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baronn

BOD Meeting July 2018

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get DZs certified and do everything the USPA does in order to compete with it



Do you think USPA certifies DZ’s?

From uspa.org; “No organization rates the relative safety of skydiving schools”

What is it that you think USPA does that ensures the peopl on the plane with you meet a certain standard?

Derek V

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Ron, your logic is faulty.



I disagree. I think you put too much trust in an organization that I feel you don't really know about.

I base my opinion on being in the USPA for over 25 years and seeing many of the errors.

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You say you're an instructor and have ratings, and then say that ratings are irrelevant and should be dropped.



Show a quote where I said that... I'll wait.

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Well, of course, if you are dropping your membership now and loose your ratings, you don't loose your skills



What about "ratings" makes you think I gained skills? A jumper with 1K jumps and ZERO USPA ratings or licenses is sure to know more than some guy with an "A" license... Or do you disagree? A guy with an FAA riggers ticket knows more about gear than some random guy with a "D" license.

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But the point is you DID go through the training and ratings process.



So did all those people who later had their rating revoked because they didn't meet the standard. Yet the USPA gave them a rating.... Didn't catch the error till there was a fatality.

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Did you learn much more in other ways and are you much better than what's necessary to achieve these ratings? I bet you are! But none of that is an argument against the ratings.



I learned NOTHING in the ratings programs.... Have you gotten any USPA ratings? If not, then you really have zero idea how easy they are.

I fear you are putting too much faith in the USPA. Again, they gave ratings to a BUNCH of people that later had to be taken away because the students didn't meet the standards... This happens MUCH more than you would think.

People have been signed off for water training they never took. People have been signed off for night jumps they never did. Your faith in the USPA license and rating system is misplaced.

I get it... I believed the USPA for YEARS. I feel like a fool.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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No, I am trying to explain that what you are relying on (USPA), to ensure that other people in the plane meet some sort of training standard, is a bad plan.


Yes, and I am saying having something here is better than nothing...and the only way to have something better than the SOMETHING I am relying on, is to have something else with MORE oversight and rules.

There is simply a continuum that goes something like:
1. BASE: no oversight, no requirements, it's all completely up to each individual.
2. Something like USPA for skydiving: A membership organization that sets some rules and has SOME capacity for oversight and enforcement, but not really THAT MUCH
3. Governmental oversight and laws with strict enforcement and stiff penalties.

I don't want 3. for sure. I think 1. may work well for BASE jumping, where there is generally much less need to rely on others...but for skydiving I like model 2. It's a good intermediate model and keeps oversight from outside sources outside of the picture.


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What makes skydiver A with 30 skydives and no license safer than skydiver B with 30 skydives and an A license?

Nothing at all. That's not the point. I DO know that the one with an A License has gone through a training program and has a minimum number of jumps. That is all.
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How do you know that the skydiver sitting next to you in the plane with 30-skydives has an A license or not?

If he jumps without an instructor at my DZ, I know that he has a license. (exception would be the small number of jumpers cleared for self-supervision before they have a license but they would always jump alone and in a specific place in the exit order)

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People have been signed off for water training they never took. People have been signed off for night jumps they never did. Your faith in the USPA license and rating system is misplaced.


So then just clarify for me what you actually are arguing FOR.
This quote sounds like you DO want these kinds of ratings and license requirements but you want stricter and better oversight. Is that what you are saying?

(Maybe your "free market" arguments were confusing me here because it sounded like you wanted the opposite: no ratings, no licenses, no oversight)

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So then just clarify for me what you actually are arguing FOR.
This quote sounds like you DO want these kinds of ratings and license requirements but you want stricter and better oversight. Is that what you are saying?



I have been pretty clear... But I will say it again:

The USPA needs to either actually enforce the GM pledge or drop the GM program. I have provided plenty of proof that they don't actually enforce the GM pledge.

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(Maybe your "free market" arguments were confusing me here because it sounded like you wanted the opposite: no ratings, no licenses, no oversight)



Then you don't understand a free market... You get an actual benefit for you participation. The GM program actually does not benefit you at all.

The USPA claims GM will only employ people that have passed a USPA rating program. But 140 people passed a USPA rating program that only after a fatality did the USPA realize was not actually any good.

The USPA says GM's will follow FAR's, but I have show GMDZ's that didn't follow them and the USPA took ZERO action against them. (Busting clouds, letting a non rated pilot fly).

Fact is you are getting nothing from the GM program. In a free market, the USPA would have to PROVE you are getting something from the GM program and individual membership, not just force you to be a member if you want to jump at a DZ that bought an advertisement package.

Example.... NAUI does not require that any dive operation be a NAUI GM boat.

