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skydived19006

Rich Winstock Swoop Incident Cover-Up

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Hi Jan,

Quote

'all this discussion is confidential.'



Disclaimer: In 1965 I hit a spectator on a demo jump that I should never have been on. I got sued. Eventually, the PCA ( now USPA ) insurance covered me and settled with the plaintiff.

This month marks my 50th continuous year of PCA/USPA membership.

This 'all this discussion is confidential.' has been going on since I first joined. And for one, I am damn sick & tired of it. If any member is hauled before the USPA 'courts' then let's make it public.

I don't like this secret handshake crap; those days need to be gone forever.

JerryBaumchen
USPA #357

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First:

Quote

Besides - as I said in the thread earlier, why would someone take MY 'shared' account as factual?

I sure didn't just blindly believe what was in the unsolicited email I received, as was also received by the OP of this thread...or take as solid fact what some posters here have quoted as truth - only to find out THEY were just repeating 'reliable source' rumor - that wasn't....2nd & 3rd person accounts are next to worthless, each tier injects their own opinion consciously or not.



Then:

Quote

What I find most troubling about the whole thing is the mass of inflammatory emails 'someone' felt necessary to send...and that allegedly private correspondence was made public - if that's true ~~



So in one case you don't want to repeat 2nd or 3rd party accounts. But, in the other case you have o problem doing so, and calling it the issue you find most troubling.

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SkyDekker

First:

Quote

Besides - as I said in the thread earlier, why would someone take MY 'shared' account as factual?

I sure didn't just blindly believe what was in the unsolicited email I received, as was also received by the OP of this thread...or take as solid fact what some posters here have quoted as truth - only to find out THEY were just repeating 'reliable source' rumor - that wasn't....2nd & 3rd person accounts are next to worthless, each tier injects their own opinion consciously or not.



Then:

***What I find most troubling about the whole thing is the mass of inflammatory emails 'someone' felt necessary to send...and that allegedly private correspondence was made public - if that's true ~~



So in one case you don't want to repeat 2nd or 3rd party accounts. But, in the other case you have o problem doing so, and calling it the issue you find most troubling.


Just a complicated guy I guess huh?

This and Jan's post with the sarcastic comment regarding knowledge of other private medical concerns - is precisely why I was rather hoping to have people find out what happened from the actual people involved.

You guys smell blood in the water and go after anything moving!

Like I said I was curious so I asked people that know.

I'm entitled to my opinion and will hold it no matter how much sarcastic bullshit gets thrown my way.

It's ok to have an opinion different than mine without trying to discredit me

I'm sorry if differing opinions were had because different 'facts' are being circulated- not my problem.

I just really would hate to be facing a jury with some of you on it - but ok I get it! You're right no matter what the facts are & and anyone that disagrees is an asshole.

Perfect!










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

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airtwardo


I just really would hate to be facing a jury with some of you on it - but ok I get it! You're right no matter what the facts are & and anyone that disagrees is an asshole.

Perfect!



Jim,

You said...
airtwardo


The derogatory nature of pointing fingers and calling names to include the 'cover up' label seems unfair & premature.



Given what Jan, a BOD member, has publicly stated:
MakeItHappen


After an improper investigation by the President, that was objected to by numerous BOD members after the President informed us about what she did, a formal 1-6 aka DG investigation was done.


And...
MakeItHappen


Then there was an OMG missive from the Prez that said - 'all this discussion is confidential.' - even though the original missive really came across as the 'answer' to give to members about the incident.



Is that not a fair assessment? That someone attempted to sweep the issue under the rug? If the regular investigation and disciplinary measures werent followed?

In fact would it not be fair to suggest this this entire "scandal" is the fault of the executive staff and executive committee of the USPA? Had they rather had a non-biased (someone not connected with the board or a friend of Rich's) senior S&TA conduct the investigation, followed their normal rules and then publicly published the incident report, just like they would do for anyone else, then this never would have inflamed to the level it is now.

And yes I understand that this has happened in the past according to allegations, that other members based on seniority or popularity had issues dismissed, but that doesnt excuse this nor make it any less stupid.

People smell "blood in the water", as you put it, because the public perception is that things were handled differently because of his board status. When they should have done things by the book, to show everyone the process is above board and works. And since it wasnt people are naturally curious and assume the worst.

Perception is reality~ Lee Atwater

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You know watching this thread as both a USPA and APF member, I am extremely thankful for the well laid out and transparent incident reporting system we have in place in Australia.

