produce the 182 as an aircraft that would hold 5 jumpers, then everything would have probably been based on 5 ways. I have simply never heard of jumpers complaining that it is difficult to make a 4 way from a 182.

Mike Mullins

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And you would be wrong. I did.

I was competing in crw competitions with 45 jumps.

And what about accuracy and swooping. They don’t count either. Perhaps instead of just doing what pic says how about representing a viewpoint of many jumpers who have no intention of international competitions. And in order to do that you need a sporting license which is issued by NAA in USA.

How many jumpers as a percentage of uspa membership actually compete in international competitions.

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Well most everyone here doesn't seem to impressed with the decisions being made by the BOD. I agree. All of a sudden it's imperative to initiate these international standards? I don't get it. Seems our athletes (by FAR the winningest teams on the planet) all of a sudden won't be eligible to compete internationally? The FAI is now in charge of dictating rules in this country? Shit, sounds like the BS tariffs the European union has been throwing on American goods for years. Maybe if we had a BOD with some Fuckin Balls and say, " Adopt our rules and Fuck yours." Not gonna let us compete internationally? Not gonna recognize a USPA License/ No problem. We can play that game too. A Whole lot more folks from across the pond visit here than the other way around. There simply HAS to more to this than what is being told. Even if there isn't, is this the most pressing issues we are facing rite now? And how about the decision to donate 25K a yr to the National (Nobody gives a Fuck) museum for the next 5 yrs? Where, who, for what and who decides where that goes? As Ricky said, " Lucy, U got some 'splaining to do....."

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michaelmullins

***Mike,
I couldn’t help but notice a few things as I was reading your comments and had a few questions that I feel are worthy of some public scrutiny:

-That the reason the USPA adopted the changes was so that our licenses would be recognized internationally, thus allowing our athletes to compete. But how does those changes advance the sport for those who don’t compete and who comprise the vast majority of our organization (fun jumpers) who don’t travel?

-That these changes will not require athletes in possession of those licenses to perform any of those new skills due to “grandfathering.” Why did the USPA make a decision to benefit a very small group of skydivers (athletes) while making them a little harder on a great many more (students, A/B license holders)?

-That these changes address freefall skills when the majority of the deaths in our sport occur under canopy. Shouldn’t the Safety and Training Commission be more focused on that phase of our sport in light of the statistics that appear in Parachutist?

-That the USPA – an organization that I’m paying to oversee our sport – decided to adopt licensing standards from an international organization based in Paris whose executive board includes not a single representative who is originally from the US (per their last website update). Why did the USPA decide to abdicate its responsibility for overseeing our sport to an organization that we as US skydivers can’t hold directly accountable? I’m sure our fellow jumpers in other nations who abide by USPA governance and with no representation up at FAI could also agree with me on this one.

While these changes might not amount to much more effort on part of our skydivers to achieve – unless you’re jumping from a 182/206 with barely enough room to fit four jumpers to begin with – they establish a poor precedent: that it’s OK to benefit a few and make things more difficult for many more while failing to address those aspects of our sport that require the most attention. Just my five cents…

-JD-



This has nothing to do with safety, it has to do with bringing our license requirements in line with the international standard. For example, USPA also has the requirement for 2 night jumps to get a "D" License, which has been debated endlessly. The international license has no such requirement, and making 2 night jumps has nothing to do with safety.
If it has nothing to do with safety, why have the requirement at all? Shouldent the point of a license requirement be to prove a level of higher competence (relative to a lower license level)?

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Well most everyone here doesn't seem to impressed with the decisions being made by the BOD. I agree. All of a sudden it's imperative to initiate these international standards? I don't get it. Seems our athletes (by FAR the winningest teams on the planet) all of a sudden won't be eligible to compete internationally?



