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MakeItHappen

USPA Board Meeting

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The reason for the creation and passing of this BSR is simply to collect data from the field.  Safety and training committee believes there may be lots of AAD fires occurring in the field unreported, or there may be few.  The data collected is only used to measure trends or patterns, and ultimately make the sport safer. The collected data from a self-report may not be used for disciplinary action. One of the primary goals of USPA is to promote safety of the membership. The hope is this data may save lives, thus the creation of this self-report.

Paul Gholson

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4 hours ago, baronn said:

No problem. IF this is true, they can simply collect it from the S&TA. This is completely un-necessary to have the members report it. 

There may not be an S&TA on the DZ, and the DZ may not even have an S&TA.  The report needs to come from those most familiar with the situation, and that would be the skydivers on the jump, or the supervising instructor if it is a student jumper on self supervision.  Yes, you may not realize it, but every student self supervision jump must have a supervising instructor, and, that instructor may be on the ground. 

Further, there is actually no mandatory requirement, and there never has been, that anyone make an incident report other than the report made mandatory by this BSR.

This BSR came about from a passionate plea from the USPA Director of Safety & Training, Ron Bell.  Ron felt that is was so important to receive these reports that a trade for no disciplinary action was a fair trade to glean the information that he felt was critical to further USPA safety goals.  By the way, Ron is doing a great job in his new position with USPA.

Mike Mullins

USPA National Director

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So suddenly, having this report is somehow important?  We get a new a new S&T and this becomes a priority? Please share with us why? I know Ron and am surprised he wanted this. Not a single person has come on this forum and given anything close to a reason for it. Just the usual, "We discussed it and we came to this and blah, blah, blah...." 

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1 hour ago, baronn said:

So suddenly, having this report is somehow important?  We get a new a new S&T and this becomes a priority? Please share with us why? I know Ron and am surprised he wanted this. Not a single person has come on this forum and given anything close to a reason for it. Just the usual, "We discussed it and we came to this and blah, blah, blah...." 

Having reports relating to safety and incidents has always been important but USPA was simply not receiving incident reports in most cases.  The reason for the reports is safety.  USPA needs to identify safety issues so that we can address possible solutions.  For example, the problem with canopy collisions was addressed with the GM pledge to separate high performance landing areas for normal landing areas.

You can be surprised as much as you wish with Ron Bell passionately asking for these reports, it does not change the fact that it is his position that he really wants these reports.  I suggest you go ask him, and ask him specifically if he "passionately" wants this, as I have described.

As far as a "new" Safety & Training Committee, it has changed little and the Chair is still the same person, Michael Wadkins.

Mike Mullins

 

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On 2/9/2019 at 8:37 AM, baronn said:

No problem. IF this is true, they can simply collect it from the S&TA. This is completely un-necessary to have the members report it. 

If the S+TA was there.  If the S+TA knew what happened.  If the DZ has an S+TA.  If not, you'd need the people involved to report it.

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On 2/9/2019 at 10:37 AM, baronn said:

No problem. IF this is true, they can simply collect it from the S&TA. This is completely un-necessary to have the members report it. 

A Summary of S&TA responsibilities is here:

https://uspa.org/Safety-Training/Safety-Training-Advisors

You should read it and learn. It will help you understand their role better.

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 Mite want to read your own advice before giving it to others. 1st line;

The principal responsibility of the S&TA is to promote safe skydiving. Toward that goal, the S&TA serves specific advisory and administrative functions:
 

  • Observes skydiving operations to verify compliance with the Basic Safety Requirements
  •  
  • Listen, we can go back and forth like this all day. It comes rite down to the same question I asked at the beginning, Is this a real Problem?. Not 1 person has answered that. Fire an AAD and it's a minimum of a 225 jump. Any student that does that will get a thorough refreshing on alti awareness and a bill. Can't imagine anyone making a habit out of this.So keep yer " For safety" speeches and give a REAL reason this suddenly needs to change...

 

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It's not exactly the same situation, but here in the flight test department at Textron Aviation (aka Cessna and Beechcraft) we created and implemented an in-house process to self-report a number of aviation incidents that aren't required to be reported to the FAA.  Although it does include those as well (turbine engine failures, altitude deviations, etc.).  The intent of the process is to figure out areas we as a flight test department could improve.  The reports are anonymous, and we actually have an understanding with the FAA to help protect our pilots legally in return to passing on the data to them.  Several hundred reports have been filed over the last few years, everything ranging from system failures to TA/RA to dialing the wrong frequency.  The result has been pretty eye opening for the organization, and in turn has helped shape our monthly safety meetings and yearly safety stand-down topics and training.  The data has helped our local ATC update their procedures and training as well.

Nothing specific made this program become a reality.  It didn't take an accident or realization of some new problem.  Sometimes it's simply noticing that things can be improved.  I have no doubt the USPA wants this info for very similar reasons that we do.  Probably no conspiracy or witch hunt involved.

