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baronn

BOD Meeting July 2018

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skytribe

***
I will say again: I do not think that the requirement to make 10, 4 way jumps for a C license is onerous.



Then why make it FF/FS specific or even have it at all. I don't particularly think its onerous - just the fact that it excludes other disciplines and the fact that AFF counts make it a joke. Make it mean something, set a standard rather than simply to jump out with 3 other people in freefall and define that as success.

How about making the coaching standard a C license - that potentially doubles the experience requirement, if you want to make the 10 4 way jumps mean something how about actually defining success - ie. 10 4 way or larger jumps of 5 points or more and make that in FS/FF/CF disciplines where points are scored.

And how about not including student training jumps in those license jump - so AFF jumps wouldn't count. That truly is a joke if you want to say that counts.

Coaches can do a lot more than jump with people between 7 and 25 jumps who are cleared for self-supervision and not yet licensed and there are no requirements for only doing belly flying. What its original intent was and what is written seem to be quite a bit apart and I stand by my opinion that 100 jumps is too low with limited experience.

USPA did not make the requirement for the 10, 4 ways, and they can be any belly or freefly. IPC/FAI came up with that standard. For reasons that have been already thoroughly debated, USPA has decided to make this change to make USPA licenses equivalent to the world standard, which is the IPC/FAI Certificate of Competency.

As you may not have recognized in the previous post, you do not need to be a Coach to jump with a licensed jumper, any licensed jumper can jump with another licensed jumper: "When the students become licensed, then any other licensed skydiver can jump with them and they can do any discipline they please." The Coach rating was designed to help with students who are on solo self-supervision, before they are licensed, typically between 7 and 25 jumps. These students were largely being ignored, USPA did something to help.

Please, all, do not blast me with stories about how this was not true at your DZ, I am sure that there were those DZs that were doing a great job on this, many were not. A Coach jumping with another licensed jumper has no more authority or duties than another licensed jumper. He may use his skills learned as a Coach to help other licensed jumpers, that is up to the Coach, there is no duty or burden placed on the Coach to be anything other than a licensed skydiver when jumping with another licensed skydiver.

If a DZO thinks that a Coach is not doing a good job, the DZO can simply say that you can't act as a Coach, same authority that the DZO has with any jumper at his DZ.

Mike Mullins

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The people who have a real stake in skydiving are the same people who make it happen for you. Without them you would have no place to jump. So, go ahead and complain. It’s easy and it’s your right. It’s also completely meaninglessness because the people who matter support USPA.

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because the people who matter



I noticed you didn't refute anything I brought, just came with an attempt to insult me.

(BTW, for your attempt to insult me to work.... I'd have to care about your opinion of me.)
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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why is a C license important? What's wrong with "average fun jumpers" just getting a B license and hanging out?



Nothing, but some DZ's may require a "C" for certain jumps. I knew one DZ that required a "C" for balloon jumps and another that required it for beach jumps (The only reason I got a "C", I skipped A and B).
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I noticed you didn't refute anything I brought, just came with an attempt to insult me.



The point is not to insult you. The real thing I'm saying is that it's easy to criticize. It's not so easy to make skydiving happen for us. You made a big point of saying USPA is useless to it's members. I'm not going to refute all the things that you brought up about gear makers being influential. They deserve to be. They make it happen, like DZOs make it happen. Skydiving and gear both keep getting better and better every year. USPA is a big part of that.

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I'm not going to refute all the things that you brought up about gear makers being influential. They deserve to be.



Then they should have a group... Maybe call it PIA or something?

The fact is that the USPA should represent the jumpers, not the industry.

The USPA should drop the group member program, but they will not because they KNOW they would lose individuals.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Ron

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My discontent at the RW requirements has less to do with the effort required to complete them and more to do about WHY they came about in the first place. Sometimes intent is just as important as the act itself.



