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skydived19006

Rich Winstock Swoop Incident Cover-Up

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So if the USPA publicly faulted him, it could be like throwing him, and possibly the DZ, under the bus.



The flip side of that coin, is that it could be construed that the USPA approves of such behavior.
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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diablopilot

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So if the USPA publicly faulted him, it could be like throwing him, and possibly the DZ, under the bus.



The flip side of that coin, is that it could be construed that the USPA approves of such behavior.



Obviously, they do! You don't get to be Chairman of Safety and Training by pissing off the President of USPA, you get there by being in the same camp. That hasn't changed, just a little inconvenient for a while.

It's about politics and money, not about members and safety.

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It's about politics and money, not about members and safety.



I'm calling "Foul" on this statement. If the members of the USPA, of which I am one of them feel so strongly about this incident/topic, call your regional director, attend a meeting. Raise some cane! If my numbers are half-way right, we're some 34K T/ 35K strong. If everyone is sooooo unhappy about this incident and hasn't made any phone calls, or attended a meeting, then stop the whining and crying. Christ sakes. We're the one who put the BOD where they are, they are elected officials, we are their constituents, they represent US. Ask them to do their jobs and we need to stop the complaining, and making rude remarks. C'mon, whuddya say?

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rwieder

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It's about politics and money, not about members and safety.



I'm calling "Foul" on this statement. If the members of the USPA, of which I am one of them feel so strongly about this incident/topic, call your regional director, attend a meeting. Raise some cane! If my numbers are half-way right, we're some 34K T/ 35K strong. If everyone is sooooo unhappy about this incident and hasn't made any phone calls, or attended a meeting, then stop the whining and crying. Christ sakes. We're the one who put the BOD where they are, they are elected officials, we are their constituents, they represent US. Ask them to do their jobs and we need to stop the complaining, and making rude remarks. C'mon, whuddya say?



The truth is there really aren't very many members who know about this or many other incidents, nor do they care. Look at the voting numbers for our BOD. It's pathetic. Most USPA members only pay their dues because they have to and they get a pretty good monthly publication out of the deal.

Take a poll around the drop zone. Unless the RD jumps there most folks won't even know who it is.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Take a poll around the drop zone. Unless the RD jumps there most folks won't even know who it is.



Hello Chuck: Thanks for the response, I assumed the very thing you brought up. If that's the case, why is everyone ready to lynch someone over the "Alledged" incident that took place involving Rich? I mean, if USPA members Really cared, why don't they get involved instead of coming to these forums whining like 2 year old girls? I don't get it. Shouldn't Parliamentary Procedure should be implemented instead of whining and crying in a sky dive forum, or am I full of it? Best: Richard

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Remster

We're talking about the BOD not wanting to throw their friend under the bus of civil lawsuits if they do any kind of action against him.



There might be some truth to this on the part of some BOD members.
In what was supposed to be a discussion of this accident at the BOD meeting, no details of the accident were given. -zip, nada.
The discussion was more about the missteps of the investigation.

I don't know anything more about this accident than I did last Thursday.

Near the end of June, I asked if the report that goes into Parachutist's Incident Reports was available.
I was told it was not. I asked again at the BOD meeting - still not available.

According to USPA web site about Accident Reports
Quote


Submit an Accident Report
Submissions are handled confidentially. According to USPA policy, all reports are studied, printed in Parachutist and then destroyed. USPA keeps only a brief synopsis on record, which doesn’t include the names of any individuals or the locations of the accidents.



According to S&TA Handbook page 7
Quote


Non-Fatal Incident Reports
6. USPA Headquarters may publish a brief
synopsis of the report in Parachutist,
excluding the date, specific location, and
names of anyone involved.



My guess is that the incident report in Parachutist relating to this accident will never be published.
Or if it is published, it'll be 2 years after the accident.

Now that is politics and that crap has to stop.

.
.
Make It Happen
Parachute History
DiveMaker

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rwieder

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Take a poll around the drop zone. Unless the RD jumps there most folks won't even know who it is.



