0
64rky

I am moving to the UK, need some advice

Recommended Posts

Quote

The BPA rule applies only to people just taking up the sport ie you can't be older than 55 when you start your FJC.



Classic BPA. Epitomises everything I have been saying.

Lets disqualify a whole demographic, "in case something might happen".

The group of 20, who were all over 70 when I trained them (without doctors certificates btw) were no more dangerous than any other group I trained over the years.

The BPA haven't evolved from the days of students jumping round parachutes.

A perfect example of the negative approach the BPA takes. Charged with promoting skydiving, they find ways to stop people doing so.

You also have to get a doctors certificate if you are over 40 and want to start jumping. That rule was abolished in NZ back in the late 70s, with no adverse effects.

People are adults, who can make responsible decisions about themselves.

BPA, a nanny organisation treating people like children, because they are unwilling to allow people to take personal responsibility for themselves, and lacking the personnel with the balls to take responsibility for others.

Any other country have these rules?
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gowlerk

It does seem BPA is disliked by British jumpers. Except for you, and you are a senior bureaucrat within BPA, no one seems to be defending the organization here



I am fine with it.

I have no commercial interest, I hold no instructor ratings, I coach for free, I no longer even compete. I'm a fun jumper.

The BPA has its problems. The USPA has its problems. Every sporting organisation I've ever been a part of has had its problems. The BPA is no better or worse than the rest of them, and I have seen many.

I am Australian, but love jumping in the UK. Despite the fact that British skydivers (here and expat) do love to moan :P
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rifleman

The BPA rule applies only to people just taking up the sport ie you can't be older than 55 when you start your FJC.




Really? That is messed up. No wonder no one is speaking up to defend the organization. And no wonder so many jumpers go elsewhere. Brexit indeed!
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

A perfect example of the negative approach the BPA takes. Charged with promoting skydiving, they find ways to stop people doing so.




My understanding is that BPA is charged with regulating skydiving, not promoting it. The government there has giving the organization the power to require all jumping to be done under their rules.

That is the key difference that has allowed it to become a hidebound bureaucracy. In Canada and the US, you don't need to be under the USPA or CSPA to operate a DZ. You can run a pirate DZ legally. That keeps them from becoming heavy handed like BPA.

If USPA rules had the force of law, they would become just as bad over time.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought that I could quote one or two posts in this thread to register disbelief or amazement at the rules and common practices in the UK.

But incredulity seemed to grow with each and every post.

1. FAA commercial retirement age 65.
2. John Glen was 77 when he flew as payload specialist on STS-95 aboard the space shuttle Discovery.
3. I personally trained a first time jumper who was 74 and a current pilot. He did fine.
4. Why would any prospective student want to make a first jump in the UK when it seems as if they are just cash cows to be milked of every pound.

I could go on but it seems as if the BPA knows everything already. I can see why Brexit was inevitable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is from their website and explains the source of their powers. It seems that over regulation of skydiving in Britain long predates BPA.




Quote

BPA controls all aspects of skydiving on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Prior to 1984, parachuting from an aircraft in flight was prohibited in the United Kingdom (other than in an emergency) and could be conducted only under the terms of exemptions from the Air Navigation Order. With the Air Navigation (Second Amendment) Order 1983, effective from 31 January 1984, parachuting became a permitted activity, subject to the grant by the CAA of a written permission, and in accordance with appropriate conditions specified in such CAA permission documents.


Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I googled the London marathon race results and the top 24 finishers male age 55-64 were all sub 3 hours finishers. If you don't know anything about running in marathons a sub3 is considered like the 'mecca' finish time for marathon runners. It is extremely difficult and is pretty much a Boston qualifier if done in any age group.

By BPA logic nobody should be allowed to skydive unless they run a 2hour 50min marathon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have jumped probably a couple of hundred times in the UK. One of the issues I have seen at a few DZs is the military influence of the owners / staff. The can result in the mentality somewhat similar to treating customers as new recruits to the army ... so I have had a few bollockings for not complying with rules specific to a DZ that no one has ever mentioned to me. An example.. when I crossed the runway - which was clear - on foot but without waiting for everyone else in the load... because no one had told me that was the rule. This led to one of the owners of the DZ screaming at me until he was red in the face. Not really pleasant Another... because I plugged my mobile phone into a socket to recharge in the packing area as I did not know that customers had to use another area etc. A third ..although not directed at me... was the bollocking some of the newer jumpers got on a very windy day when they were helping to catch tandems and did not manage to be exactly in the right spot when the tandems landed.

