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Everything posted by Para5-0

  1. Robin, I can assure you this letter is not to be taken lightly. It was constructed by Jeff Norris the leading underwriter for jump aircraft insurance. I also believe he has jump experience. I am sure if you ask around you will find out that a majority of dropzones are using them to insure thier aircrafts. I liken this letter to federal funds for the highways. If you choose to have a higher speed limit on your highways then you will not receive federal funds. In this case come up with some standard or we will raise your rates or worse not insure you. It's not a surprise to see this has finally hit the public airwaves. This is but one of the concerns facing the wingsuit community and DZO's. It came up in the DZO questionnaire a few times. This is also why I've been in support of a standardized wingsuit training program. Without standards, skydiving cannot show insurers nor the FAA that we have a baseline from which people are taught. There will be a question on the November USPA ballot, asking "Should USPA adopt a standardized wingsuit instructor rating?" Rich Winstock USPA National Director
  2. Thanks for input, It seems the rating has become something that is expected of the S&TA or senior guys and it is getting to be burdensome. I am not complaining dont get me wrong just trying to get an idea of what is happening elsewhere. I think I like the two day structured course idea. This was Ican dedicate myself to it as opposed to fitting it in where I can.
  3. I am curious to ask others about the pro rating. I am sure most of you probably do this out of the kindness of your hearts but do any of you charge for a pro rating? I am getting more and more coming up to me for the ground school and to monitor them as they navigate the proficiency card. It is getting to be a bit much. Does anyone out there charge to oversee a skydiver getting a pro rating? Just as a FYI I have never but I have definately pondered it. Thanks, Rich
  4. Hey Schlomo, Serious congrats, nice accomplishment. Rich
  5. Dr. Fred was a local jumper at Skydive Long Island, who lost his battle with cancer. He will be loved and missed by all. Link to his tribute ash dive. Blue Skys Forever Doc! Winnie
  6. Watch Cutaway! Tom Berenger, Steven Baldwin.....It might motivate you.
  7. I know where you stand on the issue but I have a thought as I read your post. Interested in your response. Do we have to wait until the number of WS fatlaities reach a suitable number to do soemthing. If I use the canopy issue as an example. Imagine if someone tried to do something about canopy before the stats started to spike. It would have been fought saying the stats do not warrant it. I have heard that USPA was late to the party with canopy education and I agree But: If we had a crystal ball and see that maybe (speculation) maybe WS fatalities will rise in the future, wouldnt it be great to do something before that happens. Although, if done correctly the WS stats will stay very low, causing those to say we didnt need it to argue. It seems like a big catch 22. There is no way to prove something worked. The B license prof card is an example. Who knows maybe canopy fatlaities will stay the same, but without it there might have been a rise. We will never know if we saved lives. Am I analyzing it to closely? Sorry just trying to get a grip on the bigger picture.
  8. That whole thread should have been under USPA thread to begin with. Then as it morphed it should have been changed to wingsuit threads. Mike started that under general for some reason even though we have meeting threads already set up.
  9. The poll is going out with the 2012 election ballots. So electronically every USPA member will receive a ballot to vote for the BOD and attached to it will be a question, "Should USPA adopt the attached Wingsuit Instructor Rating?" Yes or No. The entire program will be attched and visable to view. To answer the second part of your post. I will say that it has been discussed (wing load BSR, Canopy Instructor, endorsements) It is a very slippery slope to go down. The board in its current configuration, I would be very surprised if something could make its way to fruition. One of the arguements from BOD members is they do not want advanced discipline ratings and they believe that the WSI rating will open a can of worms. Notice I did not disagree with you, in fact I was very involved in the implementation of the B canopy proficiencxy card. I felt it was as much as we could get at the time. The basis for the card is to require a canopy course prior to a B license. Most if not all courses incorporate what was on the card and in the syllabus. A huge step in the right direction. Also and not out yet we approved some changes to the card this last meeting. Flight 1 had some very good suggestions to improve the card. Remember we said at its inception that it was just a starting point and it would require field testing and tweaking.
