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skyfox2007

FAA oversight of skydiving (was - Lodi incident)

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Obelixtim,

I have to disagree with idea of the FAA resuming its oversight of parachute operations. This organization is well-known for its micromanagement and partly explains why the cost of air-fare in this country continues to rise. While its comforting to know that commercial aircraft I fly on must meet minimum standards of operation and safety, I don't think skydivers really want the FAA applying that same level of scrutiny to parachuting. Additional scrutiny comes with additional costs and time lost due to inspections, oversight, and Standard Operating Procedures.

Beware what you wish for...Big Brother can be a help sometimes, but other times he's an over-bearing jerk who reaches into your wallet and spoils the fun.

And many of the most prominent safety-related issues in our sport are rectifiable, provided our members and DZOs are willing to employ and enforce them. Insofar as the USPA sitting on its hands, I have to agree with you there. But there's an easy fix to that too: we as skydivers must be willing to adjust our attitudes and hold our USPA officials accountable when they fail to act in our best interests.

-JD-

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skyfox2007

Obelixtim,

I have to disagree with idea of the FAA resuming its oversight of parachute operations. This organization is well-known for its micromanagement and partly explains why the cost of air-fare in this country continues to rise. While its comforting to know that commercial aircraft I fly on must meet minimum standards of operation and safety, I don't think skydivers really want the FAA applying that same level of scrutiny to parachuting. Additional scrutiny comes with additional costs and time lost due to inspections, oversight, and Standard Operating Procedures.

Beware what you wish for...Big Brother can be a help sometimes, but other times he's an over-bearing jerk who reaches into your wallet and spoils the fun.

And many of the most prominent safety-related issues in our sport are rectifiable, provided our members and DZOs are willing to employ and enforce them. Insofar as the USPA sitting on its hands, I have to agree with you there. But there's an easy fix to that too: we as skydivers must be willing to adjust our attitudes and hold our USPA officials accountable when they fail to act in our best interests.

-JD-



That's not exactly what I was saying. I was responding specifically to a comment how local law enforcement have on occasions prevented proper analysis and investigations taking place. That is not right.

FAA, like CAA, know jack about parachuting.

What I was suggesting, was that USPA ask FAA to give authority to suitably qualified parachutists/skydivers to conduct proper investigations of fatal accidents. Effectively giving them the same authority as FAA aircraft accident inspectors.

These would be people who hold senior ratings and who have extensive experience in Instructing, Rigging, Tandems etc etc. Their job would be to conduct investigations and produce in depth reports relating to skydiving fatalities.

Its exactly what happens in several other countries, so the system has already been tested and proven.

This would put the local law enforcement in their rightful place, as supervisors of investigations, but off to one side, except, of course, in the case of foul play, a la the recent Cilliers case in the UK. (Imagine if, in that case, the police had prevented a proper investigation. Cilliers would have got away with his crime. Do we know for sure that hasn't happened already in the US?)

FAA need not be involved at all, apart from perhaps receiving a copy of the final report.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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skyfox2007

we as skydivers must be willing to adjust our attitudes and hold our USPA officials accountable when they fail to act in our best interests.

-JD-



Yea, I've been hearing this since the day I was born. Here's the thing though. Most people only care enough to spend 30 seconds complaining on Facebook. Anything beyond that and suddenly they find it's not worth their time anymore.

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obelixtim

***Obelixtim,

I have to disagree with idea of the FAA resuming its oversight of parachute operations. This organization is well-known for its micromanagement and partly explains why the cost of air-fare in this country continues to rise. While its comforting to know that commercial aircraft I fly on must meet minimum standards of operation and safety, I don't think skydivers really want the FAA applying that same level of scrutiny to parachuting. Additional scrutiny comes with additional costs and time lost due to inspections, oversight, and Standard Operating Procedures.

Beware what you wish for...Big Brother can be a help sometimes, but other times he's an over-bearing jerk who reaches into your wallet and spoils the fun.

And many of the most prominent safety-related issues in our sport are rectifiable, provided our members and DZOs are willing to employ and enforce them. Insofar as the USPA sitting on its hands, I have to agree with you there. But there's an easy fix to that too: we as skydivers must be willing to adjust our attitudes and hold our USPA officials accountable when they fail to act in our best interests.

-JD-



That's not exactly what I was saying. I was responding specifically to a comment how local law enforcement have on occasions prevented proper analysis and investigations taking place. That is not right.

FAA, like CAA, know jack about parachuting.

What I was suggesting, was that USPA ask FAA to give authority to suitably qualified parachutists/skydivers to conduct proper investigations of fatal accidents. Effectively giving them the same authority as FAA aircraft accident inspectors.

These would be people who hold senior ratings and who have extensive experience in Instructing, Rigging, Tandems etc etc. Their job would be to conduct investigations and produce in depth reports relating to skydiving fatalities.

