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Recon424

USPA .. Are they worth it ??

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In reading the recent problems with dropzones and local and faa officials harassing them.. Why the hell do we allow these USPA dinosaurs to sit around and do nothing? Is the magazine really that good? Can anyone give me a good reason why we haven't throw this dated so called racket of an organization out the window and replaced with something that actually provides professional oversite to affiliated dropzones and is a advocate in our industries corner. Thoughts?

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>In reading the recent problems with dropzones and local and faa officials harassing
>them.. Why the hell do we allow these USPA dinosaurs to sit around and do nothing?

Why they hell are YOU sitting around and doing nothing? Call USPA (or your RD) and find out what resources they have, and what you can do. Or call the DZ. Or call AOPA. Or call the airport manager. Or the local FSDO.

> Can anyone give me a good reason why we haven't throw this dated so called
>racket of an organization out the window and replaced with something that actually
>provides professional oversite to affiliated dropzones and is a advocate in our
>industries corner.

Because people like you can't be bothered to either use USPA or come up with something better.

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So people like me cant be bothered?? Well Bill you could have simply just said your an advocate of the USPA. Do you really believe they are a proactive steward of the GM and Individual members dollars when they close the settled case file with skyride, and don't support GM dropzones all over the country what exactly are we paying Randy Ottenger and Ed Scott for?

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So your stateing that I have identified a problem that is still a problem? Or is the problem the same old drunk good ol boys running a solid game on the system, ed Scott, ottinger, crouch. We as an association get "liability" insurance and a magazine. Because if you look at how many dropzones in this country are GM and Ottinger and Scott are finger popping each others assholes In fear of another skyride "Settlement" which they kept held from the "Members". Hell safety, no one holds anyone accountable for actions "UNTILL" there is a fatality. We keep trying to make more rules and "BSRs" instead of holding people accountable and enforcing them. But let's be real no one on that board is going to anything to support or even comment for a GM or individual member who contacts them with a violation and they just blow you off . But hey that TI who just hit his one hitter and then grabbed the tandem rig to take up the customer could be comeing to dropzone near you, cause crouch didn't care.

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To quote from the thread I linked earlier:
kuai43

It costs $55/year.

The benefit they've provided by advocating for us:
- to keep skydiving largely self-supervised
- to maintain public airport access (just this is invaluable)
- to provide insurance for possible dumb-fuckery
- to standardize and professionalize student training
- to present a public image that keeps us from looking like a bunch of fucking yay-hoos.
- to promote a unified competition/record-setting standard and opportunity.
- etc.

That's just a bit over two damn jump tickets. Jesus fucking christ. Can you do better?


Another benefit that comes to mind is the system of licenses and ratings that gives you a measure of credibility when you go to a new DZ, so that you don't have to find other ways to prove that you know what you're doing.

Even if there were no direct benefits to individual members (of which I think there are plenty), the fact that the vast majority of dropzones find group membership to be beneficial and part of that deal is that you have to be a member to jump there would be a perfectly valid and sufficient reason to pay the dues.

You seem to complain that they don't provide sufficient oversight, but one of their biggest services is to keep FAA oversight to a minimum. I think most people have, for example, jumped in "slightly hazy" conditions, and there are plenty of videos that "appear to" show people jumping through clouds with easily identifiable dropzones and jumpers. I'm certainly glad the FAA doesn't shut down dropzones and revoke the pilots' licenses over this, and also that the USPA doesn't revoke the DZs' group membership and the jumpers' licenses. As for TI qualifications, I think it should be the responsibility of a DZ manager hiring a new TI to call his previous DZM and make sure he is qualified and didn't leave due to safety issues. For the USPA to directly monitor the operations of every dropzone for safety would require vastly higher membership dues (from jumpers and/or DZs), which is why this job is delegated to local S&TAs, who are responsible for ensuring safe operation at their DZ and can get a jumper's license or ratings revoked if adequate safety standards are not followed.

There are legitimate criticisms of the USPA, and there is always room for improvement. Anyone who is dissatisfied and willing to make the least bit of effort about it should make these concerns heard by the membership and the board, and vote for – and encourage others to vote for – directors who would be most able to address these concerns. If necessary, you can even start a new organization, establish the same credibility before the FAA that the USPA has, arrange with the FAI to be able to issue recognised licenses and ratings, and convince dropzones to leave the USPA and join your organization instead. But I see no point in simply blaming the USPA for not doing enough for its members; you're free to not pay the dues and not jump at group member DZs if you don't think it's worth it.

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JohnMitchell

I pay my dues to the USPA to keep the FAA off our backs as much as possible. People debate their effectiveness, but I know they've prevented a lot of rule making by the FAA that would have severely hampered jumping.



Agree. Plus, unfortunately, we are a litigious society. The money we pay for the insurance alone is worth it.
Shit happens. And it usually happens because of physics.

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I recall that after Sept. 11 all flights (except military) everywhere were grounded. The skies were eerily quiet. While most had to wait two and three weeks before resuming flights, we USPA skydivers were back up in 9 days. Well ahead of a lot of others. The FAA did not simply call up the USPA and graciously give us a gift. Nope. USPA went to the FAA and made our case for us. Off the top of my head I can't think of anyone else who could have pulled that off for us.

