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pchapman

Who writes reports to the USPA in case of incidents?

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I'm just trying to understand how the US system works, and a quick skim of the SIM hasn't clarified anything for me:

Is anyone supposed to write a report if there's an incident or accident to a USPA member? A local S&TA has the responsibility?

Are individual jumpers supposed to write anything up? Is any report writing requirement generally followed, or does that just depend on the DZ culture?

For comparison, I'm in Canada where under the CSPA each jumper is supposed to fill out the Accident/Incident/Malfunction report form in case of an incident or accident, or even if they have a malfunction. At the national level, reports are summarized & anonymized and I believe destroyed -- Something like the US system I think.

If a student is involved, the instructor would write the report. Some DZ's don't push the issue for minor stuff, so I'm sure plenty of plain old mals never get reported. Other DZ's are more insistent on having the reports handed in to be passed up the chain. A jumper's report on their own incident might not be all that informative, especially if they don't want to take the time or are inexperienced. Certainly if students are involved, and liability is higher, reports are highly likely to be made, or else the legal defense fund that a school may optionally contribute to, won't be in effect for that incident.  At the DZ I'm at, the DZ takes the reports, passes them to the CSPA, and keeps copies of the reports, which are summarized at the start of next season, for the experienced jumpers and instructors to learn from.  It is in effect a local safety feedback loop, a sort of Safety Day kind of thing.

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Anyone can submit an incident report to USPA.  These reports have always been voluntary until recently.  There is a new requirement that a report be filed if an AAD fires on an AFF or tandem jump, whether it was the instructor's AAD, camera flier's AAD or the student's AAD. This is required of the instructor/camera flier on pain of disciplinary action for NOT reporting it within a few days. If one does report it on time, there will be no disciplinary action, even if something happened on that jump that in other cases might be a reason for disciplinary action.  No clue what any disciplinary action might be since USPA doesn't release such information. There is no requirement for anyone to submit a report to USPA if any jumper (including students) is injured or killed, even if requested by a USPA director; only if an AAD fires on a student jump. 


Some jumpers/instructors/S&TAs/DZO's will never file a report because they don't trust USPA to keep the information 100% confidential. According to USPA these reports are destroyed with no copies retained by anyone. Release of some or all of the information on an incident report can definitely affect potential legal action. It has happened before when a board member kept a copy of an incident report then somehow the information on it got into the hands of ambulance chasing attorneys. 

 

 

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