17 Apr 2005 00:25:51
Paul
Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

To all BPA members,

This letter was sent to all Council members by e-mail a few days ago so that
they could read it before the Council meeting on Tuesday 19 April.

Today in Germany, after a foggy start we had wall to wall blue skies. We
did a total of three Islander lifts over the whole day and only 17 jumps
were made between the first lift at 1130 hrs and the last lift at 1730 hrs.
No DZ can
survive like that for long.

Since we were forced to implement BPA Councils decision that German
skydivers had to join the BPA they have voted with their feet and have
either stopped jumping or jump elsewhere. Please read the letter.

If you agree with my comments I would be grateful if you could mail one of
the Council members letting them know this, I would be grateful for a copy.

Better still, why not attend Council on Tuesday evening and let them all
know for yourself?

If you dont agree with our position here in Germany or would like more
information then I'd be grateful to hear from you too.

I will post some comments recieved on another post.

Regards,



Paul

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear BPA Council Member, 11 April 2005


BAD LIPPSPRINGE DZ & GERMAN PARACHUTISTS

I am writing so that you, as a council member, may be better informed on the
German position and leave you in no doubt as to the effect the Council
decision is having on this BPA dropzone and in order to leave you in no
doubt as to the level of interest in this issue throughout Europe, the issue
being the BPA discrimination against German skydivers.

I am also aware that several Council members have never been to this
dropzone and have not witnessed for themselves the measures that were in
place to ensure that German skydivers met the criteria for parachuting on
their own membership and the years of fostering strong Anglo/German
relations at this and other drop zones. The remainder who do know this
dropzone have not been here for several years and have not seen the decline
in attending British and German skydivers.

When you read this, make a mental comparison with the situation at your own
drop zone and imagine how it would affect your operation if you had the
'special and unique circumstances' that prevail at Bad Lippspringe.

Some background information:

At Bad Lippspringe we rely almost totally on our German skydivers for a
small but continuous supply of skydiving 'bums on seats'. While the Rhine
Army Parachute Association is set up primarily as a means of providing a
parachute training facility for British servicemen and their families, the
Anglo/German interface in sport and the community is seen as an essential
component of our basis for being in Germany.

The British Forces in Germany number only some 28,000 personnel with about
another 10,000 dependants of an age suitable for parachuting. At any given
time of those 28,000 personnel at least 50% are either deployed on
operations or are in training or recovering from an operation, so from this
you can see that given that skydiving is a minority sport this does not
leave a huge amount of British skydivers in Germany. We estimate that in
total, there are only between 20-25 British skydivers in Germany who are
above BPA Cat 8 not including my staff and while the majority of what we do
here is student training, it is the experienced and committed skydivers that
keep the place going. This includes the Germans.

At Bad Lippspringe, the resident FallschirmClub Paderborn have been based
here for a long time and the majority of them were originally trained under
the BPA system. A couple of these have retained their BPA membership over
the years as they only jump at Bad Lippspringe, but the majority took
Deutche Fallschirmsport Verband (DFV) membership for the following reasons:

a. The DFV is their equivalent of the BPA therefore they
feel 'obliged' to join their national organisation, particularly as under
German law, German
citizens must join the DFV if they want to jump elsewhere in Germany. It is
worth noting that
German law has primacy at Bad Lippspringe DZ and if an offence is committed
on the DZ
it will be a German policeman who makes the arrest and NOT the military
police.

b. DFV membership is cheaper than BPA membership. The way the DFV
is set up and their attitude to individual responsibility, risk, insurance
and
compensation are much different to ours and therefore they benefit from
cheaper membership
and insurance. On top of this, the DFV membership is valid worldwide
including the USA.
Simple economics.
It should be noted that in comparison to ours, the Germans pay their
membership of the DFV separate from the insurance element. They have the
choice of 13 separate insurance companies who insure skydivers to choose
from in Germany
so that they can shop around for the one that's suits their personal
circumstances much
in the same way as you would shop around for car insurance. The end result
is that the
German skydiver holds two pieces of paper - his DFV membership card and his
proof of
insurance.

One thing did not change however is that they have largely remained loyal to
Bad Lippspringe as a British DZ and loyal to the BPA in the sense that as
DFV members, they respect the fact that we operate to the BPA Ops Manual,
and we have an excellent safety record.