Edit: You should know... The USPA has not been the leader in advancing skydiving. Tandems... That is Bill Booth and Ted Strong - USPA was not a fan. AFF? Yep, USPA didn't approve of it till after it was common. STP/AFP? Again, the USPA didn't create it, only adopted it later. Throw outs for students? Roger Nelson, with the USPA fighting it for years. Tunnel? Heck the USPA JUST accepted it and DZ's had been using tunnel to AFF 4 for decades. USPA banned wingsuits for several decades.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Just one more, and I hope you can see the humor in this:

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Then you don't understand a free market... You get an actual benefit for you participation. The GM program actually does not benefit you at all...In a free market, the USPA would have to PROVE you are getting something from the GM program


No, no, no! In a free market no one has to PROOF anything to anyone. If a company succeeds in marketing something completely useless so well that everyone wants it although it doesn't benefit them at all, then that company is absolutely free to do so and will be hugely rewarded for it. Who would they have to PROOF anything to anyway? There are countless examples of that.

But I do think I get it now: You want either ALL or nothing: fully "enforce the GM pledge or drop the GM program" (I added "fully" because they clearly seem to enforce it to some extent. You just listed examples where they failed in that enforcement)
My guess is the "fully enforce" option would mean more money and more invasive procedures which many won't like.

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The USPA needs to either actually enforce the GM pledge or drop the GM program. I have provided plenty of proof that they don't actually enforce the GM pledge.



They don't need to do any such thing. And they won't. Skydiving is currently enjoying the most popularity as a sport that it ever has. Without the USPA and other national groups this would not be so. But someone has to pay for the imperfect things they do. And that someone is you. Unless you quit.

You need to be realistic in your expectations of what USPA can be. If you want strictly enforced rules it would have to be a regulatory organization with powers given to it by law. Like in the UK with BPA. They have a nanny state attitude toward sticking their nose into making a risk sport "safe". Is that what you want?
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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In a free market



Sigh, it is not a free market if they FORCE membership.

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But I do think I get it now: You want either ALL or nothing:



Nope, you don't get it. But I don't care anymore.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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They don't need to do any such thing.



Giving ratings to people that are not qualified. Endorsing DZ's that violate FAR's.... Not exactly a sign of a great organization... But you support it.

I will give you credit for not making a lame personal attack... Bravo!
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Giving ratings to people that are not qualified. Endorsing DZ's that violate FAR's.... Not exactly a sign of a great organization... But you support it.



Seriously, the kind of strong organization that could force everyone to obey rules would need to look like the FAA. And be funded at a much higher level than your small membership fee. What you are asking for is compliance. That only comes through accountability and enforcement. Be careful what you wish for. Do you want inspectors?

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What you are asking for is compliance



Nope. Don't promise something you have no intention of delivering.... That is what I am asking for, and what the GM program currently does... Promise something they have zero intention of delivering. The proof is taking no action against GMDZ's that have been CLEARLY shown to be in violation of FAR's and giving ratings to people that have not actually earned them.

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Do you want inspectors?



Nope, but if you read what I posted you would know I don't want USPA inspectors.

But again, I thank you for keeping it about the topic and not trying to make it about me.
"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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So then just clarify for me what you actually are arguing FOR.
This quote sounds like you DO want these kinds of ratings and license requirements but you want stricter and better oversight. Is that what you are saying?



USPA banned wingsuits for several decades.



On what grounds?

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Man, this certainly ran off the tracks here. I started this thread to point out some decisions that I felt weren't in the best interest of supporting our sport. It was just an opinion and I wanted to see if any other's felt the same way. These things almost always turn in to some type of attacks between different viewpoints. That's not necessary. Let's stick together and see if we can come up with some better decisions. IMHO getting into these heated discussions about violating BSR's and how to police them is kinda ridiculous. Gee, just what we need, more intrusion into personal freedom. I think most folks want to live another day and behavior that isn't conducive to that tends to not last very long. Ya see something ya don't like? mention it. Don't get the response ya like? Leave. I'm learning a lot more about the USPA than I (thought) I knew before. I don't think I can still hold a rating without a membership. If I cude, I would drop it in a heartbeat.

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Westerly

******... Some drop zones violate BSRs on every single load everyday. It's exceedingly common.




What dropzones are those that violate BSR(s) on every load?
Which BSRs?
What area of the country?