Edited by linebckr83
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Seems this has stalled out. Not too surprising. I believe most skydivers haven't had this happen and most don't care what the USPA does with the BSR's. I am concerned about the decisions I see coming from the board as I believe some of them are not in touch with what is actually happening in our sport today. It is encouraging that we now have an active skydiver as Prez and an S&T director that has come up thru the ranks as both an active sport jumper and instructor. I personally feel the BSR for reporting this is unnecessary. I simply cannot see why the board feels they need to intervene with the hint of retaliation against its own dues paying members if they don't comply. Absolutely 0 assurance this will be kept confidential with a statistically average use of 1 in 37,500 jumps. I think this just shows where the BOD's attention is and IMO, it's in the wrong direction.

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I have seen two different AAD fires on AFF jumps (from the ground) at different places. I was able to narrowly avoid having it happen to me on a Cat E2 AFF several years back. Got the students reserve pulled at 2K.

I have no problems with this BSR. The added information from factual reports may provide input for AFFI courses and added or better emphasis of training in different areas.
 

If you're writing these reports regularly something is wrong. Seems like good information for our organization to have.

Edited by jacketsdb23
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On 2/8/2019 at 12:00 PM, skybytch said:

What does USPA plan to do with the information gathered from these reports?

How is USPA going to protect the instructors who submit these reports from being sued by a student? 

What guarantee does an instructor have that USPA will keep his/her name confidential?  For that matter, what guarantee does an AFF instructor have that his/her entire report will be kept confidential?

If an instructor or cameraflier does not report their own AAD fire occurring on an AFF skydive within 48 hours, they are subject to disciplinary action? What exactly does this disciplinary action consist of? 

As usual Lisa hones in on the real issues.

As I said earlier, Wadkins told me each time that the motion came to the plenary session (3x IIRC) that it was only if the student's aad fire or a tandem aad fire that was required to be reported. If he has changed his story since then so be it, but I was sitting next to him and asked this Q each time.

 

What you are not being told is that if someone does not report the aad fire they will be subject to disciplinary action.

 

And --  this idea/concept of anonymity is in the area of la-la land.

Generally, the incident reports are anonymous. However, if the case of these aad fires HQ has to keep track of who reported the aad fire in order to verify that Joe Jumper did file an aad fire report.

Then there was a comment, by someone, who I don't remember, that said if we end up with a bunch of aad fires from the same instructor - well then we need to do something about that. That tells you two things: not anonymous and there will be a disciplinary action. It used to be that Is got additional training. Now they get a 1-6 against them and some sort of suspension and then possibly additional training months later.

 

The reason I voted against this motion was because USPA may be putting the I in a place that puts "OMG I'm gonna be sued" vs "yeah USPA needs the reports". Anyone that owns a DZ or is an I, that has to deal with this, would more than likely follow the advice of their attorney. Their attorney would advise not to send any report in to USPA, thus putting them into the potential disciplinary loop of USPA.

 

.

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2 hours ago, MakeItHappen said:

Then there was a comment, by someone, who I don't remember, that said if we end up with a bunch of aad fires from the same instructor - well then we need to do something about that. That tells you two things: not anonymous and there will be a disciplinary action. It used to be that Is got additional training. Now they get a 1-6 against them and some sort of suspension and then possibly additional training months later.

.

How is it even remotely appropriate for an instructor to have multiple AAD fires? It used to be that an AAD was your 2nd, 3rd and 4th chance all at once. If you have an AAD fire, congrats a computer saved your life and now you take up golf and quit skydiving. Now it's, 'shit I just had an AAD fire, I better get my rig packed ASAP so I can get on the next load". That's crap.

 

 

Edited by Westerly
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To reply to (MakeItHappen) Jan's concerns, in order:

1. The initial motion from S&T Committee was not acceptable to the Full Board, the motion was rewritten, discussed, debated, voted on and passed. It was all in public, in full session. You and I, along with 20 other Board members were there. The version of the BSR passed was the version the Full USPA Board wanted, it included ANY AAD fire on a student jump.

2.  Any BSR violation is subject to disciplinary action. Yes, if an AAD fire is not reported according to the BSR, there is possibility of disciplinary action, as with any BSR violation. It has been that way for decades. This is no different. Nothing has changed.

3.  The incident report (if one cares to look under USPA.org/downloads) can indeed remain anonymous. The section at the end, where the person submitting the report, is to write their name, even says "optional for non-fatal reports".  The language of the BSR also strictly states "no disciplinary action" if the report is submitted within 48 hours. No means no.

4. Your statement is not correct. There is always a possibility of an instructor being required some additional re-training, even if no incident. That is not in any way a disciplinary action. Many times I have required a Coach or Instructor to retrain if there was an issue. I have even required it of myself when I thought there may be a potential issue. The retraining might be as simply as "get some advice from 'Instructor A' on how they handled that particular issue, they have encountered it before".  You could also call it learning. There was never a report submitted, and certainly no 1-6 action taken. 99% of all issues are handled at the local DZ level by the local S&TA/head instructor/DZO, and handled well. That is the way they should be handled.