German Law as applicable to skydivers

The Sennelager training area (STA) on which the DZ lies is German land
leased to the UK government for training purposes and therefore as I said
before German law has primacy, even for British Military personnel.
However, as a matter of practice we always call the military police in any
case and they invariably hand over to the German Civil Police. (GCP)

The main point of this is the fact that under the German system, all
experienced parachutists are licensed as 'sports pilots' by the German
government. Therefore if they break a rule of aviation, they are actually
breaking the law. (Note 1) To the British this seems overly draconian but
in fact it is a much more reliable system than we have in so much that the
majority of Germans are actually very law abiding citizens and do respect
their laws. Overall, this makes for a very conservative German skydiver, in
the aircraft, in the air and on the field. He knows that if he does
something that causes injury or damage to someone else or their property he
must have broken the law or been reckless and therefore in terms of
insurance he is culpable.

Note 1:

The Germans consider the experienced skydiver to be a 'pilot' whether he is
in freefall ie: pilot of his own body, or as pilot of a canopy. This means
that he, as the sole manipulator of the controls is responsible for what
happens in freefall and under canopy. If he were to fly his canopy in such
a fashion as to hit someone else or damage something, he would be negligent
and breaking the law by flying his canopy in a dangerous fashion.

The Anglo / German Interface

All British military personnel in Germany, are duty bound to get along with
our NATO and German hosts and neighbours, and in fact it is the policy of
the British Government that we enhance our links with our NATO and German
neighbours for all sorts of economic, social, military and cultural reasons.
At Bad Lippspringe, the field is open to the public even though the firing
ranges 200m west are not. We take great care in fostering good relations
with all visitors to the centre, in particular with the residents of the
village and nearby Paderborn town. This is no different to what happens at
most UK drop zones and is in fact purely good neighbourly practice. The FSC
Paderborn have called Lippspringe DZ their 'home DZ' for nearly 30 years and
almost all were originally trained here under the BPA system.

The Burgermiester (Mayor) of Bad Lippspringe is an active pilot and while
not a skydiver, takes a keen interest in the Anglo/German activity on the
airfield and has been our greatest ally in fending off the occasional noise
complaints. He often visits the field at weekends with his young son and
divides his time equally between the British and German skydivers. It is
for this reason the Burgermiester is invited to present the prizes at the
annual British Forces Parachuting Championships rather than a high ranking
British Officer. I am sure that Council are aware of the political
importance of contacts with the community such as this, not only to the
image of British Forces Germany, but also to the overall standing of UK PLC
within the German community as a whole.

The German Position

The German position is very simple. They are quite naturally miffed at
being told that they must buy another insurance on top of the one they
already have, to jump at a DZ on German soil.

The general feeling among the Germans is that they could'nt give a toss if
they had to buy BPA membership in the UK. However, to have to do this at a
DZ in Germany irrespective of whether it is a BPA DZ or not, has really got
them going. You must remember, the Germans did not have an organisation
like the BPA / DFV until 1992. They actually modelled a lot of their
training and operations manual on a mix of the USPA and BPA and on top of
this spent years negotiating with the German government and insurance
companies on how best to regulate skydiving within Germany. Naturally, they
are very proud of their DFV and they believe that they have the best system
for German parachutists and that it easily matches other associations around
the world, including the BPA and USPA.

As you know, the DFV insurance is valid worldwide including USA, and as far
as they are concerned, this also includes the UK and UK drop zones, after
all, no-one has actually banned German skydivers from anywhere in the world
so their membership and insurance must be OK!. However, it is common
practice that they will be made to join the BPA at any UK drop zone.
Consider the future of British entries into the European Skydiving League.
Our teams compete in Europe without restriction and yet if an ESL
competition were to be held at a UK drop zone we would make them all join
the BPA?

Lets not lose sight of what this is all about: German skydivers jumping at
a BPA DZ on German soil in Germany.

German Law

A German lawyer (Thomas Diehl, also an experienced skydiver so this affects
him) has assured me that under German law, German skydivers must be allowed
to jump at any drop zone in Germany so long as they are qualified, licensed
and insured to do so. The intimation of this statement is that by making
the Germans buy BPA membership, which they do not need (as they already have
their own) as a pre-requisite for jumping at Bad Lippspringe, the policy is
in direct contravention of German legislation that says that their
qualifications, licences and insurances are valid in Germany and worldwide.

