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swoopfly

USPA deemed FAA medical invalid

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hello

 

     The topic of discussion, USPA has acted to what seems to many examiners and members as an inappropriate disciplinary action against a member. They have made a judgement that the members Class 3 medical is invalid based solely on the compliance groups investigation. Disregarding the FAA website clearly showing the Instructor has a current Class 3 medical and even had verification from the FAA that the medical is still in date and valid. The USPA has looked behind the members valid FAA medical and deemed it not acceptable for USPA tandem instructor rating. Therefore "claiming" the instructor violated USPA BSR's "conducting tandem jumps without a Class 3 medical Certificate" . Im reaching out as a topic to discuss, what right do you think USPA has to Judge a medical certificate? They do not issues medicals, they have no person on staff that even has a medical license and further and foremost they are not appointed by the FAA to make such an arbitrary decision against the member.        

 

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The compliance group accused the member of being on a prescription medication that the member was not on. They concluded that they have credible proof that it’s true. After the member provided documentation from a doctor that they were not on said medication , the CG said that was not proof enough that the member should get in writing from an FAA AME the same documentation ...,that the member was not taking said medication. After the member once again provided the same letter from an FAA AME concluding the same story that said member was not on the medication the CG said that was not proof enough and then took disciplinary action against the member suspending the members tandem rating , claiming they do not have a class 3 medical and it violates their BSR. While never expressing to the member why or how the “credible proof” they have would deem a class 3 medical invalid . 

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I am confused. Why would the USPA have any awareness of the medications that a Class 3 medical holder is taking, allowed prohibited or otherwise?

When you say Compliance Group, you are referring to a USPA governance group, and not an FAA medical review board?

Forget the USPA, I am curious how did the FAA get on the scent of a prohibited medication in the first place that was actually not prescribed or used? If you didn't take it you wouldn't disclose it during your medical, and if it wasn't prescribed it shouldn't have been in your medical records.

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7 hours ago, DougH said:

I am confused. Why would the USPA have any awareness of the medications that a Class 3 medical holder is taking, allowed prohibited or otherwise?

When you say Compliance Group, you are referring to a USPA governance group, and not an FAA medical review board?

Forget the USPA, I am curious how did the FAA get on the scent of a prohibited medication in the first place that was actually not prescribed or used? If you didn't take it you wouldn't disclose it during your medical, and if it wasn't prescribed it shouldn't have been in your medical records.

It was a medication that was prescribed but stopped after one time use due to adverse side effects. The FAA is aware the medication was prescribed . The FAA medical is still valid . The concern here is that USPA believes they have the authority to say the medical was invalid based solely on a picture of a prescription from 2 years ago ..... USPA website claims that the instructor is responsible for their medical .USPA in this case decided to take matters into their own hands and just outright suspend the members rating . First claiming the instructor terroristicly threatened their tandem students , then mid investigation , dropping that and claiming their medical was no good. While failing to give information as to WHY they believed that !

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A simple review of medical records (family doctor and pharmacist) should confirm whether or not the TI is still taking that medication.

For example, I only took Gravol for one week (circa 1984) but hated the side effects (e.g. copper taste in my mouth) and quit taking Gravol. I have not touched the drug since.

I suspect that there is a lot more to this story than USPA have published.

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On 3/7/2022 at 1:29 PM, BIGUN said:

Speculation: Wouldn't be the first time one TI screwed another one to get their rotation. 

Not the first time this has happened.

Back during the late 1990s, I remember one know drug dealer accusing a TI of selling drugs. Yes, the accusee had done prison time for drug-related crimes, but that was years earlier and I had not seen him do any recreational drugs (stronger than alcohol) during the 2 or 3 years that I knew him.

"Mr. Kettle, may I introduce you to Mr. Pot?"

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16 hours ago, riggerrob said:

A simple review of medical records (family doctor and pharmacist) should confirm whether or not the TI is still taking that medication.

For example, I only took Gravol for one week (circa 1984) but hated the side effects (e.g. copper taste in my mouth) and quit taking Gravol. I have not touched the drug since.

I suspect that there is a lot more to this story than USPA have published.

So to keep the discussion back on topic , who do you report medications too at USPA? Which doctor is the one they have on staff that determines your Medical validity ?  Can this same USPA doctor you report to issues the medical as well ? If so why does USPA not issue the medical ?

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On 3/5/2022 at 2:47 AM, swoopfly said:

 

 

Define "member has a current valid Class 3 medical". Many things that invalidate a medical are required to be reported to the FAA if/when they happen not just at time of medical renewal. So if there was a known issue between medicals that the Member didn't disclose to the FAA that they are required to and that issue became know to the USPA then maybe.. they were within the realm of responsibility to act on it.

