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swoopfly

USPA deemed FAA medical invalid

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1 hour ago, dudeman17 said:

There are behaviors/conditions that would invalidate the medical. If USPA becomes aware of such, they are obligated to look into it.

No, the validity of the FAA medical is between the medical holder and the FAA. USPA has no say in it and has no obligation or authority to "look into" anything medical. Really, where are you getting this from? Certainly not a USPA policy? USPA policy is to let the FAA handle it--that's exactly what it means to require an FAA medical.

I guess legally (though completely shitty) the USPA could try to tattle on the TI to the FAA and try to convince them to invalidate the medical, but that's all they can do. They have zero legal authority to declare it invalid themselves, zero ability to gain access to the health record to investigate, and zero expertise to interpret any of it anyway. This is completely irresponsible and shameful and if it really happened I want to know who and how.

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(edited)
2 hours ago, nwt said:

No, Really, where are you getting this from?

You can not possibly be an MD and be this stupid. No, you are being purposefully myopic in order to be argumentative. Oh well, such is the nature of the internet.

The FAA has nothing whatsoever to do with skydiving instructor ratings. The only reason they ever addressed TI ratings is because for years tandems operated under a waiver from the FAA reg that said each jumper had to have their own single harness dual parachute system. And all they said about it was that they wanted the TI to meet USPA and manufacturer requirements. It was USPA and the manufacturers that made the requirement for the TI to hold an FAA medical. So while, as an isolated issue, USPA has no jurisdiction over the FAA medical, they DO have jurisdiction over ensuring that the TI maintains qualification and eligibility to hold the TI rating, including maintaining a valid medical. If they receive information that a TI is NOT maintaining eligibility to hold the rating, including maintaining a valid medical, then it IS their jurisdiction to respond. And while it is solely the FAA's jurisdiction to officially revoke a medical, the circumstances that would invalidate it are not classified secrets. So whether or not the FAA actually revokes the medical is irrelevant. USPA can suspend the TI rating if they have reason to believe the qualifications for it are not being met.

 

9 hours ago, nwt said:

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

So by your logic, on Saturday night a TI can blow bong smoke in the S&TA's face. Then on Sunday morning, if the S&TA has a problem with the TI gearing up a tandem student, all the TI has to do is show the S&TA his medical, say 'piss off', and go on his merry way. Sure.

Edited by dudeman17

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9 hours ago, nwt said:

 

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

hipaa applies to anyone  who possesses medical information on someone.  if you do have that data, and you fail to use due diligence to protect it from a breach, you are liable under hipaa.  this usually applies to doctors and hospitals, but if an employer has this data it applies, if uspa has it hipaa applies to them as well.  i am glad you don't have any of my data since you don't know this. 

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1 hour ago, dudeman17 said:

So by your logic, on Saturday night a TI can blow bong smoke in the S&TA's face. Then on Sunday morning, if the S&TA has a problem with the TI gearing up a tandem student, all the TI has to do is show the S&TA his medical, say 'piss off', and go on his merry way. Sure.

What's the saying?   "8 hours, drugs to drogue?"

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(edited)
2 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

So by your logic, on Saturday night a TI can blow bong smoke in the S&TA's face. Then on Sunday morning, if the S&TA has a problem with the TI gearing up a tandem student, all the TI has to do is show the S&TA his medical, say 'piss off', and go on his merry way. Sure.

Nope. 

The S&TA can ground the TI for a variety of reasons. 

The S&TA CANNOT declare the TI's medical cert 'invalid' (even though it technically is).

2 hours ago, sfzombie13 said:

hipaa applies to anyone  who possesses medical information on someone.  if you do have that data, and you fail to use due diligence to protect it from a breach, you are liable under hipaa.  this usually applies to doctors and hospitals, but if an employer has this data it applies, if uspa has it hipaa applies to them as well.  i am glad you don't have any of my data since you don't know this. 

Nope.

HIPPA applies to Health Care Plans, clearinghouses and health care providers (this can include employers when the health care plan is provided through the employer).

https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/HIPAA-ACA/AreYouaCoveredEntity

In this case, USPA doesn't fit any of these.

Edited by wolfriverjoe
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Dear dudeman17,

... a bit of historical background. Almost 40 years ago (1983-1984) , when Ted Strong and Bill Booth were trying to get FAA approval for their new-fangled tandem system, they copied a standard recently written for new-fangled two-seater ultra-light airplanes. By writing a standard slightly higher than any the FAA might propose, they forced the FAA to grant them a waiver for their new concept.

