Rating Corner | Recent Changes
By Ron Bell
Several changes that came out of the February 1-3 USPA Board meeting in Dallas, Texas, affect USPA rating holders. These changes are:
- The board added a Basic Safety Requirement to the Skydiver’s Information Manual. For any student jump in which an automatic activation device activates, the instructor (or both instructors for a two-instructor jump) must submit a complete incident report to USPA within 48 hours. No disciplinary action will result from a self-report.
- All examiners must attend a method-specific standardization meeting within two years of renewing their examiner ratings. Static-line and instructor-assisted-deployment instructor examiners are excepted from this requirement until the next round of standardization meetings in 2021.
- The board removed “stand-up landing” from the Category D advancement criteria. It is still a requirement for the A license. The board removed it from Category D to put more emphasis on having a safe landing, which should be the primary focus of all students, especially in the early categories.
- To complete an initiative started at the July 2018 board meeting, the board removed the aerial performance style and international series from the B- and C-license requirements to comply with Féderátion Aéronautique Internationale (World Air Sports Federation) license requirements.
- The board directed USPA’s Director of Safety and Training and Director of Information Technology to research and develop online education programs similar to the training modules used by Safety and Training Advisor appointees, which will replace rating-renewal seminars. This will allow rating holders to receive the most current information when performing their annual rating renewals, since online modules can be continually updated.
- USPA has added a checklist on the back of the rating renewal form to help those verifying rating renewal requirements.
- Due to the rash of close calls and some fatalities involving spinning-main-parachute malfunctions, the board added this language to SIM Section 5-1.E: “Spinning main parachute malfunctions can lose altitude significantly faster and require a rapid response. Checking your altitude more frequently is required to ensure cutting away the main parachute and deploying the reserve is done above your decision altitude.”
- The Safety and Training Committee reaffirmed its commitment to holding examiners to the high standards that the position demands. The “three-strike rule” for examiners that the committee adopted in February 2017 for administrative or performance deficiencies mandates a letter of warning and retraining for a first strike, a letter of censure or suspension for a second strike and a revocation or suspension for a minimum of two years for a third strike. Offenses that merit action include:
- Falsifying a rating
- Not properly endorsing or validating IE candidates to ensure they had proper training or failing to have them conduct the required number of courses
- Not completing paperwork in a timely manner
- Failure to submit paperwork to USPA and the manufacturer
- Not prequalifying candidates for courses
- Not conducting the course in the manner prescribed by the Instructional Rating Manual or the manufacturer
- Inadequate training of candidates
- Fraternization or favoritism shown during courses
- Physical or sexual harassment
- Using the IE position for influence or favors
- Not following up on candidate performance if the candidate could not complete an instructor or coach course
- Conducting courses without being a qualified IE
- Knowing that a course was not conducted to standard or that the IE conducting the course was not qualified and not reporting it
- Conducting student jumps without a valid medical, USPA instructional rating or manufacturer rating
- Allowing unqualified evaluators into courses
- Violating BSRs or Federal Aviation Regulations
- Not using the equipment as prescribed by the manufacturer
- Not reporting violations
- Improper performance of examiners that the IE trained and endorsed
Ron Bell | D-26863
USPA Director of Safety and Training