Its exactly what happens in several other countries, so the system has already been tested and proven.

This would put the local law enforcement in their rightful place, as supervisors of investigations, but off to one side, except, of course, in the case of foul play, a la the recent Cilliers case in the UK. (Imagine if, in that case, the police had prevented a proper investigation. Cilliers would have got away with his crime. Do we know for sure that hasn't happened already in the US?)

FAA need not be involved at all, apart from perhaps receiving a copy of the final report.

Tim,

That resonates, sure. Are you able to provide nation specific examples of situations when klutzy local law enforcement ruined evidence that, were it not ruined, would have saved the lives of Skydivers?

Joe

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Joe. No I can't give you examples, but if it did happen, we might never know. I was responding to Normiss in the incidents thread about the recent Lodi fatality who posted this:

Quote

If only....my experience with these incidents has been the cops forcing all the people away that do properly understand the gear, only to simply stuff the gear into "evidence" bags.
Further complicating the analysis of the gear entirely.
A ball of shit gear in a plastic bag tells us very little sometimes.
It's been rather maddening a few times for me with local authorities ruining the possible gear analysis. I was even threatened with arrest twice for simply trying to preserve equipment evidence.



I can see a know nothing cop (or skydiver) discarding something he regards as rubbish, or picking up a rig by a handle popping a reserve or main, without realising it might be significant. So I can see how it could easily happen.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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DanG

And the loudest bitchers don't have any actual proposals to fix the problems they perceive.



Well, that is just false. I have provided several suggestions. I threw my name in the hat for an open RD position (The BOD selected a industry employee). I have been a co-signer on at least two proposals sent to the USPA. I fought against the USPA creating a USPA sanctioned demo team that would compete against USPA members (successfully). I have been fighting against the USPA giving away membership funds for a museum (which when this whole thing started I was one of the vocal ones telling the USPA NOT to get involved). I tried to hold the USPA to the fire when it was found that TSO'd rigs were NOT opening in time (look up the double fatality in ZHills student and instructor, both with AAD's)... USPA "asked" the PIA to look into it, and then dropped it. I bitched about the BOD caving into UPT's desire to increase opening altitudes (and had a BOD member get in my face and physically threaten me).

So your claim is not factual.... Unless you don't put me in the "loudest bitchers" category.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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>>And the loudest bitchers don't have any actual proposals to fix the problems they perceive.

>Well, that is just false.

Thanks for providing a great example of DanG's aphorism - "I bitched about the BOD caving into UPT's desire to increase opening altitudes."

And now you've quit USPA - and are complaining all the louder, while simultaneously telling everyone you won't do anything about it.

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Once again... I didn't think it was OK to play the poster? Normally a MOD would do something about it, I guess if a MOD does it it is fine?

Quote

And now you've quit USPA



Why would you support an organization that ignores you? I guess then that you are a member of the NRA? I mean you don't agree with what they are doing, but if you don't join up but say you don't like them, then you are just a complainer?

Quote

while simultaneously telling everyone you won't do anything about it.



I DID something about it.... I stopped supporting an organization that does not support me instead of rewarding it for bad behavior.

That is not "not doing anything about it"....
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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On police behavior in relation to investigations. The truth is it runs the whole gambit from one end of the spectrum to the other. I'll give you two examples.

At Quincy there were more then a few fatalities. They actually had a very good relationship with the police. Nothing was moved. Nothing was disturbed. Every thing was fully investigated with a group of riggers manufactures and the police together. By far the best most comprehensive investigations I've ever seen. Literally defines the far end of the spectrum.

I'll give you an opposite example. Drop zone I used to work at. Several fatalities over the years, I was around there for over ten years. Police ceased every thing. Rolled it into a ball. We might be able to send some one over a week or two later to look at it, if they chose to allow it. Later we might get the gear back in a ball wrapped in a sheet and have the chance to try to peace it together. And that's the way the drop zone liked it. The management of the drop drop zone took the position that the less information, found, preserved, and recorded the better their position in a court case. It's just a mystery. Any thing learned is some thing that could be twisted against them in court.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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I'm not a member of USPA, the BPA or the NZPF any longer.

Does that disqualify me from sharing an opinion about any of them, good or bad?

No way.

If it has anything to do with skydiving, wherever it occurs.... I'll call things as I see them.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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You clearly don't understand what "playing the player" means.

Oh wait, I commented on your understanding of the phrase, "playing the player." Was I playing the player?

The "ball" in this case was people bitching about USPA without providing ideas to change things for the better. Bill said you were an example of that. He was playing the ball.

- Dan G

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Ron

Once again... I didn't think it was OK to play the poster? Normally a MOD would do something about it, I guess if a MOD does it it is fine?