Hello Chuck: Thanks for the response, I assumed the very thing you brought up. If that's the case, why is everyone ready to lynch someone over the "Alledged" incident that took place involving Rich? I mean, if USPA members Really cared, why don't they get involved instead of coming to these forums whining like 2 year old girls? I don't get it. Shouldn't Parliamentary Procedure should be implemented instead of whining and crying in a sky dive forum, or am I full of it? Best: Richard



Because the "everyone" you are referring to are actually just a handful of very vocal people, not the bulk of the membership. I assure you, 90% of USPA members don't know who Rich Winstock is, what occurred on his drop zone, or what USPA did or didn't do about it. Most members don't have a clue about things that happen in the sport unless it happens in their area, they see it on national television or social media - like the 2-Cessna mid air and the sweet 16 clueless chick - or read it in Parachutist. Hell, most members don't even read Parachutist beyond a cursory glance at the photos or to look for their name in the licenses and ratings section.

dz.com contributors are far more engaged than the average USPA member and generally much more aware of sport and industry happenings, and I'm not so sure I would classify their comments as whining. Yes there are a lot verbal punches thrown in here, but a lot of that comes from passionate people who truly care and want HQ to care as much as they do. Some also want USPA to play sky cop, but that's not going to happen.

If these passionate people want change at HQ, their best strategy is to get the members within their spheres of influence to vote during the BOD elections, and vote in a way that will create change. They should run for the board or find others who will with a platform of getting the old mold out and seating new directors with new ways of doing things (or in some cases, doing things the way the by-laws dictate).

These folks might do well to create a multi-region coalition of candidates who run on a collective platform of changing the status quo at the head shed. Such a coalition might also be successful in seating new blood in National Director positions since an effort like that would include convincing members across a broad geographic area to vote for a select few candidates.

I'm not kicking USPA leadership here - just suggesting some options for those who do. I've been around a long time and I can say for sure that the vast majority of the folks I've known at HQ have been great people who bust their asses trying to do a good job. Yes, there have been some major league blunders over the years, but I don't know of any large organization that hasn't had its share of those.

And let's face it, everything's easy for the folks who don't have to execute the plan.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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topdocker



It's about politics and money, not about members and safety.

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I would liken it to friends protecting a friend. Not all that different from a Union protecting its bad apples. Not saying that Rich is a bad apple, but he did a really bad thing considering his position.

What's at issue is what the USPA BOD is doing about this incident.
"Mediocre people don't like high achievers, and high achievers don't like mediocre people." - SIX TIME National Champion coach Nick Saban

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rwieder

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It's about politics and money, not about members and safety.



I'm calling "Foul" on this statement. If the members of the USPA, of which I am one of them feel so strongly about this incident/topic, call your regional director, attend a meeting. Raise some cane! If my numbers are half-way right, we're some 34K T/ 35K strong. If everyone is sooooo unhappy about this incident and hasn't made any phone calls, or attended a meeting, then stop the whining and crying. Christ sakes. We're the one who put the BOD where they are, they are elected officials, we are their constituents, they represent US. Ask them to do their jobs and we need to stop the complaining, and making rude remarks. C'mon, whuddya say?



You are free to call it whatever you want, that doesn't change my opinion.

I have called/emailed my RD about this. He and I talk often as I am one of his S&TA's. You assumed that this was the only avenue I am taking, I assure you that is false.

I served on the BOD, several of them have contacted me regarding this incident. Some are not happy with the criticism about this incident, others welcome it.

If someone at the DZ I am the S&TA did this, they would be out, as they are too dangerous to be around me, the students, the public, and my friends. I would then refer the action to my RD for further review. And I would expect some action to occur! Especially if it was an instructor.

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jimjumper

I posted this in the Incidents section back on April 5th and I haven't seen or heard anything that would indicate anything has changed.

"For those that have been calling for various punitive measures, I think that in the end very little is going to happen. With the number of DZO’s on the Board it is unlikely that they will do anything to one of their own. As a DZO he also could just drop his DZ Group Membership and then all the rules about USPA ratings and appointments are moot and it’s back to business as usual. I suppose USPA might need to appoint a new S&TA for the DZ but those are easy to replace. As an elected Director he was voted in by the membership and even if he doesn’t follow the rules at his own DZ his elected job is to represent those that voted for him so I doubt that there will be serious repercussions from that area either. I expect that he will offer an apology either to the USPA Board or via “Parachutist” and that will be the official end of it. This may sound cynical but I think ultimately any effort towards contrition will be of his own volition in an attempt to repair his reputation and not from any official concern by USPA."