Again, I am just shocked people really care. I am going to bet that with the exception of canopy pilots and Crew dogs (I have done both) anyone that meets the other requirements will have the new ones.

And I admit that the fact AFF counts is just stupid.

***The USPA should be focused on creating standards that enhance safety - particularly in the realm of canopy flight - and less worried about international competition



You need to read the CHARTER of the USPA. You can read the Constitution here: https://uspa.org/Portals/0/files/Man_GovMan.pdf

It specifically mentions competitions. So like it or not, competitions are part of the USPA.

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but I and a few other newbies feel this most recent move indicates a bias toward the elites and a near complete disregard for your average/new fun jumper who comprise the majority of USPA's membership.



I am going to break it to you. The USPA does not care about you. Not one damn bit. It is not a feeling you are getting, it is a fact that they have shown over and over again.

Rig manufacturers make "freefly" friendly rigs that now don't open in time according to the STC... USPA does nothing about it. AAD makers complain that the pull altitude is too low to allow them to set the AAD's to fire higher, USPA jumps and raises the min pull altitudes so the AAD makers can cover up for the rig makers no longer meeting TSO standards.

In every case where it is skydiving company vs individual members... You are GOING to be ignored.

Look at the USPA website, they claim this is a volunteer organization... But then they require group members to only let members jump. What do YOU as a member get by a DZ being a group member? Jack shit.

The USPA gave a "safety" award to a guy that was fined over and over for not doing the maintenance on his planes.

What does happen is the USPA gets to play both sides. See they make the DZ join as a group member for basically, advertising. The group member DZ gets to say they are members of the USPA and the USPA will direct people interested in skydiving to the DZ.

Look on the first page of the USPA website: "Learn about the methods to make a first jump and find USPA Group Member Dropzones near you."

Ah, then the USPA makes the Group member DZ's sign a pledge. Part of that pledge is that they will only let USPA members jump there!

They have created their own monopoly. Sure, you can not join the USPA, but then you now can't jump at most DZ's

The Group member program is the BIGGEST line of crap ever. The individual member gets exactly NOTHING from the program and it makes you join if you want to jump at most DZ's... But the USPA KNOWS that if they drop the requirement that most individuals will drop their USPA membership.

Long story short, unless you are a student, instructor, or a competitor, the USPA is worthless for you, and the USPA KNOWS it. So they make you join to be able to jump.

So yeah, it is true, the USPA does not care about you, the individual member. They just gave 125K dollars to a museum no one really wants, while crying they don't have any money.

So what's the better alternative? Dissolve the USPA completely and let DZs do whatever they want, however they want? Even USPA affiliated DZs often do unsafe stuff. Even at drop zones explicitly known to be safety-eccentric DZs with many rules and tight oversight, I still see people do unsafe things. Just the other day I was at a USPA affiliated DZ that openly states it's very safety focused and one of the instructors ordered the exit order to be one wingsuiter out first, followed by two high pulls, then my 2-way freefly group followed by the tandems. I asked him why in the hell he thought that was a safe exit order. His response was that he wanted the wingsuiter out first to 'get out of the way' and then him and his friend doing a high pull because they wanted to be 'out of the way of the tandems'. I explained to him that he is at a USPA drop zone and has on official obligation to follow the BSRs regardless of what he thought was convenient or whatever other BS and putting out a wingsuiter and high pulls before a freefly group is pretty stupid. He responded to me was that the exit order 'doesn't really matter anyway'. Yea, okay.

The point is even with the USPA many (if not most) drop zones still regularly do stuff that is unsafe. I cant imagine how bad it would be with no oversight at all.

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skytribe

***

I cannot speak for the UK/BPA but in the USA the NAA (National Aeronautic Association) issues the sporting license for the FAI. NAA charges $55, none of which goes to USPA.



Well perhaps if the change is about international competitors which represent a small proportion of USPA members then you should consider something that they pay for to meet any international requirement rather than simply changing the requirements for everyone else.