Generally I think that some of the DZs in the UK don't really understand that they may have jumpers who expect to be treated as the paying customers that they are. I do wonder whether this "military shouty.... follow my rules or else "attitude is prevalent within some of those in the BPA. Some of the DZs I have jumped at across the world seem to do a pretty good job of treating customers with respect and at the same time making sure the rules are followed. I think a few of the UK DZs could learn from this.

***********************************************
I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gowlerk


This is from their website and explains the source of their powers. It seems that over regulation of skydiving in Britain long predates BPA.




Quote

BPA controls all aspects of skydiving on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Prior to 1984, parachuting from an aircraft in flight was prohibited in the United Kingdom (other than in an emergency) and could be conducted only under the terms of exemptions from the Air Navigation Order. With the Air Navigation (Second Amendment) Order 1983, effective from 31 January 1984, parachuting became a permitted activity, subject to the grant by the CAA of a written permission, and in accordance with appropriate conditions specified in such CAA permission documents.



The thing is, they have never been challenged. All it needs is an alternative organisation to apply for permission to conduct parachute jumps, and CAA would be obliged to comply.

There is no legal reason why that could not happen, things are as they are simply because that's the way it has always been.

It needs to happen, and the dead wood needs to be cleared away, for the benefit of everyone who wants to enjoy skydiving in the UK.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chemist

I googled the London marathon race results and the top 24 finishers male age 55-64 were all sub 3 hours finishers. If you don't know anything about running in marathons a sub3 is considered like the 'mecca' finish time for marathon runners. It is extremely difficult and is pretty much a Boston qualifier if done in any age group.

By BPA logic nobody should be allowed to skydive unless they run a 2hour 50min marathon



To be fair, there is an exemption for anyone who has either prior experience or is in good physical condition. So all those marathon runners would have been fine. So would the ex-squaddie who did a couple of rounds 35 years ago. The BPA have also just relaxed the rules to drop the need for medical signoff for tandems over 40 years old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The BPA have also just relaxed the rules to drop the need for medical signoff for tandems over 40 years old.




Of course they have. No doubt DZOs demanded it.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The thing is, they have never been challenged. All it needs is an alternative organisation to apply for permission to conduct parachute jumps, and CAA would be obliged to comply.



It would not be quite that easy. CAA may comply, but the Royal Areo Club probably would not admit the new organization as a member. This matters because it is through the Aero Club that BPA gets FAI privileges. This means that any licenses issues by the new organization would not be internationally recognized FAI documents. Although other countries could choose to honour them anyway.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mik

I do wonder whether this "military shouty.... follow my rules or else "attitude is prevalent



It's definitely a thing. The military is a prevalant force in a few countries' skydiving scenes, and it definitely has an effect on customer relations there (the UK is definitely included).

It's funny watching retired-officer DZOs barking at random civilian sport jumpers to do something and being told, "actually, I'm going to go over here and eat this sandwich."

(Not all DZOs here are ex-military, and of course not all ex-military DZOs are dicks about it. I have a list :P)
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, I forgot.

Before you come, join the London Skydivers group on Facebook. We get between 10 and 60 people to the monthly pub night, and it's a good source of lifts, reserve repacks, gear, advice (good and bad), occasional debauchery and general bullshit.
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mr2mk1g

I think the problem is in what market forces has led FS1 to become in practice. It's been thoroughly monetised.

There's a cottage industry of FS instructors who, by accident or design, end up wringing every penny out of newbies for training.



At the risk of promoting Peterlee DZ here in the NE of England... it's a small club DZ *but* the DZO has a free coached slot on each load. Some of the FS coaches also don't charge so basically you get a coached jump for just the cost of your own jump ticket... which is the way it should be done B|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gowlerk

Quote

The thing is, they have never been challenged. All it needs is an alternative organisation to apply for permission to conduct parachute jumps, and CAA would be obliged to comply.



It would not be quite that easy. CAA may comply, but the Royal Areo Club probably would not admit the new organization as a member. This matters because it is through the Aero Club that BPA gets FAI privileges. This means that any licenses issues by the new organization would not be internationally recognized FAI documents. Although other countries could choose to honour them anyway.



That is why BPA is so smug.

They think they are untouchable. That attitude can, and should be challenged.

I don't see why the RAC could deny a new organisation if they comply with all the CAA requirements. They could also affiliate themselves with an offshore organisation like USPA.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

They could also affiliate themselves with an offshore organisation like USPA.




That is what Canadian DZs who for whatever reason can't or won't affiliate with CSPA do. There are a few of them and USPA will not only provide them with credentials, they will issue FAI credentials to Canadians.