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59 minutes ago, ChrisHoward said:

Define "member has a current valid Class 3 medical". Many things that invalidate a medical are required to be reported to the FAA if/when they happen not just at time of medical renewal. So if there was a known issue between medicals that the Member didn't disclose to the FAA that they are required to and that issue became know to the USPA then maybe.. they were within the realm of responsibility to act on it.

IMO USPA has or should have zero authority to police that potential issue. If FAA enforcement of it's medical policies is lacking, that doesn't somehow make it appropriate for USPA to step in. USPA shouldn't even know about the TI's medical issues or medications, it's quite explicitly none of their business.

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1 hour ago, nwt said:

IMO USPA has or should have zero authority to police that potential issue. If FAA enforcement of it's medical policies is lacking, that doesn't somehow make it appropriate for USPA to step in. USPA shouldn't even know about the TI's medical issues or medications, it's quite explicitly none of their business.

Well, I can see your point, but it may not be accurate because...

As I understand it, the FAA does not independently require a TI to have a medical. It's USPA and the manufacturers who made that requirement. The FAA just wants the TI to meet the USPA/manufacturer requirements. So if USPA is who made the requirement, then they do have an interest in seeing that it is met.

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2 minutes ago, dudeman17 said:

Well, I can see your point, but it may not be accurate because...

As I understand it, the FAA does not independently require a TI to have a medical. It's USPA and the manufacturers who made that requirement. The FAA just wants the TI to meet the USPA/manufacturer requirements. So if USPA is who made the requirement, then they do have an interest in seeing that it is met.

That isn't relevant. An FAA medical is an entirely FAA process that the USPA doesn't suddenly get invited to depending what activities that applicant intends to do with it. As far as the USPA is concerned, he either has one or he doesn't, and they can learn that status by asking the FAA. For them to be poking around in his health information is incredibly inappropriate and a very bad look.

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11 hours ago, nwt said:

As far as the USPA is concerned, he either has one or he doesn't, and they can learn that status by asking the FAA. For them to be poking around in his health information is incredibly inappropriate and a very bad look.

Sounds reasonable.... Unless the USPA specifically has some procedure in place where they say that all FAA records are subject to USPA review and acceptance, or they have some mechanism to charge that a USPA member has falsified the information used to obtain the legal document.

(Hey, anyone can challenge the basis of a document. After all, some organization could say, "Mr. X has gained US citizenship, but we evidence suggesting he failed to tell immigration that he had been a member of a military unit in his homeland, that was involved in war crimes. This may invalidate his citizenship application."  One can't respond to that simply by saying, "Yeah but his citizenship is correct according to the government."  Of course one has to differentiate between disputing the actual certification (citizenship) and whether a particular organization will accept it.)

So in my mind things could go either way, depending on whether the USPA properly followed their own procedures. That's where one would want to see if they need to be held accountable.
 

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(edited)
44 minutes ago, pchapman said:

Sounds reasonable.... Unless the USPA specifically has some procedure in place where they say that all FAA records are subject to USPA review and acceptance, or they have some mechanism to charge that a USPA member has falsified the information used to obtain the legal document.

(Hey, anyone can challenge the basis of a document. After all, some organization could say, "Mr. X has gained US citizenship, but we evidence suggesting he failed to tell immigration that he had been a member of a military unit in his homeland, that was involved in war crimes. This may invalidate his citizenship application."  One can't respond to that simply by saying, "Yeah but his citizenship is correct according to the government."  Of course one has to differentiate between disputing the actual certification (citizenship) and whether a particular organization will accept it.)

So in my mind things could go either way, depending on whether the USPA properly followed their own procedures. That's where one would want to see if they need to be held accountable.
 

You've missed my entire point (my fault, I thought it was obvious enough to be made implicitly): Health information is confidential/private and protected in a special way that no other information is, and it's a cultural taboo for USPA to be concerning itself with it. If USPA has some policy or procedure to review health information of its members, that needs to stop *immediately*. USPA policy should be that if it stumbles upon any health information accidently, it should do its best to forget.

Edit:

I'm going to add some context here. As a medical doctor, USPA member, and FAA medical certificate holder who was recently diagnosed with cancer, I find this incredibly disturbing.

Edited by nwt
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On 3/9/2022 at 5:52 PM, riggerrob said:

A simple review of medical records (family doctor and pharmacist) should confirm whether or not the TI is still taking that medication.

For example, I only took Gravol for one week (circa 1984) but hated the side effects (e.g. copper taste in my mouth) and quit taking Gravol. I have not touched the drug since.

I suspect that there is a lot more to this story than USPA have published.

USPA looking at health information of its members is incredibly disturbing and inappropriate, regardless of anything else that might be going on.