As a British Army Officer in command of this parachute centre, the German
lawyer's statement puts me in a difficult situation. I am bound by my oath
of allegiance to the Queen to uphold the law wherever I may be. This also
includes the law of any nation in which I may be serving. You can see from
this that if the German lawyer is correct and that by following the Council
decision and making the Germans take BPA membership and insurance I am in
breach of German law then I must stop doing so. The situation at the time
of writing this is that I have not had time to investigate this fully and
therefore we will continue as normal until we establish the facts. However,
I believe that Thomas Diehl is about to write to Council stating exactly
what I said above.

The European Perspective

Skydiving is an international sport. It is not unusual for UK skydivers to
travel to Empuria for a weekend skydiving or to go to the USA for slightly
longer trips abroad. Putting the USA to one side for a moment, lets look at
the Brit skydiver in Europe. Currently, I don't know of anywhere in Europe
where British skydivers have to buy the membership and insurance of the
country in which they are skydiving. This is a facility that we have taken
for granted.

A fine example of European skydiving co-operation has to be the recent
operation in Portugal where a British DZ operator and a German DZ operator
set up their DZ in a third party state and operated jointly under the German
Ops Manual. I have been told that several hundred skydivers from 20+
different nations jumped there over the winter without any problems
whatsoever. No-one was asked to buy Portugese, German or British membership
and insurance on top of what they already had and by agreement all skydivers
operated to an accepted operations procedure without serious incident.
Another example of this type of European international co-operation occurs
in Sweden every two years at the Hercules Boogie which many UK skydivers
attend.

The only BPA DZ that can say it is fully in Europe is Bad Lippspringe. We
are situated right in the heart of Europe in north-central Germany and we
have 9 EU member states within 8 hours drive of the drop zone. I don't know
how many drop zones are within that range but it is a considerable amount.
From this you can see that within Europe it is perfectly acceptable to
skydive anywhere else in Europe on your own membership and insurance without
discrimination. From our perspective at Bad Lippspringe this is all that is
good and fair.

However, in recent years we have found that many skydivers would by-pass
this drop zone in favour of jumping elsewhere purely because they had to
join the BPA to jump here. It was for this reason combined with the falling
numbers of military parachutists that prompted my predecessor to write to
council requesting the original concession for experienced German skydivers
in 2000, and last year my request that it be extended to all European
skydivers on the same basis. As the only BPA drop zone in the heart of
Europe dealing with multi-national skydivers on a daily basis we firmly
believe that the position all over Europe should be that:

"All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able to
skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on their
own national membership and insurance".

I fear that the BPA may be leaving itself out in the cold as far as European
skydiving is concerned by allowing the insurer to dictate the terms on which
we conduct our sport in the UK and in Europe. The BPA seems to be
withdrawing into itself as far as Europe and international skydiving is
concerned, and all this is driven by the insurer. It is a bit like the tail
wagging the dog. We, as the membership should be telling the insurer what
we want from our insurance as opposed to the insurer telling us what we can
and cannot have.

The latest reduction in cover abroad is yet another indication that as far
as the insurer is concerned they would much rather no-one was skydiving
abroad so that they could try to manage the risk within the UK. I wonder
how many of Council realise that by reducing overseas cover to 100,000 puts
the UK skydiver below the minimum threshold for most European skydiving
insurance and that this means that UK skydivers abroad now have to take out,
German, Portugese or Spanish insurance? This is not progress but a step
backwards.

Remember, all of the other nations in Europe recognise each other's
membership and insurances and the BPA insurer has just put ours under the
threshold for most of them! I fully recognise the need for the association
to protect itself and the assets of the membership but this should not be at
the expense of participation in the sport, nor should it be at the expense
of one particular DZ that just happens to be in Europe and has, as Council
previously admitted: "special and unique circumstances".

I recently wrote to the BPA and the DFV and asked the question: "If I were
able to find a suitable insurance company to insure me as a BPA member,
would this be acceptable to the BPA / DFV?"