At the 2016 world championships USA won 3 out of 20 events, France won 4....just saying! ;-)

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Just for Shits and giggles I'm posting a rough translation of the Dutch A-licence requirements:

10 seconds delta
10 seconds tracking
Stable rear-facing exit
C&P
fix instability
turn left 360
turn right 360
Backloop
five FS-instruction jumps
five canopy control jumps
twenty-five freefall jumps
fifteen minutes freefall time
spotting
packing

Many of these are of course included in the AFF-program, but note that an AFF-jump would not count as an FS-I jump for the student. FS-I jumps are defined as "learning to jump with other people" instead of simply being held on to.


BTW, the indignant comment about the ideas of some uppity foreigners being incorporated by the USPA actually made me laugh.
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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FS-I jumps are defined as "learning to jump with other people" instead of simply being held on to.


Correct me if I'm wrong but I am pretty sure that the AFF jumps that would count as FS are not the ones where one or more instructors are holding on to the student, but the last few jumps, where the student flies on her own relative to the instructor and practices turns and forward/backward movements. That's really not that different from doing a 2-way with an experienced jumper.

Quote

BTW, the indignant comment about the ideas of some uppity foreigners being incorporated by the USPA actually made me laugh.

Yes, makes me feel like I should apologize for the ignorance of my country-men. (Also in regards to being the winningest, considering most actual US competitors are quite aware of how much more support jumpers get in other countries like France and Russia...and how they therefore dominate many disciplines)

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Westerly

******Mike,
I couldn’t help but notice a few things as I was reading your comments and had a few questions that I feel are worthy of some public scrutiny:

-That the reason the USPA adopted the changes was so that our licenses would be recognized internationally, thus allowing our athletes to compete. But how does those changes advance the sport for those who don’t compete and who comprise the vast majority of our organization (fun jumpers) who don’t travel?

-That these changes will not require athletes in possession of those licenses to perform any of those new skills due to “grandfathering.” Why did the USPA make a decision to benefit a very small group of skydivers (athletes) while making them a little harder on a great many more (students, A/B license holders)?

-That these changes address freefall skills when the majority of the deaths in our sport occur under canopy. Shouldn’t the Safety and Training Commission be more focused on that phase of our sport in light of the statistics that appear in Parachutist?

-That the USPA – an organization that I’m paying to oversee our sport – decided to adopt licensing standards from an international organization based in Paris whose executive board includes not a single representative who is originally from the US (per their last website update). Why did the USPA decide to abdicate its responsibility for overseeing our sport to an organization that we as US skydivers can’t hold directly accountable? I’m sure our fellow jumpers in other nations who abide by USPA governance and with no representation up at FAI could also agree with me on this one.

While these changes might not amount to much more effort on part of our skydivers to achieve – unless you’re jumping from a 182/206 with barely enough room to fit four jumpers to begin with – they establish a poor precedent: that it’s OK to benefit a few and make things more difficult for many more while failing to address those aspects of our sport that require the most attention. Just my five cents…

-JD-



This has nothing to do with safety, it has to do with bringing our license requirements in line with the international standard. For example, USPA also has the requirement for 2 night jumps to get a "D" License, which has been debated endlessly. The international license has no such requirement, and making 2 night jumps has nothing to do with safety.
If it has nothing to do with safety, why have the requirement at all? Shouldent the point of a license requirement be to prove a level of higher competence (relative to a lower license level)?

Please do not confuse safety with competence. You can have made no formation skydives whatsoever and be a safe skydiver. The D requirement for 2 night jumps does not make you a safer skydiver during the day, it just means that you are probably competent to jump at night.

Likewise, many of the tasks required to gain higher licenses are done to show competence at something that requires a greater skill.

When you take a history test in school, the higher grade you receive means a greater competence in the subject. Just like skydiving licenses show a higher level of competence the higher your license. There may be disagreement over what the requirements should be (what is tested) but they are designed to show higher competence as you go up the ladder.

And, the D License (after completing the A, B, and C requirements) only requires 500 jumps and a written test, there is nothing safety related required other than the competence acquired in making the 500 jumps, 3 hours of freefall,and 2 night jumps. For the IPC/FAI it just requires 500 jumps and 3 hours of freefall.

