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cpoxon

USPA Group membership - WAS Fatality x2 - Lodi, CA - 7 August 2016

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This CBS story is making a deal out of the fact the instructor wasn't USPA rated. But Lodi isn't a Group Member (which it says in the article) so the instructors don't have to be USPA rated, do they? They can have a manufacturers rating? Or their own country's? Lodi does require some equivalent certification at least don't they?

Winding up the mother with the possibility that the instructor wasn't certified seems very irresponsible to me (this is the media...why am I not surprised).
Skydiving Fatalities - Cease not to learn 'til thou cease to live

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I don't believe Ed's comments helped either.

"Skydiving will never be a perfectly safe thing to do," said Ed Scott, executive director of the USPA, a nonprofit organization which works with state and federal officials to promote skydiving safety.

"If you don't find a location listed on our site, you don't know what you're getting, you don't know what the standards are," Scott said. "The important factor with tandem skydiving is the certification and instructor."

Please don't dent the planet.

Destinations by Roxanne

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airdvr

I don't believe Ed's comments helped either.

"Skydiving will never be a perfectly safe thing to do," said Ed Scott, executive director of the USPA, a nonprofit organization which works with state and federal officials to promote skydiving safety.

"If you don't find a location listed on our site, you don't know what you're getting, you don't know what the standards are," Scott said. "The important factor with tandem skydiving is the certification and instructor."



While I think he could have worded it better, I don't think he was wrong. It's true that USPA dz's are held to certain standards and requirements. So you expect to get that at a USPA affiliated dz.
Apologies for the spelling (and grammar).... I got a B.S, not a B.A. :)

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airdvr

I don't believe Ed's comments helped either.

"Skydiving will never be a perfectly safe thing to do," said Ed Scott, executive director of the USPA, a nonprofit organization which works with state and federal officials to promote skydiving safety.

"If you don't find a location listed on our site, you don't know what you're getting, you don't know what the standards are," Scott said. "The important factor with tandem skydiving is the certification and instructor."



Looks like rather obvious agenda driven messaging. Can't blame the reporter for this one - that person relied on USPA as an authority and Ed takes advantage of this. He didn't cite specifics, just put out a vague "don't know" scare message.

And given a long history of not really sanctioning USPA DZs for safety violations, is "You don't know what you're getting" even correct? We have a second active thread going about a nearby USPA member DZ.

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LyraM45

It's true that USPA dz's are held to certain standards and requirements.



Group Member DZ's sign a pledge that they say they will follow certain standards, but they are rarely (if ever) held to these standards from what I've witnessed.

Don't Pull Low... Unless You ARE!!!
The pessimist says, "It can't get any worse than this." The optimist says, "Sure, it can."
Be fun, have safe.

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Cutaway68

***It's true that USPA dz's are held to certain standards and requirements.



Group Member DZ's sign a pledge that they say they will follow certain standards, but they are rarely (if ever) held to these standards from what I've witnessed.

They are held to their pledge to pay their fees to USPA.

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Cutaway68

***It's true that USPA dz's are held to certain standards and requirements.



Group Member DZ's sign a pledge that they say they will follow certain standards, but they are rarely (if ever) held to these standards from what I've witnessed.

100% truth here. It's our duty as a community to ensure we're all doing what we can with respect to this though, both as members and at our home dz's if they are group members. But you're right, obviously there is no policing here. But what does self policing get us? We try to follow standards that keep us out of trouble, especially with the FAA. And why is that good for all of us? Because one bad apple can ruin the fun for the rest. I am assuming this TI was at least manufacture rated and/or in the process of putting the paperwork in for a rating he just got. If not, then I think you'd be hard pressed to find a group member dz commonly doing business like this. Why? Because it's not up to standards/regulations and could not only get that dz in trouble, but could get the FAA now putting magnifying glass on the sport all together. So, while things like that aren't actively policed by a USPA rep or employee, I feel like they are actively policed by our community. .... at least I hope [:/]
Apologies for the spelling (and grammar).... I got a B.S, not a B.A. :)

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airdvr

I don't believe Ed's comments helped either.

"Skydiving will never be a perfectly safe thing to do," said Ed Scott, executive director of the USPA, a nonprofit organization which works with state and federal officials to promote skydiving safety.

"If you don't find a location listed on our site, you don't know what you're getting, you don't know what the standards are," Scott said. "The important factor with tandem skydiving is the certification and instructor."



ED SCOTT SHOULD BE FIRED!
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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jlmiracle

***I don't believe Ed's comments helped either.

"Skydiving will never be a perfectly safe thing to do," said Ed Scott, executive director of the USPA, a nonprofit organization which works with state and federal officials to promote skydiving safety.

"If you don't find a location listed on our site, you don't know what you're getting, you don't know what the standards are," Scott said. "The important factor with tandem skydiving is the certification and instructor."



