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baronn

BOD Meeting July 2018

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***... 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'.





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

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What are those reasons?

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Westerly

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



Quote

What are those reasons?



One example I learned of a while back from a DZO was that the usual group of freeflyers, who are normally falling faster than belly flyers, and who usually should be exiting later than belly flyers, were using smaller canopies than the usual group of belly flyers, and therefore arriving at the pattern at the same time as the belly flyers.

They determined from experience that having the freeflyers exit first prevented this conflict and did not make their opening proximitry an issue.

The only point I'm trying to make is that we all need to ask questions, but also we need to be flexible.

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skytribe

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.



In my experience, when CReWdogs exit before the rest of the load they do so over the DZ or up to two miles downwind, while the freefallers exit well upwind.

In other words, there is a lot of distance (and time) between their exit point and that of the freefallers.
"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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If we are getting into the exit order thing:

Westerly

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.



I'll disagree with you. I still don't know how the BSR's matter here but I don't know the US ones well.

And the guy may have meant the exit order doesn't matter IN CONTEXT for that jump, for where to put the wingsuiter and high pullers. He didn't mean "in all cases, ever", DUH. One could put the wingsuiter and high pullers out first or last, according to common exit order conventions. (Or indeed they could safely go anywhere in that load. Obviously more time needs to be taken by the presumably flat-fly high pullers if they went after the freefly group, but the same applies to tandems who may have cam flyers. Flat-fly tandems follow freefliers all the time -- but don't drift over them because they accept going a little extra upwind before exiting.)

=========
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The coach rating in the USPA ISP only focuses on categories F, G and H of the ISP.



Westerly, your bit about the coach rating was very appropriate though. The coach rating isn't about 'coaching everything' or 'coaching top athletes' but to address a particular niche for newbies.

Canada has been doing it similarly for a long time -- I get the impression that the USPA got some of their coach ideas from the CSPA. The basic Coach rating here in Canada ("Coach 1") may be obtained with a very minimum of 75 jumps. Good for basic observation of a novice's skills. If someone gets huffy that "anyone with under 200 jumps really knows nothing these days", well, if a DZ has super high experienced AFFI staff to spare, nothing stops them from insisting that only higher experienced staff are used.

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>What are those reasons?

Separate tandem landing area some distance from normal landing area. (Happened at the WFFC some years.)

Downwind jump run.

Wingsuiters who want to get out first or last. (They make their own separation; doesn't really matter when they get out.)

Very long jump runs on light wind days. (First and last people out may want to open higher)

DZ specific hazards (i.e. don't want to put the students out over the mountains or lake.)

Just as a few examples. The 'standard' jump run is pretty good for most DZ's, but not all.

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Apparently, The USPA's only job seems to be to make suggestions to it's members and then cave in to the demands of outside organizations from other countries. And all of this with 0 input from the members. Gee, good thing we have them. As long as the members, (both individual and group) keep paying dues, these elected elite are gonna do whatever they feel like. I hope a few board members besides Mike and Gary are lookin at this. I personally wude be ashamed if I had this many of whatever members I represented this dissatisfied with my performance. I can guarantee if this was a publicallly traded company, you'd be packin yer shit.

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Amen.

And while I do agree with Ron that the USPA's care or interest in members at large is minimal or limited to a few of the BOD directors, why should we just "accept" that? And who's fault is that? Yes, the BOD ought to be doing what we pay them to do. But then again, it's on us to hold them accountable.

USPA elections are right around the corner folks. I admit to being a huge cynic, but as a cynic there is no more a deeply relieving and amusing experience than filling out a ballot come election day.

Sometimes the establishment needs a little reminder about who they work for. Follow this link:

https://uspa.org/Election

-JD-

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skyfox2007

Good point, and there are a few folks I jump with absent any ambition to progress in licenses for that very reason.

But I very much want to become an instructor at some point.



And to stand any chance of doing so you have to significantly exceed the C license requirements in terms of belly skills, so it’s no problem in your case to require them.

