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2016 Year in Review   (Mar 2017) Homepage Gearing Up

Reflecting on the association’s past year is like digging through your gear bag after a long, hectic skydiving season. The things you expect to see are there, interspersed with surprising items that somehow got thrown in. For USPA, 2016 was just that mixed bag. Let me inventory those items for you.

5 Actions to Reduce Your Risk   (Feb 2017) Homepage Gearing Up

This month's "Gearing Up" is written for just 22 of you. If 2017 is an average year in the U.S. accident-wise, some 22 of you won't be around to read this column in next February's Parachutist due to a skydiving accident. Let that sink in: 22 of you reading this will die making your last skydive. Odds are you're licensed (most likely a C or D license), have been skydiving for at least 10 years and have just at or over 1,000 jumps. (Don't think you're off the hook if you're not nearly that experienced, since these are averages; less-experienced skydivers will be among them.) Statistics also tell us that the circumstances of your demise will likely involve a hard landing, a mishandled main-parachute malfunction or a collision.

A Jump Story   (Apr 2017) Homepage Gearing Up

Here's a jump story. Or rather, a story about a jump that didn't happen. But first, do you believe that things happen for a reason? Or alternatively, do you believe that a bad outcome can later be viewed as a good outcome?

A Salute To All Instructors by Ed Scott   (Jul 2018) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

We all owe deep appreciation and grateful thanks to our current ranks of instructors and coaches for their diligence and professionalism.

ATC Bill Dies by Ed Scott   (Apr 2018) Homepage Gearing Up

In future years we will all look back proudly on this time as one where we joined together and successfully preserved the future of this sport we love. 

ATC Corporate Privatization   (May 2017) Homepage Gearing Up

The Federal Aviation Administration operates the largest and safest aviation system in the world. How large? Of the 32.9 million air carrier departures worldwide in 2015, the U.S. had the most with 8.7 million. China was a distant second. Of an estimated 370,000 general-aviation aircraft worldwide flying an estimated 35 million flight hours, more than half those aircraft and hours are flown in the U.S.

Being Prepared with Life Insurance   (Jan 2018) Homepage Gearing Up

From the first jump, all skydivers know the value of being prepared. We train, retrain, review the Skydiver’s Information Manual, practice in a hanging harness, perform gear checks before every jump, read incident reports to educate ourselves, seek out experts and take myriad other steps to be as prepared as possible for any skydiving eventuality. Doesn’t it make sense that we should also prepare for other eventualities, even bad skydiving outcomes?

Board of Directors by Ed Scott   (Jun 2018) Homepage Gearing Up

This is an election year for USPA, meaning that each of the 22 seats on USPA’s board of directors is up for grabs by any USPA member who is qualified to run. 

Clint Vincent Retires (again)   (Dec 2017) Gearing Up

Recent and long-time members alike will know the name of Clint Vincent, one of the association's longest-serving employees. He's actually served two 10-year stints at USPA; the first from 1985 to 1995 and the second between 2007 and 2017. Sadly but deservedly, Clint is retiring from USPA at the end of this year.

Don't Delay, Cut Away! By Ed Scott   (Jul 2019) Homepage Gearing Up

With this year’s skydiving season now at the mid-point, we’ve got some great news to report on our initiative to solicit more incident reports: Many of you have responded to our plea and have begun submitting them.

Increase Knowledge on Safety Day By Ed Scott   (Mar 2020) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

Actions have consequences. So do accidents, especially fatal accidents.

Large Shoes to Fill—Nancy Koreen Leaving USPA By Ed Scott   (Nov 2019) Homepage Gearing Up

Over the past 10 years, in her quiet and unassuming way, Director of Sport Promotion Nancy Koreen has done more for USPA and the sport than most will ever know.

Learning from Incident Reports By Ed Scott   (Apr 2019) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

If your words could save a skydiver from injury or worse, would you speak up? Of course you would. In fact, such conversations probably happen every day at DZs everywhere. Whether such discussions occur after a gear check, when reviewing a dive plan or while discussing jump run or winds or a landing pattern, sharing knowledge and correcting misconceptions are a vital part of safe skydiving.

Making It Through Together By Ed Scott   (May 2020) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

In no wild nightmare could I have conceived that a virus would ground skydiving and, indeed, shut down the world.

Milestone Anniversary for Bob Buquor Memorial Star Crest Recipient Award By Ed Scott   (Feb 2020) Homepage Gearing Up

This year will mark the 53rd anniversary of the start of one of the most popular and enduring skydiving performance awards—the Bob Buquor Memorial Star Crest Recipient (SCR) award.

