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  1. I hear ya. You're obviously experienced enough to know the nature of some here in the forums. Those are the ones you have to ignore. They would argue with a wall. Regardless of how stupid or mindless a mistake may seem to some there's always something to learn from it even if it's as simple as don't do it again.
  2. An online raffle. Almost every boogie I've been to has had a raffle with prizes donated by gear manufacturers, etc... If someone can organize a boogie and get stuff donated for a raffle why can't the USPA do it? The only difference is it would need to be done online so the membership could participate regardless of their location. If 20,000 of the membership spent 10 or 20 bucks on raffle tickets you're looking at 200,000 to 400,000 bucks raised. I would spend 20 bucks for a chance to win a new container, chute, aad, etc... Heck I've spent 20 bucks for a chance to win 40% off on a new Mirage container before. And make the winners pay all shipping costs for their prizes as well. Also have an article in Parachutist telling the readers about the raffle, the why behind it, list of prizes, and who donated what. You can buy lottery tickets online maybe it's time to have a raffle online.
  3. So is the case really solved or is the FBI giving up? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070038/DB-Cooper-case-solved-FBI-tells-niece-skyjacking-suspect-matching-fingerprint.html
  4. for more info be sure to check out http://www.johns-events.org/ and http://www.honormikespann.org/
  5. http://www2.alabamas13.com/news/2011/nov/25/alabama-native-who-was-killed-war-remembered-throu-ar-2755797/ http://www.11alive.com/news/article/214586/40/Marking-a-somber-anniversary-by-skydiving Congrats to John Souders for taking the old AL state record of 41 jumps in a day and setting a new one of 101. I will post video links when I'm done putting everything together. *side note: the 100 jumps were done from 2000' and the 101st jump was from 14k with a few others and Johnny Spann, Mike's father, going along for his first tandem.
  6. Yeah I think it would be a stretch too. Just wanted to point out how their logic could be used to justify that line of thinking.
  7. Had an interesting conversation with someone who does demos. But the thing that they said that stuck in my mind the most is this. If the USPA can loan money to start a demo team regardless of the conflict of interest it may have with it's membership, then what is to stop them from opening a dz and directing business to it? Same difference. The BOD is using membership dues to fund something that may wind up competing with the membership whose dues were loaned out to finance this to begin with. Doesn't matter if it's a demo team, a dz, or an aircraft leasing business. It's a conflict of interest for a governing body to do such a thing using it's membership dues. I have a trip to Longbeach, CA in February. Anyone have the dates and location for the BOD meeting they're having? I would like to drop in and watch our BOD in action.
  8. I know there's been a lot of discussion about this whole mess but I haven't seen this mentioned yet. If they can make one "loan", what will stop them from making another? The 10k loan was for ICAS and marketing the team. They have done one demo for free. They're going to need another loan soon.
  9. Do they even have a team yet? Gear & accessories needed? No, but they'll loan 10k to go to ICAS to promote something that isn't even in existence as a whole yet. Ignorance, arrogance, or both? I dunno but it amazes me too.
  10. I agree with you 100% on everything. And 110% on your quote above. That 10k loan is gone. We can chalk that up to the BODs leadership. And that is where the problem really begins. The BOD can't back down now. They have to make sure this demo team succeeds just to make sure the loan gets paid back. They've dug themselves into a hole that there is no way out but to proceed with their plans. And then they can only get out of that hole if their plans succeed. I've ground crewed demos for 5 years +. Only a few pay the big bucks. A certain Major League Baseball team which you would think would be a big paying demo won't even pay for fuel much less plane rental, jumpers, or special effects. They want you to do it for free. It's a privilege that they are letting you jump into their stadium. I can think of a lot better ways to make a living or a business to have than a demo team. Demos are fun, they're great for the sport, but most of them stink when it comes to the money. Now I know there are some big demos that pay well. But those demos are done by the same teams already. What is the USPA going to do, steal their business? And here's what is really sad. It takes years and years of practice and doing demos to get routines down, to make things better, to be the best. The USPA team is going to be that good in 6 months? This whole mess will end up doing more bad than it will good for the image of the sport. And this is where the BOD has led us with it's leadership skills.