Tony Butler of the BPA wrote a long letter back to me explaining all the
reasons why (in his opinion) it would not be a good idea, however he drew
short of saying that I could or could not. I suspect that under European
legislation there is nothing stopping me from doing so. In addition to
this, the Gerling Concern who are the insurers of the DFV have stated that
they are more than happy to insure me as a BPA member and they will be
pleased for my insurance to be valid anywhere in the world up to 1.5 million
Euros. (much better than the 100,000 our present insurer has insisted
upon) If they will do this for me then I suspect that the Gerling Concern
may actually be interested in becoming the insurer for the BPA. However I
strongly suspect that they will also insist on the individual being insured
and not the association as a whole as we have now. All of the insurances
that the Germans and other European nations have all vary from country to
country and person to person. They adjust them on a regular basis to suit
the requirement for higher premiums such as are common in Austria and
Switzerland. An example of this was that the German insurer recently raised
their minimum level of insurance up to 2.9 million Euros purely for German
skydivers at Bad Lippspringe to be in line with the BPA 2 million. Sadly,
this open and forward thinking attempt to resolve the situation was rejected
by the BPA insurer.

Insurance Culture in Europe

The Council should be aware of the huge differences in insurance culture
that exists between the UK and the rest of Europe. In the UK we have a raft
of ambulance chasing lawyers all trying to get employees to sue their
employers and willing participants in our sport to sue the instructors, the
association and even each other. This has led to a huge increase in our
premiums and the consequence of our 'blanket cover' is that we all take
responsibility for the failings of others and pay more for those who claim.
So who wins? The claimants occasionally win. The insurer always wins as he
gets the premium, while at the same time the British skydiver just pays a
bigger premium.

By comparison, the European outlook is that the individual takes
responsibility for his own actions at all times. Remember, that in German
law an individual must obey the law and will be in breach of the law if he
takes any action that endangers others or property. It is a very 'black and
white' way of looking at things but you can see that in comparison to our
culture, in Europe it would be considered ridiculous for the association to
be sued when an individual may at blame. This grown up attitude to personal
responsibility has ensured that German insurance premiums have remained the
same for the last 5 years, and moreover has ensured a mature and responsible
attitude towards the risks involved in skydiving by all those who take part.

Management of German Skydivers at Bad Lippspringe

Ever since the first concession in 2000 at Bad Lippspringe we have employed
a six stage checking in procedure for experienced German DFV skydivers.
Note that the original concession applied only to "experienced German
skydivers and not those under instruction or any other nationality" We
applied a limit of 100 jumps as a line over which they were deemed to be
experienced and applied it rigidly. Everyone else joined the BPA without
exception. This situation worked very well and even the German skydivers
liked it as it acted as a sort of natural selection, in other words you had
to be good and experienced to jump at Bad Lippspringe. On top of the BPA
requirement we also applied a language standard so that in order to skydive
on this DZ they must be able to speak English reasonably well for safety
reasons.

This system has worked extremely well for 5 years without incident and there
is no reason why this record cannot continue. While we are on the subject
and just for the record, there has never been a claim on the BPA insurance
by an experienced German skydiver since RAPA was formed in 1964, nor has
there ever been any sort of claim made against a member of staff by anyone.

What effect has Council's decision had on Lippspringe DZ?

You are aware that this came into effect on 01 April and already has had a
huge impact on this dropzone in terms of 'bums on seats'. For example, last
weekend (02/03 April) we had excellent weather all over Europe and we made
the following descents:

Military Civilian Tandem
AFF Total Jumps



02 Apr 20 26 0
0 46

03 Apr 33 12 1
0 46



This weekend (09/10 April) we had a total of five punters on the DZ all
weekend. (Three on Saturday and two on Sunday) They were all British
military and none jumped as the weather was poor. However, even without the
bad weather the situation would not have been much better than the weekend
before. You can see that a total of 46 paying jumps on both days is hardly
a firm basis for any club to be operating from. Some of you who operate or
jump at multi-turbine UK drop zones might not believe those figures but they
are exactly correct and you are welcome to check them anytime you want. At
this rate it will not take long for expenditure on maintenance to overtake
the income from ticket sales and the club will very soon be in negative
equity.

For those of you who think that Lippspringe DZ is supported by the military
you are quite wrong. While the military provide the manpower they do not
provide the aircraft or parachute equipment. All of that is privately owned
and maintained by RAPA, a non public ie: private fund, exactly the same as
any other drop zone. Now imagine what would be happening at your own drop
zone if you had reducing attendance because most of your punters were off to
Iraq and the remainder were forced to buy another insurance on top of the
one they already have?

