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    The Summer 2021 USPA Board of Directors Meeting

    Published on Monday, September 20, 2021

    The Summer 2021 USPA Board of Directors Meeting

    On Thursday, August 26, dark gray storm clouds and a cacophonous rain swept over the runway at Start Skydiving in Middletown, Ohio, extinguishing the hopes of those in the hangar below. Among those looking skyward and downtrodden were USPA Regional and National Directors, as well as headquarters staff, who had spent the day enjoying the drop zone’s hospitality—chatting with the friendly staff, touring the team rooms and even getting in a few morning jumps. By mid-afternoon, however, thunderheads reclaimed the skies and drove the directors southward on I-75 to Cincinnati, where they did eventually find shelter. The next morning began with sunnier skies, and the USPA Board of Directors gathered for its summer meeting—the sixth and final one of the 2019-2021 term.

    Safety and Training
    The Safety and Training Committee and Chair Michael Wadkins kept busy during the meetings, bringing a total of 44 motions to a committee vote. One of the topics most deeply discussed throughout all meetings was the role of USPA in promoting inclusivity and principled practices at drop zones. As a result, the board passed a motion to include an instructors’ code of conduct in the Instructional Rating Manual. The added section, crafted with the help of Nicole Richards, D-40124, of Skydive Chicago, defines a series of ethical responsibilities a skydiver accepts when they receive an instructional rating.

    The committee also proposed a Basic Safety Requirement for safety checks prior to conducting a student jump, as well as another requiring instructors to have a visibly accessible altimeter during all student jumps. Both motions passed. The board discussed the potential addition of “Low-Altitude Emergencies” Toggle Fire and Low Turn Recovery Drills sections to the B-License Canopy Piloting Proficiency Card, and while no motion passed, all in attendance agreed on the importance of addressing what has been the cause of a large percentage of injuries and fatalities. The committee will spend the next several months fine-tuning the proposal in collaboration with canopy coaching professionals, and an edited version will likely be reintroduced at the 2022 winter meeting.

    The board approved a new Military Transition Card, which will be available online, for military jumpers who have completed their respective military freefall courses and wish to receive a USPA A License. They also moved to give examiners the ability to designate an evaluator for each training method in which they have a rating, in order to give rating holders more opportunities to maintain currency.

    Governance
    The Governance Committee, headed by Chair and Mountain Regional Director Ray Lallo, brought forth several motions meant to improve the processes by which USPA functions. USPA’s Governance Manual was modified to describe the election validation process in accordance with New York state law. USPA’s bylaws were also changed, as the board moved to add a section outlining the steps that membership or the board of directors may take to remove a board member should that ever be necessary. The committee also discussed the idea of staggering elections with the goal of easing the transition between terms, but no action was taken. This will be discussed in future meetings, but any change to the election process will require a majority vote from all USPA members.

    Membership Services
    After electing not to award the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020, the Membership Services Committee, chaired by Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Chris Wagner, chose Marylou Laughlin, D-12418, as the 2021 recipient. Laughlin has contributed to the sport of skydiving and USPA over the span of five decades as a leader, competitor, judge and U.S. representative within the international skydiving community. She served purposefully on the USPA Board of Directors from 1999-2012 and again from 2016-2018, much of which was spent chairing the Competition Committee.

    This year, the board awarded three Gold Medals for Meritorious Service, which honors outstanding skydivers who have made significant contributions to the skydiving community over a long period of time. The 2021 recipients are Bram Clement, D-14597; Joannie Murphy, C-9720; and Morris “Mo” Viletto (posthumously), D-5853.

    Finally, five individuals were recognized with the Regional Achievement Award, for making a significant contribution to the sport of skydiving on a local or regional level. Those 2021 recipients are Ben Devine (Pacific), Robert Goldman (Northeast), Douglas Hendrix (Northeast), Catherine Young (Southern) and Dustin White (Mountain).