ED SCOTT SHOULD BE FIRED!

The correct response would be the "safety standards of the DZ". It does sound like Ed has a axe to grind which is not understood by the media or public. Its not helpful to anyone in this entire affair excepting possible plaintiff lawyers.

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Couldn't agree more. Totally irresponsible on Ed Scott's end to even insinuate that not being a group member had ANYTHING to do with this incident. Tandem fatalities have NEVER happened at a group member DZ? Another fine example of why NOT to be a group member IMO. Seems the USPA is an organization that is willing to take advantage of a fatality to further their own agenda. Just Fucking incredible........

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LyraM45

***I don't believe Ed's comments helped either.

"Skydiving will never be a perfectly safe thing to do," said Ed Scott, executive director of the USPA, a nonprofit organization which works with state and federal officials to promote skydiving safety.

"If you don't find a location listed on our site, you don't know what you're getting, you don't know what the standards are," Scott said. "The important factor with tandem skydiving is the certification and instructor."



While I think he could have worded it better, I don't think he was wrong. It's true that USPA dz's are held to certain standards and requirements. So you expect to get that at a USPA affiliated dz.

DZO’s sign a pledge “to comply”, pay a fee and they become a Group Member. They can also be designated a “Training Center”. As far as I know there is no follow up by USPA to verify compliance. I know of at least 2 DZ’s that flew aircraft that were out of time by 100’s of hours and were flown by Private Pilots. USPA knew if this and did nothing. So much for USPA DZ’s..
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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LyraM45



While I think he could have worded it better, I don't think he was wrong. It's true that USPA dz's are held to certain standards and requirements. So you expect to get that at a USPA affiliated dz.



Please tell me how a group member DZ is held to a higher standard?

Last I checked, GM DZ's sign a pledge with no penalty for lying or not even trying to meet the pledge.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Ron

***

While I think he could have worded it better, I don't think he was wrong. It's true that USPA dz's are held to certain standards and requirements. So you expect to get that at a USPA affiliated dz.



Please tell me how a group member DZ is held to a higher standard?

Last I checked, GM DZ's sign a pledge with no penalty for lying or not even trying to meet the pledge.

Ron: USPA DZs at least aim to adhere to industry agreed standards of training and vigilance. But it's self-policing, we have STAs to step in when needed and the FAA expects the USPA to keep an eye on training and standards. Also all DZOs I've met, with one notable exception, also take safety seriously and provide another check and balance on safety. Without having to have the FAA get involved.

If it proves this TI was unlicensed (I find this hard to believe, even for Lodi) this and the previous incident may well mean the FAA feels obliged to step in and clean up house for us, instead of letting us do it ourselves.

Not a good way to run a dangerous sport - the default will be a stifling bureaucratic burden for the 99% of us who aim at least, for a high standard.

Of course sport and tandem skydiving can be dangerous: we and students all sign our lives away with waivers, but tandem students are mostly just there for the fun. It's reasonable for them to expect professional, sober, properly trained and current TIs without necessarily having the knowledge to judge for themselves. That's where the USPA accreditation comes in.

Personally, I subscribe the EU or AU/NZ approach, where DZs owe a duty of care to tandem students. These are mostly club based organizations.

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SkydiverNigel

******

While I think he could have worded it better, I don't think he was wrong. It's true that USPA dz's are held to certain standards and requirements. So you expect to get that at a USPA affiliated dz.



Please tell me how a group member DZ is held to a higher standard?

Last I checked, GM DZ's sign a pledge with no penalty for lying or not even trying to meet the pledge.

Ron: USPA DZs at least aim to adhere to industry agreed standards of training and vigilance

Proof of that claim? She said that GM DZ's are held to a higher standard... HOW? By what method are they held to a higher standard?

In my 24 years jumping at 50+ DZ's all over the US I can say that I could not tell any difference between member and non-member DZ's. So, how are they held to a higher standard?

Quote

If it proves this TI was unlicensed (I find this hard to believe, even for Lodi) this and the previous incident may well mean the FAA feels obliged to step in and clean up house for us, instead of letting us do it ourselves.



The USPA is not doing its due diligence in many areas... Such as TSO compliance. But that was not the point of my question. Exactly how is GM DZ somehow held to a higher standard considering the USPA has not inspected a single DZ and to the best of my knowledge *ever* pulled a GM DZ's 'certification'.

In fact Bill won the 'Safety Award' a few years ago... The exact same year that the FAA gave him a 660k fine for not doing the MX on his aircraft.

If Lodi paid the 500-1000 bucks to be a GM DZ, they would be listen - Simple as that.

The GM program is nothing more than an advertising program that MAKES jumpers become USPA members. It is a joke and should be gotten rid of because it serves no purpose for the members.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Ron

*********

While I think he could have worded it better, I don't think he was wrong. It's true that USPA dz's are held to certain standards and requirements. So you expect to get that at a USPA affiliated dz.



