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skypilotA1 last won the day on February 10

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  1. Perhaps I can shed some light on Baronn’s biggest concern of the Museum... 48 years of nothing. Two years ago, I had the same questions. Instead of taking the approach of making accusations and insults on the internet, I chose a different road. I asked some people that knew. My good friend Gary Peek was a USPA Board member for decades, and gave me the following historical explanation. Bill Ottley was the initial proponent of the idea. It was his “baby”. When he died, he left $1,000,000 as seed money to develop the concept of a Skydiving Museum. Not much was done for about 40 years. Money collected interest, small donations were made to incrementally increase the amount. USPA supported the concept with some donated clerical support and free advertising in Parachutist. When USPA sold their original office townhouse and built & moved to their present location about a decade ago, the Museum made a deal and acquired an adjacent building lot next to USPA headquarters. The idea at the time was to build the Museum next to the USPA building. One could go in one door, the Museum, or turn the other way for USPA. If you have ever been to USPA Headquarters, it seems the main entrance is “wrong”. It faces a vacant lot, not the parking lot as one would drive in. That’s because there was a plan to build a Skydiving Museum on that vacant lot. The problem is, there would be no reason to go to the Museum. It is not a destination. It’s not near any attraction. It’s an hour away from DC. It is simply in a suburban business park. Now, it’s great for USPA, but terrible for any kind of business dependent upon tourist traffic. So, about the time of President Bush’ AFF jump, the Museum seemed to come alive again. The leadership started installing new trustees, included President Bush as honorary Chairman, and undertook a serious effort to get something done. Since that period, they have quadrupled the money in the bank, dramatically increased and catalogued hundreds of Skydiving items of historic value, installed several high profile people as trustees, hired a professional for fundraising, sought the advice of professionals in museum organization and management, and completely revamped the antiquated & unworkable original concepts. So to me, the situation is like this...I go to work for a business that has been around for 40 years, but never grown. In about 8 years, I quadruple the money in the bank, sign up almost a dozen of the top people in the industry to work for free, develop and catalog an inventory of over 1000 pieces of huge skydiving historical value and warehouse them for free, develop a concept where people and organizations from all over the world are sending money, and finally have some kind of definite goal line, and end result. Should I be supported & rewarded for my last 8 years of huge success and progress? Or should I be penalized for the previous 40 years where not much was done, and I had no control or input? What Baronn seems to not understand, all the money, inventory, donations, concepts have occurred in the last few years. So if there is blame or fault, should it be cast at the previous 40 years? Or should the last 8 years be given some credit for the accomplishments made. True, the end result is not yet accomplished. Yes, there may be some mistakes and compromises getting from “now to then”. But there is movement, there is forward progress. This is the historical perspective I was given by longtime friend and USPA Board member Gary Peek. It is not my opinion. If anyone wants to insult or trash Gary, go right ahead. I am sure it won’t bother him. If anyone cares to provide any additional first hand history, feel free. Paul Gholson
  2. To yoink: The Museum trustee roll is comprised of several highly successful owners of multi-million dollar businesses. I believe the Museum trustees, Board of Counselors, and President have the needed knowledge and expertise required for this project. Check them out. Feel free to contact them if you wish. Paul Gholson
  3. To sfzombie13: you are correct, the USPA Board operates under Parliamentary Procedures, following Roberts Rules of Order. In fact, there are at least 3 Parliamentarians on the Board to keep everyone straight. If one wants a topic addressed, write a motion and have it put on the agenda before the meeting. Your Regional Director can assist you. The motion is initially assigned to a Committee, in this case, probably the Budget & Finance Committee. You may attend the meeting and make your case, or supply information explaining & supporting your case. The issue is discussed, and voted on. If it passes Committee, then on the last day it is presented and voted on by the Full Board. There is an opportunity to support your case during discussion there, too. If it passes, it is enacted. That simple. All the Committees and members are listed on under “Board”. That is my view and understanding of the procedures. For a more detailed look, check out the USPA Governance Manual (available on, or call USPA Headquarters. Paul Gholson. USPA Southern Regional Director
