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USPA Update
June 16, 2011

Thank you for being a member and supporting USPA's programs and services. One of your many member benefits is this monthly "USPA Update," a free e-newsletter designed to keep you informed of what's going on in between your issues of Parachutist. If you’d like this to be sent to a different e-mail address, please change your contact info on file at USPA.

FAA Issues Sport Parachuting Advisory Circular
The Federal Aviation Administration recently published the long-awaited revision to Advisory Circular (AC) 105-2, Sport Parachuting. The revision, which the FAA initiated at the request of USPA more than three years ago, was necessary because the AC had not changed since 1991. The new AC, known as 105-2D, incorporates many of the changes that resulted when Federal Aviation Regulation Part 105, Parachute Operations, was revised in July 2001. The new advisory circular provides guidance on diverse topics such as skydiver safety, airport accommodation, jump aircraft maintenance, jump pilot training, demo jumps, and parachute packing, repairs and alterations.

Although the AC is a welcome reference on most topics, the Parachute Industry Association has identified specific errors related to the compatibility of various TSOd components of skydiving gear. Working in concert with USPA, PIA sent the FAA a formal letter outlining the errors and providing alternate language for consideration. The FAA has responded, stating its intent to correct the errors expeditiously. Both PIA and USPA are hopeful that the FAA will issue a revision soon. Advisory Circular 105-2D can be downloaded here. The PIA comment letter to the FAA in response to AC 105-2D can be downloaded here.

Nominate 2010 Nationals as Sporting Event of the Year!
Help us get last year’s Nationals recognized as one of the world’s best sporting events, presented by SportsTravel Magazine. Simply click here, and under Amateur Sporting Events, Best Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Event, enter in “2010 USPA National Skydiving Championships.”

You can also nominate the 2010 Collegiate Nationals. Under Collegiate Sporting Events, Best Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Event, enter in “2010 USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships.” Entering your nominations will take only a minute of your time and will help get our sport recognized. Do it now, as the deadline for nominations is Thursday, June 30, at 5 p.m. PDT.

Guidelines for Jumping With Cameras
USPA frequently receives inquiries from newly licensed skydivers regarding the “rules” for using a camera for skydiving. Smaller digital cameras, such as the GoPro, appeal to jumpers because of the small size and seemingly hassle-free operation. However, the same guidelines in Section 6-8 of the Skydiver’s Information Manual apply to the use of any camera system for skydiving, regardless of the size of the camera. There are many incidents related to inexperienced jumpers’ complicating their skydives with use of cameras.

For example, one jumper with 120 jumps reported exiting an airplane with his chest strap undone. He stated that he was focused on his new camera and forgot to perform a proper gear check before he boarded the plane and before he exited. Luckily, he was able to keep the rig in place through the deployment, and he landed uneventfully.

There are plenty of incidents such as this one to support the recommendations in Section 6-8, which states that jumpers should have at least a C license and receive specific training on jumping with a camera before using a camera system while skydiving. Video adds complexity to any skydive, regardless of the size or location of the camera.

Are You Ready for Boogie Season?
The 4th of July is just around the corner. Do you have plans for a boogie or demo jump for the holiday? Before you travel to a boogie or notify the FAA about that demo, check your membership card. Are you current? Do you hold the necessary license or rating?

USPA’s normal turnaround time for processing license and rating applications is about a week. The clock starts when the application arrives at USPA Headquarters. Depending on workload and staffing, the processing time can run longer. Check your card now, and plan well in advance.

If you find that time is running out and you need faster service, USPA offers an expedite service. This service costs $20 and provides you the following:
  • It places your application at the top of the stack. Most requests for expedited service, if received in the morning, are processed the same day. If we cannot process your application the same day, it will be processed the next business day.
  • This service includes an e-mail confirmation that you can print and present to the DZ.
  • Your updated membership card is usually mailed out the same day that it is processed.
  • USPA Group Members will be able to verify the latest information the day after it is issued using the Group Member credential verification website.
Please plan ahead to eliminate any last-minute problems, and have a great, safe holiday.

USPA Seeks Competitors and Team Leaders for 3rd Dubai Cup
USPA is still looking for qualified skydivers interested in going to the 3rd Dubai International Parachuting Championship and Gulf Cup scheduled for November 29-December 10, 2011. If you competed at the 2010 USPA Nationals and placed well, you may be eligible to go! USPA’s Competition Committee is also still soliciting individuals interested in serving as a Team Manager (TM) or Head of Delegation (HOD).

The Dubai Cup includes 4-way formation skydiving (FS), accuracy landing, three canopy formation (CF) events (2-way, 4-way sequential and 4-way rotation) and four canopy piloting (CP) events (speed, distance, accuracy and freestyle). For team events, each country may enter up to two complete teams in each class (mixed/male class and female class). However, only one team per class is eligible for prize money. The Competition Committee will make that determination at the USPA Board of Directors meeting in July.

For CP competitors, things are a little different. Since the September 2011 CP Nationals takes place more than 60 days prior to the Dubai meet, USPA will use results from the upcoming Nationals to fill the eight individual CP slots for Dubai. Ladies, as there are no female-class team events at the USPA Nationals, the Competition Committee will decide in July how to select female teams for Dubai. It’s possible that the 2011 Nationals at Skydive Arizona in Eloy will be used to select our female teams. For now, if your team wants to compete at Dubai, let us know.

To distribute the workload, USPA will select two team managers. One will likely take the FS and CF teams, and the other the CP and accuracy competitors. Once USPA selects the TMs, the managers will determine their respective teams, starting with those who have contacted USPA. So if you think you want to go, read the Dubai Cup official bulletin and e-mail Director of Competition James Hayhurst, who will forward your name to the Competition Committee.

Looking forward a full year to 2012 and the 2012 FAI World Parachuting Championships (which will also be held in Dubai), individuals interested in serving as TM or HOD are invited to submit their names now.

Skydiving in the News
Check out a few of the recent cool news stories about skydiving:

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