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baronn

Apparently, The USPA's only job seems to be to make suggestions to it's members and then cave in to the demands of outside organizations from other countries. And all of this with 0 input from the members. Gee, good thing we have them. As long as the members, (both individual and group) keep paying dues, these elected elite are gonna do whatever they feel like. I hope a few board members besides Mike and Gary are lookin at this. I personally wude be ashamed if I had this many of whatever members I represented this dissatisfied with my performance. I can guarantee if this was a publicallly traded company, you'd be packin yer shit.



Well, it's not a commercial company, but they're elected representatives of the skydiving community, aren't they?

That means that the people on the board are looking out for the interest of the majority of voters.

Speaking more generally and not necessarily directed at Baronn:
Of course, if over 95% of the registered members can't be @rsed to vote (like often happens in the Netherlands) it's a different story.
Then again, people who don't vote, don't get to complain afterwards.

Besides, you can always decide to run for a position yourself. :ph34r:
"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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baronn

Apparently, The USPA's only job seems to be to make suggestions to it's members and then cave in to the demands of outside organizations from other countries.


If those demands are good for skydivers - then that is USPA doing their job.
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As long as the members, (both individual and group) keep paying dues, these elected elite are gonna do whatever they feel like.


As long as the members keep sitting on their asses when it comes to USPA, the "elected elite" will do the best they can with almost no input from skydivers.

I know most of the people on the board, and most of the RD's. I disagree with many of them on many issues. But none of them are in it for the money, or the power, or the fame.
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I personally wude be ashamed if I had this many of whatever members I represented this dissatisfied with my performance. I can guarantee if this was a publicallly traded company, you'd be packin yer shit.



If this was a publicly traded company people might actually care enough to vote on things!

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But then again, it's on us to hold them accountable.



How? I'll be 100% honest, if I could drop my membership and still jump.... I'd do it in a second. In a free market, members could decide they do not like what the USPA is doing and leave. But, the USPA has a monopoly AND they have rigged it so that if a DZ wants advertising and represented by the USPA (directing customers to them) then the DZ has to make it so anyone that jumps there is a member.

The USPA should drop the GM program. It does NOTHING but provide some advertising to the USPA. Or at the very least, drop the requirement to be a USPA member.

So they have a monopoly and rigged the field. Example, I could not skydive in most of the State I live unless I have a USPA membership.

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USPA elections are right around the corner folks.



There is a reason most of the people on the BOD are there.... Example, I ran for an open seat in my region. It was awarded to someone who works in the industry. The reason I was given is because "They cared enough to show up in person."

Except this person was ALREADY going since he was being PAID to go there and his company was PAYING for his travel and lodging. So, if I wanted to go it was going to cost me about 1K dollars out of pocket to interview for a position that has no pay. If I GOT the position, they would have refunded my travel costs, if I didn't, well, I had to eat them.

So one guy is paid to go and is not paying for travel cost anyway and one guy would be paying out of pocket....

Anyone know the process to suggest a rules change?
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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billvon

>Anyone know the process to suggest a rules change?

A rules change to do . . . what, exactly?



Either:

1. Remove the GM program
2. Remove the requirement that GM DZ's require USPA membership
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Most non GM DZ's require you to be a USPA member so you have the 3rd party liability insurance. I don't necessarily agree with the GM concept but there is a practical reason for DZ's to require membership. I doubt that if USPA dropped the requirement that many DZ's would follow suit.


Blue Skies

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bill6870

Most non GM DZ's require you to be a USPA member so you have the 3rd party liability insurance. I don't necessarily agree with the GM concept but there is a practical reason for DZ's to require membership. I doubt that if USPA dropped the requirement that many DZ's would follow suit.



I never really understood the need for skydivers to have liability insurance. Liability against what? The scenario I was given when I asked was if someone pounded into a car on landing, damaged it and the owner sued the skydiver, the USPA's insurance would cover the tab. That sounds like an exceedingly rare scenario. Like, so rare it's probably never happened. In any case, umbrella insurance costs around the same as the USPA membership, but covers all your activities, not just skydiving, and is much more broad in scope allowing for far greater coverage. If you want to protect yourself from liability while skydiving, there are certainly better products out there.