Instructors pay additional amounts every year as do pro rating holders then why not competitors,

michaelmullins


The USPA Coach Rating came about due to a lack of mentoring of students on solo self supervision, and, due to this lack of attention, the students would drop out of the sport prior to becoming licensed. Historically, the more experienced skydivers, or skygods, would mentor these students but this has become rare in recent years. Please don't shoot the messenger, I know there are DZs that still do this and I applaud you for your attention to these students. D License holders are also permitted to jump with students on self-supervision and those D License holders who give of their time to do this are appreciated.

The Coaches are only as good as the courses given by the Coach Examiner. The course should take about 2 1/2 days. However, some courses are being done in 1 day, and even 1 afternoon. Sometimes the Coach Examiner is not even at the DZ. USPA is aware of these problems and are now requiring Coach Examiners to attend a Coach Standardization Course every 2 years to keep their Coach Examiner status.

Garbage in, Garbage out, our Coaches are only going to be as good as the course they receive. Some are great, all should be at least as good as the requirements. If they pass a real Coach Course that upholds the standards, they should be able to do a good job.




Shouldn't the idea of coaches be specific to the disciplines? (Example - Someone with 100 jumps most of which are freefly shouldn't be coaching in another discipline they know nothing about such as CRW for example).


It is. The coach rating in the USPA ISP only focuses on categories F, G and H of the ISP. At some drop zones, it's only G and H as they integrate F into AFF. Categories F, G and H cover very specific tacks--namely, tracking after breakoff, taking docks on your belly, changing fall rates, executing a swoop and dock and a few basic types of unlinked exits. That's most of what a coach does (a coach can teach the general sections of the first jump course too technically). The USPA coach rating is not intended to certify coaches in other disciplines like wingsuiting, freeflying, ect. It's really only intended for people who want to help self-supervised students finish up the final tasks of their A license, and even then the Coach can only sign off on a few items. They cannot even sign off on any of the canopy control practice items in categories F, G and H. Only an instructor can even though the canopy control tasks are basic things that all licensed skydivers should know.

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So what's the better alternative?



I actually already stated what should happen. Drop the GM program and have the USPA represent the individual members instead of UPT, PD etc.

But the USPA will not drop the GM program because it FORCES individuals to join the USPA.

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let DZs do whatever they want, however they want?



Uh, the USPA has ZERO power to do anything. A GM DZ signs a "pledge" to follow the BSR's and that is it. Period. No one from the USPA ever audits the GM DZ's. EVER. I think it happened once in the 90's and the DZO laughed at the USPA.

You are mistakenly thinking the USPA has any power. And you just proved my point, "Even USPA affiliated DZs often do unsafe stuff"..."I still see people do unsafe things"....

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I explained to him that he is at a USPA drop zone and has on official obligation to follow the BSRs regardless of what he thought was convenient or whatever other BS and putting out a wingsuiter and high pulls before a freefly group is pretty stupid. He responded to me was that the exit order 'doesn't really matter anyway'. Yea, okay.



OK a great opportunity here. Go ahead and contact the USPA about this violation. Then report back on the results and what the USPA does.

I'll use my prognostic abilities here... The USPA will do exactly... Nothing. Maybe call the DZ, but all that is going to do is out YOU as a troublemaker.

But PLEASE, go ahead and contact the USPA and let us know what they do.

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The point is even with the USPA many (if not most) drop zones still regularly do stuff that is unsafe. I cant imagine how bad it would be with no oversight at all.



Nothing will change. I have jumped at GM DZ's that were dangerous as hell and non-GM DZ's that had great safety records. It is up to the DZO how that DZ operates, not the USPA. And the proof is you admit the GM DZ's do dangerous stuff.

But again, PLEASE contact the USPA and voice your concern. A perfect situation for a demonstration.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Westerly

***

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My discontent at the RW requirements has less to do with the effort required to complete them and more to do about WHY they came about in the first place. Sometimes intent is just as important as the act itself.



