|Introducing United States Skydiving Association|
by Fred and Cindy Greeson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear fellow skydivers,
Some time ago, I and several members of the skydiving community who, like myself, have been in the sport for many years opened the discussion (some might say Pandora's Box) about a grass roots movement to start another association to represent Skydiving in the United States. Of course this idea is not new, it has been batted around from time to time since the beginning of the sport.
No one can take anything away from USPA and the contribution it has made to skydiving, not only here but worldwide. If PCA/USPA had never been, I doubt there would be the sport of skydiving as we know it. We give huge thanks to every person who has worked with USPA over so many years to keep us in the air.
We believe USPA should and will continue to move forward and do everything possible to promote sport parachuting. However, we also believe that the time has come to offer the skydiving community a second choice. This second choice would not be unlike the effort put forth over thirty years ago by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors to give scuba divers an alternative to the YMCA certification program. PADI has been very successful in that effort and is now recognized as the worldwide leader in the training and certification of scuba divers.
Our appreciation of USPA stands, but we do have criticisms. USPA has become much too monolithic. USPA views any training program other than their own to be flawed. Drop Zone operators who attempt to create systems which might bring forward new and innovative training ideas are threatened with loss of DZ affiliation, cancellation of licenses and ratings and public condemnation as an "outlaw drop zone". USPA hangs the hammer of liability insurance over the head of DZ owners and lies to the FAA, airport administrators, state and local governments and the general public by giving the false impression that USPA liability insurance coverage is of value when, in fact, it is for all practical purposes, worthless.
As with any grass root movement, we had to have a starting point. To that end, in early April, we applied to the Patent and Trademark Office for protection and trademark recognition of the name "United States Skydiving Association". We have also filed for a corporate charter in Delaware as a non-profit member controlled corporation. We are also filing for tax exempt, not-for-profit IRS status. We have registered the Web site www.usskydivingassociation.org. We will bring that web site on line in the next few weeks.
The job ahead seems almost overwhelming. No one person can make this happen. We have tried to put a vehicle in place in order that others (members) can put a new organization together that will honestly and fairly reflect the wishes and concerns of the skydiving community without using the heavy-handed coercive tactics employed by the USPA.
What do we need now? We need people who are strong, experienced and well-established in the sport to come forward and volunteer to be a part of the founding board of directors. We strongly encourage drop zone operators, jump masters, instructors or any jumper who plans a long-term commitment to the sport to become involved. We need people with graphic arts talent to design our logo. We need a skydive attorney who will help us with legal issues. We welcome help from anyone and everyone who would like to make this organization become a reality.
At this point, I don't think we will be able to take every phone call, but we will do our best. We do have a dedicated FAX line that is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That number is 706-935-8405. Our e-mail address is email@example.com.
I hope we have opened a door and I promise that we will work day and night to make this happen, but in reality the success of the United States Skydiving Association will depend on the willingness of all of you to come forward and be a part.
Blue Skies and God Bless,
Fred and Cindy Greeson
Site 3 - for more stories see Site 1 and Site 2