Anyway, can anyone cite an actual example of when a skydiver used the USPA's liability insurance benefit?

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Most non GM DZ's require you to be a USPA member so you have the 3rd party liability insurance. I don't necessarily agree with the GM concept but there is a practical reason for DZ's to require membership. I doubt that if USPA dropped the requirement that many DZ's would follow suit.



Then it would not hurt anything.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Skydiver landed on car, went through the windshield, hit so hard he bent the dash, broke his leg. It was better than him impaling himself on the fence. Skydivers landing on cars happens more often then you know.

Another example would be damage to crops/farming equipment. A lot of dropzones are located by farmland.

But don't get me wrong...not a big fan of the USPA (especially the GM program). Thinks it total BS that non GM dz's have to pay an extortion fee to have a rating course held at a non GM DZ even though it is supposed to be for the benefit of the individual member and not GM dropzones.

Judy
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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Hi everyone,

This has been an interesting thread to read while the ink dries on my A license card. Before I throw my $0.02 in, I do have one question. When do the changes to the license requirements take place? According to the USPA website "effective with the release of the 2019-2020 Skydiver’s Information Manual." When does this happen?

In general I am pretty happy that the USPA exists. The liability insurance alone is worth the annual dues. Being able to earn a license at several DZs is a benefit of a standardized program. Some are seasonal, some go under, and a person can take what they have already earned from one to the next if they want or have to. The museum thing seems like a neat idea too. It would be nice to see the gear used in times past in person.

My problem is with the changes to the B and C licenses. And it's not the changes themselves I have a problem with, but why.

michaelmullins



This action was taken solely to bring our license requirements in line with the IPC/FAI "Certificate of Proficiency" which is the world recognized standard for skydiving licenses. Had we not taken that action, it is possible that USPA licenses may not be recognized internationally, especially in international competitions.

For the C License, I personally do not think that having to do 10 4 ways in 200 jumps or having for the B License to do 10 formation jumps with, 5 of them being 3 ways, is particularly burdensome.



This is globalism in action. I don't care what the French or the British do. As others have suggested there are separate competition licenses that can have those requirements added. I am never going to spend a penny of my hard earned American money in those places and I resent their 'nanny state' rules creeping into my freedom loving way of life. Mark my words, with this disastrous idea to allow international norms to dictate Americans' actions, you will see the french canopy sizing requirements here in the good ol' US of A soon.

I got in this to do speed skydiving. I have my reasons. While some of the belly stuff seems like it could be fun, with the right people, I have zero desire to ever freefly, especially in large groups. While it might not seem burdensome to some, to those people who are interested in perusing a solo discipline it absolutely is.

cheers,
Tangra

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Most non GM DZ's require you to be a USPA member so you have the 3rd party liability insurance.



Then DZ’s can require 3rd party insurance. USPA membership would be one way to satisfy that requirement. I do not see a reason why UPSA requires GM DZ’s to require membership except that skydivers would not see the value in membership and would drop their memberships if they could. If the value is there, people will pay.

Derek V

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>This is globalism in action. I don't care what the French or the British do.

I do, especially during world meets. (And most of the US cares what the French and British do when they are competing with the US in the Olympics.) I also very much care what they do when I am on record attempts with them, or am jumping in other countries. (4 so far)

I don't really care one way or another how closely our B or C license matches the licenses of other countries, since most people who compete internationally are going to have D licenses anyway. But there's no reason to have them be intentionally different, either.

If there's a good reason to have them be different than everyone else's, then keep them different. I haven't seen such a good reason before.

>I got in this to do speed skydiving. I have my reasons. While some of the belly stuff
>seems like it could be fun, with the right people, I have zero desire to ever freefly,
>especially in large groups. While it might not seem burdensome to some, to those people
>who are interested in perusing a solo discipline it absolutely is.