You will notice that there is almost never any drama associated with Australian incidents, speculation and heresay are kept to an absolute minimum. Even in serious (fatal) incidents where people have screwed up there is not the same blood lust and the disciplinary process runs its course outside of the public eye.

Contrast that with the mess, speculation and lack of clarity on virtually all USPA incidents. There are threads in incidents that years later people are still looking for closure on.

As far as this specific incident goes, as members of the USPA if it really is important to people I suggest that the route Airtwardo has taken of contacting people is appropriate and so would writing letters to the parachutist mag/USPA.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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airtwardo

***No fault in Rich's action....

that's awesome, however that same person(Rich Winstock) will take away someone else's rating for doing same thing.

;);););)



Has that happened?

I know for a fact yes- he has been instrumental in the removal of ratings and membership for lesser injuries.

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Jump more, post less!

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Doug_Davis

***
I just really would hate to be facing a jury with some of you on it - but ok I get it! You're right no matter what the facts are & and anyone that disagrees is an asshole.

Perfect!



Jim,

You said...
airtwardo


The derogatory nature of pointing fingers and calling names to include the 'cover up' label seems unfair & premature.



Given what Jan, a BOD member, has publicly stated:
MakeItHappen


After an improper investigation by the President, that was objected to by numerous BOD members after the President informed us about what she did, a formal 1-6 aka DG investigation was done.


And...
MakeItHappen


Then there was an OMG missive from the Prez that said - 'all this discussion is confidential.' - even though the original missive really came across as the 'answer' to give to members about the incident.



Is that not a fair assessment? That someone attempted to sweep the issue under the rug? If the regular investigation and disciplinary measures werent followed?

In fact would it not be fair to suggest this this entire "scandal" is the fault of the executive staff and executive committee of the USPA? Had they rather had a non-biased (someone not connected with the board or a friend of Rich's) senior S&TA conduct the investigation, followed their normal rules and then publicly published the incident report, just like they would do for anyone else, then this never would have inflamed to the level it is now.

And yes I understand that this has happened in the past according to allegations, that other members based on seniority or popularity had issues dismissed, but that doesnt excuse this nor make it any less stupid.

People smell "blood in the water", as you put it, because the public perception is that things were handled differently because of his board status. When they should have done things by the book, to show everyone the process is above board and works. And since it wasnt people are naturally curious and assume the worst.

Perception is reality~ Lee Atwater


I don't really know if it's a fair summary...on it's face I wouldn't have jump straight to the swept under the rug cover up theory.

And knowing what I now do it's quite within the realm of possibility that an inquire was conducted. - a finding of no discipline necessary was properly reached and it was suggested the matter be put to bed.

The thing is...you don't know either - unless I somehow missed the sign up list memo for reviving correspondence between the BOD...this is a first. IS it just me or do you in fact receive copies of emails addressed to the board?

If in fact this is an anomaly & something not generally considered SOP within the organization ... Why this time? And by whom?

Whoever it was on the BOD that made this communication public obviously did so because THEIR impression was one of some devious cover up - that's sure how MY copy came - basically saying to the effect look at the horrible cover .. It's a cover up In case you don't understand - see what Sherry said! That's a cover up.

Bullshit! That's one persons take who manipulated a freaking riot based on nothing other the their flawed perception and colorful innuendo.

That's not how it's supposed to work.

Further more - enough bitching was generated that they held a second investigation... Guess what - SAME FINDINGS!


So NOW- let's all just take it as a givin the the whole board is corrupt because 'someone' got the impression from an email that some earth shattering incedent is being swept under some imaginary rug.

I'm not that niave -

In very simplistic Polish public school product language - what I see is, someone for whatever personal reasons or motivation went against what's generally accepted as proper protocol / rules governing BODs at any corporation I've ever worked at or heard of...releasing information probably not meant for review by the general membership if for nothing ElSE than the loosely worded structure.

Whether for reasons of malice against another bod member or some kind of personal gain is the real question.

Who wins out of any of this? Not Rich. Not the membership. Not the majority of the bod...


Tell ya what ~ if this was MY rowboat. I'd be holding a formal disciplinary investigation focused on whoever it was on the board that blew this thing so far out of shape it's embarrassing.

That's not how real professional executives conduct business - period

Wouldn't be any slap on the wrist either, I'd give em two hours naked in the hot tub with an angry Ferrit!