Does it matter? Most DZs do at least one thing is questionable. All drop zones have at least a few fun jumpers who dont take safety seriously. Some are better than others. Some care, others dont. I've seen TIs do 270s about 100 feet off the ground and swoop their 380 Icarus tandem in. I've seen HP landings a few from AFF student landings. I've seen half the load land north and half land south, all at the same time, in a small landing area. I've seen guys with several thousand jumps on a WL of over 2.0 yell at someone with 50 jumps because he 'got in the way' flying a standard pattern when the dude was trying to set up for a 720 HP landing. I've seen AFF-Is tell guys "you have your license now, you dont need to fly a pattern. That's AFF shit". Some DZs do this stuff all the time.

Does it matter? Well, only if you truly care about safety and about our sport. If you don't have the courage to be specific in a forum, then at least ask some questions if you are present when these things happen.

Having said that, your last example is questionable. What kind of instructor would say something like that?

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Westerly

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So then just clarify for me what you actually are arguing FOR.
This quote sounds like you DO want these kinds of ratings and license requirements but you want stricter and better oversight. Is that what you are saying?



USPA banned wingsuits for several decades.



On what grounds?

Because there was an increasing number of experienced jumpers dying while using them. Note: The design of that generation of "wings" was not anything like what wingsuits are now. Do some searching and look at the pictures.

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Don't promise something you have no intention of delivering....




What did they promise you? I just checked both the individual membership page and the group membership page. No where do they make any promise to enforce any rules. That is because they have no power or mandate to do so.

They ask GMs to make a pledge. They will look into it if it can be shown that they have broken their pledge. If a committee deems it egregious enough they may take action. That is already more than anyone promised.

Compliance and standards in this sport are aspirational. My feeling is that your (and others) objection really boils down to resentment of the small yearly fee you are forced to pay. The fact that you can afford it is beside the point. It is an affront to you. And I will say it again because people have been missing it. No one is forced to jump at a DZ that requires you to buy a membership. It's merely your most convenient option.

Two things that are not ever going to happen are DZOs deciding that they are better off without requiring memberships, and USPA deciding to separate themselves from the main source of their revenue. If you owned a DZ you would do the exact same thing. Wouldn't you? I mean really, think about that.

It's not a perfect system. Starting another organization is not a real option. If you did your ratings would not be recognized internationally. The FAI will only deal with one group per nation.

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They will look into it if it can be shown that they have broken their pledge. If a committee deems it egregious enough they may take action.



Pacific skydiving was violated for busting clouds by the FAA and the USPA did nothing. So your claim is not supported by the facts presented.

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My feeling is that your (and others) objection really boils down to resentment of the small yearly fee you are forced to pay.



Oh, I thought we were not FORCED to do anything?

You would also be wrong. I have stated my issues several times. If you decide to ignore what I wrote and instead try to make up a position I never took... There is no point in trying to discuss this with you.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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>As shown in the Lodi accident... Not sure I would trust a person that just had an
>instructor card.

He didn't. But from what you've said, that should make no difference; that guy is as good as a guy with a USPA license and rating, and you'd be fine jumping with him. Right?

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Ron

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but at least I know you have at minimum an A License.





***But how would I know it's you?



How do you know the person actually earned their ratings and was not just given them?

These 140 people were running around with "USPA Instructor" cards in their pockets.

https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article99446487.html

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How would I know how many jumps you have?



.

I wasent there so I cant comment on the whole Lodi thing. But this is what one of the instructors named in your posted news report had to say about it:

https://www.facebook.com/yuri.garmashov/posts/10209874396515575

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michaelmullins

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USPA is not requiring you to be a member, the DZ is.



This is dishonest at best.

Remove the requirement from the GM pledge and let the chips fall where they may.

Derek V



I disagree.

However, feel free to contact the Chair of the GM Program, Chuck Akers, and ask him to put the following item on the GM Agenda for the next BOD meeting:

"Discuss the requirement for USPA Membership at GM DZs and the possibility of removing the requirement".

You may go to the meeting next board meeting and state your case, or you may send emails or letters, or you may even possibly skype into the meeting.

Contact and meeting info:

Chuck Akers
Gulf (GU) Regional Director
Chair, Group Membership
USPA Member # 49855, D-10855
chuckakers@comcast.net
19514 Pitchstone Dr.
Tomball, TX 77377
(832) 630-1213

The Winter 2019 USPA Board of Directors Meeting:

USPA BOD: February 1-3, 2019
Hyatt Regency Dallas
300 Reunion Blvd E, Dallas, TX 75207
(214) 651-1234
FFI: uspa@uspa.org

I have given you all the contacts, addresses, dates, the procedure, and have ever written the agenda item for you.

Complaining on DZ.com is not going to help you with your goal of removing the requirement of USPA Membership at GM DZs. I have told you exactly how to go about achieving your goal. It is up to you to follow up with it and enlist whatever support you think you have.