Mike Mullins

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>Please do not confuse safety with competence. You can have made no formation
>skydives whatsoever and be a safe skydiver.

Not if you are on a formation skydive. And newer jumpers sometimes get invited on formation skydives.

>The D requirement for 2 night jumps does not make you a safer skydiver during the
>day, it just means that you are probably competent to jump at night.

Correct. And jumps that end up getting out past sunset happen sometimes for any number of reasons. Could the jumper refuse and ride the plane down? Certainly. History has proven that they tend not to. Thus, being able to safely skydive in lower-light conditions has a safety benefit in the real world of skydiving.

Some people may think the risk is too high, and that they do not wish to risk a night jump to gain such experience. That's fine. Restricted licenses are available for such people.

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billvon

>Please do not confuse safety with competence. You can have made no formation
>skydives whatsoever and be a safe skydiver.

Not if you are on a formation skydive. And newer jumpers sometimes get invited on formation skydives.

>The D requirement for 2 night jumps does not make you a safer skydiver during the
>day, it just means that you are probably competent to jump at night.

Correct. And jumps that end up getting out past sunset happen sometimes for any number of reasons. Could the jumper refuse and ride the plane down? Certainly. History has proven that they tend not to. Thus, being able to safely skydive in lower-light conditions has a safety benefit in the real world of skydiving.

Some people may think the risk is too high, and that they do not wish to risk a night jump to gain such experience. That's fine. Restricted licenses are available for such people.



I agree with you, you would not be a safe skydiver on a formation jump if you have never made formation jumps. My point was that if you wish for the higher ratings then meet the requirements.

As for night jumps, night jumps only count for the rating if they are made 1 hour after sunset. Getting out a bit after sunset does not really provide any challenge, there is plenty of light to jump until the end of civil twilight, which will vary with date and location, but usually end about 30 minutes after sunset. I cannot imagine a reason that you would need to jump 30 minutes after sunset, it the load is delayed that long then land, you are illegal anyway if you do not display a light after sunset and under canopy.

Mike Mullins

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baronn

Well most everyone here doesn't seem to impressed with the decisions being made by the BOD. I agree. All of a sudden it's imperative to initiate these international standards? I don't get it. Seems our athletes (by FAR the winningest teams on the planet) all of a sudden won't be eligible to compete internationally? The FAI is now in charge of dictating rules in this country? Shit, sounds like the BS tariffs the European union has been throwing on American goods for years. Maybe if we had a BOD with some Fuckin Balls and say, " Adopt our rules and Fuck yours." Not gonna let us compete internationally? Not gonna recognize a USPA License/ No problem. We can play that game too. A Whole lot more folks from across the pond visit here than the other way around. There simply HAS to more to this than what is being told. Even if there isn't, is this the most pressing issues we are facing rite now? And how about the decision to donate 25K a yr to the National (Nobody gives a Fuck) museum for the next 5 yrs? Where, who, for what and who decides where that goes? As Ricky said, " Lucy, U got some 'splaining to do....."




Donald Trump for USPA President!

(After all, Ivanka has done a tandem.)

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As for night jumps, night jumps only count for the rating if they are made 1 hour after sunset. Getting out a bit after sunset does not really provide any challenge, there is plenty of light to jump until the end of civil twilight, which will vary with date and location, but usually end about 30 minutes after sunset. I cannot imagine a reason that you would need to jump 30 minutes after sunset, it the load is delayed that long then land, you are illegal anyway if you do not display a light after sunset and under canopy.


I agree with all that. Nevertheless, I have been on several loads that exited well after sunset - and at least two more that would have exited had I not balked. I don't know if they were more than 30 minutes after sunset, but we took off after sunset - and it was certainly dark enough that the landing area was barely visible, and the streetlights on nearby roads (or taxiways) were the brightest lights around.