Please tell me how a group member DZ is held to a higher standard?

Last I checked, GM DZ's sign a pledge with no penalty for lying or not even trying to meet the pledge.

Ron: USPA DZs at least aim to adhere to industry agreed standards of training and vigilance

Proof of that claim? She said that GM DZ's are held to a higher standard... HOW? By what method are they held to a higher standard?

In my 24 years jumping at 50+ DZ's all over the US I can say that I could not tell any difference between member and non-member DZ's. So, how are they held to a higher standard?

Quote

If it proves this TI was unlicensed (I find this hard to believe, even for Lodi) this and the previous incident may well mean the FAA feels obliged to step in and clean up house for us, instead of letting us do it ourselves.



The USPA is not doing its due diligence in many areas... Such as TSO compliance. But that was not the point of my question. Exactly how is GM DZ somehow held to a higher standard considering the USPA has not inspected a single DZ and to the best of my knowledge *ever* pulled a GM DZ's 'certification'.

In fact Bill won the 'Safety Award' a few years ago... The exact same year that the FAA gave him a 660k fine for not doing the MX on his aircraft.

If Lodi paid the 500-1000 bucks to be a GM DZ, they would be listen - Simple as that.

The GM program is nothing more than an advertising program that MAKES jumpers become USPA members. It is a joke and should be gotten rid of because it serves no purpose for the members.

Ron: it's mostly self-enforcement. We have the BSRs, the SIM, instructor training programs, demonstration of skills-based ratings and licenses, recurrency requirements etc, etc. All in these add up to a pretty solid approach to minimizing the avoidable risks of a dangerous sport.

You may be right the USPA is not very hot on enforcement, but certainly they review complaints and occasionally suspend or ban USPA members. STAs (when they haven't been emasculated by the DZO) are the first line of defence - and mostly do a good job. So there is some level of national and local enforcement. But the point of self-regulation is to avoid heavy-handed policing and the excessive paperwork it entails. USPA graduates should know what's good and what isn't and behave accordingly, even when they're not being watched. Or are jumping at a non-USPA DZ.

It's really up to us, the members, to uphold the standards....

If people choose to operate outside the USPA, when things go wrong it will be much harder to defend themselves. If an unlicensed TI kills a tandem pair (just for example - I'm not saying this is the case here) I doubt any waiver will get their estate or the DZ off the hook. In my book, the DZ deserves all it gets in that situation: experienced skydivers are equipped to judge the quality of a DZ, tandem students are for the most part, not.

You may be glad to know (I'm not) but based on the editorial in the current (August 2016) Parachutist this is about to change. We'll see how shoddy DZs - and the sport in general - fare as enforcement gets hotter.

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Quote

While is has been 20-25 yrs ago, they did pull Ted Mayfield's 'certification.'



His, or his group membership?
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Quote

Ron: it's mostly self-enforcement. We have the BSRs, the SIM, instructor training programs, demonstration of skills-based ratings and licenses, recurrency requirements etc, etc. All in these add up to a pretty solid approach to minimizing the avoidable risks of a dangerous sport.



Again: How exactly is a group member DZ *held* to a higher standard?

Way too many people think the GM program is anything more than sending a check and signing some pledge. If Lodi sent in its check and sighed the pledge, they would be group members.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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PhreeZone

Please take the Group Member conversation to a different forum. I will be cleaning this thread out soon and all this conversation will be removed.



Thats a shame. Seems like its still part of the lodi incident convo.

-mick

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PhreeZone

Please take the Group Member conversation to a different forum. I will be cleaning this thread out soon and all this conversation will be removed.



You are of course in charge, but I think it is relative. Some people think a DZ not being a GM means they are dangerous - And it means nothing of the sort.

Honestly, the TI not being USPA means almost nothing as well. I have well over 1k Tandems, if I dropped my USPA membership, does that suddenly mean I would not be capable to do AFF or Tandems?

The question if the TI had never been through a training program. That would be a big deal. But since Lodi has two Examiners on staff, I'll bet that he just got his rating and the paperwork has not been sent in and received.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Ron

***Please take the Group Member conversation to a different forum. I will be cleaning this thread out soon and all this conversation will be removed.



You are of course in charge, but I think it is relative. Some people think a DZ not being a GM means they are dangerous - And it means nothing of the sort.

Honestly, the TI not being USPA means almost nothing as well. I have well over 1k Tandems, if I dropped my USPA membership, does that suddenly mean I would not be capable to do AFF or Tandems?

The question if the TI had never been through a training program. That would be a big deal. But since Lodi has two Examiners on staff, I'll bet that he just got his rating and the paperwork has not been sent in and received.

The BSRs and FARs are written in blood.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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