One last factor that is affecting this DZ and all drop zones in Germany is
rising inflation and unemployment. You may be aware that the German
economy, once the envy of the western world, is now in recession and German
unemployment figures have topped the 5.4 million mark in the last few days.
Those that have employment are naturally careful with their disposable cash
and therefore the sports and leisure industry in Germany which includes
skydiving have all taken a severe blow. This means that those lucky Germans
that do have jobs are working overtime to keep them (literally) and are not
spending their hard earned cash on frivialities such as skydiving. While
this is hardly the main interest of BPA Council, it is worth remembering
that even though the UK has not yet adopted the Euro our economy is linked
to the European economy and there may be a knock on effect for the UK not
too far away. It is another factor that has affected the future of this
dropzone and has been compounded by Councils decision.

Summary

I have taken some considerable time to explain the situation as it stands
now at Bad Lippspringe DZ, one of the longest running BPA drop zones. The
situation is serious and getting worse. I have also tried to present not
only my own case as Officer Commanding JSPC(L) but also the case from the
German perspective. I have had to be objective and play 'devils advocate'
on a couple of occasions.

I appeal to Council to seriously reconsider the decision that prevents
German skydivers from jumping at Bad Lippspringe on their own membership and
insurance and to consider the position of British skydivers abroad in
relation to other European skydiving nations. I reiterate that our position
as the only BPA drop zone in mainland Europe and with our special and unique
circumstances remains that:

"All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able to
skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on their
own national membership and insurance".

I would be grateful if anyone who has any questions on this call me or send
me an e-mail. I intend to be at Council on the 19th, along with my Chief
Instructor, Dave Openshaw and Ludwig Schmude who is the Chairman of
Fallschirmsport Club Paderborn. Of course we will answer any questions any
Council member may have.

Regards,


Paul Moore

BPA 39691
(Original Signed)

Copy to:

All BPA Council Members (by e-mail)

BPA Office

DFV Office

Army Parachute Association

Rhine Army Parachute Association

HQ ATG(A)

HQ ATG (G)

File





17 Apr 2005 01:10:01
Craig Bassindale
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

Well all I can say is please see sense! I have just returned from Z Hills
and my DZ, my only DZ is going to the wall thanks to the BPA.

Why can I travel the world (not USA) and jump on my BPA membership yet
anyone visiting a British DZ cant jump on there insurance?

How many council members have done AFF trips for free holidays? and jump in
Europe on there BPA yet every other person cant jump in the UK?

I have German car insurance but never get stopped in Dover with a 800 bill
to drive in England.

Shocking and sad but at least when RAPA goes bust because of the BPA rules I
will still be able to jump in Germany on my BPA membership!!!(sad but true
joke) just hope I never invite anyone back home to jump in Scotland more
than twice or full membership for them!!!!