  10. Hey, I do have a thick skin probably thicker than most. In fact I dont think it is possible to piss me off. I think we can all find common ground especially if we could meet in person. To give an example of why trying to do anything is disheartening. Take a gander at the comment Robin made in the DZ banned thread. We are being compared to Hitler. I am just shaking my head right now. Is that really going to help wingsuitters as a whole? Not to mention it is a bit off kilter and distasteful, but what do I know. I guess it is out of our hands and into the members. Let's see what they think about it and then move forward accordingly. If we are moving forward with it then input would be great. If we arent moving forward then alternate educational plans are in order. I think I am going to bail out of this for a bit, otherwise I might start getting compared to Al Queda, serial killers, or rapists. Thanks Talk Soon. Rich
  11. I volunteer to play myself! But I will need 200 practice jumps at multiple locations in my contract please. New harness, main, reserve, aad, as well. Preferably at a warm location if filming is in the winter time. that should cover the basics.
  12. Mike, At the end of the meeting BJ brought forth an amendment to make the new definition retroactive making all four eligible to proceed with the election process. I am positive it is four candidates. You may have left or not been in the room, it was late on Sunday.
  13. So if we have mandatory instruction for wingsuiters, how do These are the questions that we were hoping to get from the masses. The first flight course has a proficiency card that is very basic. Instability training, landing patterns, completed the course...etc. I will try to attach it. Once complete it just get faxed into USPA and the license will be endorsed with a wingsuit endorsement. Now when you show up with your license we can verify you had a standardized training program. If people just took the time to read the work that went into this I am sure they would feel more confident.
  14. In reference to the Wing Suit Instructor rating IRM material. I am starting to get asked by many to see it. I like that and it is a step in the right direction. Ilike people asking to see what they object to before objecting to it. I will release it as soon as I can. It will be released as a draft at first keeping in mind it is a work in progress. Just like the canopy card as we see fit we can make ammendments based on you guys out in the field. But it is a starting point never the less. Stand by and I will work on getting it together for release. The fact people want to read it is a step forward.
  15. Great great point and one I personally have thought about. I have said this before I am not a wingsuitter. I have not made one jump. I do not know the dynamics of each suit or what is considered higher performance and thus more dangerous. Aside from the larger is faster or larger is more dangerous. I had the presurization explained to me but outside of this very limited bit of knowledge I am crippled to make a decision about wingsuit size. I am an STA though. So, if we had the WSI rating out there I could at least use he or she as a reference giude when a new wser shows up or wants to upsize. That sounds strange, I have been slowing downsizing down for years now it is reverse. This is important to understand: Why did I say the above? Because if an instructor gives me the advice then I have a chain of liability. In other words the WSI knows through the coach course and WSI course about Liability (personal, dropzone, USPA). The decisions they make will be with the notion they can and will be responsible for any decision they make specifically allowing someone to jump a larger suit; they will be responsible for conducting a safe jump from ground school through debrief. The way it is now a self appointed instructor can say whatever they want with no concern whatsoever about the end result. USPA cant hold them responsible, a court of law would be hard pressed to hang it on them...I say just like an AFF instructor saying yes I think you will be okay downsizing that canopy, a WS Instructor (assuming they meet a standard) can say the same thing as long as they understand the ramification of a early decision. Now we have a community starting to look after themselves. As opposed to the self appointed instructor having a student injury, or worse and then stepping back and claiming they were experienced skydivers it was up to them to make the decision. Horseshit, i say. If every person was smart enough to watch out for the safety of themself and others we wouldnt have canopy problems. If the canopy problem is so rampant with kids jumping canopies they arent qualified for the wingsuit community is potentially heading down the same path. You guys are telling me it is an expanding discipline. Every single first jump course has a brand new skydiver wanting to fly a squirrel suit. It is getting big and fast, whether it is liked or not. I want to see wingsuiting expand to the point it is as common as RW, or Freeflying. Well with that expansion comes responsibility to ensure the safety of all new jumpers as well as those that havent started yet. Some people need to be protected from themselves. Unfortunately, if that sounds like over regulation then I am guilty as charged. Rich