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

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Quote

In fact would it not be fair to suggest this this entire "scandal" is the fault of the executive staff and executive committee of the USPA? Had they rather had a non-biased (someone not connected with the board or a friend of Rich's) senior S&TA conduct the investigation, followed their normal rules and then publicly published the incident report, just like they would do for anyone else, then this never would have inflamed to the level it is now.



It's not a "someone" that investigates.
It's a team known as a Disciplinary Group (DG).
(1-6.5 PROCEDURES
The procedures contained in this section will apply to all
USPA regular members.
A. A Disciplinary Group will be formed of: the Safety &
Training Committee Chairman, the Group Member
Committee Chairman, a National Director (not a
member of the Executive Committee) appointed by
the President, the relevant Regional Director, and the
Director of Safety & Training)


Incident reports aren't published (unless you're referring to the generic no-name reports Jim Crouch publishes in Parachutist).
The meetings where 1-6's are discussed are also not open to the public.

G. Presumption
1. Any member against whom a disciplinary action
has been instituted is presumed to be innocent
of the charge. This presumption remains until
the member is found, in accordance with the
procedures outlined herein, to have committed
an offense specified in Section 1-6.4.B.
2. To protect a member who is wrongly accused
and to protect the rights of all persons affected,
the regional director will refrain from discussing
any matter relating to the alleged offense with
any person not a party to the action and shall
express no opinion nor make any statement
concerning the facts brought to his attention
except as specifically provided in Governance
Manual Section 1-6.


In other words, this incident is being managed no different than when you've injured an infant on a demo or when you've damaged someone's airplane because you were stoned during a skydive.
This is being managed status quo. If you want the publicity status to change, then appeal to your RD to introduce a change in the governance of USPA. Historically these proceedings are kept private. What is the specific social value of information vs how deeply the revelations intrude upon the person’s private activity and its relevance to the community? Just because "you want to know" isn't a viable answer.
Since you were NYPD, I'd like to know why you were dismissed for maybe getting a blowjob from a teenager in the back of your squad car, because other guys were doing exactly the same thing. Truth is, it's none of my business because it doesn't affect my daily life nor my decision-making processes.

Instead, perhaps ask yourself "why is this incident being managed quite differently than any other incident in the past, particularly by a couple BOD members vs other actions they've been involved with in the past?"
At least here I've given you the courtesy of a copy/paste from the USPA Governance Manual. Maybe that'll help you understand the process better.

Who wins if Winstock is publicly castrated?
Who stands to gain if Winstock is destroyed in the sport?
If you're reasonable and intelligent, ask yourself those questions. Specifically, why is this incident being managed differently than any previous incident in USPA history? It's far from the most heinous accusation and as far as I know, the only one that has had multiple separate investigations.

In this same vein, why are USPA BOD members posting about it on Dropzone.com and other social media?
Seems to me that's where things went off the rails.

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airtwardo


Wouldn't be any slap on the wrist either, I'd give em two hours naked in the hot tub with an angry Ferrit!



This is why I like you so much. :D

As for everything else you said, I cant find much to argue with other than to point out:
Quote

it's quite within the realm of possibility that an inquire was conducted. - a finding of no discipline necessary was properly reached and it was suggested the matter be put to bed.



Again it comes down to perception. Your perception is an inquiry was done not once but twice.
It appears there are at least a minimum of two board members whose perception it is, that the first one, which was not done in accordance with the published rules or guidelines, was improper.

Again it all comes down to perception. Which is why in an investigation, particularly one involving a board member who is ALSO a DZO (so this could affect his income) you do stuff by the book and do it above board.

Didnt they hire some board member's girlfriend or sister or something as PR or communications director? She should have known this shit, its called Crisis Communications. There are whole PR firms dedicated to it.

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DSE


Since you were NYPD, I'd like to know why you were dismissed for maybe getting a blowjob from a teenager in the back of your squad car,



Can some Mod please ban this guy? Enough with the lies, personal attacks, and just plain weird PM's.
Its getting stalkerish.

I wasnt dismissed or fired from the NYPD.

You have issues dude. And should probably seek professional help. Which is probably why you try to pass yourself off as a Native American. :S


PS- Thanks for nitpicking my post and correcting my use of "someone" with "DG", because you know that made such a huge difference. :S

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For me, it comes down to this: the Chairman for Safety and Training for the whole damn country intentionally chose to swoop where there were spectators. Based on that action only, I don't think he deserves to hold his seat anymore. I'm fine with him keeping his seat as Chairman of Memberships Services. If he stepped down and wants to hold the seat of Safety and Training in the next election, he needs to earn it. Actually coming forward and talking about the incident would be a good start.
She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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MakeItHappen

***It's best to write a BOD member that you know.



Wouldn't a member's Regional Director be the most appropriate person to make initial contact with? Seems to me the member's RD would have the most direct responsibility to assist a member from his/her region.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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airtwardo

***How do you know that the people you talked to didn't flat out lie to you, knowing that what ever they told you, you wouldn't pass forward?