That FAA waiver stood for more than 20 years until a new TSO standard (F?) was written that allowed two people to hang under the same canopy. Since the old standard for tandem instructor medicals ahd stood the test of time by minimizing fatalities, manufacturers, the FAA and USPA just continued with a standard that worked.

As for this most recent case, USPA is respecting the individual's privacy by not revealing any more details.

IF the TI was ingesting banned drugs, then USPA is obliged to suspend his tandem instructor rating. Privacy considerations prevent us from hearing "the rest of the story."

 

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54 minutes ago, riggerrob said:

Dear dudeman17,

... a bit of historical background. Almost 40 years ago (1983-1984) , when Ted Strong and Bill Booth were trying to get FAA approval for their new-fangled tandem system, they copied a standard recently written for new-fangled two-seater ultra-light airplanes. By writing a standard slightly higher than any the FAA might propose, they forced the FAA to grant them a waiver for their new concept.

That FAA waiver stood for more than 20 years until a new TSO standard (F?) was written that allowed two people to hang under the same canopy. Since the old standard for tandem instructor medicals ahd stood the test of time by minimizing fatalities, manufacturers, the FAA and USPA just continued with a standard that worked.

As for this most recent case, USPA is respecting the individual's privacy by not revealing any more details.

IF the TI was ingesting banned drugs, then USPA is obliged to suspend his tandem instructor rating. Privacy considerations prevent us from hearing "the rest of the story."

 

Hi Rob,

Also, J. Scott Hamilton * had a thriving aviation legal practice in Denver back then.  He is the person who developed & submitted the exception for Strong Entr. to due tandems under an 'experimental' exception.

Jerry Baumchen

* Former USPA President & former Ass't-Executive Dir.  See Page 54 of the May 2022 issue of PARACHUTIST magazine.

Edited by JerryBaumchen

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9 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

You can not possibly be an MD and be this stupid. No, you are being purposefully myopic in order to be argumentative. Oh well, such is the nature of the internet.

That's right, I'm an MD and a pilot and a FAA medical certificate holder and I'm disagreeing with you on the internet. Could it be that these qualifications grant me some insight into this situation about medicine, medical privacy, and FAA medical certificates? No, I must just be stupid. You apparently know better.

9 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

So by your logic, on Saturday night a TI can blow bong smoke in the S&TA's face. Then on Sunday morning, if the S&TA has a problem with the TI gearing up a tandem student, all the TI has to do is show the S&TA his medical, say 'piss off', and go on his merry way. Sure.

What was that about being purposefully myopic in order to be argumentative?

9 hours ago, sfzombie13 said:

i am glad you don't have any of my data since you don't know this. 

My dude... I don't mean to beat a dead horse and I think the reference wolfriverjoe provided should set you straight, but as a medical doctor and engineer with a medical device startup who got said device through FDA clearance and working with health data, this kinda hurts. I can assure you I am quite well versed in HIPAA. If you don't believe me, I don't know what else to say.

6 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

Nope. 

The S&TA can ground the TI for a variety of reasons. 

The S&TA CANNOT declare the TI's medical cert 'invalid' (even though it technically is).

Nope.

HIPPA applies to Health Care Plans, clearinghouses and health care providers (this can include employers when the health care plan is provided through the employer).

https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/HIPAA-ACA/AreYouaCoveredEntity

In this case, USPA doesn't fit any of these.

Spot. On. 100%.

1 hour ago, riggerrob said:

IF the TI was ingesting banned drugs, then USPA is obliged to suspend his tandem instructor rating. Privacy considerations prevent us from hearing "the rest of the story."

USPA has authority to revoke a TI rating for any number of reasons and this is not controversial.

USPA has no authority to declare an FAA medical invalid, and this is the topic under discussion.

Not that getting it "right" would excuse USPA's alleged actions here, but from the narrative presented it sounds like they got it wrong, the TI is not taking the drug in question, and his medical is in fact valid.

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4 hours ago, nwt said:

That's right, I must just be stupid.

If you read the words before and after the one you took offense to, you might see that I was not calling you stupid. In fact, I was trying to give you credit for NOT being stupid. I was pointing out that your argument was, and is, willfully myopic.

4 hours ago, nwt said:

USPA has no authority to declare an FAA medical invalid, and this is the topic under discussion.