    The board also passed a motion that allows the Membership Services Committee to save nominations for USPA Service Awards for future review. In coming years, repeated nominations for the same candidate each year will be unnecessary, as the committee will be considering past nominations, as well as new ones.

    USPA Director of Competition Steve Hubbard (left) and Competition Committee Chair Kirk Verner bring the list of committee motions to the attention of the full board..

    Competition
    Many competitors took a well-deserved sabbatical after competing in August’s Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Parachuting Championships in Siberia, but not National Director Kirk Verner. Shortly after returning to the United States, the 8-way formation skydiving world champion headed to Cincinnati for a busy weekend chairing the Competition Committee. Verner is not running for re-election, so this was his last meeting as a member of the board.

    The board instructed headquarters staff to create an online portal for members to register for USPA National Championships, as well as giving members the ability to apply for judge ratings online. There was clarification on language regarding the new 4-way FS beginner test event, establishing a minimum B-license requirement. USPA Executive Director Albert Berchtold proposed a 2-way canopy piloting test event, which was approved by the board and is scheduled for 2022, with further details to be determined.

    The state-level “Most Lifetime Jumps” record will no longer be tracked. Existing records will continue to exist, but have been officially retired. The board also approved a payment of $5,700, split between all members of the U.S. Parachute Team who competed in this year’s world championships. Finally, the board recognized a $14,000 anonymous donation given in support of the 2021 U.S. Formation Skydiving Team members.

    Group Membership
    The Group Membership committee, chaired by National Director Mike Mullins, passed a motion to expand the language of the Group Member Pledge requiring drop zones to separate their standard and high-speed landing areas. It was specified that “such separation may be by location or time,” meaning that one physical landing area may alternate between normal and high-speed designations, but never function as both simultaneously. “In normal landing areas,” the added language also stated, “the direction of landing and direction of turns shall be specified, and for each normal landing area, turns may only be in one direction.”

    The committee also discussed additional language in the Group Member Pledge ensuring that all jumpers who manifest themselves properly are accounted for by the end of the day. No motion was passed, but the board did not dispute the importance of drop zone staff doing so, and USPA commends Group Member drop zones that have existing systems serving this purpose.

    Regional Directors
    Much of the Regional Directors’ Committee meeting, led by Chair and Southern Regional Director Paul Gholson, was spent discussing the potential addition of a “Sexual Misconduct Resources” addition to the Safety and Training Advisors Handbook. The purpose of the section would be to offer basic knowledge regarding sexual misconduct situations that may occur at drop zones and to provide a list of resources for those involved. No motion was passed, but the topic will continue to be discussed. “We’re going to continue to think about this and address it at future meetings,” said USPA President Chuck Akers. “We want to make sure that we’re not overstepping our boundaries.”

    Parachute Industry Association
    Though the 2021 Parachute Industry Association Symposium was cancelled, the organization still held its second regular board meeting—simultaneous with and next door to USPA’s board meeting. Many USPA members who were in Cincinnati for PIA found a way to involve themselves with USPA, either by attending meetings or speaking directly with directors and staff. On Saturday night, all were invited to PIA’s celebration dinner for the recipients of their 2020/2021 Distinguished Leadership Awards: former USPA Executive Director Ed Scott, former Director of Government Relations Randy Ottinger and former Director of Safety and Training Jim Crouch.


    Detailed minutes from the Summer Board of Directors meeting can be found at uspa.org/bod, and a full account of USPA’s 2020 financials can be found in September’s Parachutist. The 2022 Winter BOD meeting will be held in Houston, Texas, on February 11-13, 2022.