USPA's hugely beneficial relationship with the FAA alone makes having USPA around worth the annual dues.

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They are the game. If you came up with a compelling modification, it'd be discussed. Here, and there are plenty of groups on FB. Look for what people think they want from USPA, and figure out how it can happen. With mostly volunteers, because the budget isn't large.

Liability insurance and a consistent interface with the FAA are extremely important; I'd put those as highest, but I'm sure there are other important parts.

Come up with a plan; make it work. You might not change it completely to what you personally think it should be, but it might just get better. What's it missing?

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Quote

the fact that the vast majority of dropzones find group membership to be beneficial and part of that deal is that you have to be a member to jump there would be a perfectly valid and sufficient reason to pay the dues.



GM program is a joke. The only thing it does is provide some low cost advertising and an illusion of safety. Ask when the last time a DZ was audited by the USPA. Ask why Lodi's owner was given a safety award the same year that his DZ was hit with a ~500K dollar fine for not doing required maintenance on his aircraft.

And the USPA likes it because it MAKES you be a member of the USPA to jump at any DZ that wants the free advertising. See it ensures that people like you join the USPA.

The USPA cares more about the manufacturers than the general membership and has shown that time after time. The manufacturers already have an organization in the PIA.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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wmw999

They are the game. If you came up with a compelling modification, it'd be discussed. Here, and there are plenty of groups on FB. Look for what people think they want from USPA, and figure out how it can happen. With mostly volunteers, because the budget isn't large.

Liability insurance and a consistent interface with the FAA are extremely important; I'd put those as highest, but I'm sure there are other important parts.

Come up with a plan; make it work. You might not change it completely to what you personally think it should be, but it might just get better. What's it missing?

Wendy P.




+1
Let me guess, Trump's not your president either! STFU

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Ron


The USPA cares more about the manufacturers than the general membership and has shown that time after time. The manufacturers already have an organization in the PIA.

I have to admit I feel that way sometimes too. Frustrating.

Once again, like Wendy and a few others stated, the insurance and having a voice in Washington, D.C. are the reasons I pay. IDK if they could do better there, but they seem to be doing well enough.

I remember having to get my reserve repacked every 60 days. Now it's 3 times that interval, thanks to the USPA.

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Recon424

In reading the recent problems with dropzones and local and faa officials harassing them.. Why the hell do we allow these USPA dinosaurs to sit around and do nothing? Is the magazine really that good? Can anyone give me a good reason why we haven't throw this dated so called racket of an organization out the window and replaced with something that actually provides professional oversite to affiliated dropzones and is a advocate in our industries corner. Thoughts?



The only thing in your list of wishes that USPA doesn't do is oversight. It's not a racket and calling people "dinosaurs" and the other things you say about them further down post just show your skill at insulting people. Hardly helpful.

Is it worth $55/year? Yes. If you want real oversight, with audits, someone will have to pay for the auditors. And you will need to get the law changed to make skydiving regulated so that compliance is required. Otherwise DZs and members will quickly just drop out of USPA because they don't want a regulated system, and they certainly don't want to pay the fees that regular audits would require.


You can run for office in USPA, you can get on committees. Or you can just post angry ill informed outbursts here that highlight how little you really understand. I suspect you are the sort of person who will do the later. Once you start with talk about people "finger popping each other's assholes" guess who starts looking bad? It isn't those people.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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>So people like me cant be bothered?

Yes. What have you done, other than complain?

>Do you really believe they are a proactive steward of the GM and Individual
>members dollars when they close the settled case file with skyride, and don't
>support GM dropzones all over the country what exactly are we paying Randy
>Ottenger and Ed Scott for?

Overall they do more good than harm. They could surely do better. Fortunately, you don't have to give them any money at all if you don't want to.

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Ron

***the fact that the vast majority of dropzones find group membership to be beneficial and part of that deal is that you have to be a member to jump there would be a perfectly valid and sufficient reason to pay the dues.



GM program is a joke. The only thing it does is provide some low cost advertising and an illusion of safety. Ask when the last time a DZ was audited by the USPA. Ask why Lodi's owner was given a safety award the same year that his DZ was hit with a ~500K dollar fine for not doing required maintenance on his aircraft.

And the USPA likes it because it MAKES you be a member of the USPA to jump at any DZ that wants the free advertising. See it ensures that people like you join the USPA.

The USPA cares more about the manufacturers than the general membership and has shown that time after time. The manufacturers already have an organization in the PIA.
Yes, that they care more about manufacturers than jumpers is the primary "legitimate criticism" that I referred to earlier.