  11. Well that would work if you could trust them. And the way it's going right now the brand isn't worth as much as their inflated egos would like to believe. You might have to lower GMDZ dues if you want it to reflect what the "brand" is worth. Lets take a look at their track record. A BOD that has DZO's on it who are going to do what is best for their business and not necessarily for skydiving in general. This is a conflict of interest that has been going on for a very long time and one that I think definitely subtracts from the "brand" worth of the USPA. A BOD that got sued by Cary Q. And attorneys got paid with our dues to fight a legal battle they couldn't win. How much did that snafu cost? That "brand" worth just went down a little bit more. And now a BOD that not only approves lame brained ideas without consenting it's membership. But a BOD that has made a 10k loan to someone who is basically starting a business that will compete with the business of some of the USPA members whose dues helped make the loan to begin with. And let's not forget that the offices and personnel of the USPA will be used to promote this business as well as handle it's reservations. The "brand" worth just lost some more value with this move. If you haven't read it yet here is what James Hayhurst has to say about this brilliant plan of his: http://skydiveuspa.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/team-sponsor-dev-program/ 10k of membership dues is gone, been used to pay for this trip to ICAS, booth resrvations, etc... And we are to trust this person who using the USPA for his own personal business venture to make sure the 10k gets paid back? The USPA "brand" worth is looking about as bad as stock in Lehman Brothers right now. The time for talk was over the minute they started spending 10k on this ICAS deal without anyone's approval but their own. I for one do not appreciate an organization that I pay dues to using that money for a business venture that will compete with other due paying members, some of who happen to be good friends of mine as well. Conflict of interest is an understatement here and attorneys may be the only way to get the BODs attention. They're not going to listen to you, me, or thousands of others are they? And if they don't listen to the membership then their "brand" worth isn't worth squat. I for one am all for canning their butts right now. Voting them out will take too long. We just had elections what last fall? And elections will come up again in about a year. The 2011 - 2012 BOD hasn't even made it through 2011 and they have already wasted 10k of the membership dues that may or may not get paid back. Depends on whether or not this business venture, and that's what is, fails or not. If they wanted to loan James Hayhurst money to do this they should have taken it out of their own pockets or he should have went and got himself a business loan. Even then it still would be a conflict of interest to use USPA offices and personnel to be handling reservations and the such when some of the paying membership makes money doing demos. The USPA has done nothing but give themselves a black eye with this and it's time to let a lawyer or two dot the other for them so they will have a matching set.
  12. Don't forget the $10,000 loan made by the USPA using our dues so he can go to ICAS and promote his, uh I mean the USPA team. To be honest I think it's time for some attorneys to get involved. The USPA won't listen and they just used 10k of our dues to put this ball of mess in motion. 10k that will be repaid, yeah right and I'm Santa Claus. The USPA is no longer an organization for the masses. It no longer represents the individual skydiver. Matter of fact it hasn't in a very long time. DZOs and / or their representatives should not be allowed on the BOD. It's a conflict of interest that we have lived with long enough. It's time for a major re working of the USPA as a whole. First needs to go is Hayhurst, then the DZOs and anyone else who is involved in or supports this demo team idea.
  13. I just read the blog -The United States Parachute Team Sponsor Developmental Program By James Hayhurst http://skydiveuspa.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/team-sponsor-dev-program/ Here are some excerpts from that blog and my thoughts. Some members expressed concern about the $10,000 loan USPA authorized to jumpstart this program. Keep in mind that USPA routinely invests in new ideas and seeds special projects that show promise of enhancing the sport. The loan was made in order to market the team at the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Convention this December to solicit air show interest. The first $10,000 earned (after show expenses) by the team in 2012 will go back to repay the loan. The USPA routinely invests and seeds? Thought this was a loan, how often does the USPA do that? So the loan is to go to ICAS to promote this team. So where is all the gear that will be needed come from? Who's paying for that? And 2 paragraphs above that remark is this: If the U.S. Team is invited to do a show, we will reach out and ask local demo teams and jumpers to perform with the U.S. Team. If it’s a paid show, they will earn their standard fees (members of the U.S. Team will only be reimbursed travel and per diem). If all we do is break even, we’ve met our primary goal—presenting the U.S. Team to the public in order to attract sponsorship. If all you do is break even how is the loan going to be repaid? One concern the board had when considering this program was that it might be perceived as a move to take demos away from PRO-rated members. On that issue, it’s important to know there are hundreds of airshows and events each year and we don’t foresee the U.S. Parachute Team doing more than a dozen—so chances are unlikely. However, we can’t guarantee an airshow or event organizer might invite the U.S. Team to do a show that some other skydiving team has done before. No show team ever “owns” rights to an event; the desire for “fresh acts” is part of the airshow business, whether the U.S. Team is involved or not. So you're only going to do a dozen or so. How long will it take to pay the 10 grand at that rate. Longer than you think. And if you do get a show that was normally done by another USPA due paying member and it ends up that they lose out, then the cost of their membership just went up the price of dues plus the money they just lost out on to this Demo team because of the USPA. As Executive Director Ed Scott pointed out to the board, no one knows if this will work. Of course it's not going to work, enjoy the 10,000 dollar trip to ICAS. I hope you're going Ed, I'd hate for James to have all the fun just because he came up with a lame brained way to go to ICAS and spend 10k that's not his.
  14. JCW1966

    Hang gliding

    I love hi pulls so hang gliding was just another way of getting some "flying" time. I got a groupon for LMFP last Christmas and using it went off with out a hitch. Then LMFP gave me a coupon for $249 off any package they offer. So I chose the Mountain Package for my next endeavor. Beginner Ground School 50 training hill flights Mountain Ground School 3 supervised 1340' mountain solo flights Really looking forward to the solo flights.