Welcome to the second issue of the USPA Update, a monthly e-newsletter designed to keep you, the member, informed of timely industry and association news. To ensure smooth delivery of this update, be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book. If needed, please “whitelist” the following domains: multibriefs.com and uspa.org.
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Wingsuit Syllabus Online for Comment
USPA members presented a proposed change to the wingsuit recommendations in Section 6-9 of the Skydiver’s Information Manual at the July USPA Board meeting in Dallas. Several experienced wingsuit flyers worked on the new syllabus, which is much more detailed than the current information presented in the SIM. The proposed syllabus is available on USPA's website for comments and suggestions. The syllabus and comments will then be reviewed by the board at its next meeting in February. If approved, the information will replace what’s currently contained in Section 6-9.
World Stage Includes U.S. Competitors
Several U.S. competitors participated at two world-class events recently that included skydiving—the World Air Games in Italy and the World Games in Chinese Taipei. Conducted under the auspices of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, and supported by USPA's involvement in the International Parachuting Commission, the U.S. competitors accepted invitations to show their expertise in front of world audiences, on opposite sides of the world.
At the World Air Games, among many other aviation disciplines, the skydiving events of canopy formation, canopy piloting, and accuracy landing were included. Ian Bobo was the only U.S. medalist, taking home the silver in canopy piloting.
The World Games, a completely separate organization that promotes potential Olympic sports, included canopy formation, 4-way formation skydiving and canopy piloting in its events roster. Medaling for the U.S. was Arizona Airspeed (Andy Delk, Craig Girard, Mark Kirkby, Steve Nowak and Eliana Rodriquez) , which took gold in formation skydiving; Clean Air (Liz Godwin, Chris Gay and Mark Gregory), which won gold in 2-way canopy formation; and Nick Batsch, who was the silver medalist in canopy piloting.
Each of the events is held every four years. The locations for the 2013 events have not yet been decided.
Traveling With Your Rig
On the USPA website, you’ll find some helpful tips for traveling with your rig. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does allow parachutes to be carried on board commercial airlines as either carry-on or checked luggage. USPA rarely receives reports of parachute screening problems, but please allow extra time to clear security when traveling with your rig. Carry copies of the TSA Letter for Traveling Skydivers, “travel tips” from the TSA website, the linked USPA page and your X-ray depiction card (available from your AAD manufacturer).
Who Can Sign Off?
Periodically, the membership department has to deny an applicant’s request for a USPA license. One area that seems to plague members, including rating holders, is who may verify a license.
The SIM (SIM, Section 3-1.D) allows any current USPA Instructor to sign each skill verification block and the final verification for A, B and C license applications. A current USPA Instructor may also sign each skill box for a D license, but the final verification signature must be a current S&TA, Examiner or board member.'
Even though a USPA Coach rating is part of the overall instructional rating system, a Coach is not an Instructor and may not initial the skill table or sign the verification box.
It may be helpful to ask your S&TA to review the application before it is submitted to avoid delays in obtaining your new license.
U.S. Team Managers Sought
USPA will be sending teams to compete at world parachuting championships in most disciplines next year—artistic events, canopy formation, formation skydiving, and style & accuracy—and is looking for team managers to lead each of the teams. Artistic events, canopy formation and formation skydiving, including vertical formation skydiving, will be held in Russia, and style & accuracy will be held in Montenegro, all in August through September. The Team Manager job description can be found in Section 11 of the Skydiver's Competition Manual, available here as a download. Those interested should submit a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than October 1 for consideration by the competition committee. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Old vs. New USPA Forms
USPA is still receiving applications for membership, ratings and licenses on old forms.
Periodically, requirements, prices or procedures are changed. These changes may be in response to board motions or just an attempt to make the documents a little easier to use. The membership department prefers to receive only the new applications, but in some cases, submitting an older version is OK if:
Check our website for the most up-to-date forms.
- The requirements for obtaining the license or rating have not changed.
- The correct fees are included or marked on the application.
To eliminate delays in processing, it is always best to check with your local S&TA before submitting.
Graduate Students May Compete
In February, the USPA Board of Directors changed the rule about who could participate at the collegiates, and denied graduate students from participating. The board has since reconsidered that move. It has now been decided that there is no restriction to graduate students, as long as they meet all the other requirements in Section 7 of the Skydiver’s Competition Manual, which you can download here. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Landing Area Safety
Does your drop zone separate the high-performance canopy landings from those flying a standard pattern? If your drop zone is a USPA Group Member DZ, they have pledged to do so. The traffic can be separated by distance—if there is enough space on the airport for two separate landing areas—or through time—by having those performing high-performance landings exit on a separate pass from other traffic—so that those flying a standard landing pattern will have clear airspace.
If your drop zone is still allowing high-performance landings mixed in with those flying a standard pattern, ask your S&TA to implement changes to help keep everyone safer under canopy.
In September’s Parachutist …
The September issue of Parachutist has been sent off to press, so look for it to arrive at your door in the next week or so. Featured articles include: coverage of the 108-way head-down world record, the USPA Board of Directors meeting report, a guide for traveling to boogies, coverage of Skydive Taft’s unique anniversary celebration of the first 10-man star, and the latest installment of Jump Planes Through the Years, featuring the DC-3.
Membership, Licenses and Ratings Are Trending Up
USPA closed July with 32,030 members for the month, the fifth monthly increase in total membership this year. There were 642 new members, the most in one month since September 2003. License issuances for July were at 571, up 77 over the previous month and 168 more than July 2008. Instructional ratings, at 1,102 issued so far this year, are up by 160 compared to last year.
News You May Have Missed
In case you missed it, here is news posted on our website since the last USPA Update:
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