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Everything posted by skypilotA1

  1. skypilotA1

    Zulu vs ZuluX

    Correct, same canopy, with the new extreme line set
  2. skypilotA1

    Zulu vs ZuluX

    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.
  3. 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
  4. skypilotA1

    New SL/IAD "freefall" jump requirement

    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.
  5. skypilotA1

    New SL/IAD "freefall" jump requirement

    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
  6. 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.
  7. skypilotA1

    USPA Board Meeting

    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
  8. I have owned Pilots of various sizes for the last 7 years, never a hard opening. We also have several Pilots in our student rigs, we live them, never an issue.
  9. skypilotA1

    USPA Board Meeting

    "The question no one seems to want to answer - Why is collecting this data so important that it requires a BSR to get it? Aren't BSR's supposed to be about basic safety issues - things that can/have hurt or kill skydivers?" The answer is important because USPA doesn't know the extent of the problem. According to one source, CYPRES supplies on average 670 replacement cutters a year to the US, combined military & civilian. Even if the civilian percentage is a faction of that number, that is a HUGE number of AAD fires per year...and that is just CYPRES. And that number doesn't even include VIGIL fires. The AAD fires are simply not being reported. If the collected data indicates a pattern (like TIs with hand cams, AFF single instructor release jumps, or solo student practicing backflips), then some retraining may be in order. The extent of the problem simply isn't known, and this BSR may help save lives. So simply...the BSR is simply to collect data that may save lives, and there is no downside to reporting. Paul Gholson
  10. skypilotA1

    Vigil service delays

    In reply to mxk, I was told "almost" all US-based Vigils are repaired and serviced in Florida. Very few were sent over to Belgium.
  11. skypilotA1

    Vigil service delays

    I have been in contact with VIGIL. Apparently, this is their busiest time. They are aware of delays in unit turnaround. They are estimating 3-4 weeks turnaround times. One should get an email as soon as the unit is received. If no initial email is received, or no contact is made in 3-4 weeks, they suggest contacting them directly, during business hours. They promised to personally contact the owner if a problem developed. They responded to me personally within 24 hours. They seemed genuinely willing to help. Their contact info is: Vigil America Deland FL 386-736-8464 Paul Gholson
  12. skypilotA1

    Going Home Again

    You will have no trouble. I have made recurrency jumps with people out of the sport 40 years, and no issues. Just get a complete briefing from an S&TA or head instructor, and perform EPs several times. Follow the BSRs, don't do anything out of your comfort zone, remember to breath, it all comes back to you. Good luck!
  13. skypilotA1

    USPA Board Meeting

    To reply to (MakeItHappen) Jan's concerns, in order: 1. The initial motion from S&T Committee was not acceptable to the Full Board, the motion was rewritten, discussed, debated, voted on and passed. It was all in public, in full session. You and I, along with 20 other Board members were there. The version of the BSR passed was the version the Full USPA Board wanted, it included ANY AAD fire on a student jump. 2. Any BSR violation is subject to disciplinary action. Yes, if an AAD fire is not reported according to the BSR, there is possibility of disciplinary action, as with any BSR violation. It has been that way for decades. This is no different. Nothing has changed. 3. The incident report (if one cares to look under can indeed remain anonymous. The section at the end, where the person submitting the report, is to write their name, even says "optional for non-fatal reports". The language of the BSR also strictly states "no disciplinary action" if the report is submitted within 48 hours. No means no. 4. Your statement is not correct. There is always a possibility of an instructor being required some additional re-training, even if no incident. That is not in any way a disciplinary action. Many times I have required a Coach or Instructor to retrain if there was an issue. I have even required it of myself when I thought there may be a potential issue. The retraining might be as simply as "get some advice from 'Instructor A' on how they handled that particular issue, they have encountered it before". You could also call it learning. There was never a report submitted, and certainly no 1-6 action taken. 99% of all issues are handled at the local DZ level by the local S&TA/head instructor/DZO, and handled well. That is the way they should be handled. 5. Every Coach or Instructor takes a chance on being sued by any student at any time. That is the chance we take living in a free litigious society. This BSR makes no change, and has no bearing on the ability of someone to sue, or not to sue. My personal advice, if a Coach or Instructor wants to completely remove themselves from the possibility of a lawsuit, they probably shouldn't be a Coach or Instructor. The USPA Instructor Rating Manual covers this area very well, it is required material in any Coach or Instructor Course. Please remember everyone, USPA simply needs the data. The data might help us determine dangerous trends, develop new practices, and save lives. Paul Gholson AFF-I, USPA Regional Director
  14. skypilotA1