Quote

And now you've quit USPA



Why would you support an organization that ignores you? I guess then that you are a member of the NRA? I mean you don't agree with what they are doing, but if you don't join up but say you don't like them, then you are just a complainer?

***while simultaneously telling everyone you won't do anything about it.



I DID something about it.... I stopped supporting an organization that does not support me instead of rewarding it for bad behavior.

That is not "not doing anything about it"....

Ron,

What are you DOING, you are still bitching so we want to know what you are still DOING. What you did doesn't matter and quitting the USPA doesn't count because it doesn't mean anything.

Also, we are talking about actions. Attacking you personally would be calling you dump, ignorant, out of touch, or something along those lines. Attaching what you say is not attacking you personally, even if you feel that way. If you don't want your opinions or actions scrutinized then don't post.

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obelixtim

I'm not a member of USPA, the BPA or the NZPF any longer. Does that disqualify me from sharing an opinion about any of them, good or bad? No way. If it has anything to do with skydiving, wherever it occurs.... I'll call things as I see them.



Tim, your comments and opinions are much appreciated here. I look forward to reading them.

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Quitting is doing something... You may not like it, but that does not change that it is an action.

Facts matter. Quitting an organization you think does not respect you IS an action.

And I am not going to get dragged into this yet again. I tried to change things, I finally did the one action I had left. I ran for the BOD, I voted for 20 years, I wrote and called my BOD reps, I have had face to face chats with my BOD reps, I have exchanged emails, phone calls, texts, PM’s....

It has become clear to me, that the BOD cares more for UPT and a museum than the general membership.

So why in the hell would I stay a member?

And I have the right to express an opinion and don’t really care if you don’t like it.....

End of message.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Ron

Quitting is doing something... You may not like it, but that does not change that it is an action.

Facts matter. Quitting an organization you think does not respect you IS an action.

And I am not going to get dragged into this yet again. I tried to change things, I finally did the one action I had left. I ran for the BOD, I voted for 20 years, I wrote and called my BOD reps, I have had face to face chats with my BOD reps, I have exchanged emails, phone calls, texts, PM’s....

It has become clear to me, that the BOD cares more for UPT and a museum than the general membership.

So why in the hell would I stay a member?

And I have the right to express an opinion and don’t really care if you don’t like it.....

End of message.



I asked what you are doing now, not what you did before.

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LeeroyJenkins

Ron, What are you DOING, you are still bitching so we want to know what you are still DOING. What you did doesn't matter and quitting the USPA doesn't count because it doesn't mean anything.



Complaining can do a lot, like educating people on a topic.

I am always glad to see Ron share what he knows.

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peek

***Ron, What are you DOING, you are still bitching so we want to know what you are still DOING. What you did doesn't matter and quitting the USPA doesn't count because it doesn't mean anything.



Complaining can do a lot, like educating people on a topic.

I am always glad to see Ron share what he knows.

If he was using facts and data to educate people it would be one thing. He doesn't do that, he just complains about things her perceives as issues.

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peek

*** I'm not a member of USPA, the BPA or the NZPF any longer. Does that disqualify me from sharing an opinion about any of them, good or bad? No way. If it has anything to do with skydiving, wherever it occurs.... I'll call things as I see them.



Tim, your comments and opinions are much appreciated here. I look forward to reading them.

Damn...there goes my reputation as a shit stirrer! Shot to hell...
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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billvon

>For being a moderator, you're not so moderate.

Like Lydgate said, you can't please all of the people all of the time.




I guess that beats pleasing none of the people all of the time...
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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What's worse? Complaining? Or complaining about how or why others complain?

I'll pose the same question of you that you've posed: what have you done?

I would say Ron has a valid point. I've been after my regional director for sometime now - email and phone - I haven't heard anything back. A few of the BOD members I have contacted effectively dodged any direct dialogue using the FARs as cover. I won't generalize the USPA as a whole, but the sense I'm getting is that many of the folks within the organization now don't care much for the general membership.

Beyond petitioning our USPA officials, voting, attending those USPA events that are within reasonable traveling distance, and engaging one another, what are your suggestions for taking action?

-JD-

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JoeWeber



Tim,

That resonates, sure. Are you able to provide nation specific examples of situations when klutzy local law enforcement ruined evidence that, were it not ruined, would have saved the lives of Skydivers?

Joe



It ended up making zero difference in the investigation, but there was a tandem fatality local to me. TI got out of the plane in the face of an incoming squall. The storm came in while they were under canopy, they got blown out over a lake. The student was unhooked and made it to shore, the TI got out of the rig, but drowned.

The cops recovered the gear from the water, and held it for a while 'pending completion of the investigation'.
When it was finally returned to the DZ, the main canopy had a dozen or more cuts in it. Nobody could figure out how this had happened. The cops gave a bunch of different stories and finally admitted that it was full of water when they pulled it out of the lake and stabbed it with a knife to let the water out.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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