Minimum Age to Skydive   (Jun 2017) Homepage Gearing Up

In "Five Minute Call," you'll read of the Oklahoma DZ owner whom a court ordered to pay a substantial sum to a 16-year-old injured in 2014 during a static-line first jump. Coincidentally, during that period, USPA's board of directors was once again debating what the Basic Safety Requirements should state as the minimum age to skydive.

Overdue Dues Increase   (Sep 2017) In Your Words Gearing Up

For eight years, five months and counting, USPA members have enjoyed the longest run ever without a dues increase. That streak will end on January 1, when USPA dues and rating and license fees go up an average of 20 percent. No one on the staff or the board takes such action lightly, and both should be commended for making the 2009 dues change last as long as possible.

Part 16 By Ed Scott   (May 2019) Homepage Gearing Up

Since 2009, USPA has participated in eight successful Part 16 complaints. Seven were outright wins. A Part 16 win strengthens the concept that skydiving must be given airport access unless there are strong, verifiable safety reasons for denial.

Public-use Airport Numbers Decline By Ed Scott   (Nov 2018) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

Today, USPA membership stands at 40,512 and continues growing with over a half-million people in the U.S. making their first jumps every year. General aviation, however, is still in a downward arc despite the best efforts of general aviation groups to attract and keep more pilots.

Renew Your Ratings Online By Ed Scott   (Dec 2019) Homepage Gearing Up

It’s hard to even imagine, but years ago USPA required jumpers to provide copies of their logbooks when they mailed in their applications for licenses and ratings.

Skydiving Aircraft Safety By Ed Scott   (Aug 2019) Homepage Gearing Up

Can jump-plane safety be improved? Yes, absolutely. The goal should always be zero accidents. USPA has already shown the NTSB that we are ready to implement sensible actions that improve safety.

Skydiving Fatalities Hit Historic Low By Ed Scott   (Feb 2019) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

How safe is skydiving? Very safe? Somewhat safe? Not safe at all? Safety experts will say that the question really is, “What is skydiving’s level of safety?” or in other words, “What is the level of risk?” Even then, we must focus the question more to ask, “Risk of what? Death? Injury?”

Take a Canopy Course   (Jul 2017) Homepage Gearing Up

More than once in past “Gearing Up” columns, you’ve read me urging jumpers to take a canopy course. Of course, since 2012, USPA requires those who want a B license to take one. But it’s generally conceded that it’s a good idea for all skydivers who haven’t done so yet to go through a canopy course, no matter how many jumps they have. It’s also a good idea to go through a refresher course if your last one was a while ago. After all, the average number of jumps made by those who died last year in landing accidents was 1,840. 

Last weekend, I finally took my own advice. 

The Growth of the AAD Fund   (Nov 2017) In Your Words Gearing Up

USPA’s Airport Access and Defense Fund started in 1991 with the primary purpose of helping DZs fight governmental decisions that unfairly or illegally interfere with or negate skydiving operations on airports. As it has been from the start, one condition of using the fund is that winning the battle would set national precedent so that other DZs and skydiving in general derive future benefit. The AAD Fund is entirely dependent on donations from skydivers, who give about $20,000 annually. The fund has now grown to just over $344,000. 

The Spirit of Giving by Ed Scott   (May 2018) Homepage Gearing Up

Melinda Ray was a 35-year-old wife and mother of three who was suffering from a disease that was quickly destroying her liver. She didn’t score high on the transplant list to qualify for a liver from a deceased donor; she had to find a living donor. She was desperate. 

Think About Your Vote by Ed Scott   (Oct 2018) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

This is the month for you and other USPA members to select those 22 members who will serve on USPA’s board of directors and determine the association’s direction for the next three years. In this issue of Parachutist, you’ll find the election instructions and a ballot.

Threat to our Airspace   (Aug 2017) In Your Words Gearing Up

With proposed air-traffic-control privatization, skydiving—and indeed all of general aviation—is facing the gravest threat to its longevity and future than ever before. If the 21st Century AIRR Act, otherwise known as H.R. 2997, goes through the U.S. Congress and the president signs it into law, it would carve the ATC function out of the Federal Aviation Administration and hand it to a new private corporation funded by new aviation user fees.

