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Deisel

USPA Rating Renewal Extensions?

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Has there been any discussion of rating renewal extensions? Some of us haven't jumped all winter and can't get current due to the virus lockdown. It would make sense to me to push the deadlines a few months until this thing is under control. 

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Is this the place for starting that discussion?

The currency requirements are based on the idea that skills decay over time.  The decay occurs regardless of the reason why you unable to jump.  Pushing deadlines back suggests either that we should accept a lower standard of proficiency and safety (at least this once), or that the standards are too high.  

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1 minute ago, mark said:

Is this the place for starting that discussion?

The currency requirements are based on the idea that skills decay over time.  The decay occurs regardless of the reason why you unable to jump.  Pushing deadlines back suggests either that we should accept a lower standard of proficiency and safety (at least this once), or that the standards are too high.  

There is practical reality to consider. Do you have a better solution?

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5 minutes ago, gowlerk said:

There is practical reality to consider. Do you have a better solution?

No I don't have a better solution.  I'm going to count that as 3 votes for temporarily lower standards (yours, mine, and the OP).

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Just now, mark said:

No I don't have a better solution.  I'm going to count that as 3 votes for temporarily lower standards (yours, mine, and the OP).

Depending on how long the delay is there could be a currency plan put in place. I am hoping to be able to do staff training jumps on a limited basis and to keep at least one aircraft flying for pilot recurrency. But it will not be easy if there is no revenue source.

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21 hours ago, Deisel said:

Has there been any discussion of rating renewal extensions? Some of us haven't jumped all winter and can't get current due to the virus lockdown. It would make sense to me to push the deadlines a few months until this thing is under control. 

You can renew your membership, show that you've met all of the renewal requirements (other than currency) and pay the money..  Once you are current jumping again, your instructional ratings will be current as well.

At least, this is how I interpreted what was told to me by a current AFF I/E. Don't take this as 100% correct information. 

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7 hours ago, skybytch said:

You can renew your membership, show that you've met all of the renewal requirements (other than currency) and pay the money..  Once you are current jumping again, your instructional ratings will be current as well.

At least, this is how I interpreted what was told to me by a current AFF I/E. Don't take this as 100% correct information. 

Not exactly.  There's jump currency, and there's instructional currency.  For example, you're current as a D-license holder if you've jumped in the last 6 months, but to be eligible to renew your tandem rating, you need to have done a tandem in the previous 90 days.

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1 hour ago, mark said:

Not exactly.  There's jump currency, and there's instructional currency.  For example, you're current as a D-license holder if you've jumped in the last 6 months, but to be eligible to renew your tandem rating, you need to have done a tandem in the previous 90 days.

Sorry, I should have been specific.  What I was told applies to AFF, not tandem.  

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20 minutes ago, skybytch said:

Sorry, I should have been specific.  What I was told applies to AFF, not tandem.  

Not exactly.  For AFF renewal, you have to have done in the previous 12 months:  15 AFF jumps, taught an AFF FJC, and attended a renewal seminar.  Some instructors may not have the opportunity they were counting on this spring to meet those requirements.

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If the IRS can push back the tax filing deadline, i would think that USPA should be able to find some flexibility as well. All I'm saying here is that there isn't a chapter in the governance manual that covers pandemics. And this is happening right in the middle of our pre-season. Right when lots of folks are typically getting ready to get back in the air. 

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If anyone thinks this a serious enough issue, I would recommend actually talking to the people that can make this happen. The USPA Safety and Training Committee is the group that actually makes these rules.  I would suggest contacting your USPA Regional Director (listed in the front of every Parachutist magazine).  Your RD can provide guidance on your particular situation, and if you have any unexplored options. Your RD can also provide you information to actual “change the rules” if you think it is necessary. You can also email the USPA Director of Safety & Training, Ron Bell. He deals with these types of issues daily.  

Paul Gholson. USPA Southern Regional Director 

USPA Safety & Training Committee Advisor

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On 3/21/2020 at 9:03 PM, dudeman17 said:

Another factor - 

I'm just hoping I'll be able to get a Dr.'s appointment when I have to renew my medical in a few months.

From Avweb.com

"Canada has extended medical privileges for as much as four months for pilots whose medicals expire before June 1 and AOPA is asking for similar consideration and more for U.S. pilots. AOPA says it is now working with the FAA to figure out what to do about pilots whose medicals expire at the end of March and can’t get an appointment because of coronavirus measures. In Canada, as of March 17, anyone whose medical expires before June 1 can keep flying until Aug. 1 on the old medical. Transport Canada also told its Civil Aviation Medical Examiners to not book any appointments before May 1 to prevent unnecessary strain on the medical system. Meanwhile, medicals are just one of several time-related issues facing pilots that AOPA wants the FAA to address."

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i can see pushing back medical certificates because the healthcare system could be overwhelmed trying to care for people, but not the currency requirements for certifications for jumps.. all of these can be met when we start jumping again.  no need to put safety of everyone out the window unnecessarily.  not like we're jumping right now anyway.

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Diesel, USPA is monitoring the situation closely. The USPA governmental liaison is well connected, and keeping track of the situation directly.  Personally, I feel AOPA is the group best suited to take point, as almost EVERY AOPA member needs a medical. A smaller group of our USPA members require a medical.  AOPA, with almost 400,000 members, would have more clout in influencing the FAA to extend medical deadlines, with USPA, 42,000 members,  providing support.

Believe me, USPA is in front of this situation, and is being very proactive. I am hopeful and confident the FAA, AOPA, and USPA will arrive at a satisfactory answer to this issue quickly.