  16. Hey Fellas, I will answer based on my opinion. I know that is dangerous. IMO it doesnt matter wht the jump numbers were. My rationale is that if a standardized course was implemented from jump one the jumper would have a sound basis to continue to grow throughout their WSing career. SDU and USPA emphasize kinestetic and isometric drills to reinforce muscle memory. Similar to teaching a brand new jumper emergency procedures. If they are taught properly at beginner stage these procedures will become ingrained through muscle memory. I practiced my eps my whole career until I needed them at jump 4800. The reason I responded accordingly ws based on learning them properly day 1 and re-enforcing them through handles touches for years. Imagine if a new wingsuitter learns all of the proper technigues through a standardized process and continues to re-enforce them through their career. I can link a bad exit of an experienced wingsuitter to training. In my mind anyway. Keep in mind nothing would have changed at all by passing this except holding some accountability to those teaching the basics. I also think it would legitimize the discipline to include all wingsuitters, instructors and especially instructor examiners. I believe in the IERC and so does USPA. So I just cant see the harm in asking those that teach this discipline to meet some standards. Those standards are already in place. Do the current I/E's (self appointed) meet this criteria? and if not why is it too much to ask? Take a moment and read the program, objectively. Both sides agreed on the material, that has already been determined. So we are just advocating for those that teach it meet a min. standard. To include understanding not only what to teach but how to teach it. I understand the WSer that landed in the ocean didnt meet the 200 jump BSR. so some say it doesnt matter and that a rating wouldnt matter. I disagree. If we had a bsr requirring a FFC that is taught by an instructor that meets the USPA standard then he should not have been let on the plane. Rich rant over. lol
  17. Thank you. I will make a statement that will undoughtably get torn apart but I do see it as a safety concern. This is NOT fear mongering. Let me say that again, We are not trying to scare people into a rating. The numbers are the numbers. There is no manipulating them. 2011 had 12 confirmed tail strikes. I personally know of three not reported during that time. I checked on each one of these by the way to make sure it wasnt manufactrured. In the last two weeks we had a wingsuiter land in the ocean causing two dropzones to reconsider allowing WSers. A few days ago a wingsuitter struck a horizontal stabilizer causing 35k in damage and I believe a broken foot. Moving forward we have documented one tail strike every 27 days. Keep in mind that is just the ones that were reported. Many are not and more importantly many many close calls are not reported. I believe that may be the reason that upwards of 80 % of DZOs, STA's, and I/E's did support this initiative. End result the FAA, I have spoken to four seperate inspectors, is currently looking at this. The question will arise in the near future what are we doing about it? The material that was presented to the BOD has been made or is being made available to all to use for education. This is exactly what the opposition to this rating wanted. The question that lingers is who will teach it and what qualifications should we expect. Thanks for the response. Rich
  18. Consider this my summation: I just took the time to actually read this whole thread from the initial post where I was reaching out to what I thought was a bunch of fellow skydivers who had a common discipline. I considered myself part of the skydiving community but had limited knowledge of the WS community. What I will say is I thought I was attempting to include the very community that this rating would effect. What I got in return for trying to do the right thing was harassing emails, online assaults, I was lied to directly, I was the victim of complete and utter deception, personal attacks,and I was portrayed as someone who was trying to sever and desmantle the wingsuit community. I am disgusted with what ALL of you have allowed your community to become. To include attacks on this forum which I will point out has 6000+ views more than any other thread under wingsuits. So I guess some people read this, but not enough to consider it represntative of your community. What I include here is factual and first hand knowledge, I will and can prove any statement I make. Statement read to the Safety and Training Committee and the truth about who we actually reached out to. Rich Winstock 8/3/2012 USPA BOD Sub-Committee on Wingsuit Instructor rating Prior to the last BOD meeting a member in good standing approached the Safety and Training committee and requested some time to give a presentation on the need for a Wingsuit Instructor rating and why USPA should consider the adoption of a standardized First Flight Course. After being approved by the S&T committee Chair Todd Spillers, time was set aside accordingly. At the Feb. 17-19th, 2012, during a 45 minute presentation, this member gave an overview of where Wingsuitting started and where it had progressed to currently. The presentation cited statistics that showed an increase not only in the discipline but a