Again, I am just shocked people really care. I am going to bet that with the exception of canopy pilots and Crew dogs (I have done both) anyone that meets the other requirements will have the new ones.

And I admit that the fact AFF counts is just stupid.

***The USPA should be focused on creating standards that enhance safety - particularly in the realm of canopy flight - and less worried about international competition



You need to read the CHARTER of the USPA. You can read the Constitution here: https://uspa.org/Portals/0/files/Man_GovMan.pdf

It specifically mentions competitions. So like it or not, competitions are part of the USPA.

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but I and a few other newbies feel this most recent move indicates a bias toward the elites and a near complete disregard for your average/new fun jumper who comprise the majority of USPA's membership.



I am going to break it to you. The USPA does not care about you. Not one damn bit. It is not a feeling you are getting, it is a fact that they have shown over and over again.

Rig manufacturers make "freefly" friendly rigs that now don't open in time according to the STC... USPA does nothing about it. AAD makers complain that the pull altitude is too low to allow them to set the AAD's to fire higher, USPA jumps and raises the min pull altitudes so the AAD makers can cover up for the rig makers no longer meeting TSO standards.

In every case where it is skydiving company vs individual members... You are GOING to be ignored.

Look at the USPA website, they claim this is a volunteer organization... But then they require group members to only let members jump. What do YOU as a member get by a DZ being a group member? Jack shit.

The USPA gave a "safety" award to a guy that was fined over and over for not doing the maintenance on his planes.

What does happen is the USPA gets to play both sides. See they make the DZ join as a group member for basically, advertising. The group member DZ gets to say they are members of the USPA and the USPA will direct people interested in skydiving to the DZ.

Look on the first page of the USPA website: "Learn about the methods to make a first jump and find USPA Group Member Dropzones near you."

Ah, then the USPA makes the Group member DZ's sign a pledge. Part of that pledge is that they will only let USPA members jump there!

They have created their own monopoly. Sure, you can not join the USPA, but then you now can't jump at most DZ's

The Group member program is the BIGGEST line of crap ever. The individual member gets exactly NOTHING from the program and it makes you join if you want to jump at most DZ's... But the USPA KNOWS that if they drop the requirement that most individuals will drop their USPA membership.

Long story short, unless you are a student, instructor, or a competitor, the USPA is worthless for you, and the USPA KNOWS it. So they make you join to be able to jump.

So yeah, it is true, the USPA does not care about you, the individual member. They just gave 125K dollars to a museum no one really wants, while crying they don't have any money.

So what's the better alternative? Dissolve the USPA completely and let DZs do whatever they want, however they want? Even USPA affiliated DZs often do unsafe stuff. Even at drop zones explicitly known to be safety-eccentric DZs with many rules and tight oversight, I still see people do unsafe things. Just the other day I was at a USPA affiliated DZ that openly states it's very safety focused and one of the instructors ordered the exit order to be one wingsuiter out first, followed by two high pulls, then my 2-way freefly group followed by the tandems. I asked him why in the hell he thought that was a safe exit order. His response was that he wanted the wingsuiter out first to 'get out of the way' and then him and his friend doing a high pull because they wanted to be 'out of the way of the tandems'. I explained to him that he is at a USPA drop zone and has on official obligation to follow the BSRs regardless of what he thought was convenient or whatever other BS and putting out a wingsuiter and high pulls before a freefly group is pretty stupid. He responded to me was that the exit order 'doesn't really matter anyway'. Yea, okay.

The point is even with the USPA many (if not most) drop zones still regularly do stuff that is unsafe. I cant imagine how bad it would be with no oversight at all.

High pullers out first is acceptable. That's what CRW jumpers now do often. If its cloudy with multiple passes or incredibly strong winds then maybe let them out last but otherwise out first is really not a problem.