Same way I guess some people seem to believe that there is some shadowy cover up going...ya believe what ya wanna believe.

I choose to believe people I personally know. And they tend to not agree with you. And unlike you, some of them were at the DZ that day. Some on that very load.

I don't know where you got information from, but I do see that Rich fucked up in a big way and committed something that should render him useless in a leadership position for the time being. I also see a backhanded attempt at a passive-aggressive PR campaign to keep the dude in the USPA. This goes against USPA PR recommendations to DZs btw.

All this "oh you don't really know do you?" bullshit is bullshit to me because I asked people that were there and to the best of my judgement the following is true:
* Rich fucked up
* Crashed into some chick sitting on a table
* She ended up in a hospital for a while
Almost immediately the bullshit peddlers came out of the woodworks. "She already had a concussion and was in the hospital for extra time for observation" and the latest round of passive aggressive "I am holyer than thou why don't you make a phone call you don't know anything all your information is from some email [side note: I never received any emails about this...]" bullshit.

Seriously. This is just aggravating.

When I contacted the USPA for comment, I was told to wait until the BOD meeting.

To answer your question, yes it would be nice to know more about USPA and how it runs and spends its money. Oversight is an important part of government.

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jclalor



Quote

I don't like this secret handshake crap; those days need to be gone forever.



+3



Hmmm

I sure hope that everyone thats unhappy with the situation is directing their concerns to USPA leadership, and not just expressing their concerns on dz.com. Someone says there are hundreds of you.:P

If USPA doesn't address your concerns to your satisfaction than you have other options available to you all.

Full disclosure: I'm no longer a member of uspa.:ph34r:
One Jump Wonder

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DSE

***
It's not a "someone" that investigates.
It's a team known as a Disciplinary Group (DG).
(1-6.5 PROCEDURES
The procedures contained in this section will apply to all
USPA regular members.
A. A Disciplinary Group will be formed of: the Safety &
Training Committee Chairman, the Group Member
Committee Chairman, a National Director (not a
member of the Executive Committee) appointed by
the President, the relevant Regional Director, and the
Director of Safety & Training)



So the guy being investigated is doing the investigation?

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Doug_Davis



I wasnt dismissed or fired from the NYPD.



I don't know that you were or you weren't. I only know what I heard. But I totally trust the person I heard it from, even though I've never actually met them in person, nor have I met you in person. But it hits an emotional button when a potentially inaccurate rumor hits the web, right? (And that being said, of course I believe you weren't fired from NYPD for anything inappropriate, but it sure got your attention, didn't it?)

And therein lies the point (although I do kind of enjoy your lovenotes). :P

You have demonstrated you didn't know what investigations took place, and lack the knowledge of how USPA conducts these investigations. You made it clear you don't know how the investigation is instigated nor by whom, nor how the disciplinary group is assembled.

You showed you didn't know how USPA disposes of these investigations. Now you do. And that's a good thing, right? I'd imagine you're not alone in that class. Until I was present for a negligent fatality, I didn't know how it worked either. And I was pretty pissed off at the time, because of how it worked. Now that I've seen it work for quite a few years, I understand and appreciate the thinking behind it.

If people don't like the process that has been in place for decades, then it's time to ask your RD's and ND's to change the process. Believe it or not, it's already been changed up once to make it less "good ole' boy." Maybe it needs more massaging. But that's not the current issue, right?

All the information is there for everyone to learn at the click of an icon on the internet, the same way you formed your "perception" of this incident. Don't you want to be informed on the very process you're demanding to know more about? A man's reputation, his livelihood, his job is at stake. Does anyone feel it's acceptable to shoot from an uninformed hip? Where roles reversed, would everyone be comfortable having a tremendously uninformed newbie skydiver named Doug_Davis championing your fate?

Did Winstock truly swoop a "spectator area?" Are you sure? Where is the proof, other than what was published on the internet, based mostly on an emergency room phone call where pain killers were involved?
Have you spoken with anyone other than perhaps a BOD member that has an agenda?
How did separate groups come to consistent findings? Were they all paid copious amounts of money? Given a lifetime supply of RedBull? Promised free jumptickets at Winstock's dropzone? How do you suppose such a conspiracy of so many people happened? If this is the case, I feel kinda left out, because I didn't get any swag.