  4. Ok Baronn, I am happy to respond to your request, although you have already spoken of it all. The Museum representative, Jim McCormick, was given no more than 10 minutes to speak to the Board. His video presentation was for the Board, the staff, everyone present in the gallery including members. It was not closed session. He said they were on schedule with their timeline and the money, and were currently looking at about 5 locations in the Orlando area. He showed a map with the specific areas pinpointed. He also showed everyone a street level artists picture of the design of the project. Simply, the Museum is center, and a wind tunnel on each side. My opinion was the Museum building was the "center stage" and the tunnels flanked it. He said the plan is to have not one, but two wind tunnels. A more conventional vertical tunnel, and a wing suit or "horizontal" tunnel is the general plan. The interior designs of the museum, elevator built as a jump ship, sound effects, visual effects, computer effects, virtual reality and all the other features have already been shown to everyone and were not delved into again. In my opinion, this concept is more exciting than the original concept with IFLY as a partner. There is currently only one wing suit or horizontal tunnel in the world, and its in Europe. The horizontal tunnel offers possibilities for other sports, also. Wind tunnel testing for ski jumping comes to mind. This was the presentation the Board, staff and members saw. It is no secret, it was open for everyone. And you know I personally invited you to attend, and hoped you might. Will there be changes, sure. The wind tunnel partners and the Museum will exist together, but operate separately. In any partnership there will be compromises, I'm sure. Will it succeed long term, I believe it will. I am sure the Museum organization can supply much more detail if you request. USPA doesn't own or run the Museum. We are only contributing money toward a future goal, much like one might contribute to a church building project or charity drive. We believe in the project, and we are willing to support it. So I will end with this. The USPA Board promised to supply some funding for this effort, along with many many other individuals and organizations. It is that simple, we are going to do it. We will keep our promise. Paul Gholson USPA Southern Regional Director
  5. Baronn, what you are saying is simply not true. There are no “secret meetings” or voting unannounced. Every topic the Board discusses is on the agenda, and it is published weeks before the meeting. This gives any member the opportunity to voice an opinion about an issue. The Museum made a presentation, and the Board agreed to contribute. I was not on the Board then, but it is in the minutes. If you or anyone else want to push for a project, or an issue, or want some money, get it on the agenda and the Board will consider it. It happens all the time, every meeting. I can give you numerous examples of exactly this occurring. I believe Billvon had the correct us, email us, text us. We want to know what you want. Baronn and I view this approach very differently. In my opinion, he thinks he is most effective pushing his agenda here on, Facebook groups, and other public forums. I took a different approach to affect the changes I wanted in USPA. I saved some money, filed for a Regional Director slot, ran a campaign, traveled and talked to jumpers, and got elected. That is the way I feel I can be most effective pushing my agenda. History, and the membership, will decide who was most effective. Baronn tells his story, I tell mine. As always, I am happy to answer any questions I can concerning skydiving, USPA, Safety &Training...but I encourage you to just call USPA Headquarters. They deal with all these questions everyday, and there are some really sharp, heads-up people there. And everyone, please forgive Baronn today, he is just giddy because all the money he has contributed toward the “Skydiving Museum” has been returned to him. He no longer has that financial burden weighing him down. Paul Gholson, USPA Southern Regional Director
  6. To answer Baronn’s questions: My personal conversation with Museum rep was just reinforcement of the Museum’s previous statements and plans, no super secret plan “Yes, we said we would do this, we are going to do it” No questions were asked because the Board only gave him 10 minutes to speak, he hung around for 2 days after to answer questions. Yes, 5 (I think) locations in the Orlando area. Yes, there was a building plan shown. Yes, I believed him. Yes, they have a plan. They have expressed this in pretty detailed terms several times. You are correct, their words will need to be transformed into actions. Time will tell. The USPA does support competition teams through a special trust funded by donations. The USPA does support local clubs with airport issues, through a special fund and a dedicated employee for government relations. In my personal opinion, this staff member is one of the most valuable assets USPA has. Yes, I was voted in to represent members interest, not my own. I gain nothing financially being on the Board. As I have mentioned, being on the Board actually COSTS me money. And I am happy to do it. And I believe I am no different from any other Board member. To answer sfzombie13: Funds are spent based on member input and issues as they present themselves. It is an open process. Every topic to be discussed is posted on the USPA website weeks before the meeting, the meetings are open, and the detailed minutes of every Board meeting are available for download on the USPA website. If you want an issue presented, put it on the agenda, we do it every meeting. The USPA Board operates like a republic. The membership votes us in, and we vote on the issues at hand. If the members don’t like the way we vote, then you can vote us out next election. A member has direct representation through his Regional Director. Personally, I usually get several texts, emails and calls every week with different members issues or problems. A member also can contact USPA directly, just call them during business hours. Your call will be answered by a human, not an automated menu. And yes, Baronn has been refunded his $5.83 so he no longer has the burden of supporting the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame. Paul Gholson, USPA Southern Regional Director
