• Content

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  • Feedback


Everything posted by skypilotA1

  1. The USPA Board of Directors held its first meeting of the 2022-2024 term in Houston, Texas, February 11-13. A new standard, the meeting was broadcast via Zoom allowing any members to attend virtually. Meeting highlights include: • U.S. Skydiving Safety Foundation funds were allocated towards the development of instructional-rating holder educational videos on professionalism. • To support non-English speaking students, USPA will begin to include translated SIMs on the USPA website. • Major revamp of USPA website coming later this year. • USPA will be doubling down on public relations efforts to bring greater media attention to our sport and skydiving community. • S&TA online training modules receive a major upgrade. • To aid in student retention, USPA will develop a “Starter Magazine.” • 2023 USPA Nationals was awarded to Skydive Paraclete XP. • 2023 National Collegiate Skydiving Championships was awarded to Skydive Elsinore. • USPA will submit a bid to host the 2024 International Skydiving Commission (ISC) Plenary Meeting. • USPA implemented a 30-day time limit to submit state records. • In support of our record-setting competitors, USPA will cover the fees required to claim international records set at USPA Nationals. • USPA increased the funding allotment to U.S. Parachute Team management. • There will now be a requirement to publish a tentative schedule for Nationals, subject to competitor feedback prior to publishing the final schedule. • USPA is increasing judging compensation at Nationals. • 4-way Beginner Class will continue as a test event at the 2022 USPA National Championships. • USPA Headquarters building has been paid off. • New Group Member DZs will now be required to provide a copy of their flight operations handbook. • USPA will move forward with rewriting the SIM, with plans to complete by the summer meeting. • Updated USPA Value Statement and added discrimination and harassment language to USPA manuals. The annual general membership meeting was held on Saturday evening, with an after-party at Sam’s Boat, allowing members to mingle with directors and staff. A full report of the meeting will appear in the April issue of Parachutist. The next board meeting will be July 22-24, 2022, in Alexandria, Virginia.
  2. I see that many qualified people are correcting statements, or offering different opinions of the statements put forth by “lyosa” and others. That’s good, everyone has their own views, their own opinions, and are free to express them, right or wrong. Of course, they are always subject to correction in a forum such as this. One comment I want to set straight, about the “E” license proposal. Many are under the impression it was the USPA Board that was trying to force it down the throat of the members. That is wrong. The “E” license idea was mine…I developed the idea, I formulated it, I proposed it in S&T Committee, I argued the merits, I (with the Executive Director permission) got it included in a poll to the membership, and the membership did not show enough interest to pursue the concept, and it was dropped. So, if you want to attack someone about the “E” license proposal, you come after me, not the Board. You come after me all day long, bring all you got. It was my idea, my proposal, it didn’t pass muster, it was dropped. Not the Boards idea, mine. That is the way things work on the USPA Board. We look at maybe 100 different ideas or issues every meeting, maybe 5 or 10 pass muster. But we give a voice to any member with an idea, or suggestion. So when you say, the Board is wasting time looking at a new concept, such as an “E” license, we consider hundreds of ideas every year. Most are discarded, a few are passed. That is why the Board exists, that is part of the work it does, all as volunteers, with no pay. If anyone wishes to discuss this offline, by PM, or directly, I am happy to oblige. My home address, email, cell phone is in the front of every Parachutist magazine. Paul Gholson, USPA Southern Regional Director [email protected] 901-233-4144
  3. Interesting, about the same percentage of people in favor of the E license or award, are the same number of members that voted… about 15%. Thus that proposal was dropped.
  4. Yes, that is about correct. And that was exit at 36,000 ft AGL, and opening at 6000 ft AGL.
  5. Just an update, as part of our preparation and testing for these extreme HALOs, yesterday we performed a successful shakedown test flight and tandem jump from 36,000 feet. The info and video is up on Facebook. It was epic.
  6. Cocowheats-To answer your question, as long as you are a licensed skydiver and can breath air through a mask, you are good to go. Specifically, any USPA license is fine, A, B, C or D is acceptable as a solo jumper. And we will train you on the operation of all the gear, including breathing with the mask. No jump number requirements, as one must have a minimum of 25 jumps to get a USPA license. It is just a REALLY LONG freefall...about 2.5 minutes. Paul Gholson S&TA & HALO Oxygen Monitor
  7. New state-of-the-art O2 equipment, world class facilities, most experienced Civilian HALO instructors in the country, fastest climbing jumpship.....what more could you ask. West Tennessee Skydiving for a once in a lifetime experience!