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Ron

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So what's the better alternative?




OK a great opportunity here. Go ahead and contact the USPA about this violation. Then report back on the results and what the USPA does.

I'll use my prognostic abilities here... The USPA will do exactly... Nothing. Maybe call the DZ, but all that is going to do is out YOU as a troublemaker.

I don't disagree with you here. If the USPA enforced the rules I wouldn't see this crap in the first place. I don't pretend that the USPA actually enforces their rules regularly. I've seen enough affiliated DZs doing unsafe stuff to know they don't. But I have also seen many DZs reference the BSRs and enforce provisions of the BSRs. I have seen people get grounded for failing to follow the BSRs. So I guess my point is some safety is better than no safety. The ideal situation would be for the USPA to step up and start kicking to the curb DZs that don't follow the rules, but completely dissolving it entirely certainly wont make DZs safer, that's for sure.

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If the USPA enforced the rules I wouldn't see this crap in the first place.



First, they never will.... Second, how do you suggest they do it? The USPA is a paper tiger to DZO's. The DZO's sign a pledge and then the USPA does nothing if they don't follow it.

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But I have also seen many DZs reference the BSRs and enforce provisions of the BSRs. I have seen people get grounded for failing to follow the BSRs.



I don't need some mystic BSR to know that students should not jump in 25kt winds. I don't need some mystic BSR to know that people with 30 jumps should not jump with Tandems.

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So I guess my point is some safety is better than no safety.



And my point is that the USPA does not enforce ANYTHING. So it is not some safety. Either your DZO supports safe acts or not. The USPA only has a list of suggestions with ZERO punishment for not following them.

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The ideal situation would be for the USPA to step up and start kicking to the curb DZs that don't follow the rules,



And they will NEVER do that since the USPA needs DZ's to be group members to make sure that individuals HAVE to join to be able to jump there.

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but completely dissolving it entirely certainly wont make DZs safer, that's for sure.



Mullins is on the BOD and his DZ is not a group member. It is a very safe DZ. Your example shows a DZ, that I assume is a GM, that ignores the BSR's.....

Simply put, Group Membership means exactly NOTHING as it relates to safety. The GM program ONLY serves as a way to force individual membership.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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>The fact is that the USPA should represent the jumpers, not the industry.

They should represent parachuting (or skydiving if you prefer.) That's why it's called the USPA and not the USJA. Skydiving includes DZO's and gear manufacturers. I support USPA because they work with all sides - DZO's, schools, skydivers, competitions, gear manufacturers, the FAA - to keep skydiving going. They don't always get it right but they do a fairly good job.

If you want to create a united states jumper's association that advocates purely for jumpers, then by all means do so.

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Westerly

He responded to me was that the exit order 'doesn't really matter anyway'. Yea, okay.



I personally would have pulled myself off this load. I think that is a case where you should speak to the head instructor/S&TA or DZO. USPA has its importance as a general governing body. They can't control every load and that is where everyone has a part to play in making sure everything is safe.

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They should represent parachuting (or skydiving if you prefer.) That's why it's called the USPA and not the USJA. Skydiving includes DZO's and gear manufacturers.



So you think the DZO's and gear manufacturers should have more, equal or less control over the USPA than individual members?

And do you think that Group Members should require individual memberships to be able to jump there?

And do you think that the USPA should actually hold GM's to their pledge?
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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>So you think the DZO's and gear manufacturers should have more, equal or less
>control over the USPA than individual members?

Probably somewhere between "equal" and "less." They are all members, but there are fewer of them.

>And do you think that the USPA should actually hold GM's to their pledge?

Yep, to a similar degree that they hold skydivers to the BSR's.

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>So you think the DZO's and gear manufacturers should have more, equal or less
>control over the USPA than individual members?

Probably somewhere between "equal" and "less." They are all members, but there are fewer of them.



