[Back to Index]
Swoop Video Contest in Perris
A Swoop Video Contest will take place at Para-Performance "ProCup Meet" at Perris Valley Skydiving Center in California June 7-10, 2001. The contest will be at the Bomb Shelter Saturday night. Dust off those tapes! Its time to dig up your most epic footage of yourself or friends ripping it up! Videos entries will be reviewed on the big screen TV inside the bomb shelter as all your friends& competitors look on. After a full peer review, someone will walk away with a Para- Performance medal & prize!
Contest guidelines & Rules:
Each competitor may submit footage of two swoops for review. Footage must be submitted to the PPPB staff no later than check-in on day 1 (June 7, 2001) of the meet. Footage submitted after final registration will not be accepted. To qualify, the footage must be of yourself or someone you filmed doing the swooping.
#1 - Footage must be presented on a normal VHS tape.
#2 - Footage may be edited with music or effects. Footage may be sped up or slowed down but the tape must have a full speed version of that same run.
#3 - Footage may contain crashes but video of swoops that result in pilot injury are prohibited.
[Back to Index]
POPS Record in Florida
by Kevin Keenan
Under the leadership of Joe Morgan and Carl Daugherty, a group of Florida members of Parachutists Over Phorty Society (POPS), set a new state record. The previous record of a 27-person formation was set at Palatka, FL on November 12, 2000. On Saturday, April 7, 2001, at DeLand, FL, the group built a 39-person formation. Later that day, the group broke it's own new record with a 42-person formation. The record-breaking team contained many of the jumpers who set previous Florida state records and had the distinction of being exclusively composed of Florida residents.
Event coordination was accomplished by Eileen Rossi. The staff of Skydive DeLand, led by Mike Johnston and Bob Hallett, who both participated in the jumps, juggled a busy two-day schedule to keep the event running smoothly. The Florida POPS have shown conclusively that old farts can fly with the best.
[Back to Index]
News from the USPA
Foreign Qualifications Reconsidered
In the past, several competitors have participated at the US nationals and on U.S. teams without being U.S. citizens. USPA changed the rules to allow more classes of visas to make foreigners eligible for medals and the U.S. team. However, at its most recent meeting in San Diego, the USPA Board reconsidered its position. Beginning next year, only U.S. citizens or those actively en route to becoming one will be allowed to earn medals at U.S. nationals or serve on U.S. teams. [Read Kurt Gaebel's commentary on our NSL page.]
Nationals Bids Sought
USPA is now accepting bids to host the 2002 US National Skydiving Championships. Deadline for bids is June 1. The format for next year will be similar to this year in Eloy: All events will be held at the same time and location over a nine- day period including two weekends. Call Larry Bagley at USPA Headquarters, (703) 836-3495, ext. 312, with any questions.
[Back to Index]
Skydivers Face Health-Care Discrimination
People who skydive or engage in other recreational activities could be denied health coverage by their employers' group health plans if new regulations are left intact by the federal government. USPA urges all skydivers to submit letters to three federal agencies in an effort to overturn the new rules.
The new regulations were jointly issued by three federal agencies on January 5th, in the closing days of the Clinton Administration. While published as final rules, there was also a request for comments by April 9, 2001.
The new regulations were the final step in a rulemaking process begun in 1996 by the federal government to amend and clarify the rules that apply to employers and group health plan insurers. In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to protect workers from discrimination in the health insurance plans offered by employers. Importantly, Congress specifically prohibited employers or health insurance providers from denying health coverage based on a worker's pre-existing medical conditions or participation in legal recreational activities. Quoting from the Congressional Record of that time, the law "is intended to ensure...that individuals are not excluded from health-care coverage due to their participation in activities such as motorcycling, snowmobiling, all-terrain vehicle riding, horseback riding, skiing and other similarly activities." USPA strongly argues that skydiving is a similar activity for the purposes of the law.
Applied to skydivers, the new rules do not allow a person to be excluded from his or her employer's group health plan due to skydiving activity. Ironically however, the rules would allow medical claims to be denied in the event of a skydiving injury. In a kind of government double-speak, a summary of the new rules states that "While a person cannot be excluded from a plan for engaging in certain recreational activities...a plan can nonetheless exclude benefits for injuries because they were sustained in connection with various recreational activities..." Unless the new rule is modified, USPA fears that it's members could face denied coverage after being injured while skydiving.
USPA urges all skydivers-and others engaged in recreational activities-to voice opposition to the new rules to the three federal agencies involved-the Internal Revenue Service, the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, and the Health Care Financing Administration. USPA is coordinating its efforts with other sport and recreational organizations and associations. USPA also plans to appeal directly to the Bush administration.
For more information, customized letters, and organizations check out the USPA Site at http://www.uspa.org/insurance.htm
[Back to Index]
POPS Founder Lenny Barad Passed Away
by Kim Tucker
Very sad news- Lenny Barad passed away March 11, 2001. Lenny was a jumper with the Greater St. Louis Parachute Club in the 60s, at Lobmaster Field, Gumbo, Chesterfield (St. Louis), MO.
One day, after Lenny turned 40, he, with great enthusiasm, announced to all the jumpers, in the Club, that he had started an organization he called "POPs" for Parachutists over (Phorty) 40 years of age. He told us he was POPs # 1 and "Top POP". The younger jumpers around him were puzzled by the need for such an organization, but we called him Top POP, after that. We didn't realize then the vision that Lenny had until some time had passed. After some leg injuries, Lenny got into hot air ballooning, and drifted away from skydiving. Lenny was trying for hot air balloon distance records in the 70s.
Most jumpers, jumping today never met Lenny and don't know who he is, or that he, in a moment of enthusiasm gave birth to POPs, an organization that jumpers who stay with the sport, will someday be eligible for. Lenny's kindness, eagerness, enthusiasm and particularly his vision of the future, will be missed.
[Back to Index]
"Five Dollar" Frank passed away
"Five Dollar" Frank Thomas died March 23, 2001. Frank was the man known best for giving curious visitors $5 airplane rides high above the New River Gorge near Fayetteville in West Virginia. He was an aviator for 60 years and a philosopher who continued to recite his own poetry up to his death at age 79.
Last year on Bridge Day, when thousands gathered to watch people BASE jump off the New River Bridge, he flew for 16 hours, which is incredible even if you don't know that Frank had broken his hip and had hip replacement surgery.
It was the last time he ever flew. In January, after his hip had not improved, he made a trip to another doctor who told Frank the problem was not just his old, brittle bones. He had bone cancer and only a few months to live.
Read more at www.dailymail.com/news/News/2001032720/.