"A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on," and "it ain't what you don't know that hurts you, it's what you know for sure that ain't so."

Again I ask... Why is this incident being publically responded to any differently than any other investigation? That's the bigger question, and a more valid one. I have never had a reason to not have faith in the process, and I feel no less confident today. The process has always worked, why this one is different is (I suspect) quite twisted.

It's USPA BOD's own very twisted Game of Thrones.

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chuckakers

*** It's best to write a BOD member that you know.



Wouldn't a member's Regional Director be the most appropriate person to make initial contact with? Seems to me the member's RD would have the most direct responsibility to assist a member from his/her region.

Sometimes it's appropriate to contact the RD first. But from experience, I have learned that not all members of a region like or know their RD.
In the long haul, contacting someone you know works best.

There have been times someone has asked me about abc issue because they know me. If I don't know the details or don't have the expertise to respond, I'll send them to a person that can answer their questions.
Then when they contact the person, that possibly has the answers to their questions, they are taken more seriously.
It should be that they are taken seriously from the get-go, but we all know life does not work that way.

.
.
Make It Happen
Parachute History
DiveMaker

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First off I don't have a dog in this and don't care oneway or the other. From the outside what I see looks like maybe a few people got disciplined by Rich Winstock and see this as an opportunity for payback. I don't know Rich. But the viciousness of all the attacks on everyone that says wait for the findings or ask for information tell me there is someone has some other agenda than the truth.
just my 2cents worth.

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NSEMN8R

***
It's not a "someone" that investigates.
It's a team known as a Disciplinary Group (DG).
(1-6.5 PROCEDURES
The procedures contained in this section will apply to all
USPA regular members.
A. A Disciplinary Group will be formed of: the Safety &
Training Committee Chairman, the Group Member
Committee Chairman, a National Director (not a
member of the Executive Committee) appointed by
the President, the relevant Regional Director, and the
Director of Safety & Training)



So the guy being investigated is doing the investigation?

Ah, you have noticed one of the flaws in the system.

I sent the following to be on the S&T Committee agenda:

"Address the issue of replacing members of the DG when one of the persons cannot or may not serve on the DG.

Preference should go to former S&T Comm chairs and Dir of S&T BOD members. "

To my knowledge this is on the S&T agenda, that should be published on the USPA web site shortly.

BTW, I did ask, in real time, for a replacement be made, but that suggestion was dissed because there was no 'rule' about it.
The truth is that the BOD could have made a replacement.

At the risk of being sarcastic, I'll find it hard to say to Rich, say what kind of rule do we need when the S&T Chair can't serve on the DG because he's the one being investigated by the DG?
Should Rich monitor the discussion? Or should someone else be in charge of that issue?

.
.
Make It Happen
Parachute History
DiveMaker

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accumack

First off I don't have a dog in this and don't care oneway or the other. From the outside what I see looks like maybe a few people got disciplined by Rich Winstock and see this as an opportunity for payback. I don't know Rich. But the viciousness of all the attacks on everyone that says wait for the findings or ask for information tell me there is someone has some other agenda than the truth.
just my 2cents worth.



No, it is simply the impression that the USPA has a "Do as I say, not as I do" mentality. Okay, its not really that simple. But... why hasn't Rich resigned or the USPA not suspended him from his duties as S&TA chairman? He did exactly what he has been tasked to warn members against doing and discipline them when they do so anyway.

That, is hypocrisy, and a double standard.

edited to correct a mispelling
"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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BillyVance

***First off I don't have a dog in this and don't care oneway or the other. From the outside what I see looks like maybe a few people got disciplined by Rich Winstock and see this as an opportunity for payback. I don't know Rich. But the viciousness of all the attacks on everyone that says wait for the findings or ask for information tell me there is someone has some other agenda than the truth.
just my 2cents worth.



But... why hasn't Rich resigned or the USPA not suspended him from his duties as S&TA chairman?


Winstock _did_ resign.
USPA doesn't have a mechanism for suspending a BOD member. If they did, there'd be a BOD member or two swinging in the wind too.

[url "http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-V-we2FRI_ms/UdTjB2UhDyI/AAAAAAAAYi4/auqQper2wwo/s1280/game-of-thrones-chart.jpg"]Game of Thrones,[url] goes skydiving.

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