USPA is going to handle this event in the same way it's historically done. [:/]



Yep. Like I already posted, it's now back to business as usual. I do believe however, that the Safety and Training Committee and the dropzone Safety and Training Advisors have lost a lot of their credibility with the general membership.

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If someone at the DZ I am the S&TA did this, they would be out, as they are too dangerous to be around me, the students, the public, and my friends. I would then refer the action to my RD for further review. And I would expect some action to occur! Especially if it was an instructor.



Did WHAT Top? ;)

If even Jan can't get the 'official' version then what are we talking about here?

There seem at this point to be so many versions of what took place, how can we tell where the bubblegum stops & the chickenshit begins?

I don't 'know' what happened only what I've been told & different people tell it differently...as is the case for most of us - you included...right? :)

Hard to make a valid judgement call relying on 'facts' not in evidence.

Honestly I'm starting to think what Jan said above makes pretty good sense ~ at this point the WAY whatever happened was handled, may in fact be a bigger issue & one of greater concern.

In reality THAT has broader reaching implications as it possibly figures into ANY incident involving anyone.

At this point in time - there are really only two things that can confidently be considered factual...

-Something happened that shouldn't have.

-It was handled by the office, in a manner unlike any other we know of.

Probably nothing 'we' can do about the first ~ Probably something that we can do about the 2nd.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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stayhigh

If someone else besides BOD member did this, they would've got their rating taken away.

AFF I/E, Tandem I/E??? Get the fuck out of here.



I don't think so. What Rich did had nothing to do with his ratings. The only time I've known of someone getting a rating stripped is when they do something egregious while exercising the rating that was pulled, or when they do something that gets them kicked out of USPA, which in turn invalidates all their USPA ratings.

Rich is far from the first person to take someone out swooping. There have been dozens of incidents like this one over the years, even on demos.

I'm not taking up for Rich here, but if rating holders got their ratings pulled every time they did something stupid, we wouldn't have many rating holders.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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...if rating holders got their ratings pulled every time they did something stupid, we wouldn't have many rating holders.



OTOH ~ if they DID - the ones left wouldn't be certifiably stupid ones! :ph34r:




Sorry...you put it out there Chuck, I kinda had to grab it. ;)










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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The Chairman of the USPA Safety and Training Committee and local Safety and Training Advisor landed his parachute in such a way that he broke his own leg and in an unknown way caused an injury to a spectator that was serious enough to cause her hospitalization. You can argue all day about exigent circumstances and previous injuries and all the rest of the nonsense but the broken leg and the spectator injury are a fact. Until someone can give a reasonable explanation as to why he is not responsible for the Incident, I don't believe that he should be passing judgement on fellow jumpers incidents, voting on matters involving the safety regulations binding on all of the members of the USPA, or as an S&TA, supervising and advising Instructors teaching students and novices. Even if the Incident is being handled in this way to prevent legal liability on the part of USPA, his USPA duties should be temporarily suspended without prejudice pending resolution of all the legal issues. In light of the actions of the USPA, the original title of this thread is certainly correct and in general conversation and posting about this Incident I think coverup is the appropriate description.

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airtwardo

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...if rating holders got their ratings pulled every time they did something stupid, we wouldn't have many rating holders.



OTOH ~ if they DID - the ones left wouldn't be certifiably stupid ones! :ph34r:




Sorry...you put it out there Chuck, I kinda had to grab it. ;)



True dat, Twardo!
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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jimjumper

The Chairman of the USPA Safety and Training Committee and local Safety and Training Advisor landed his parachute in such a way that he broke his own leg and in an unknown way caused an injury to a spectator that was serious enough to cause her hospitalization. You can argue all day about exigent circumstances and previous injuries and all the rest of the nonsense but the broken leg and the spectator injury are a fact. Until someone can give a reasonable explanation as to why he is not responsible for the Incident, I don't believe that he should be passing judgement on fellow jumpers incidents, voting on matters involving the safety regulations binding on all of the members of the USPA, or as an S&TA, supervising and advising Instructors teaching students and novices. Even if the Incident is being handled in this way to prevent legal liability on the part of USPA, his USPA duties should be temporarily suspended without prejudice pending resolution of all the legal issues. In light of the actions of the USPA, the original title of this thread is certainly correct and in general conversation and posting about this Incident I think coverup is the appropriate description.