  8. I have held many courses at a non-group member DZ, simply pay a fee to USPA. I helped get the fee reduced. I am happy to send you details if you wish. Paul Gholson USPA Southern Regional Director
  9. Summer USPA BOD Meeting - September 18-20, 2020 The USPA Board of Directors held its Summer meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, September 18-20. The board meeting was broadcast live via Zoom Webinar for any USPA members who wanted to observe and watch our deliberations. The BOD foresees that his may be a venue for future meetings. 1. Due to the recent pandemic membership, licenses and ratings were down as expected but they are slowly rebounding. 2. The S&T felt that there needed to be more clarity and defined criteria for the BSR 2-1.G.6.a. on who can supervise a Coach or a D licensed skydiver when jumping with students in a group. - The new wording will be a. Student freefall training for group freefall jumps must be conducted by either a USPA Coach or a D-License holder approved to make coach jumps by their S&TA, under the supervision of a USPA Instructor 3. The S&T revisited the D License requirements and made some adjustments for the members to meet the criteria. The original intent of the previous change was to allow the D license applicant to choose or complete 2 of either of the listed items outline in section 3-1. The S&T committee made necessary adjustments to reflect the needed changes. - Move to change SIM section 3-1.E.D LICENSE.1.C. to read: “Completed two of the following requirements (a requirement can be repeated): 1. night jump (following the SIM recommendations) 2. landed within seven feet of the target center on 100 jumps 3. participated in a canopy formation of a 3 stack or larger completing a full rotation. 4. completed an intentional water jump 5. successful completion of one hundred formation skydives, at least twenty-five of which must involve at least eight participants.” 4. The S&T committee decided to change the renewal criteria for expired rating holders over 2 years and for foreign rating holders who wish to challenge the course for certification. The new criteria is for them is to attend a full course to include all the air evaluations and ground preps. 5. The S&T committee discussed the merits of having an expired IE still have signature authority for USPA renewals and licenses. The committee felt that this was a venue that would serve the membership if the expired IE was still skydiving and kept their instructor ratings current in that discipline and was still relevant. This change will be reflected in the next addition of the IRM. 6. Coaches will soon have verification blocks they can sign on the 2-page A-license card to mirror the signature authority they have on the 4-page A-license card. 7. Regional Directors are now able to renew ratings up to 15 days expired for special or extenuating circumstances. A $40 expired rating renewal fee may apply. 8. The S&T committee developed a sub-committee to assist in developing a military proficiency certificate for servicemen and women who have completed military free fall schools and still want to continue skydiving at USPA GM drop zones. 9. USPA will be listing the medical type, i.e. FAA, Military, or Foreign, in credential verification lookup. This will assist and help DZO’s ensure that the tandem instructors working at the drop zones meet the BSR requirements. 10. The committee established rating renewal requirements for PRO rated holders. If they are have expired from 12-24 months, they will have to do two stand-up landings, making the first contact and stopping within an area 40 feet long by 20 feet wide: fortheir respective wing loadings of 1.5:1 (Lower & Higher), in the presence of a current Regional, National, or U.S./FAI International Judge; Regional or National Director; S&TA, or IE. 11. For Tandem IE candidates who wish to achieve the USPA Tandem IE rating, out of the 25 air and ground evaluations that are required – 15 of them need to be focused on Category A and B jumps and group evaluations. Candidates will have to list these on their respective vetting sheets. 12. The S&T committee tasked a sub-committee to research and define recommendations for angle jumps and tracking jumps that could be added to USPA SIM Section 6-2. These recommendations will be brought to the committee for review. 13. To assist Drop Zones where additional proctoring personnel are needed, USPA Judges will now be able to administer the A, B, and C License tests and USPA Judge Examiners can administer the D License test. 14. Other Meeting highlights include: - The USPA board of Directors worked on a values statement and an online code of conduct. Pending final adoption, these statements will be released soon. - Your primary membership card is currently available in your USPA profile for download and printing. If you would like a physical card mailed to you upon joining, renewing, or adding a license or rating, please ensure your individual settings reflect that preference. - The board awarded the following USPA service awards - The USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service to Kurt Gaebel, D-18635 & Yong Chisholm, D-21693. - After 24 years of service for USPA, Executive Director Ed Scott attended his 48th and final board meeting. President Chuck Akers presented Ed with a plaque from board and staff commemorating his dedication. A full report will appear in the November issue of Parachutist. The board will meet next January 29-31, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  10. The USPA Board of Directors is having its twice annual meeting this weekend in Nashville, TN, Sept 18-20. There is a general membership meeting Friday! If there is an issue or a comment, or if you just want to see your Board members in action and meet them personally, now is the time. If you want an issue discussed, contact your a Regional Director and let them know. That’s how you make things happen! All info, venue, schedule and agenda is on the website!
  11. At West Tennessee Skydiving, near Memphis, we have a couple of AFF instructors that are 6’ and over, I’m 6’2” myself. Also, we give the student both instructors video during the debrief. We think it a great learning tool, we think it’s important. We don’t charge.