If USPA membership was not mandatory, this would be possible. USPA would also have to respond to the membership since if they didn't, people wouldn't send in their dues. As it is, USPA can do whatever they want and you still have to send in your dues. The game is rigged.

Derek V

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Hooknswoop


If USPA membership was not mandatory, this would be possible. USPA would also have to respond to the membership since if they didn't, people wouldn't send in their dues. As it is, USPA can do whatever they want and you still have to send in your dues. The game is rigged.

Derek V



Exactly. There is no free market. You can either join, or not be able to jump at the vast majority of DZ's in the US.

The USPA did this by design.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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gowlerk

The people who have a real stake in skydiving are the same people who make it happen for you. Without them you would have no place to jump. So, go ahead and complain. It’s easy and it’s your right. It’s also completely meaninglessness because the people who matter support USPA.



Just for the record, except for the odd visit somewhere else I've never jumped at a USPA member DZ.
Oh wait, Lancaster was and I jumped there one summer. Now I remember that they had to take my USPA number and check it. That's the only way I knew.
I'm not trying to go all anti-USPA but I thought some posts were going a little overboard with how much we need them.

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Ron

***
If USPA membership was not mandatory, this would be possible. USPA would also have to respond to the membership since if they didn't, people wouldn't send in their dues. As it is, USPA can do whatever they want and you still have to send in your dues. The game is rigged.

Derek V



Exactly. There is no free market. You can either join, or not be able to jump at the vast majority of DZ's in the US.

The USPA did this by design.

Except you've repeatedly said that the USPA does not enforce any of its rules. So what would happen if a GM DZ allowed a non-member to jump? You said they dont enforce the rules, so the logical answer would be that nothing would happen so why bother?

Funny side note. The other week I checked into a new DZ. They asked to see my USPA card but dident bother looking at my reserve packing card or inspect my rig in any way... :S This was a pretty well-known DZ that has a ton of fun jumpers too.

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Exactly. There is no free market. You can either join, or not be able to jump at the vast majority of DZ's in the US.

The USPA did this by design.



That's because DZs are businesses. And the owners of them like it that way. Go ahead, start your own business. Others have done it. There are non affiliated DZs out there. No one is forcing you to buy a membership. But that is part of the terms decided on by the people with real skin in the game. They don't do for you. They do it because they feel it's best for them.

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xcept you've repeatedly said that the USPA does not enforce any of its rules. So what would happen if a GM DZ allowed a non-member to jump?



Nothing would happen. But there is no reason for a DZ to not expect you to be a member.

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Funny side note. The other week I checked into a new DZ. They asked to see my USPA card but dident bother looking at my reserve packing card



You just continue to prove the point that being a GM DZ does not make it safer.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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No one is forcing you to buy a membership



Require introductory or regular individual USPA membership of:
1. all licensed U.S. skydivers (a skydiver is considered a student until licensed)
2. non-resident foreign nationals who do not have proof of membership in their national aeroclub.”

Derek V

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Westerly

... Just the other day I was at a USPA affiliated DZ that openly states it's very safety focused and one of the instructors ordered the exit order to be one wingsuiter out first, followed by two high pulls, then my 2-way freefly group followed by the tandems. I asked him why in the hell he thought that was a safe exit order. His response was that he wanted the wingsuiter out first to 'get out of the way' and then him and his friend doing a high pull because they wanted to be 'out of the way of the tandems'. I explained to him that he is at a USPA drop zone and has on official obligation to follow the BSRs regardless of what he thought was convenient or whatever other BS and putting out a wingsuiter and high pulls before a freefly group is pretty stupid. He responded to me was that the exit order 'doesn't really matter anyway'.



Just want to make sure that you know... exit order is not specified in the BSRs.

And... many DZs have modeified their exit orders from the "standard" exit order, and for good reasons.

(Having said that, the instructor you referred to could have been making a mistake.)

Some of this stuff just isn't that simple.

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