I don't know what the facts are no one here knows. ok
So what you are saying if a student on a tandem gets injured/and or the TI the TI should have his ratings pulled! And yes it is the same thing.

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jimjumper

The Chairman of the USPA Safety and Training Committee and local Safety and Training Advisor landed his parachute in such a way that he broke his own leg and in an unknown way caused an injury to a spectator that was serious enough to cause her hospitalization. You can argue all day about exigent circumstances and previous injuries and all the rest of the nonsense but the broken leg and the spectator injury are a fact. Until someone can give a reasonable explanation as to why he is not responsible for the Incident, I don't believe that he should be passing judgement on fellow jumpers incidents, voting on matters involving the safety regulations binding on all of the members of the USPA, or as an S&TA, supervising and advising Instructors teaching students and novices. Even if the Incident is being handled in this way to prevent legal liability on the part of USPA, his USPA duties should be temporarily suspended without prejudice pending resolution of all the legal issues. In light of the actions of the USPA, the original title of this thread is certainly correct and in general conversation and posting about this Incident I think coverup is the appropriate description.



I think Rich's position at HQ and the future of his instructional ratings are distinctly separate issues in this case. I understand the argument of some folks that believe Rich should be removed from his leadership position after actions that were in direct conflict with his official role, and I think there's some validity there. But as for pulling his ratings, I don't think his actions were any more egregious than many other f-ups of rating holders before him who did not have their ratings pulled.

For me personally, I would need to see unacceptable behavior while exercising the privileges of a rating before they would be on the line. After all, Rich's actions may have been downright stupid but they weren't malicious.

One thing is for sure. This thing certainly has been a catalyst for some spirited debate.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Atleast take the E out of I/E.

Examiner should lead with example.

Awesome. some examiner crashes into some random spectator using his own parachute, and still can evaluate other AFFI and TI? He should evaluate his own action.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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I agree with your position on his individual ratings. He was not exercising his individual instructional ratings in this incident. But, he was by example demonstrating what should have been the safety practices expected of a S&T committee member and an active S&TA. In that light I find it difficult see a "lead by example" mentality on the part of the Safety and Training Committee and by extension the Executive Committee. If USPA wants to foster an atmosphere of safety it has to start at the top and do what's right by it's members and not hide behind procedural camouflage.

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accumack

***The Chairman of the USPA Safety and Training Committee and local Safety and Training Advisor landed his parachute in such a way that he broke his own leg and in an unknown way caused an injury to a spectator that was serious enough to cause her hospitalization. You can argue all day about exigent circumstances and previous injuries and all the rest of the nonsense but the broken leg and the spectator injury are a fact. Until someone can give a reasonable explanation as to why he is not responsible for the Incident, I don't believe that he should be passing judgement on fellow jumpers incidents, voting on matters involving the safety regulations binding on all of the members of the USPA, or as an S&TA, supervising and advising Instructors teaching students and novices. Even if the Incident is being handled in this way to prevent legal liability on the part of USPA, his USPA duties should be temporarily suspended without prejudice pending resolution of all the legal issues. In light of the actions of the USPA, the original title of this thread is certainly correct and in general conversation and posting about this Incident I think coverup is the appropriate description.



I don't know what the facts are no one here knows. ok
So what you are saying if a student on a tandem gets injured/and or the TI the TI should have his ratings pulled! And yes it is the same thing.

depends if the TI was using best or accepted industry practices. If he was, and the student was injured, that's one thing. But if he was coming into the landing downwind, or hits an object he shouldn't have been anywhere near, and that is what injures the student, then yes, he should (and some have, at least) had his rating pulled...
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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