Group membership is not quite "free advertising", since it's $750/year for a turbine DZ, but it's also extensive legal help in case of e.g. a lawsuit from an injured tandem student, and legal/financial help from the AADF if it should be necessary.
You cut out the first few words of my sentence that you quote, so I will reiterate that the following is purely a hypothetical discussion, since I think the individual benefits fully justify the cost. But if, hypothetically, there were no individual benefits and individual membership only made it possible to jump at GM DZs, I would still not complain about it: essentially, that would mean that USPA chooses to distribute the cost of group membership between DZOs and jumpers – they would get exactly the same amount of money if they made group membership cost $750 + $55 × (the average number of local jumpers per DZ) and didn't require individual membership. But group membership benefits the local jumpers too, even if only through the advertising that brings in more tandem students resulting in more loads (at smaller DZs), more money for the DZ and hence better aircraft and facilities, so I would see nothing sinister or inappropriate in this (hypothetical) pricing scheme.

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Recon424

So people like me cant be bothered?? Well Bill you could have simply just said your an advocate of the USPA. Do you really believe they are a proactive steward of the GM and Individual members dollars when they close the settled case file with skyride, and don't support GM dropzones all over the country what exactly are we paying Randy Ottenger and Ed Scott for?



Are you kidding? I happen to know Randy does a SHIT ton for skydivers and airport access and keeps FAA at bay more than you know. Yes, DZs do have rough interactions with the FAA. Some even deserve it. But I have seen the efforts that have saved many operations.

Yes, USPA is worth it.
Chris Schindler
www.diverdriver.com
ATP/D-19012
FB #4125

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If USPA is so great;

- Why is membership mandatory?

- Why did USPA lower the standards to pass the AFFI course?

- Why did they create a program that gives the impression they are tracking jump ship mainenance when they actually are not?

- Why can't members use USPA as a tool to help determine which DZ's to spend their skydiving dollar?

- Why do they promote the myth that a GM DZ is somehow safer than a non GM DZ?

Derek V

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maximsc




Group membership is not quite "free advertising"



Never said it was "free" said it was "low cost". You claim I "cut a few words" out of your post... You just flat out made up something I never said.

Quote


You cut out the first few words of my sentence that you quote, so I will reiterate that the following is purely a hypothetical discussion, since I think the individual benefits fully justify the cost. But if, hypothetically, there were no individual benefits and individual membership only made it possible to jump at GM DZs, I would still not complain about it: essentially, that would mean that USPA chooses to distribute the cost of group membership between DZOs and jumpers – they would get exactly the same amount of money if they made group membership cost $750 + $55 × (the average number of local jumpers per DZ) and didn't require individual membership. But group membership benefits the local jumpers too, even if only through the advertising that brings in more tandem students resulting in more loads (at smaller DZs), more money for the DZ and hence better aircraft and facilities, so I would see nothing sinister or inappropriate in this (hypothetical) pricing scheme.



The problem is they clearly care more about the manufactures and DZO's than the average jumpers. And they have you over a barrel based on the Group Member program.

Again... When was the last time the USPA audited a DZ? Why did the owner of Lodi get a safety award from the USPA the very same year he was hit with almost 500K in fines from the FAA for not doing aircraft maintenance?
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Ron

***Group membership is not quite "free advertising"


Never said it was "free" said it was "low cost". You claim I "cut a few words" out of your post... You just flat out made up something I never said. but later in the same post you wrote "... to jump at any DZ that wants the free advertising". I'm sure you know that group membership isn't free, but you did refer to it as such and I simply wanted to point out that the cost is not insignificant for a small (single-turbine) DZ.
Ron

The problem is they clearly care more about the manufactures and DZO's than the average jumpers. And they have you over a barrel based on the Group Member program.

Again... When was the last time the USPA audited a DZ? Why did the owner of Lodi get a safety award from the USPA the very same year he was hit with almost 500K in fines from the FAA for not doing aircraft maintenance?


As I and others have said, for the USPA to audit DZs would require vastly higher dues. That's not something they do, but they do other things that, in my and many others' opinions, are very valuable.

I don't know the details about the safety award, but I don't see any serious problem. The award is not a formal certificate proving that the DZ conforms with all safety standards; the people determining the award recipients presumably weren't aware of the failure to maintain aircraft to the required standards, and liked something else that Lodi did well.

All jumps counted toward USPA Expert Wings are required to be conducted in accordance with the BSRs; do you expect the USPA to read through every applicant's logbook and question the people they jump with to make sure they never, in their n–thousand jumps, landed a few minutes after sunset without notifying the FAA or pulled at 2400' ? Of course not; the awards are meant to just be a fun way to recognise jumpers' experience and to encourage safe practices, giving back to the sport, etc. If an award is sometimes given to someone who might not have 'deserved' it, there's no crime in that.

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As I and others have said, for the USPA to audit DZs would require vastly higher dues. That's not something they do, but they do other things that, in my and many others' opinions, are very valuable.



Research the USPA Voluntary Inspection Program (VIP).

No one has taken a shot at these;

- Why is membership mandatory?

- Why did USPA lower the standards to pass the AFFI course?

- Why did they create a program that gives the impression they are tracking jump ship mainenance when they actually are not?

- Why can't members use USPA as a tool to help determine which DZ's to spend their skydiving dollar?

- Why do they promote the myth that a GM DZ is somehow safer than a non GM DZ?

Derek V

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