And that right there is the myopia. What I am trying to point out is that whether or not the FAA officially revokes the medical is irrelevant. USPA knows what the medical requires, and they know the circumstances that would likely invalidate it. They don't need to defer to the FAA, or even bother them with procedural details in order to exercise control over the ratings they issue.

 

4 hours ago, nwt said:
14 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

So by your logic, on Saturday night a TI can blow bong smoke in the S&TA's face. Then on Sunday morning, if the S&TA has a problem with the TI gearing up a tandem student, all the TI has to do is show the S&TA his medical, say 'piss off', and go on his merry way. Sure.

 

What was that about being purposefully myopic in order to be argumentative?

I believe my comment was an accurate, if simplistic, representation of the argument you seem to be making.

-------

I don't know what else to tell you. If you want to continue to argue that USPA does not have the sole authority over the ratings it issues, have at it. Although...

4 hours ago, nwt said:

USPA has authority to revoke a TI rating

...you seem to be coming around.

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2 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

And that right there is the myopia. What I am trying to point out is that whether or not the FAA officially revokes the medical is irrelevant. USPA knows what the medical requires, and they know the circumstances that would likely invalidate it. They don't need to defer to the FAA, or even bother them with procedural details in order to exercise control over the ratings they issue.

Repeating yourself over and over again doesn't make you any more correct.

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On 5/21/2022 at 3:27 PM, nwt said:

USPA has authority to revoke a TI rating for any number of reasons and this is not controversial.

USPA has no authority to declare an FAA medical invalid, and this is the topic under discussion.

Not that getting it "right" would excuse USPA's alleged actions here, but from the narrative presented it sounds like they got it wrong, the TI is not taking the drug in question, and his medical is in fact valid.

If the original post is accurate, the FAA investigated the claim, found it to be groundless and said the medical certificate was still valid.

On 5/21/2022 at 7:56 PM, dudeman17 said:

 

... What I am trying to point out is that whether or not the FAA officially revokes the medical is irrelevant. USPA knows what the medical requires, and they know the circumstances that would likely invalidate it. They don't need to defer to the FAA, or even bother them with procedural details in order to exercise control over the ratings they issue.

Regardless of what USPA "knows" about the requirements for the medical, THEY DID NOT ISSUE IT!!

They simply require a TI to have one. The TI in question does, in fact, possess a valid FAA medical certificate.

They have overstepped their authority by a huge amount when they decided that they have more authority than the FAA and that the medical cert that the FAA declared 'valid' after investigating these claims is, in fact, no longer valid.

If they want to revoke the TI's license, fine. They have a procedure in place, and there are legitimate reasons for them to revoke a TI's license (maybe not in this case, but I don't know all the details).

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As far as the original post and the TI involved, I have stated that I wish we knew more about it. Like was said, apparently USPA came up with one reason, then changed to another in order to suspend his rating. It sounds like someone had it in for the TI, and they just came up with a reason to suspend him. Whether or not that is valid, we don't know. And I keep using the word 'suspend' about the rating, because I would hope that there would be a review process, and that if the reason for the suspension was in fact invalid, then the rating would be reinstated. It sounds like the FAA did review the matter, but USPA has not reinstated the rating. So who knows? My arguments in this matter have been aimed at a more general circumstance, and not at the original situation.

So in that respect, my point has been that...

48 minutes ago, wolfriverjoe said:

Regardless of what USPA "knows" about the requirements for the medical, THEY DID NOT ISSUE IT!!

...DOES NOT MATTER. What matters is that USPA has sole authority over, and responsibility for, the ratings it issues. If it has reason to believe that a TI no longer qualifies for the rating, for whatever reason, including that they think the TI has violated the terms of a medical that USPA does not issue and can not revoke, they have to respond. Consider the following...

The FAA is a huge organization that oversees all of aviation. I think they'd rather not be bothered with petty skydiver stuff any more than they have to. If a TI, especially a non-pilot TI, were to do something that would invalidate their medical, how long do you think it would take for the FAA to find out about it, if ever, and respond. But skydiving is a smaller, more connected community. It is far more likely that someone would report such a TI to USPA. So what are they supposed to do? Bother the FAA about it, and wait for them to investigate, before taking action on the rating? In the meantime, what if there is an incident with said TI? What do you think a liability lawyer is going to do with that? So I would think that USPA would have to suspend the rating, at least temporarily, until the matter could be investigated and resolved.