However, in the unlikely event that you prevail I doubt that there will be any additional DZs that will allow you to jump without USPA Membership, aka liability insurance.

Those that complain about having to have USPA membership to jump at a GM DZ are a small minority, but please indulge your passion.

Mike Mullins


I invite anyone that wishes to discuss the GM program or anything else to call me. My cell phone is with me 24/7/365 unless I am in the air or on the air.

I also encourage our members to sit in on the GM committee meetings (and other committees as well). My committee is genuinely interested in hearing what our members have to say, and we take their ideas into consideration. Example - at the 2017 summer board meeting we dramatically lowered the fee for non-group member DZ's to host instructional rating courses. This action came after a non-group member DZO requested we consider the change, pointing out that more DZ's would host them if the fee was not prohibitive. The majority committee vote was in favor of the idea because we felt it was the right thing to do for potential rating holders, and we easily got it passed by the full board - all because a single member wanted us to consider his idea.

By the way, the upcoming Dallas board meeting will also be the meeting at which we will hold the annual general membership meeting, followed by a big bash hosted by myself and SW region director Jack Pyland. 100 people attended the meeting and party at the San Antonio meeting and we expect a much larger turnout in Dallas since the meeting is in conjunction with the PIA Symposium and Dallas is more central to a lot of skydivers than San Antonio.

Hope to see everyone there!
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Ah, there it is...I've been waiting for someone to say that.

So what's the point of the USPA then? Just so that we can go back to the FAA and tell them that we're policing ourselves like we should be when we're actually not? See the first page, first paragraph at this link:

https://uspa.org/Portals/0/files/Man_SIM_Section9.pdf

The FAA has endorsed the USPA to oversee skydiving activities. I can tell you that if the folks up at FAA could confirm anything they saw written here, strict regulations are exactly what we'd have. Uncle Sam isn't proactive, but he sure is REACTIVE.

Now, I'm willing to bet a beer that someone will hurl the low fatality statistics back at me in defense of the USPA. But present statistics are no guarantee of future statistics and I can also say - after only 175 jumps - that I too have seen some whacky things at some of my DZs. All it takes is for our community to have a bad year or for the law of unintended consequences to appear shortly after the emergence of some new skydiving technology that promises to make things safer, but falls short of doing so.

So yeah....I would love to see the USPA actually do something in the interest of our well-being. And pandering to athletes by adopting the FAIs rules that do very little to advance safety is wasting my money -and yours.

One more thing, the FAA has "endorsed" the USPA via regulation, so skydiving governance is not exactly a free market. Like I said, Uncle Sam isn't proactive so standing up a competing organization and proving its worth will be like moving a mountain. Bureaucracies love the status-quo so long as they have reason to believe it's effective.

No, I won't go to a non-member DZ. I'm a paying customer and I want my money's worth.

-JD-

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FAA-mandated compliance to provide for the safety and oversight of our portion of general aviation (skydiving).

Oh, we're not doing that? Our S&TAs and GMs are doing what they're licensed to do? The USPA isn't doing what was it was delegated by the FAA in FAR part 105? The FAA is not doing what FAR part 105 says it's supposed to, then?

What exactly does the FAA do when they find out something isn't up to snuff? Mass inspections, groundings, regulations...etc.

Here's an example from just this year: https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/airplane-mode/southwest-airlines-steps-engine-inspections-after-fatal-flight-n867151

Folks, the FAA has a penchant for this sort of thing. Just ask Ed Scott - our executive director. He's had something to say about FAA oversight in his parachutist column for almost every month up until the FAA privatization bill flopped. If I'm being overly pessimistic, then why is even he worried about it?

-JD-

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Just another example of the bully tactics some members of the USPA BOD have taken against members of their own organization. This had absolutely nothing to do with this individuals involvement in this incident. He had nothing to do with it. Any Examiners out there willing to let ANYONE run a course and then you would sign them off? Yeah, didn't think so. It was tragic what happened but, it was a really unlucky situation. I personally had an unusual container lock on a Strong DH and my only option was to toss the reserve past the drogue. According to the MFG's it will work 87% of the time. I was lucky, the Lodi pair wasn't. So here we have a very unlucky tragedy and what do some members of the board do? Can't waste a tragedy and they use this to go after Bill and his business. They yank his personal membership, claim this happened because Lodi isn't a GM (on the Fuckin news no less) and then pick apart his staff after they yanked the examiners rating. Nice. So these people that got screwed by this Asswipe that charged them for their ratings, now get boned by the USPA (that they Fuckin paid dues to!) and are required to pay AGAIN so they can continue their livelihood.
Tell me once again how the USPA supports it's members....

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