Baz


"Paul" <PaulMoore@t-online.de > wrote in message
news:d3s3f5$kll$03$2@news.t-online.com...
> To all BPA members,
>
> This letter was sent to all Council members by e-mail a few days ago so
> that
> they could read it before the Council meeting on Tuesday 19 April.
>
> Today in Germany, after a foggy start we had wall to wall blue skies. We
> did a total of three Islander lifts over the whole day and only 17 jumps
> were made between the first lift at 1130 hrs and the last lift at 1730
> hrs. No DZ can
> survive like that for long.
>
> Since we were forced to implement BPA Councils decision that German
> skydivers had to join the BPA they have voted with their feet and have
> either stopped jumping or jump elsewhere. Please read the letter.
>
> If you agree with my comments I would be grateful if you could mail one of
> the Council members letting them know this, I would be grateful for a
> copy.
>
> Better still, why not attend Council on Tuesday evening and let them all
> know for yourself?
>
> If you dont agree with our position here in Germany or would like more
> information then I'd be grateful to hear from you too.
>
> I will post some comments recieved on another post.
>
> Regards,
>
>
>
> Paul
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Dear BPA Council Member, 11 April 2005
>
>
> BAD LIPPSPRINGE DZ & GERMAN PARACHUTISTS
>
> I am writing so that you, as a council member, may be better informed on
> the
> German position and leave you in no doubt as to the effect the Council
> decision is having on this BPA dropzone and in order to leave you in no
> doubt as to the level of interest in this issue throughout Europe, the
> issue
> being the BPA discrimination against German skydivers.
>
> I am also aware that several Council members have never been to this
> dropzone and have not witnessed for themselves the measures that were in
> place to ensure that German skydivers met the criteria for parachuting on
> their own membership and the years of fostering strong Anglo/German
> relations at this and other drop zones. The remainder who do know this
> dropzone have not been here for several years and have not seen the
> decline
> in attending British and German skydivers.
>
> When you read this, make a mental comparison with the situation at your
> own
> drop zone and imagine how it would affect your operation if you had the
> 'special and unique circumstances' that prevail at Bad Lippspringe.
>
> Some background information:
>
> At Bad Lippspringe we rely almost totally on our German skydivers for a
> small but continuous supply of skydiving 'bums on seats'. While the Rhine
> Army Parachute Association is set up primarily as a means of providing a
> parachute training facility for British servicemen and their families, the
> Anglo/German interface in sport and the community is seen as an essential
> component of our basis for being in Germany.
>
> The British Forces in Germany number only some 28,000 personnel with about
> another 10,000 dependants of an age suitable for parachuting. At any
> given
> time of those 28,000 personnel at least 50% are either deployed on
> operations or are in training or recovering from an operation, so from
> this
> you can see that given that skydiving is a minority sport this does not
> leave a huge amount of British skydivers in Germany. We estimate that in
> total, there are only between 20-25 British skydivers in Germany who are
> above BPA Cat 8 not including my staff and while the majority of what we
> do
> here is student training, it is the experienced and committed skydivers
> that
> keep the place going. This includes the Germans.
>
> At Bad Lippspringe, the resident FallschirmClub Paderborn have been based
> here for a long time and the majority of them were originally trained
> under
> the BPA system. A couple of these have retained their BPA membership over
> the years as they only jump at Bad Lippspringe, but the majority took
> Deutche Fallschirmsport Verband (DFV) membership for the following
> reasons:
>
> a. The DFV is their equivalent of the BPA therefore
> they
> feel 'obliged' to join their national organisation, particularly as under
> German law, German
> citizens must join the DFV if they want to jump elsewhere in Germany. It
> is worth noting that
> German law has primacy at Bad Lippspringe DZ and if an offence is
> committed on the DZ
> it will be a German policeman who makes the arrest and NOT the military
> police.
>
> b. DFV membership is cheaper than BPA membership. The way the DFV
> is set up and their attitude to individual responsibility, risk, insurance
> and
> compensation are much different to ours and therefore they benefit from
> cheaper membership
> and insurance. On top of this, the DFV membership is valid worldwide
> including the USA.
> Simple economics.
> It should be noted that in comparison to ours, the Germans pay their
> membership of the DFV separate from the insurance element. They have the
> choice of 13 separate insurance companies who insure skydivers to choose
> from in Germany
> so that they can shop around for the one that's suits their personal
> circumstances much
> in the same way as you would shop around for car insurance. The end
> result is that the
> German skydiver holds two pieces of paper - his DFV membership card and
> his proof of
> insurance.
>
> One thing did not change however is that they have largely remained loyal
> to
> Bad Lippspringe as a British DZ and loyal to the BPA in the sense that as
> DFV members, they respect the fact that we operate to the BPA Ops Manual,
> and we have an excellent safety record.
>
> German Law as applicable to skydivers
>
> The Sennelager training area (STA) on which the DZ lies is German land
> leased to the UK government for training purposes and therefore as I said
> before German law has primacy, even for British Military personnel.