    USPA Board Meeting

    The reason for the creation and passing of this BSR is simply to collect data from the field. Safety and training committee believes there may be lots of AAD fires occurring in the field unreported, or there may be few. The data collected is only used to measure trends or patterns, and ultimately make the sport safer. The collected data from a self-report may not be used for disciplinary action. One of the primary goals of USPA is to promote safety of the membership. The hope is this data may save lives, thus the creation of this self-report. Paul Gholson
  15. skypilotA1

    USPA Board Meeting

    The BSR means exactly what it says. ANY AAD fire on a student jump requires a report. If a student, TI, AFFI or even a videographer filming a tandem has an AAD fire, the incident MUST be reported within 48 hours. Any means any. Also, if the incident is self-reported within 48 hours, there can be no disciplinary action because of the report. The BSR was written in plain language that does not require interpretation. Paul Gholson USPA Regional Director Safety & Training Committee Advisor
  16. skypilotA1

    SL/IAD instructor

    Again, yes. If the student is a USPA member. Any USPA Instructor is able to "sign off" or verify any/all items of a USPA student "A" Proficiency card at any foreign DZ, non USPA DZ, or Farmer John's field. The instructor is verifying the student performance, the airspace or location doesn't matter. Hope that helps.
  17. skypilotA1

    SL/IAD instructor

    The answer to your question is YES. A S/L or IAD instructor is able to "sign off" or authorize a student "A" license. Any instructor may sign a students "A" proficiency card. Paul Gholson S&TA, Coach Examiner
  18. Sorry you had a bad experience. I would never dream of not being responsive to a member - whether in my region or not. If you can't get the help you need, I suggest contacting the president of the board or the executive director. Often a call from one of them kickstarts action. You can also call me. I handle the gulf region but I'm happy to assist any member in any way at any time, 24/7. It's what I signed up for so it's what I am prepared to do. I encourage anyone who holds a seat on the board to do the same. My number is 832-630-1213. Add me to your contacts. This is the proper response from a USPA Board member
  19. skypilotA1

    Floater exit

    Listen to Chuck ^^^Listen to your Coaches and Instructors. That is their function !!! To any experienced Coach or Instructor, your issue is obvious, that is why Chuck is able to correctly identify it. The best asset you have is your Coaches, not Paul Gholson Coach Examiner
  20. skypilotA1

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    I am curious...did you ever contact your Regional Director, Joshua Hall, or any of the National Directors? I am curious about their response. Paul G.
  21. skypilotA1

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Speaking to the Coach courses currently being given, I disagree with "Skytribe". The Coaches are only as good as the Coach Examiners giving the courses. As a Coach Examiner, I have "failed" many candidates during courses. Most of the time, they gained additional training and were able to repeat and "pass". There are clearly defined measurable standards in place in the IRM. If the Examiners hold to the standard set, there should be no issue with the performance of a new Coach. Paul Gholson Coach Examiner
  22. skypilotA1

    16 year old skydiving

    Mark.Carroll is absolutely correct. We take 16 year olds for tandems most weekend. I know for sure, as I work at West Tennessee Skydiving as an instructor. Just give us a call or check out our website, Hope to see you soon! Paul G. West Tennessee Skydiving
  23. skypilotA1

    West Tennessee Skydiving August 5-8

    It is great that you will be visiting us at West Tennessee Skydiving. You won't have any trouble finding someone to jump with, no matter what your discipline. Just ask the DZO, Mike Mullins, to hook you up with someone. And be sure to get a jump from the inverted Pitts bi-plane, it's a blast. You might want to get a helo jump, too! And check out the new swoop pond! So get ready for some "7 minutes to 14,500" fun! Exit, exit, exit!
  24. skypilotA1


    I own 2 Pilots and a Stilleto. After demoing a Zulu over the weekend. I compared same sizes. The Zulu just does everything a little better than the Pilot. Very pleased. Great canopy.
  25. skypilotA1

    Bonehead REvolve or Cookie G3

    Love my Revolve....about 4 of them at my DZ. Cookie is great, but I like the more solid feel. Also, I talk to my students right up to exit, then slam down the visor.