On jumps such as those, having experience flying and landing in very low light conditions is invaluable. It's akin to being able to do a steep approach in brakes, or being able to S-turn to make it into a tight landing area. You should not need to do either with a well-planned approach - but sometimes you find yourself in such situations anyway.

Overall it is better to have such skills and work not to need them, then not have them to begin with - in my opinion, of course. And having such skills makes people safer in the air under the range of conditions a skydiver might experience.

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billvon

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As for night jumps, night jumps only count for the rating if they are made 1 hour after sunset. Getting out a bit after sunset does not really provide any challenge, there is plenty of light to jump until the end of civil twilight, which will vary with date and location, but usually end about 30 minutes after sunset. I cannot imagine a reason that you would need to jump 30 minutes after sunset, it the load is delayed that long then land, you are illegal anyway if you do not display a light after sunset and under canopy.


I agree with all that. Nevertheless, I have been on several loads that exited well after sunset - and at least two more that would have exited had I not balked. I don't know if they were more than 30 minutes after sunset, but we took off after sunset - and it was certainly dark enough that the landing area was barely visible, and the streetlights on nearby roads (or taxiways) were the brightest lights around.

On jumps such as those, having experience flying and landing in very low light conditions is invaluable. It's akin to being able to do a steep approach in brakes, or being able to S-turn to make it into a tight landing area. You should not need to do either with a well-planned approach - but sometimes you find yourself in such situations anyway.

Overall it is better to have such skills and work not to need them, then not have them to begin with - in my opinion, of course. And having such skills makes people safer in the air under the range of conditions a skydiver might experience.



Don't exit after sunset and certainly do not take off after sunset, you will never need the added skill of having made night jumps, problem solved. BTW, the FAA allows ultralight aircraft to fly until 30 minutes after sunset (if they display a proper light). So, the FAA feels that an ultralight pilot with no specific night training in an aircraft without landing lights can see well enough to land safely 30 minutes after sunset.

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>Don't exit after sunset and certainly do not take off after sunset, you will never need
>the added skill of having made night jumps . . . .

I agree.

>problem solved.

That's like saying "never fly a poor pattern, you'll never have to know how to land in a tight area, problem solved." No, it's not.

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billvon

>Don't exit after sunset and certainly do not take off after sunset, you will never need
>the added skill of having made night jumps . . . .

I agree.

>problem solved.

That's like saying "never fly a poor pattern, you'll never have to know how to land in a tight area, problem solved." No, it's not.



Your sentence "never fly a poor pattern, you'll never have to know how to land in a tight area" does not really make any sense. However, if you change the sentence to "never fly a poor pattern AND you'll never have to know how to land in a tight area" conveys the point you are trying to make.

I completely agree that everyone should practice for scenarios such as off DZ landings, etc, things that can happen on any given jump day.

However, there is never a reason to take off on a skydive after sunset or to exit an aircraft 30 minutes after sunset. If you exit to land no later than 30 minutes after sunset you will have plenty of light to land without any other skills (take a light visible for 3 miles with you). Unless, of course, you decide that you are on an episode of "Ripcord" and there is someone in distress, after sunset, that you must jump in and rescue. Lassie came and told you, you must go.

Mike Mullins

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>However, there is never a reason to take off on a skydive after sunset or to exit an
>aircraft 30 minutes after sunset.

I agree. Similarly, there is never a reason to put yourself in a position where you need to get into a very tight landing area. But people screw up; spots go long, people make mistakes and peer pressure can get to anyone.

Some examples:

Rantoul around 2006. A tailgate (I think it was a CASA) took off right at sunset. The nightly thunderstorm was already on the horizon and it was pretty dark. We took off and took slightly longer than normal to get to altitude due to clouds. I decided not to jump; I was wingsuiting, and that's not something I wanted to do in low visibility. The rest of the load jumped anyway. When I looked out after they had exited, I couldn't see the landing area, nor could I see them against the ground. We landed in almost pitch darkness.

