Recently, the USPA Board of Directors had a vote regarding an instructional rating for wingsuiting. This has been brought to the USPA Board of Directors by a very vocal minority of skydivers. We oppose an instructional rating for wingsuiting for the following reasons: 1. There currently are no 'advanced ratings' for the average licensed skydiver. If this proposal is instituted, it represents the first additional requirement for formal instructional training beyond licensure. Such a rating opens the door for additional training requirements for licensed skydivers to participate in other skydiving disciplines such as freeflight, formation skydiving, canopy formations, canopy piloting, etc. While we would all argue that additional experience and training is desirable for these activities, we do not want to be required to receive that training from a USPA-rated instructor (in that specific discipline) before being allowed to participate. This expansion of bureaucracy and rules (beyond BSRs) represents an unnecessary and complicated intrusion into the choices that are currently available to skydivers. 2. There is no measurable evidence that this rating would have usefulness with regard to the safety of wingsuit flight. 3. The issue of whether or not to create a Wingsuit instructor rating was not the idea of USPA Headquarters or the USPA Board of Directors. It was a request by a faction of the Wingsuit community to the board. We urge the USPA Board of Directors to vote 'NO' on any discipline-specific instructional rating including wingsuiting. This proposal is unwarranted and unnecessary. We enjoy the freedom of choice in skydiving.
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Michael Hotchkiss, Richardson, TX, United States8 months ago
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