5.  Every Coach or Instructor takes a chance on being sued by any student at any time. That is the chance we take living in a free litigious society. This BSR makes no change, and has no bearing on the ability of someone to sue, or not to sue. My personal advice, if a Coach or Instructor wants to completely remove themselves from the possibility of a lawsuit, they probably shouldn't be a Coach or Instructor. The USPA Instructor Rating Manual covers this area very well, it is required material in any Coach or Instructor Course.

Please remember everyone, USPA simply needs the data. The data might help us determine dangerous trends, develop new practices, and save lives. 

Paul Gholson  AFF-I, USPA Regional Director

 

Edited by skypilotA1

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I don’t understand alll the fuss...

A student can sue?????

For an AAD fire?????

This seems to go to the erroneous assumption that the instructor in there to save the student’s life.

That is the student’s job. 

My job is to train them to proficiency. Maybe because is was trained S/L and trained S/L students for 20 years before I started AFF.

As an AFF-I, I see my responsibilities being to train thoroughly on the ground, supplement this with hand signals in the air and assist with stability and deployment.

If USPA can gain information from this reporting that allows me to do that more efficiently, great.

 

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Judging from the responses seen here, I don't believe anyone is opposed to gathering info to attempt to be proactive on avoiding problems in the future. Where I (and it seems a few others here) have a problem , is why is this all of a sudden needed? What events have changed over the last 25+ yrs since modern AAD's have been around that is giving them an indication that the threat of "disciplinary" action is even needed?  I have heard of 1 TI that fired an AAD. He was let go by the DZO. Because of actions I have seen the board do in situations like this in the past, it makes me wary of why. Seems like an answer to a non problem and that is almost always a red flag for what the REAL reason is. So far, doesn't seem like that's been answered.....

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55 minutes ago, baronn said:

Because of actions I have seen the board do in situations like this in the past, it makes me wary of why. Seems like an answer to a non problem and that is almost always a red flag for what the REAL reason is. So far, doesn't seem like that's been answered.....

Or perhaps, just maybe, the people who have already answered you have told you the truth in good faith. Maybe they are not conspiratorial liars like you seem to think. Just maybe.....

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I musta missed the part where the BOD simply asked for this info without indicating any disciplinary action. And everyone else that has indicated they don't agree with this move. I did the research that they shude have done. The stats I got from Airtec are free to everyone who asked. Still waiting to hear from Vigil. Point is, if they wanted to know how often this is happening, they cude have asked DZO's or they're S&TA's. They didn't. Instead, they went rite to the heavy handed approach. Yer entitled to your own opinion, you aren't entitled to your own facts. Continue to bury your head in the sand. The rest of us will continue to keep our eyes open.

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And you missed the part where this was discussed by the board for over a year, at two prior meetings.

Glad to know you checked into what research the board did prior. Who on the board did you talk to about that?

USPA has been trying to get more of this kind of info, but no one wants to submit anything they aren’t required to. How many non-fatal incidents get reported? Don’t want to make the DZ look bad.

Get over it.....

Edited by ufk22
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Yep. Pretty sure most non fatal accidents don't get reported. Explain how reporting these to the USPA can change any of those outcomes? News flash, nobody wants to get hurt or killed. Personally I think that's a pretty big motivator. It's also a big reason the AAD's were invented. Not the threat of retaliation for using them. I'm all for keeping as many informed and as safe as is practical. The reality is, we are jumping from airplanes and there are limits to what can be done. The info I found was available to anyone that asked. Not my job to babysit the board. They could have said they found that info and still decided to pass the BSR. Who knows? The meetings claim to be open yet, they aren't broadcast live and they don't bother to even ask members input before passing questionable things like this and the Museum fiasco. They continue to act in a manner that doesn't lend to credibility. Yet, we are continually being asked to :Trust" their judgement. Another News Flash,  Trust is earned, time for the Board to prove they understand that....

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"The question no one seems to want to answer - Why is collecting this data so important that it requires a BSR to get it?  Aren't BSR's supposed to be about basic safety issues - things that can/have hurt or kill skydivers?"

The answer is important because USPA doesn't know the extent of the problem. According to one source, CYPRES  supplies on average 670 replacement cutters a year to the US, combined military & civilian. Even if the civilian percentage is a faction of that number, that is a HUGE number of AAD fires per year...and that is just CYPRES. And that number doesn't even include VIGIL fires. The AAD fires are simply not being reported. If the collected data indicates a pattern (like TIs with hand cams, AFF single instructor release jumps, or solo student practicing backflips), then some retraining may be in order. The extent of the problem simply isn't known, and this BSR may help save lives. 

So simply...the BSR is simply to collect data that may save lives, and there is no downside to reporting.

Paul Gholson

 

 

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