Brown Field around 1999. I was on a "last fun load of the day" for the instructors who had been working all day. We took off well after sunset. When we exited, I couldn't see the people below me in the planned formation; I had to get below them to see them silhouetted against the still-somewhat-light sky. Needless to say the formation didn't work. Breakoff was hairy (still couldn't see) and we landed courtesy of the van's headlights, which Terry had thoughtfully turned on for us.

Brown Field about a year lager. I was on one of those last loads again; this time there were some tandems on board. It was almost as dark. I remember being able to see the lights of Tijuana being far brighter than any lights below us in the industrial park we were passing over. I was telling myself "well, I've done half a dozen night jumps, I'll be fine." "Last time we did this it was fine." I talked to two other people I was jumping with (both also instructors) and they said "I'm OK with it." Finally common sense got the better of me and I told the people I was jumping with that I wasn't going to jump. The other people in my group decided not to jump at that point. Then the tandems decided not to jump.

Afterwards two of the people on the load (a TM and an AFF-I) came up to me and said they were really glad that I had backed out, because they didn't want to be the one who got the load cancelled after everyone (pilot, packers etc) had worked so hard to make it happen.

Now, one might say that all the people who jumped (or would have jumped if I hadn't backed out) in those cases were idiots, and so that doesn't count, or that it's rare. And that may well be true. But they were also some of the most experienced people on the DZ, and they let the pressure get to them (myself included.)

Such things happen, even if they are foolish things to do. And having the experience to deal with them will help prevent injuries and deaths, even when they do something foolish. That is (or should be) a primary goal of USPA.

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"However, there is never a reason to take off on a skydive after sunset or to exit an aircraft 30 minutes after sunset. If you exit to land no later than 30 minutes after sunset you will have plenty of light to land without any other skills (take a light visible for 3 miles with you). Unless, of course, you decide that you are on an episode of "Ripcord" and there is someone in distress, after sunset, that you must jump in and rescue. Lassie came and told you, you must go.

Mike Mullins "

Right or wrong we used to do a LOT of dark jumps at our DZ. We logged them as dark jumps because they couldn't be night jumps since nobody had lights. We were just getting one more load in and someone screwed around and it got dark. I mean, dark. And in West Virginia dark was dark.
I've also done a lot of night jumps, but they in no way prepared me for the dark jumps. Night jumps have lights on the jumpers, lights at the landing area, usually car headlights. Dark jumps have none of that.
I'm not defending or apologizing for those jumps and I'm certainly not encouraging them but I am saying that night jumps did absolutely nothing to prepare us for them. They're a completely different situation. If the airplane is taking off too late for you but then you think "hey, I've got all those night jumps so I'll be ok" well, no. It just doesn't work that way.

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Mike,
"Please don't confuse safety with competence." Really?

There are numerous places in the SIM that appear to suggest that the two are highly correlated - if not linked. And for good reason! If safety and competence are independent of one another, than why are Safety & Training Advisers (S&TA) required to review and sign proficiency cards? Why does the USPA recommend at least 200 jumps (increased proficiency) prior to flying a wingsuit or a camera - disciplines that pose additional safety hazards? Why are students jumping squares restricted from jumping in winds greater than 14 MPH? Why do the minimum deployment altitudes differ based on license level? I could go on...

Greater proficiency equates to a greater likelihood of performing specific skills more safely than a skydiver with less experience. The SIM awards more hazardous and demanding privileges to skydivers with increased proficiency levels. The idea that the two are somehow not linked is ludicrous.

And equating a history test to skydiving? Well, I would agree that competence is at the core of both, but there is no risk of falling to your untimely death in a classroom is there?

-JD-

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Here is the bottom line:

The only really substantial change is that for a C License you now must make 10, 4 way jumps in order to bring USPA License requirements in line with IPC/FAI.

I do not think that this requirement is onerous. Some of you do, I think most do not.

This is my last comment on the subject.

Mike Mullins

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