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8 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

As far as the original post and the TI involved, I have stated that I wish we knew more about it. Like was said, apparently USPA came up with one reason, then changed to another in order to suspend his rating. It sounds like someone had it in for the TI, and they just came up with a reason to suspend him. Whether or not that is valid, we don't know. And I keep using the word 'suspend' about the rating, because I would hope that there would be a review process, and that if the reason for the suspension was in fact invalid, then the rating would be reinstated. It sounds like the FAA did review the matter, but USPA has not reinstated the rating. So who knows? My arguments in this matter have been aimed at a more general circumstance, and not at the original situation.

... If a TI, especially a non-pilot TI, were to do something that would invalidate their medical, how long do you think it would take for the FAA to find out about it, if ever, and respond...

... So what are they supposed to do? Bother the FAA about it, and wait for them to investigate, before taking action on the rating? 

That's exactly what USPA DID.
See below.

On 3/5/2022 at 9:02 AM, swoopfly said:

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 . 

They found a potential problem.
They told the TI to get proof he wasn't on the med. 
He did.

They said it wasn't enough, to the TI went to the AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) and got documentation that the medical was good.

That STILL wasn't enough.
As a side note, I have no issues with what USPA did up to here. They found a potential issue and investigated it.

However, USPA decided, for whatever reason, that documentation from the TI's physician AND the FAA AME wasn't enough.
That's the part I have a problem with.

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8 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

 In the meantime, what if there is an incident with said TI? What do you think a liability lawyer is going to do with that? So I would think that USPA would have to suspend the rating, at least temporarily, until the matter could be investigated and resolved.

depends on who is involved and what position they hold in the uspa, as we have repeatedly seen play out recently.  maybe the ti should have just given a few thousand dollar donation to keep the rating active.  after all, it's a small step from allowing some to violate rules with no punishment to accepting bribes.  have we taken that step yet, or is it a few years away? 

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2 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

That's exactly what USPA DID.
See below.

Yes, I read the original posts. The part that caught my attention was...

 

On 3/7/2022 at 7:12 PM, swoopfly said:

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.

So, like I said, it seems that they just had it in for this TI and were determined to suspend their rating, regardless. I'd be curious to know why, but unless swoopfly knows and cares to share it with us, I doubt that we will know.

But everybody seemed to be fixated on the idea that USPA has no authority over the medical. My response was not aimed at the original situation, which I suspect really has nothing to do with the medical. My response was based on an objective hypothetical under a hopefully fair system. And with that in mind, I stand by my assertion that USPA's lack of authority over the medical is superseded by their absolute authority over the rating.

But perhaps my hypothetical was optimistic. Because, unfortunately,...

2 hours ago, sfzombie13 said:

depends on who is involved and what position they hold in the uspa, as we have repeatedly seen play out recently.  maybe the ti should have just given a few thousand dollar donation to keep the rating active.  after all, it's a small step from allowing some to violate rules with no punishment to accepting bribes.  have we taken that step yet, or is it a few years away? 

... would seem to be true.

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9 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

So, like I said, it seems that they just had it in for this TI and were determined to suspend their rating, regardless... 

But everybody seemed to be fixated on the idea that USPA has no authority over the medical. My response was not aimed at the original situation, which I suspect really has nothing to do with the medical. My response was based on an objective hypothetical under a hopefully fair system. And with that in mind, I stand by my assertion that USPA's lack of authority over the medical is superseded by their absolute authority over the rating.

 

I don't disagree that USPA is going to keep this person from being a TI pretty much no matter what.
 

But USPA doesn't have 'absolute authority' over the rating.

The board, through the Compliance Group, has procedures and rules that they have to follow. 
You know, that 'due process' thing. 
They can't just arbitrarily pull someone's license because they want to.

The fact that they took the step of pretending the medical was not valid to use as an excuse to pull the license tells me that they know this too.

The fact that they are apparently making shit up and doing whatever they feel like bothers me a lot.

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I agree with all of that. I didn't mean to imply that they could just pull a rating for no good reason, I was just saying that they don't need the FAA's permission.

But again, I agree with what you're saying here. Although it seems that...

20 minutes ago, wolfriverjoe said:

They can't just arbitrarily pull someone's license because they want to.

might be exactly what they're doing.

I'd like to know why, and it bothers me too.

