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mbohu

HELP!!! Jumping in Austria.

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Hi,
(I remember there used to be a German language forum category, is that gone?)
Anyway: I am an Austrian living in the US, with a USPA B-License. I will visit my birth-country in June and want to jump while I am there. The DZ told me I need to contact the Austrian Aeroclub to get my USPA license recognized.

The Areoclub wrote the following:

Sehr geehrter Herr ...,
leider ist es nicht möglich die USPA-Lizenz anzuerkennen, es ist ein österreichischer Schein zu beantragen.
Bitte wenden Sie Sich an eine österreichische Flugschule, dort müssen Sie die Prüfungen zum Erwerb des Fallschirmspringerscheines ablegen.
 

Translation: We can't recognize USPA licenses and you will have to get a course and test to get an Austrian License.

I know many Americans jump in Europe and I know our teams don't have to get a license for each European country in order to participate in international competitions, so this can't be right, can it????
Has anyone with a USPA license jumped in Austria (or Germany) and have they had any trouble like this?

 

Please help!

 

 
 

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Maybe you could get a FAI license in the US? That should make it easier to convince them. In any case, it doesn't tell you that you have to do a course, just that you have to pass a (written) exam. Maybe the DZ would like also to make an AFF jump with you.

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Interesting. Not sure where to get an FAI license in the USA, but I'll see if that's possible. The problem seems to be that they demand a license by a government agency, not a private club (such as the USPA). You are right, it just says to get an exam (wasn't clear if it's written or practical) but the problem is, if I have to get an exam and then wait for that to be evaluated, submitted to their government agency and then get their license back, I won't be able to jump. I'm only there for a short time. I'm hoping to drive up to the DZ and--weather permitting--jump for a day. (Again, I wonder how are competition teams doing this when competing in international events?)

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1 hour ago, mbohu said:

Interesting. Not sure where to get an FAI license in the USA, but I'll see if that's possible. The problem seems to be that they demand a license by a government agency, not a private club (such as the USPA). You are right, it just says to get an exam (wasn't clear if it's written or practical) but the problem is, if I have to get an exam and then wait for that to be evaluated, submitted to their government agency and then get their license back, I won't be able to jump. I'm only there for a short time. I'm hoping to drive up to the DZ and--weather permitting--jump for a day. (Again, I wonder how are competition teams doing this when competing in international events?)

UPSA licenses are internationally recognized FAI documents. FAI does not issue licenses itself except sporting licenses for competition. Some National Associations are touchy about USPA or other foreign credentials when they are issued to their own Nationals. They should recognize your USPA issued FAI credentials if you are a US resident. But they may still require you to purchase a membership. If you look at you USPA license you should see some mention of the FAI printed on it. 

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2 hours ago, gowlerk said:

UPSA licenses are internationally recognized FAI documents. FAI does not issue licenses itself except sporting licenses for competition. Some National Associations are touchy about USPA or other foreign credentials when they are issued to their own Nationals. They should recognize your USPA issued FAI credentials if you are a US resident. But they may still require you to purchase a membership. If you look at you USPA license you should see some mention of the FAI printed on it. 

Hi gowlerk,

Unfortunately they do not recognize the USPA license. They require a license that is issued by a government agency, not a private club. They say this changed about a couple years ago and some dropzones don't enforce it, but more and more do, because they can get into big trouble in case of an accident.  :-(  (So it's easily possible that the FAI recognizes the USPA license, but the Austrian government does not, and requires dropzones to enforce that....at least that is what I could find out, both from one of their dropzones and the government agency that supposedly regulates this.) I guess they would recognize an American license if it was issued by the FAA, rather than the USPA, but since it's not....

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(edited)
7 minutes ago, mbohu said:

Unfortunately they do not recognize the USPA license.

You should complain to the FAI. If they are an FAI member they are required to recognize FAI credentials. If the Austrian government won't allow that then they probably can not have FAI affiliation. The Aeroclub in any nation is usually the actual FAI member.

I do not know of any national government which issues "skydive licenses". Is there only one DZ in Austria? I would contact another one because what you have been told makes very little sense. Like I said, some countries don't appreciate USPA poaching their nationals and that may be what is happening here. Try telling them that you are a long time US resident, or better yet a citizen, and their tune may change.

Edited by gowlerk

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15 hours ago, gowlerk said:

UPSA licenses are internationally recognized FAI documents. FAI does not issue licenses itself except sporting licenses for competition. Some National Associations are touchy about USPA or other foreign credentials when they are issued to their own Nationals. They should recognize your USPA issued FAI credentials if you are a US resident. But they may still require you to purchase a membership. If you look at you USPA license you should see some mention of the FAI printed on it. 

They will recognize USPA for everybody, except for Austrian nationals. Austrian nationals need to have national licenses. It is probably the same in all EU countries - if you are a national, you need to have the national license.

However FAI does indeed issue normal licenses (and not just sporting licenses). You can get the documents here: https://www.fai.org/page/information-and-order

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Interesting (and annoying) that they want to enforce their rules by Nationality and not simply by Residency. Someone might not have set foot in the homeland of their passport since they were a kid, or since they started skydiving, and suddenly would  be required to get all the local licences -- even if just visiting for a weeked and not moving to the country permanently.