significant increase in tail strikes and off field landings. The member was extremely vigilant in preparing not only the presentation but a complete standardized Wingsuit First Flight Course, a complete Standardized Wingsuit Instructor rating, a complete Wingsuit Instructor Examiner Rating, and a complete roll out procedure to include methods for current Wingsuit manufacture instructors to comply and cross over to a USPA overseen program. The entire proposed program was put into USPA language and prepared prior to the meeting. Although the presentation was extremely thorough there were alternate views as to whether USPA should consider getting involved in this endeavor. Discussions revealed that this issue needed much further and detailed analysis. Chair Spillers formed a Wingsuit Instructor Sub Committee and asked myself to select members from Safety and Training and chair the sub-committee. It was determined the goal of the sub-committee would be to examine if indeed a safety concern existed, if we were in need of standardized training, if we were in need of a wingsuit instructor rating, and if USPA should be the one to oversee the entire program. The committee was charged with returning to the next BOD meeting with a recommendation. The sub-committee was formed and consisted of Sherry Butcher, Randy Allison, Merriah Eakins, Tony Thacker, and myself. Many obstacles presented themselves early in this process. The first was, did the sub-committee have the wingsuit experience and knowledge of a specialized discipline to make such a decision. Certainly there was enough instructor experience and years of teaching knowledge on the committee but something was missing. It was agreed that we needed to reach out to several key groups to get as much detailed input as possible. There was no need to re-create the wheel but definitely a need to acquire more knowledge and insight to how the current system was operating. A list of approximately 25 advanced Wingsuit Instructors was slowly compiled through recommendations and research. These were referred to as the top 10 % of the Wingsuit community. This group was to act as an advisory board if you will to assist in educating each member of the sub-committee through their experience, knowledge, and wide spread reach within their community. The committee further decided that they would come up with a fairly simple but detailed questionnaire and disseminate it to this top 10% group first (See Attached). The questions were constructed via conference calls during the first month and cursory input from Jim Crouch and Todd Spillers. The goal of this questionnaire was two- fold; First, to get as much information and as many points of view from the experienced Wingsuitters; second to only allow each person one voice. To expand, each person was allotted one questionnaire. The rationale was to negate the loudest, most popular, or most influential person from having any more input than any one other person. It was made crystal clear to all advisors that this was how the committee chose to move forward. Anything outside of this request would be considered static or noise that the committee did not have the time or patience for. We asked that all advisors submit their thoughts as soon as possible. This was done by a mass email to all advisors. In the email it was not only requested that they be honest, forth coming, and objective but they forward this questionnaire onto anyone who they felt met the criteria of being an ambassador of the WS community. Specifically: “If you are receiving this email someone has suggested that you have the knowledge, experience, and professionalism required to assist us, as an advisor to the committee. The committee has come up with a short questionnaire that asks specifically designed questions to get detailed information on the topic. We know that we are not experts on the topic, that is why we are seeking out the top 10% of the wingsuit community to help us out. We are well aware that each person will have their own personal feelings on this issue and we welcome those thoughts, but please answer the questions as objectively and honestly as possible.” After constructing the questionnaire and disseminating, it was jointly determined that we needed to reach out to several other groups to get a full picture of the issue and at the same time get as many points of view as possible. The committee decided that we would continue to forward the same questionnaire to general members and the WS community as a whole. This was done by emails, Facebook, and postings on under the Wingsuit threads. There was an overwhelming response. All questionnaires received were forwarded to all members of the committee as soon as they were received. In the interest of time, this strategy was predetermined to allow BOD members the opportunity to keep up on the material as the interim moved forward. Further, the committee decided that we needed to get a questionnaire out to DZO’s, STA’s, and all I/E’s. This different but similar questionnaire was formed via several conference calls and multiple calls and emails amongst the committee. (See Attached) Once complete, Jim Crouch forwarded a letter from myself, out via mass email to all DZO’s, STA’s, and I/E’s. Again, the response was overwhelming to include a sleuth of emails giving specific opinions either for or against