  7. To be clear, the Museum trustees have a definite timeline to break ground by March, 2021. This was announced July, 2019, on their website. Yes, it has been a long time coming. The reason is, not enough money raised. Now, there is about $5.5 million raised. As I write, the Museum officials are looking at about 5 building sites in the Orlando area. This, along with other plans, was presented to the USPA Board last weekend. The USPA does not own or control the operation or plans for the Museum. The Board voted to contribute money toward this project, about $25,000 a year for about 5 years. Many other organizations and individuals have contributed much much more. These are the facts, not opinion, not conjecture. Baronn and myself view this differently, and are in opposite corners on this issue. He does not like or agree with the USPA Board decision. I stand with the USPA Board, and the Board stands together. Personally, I believe this is a potentially magnificent project, with far reaching advantages...if it succeeds. He thinks it is a money pit, a boondoggle, and a waste of money. In a few years, one of us will be right, one will be wrong. Time will tell. Again, to be clear, the Museum officials were only given 10 minutes to make their presentation with no questions during the Board meeting, because of our very full schedule. However, their representative stayed all that afternoon, that night, and the next day to answer any and all questions. I talked to him myself for 1/2 hour during breakfast the next morning. They have always been completely transparent and forthcoming in their answers. Nobody is hiding anything. They have answered every question. I have contributed personally to the Museum. I will continue to support it. The USPA Board has made a promise and commitment, and we will honor that promise.. I keep my word, the USPA will keep its word. If you don’t want to support this effort, then don’t. If you are so offended that you don’t want a couple of dollars per year of your membership money going to the Museum, send me an email and I will personally refund your portion of your membership dues that has gone toward the Museum. I made a promise to support USPA, I serve on the Board. USPA has made a promise to support the Museum. The USPA Board will keep its promise. If the membership of the USPA Southern disagrees with me, they are free to vote me off the USPA Board in the next election. “You” and I may not agree on this, but this is how I stand. If anyone wishes to express their view on this forum, feel free. If anyone wishes to contact me personally, my personal email and cell number is in the front of every Parachutist magazine. I answer my email, I answer my cell, I answer text. Ask Baronn, he has called me, texted me, and emailed me several times. I just wanted to be upfront and forthcoming with everyone, whether they agree or disagree with me. This is my stance on the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame. Paul Gholson, USPA Board of Directors, Southern Regional Director .
  8. I submit several license and rating applications a month for people in my region. I am finding new licenses are issued within a week to 10 days from arrival at USPA. That is with normal submissions. If you want and pay for expedited service, usually within 24 hours, that service is available. I am sure it varies a little based on the seasons, but I have never had a license submission take more than 10 days even during their busiest time. With the new on-line license and rating program, that time lag should decrease. Paul Gholson USPA Southern Regional Director
  9. Correct, same canopy, with the new extreme line set
  10. I have a Zulu 132 and a Zulu 152. I recently had the linesets replaced on both with the new Zulu Extreme linsets. I would have to call it a Zulu "moderately more interesting" than Extreme. Opening improved significantly, front riser pressure slightly less, not much more difference I can detect. Maybe the smaller canopies have a greater difference. It's better, but not a significant difference. Your opinions may vary.
  11. 6 Members to Run for USPA Central Regional Director in Special Election Skydiving News | Thursday, October 3, 2019 As of October 3, 2019, six USPA members will appear on the ballot in the upcoming special election to fill the remainder of the Central Regional Director’s term on the USPA Board of Directors. The election begins November 1, when Central region members with valid email addresses on file with USPA will receive an email to access the electronic ballot. The ballot will also be accessible by logging in to a USPA membership account at and going to to vote. A paper ballot will also be mailed to all Central region members. The election concludes at 5 p.m. EST on December 2. Candidates (listed in alphabetical order): Lutz Andersohn Charles Crinklaw Bill Drake Jeremy Dubansky Wes McCauley David Munoz
  12. There is an in-depth description and explanation in Parachutist magazine. This was done, in part, to insure conformity to FAI rules. It is in Parachutist, it is on Facebook, it was discussed at length during the USPA Board meeting. S/L and IAD jumps count as freefall jumps toward a USPA license.
  13. Some people seem to making a big thing of this. It is NOT a new rule, it is simply explaining and defining the existing rule. A S/L or IAD has a freefall component, even if only a very short one. To take the example to an extreme, if the S/L jump used a mile long static line, there could be one minute of freefall. In another version, an instructor deployment at the bottom end of an AFF Cat A is simply an IAD jump. It isn’t a new rule, just defining the old rule specifically. One can read all about it in Parachutist. Paul Gholson S/L-I, IAD-I, AFF-I
  14. Generally it is the S&TA or DZO that will file an incident report involving serious injury or death. Under the new rule concerning AAD fires, the involved instructor or video person is required to submit the report.
  15. Your statement is incorrect. When USPA receives an incident report, the Director of Safety & Training strips the report of any identifying info (name, DZ, locale) and THEN the report is published. The original report is destroyed/shredded. That is how it is kept "Confidential". The USPA Board and Director of Safety & Training all agreed the BSR is required, incidents are not being reported. By your own previous statements, there are on average 675 AAD cutter heads supplied by CYPRES every year, and that does not count VIGIL or other AADs. Even accounting for military use and repairs (corroded/loose wires/etc), that is a HUGE number of AAD fires per year. We all just want to know the data, it may save lives. That is your answer. Paul Gholson, USPA Southern Regional Director