I wonder to what degree they actually check passports, if you show up and say, "Guten Tag, I'm from Amerika and want to jump!".... but it doesn't sound like the DZ or national organization are very flexible...

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23 hours ago, gowlerk said:

I do not know of any national government which issues "skydive licenses". Is there only one DZ in Austria? I would contact another one because what you have been told makes very little sense. 

I like the idea of "complaining to the FAI". I may do that and see what happens.

The problem is not the DZ though. They say they all lobbied against it when it changed a few years ago and they think they can get my USPA license recognized via some forms or something. But again: The official governing body says: Austria treats this as a pilot's license and that is regulated by the government and cannot be handled by simple private organizations such as the FAI or USPA.

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(edited)
8 hours ago, pchapman said:

Interesting (and annoying) that they want to enforce their rules by Nationality and not simply by Residency.

Again, I do not think it has to do with nationality. From what the Aeroclub is saying, no one with only a USPA license is allowed to jump.
The head AFF trainer at the DZ thinks there are some forms that I should be able to fill out and some fees to pay that may get my license recognized and he does think the fact that I have an Austrian passport may hurt--but again, the official body is saying NO ONE with an USPA license is allowed to jump. I asked twice. I said, are you sure? How in the world can you then participate in international meets? They said they are sure. They ignored my question about competitions.

Here is the translation of their second email: (NOT from the DZ but the official governing body)
 

No, I'm not wrong.
Since the USPA license is not an official certificate, 
neither a conversion nor an acknowledgment is possible.
The training jumps completed abroad and also other 
legal jumps can be recognized by an Austrian school, 
a new examination must nevertheless be done.
Edited by mbohu

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I've been wondering about this in the other direction (if you don't mind the slight derailment) - I'm an American citizen, but a German resident, and got my license in Germany and have not yet had the chance to jump "back home," so to speak, though I hope to soon. I believe, theoretically, that the USPA regulations on whether you need a USPA license and membership at a USPA DZ are based on residence and not nationality (though I could be wrong - feel free to correct), but the number of times I've seen people (in other contexts) get confused by the seemingly simple concept of having one nationality but a different long-term residency is worrying...

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6 hours ago, drdm said:

I've been wondering about this in the other direction (if you don't mind the slight derailment) - I'm an American citizen, but a German resident, and got my license in Germany and have not yet had the chance to jump "back home," so to speak, though I hope to soon. I believe, theoretically, that the USPA regulations on whether you need a USPA license and membership at a USPA DZ are based on residence and not nationality (though I could be wrong - feel free to correct), but the number of times I've seen people (in other contexts) get confused by the seemingly simple concept of having one nationality but a different long-term residency is worrying...

An interesting question, where does a non-resident US citizen fit in the rules?  From the SIM

"E. MEMBERSHIP USPA membership is required of any skydiver cleared for self-supervision at a USPA Group Member drop zone, except for non-resident foreign nationals that are a member of their own national aero club"

and

"FOREIGN PARACHUTIST means a parachutist who is neither a U.S. citizen or a resident alien and is participating in parachute operations within the United States using parachute equipment not manufactured in the United States."

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4 hours ago, IanHarrop said:

"FOREIGN PARACHUTIST means a parachutist who is neither a U.S. citizen or a resident alien and is participating in parachute operations within the United States using parachute equipment not manufactured in the United States."

Thanks for digging that out of the depths of the SIM! So I guess I wasn't quite right.  It's interesting phrasing though, as it refers to "membership" and not "licensing..." I guess that means that I'll need to get (at least a temporary) membership the next time I go back for a visit and want to jump, but don't need to worry about getting a new license... Interesting.

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Start the paperwork many months before you visit Austria.

Sounds like the Austrian gov’t has their own unique interpretation - that a skydiving licence is similar to a private pilot’s licence. Only a few totalitarian countries maintain that attitude, mind you totalitarian countries rarely permit sport jumping.

Insurance is another issue. USPA third party liability insurance does not protect you when jumping outside the USA. A short-term membership in the Austrian Parachute Association should provide the necessary third-party insurance.

Another issue is medical insurance. Since the USA lags so far behind the rest of the industrialized world, you will need to provide written proof of medical insurance before many European DZs will allow you to jump. Submit your medical paperwork many months before visiting an Austrian DZ.

.... and read the dz.com thread about paperwork for visiting jumpers.

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2 hours ago, riggerrob said:

Sounds like the Austrian gov’t has their own unique interpretation - that a skydiving licence is similar to a private pilot’s licence. Only a few totalitarian countries maintain that attitude, mind you totalitarian countries rarely permit sport jumping.

You are piloting a wing trough airspace. What do you think you are? A pilot probably?
What was the name of this book? Ahh, now I remember: the parachute and its pilot.
"Sport pilot license" is written on the cover of the German license. But on the other hand, Germany is ta totalitarian shithole right now.

Why do you make it so complicated. No dropzone ever asked me for my passport. Go to Austria, talk english, show your USPA license, get a cheap few day guest insurance and jump. Just dont tell anybody that you are a "Schluchtenscheisser". They will think you are an American and let you jump.

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