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On 3/10/2022 at 10:31 AM, swoopfly said:

So to keep the discussion back on topic , who do you report medications too at USPA? Which doctor is the one they have on staff that determines your Medical validity ?  Can this same USPA doctor you report to issues the medical as well ? If so why does USPA not issue the medical ?

I am fully willing to raise hell with the USPA over this, but I'd like to be more confident first that the key facts are correct:

  1. USPA obtained health information of a member
  2. USPA retained this health information for consideration
  3. USPA used this health information in an action against the member

Do I have this right? Can you please provide corroborating details or evidence? Direct message is fine. Especially helpful would be identity of the TI and actual copies of any communications between him and USPA regarding this issue. How did you personally hear of this story?

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2 hours ago, nwt said:

You've missed my entire point (my fault, I thought it was obvious enough to be made implicitly): Health information is confidential/private and protected in a special way that no other information is, and it's a cultural taboo for USPA to be concerning itself with it. If USPA has some policy or procedure to review health information of its members, that needs to stop *immediately*. USPA policy should be that if it stumbles upon any health information accidently, it should do its best to forget.

Edit:

I'm going to add some context here. As a medical doctor, USPA member, and FAA medical certificate holder who was recently diagnosed with cancer, I find this incredibly disturbing.

Hi nwt,

While I am no expert, I also think that it would be a violation of the HIPPA laws.

Best of luck with your cancer,

Jerry Baumchen

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(edited)
20 minutes ago, JerryBaumchen said:

Hi nwt,

While I am no expert, I also think that it would be a violation of the HIPPA laws.

Best of luck with your cancer,

Jerry Baumchen

HIPAA is often misunderstood and I think a violation anywhere in this scenario is unlikely. It would be completely impossible for USPA to violate HIPAA (as it doesn't apply to them) if that's what you're thinking.

Thanks

Edited by nwt

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2 hours ago, nwt said:
  1. USPA obtained health information of a member

I'll defer to you on the whole complex issue of health information privacy!

But a person (or company?) must be able to do something about information they come across, rather than just being forced to be quiet due to some medical privacy rules.

"Hey I know this commercial pilot, I've seen his pill bottles for stuff that isn't allowed on active flight status." or "I saw this tandem instructor smoking pot before jumping today -- can we ground him for the rest of the day?"

That's probably all I can contribute to the questions in this thread.

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(edited)
4 hours ago, nwt said:

HIPAA is often misunderstood and I think a violation anywhere in this scenario is unlikely. It would be completely impossible for USPA to violate HIPAA (as it doesn't apply to them) if that's what you're thinking.

Thanks

hard but not impossible.  if uspa had any health information on someone and anyone else accessed it ever (as in through a breach), that is a hipaa violation.  if it wasn't stored properly on their systems, that is a hipaa violation. 

Edited by sfzombie13
clarification

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(edited)
6 hours ago, pchapman said:

I'll defer to you on the whole complex issue of health information privacy!

But a person (or company?) must be able to do something about information they come across, rather than just being forced to be quiet due to some medical privacy rules.

"Hey I know this commercial pilot, I've seen his pill bottles for stuff that isn't allowed on active flight status." or "I saw this tandem instructor smoking pot before jumping today -- can we ground him for the rest of the day?"

That's probably all I can contribute to the questions in this thread.

To be clear, I don’t think USPA is violating any laws here. Only internal policies and societal taboo. 

e: funny you should mention pot. Every TI that uses marijuana on his own time has an invalid medical. 

3 hours ago, sfzombie13 said:

hard but not impossible.  if uspa had any health information on someone and anyone else accessed it ever (as in through a breach), that is a hipaa violation.  if it wasn't stored properly on their systems, that is a hipaa violation. 

Simply not true. HIPAA does not apply to USPA in any way shape or form, regardless of any data they may have. 

Edited by nwt

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10 hours ago, nwt said:

As a medical doctor

I too will defer to you as far as the handling of medical information goes. But like pc said, USPA has to be able to do something about information they get. You yourself said...

19 minutes ago, nwt said:

Every TI that uses marijuana on his own time has an invalid medical. 

So if USPA becomes aware of something like that, they have to be able to act on it.

And I'm not here to defend USPA. They certainly have their problems. Mullins and Aikins come to mind. I've spent most of my jumping career trying to ignore them as much as I can. But I'd like to know more about the original situation that was mentioned. At first they said 'he's threatening the students', then they say he's violating his medical. Sounds like someone has it in for this TI.

 

 I also wish you well with your health issue.

 

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What's not to understand? USPA says a TI has to have a valid medical. There are behaviors/conditions that would invalidate the medical. If USPA becomes aware of such, they are obligated to look into it. While they do not have the authority to revoke the medical, they do have the authority to suspend the rating.

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