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    Forms

    2021-2022 Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) Evaluations Forms PDF (fillable)   (Mar 2021) Downloads Manuals Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    2021-2022 Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) Forms PDF   (Mar 2021) Downloads Manuals Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    A-License Proficiency Card (1 page) PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    A-License Progression Card (ISP; 2 pages) PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Application: B-D License PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Application: Canopy Formation Award PDF   (Apr 2021) Forms Awards
    Application: Judge Rating PDF   (May 2015) Forms Judge Rating
    Application: PRO Rating & High Performance Endorsement PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings Demos
    Application: Tenure Award PDF   (Apr 2010) Forms Awards
    Application: USPA Membership & Rating Renewal PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Application: Wings & Badges Awards PDF   (Apr 2021) Forms Awards
    Canopy Piloting Proficiency Card PDF   (Sep 2019) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Demo Insurance Application and Notification Form PDF   (Nov 2020) 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 College Clubs (U.S. Only) PDF   (Oct 2021) Downloads Forms Group Membership
    Initial Application for Group Membership (U.S. Only) PDF   (Feb 2020) Downloads Forms Group Membership
    Proficiency Card: AFF Instructor PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: Coach Rating PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: Examiner PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: IAD/SL Instructor PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: Military Transition PDF   (Sep 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Proficiency Card: Tandem Instructor PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    S&TA Waiver Form PDF   (Apr 2018) Downloads Forms Waivers
    Waiver Request PDF   (Nov 2019) Downloads Waivers

    USPA Meeting Minutes

    2022 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2022 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2021 Summer Meeting PDF   (Sep 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2021 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2021 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2020 Summer Meeting PDF   (Dec 2020) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    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

    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.

    After-market Tandem Risers MANDATORY – REPLACE BEFORE THE NEXT JUMP   (Sep 2020)

    PIA released Service Bulletin PSB-10092020 affecting after-market tandem main risers constructed with obsolete RW2 rings. All sport tandem main risers produced with RW2 rings, or equivalent sized rings, are affected regardless of the hardware manufacturer, the date of manufacture, the material type or the forging process used. This PSB does not affect "solo" main risers that use RW2 rings. Compliance is MANDATORY – REPLACE BEFORE THE NEXT JUMP.

    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   (Oct 2015)
    Canopy Risk Quotient LINK   (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 Airworthiness Directive for certain UPT reserve pin covers PDF   (Apr 2021)

    The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Uninsured United Parachute Technologies, LLC (UPT) parachutes. This AD results from reserve pin covers (RPCs) catching on the parachute container flaps and preventing the reserve parachute from deploying. This AD requires modifying the RPC before the next parachute jump and replacing the RPC at the next reserve parachute packing. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    FAA Proposal (07/03/12) PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Flight Planner   (Jan 2019)
    Huerta Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Insurance Policy Summary   (Mar 2021)
    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.

    Strong Enterprises Issues Service Bulletin for Tandem Drogue PDF   (Apr 2021)

    Strong Enterprises issued Service Bulletin #35 mandating inspection of the 3-ring attachment on tandem drogues manufactured between June 22, 2020, and February 2, 2021 whose last three digits of the serial numbers between 625 and 714. Status is MANDATORY. Compliance is IMMEDIATE – before the next jump.

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

    SIM Translations into Other Languages

    Language Translation Disclaimer

    Translations of the Skydiver’s Information Manual (SIM) are prepared by third-party translators in an effort to make USPA documents accessible to those who may not read English. The official and binding documents which govern USPA are the English versions. While good faith efforts are made to provide accurate translations, portions may be incorrect and may conceivably communicate incorrect safety standards. In addition, some terminology when translated may not be completely accurate due to language differences and limitations. The United States Parachute Association (USPA) shall not be responsible or liable for any errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translated versions of documents or for any consequences of any such errors, omissions or ambiguities, including personal injury or death. Any person or entity who relies on translated content does so at their own risk. USPA shall not be liable for any losses, damages or harm, including personal injury or death, caused by reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated documents or information. If you would like to report a translation error or inaccuracy, we encourage you to contact us.

    Please note the revision date of any translated copy you are reviewing and verify that it is no earlier than the revision date of the corresponding English version. Any edits made to the original English version after the translated version’s revision date would not be reflected in the translation.

    Chinese-English (Bilingual Version) – January 1, 2021

    Spanish Version – January 1, 2021