As a CSPA supporter it kind of pisses me off that USPA would do this. But on the other hand, it does provide a kind of a safety relief valve for the discontented.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To get back to the point of the post...

I live in South East London and find that I jump mainly at Sibson or Langar. Come to the London Skydivers Drinks (as Joellercoaster said: join the Facebook group) and you'll find a great crowd. We all jump at many different drop zones so you can grab a lift with someone and check some of them out for yourself.

Everyone has a personal preference for what they're looking for in a DZ. I know some lovely Headcorn jumpers, the dz has great facilities but I've never had the chance to jump there despite it being the closest to me.

For FS1 coaching, why not check out Chatteris? They have a great dz, have discounted tickets for FS1 coach jumps and have just bought a balloon!!!! They have some brilliant coaches (Mr Poxon on this thread is one) and their clubhouse is AMAZING!

Believe it or not, you can actually avoid all the politics and have fun but there are a hardy few wherever you go that likes to have a moan. :)

Hope to see you at the London skydiver drinks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
adamUK


At the risk of promoting Peterlee DZ here in the NE of England... it's a small club DZ *but* the DZO has a free coached slot on each load. Some of the FS coaches also don't charge so basically you get a coached jump for just the cost of your own jump ticket... which is the way it should be done B|



Another vote here for Peterlee, although I only jumped there once and it was a long time ago. We turned up as visitors on a bad weather day, hung around for a while and chatted to the very friendly and informal staff before giving up and going back to the place where we were staying. A few hours later they phoned us to say that if we fancied coming back, the wind was dropping and they were planning to put a load up. I can't imagine many DZs doing that.

I've jumped at many UK DZs, and the best ones are a lot more progressive than the badmouthing here would suggest but it's certainly a mixed bag. Of course the weather is always a factor in this country, but if you go to the right dropzone and they can put you up, then they will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joellercoaster

***I do wonder whether this "military shouty.... follow my rules or else "attitude is prevalent



It's definitely a thing. The military is a prevalant force in a few countries' skydiving scenes, and it definitely has an effect on customer relations there (the UK is definitely included).

It's funny watching retired-officer DZOs barking at random civilian sport jumpers to do something and being told, "actually, I'm going to go over here and eat this sandwich."

(Not all DZOs here are ex-military, and of course not all ex-military DZOs are dicks about it. I have a list :P)


I'd better not be on that list.
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gowlerk

Quote

The BPA have also just relaxed the rules to drop the need for medical signoff for tandems over 40 years old.



Of course they have. No doubt DZOs demanded it.



Actually, although I am now a DZO, I was only a Chief Instructor (CI) when I proposed to Safety & Training Committee (STC) that, in light of the result of the arbitration regarding pilot age limits, we should look at all age limits to determine which were arbitrary and which were not.

The working group subsequently recommended that there no longer needed to be a medical for anyone over 40 and that all tandem students could sign a self declaration and only if they have underlying conditions, do they need to get it signed by a GP.

The working group found that there was sufficient empirical evidence to prove that Ab Initio solo students were at more risk, and the maximum age for training was kept at 55.

They are looking at the issue of medicals for experienced jumpers of 40, and I believe that we will fairly soon bring in a similar self declaration for that demographic.

"The BPA" as it is spoken about here, seems to indicate the rule making arm of the Association, that is STC, which is made up of all 29 CI's, who meet every 2 months to discus safety matters. It is us, who run DZ's week in week out, and see the shit jumpers try to pull off, that propose the rules and changes to the ops manual and not some faceless blazer.

Yes there are things that are less than perfect about skydiving in the UK, we don't have carte blanche to jump out of planes whenever or where ever we want, the CAA don't like that, so we have to be fairly heavily regulated. We don't all have fast turbine aircraft, we have pretty strict rule around aircraft maintenance, and AVGAS is fecking expensive.

However, I have never been to a UK DZ and had to sign a waiver on camera to indemnify the DZO. I have never seen an "experienced jumper" on the flightline try and put their rig on upside down because they didn't know how it fitted. I've not hear jumpers refuse to jump at a DZ because they are known to skip maintenance on their aircraft.

It's true that some DZ's have shocking customer service, but if people don't vote with their feet nothing will change. It is also true that there are DZ's in the UK that are incredibly welcoming and progressive, some real gems that people miss out on, because they don't have fast turbine aircraft and you can't do a gazillion jumps in a day. Yes my DZ is one of those friendly progressive DZ's :-)

There are a few people on here who are incredibly negative about skydiving in the UK, and are anti BPA, but trust me the majority of jumpers in the UK don't give a toss, they just want to skydive and are happy that it doesn't cost them a fortune, and are pretty ambivalent to it.
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0