skyfox2007

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  1. I'm having trouble updating and editing reviews.  How do we update an old review or post?

     

  2. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Grimmie, Maybe the BOD voted for the museum with the best of intentions, but I'm curious how the topic of a museum first came up. Was it an idea circulating among skydivers at large that several BOD members championed and pitched to fruition? Or was it an idea that originated in the BOD itself? Either way, it's become rather expensive for a sport that isn't yet mainstream with the public in the same way basketball or football are today or even were in their infancy back in the mid-twentieth century. The latter's hall of fame originally cost $400K to build back in 1961 in Canton, Ohio - that comes out to slightly more than $2 million today and less than 1/7 what our proposed hall of fame currently costs per Ed Scott's comments in this month's Parachutist. A better, less expensive way to promote our sport would be to examine the ways in which we can increase retention. Commissioning a study on that - maybe with a research group like Rand - would be a cheaper, worthy investment if retention is the aim. -JD-
  3. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Peek, It may not be easy to set up initially, but once established will more than justify the time and money spent on it. Many US government entities and colleges routinely (daily) use video and audio conferencing. I've witnessed both myself. There has to be someone on the BOD with the right "connections" to make that happen and you have the modest amount of money to finance it. If not, the government does post lists on the contractors it uses for specific support functions and some research might yield some reasonably priced sound and audio techs. If live streaming proves too daunting or risky, then recording the BOD meetings and posting them on the USPA website for listening by members after-the-fact is another, less expensive option worth considering - provided the regional BOD members are open to feedback from their constituents on the substance of the meetings. The folks at Skydive Chicago - who operate Skydive Radio - might prove helpful. Someone on the BOD surely has a connection out there. -JD-
  4. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Amen. But the USPA reps who have chimed in thus far don't believe in referendums. And it's on us to spend the money and time to attend these meetings in far away places in spite of the year in which we now live. It's time to move into the 21st century. State governments routinely put specific items to referendums...a change to the by-laws that mandates that matters that affect licensing or an investment of money on any project over a specified amount go to the membership for a popular vote would go a long way in establishing trust. And you think with the $25K/year that the USPA just spent on a museum that it would have sufficient capital to invest in the infrastructure to stream BOD meetings live so that membership can listen in real-time. Just my two cents on that... -JD-
  5. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Grimmie, Yeah he did: "If the DZ isn't a member of the USPA, you don't know what you're getting." That line carries a connotation more than its words alone suggest. The overtone of the entire clip was one of connecting the USPA and safety together - as if you couldn't have one without the other. What do you think about the correspondents' short conversation at the end of the clip about "safety" and "increased regulation?" -JD-
  6. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    FAA-mandated compliance to provide for the safety and oversight of our portion of general aviation (skydiving). Oh, we're not doing that? Our S&TAs and GMs are doing what they're licensed to do? The USPA isn't doing what was it was delegated by the FAA in FAR part 105? The FAA is not doing what FAR part 105 says it's supposed to, then? What exactly does the FAA do when they find out something isn't up to snuff? Mass inspections, groundings, regulations...etc. Here's an example from just this year: https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/airplane-mode/southwest-airlines-steps-engine-inspections-after-fatal-flight-n867151 Folks, the FAA has a penchant for this sort of thing. Just ask Ed Scott - our executive director. He's had something to say about FAA oversight in his parachutist column for almost every month up until the FAA privatization bill flopped. If I'm being overly pessimistic, then why is even he worried about it? -JD-
  7. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Ah, there it is...I've been waiting for someone to say that. So what's the point of the USPA then? Just so that we can go back to the FAA and tell them that we're policing ourselves like we should be when we're actually not? See the first page, first paragraph at this link: https://uspa.org/Portals/0/files/Man_SIM_Section9.pdf The FAA has endorsed the USPA to oversee skydiving activities. I can tell you that if the folks up at FAA could confirm anything they saw written here, strict regulations are exactly what we'd have. Uncle Sam isn't proactive, but he sure is REACTIVE. Now, I'm willing to bet a beer that someone will hurl the low fatality statistics back at me in defense of the USPA. But present statistics are no guarantee of future statistics and I can also say - after only 175 jumps - that I too have seen some whacky things at some of my DZs. All it takes is for our community to have a bad year or for the law of unintended consequences to appear shortly after the emergence of some new skydiving technology that promises to make things safer, but falls short of doing so. So yeah....I would love to see the USPA actually do something in the interest of our well-being. And pandering to athletes by adopting the FAIs rules that do very little to advance safety is wasting my money -and yours. One more thing, the FAA has "endorsed" the USPA via regulation, so skydiving governance is not exactly a free market. Like I said, Uncle Sam isn't proactive so standing up a competing organization and proving its worth will be like moving a mountain. Bureaucracies love the status-quo so long as they have reason to believe it's effective. No, I won't go to a non-member DZ. I'm a paying customer and I want my money's worth. -JD-
  8. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Gowlerk, None of the current Executive Board members are from the US. See my previous reply on why other countries DO count. American jumpers are not the only ones who stand to lose here. I can see why these changes don't matter much to you as an individual and do appreciate your point of view. You don't feel that 10 formation jumps for a C-license are that big a deal. I hear you and would say more power to you. But allow me to come clean here...I have 100+ 4-ways thus far and exceed the new C-license requirements. That's all we do at the DZs I frequent. They are - in my opinion - much more difficult from a Cessna with a small jump door that barely accommodates 1 jumper at a time. If you're a small business owner somewhere - American or not - the USPA and FAI have just made life a little more difficult for you. If you're jumper - regardless of nationality - both of these organizations have just created new rules that address the safest phase of our sport while ignoring the more dangerous canopy phase. If you're a weekend jumper and not a competing athlete and your home country abides by the FAI or USPA - what do you stand to gain from these rules changes, exactly? American, Canadian, Dutch? What does it matter? Did this decision by the FAI or USPA really do much to benefit us as skydivers? -JD-