and in most cases backing their thoughts up with clear concise examples. It is important to note that we received responses from USPA dropzones, USPA rated instructors, and USPA S&TA’s around the world. The data that was presented was calculated completely with approximately 300 complete responses to include letters, emails, and questionnaires. Upwards of 80 % of those contacted were in favor of a Standardized Wingsuit Instructor rating. At that point the numbers were attacked, the questions were attacked, the method of distribution was attacked, the results although all opinion based were the victim of an all out assault by the small minority of your community. Presented with a petition the day of this meeting was probably the apex of the attacks. I personally checked only 50 signatures on this scientific petition. Of 50 names (18 were expiried USPA member, 12 were not members of USPA) So 30 out of 50 names that I selected and checked personally are not people I represent. If I extrapolate that out to the 250 or so signatures that is well over 50% of the signatures are non USPA members. Is that who you want me to represent? So if you are still reading a step was taken back and we decided to opinion poll the entire USPA membership. Vector Boy even suggested this. Guess what? The minority fought hard against the wording of the question, "Should USPA adopt a Wingsuit Instructor Rating Program?" That is so misleading isnt it? Then the minority fought us attaching the program to the question. So members could actually see what it looks like. Keep in mind not many of you have even seen or read it. Again, that was fought. What is it that you people really want? My self personally and the members of the sub committee worked hard for the membership of USPA. Hundreds upon hundreds of hours went into this only to watch a completely sub divided, unorganized, culture destroy themselves. Instead of trying to find common ground. If anyone says they tried to I will confront them in a public forum at anytime. What I implore you to do is confirm every statement you hear come out of anyones mouth invloced in this. The outright lies that I have read, heard, and witnessed are disgraceful to say the least; I am holding back my true words. So start now thinking of how you can all argue about the results of the opinion poll question. It is going out to every single USPA member. What complaints will you have about this? I am sure you can come up with some because the ones argueing against this are the loudest does not mean they are representative of the entire USPA membership. Rather than attack me or the reason I took the stance I did, feel free to email me personally, call me, or pm me at anytime. I have responded to every inquiry I have received and those reading this can attest to that. Rich Winstock USPA National Director
  19. NO, All four candidates who were ineligible by our governance manual are now on the ballot as per a retroactive rule change.
  20. LMAO, This is being posted as a first post, and you happen to know all of us pretty well. I have signed every post I have ever made on this site, and take responsibility for every word. Does anyone see the hypocracy? I have no agenda other than to help your community have a voice. IF you must hide to say whats on your mind send me a PM or call me on my cell and tell me your thoughts. God knows I have asked for them enough times in the last 5 months.
  21. If there was a way to take the personalities out of the equation and concentrate on the issues it might help a bit. HAHA we know that cant really happen so we are left to sift through the BS and try to get to the core issues. I was told that when AFF evolved in the beginning that similiar problems arose, if it helps to compare.
  22. If this is one big family, it is the most dysfunctional family I have ever witnessed. They should be on an episode of Jerry Springer. The WS community I have found out is extremely divided into many different cliques. Getting them to think alike, work together, or in some cases even talk has proven to be impossible. Not to mention if some of the time being used was put to coming up with solutions instead of crushing peoples integrity and motives maybe we would have a chance.
  23. That is a great idea, and I personally would have no problem at all with it. I heard rumblings of some other BOD members wanting to do it. At min. I can post updates as the meeting goes on. Or email me, I will try to respond. Get back to you on this one. I would have to check our govern manual to see if it is even allowed, which I dont see why not.
  24. Hello, Okay the BOD meeting is scheduled in approx 2 weeks or so. We are no longer accepting questionnaires. To those that have taken the time to assist us, I thank you. At this juncture we are compiling the data and working on discussing all input received from members. At the BOD meeting the sub-committee will make a recommendation to the Safety and Training committee. The data compiled will be presented. As always, I am available for any comments or questions. Thank You Again, Rich Winstock
  25. Brand new container brand new reserve, main had 300 or so on it. First repack on new rig went up and not only had a mal but I lost my main. First jump on new harness, first jump on new reserve, Beer, Beer, and More Beer for the rigger who laughed at me.