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This reminds me of a conversation with another Tandem Instructor Examiner. He was asked to train a licensed skydiving instructor (IAD) to do tandems. He had heard that the prospective TI had been sentenced to prison. He quietly asked some unofficial, off-the-record questions of prison guards that he knew casually. Prison guards were not supposed to talk about details of prisoners' records. When it emerged that the prospective TI had been imprisoned for sexual contact with minors, the TIE refused to train the guy.

A few years later I also refused to train the guy, because he played one too many head-games with me.

I also refused to train another prospective TI after he free-flew too low, scared his Cypres, landed his tiny reserve HARD and broke a few bones. I figured that he needed a few more years of maturity before we could trust him with students' lives. He eventually matured, earned his tandem rating - in another province - and has been doing tandems well for a few years.

Bottom line, sometimes TIEs need to refuse to grant TI ratings based upon behaviour "that cannot be discussed in polite company." Privacy laws prevent revealing all the evidence.

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On 5/23/2022 at 4:36 PM, wolfriverjoe said:

I don't disagree that USPA is going to keep this person from being a TI pretty much no matter what.
 

But USPA doesn't have 'absolute authority' over the rating.

The board, through the Compliance Group, has procedures and rules that they have to follow. 
You know, that 'due process' thing. 
They can't just arbitrarily pull someone's license because they want to.

The fact that they took the step of pretending the medical was not valid to use as an excuse to pull the license tells me that they know this too.

The fact that they are apparently making shit up and doing whatever they feel like bothers me a lot.

To add more context

  The idea that you think they cant just do whatever they want is in general a common sense one. But that is not the case in this instance. for example

a few of the laws that were broken in their own governance manual.

1) the Regional director was removed off this case (who also shared that these charges should be dropped) for unknown reasons!!!

2) the Compliance group reached out to the member directly before any contact with the "NEW" regional director put on this case. Expressing they rather the member voluntarily  surrender thier rating instead of making them go through the 1-6 gov manual process. They felt they would find the member guilty anyway and he should just give up the rating instead of making them go through the "due process" you speak of and make them take it.

3) Once the request was to get a letter from a doctor or an AME that the member was not on the mediication USPA was accusing him of being on and all this would be resolved. after providing the information that mind you IS NOT EVER required. THE CG changed the story once again and said that wasnt sufficeint evidence even mistakenly sharing that they didnt think the memeber would have actually gotten the letter.

4) Once found gulity by the CG the memebr appealed to the board and brought in the FAA at this point to back up the AME. USPA EC then once again changed their position stating. We arnt saying your medical is invalid or valid NOW, we are just saying we choose not to Recognize yours. So singling out this one person violating them for doing tandems without a medical because they choose not to recognize a valid FAA medical , while at the same time posting on USPA.org website that an FAA medical is acceptable. Talk about abusing a members rights and discrimination. Whats your thoughts on USPA not recognizing a form that they post as the form to get?

Edited by swoopfly

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12 hours ago, Deisel said:

And how did any of this come in front of the board in the first place? 

The more relevant question is how did this matter come in front of this forum? You don't REALLY expect the BoD, if they are even involved or anyone close to it to respond here do you?

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4 hours ago, gowlerk said:

The more relevant question is how did this matter come in front of this forum? You don't REALLY expect the BoD, if they are even involved or anyone close to it to respond here do you?

Nah, of course not. The BOD doesn't discuss CG matters in public. And that's (mostly) a good thing. I'd love to see that change WRT sitting BOD members. Their cases should be made public IMO. My question was more for the OP. And we all have to keep in mind that regardless of how many facts offered, even the OP doesn't know what actually happened in committee. More likely a good dose of speculation about the CG's motivations and reasoning. But your question is a valid one.

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On 5/29/2022 at 8:36 PM, Deisel said:

Nah, of course not. The BOD doesn't discuss CG matters in public. And that's (mostly) a good thing. I'd love to see that change WRT sitting BOD members. Their cases should be made public IMO. My question was more for the OP. And we all have to keep in mind that regardless of how many facts offered, even the OP doesn't know what actually happened in committee. More likely a good dose of speculation about the CG's motivations and reasoning. But your question is a valid one.

Does anyone read the parachutist magazine much ? Now I completely understand the other violations of people forging a medical certificate . But USPA in this instance just picked a guy out the crowd and refuse to recognize a VALID, legit FAA medical .......ironically after disapproving false allegations of threats on students ......

0549F5E3-AFA3-4197-A1EB-841CC0D31F5D.png

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