Over the years, USPA has amassed a stunning record of helping to establish DZs on airports of all sizes and activity levels, from sleepy one-runway airports to airports with control towers and airline service.
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?
In no wild nightmare could I have conceived that a virus would ground skydiving and, indeed, shut down the world.
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.
Actions have consequences. So do accidents, especially fatal accidents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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 achieved a milestone—40,000 current members!
We all owe deep appreciation and grateful thanks to our current ranks of instructors and coaches for their diligence and professionalism.
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.
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.
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.
The principal responsibility of the S&TA is to promote safe skydiving.
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?
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.
(More articles being added every day!)
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