USPA Accepting Resumes for Executive Director Position By Ed Scott   (Oct 2019) Homepage Gearing Up

If you’re a skydiver, there is no better job than to work for the U.S. Parachute Association. It’s the ultimate way of giving back to a sport that has enhanced and shaped your life.

USPA Achieves Milestone by Ed Scott   (Aug 2018) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

USPA achieved a milestone—40,000 current members!

USPA Bids Farewell to Jim Crouch By Ed Scott   (Dec 2018) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

On October 31, Director of Safety and Training Jim Crouch spent his last day as an employee of USPA and moved on to other challenges in the aviation industry.

USPA involvement with Wind Tunnel Industry   (Oct 2017) In Your Words Gearing Up

At its July meeting, USPA’s board of directors approved a resolution that, eff ective November 1, USPA “will not use association resources to support the sport of ‘indoor skydiving,’ except to nominate international judges to such IPC [International Parachuting Commission] events as appropriate. USPA will seek to encourage, foster and cooperate with any emerging national governing body for tunnel flying.” As a result, effective next month, USPA is officially out of the wind-tunnel business. 

USPA Makes Donation by Ed Scott   (Sep 2018) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

 Imagine a place that captures all of our sport’s exciting and dynamic history, where jumpers and non-jumpers alike can see the evolution of skydiving and the many facets of its rich and storied past. That’s the dream of the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame, which the late USPA Executive Director Emeritus William H. Ottley conceived decades ago.

USPA Makes Resources Available to Pilots By Ed Scott   (Sep 2019) Homepage Gearing Up

Skydiving has its risks, but the flight to jump altitude should be the safest part of any jump. That depends almost entirely on the professionalism of the pilot.

USPA Protects Member Data By Ed Scott   (Mar 2019) Homepage In Your Words Gearing Up

Recently, USPA began to make changes to its data policies, due in large part to a law—the General Data Protection Rule—passed by the European Union in 2017. Effective last May, the law required organizations worldwide to take steps to safeguard the personal data of the citizens and residents of the 28 EU countries. Moreover, the law mandates that individuals have control over how, when and if organizations share their personal data. Violations can result in large fines. Personal data is defined as any data that can uniquely identify an individual … such as a membership or license number.

USPA Safety Day   (Mar 2018) Homepage Gearing Up

The principal responsibility of the S&TA is to promote safe skydiving.

What Does the Federal Election Mean for USPA?   (Jan 2017) Homepage Gearing Up

In 1984, the IRS classified USPA as a 501(c)4 non-profit association. That was based on its finding that USPA’s main purposes “promote the common good and social welfare.” Importantly, 501(c)4 organizations can lobby government officials as long as they meet all lobby registration and lobby reporting rules. And USPA does lobby on behalf of skydiving. What does that mean? Primarily, USPA’s executive director and director of government relations engage in efforts to build relationships with various officials, usually those in the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration but sometimes other federal and state agencies.

What will be the new normal at drop zones? By Ed Scott   (Jun 2020) Homepage Gearing Up

The big question is, what will the activity level be at DZs upon reopening? And how long will it take until first-jump customers and experienced skydivers return to normal levels?

Women in Skydiving By Ed Scott   (Jan 2020) Homepage Gearing Up

Many jumpers are surprised to learn that women make up only about 13 percent of USPA’s membership, because it seems like there are more women than that at their DZs.

Worker Classification By Ed Scott   (Jun 2019) Homepage Gearing Up

At the USPA Drop Zone Operators’ Conference this year, attendees heard from presenter Jeanice Dolan, a CPA and DZO of Ocean City Skydiving Center in Maryland, about a growing enforcement issue that is changing the landscape for DZs: worker classification. Increasingly, state and federal departments of labor are auditing businesses—including DZs—to determine whether they are correctly classifying workers as either employees or contractors. Two things are driving this government scrutiny: 1) a growing gig economy where businesses classify their workers as contractors and 2) governments’ need for tax revenues.

Working Together to Save Skydiving at Dillingham Airfield By Ed Scott   (Apr 2020) Homepage Gearing Up

HDOT ordered all businesses at the airport to shut their doors by June 30, demonstrating a cold indifference to the scores of people whose livelihoods and lives will be upended.