> However, as a matter of practice we always call the military police in any
> case and they invariably hand over to the German Civil Police. (GCP)
>
> The main point of this is the fact that under the German system, all
> experienced parachutists are licensed as 'sports pilots' by the German
> government. Therefore if they break a rule of aviation, they are actually
> breaking the law. (Note 1) To the British this seems overly draconian
> but
> in fact it is a much more reliable system than we have in so much that the
> majority of Germans are actually very law abiding citizens and do respect
> their laws. Overall, this makes for a very conservative German skydiver,
> in
> the aircraft, in the air and on the field. He knows that if he does
> something that causes injury or damage to someone else or their property
> he
> must have broken the law or been reckless and therefore in terms of
> insurance he is culpable.
>
> Note 1:
>
> The Germans consider the experienced skydiver to be a 'pilot' whether he
> is
> in freefall ie: pilot of his own body, or as pilot of a canopy. This
> means
> that he, as the sole manipulator of the controls is responsible for what
> happens in freefall and under canopy. If he were to fly his canopy in
> such
> a fashion as to hit someone else or damage something, he would be
> negligent
> and breaking the law by flying his canopy in a dangerous fashion.
>
> The Anglo / German Interface
>
> All British military personnel in Germany, are duty bound to get along
> with
> our NATO and German hosts and neighbours, and in fact it is the policy of
> the British Government that we enhance our links with our NATO and German
> neighbours for all sorts of economic, social, military and cultural
> reasons.
> At Bad Lippspringe, the field is open to the public even though the firing
> ranges 200m west are not. We take great care in fostering good relations
> with all visitors to the centre, in particular with the residents of the
> village and nearby Paderborn town. This is no different to what happens
> at
> most UK drop zones and is in fact purely good neighbourly practice. The
> FSC
> Paderborn have called Lippspringe DZ their 'home DZ' for nearly 30 years
> and
> almost all were originally trained here under the BPA system.
>
> The Burgermiester (Mayor) of Bad Lippspringe is an active pilot and while
> not a skydiver, takes a keen interest in the Anglo/German activity on the
> airfield and has been our greatest ally in fending off the occasional
> noise
> complaints. He often visits the field at weekends with his young son and
> divides his time equally between the British and German skydivers. It is
> for this reason the Burgermiester is invited to present the prizes at the
> annual British Forces Parachuting Championships rather than a high ranking
> British Officer. I am sure that Council are aware of the political
> importance of contacts with the community such as this, not only to the
> image of British Forces Germany, but also to the overall standing of UK
> PLC
> within the German community as a whole.
>
> The German Position
>
> The German position is very simple. They are quite naturally miffed at
> being told that they must buy another insurance on top of the one they
> already have, to jump at a DZ on German soil.
>
> The general feeling among the Germans is that they could'nt give a toss if
> they had to buy BPA membership in the UK. However, to have to do this at
> a
> DZ in Germany irrespective of whether it is a BPA DZ or not, has really
> got
> them going. You must remember, the Germans did not have an organisation
> like the BPA / DFV until 1992. They actually modelled a lot of their
> training and operations manual on a mix of the USPA and BPA and on top of
> this spent years negotiating with the German government and insurance
> companies on how best to regulate skydiving within Germany. Naturally,
> they
> are very proud of their DFV and they believe that they have the best
> system
> for German parachutists and that it easily matches other associations
> around
> the world, including the BPA and USPA.
>
> As you know, the DFV insurance is valid worldwide including USA, and as
> far
> as they are concerned, this also includes the UK and UK drop zones, after
> all, no-one has actually banned German skydivers from anywhere in the
> world
> so their membership and insurance must be OK!. However, it is common
> practice that they will be made to join the BPA at any UK drop zone.
> Consider the future of British entries into the European Skydiving League.
> Our teams compete in Europe without restriction and yet if an ESL
> competition were to be held at a UK drop zone we would make them all join
> the BPA?
>
> Lets not lose sight of what this is all about: German skydivers jumping
> at
> a BPA DZ on German soil in Germany.
>
> German Law
>
> A German lawyer (Thomas Diehl, also an experienced skydiver so this
> affects
> him) has assured me that under German law, German skydivers must be
> allowed
> to jump at any drop zone in Germany so long as they are qualified,
> licensed
> and insured to do so. The intimation of this statement is that by making
> the Germans buy BPA membership, which they do not need (as they already
> have
> their own) as a pre-requisite for jumping at Bad Lippspringe, the policy
> is
> in direct contravention of German legislation that says that their
> qualifications, licences and insurances are valid in Germany and
> worldwide.
>
> As a British Army Officer in command of this parachute centre, the German
> lawyer's statement puts me in a difficult situation. I am bound by my
> oath
> of allegiance to the Queen to uphold the law wherever I may be. This also
> includes the law of any nation in which I may be serving. You can see
> from
> this that if the German lawyer is correct and that by following the
> Council