No worries; you can always get a restricted B or C license if you never want to jump with other people. Or stick with an A. Or go right past them to a D. That way you won't have to be burdened with those globalist demands.

>Mark my words, with this disastrous idea to allow international norms to dictate
>Americans' actions . . .

I've set three world records under "disastrous" FAI rules; doesn't seem all that bad. (And it means we get credit all over the world for doing it.)

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Tangra

I am never going to spend a penny of my hard earned American money in those places and I resent their 'nanny state' rules creeping into my freedom loving way of life. Mark my words, with this disastrous idea to allow international norms to dictate Americans' actions, you will see the french canopy sizing requirements here in the good ol' US of A soon.



So the USPA requiring a few belly jumps before you can get your C license infringes on your American freedom? hahaha. ok. You do realize you are not required to get a C license, right? You dont even need a license at all. You can just be a self-supervised solo student forever if you want. I know two people with over 5000 jumps that dont have a C license. One has an A license, the other B.

I think the changes the USPA made are not enough. They should have gone even further. It's a ridiculous assertion that we should be lowing the standard because it's too burdensome already. All of the license levels, A - D, are not that difficult. Considering a lack of competency in this sport can quite literally get you (and possibly someone else) killed, we should be finding ways to raise the bar, not lower it. I think the USPA needs to make the license requirements for B - D even harder as they are still pretty easy.

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So the USPA requiring a few belly jumps before you can get your C license infringes on your American freedom?


Apparently our freedom here is a very fragile thing--although I think it's more the idea of considering anything from outside the good ol' US of A, that seems so threatening to him.

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'nanny state' rules creeping into my freedom loving way of life


Clearly, you've never tried BASE jumping, otherwise you'd know that many of those "nanny states" actually allow much more freedom than we do (at least in that regard)

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Westerly

***Most non GM DZ's require you to be a USPA member so you have the 3rd party liability insurance. I don't necessarily agree with the GM concept but there is a practical reason for DZ's to require membership. I doubt that if USPA dropped the requirement that many DZ's would follow suit.



I never really understood the need for skydivers to have liability insurance. Liability against what? The scenario I was given when I asked was if someone pounded into a car on landing, damaged it and the owner sued the skydiver, the USPA's insurance would cover the tab. That sounds like an exceedingly rare scenario. Like, so rare it's probably never happened. In any case, umbrella insurance costs around the same as the USPA membership, but covers all your activities, not just skydiving, and is much more broad in scope allowing for far greater coverage. If you want to protect yourself from liability while skydiving, there are certainly better products out there.

Anyway, can anyone cite an actual example of when a skydiver used the USPA's liability insurance benefit?

Rare?? Hardly!!! I can guarantee you that there have been many, many cases just like you describe.

Here are a few:

Skydiver pulls up to a new DZ, parks his van in the parking lot. Soon after, one of their students lands on top of the van, crushing the roof. USPA insurance paid.

Skydiver has his car parked in another DZ parking lot, experienced jumper goes through back window, USPA insurance pays.

Skydiver has his car parked behind the DZ fuel tanks so that to hit his car a jumper would have to fly above the tanks, go through a 20', 2", steel vent pipe to get to the car. Skydiver did just that, USPA insurance did not pay as jumper was not a member.

A group of 6 skydivers hanging on the side of a King Air blow the exit and one destroys a $5,000 flap. USPA paid.

How can I be sure that all of the above actually happened? Easy, it all happened to me.

And, as a member of the Membership Committee, I have seen all the accidents that USPA insurance has paid for over many years and I could name a lot more.

BTW, there is no other insurance available to a skydiver that will pay for the damage he causes, and if not for the availability of this insurance many DZs would not exist at public airports, and without the USPA demo insurance, there would be very few demos. The insurance alone is a bargain that is worth your entire membership fee.

The cost of the insurance to USPA varies, it has been about $250,000 per year, this year we have had a carrier change and it went down to $240,000. That works out to about $6.00 per member, per year, or about the cost of a burger at McDonald's.

Mike Mullins
USPA National Director

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