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Manuals

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Forms

2019-2020 Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) Forms PDF   (Dec 2018) Downloads Manuals Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
Achievement and Service Awards Nomination Form PDF   (Jun 2018) Downloads Forms Awards
A-License Proficiency Card (2 pages) PDF   (Apr 2020) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
A-License Progression Card (ISP; 4 pages) PDF   (Nov 2019) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
Application: B-D License PDF   (Apr 2020) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
Application: Canopy Formation Award PDF   (Apr 2019) Forms Awards
Application: Judge Rating PDF   (May 2015) Forms Judge Rating
Application: PRO Rating & High Performance Endorsement PDF   (Apr 2020) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings Demos
Application: Tenure Award PDF   (Apr 2010) Forms Awards
Application: USPA Membership & Rating Renewal PDF   (Apr 2020) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
Application: Wings & Badges Awards PDF   (Jan 2020) Forms Awards
Canopy Piloting Proficiency Card PDF   (Sep 2019) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
Demo Insurance Application and Notification Form PDF   (Dec 2019) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings Demos
Incident Report Form PDF   (Apr 2019) Forms Incident Report
Initial Application as a Foreign Affiliate Group Member (Non-U.S. Only) PDF   (Apr 2019) Downloads Forms Group Membership
Initial Application for Group Membership (U.S. Only) PDF   (Feb 2020) Downloads Forms Group Membership
Proficiency Card: AFF Instructor PDF   (Apr 2020) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
Proficiency Card: Coach Rating PDF   (Apr 2020) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
Proficiency Card: Coach/Instructor Examiner PDF   (Apr 2020) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
Proficiency Card: IAD/SL Instructor PDF   (Apr 2020) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
Proficiency Card: Tandem Instructor PDF   (Apr 2020) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
Request Certification of Collegiate Record Form PDF   (Aug 2015) Forms Records
Request Certification of World Record Form PDF   (Aug 2015) Forms Records
S&TA Waiver Form PDF   (Apr 2018) Downloads Forms Waivers
Waiver Request PDF   (Sep 2003) Waivers
Waiver Request - Fillable PDF   (Nov 2019) Downloads Waivers

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USPA Meeting Minutes

BOD 2020 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2020) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2019 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2019) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2019 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2019) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2018 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2018) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2018 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2018) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2017 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2017) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2017 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2017) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2016 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2016 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2016 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2015 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2015 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2015 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
2014 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2014 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2014 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2013 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2013 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2013 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2012 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2012 Summer Meeting PDF   (Aug 2012) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2012 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2012) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2011 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2011 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2011 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2010 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2010 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2010 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2009 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2009 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2009 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2008 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2008 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Apr 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2008 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2007 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2007 General Membership Meeting PDF   (May 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2007 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2006 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Nov 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2006 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2006 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2005 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2005 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2005 Winter Meeting PDF   (Jan 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2004 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2004 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2004 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
2003 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
BOD 2003 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2003 Winter Meeting PDF   (Jan 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2002 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2002) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2002 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2002) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2001 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2001) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
BOD 2001 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2001) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting 2000-2005
BOD 2000 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2000) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting 2000-2005

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Miscellaneous

2013 DOT Opinion on Taxes PDF   (Jan 2014)
Advanced Aerospace Designs Issues Reminders to Vigil Customers   (Dec 2019)

On October 23, Advanced Aerospace Designs issued reminders of approaching deadlines for compliance with its last two service bulletins.

Article: 9/11 Aftermath Report PDF   (Aug 2016)
Article: Angle Flying PDF   (Nov 2015)
Article: Ches Judy Award PDF   (Oct 2015)
Article: Gear Fear PDF   (Sep 2015)
Article: Landing in a Tree PDF   (Mar 2015)
Article: Safety in Numbers PDF   (Jan 2011)
Article: The RSL PDF   (Jan 2014)
Article: Water Landings PDF   (Mar 2015)
Canopy Risk Quotient (PDF) PDF   (Oct 2015)
Canopy Risk Quotient (Web) Web   (Mar 2020)
Dermody Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
Dunn Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
DZO Memo PDF   (Jul 2012)
FAA AC 105-2E PDF   (Dec 2013)
FAA AC 90-66B CHG 1 PDF   (Feb 2019)
FAA Proposal (07/03/12) PDF   (Jul 2012)
Flight Planner   (Jan 2019)
Huerta Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
Insurance Policy Summary   (Apr 2018)
ISP Grid PDF   (May 2012)
Parachute Landing Area Update PDF   (Aug 2012)
Skydiving Makes the Perfect Experience Gift   (Dec 2019)

It’s no secret that more and more people are turning to giving gifts of experiences instead of material things.

USPA Hangar Policy Comments PDF   (Jun 2016)
Wingsuit Instructor Draft PDF   (Sep 2012)

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