Paul Gholson

USPA Southern Regional Director 

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On 3/23/2020 at 1:32 PM, Bigfalls said:

From Avweb.com

"Canada has extended medical privileges for as much as four months for pilots whose medicals expire before June 1 and AOPA is asking for similar consideration and more for U.S. pilots. AOPA says it is now working with the FAA to figure out what to do about pilots whose medicals expire at the end of March and can’t get an appointment because of coronavirus measures. In Canada, as of March 17, anyone whose medical expires before June 1 can keep flying until Aug. 1 on the old medical. Transport Canada also told its Civil Aviation Medical Examiners to not book any appointments before May 1 to prevent unnecessary strain on the medical system. Meanwhile, medicals are just one of several time-related issues facing pilots that AOPA wants the FAA to address."

From; avweb.com

Any pilot whose medical expires after March 30 can continue to fly until June 30 without renewing in light of the novel coronavirus crisis. The FAA announced on Friday it will not be enforcing medical expirations during that period so that medical personnel can focus on dealing with the pandemic. “The Notice states that from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020, the FAA will not take legal enforcement action against any person serving as a required pilot flight crew member or flight engineer who holds a medical certificate that expires within this time period,” AOPA quoted an email from FAA staff as reporting.  The announcement came after AOPA and other aviation groups called on the FAA to relax deadline-sensitive pilot qualifications, which in addition to medicals include checkrides and knowledge tests. “The FAA is meeting the moment by finding the quickest and most effective path to address an urgent need and we deeply appreciate the creative thinking and recognition that keeping general aviation operational serves a greater good,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. National Air Transportation Association Senior Vice President Ryan Waguespack also commended the action, saying it was necessary to keep Part 135 carriers operational. “NATA is grateful the FAA is continuing to listen to our requests to support the 135 industry during this critical time,” he said.

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(edited)

Your quote is correct. But the FAA only addresses crew members in  this action. It is saying, “Yes, we know you medical is expired, but we will not take any enforcement action against the crew member”. This has no effect on a USPA Tandem Instructor.  
 

However, the USPA has been proactive, and come up with a solution and will probably be announcing it today or tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Paul Gholson

USPA Southern Regional Director 

Edited by skypilotA1

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On 3/30/2020 at 9:51 PM, skypilotA1 said:

However, the USPA has been proactive, and come up with a solution and will probably be announcing it today or tomorrow. Stay tuned.

I have to say that I'm disappointed in USPA's response. I've read the USPA email blast and it does not address instructor ratings, only medicals. Tom Noonan has released a definitive statement saying that UPT will not change any TI rating requirements. The 90 and 180 day currency rules will still apply. For USPA instructor ratings one day late equals a year late, which costs time and money to get current. Guess I'll have to take it up with the BOD directly.  

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2 hours ago, Deisel said:

I have to say that I'm disappointed in USPA's response. I've read the USPA email blast and it does not address instructor ratings, only medicals. Tom Noonan has released a definitive statement saying that UPT will not change any TI rating requirements. The 90 and 180 day currency rules will still apply. For USPA instructor ratings one day late equals a year late, which costs time and money to get current. Guess I'll have to take it up with the BOD directly.  

i think their action was exactly what is needed.  a physical is an arbitrary inspection that is regularly done.  since they involve close contact and medical professionals, it is valid that they extend the expiration of them so as not to tax an already overtaxed system.  currency requirements are a different thing altogether that were set based on physical limitations of things like muscle memory that are perishable skills, meaning they go away when you don't use them.  getting current involves a check dive and can be done when we start jumping again very quickly and without much effort. 

i would think that waiving a few weeks on a preventive check would be fine but that it would be a safety violation to think that the skills had held when they may not have.  it's one thing to waive the currency requirements for a skydiver (i wouldn't do that either), but a ti has another person's life in their hands and should be held to the standard, otherwise why have the standard at all?

Edited by sfzombie13
bad tone for some reason, not meant that way.

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4 minutes ago, dudeman17 said:

Here's a thought that first occurred to me as kind of a joke, but it may well turn out not to be:

If everybody goes uncurrent, including I's and IE's, who conducts the recurrency jumps?

Bill Booth will come out and re-certify Tom Noonan who will then cover the IE's.;) (I don't usually use emoticons, but if I don't here no doubt someone will think I'm serious)

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USPA is currently looking at the Instructor situation, in terms of recurrency, to decide what action, if any, should be taken. Some members feel the standards should be relaxed because of the current pandemic and they need some relief from the rules. Other members feel safety standards should never be relaxed, they are written in blood.  Your opinions and views are always welcome. I would suggest letting your USPA Regional Director know how you feel, and your possible solution.

If you are an instructor just becoming “uncurrent”, I would suggest contacting Safety and Training at USPA and find out if there is any relief for you on an individual basis. The email is: safety@USPA.org

Paul Gholson. USPA Southern Regional Director 

Edited by skypilotA1
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since it takes a while for d license to be uncurrent, one thing they could do is use funds from the uspa to take instructors around to certify other instructors, then send those out to certify others, etc, etc.  they could pick a few centralized locations to use and set up a reimbursement fund for travel.  even if they only had enough money to reimburse half of the cost, that would do it.  the dz could also use some of the money released from the stimulus to cover some of it.  it seems we could do that whenever we could get a few dz's to set it up and disinfect it, then test anyone coming in and track them well after they leave.  if we wait til the end of april or may to start, it should be safer then.  that was a ten minute solution.  i am sure we could find others.  i am just not a fan of relaxing safety rules ever, as you say, they are written in blood.

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