  9. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Baksteen, In my previous comments, I also stated, "or representation from many of the other nations who might abide by their rules." See your quote my comments in your previous reply to me. This has nothing to do about about bilateral international relations - one country and another. It has everything to do with how one multinational organization influences private business and personal conduct in others, be it in the states or in the Netherlands. This affects us all...American, Dutch, or wherever you come from. -JD-
  10. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Mike, I would love to come to a meeting and voice my opinions, but there's my job and then the many domestic responsibilities that the majority of us have. Most of USPA is comprised of ordinary folks who spend what little extra money and time they have to make a few jumps on the weekend...and that's if the lawn doesn't need to be mowed, the kid doesn't have a ball game, or the better-half didn't want to plan something else. We can't just leave work and our lives, buy a plane ticket, pack a bag, and show up when you tell us you're available. We have to be available too. This can't be a one-way street. Yes, this is presently a republic and not a "direct democracy." But the turn of this past century is seeing that begin to change. State governments now routinely put specific issues to popular votes (referendums) rather than to a typical vote in their state legislatures. Voters appear on election day to pick their representatives, and also vote on significant issues. Why couldn't the USPA put specific items to a referendum? Why not include potentially controversial items on the annual BOD ballot for members to weigh in? BTW, I did contact my regional director - several times - but no reply. -JD-
  11. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Westerly, The changes do bother me to a fair degree given their focus on the safer freefall portion of skydiving and not on the more dangerous canopy phase. And the impact they have on smaller businesses. But more than that, these changes were the byproduct of a foreign organization. You may not think it a big deal, but this does establish a discomforting precedent. Today it's "little" changes in licensing requirements, what will it be tomorrow? What about a decade from now? And those folks at the FAI have no reason to care absent any US representation on their Executive Board...or representation from many of the other countries who might abide by their rules. As someone with nearly two decades of government service and an IR master's degree, I have to say this little stunt has the potential to impact our hobby more than you might think. Can you recall any other agreements gone bad that companies, government entities, or even private groups entered into with international actors that went bad? If not, look through a history book or thumb through the business section of a reputable news source. Examples abound. I don't think Mike Mullins and the rest of the BOD understand the potential consequences of what they're doing. Yes, it was their call to adopt these rules. But in doing so they abdicated their authority to govern our sport on our behalf and opened they and the FAI to liabilities. -JD-
  12. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Amen. And while I do agree with Ron that the USPA's care or interest in members at large is minimal or limited to a few of the BOD directors, why should we just "accept" that? And who's fault is that? Yes, the BOD ought to be doing what we pay them to do. But then again, it's on us to hold them accountable. USPA elections are right around the corner folks. I admit to being a huge cynic, but as a cynic there is no more a deeply relieving and amusing experience than filling out a ballot come election day. Sometimes the establishment needs a little reminder about who they work for. Follow this link: https://uspa.org/Election -JD-
  13. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Good point, and there are a few folks I jump with absent any ambition to progress in licenses for that very reason. But I very much want to become an instructor at some point.
  14. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Ron, My discontent at the RW requirements has less to do with the effort required to complete them and more to do about WHY they came about in the first place. Sometimes intent is just as important as the act itself. The USPA should be focused on creating standards that enhance safety - particularly in the realm of canopy flight - and less worried about international competition and record setting...which require a sporting license anyway. Adopting an IO's (FAI) rules to appease competitors has resulted in mandating that those new to our ranks must "jump" through yet another hoop and at their own expense. Yeah, 10 RW jumps might not require that much effort to complete if you have a medium-large aircraft, but I and a few other newbies feel this most recent move indicates a bias toward the elites and a near complete disregard for your average/new fun jumper who comprise the majority of USPA's membership. Yielding to an IO's recommendations amounts to selling us short and it is not what we're paying the USPA to do. -JD-
  15. skyfox2007

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Mike, "Please don't confuse safety with competence." Really? There are numerous places in the SIM that appear to suggest that the two are highly correlated - if not linked. And for good reason! If safety and competence are independent of one another, than why are Safety & Training Advisers (S&TA) required to review and sign proficiency cards? Why does the USPA recommend at least 200 jumps (increased proficiency) prior to flying a wingsuit or a camera - disciplines that pose additional safety hazards? Why are students jumping squares restricted from jumping in winds greater than 14 MPH? Why do the minimum deployment altitudes differ based on license level? I could go on... Greater proficiency equates to a greater likelihood of performing specific skills more safely than a skydiver with less experience. The SIM awards more hazardous and demanding privileges to skydivers with increased proficiency levels. The idea that the two are somehow not linked is ludicrous. And equating a history test to skydiving? Well, I would agree that competence is at the core of both, but there is no risk of falling to your untimely death in a classroom is there? -JD-