[CSS Family] FW: USPA Region Brief April 2010

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Ed Dixon

Apr 23, 2010, 7:38:17 AM4/23/10


USPA Mid-Atlantic Region Brief
April 2010
2010 S&TA Meetings in Raeford and Fredericksburg are now complete with good attendance at both. Jim Crouch gave a great presentation about USPA status, both present and past as well as pointing out areas where safety improvement is needed.
The Proxy requests for online voting are now available. As Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee, I have been able to get further toward online voting than ever before. It is now in the hands of the members. The board has no authority to add online voting without members approval. I believe online voting is something the members need, want and deserve. If you agree, please fill out the proxy to allow USPA to change its by-laws to allow online voting. That is ALL the proxy will allow the board to change. Proxies have failed in the past due to "broad brush" requests and member distrust. Please know this is an honorable proxy request for one purpose and one purpose only !! Proxies can be emailed, faxed, snail mailed or hand delivered to USPA. A proxy form is attached to this document. You can print it, sign it, scan it and email it back to me or to USPA us...@uspa.org. Please do it now. It will only take a couple of minutes. Again, it must be signed !! It can also be faxed to (540) 604-9741.
I do believe, in the near future, USPA needs to move to a 3 year board member term and that is my next project. Two years does not work well because as soon as an item gets moving, it is time for elections, the project gets put aside, new people are elected who have  no knowledge as to the progress, and opportunities slip away. It also would cut the cost of elections by 50% since they would not be held as often. Expect to see this come out of the N&E Committee as soon as online voting proxies are complete. If we fail to get the required number of proxies for online voting, the 3 year initiative will be scrapped since it will require another proxy for the 2011 membership meeting. I believe if the members fail to approve online voting via this proxy, because of past failed proxy efforts, there will be no further efforts to change anything in the by-laws requiring members approval. In that case, any portion of USPA, where members input is necessary, will become stagnant. I really don't want to see that happen !! There is a lot more than online voting riding on the present proxy effort. We need a return proxy from nearly all of the members who receive this, so please print it, sign it and send it in.
The Federal Aviation Administration is seeing a number of people with slow opening reserves and has considered a TSO for Automatic Activation Devices. USPA and PIA believe the AADs are doing their job of cutting the closing loop and that something else is responsible.  No one is quite sure what is happening, but we are considering pilot chute hesitations or containers that are too restrictive for the bag to easily lift off, or both. In any event, you may want to consider raising your hard deck until this can be sorted out. Our equipment has become so reliable that jumpers "smoke it on down" regularly with no consequence...........until that one in a thousand comes along and you haven't left yourself time to go through your emergency procedures or allow for the unexpected. These smaller canopies that we are jumping lose a lot of altitude fast during a spinning malfunction.
There is one more thing about AADs. At least one AAD fire has been attributed to the jumper actually waiting on the AAD to fire after a malfunction.......and it did with positive results. Please follow your emergency procedures and don't depend on the AAD !!
Speaking of smaller canopies, when you downsize, do you consider what you would do in the event an off-DZ landing became necessary? Knowing what you would do and how you would handle it could mean the difference between life and death. Choose your canopy size wisely.
FAA Advisory Circular AC-105. I was one of a handful of board members who had an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed revised circular. We recommended some changes to the new circular and I understand they have been accepted. If this new version reads anything like I expect, drop zones and skydivers are going to like it much better that the old AC.
All Present Coach Course Directors will now be required to take the Instructor Examiner Ratings Course (IERC). If you have previously taken the Advanced Instructor course (AIC), that will be accepted. This is retroactive. I was the only one to vote against making it retroactive. Having been a Certified FAA flight instructor for more years than I like to admit (35+), I have seen changes by the FAA, but I have never seen them "jerk the rug" out from under anyone who was teaching by making a requirement retroactive.
The Election Cycle for the 2011-2012 USPA Board of Directors is about to begin. USPA has two types of Directors, Regional and National. If you would like to be on the Board, you must turn in a written and signed "Intent to Run" letter stating that you intend to run and which position you seek. For example if you want to run for the position that I hold, you would say that you intend to run for Mid-Atlantic Regional Director. This must be sent to USPA not later than the close of business on June 1. The letters must be signed and can be emailed, faxed or snail mailed to Headquarters.  Fax number is (540) 604-9741. Email is Esc...@uspa.org. Address is USPA, 5401 Southpoint Centre Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22407.
I will see you at the DZ soon.
Blue Skies,
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Ed Dixon

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