  12. To expand on the comments by Chuckakers, gowlerk, and skybytch, it is possible to skydive if under 18 at a USPA dropzone. A waiver MAY be granted by the USPA Board of Directors, on an individual case by case basis. Such an example might be a dropzone kid who has been working at the DZ helping pack and run errands, both parents are instructors, has soloed a plane, and had tunnel instruction. That type of kid MIGHT be considered positively for a waiver. The Board decides each case individually on its own merit, just as Chuck said. Also, just because an individual gets this waiver, a DZ doesn’t have to let them jump. It is each DZ decision, they may chose not to allow. Recently, a young lady was granted a waiver, and completed her “A” license in another country where she could jump, but had difficulty finding a DZ here in the states that would allow her to jump, even with a waiver and A license. West Tennessee Skydiving recently assisted 2 young ladies under 18. One completed her A license, and one completed her B license, and both under 18. They are both talented, driven, focused individuals. When one asks about the success in granting these waivers, these are two success stories right here. Concerning USPA membership, any jumpers that is cleared for self-supervision or solo jumping, is required to be a USPA member if jumping at a USPA Group Member dropzone. That means, when AFF is completed, the student must join. I hope this information helps clarify the question. I am fairly confident of these facts, as I assisted both of these ladies to get their waiver, I jumped with both these ladies, and I signed off both of their license applications. If anyone has any individual or specific questions about this issue, I am happy to answer privately or here publicly.
  13. Yes, thats correct. Renewing your Instructor rating also renews your Coach rating.
  14. Both DZs are great, I know the mangers of each, and highly recommend both. You are correct, different vibes. Check them out, make the decision best for you. I have nothing but praise for both. You can't go wrong either way.
  15. 20kN is correct. Coaches are certainly allowed, and encouraged to do recurrency jumps. And please read the SIM carefully. Look at the exact wording of "should" and "must" in terms of recurrency for license holders. The requirements are different for licensed jumpers compared to rating holders. Those words were chosen specifically. Ultimately, it is up to the local S&TA or DZO what a "recurrency jump" might be. Trust your local S&TA, he was chosen by the USPA Regional Director in a high position of trust and authority. On the local DZ, their word is pretty much how it is. And rules may vary from DZ to DZ depending on the DZO and S&TA. Paul Gholson Southern Regional Director
  16. Yes, it’s done all the time. We even had that exact combination setup at our DZ for this month (before COVID-19).
  17. USPA is currently looking at the Instructor situation, in terms of recurrency, to decide what action, if any, should be taken. Some members feel the standards should be relaxed because of the current pandemic and they need some relief from the rules. Other members feel safety standards should never be relaxed, they are written in blood. Your opinions and views are always welcome. I would suggest letting your USPA Regional Director know how you feel, and your possible solution. If you are an instructor just becoming “uncurrent”, I would suggest contacting Safety and Training at USPA and find out if there is any relief for you on an individual basis. The email is: [email protected] Paul Gholson. USPA Southern Regional Director
  18. The USPA Board of Directors temporarily waived the requirement for tandem instructors to hold a Federal Aviation Administration Third-Class Medical Certificate. The Executive Committee passed the following motion: “Move to waive SIM Section 2-1. C. 2. Any valid FAA medical held by a USPA Tandem Instructor rating holder that expires between 03/31/2020 through 06/30/2020, will be considered valid by USPA until 1 July 2020.” Paul Gholson USPA Southern Regional Director
  19. You are correct, but this only applies to pilots or other crew members. It does not affect or apply to USPA Tandem Instructors.
  20. Your quote is correct. But the FAA only addresses crew members in this action. It is saying, “Yes, we know you medical is expired, but we will not take any enforcement action against the crew member”. This has no effect on a USPA Tandem Instructor. However, the USPA has been proactive, and come up with a solution and will probably be announcing it today or tomorrow. Stay tuned. Paul Gholson USPA Southern Regional Director
  21. Diesel, USPA is monitoring the situation closely. The USPA governmental liaison is well connected, and keeping track of the situation directly. Personally, I feel AOPA is the group best suited to take point, as almost EVERY AOPA member needs a medical. A smaller group of our USPA members require a medical. AOPA, with almost 400,000 members, would have more clout in influencing the FAA to extend medical deadlines, with USPA, 42,000 members, providing support. Believe me, USPA is in front of this situation, and is being very proactive. I am hopeful and confident the FAA, AOPA, and USPA will arrive at a satisfactory answer to this issue quickly. Paul Gholson USPA Southern Regional Director
  22. If anyone thinks this a serious enough issue, I would recommend actually talking to the people that can make this happen. The USPA Safety and Training Committee is the group that actually makes these rules. I would suggest contacting your USPA Regional Director (listed in the front of every Parachutist magazine). Your RD can provide guidance on your particular situation, and if you have any unexplored options. Your RD can also provide you information to actual “change the rules” if you think it is necessary. You can also email the USPA Director of Safety & Training, Ron Bell. He deals with these types of issues daily. Paul Gholson. USPA Southern Regional Director USPA Safety & Training Committee Advisor
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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