> decision and making the Germans take BPA membership and insurance I am in
> breach of German law then I must stop doing so. The situation at the time
> of writing this is that I have not had time to investigate this fully and
> therefore we will continue as normal until we establish the facts.
> However,
> I believe that Thomas Diehl is about to write to Council stating exactly
> what I said above.
>
> The European Perspective
>
> Skydiving is an international sport. It is not unusual for UK skydivers
> to
> travel to Empuria for a weekend skydiving or to go to the USA for slightly
> longer trips abroad. Putting the USA to one side for a moment, lets look
> at
> the Brit skydiver in Europe. Currently, I don't know of anywhere in
> Europe
> where British skydivers have to buy the membership and insurance of the
> country in which they are skydiving. This is a facility that we have
> taken
> for granted.
>
> A fine example of European skydiving co-operation has to be the recent
> operation in Portugal where a British DZ operator and a German DZ operator
> set up their DZ in a third party state and operated jointly under the
> German
> Ops Manual. I have been told that several hundred skydivers from 20+
> different nations jumped there over the winter without any problems
> whatsoever. No-one was asked to buy Portugese, German or British
> membership
> and insurance on top of what they already had and by agreement all
> skydivers
> operated to an accepted operations procedure without serious incident.
> Another example of this type of European international co-operation occurs
> in Sweden every two years at the Hercules Boogie which many UK skydivers
> attend.
>
> The only BPA DZ that can say it is fully in Europe is Bad Lippspringe. We
> are situated right in the heart of Europe in north-central Germany and we
> have 9 EU member states within 8 hours drive of the drop zone. I don't
> know
> how many drop zones are within that range but it is a considerable amount.
> From this you can see that within Europe it is perfectly acceptable to
> skydive anywhere else in Europe on your own membership and insurance
> without
> discrimination. From our perspective at Bad Lippspringe this is all that
> is
> good and fair.
>
> However, in recent years we have found that many skydivers would by-pass
> this drop zone in favour of jumping elsewhere purely because they had to
> join the BPA to jump here. It was for this reason combined with the
> falling
> numbers of military parachutists that prompted my predecessor to write to
> council requesting the original concession for experienced German
> skydivers
> in 2000, and last year my request that it be extended to all European
> skydivers on the same basis. As the only BPA drop zone in the heart of
> Europe dealing with multi-national skydivers on a daily basis we firmly
> believe that the position all over Europe should be that:
>
> "All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able
> to
> skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on their
> own national membership and insurance".
>
> I fear that the BPA may be leaving itself out in the cold as far as
> European
> skydiving is concerned by allowing the insurer to dictate the terms on
> which
> we conduct our sport in the UK and in Europe. The BPA seems to be
> withdrawing into itself as far as Europe and international skydiving is
> concerned, and all this is driven by the insurer. It is a bit like the
> tail
> wagging the dog. We, as the membership should be telling the insurer what
> we want from our insurance as opposed to the insurer telling us what we
> can
> and cannot have.
>
> The latest reduction in cover abroad is yet another indication that as far
> as the insurer is concerned they would much rather no-one was skydiving
> abroad so that they could try to manage the risk within the UK. I wonder
> how many of Council realise that by reducing overseas cover to 100,000
> puts
> the UK skydiver below the minimum threshold for most European skydiving
> insurance and that this means that UK skydivers abroad now have to take
> out,
> German, Portugese or Spanish insurance? This is not progress but a step
> backwards.
>
> Remember, all of the other nations in Europe recognise each other's
> membership and insurances and the BPA insurer has just put ours under the
> threshold for most of them! I fully recognise the need for the
> association
> to protect itself and the assets of the membership but this should not be
> at
> the expense of participation in the sport, nor should it be at the expense
> of one particular DZ that just happens to be in Europe and has, as Council
> previously admitted: "special and unique circumstances".
>
> I recently wrote to the BPA and the DFV and asked the question: "If I were
> able to find a suitable insurance company to insure me as a BPA member,
> would this be acceptable to the BPA / DFV?"
>
> Tony Butler of the BPA wrote a long letter back to me explaining all the
> reasons why (in his opinion) it would not be a good idea, however he drew
> short of saying that I could or could not. I suspect that under European
> legislation there is nothing stopping me from doing so. In addition to
> this, the Gerling Concern who are the insurers of the DFV have stated that
> they are more than happy to insure me as a BPA member and they will be
> pleased for my insurance to be valid anywhere in the world up to 1.5
> million
> Euros. (much better than the 100,000 our present insurer has insisted
> upon) If they will do this for me then I suspect that the Gerling Concern
> may actually be interested in becoming the insurer for the BPA. However I
> strongly suspect that they will also insist on the individual being
> insured
> and not the association as a whole as we have now. All of the insurances
> that the Germans and other European nations have all vary from country to
> country and person to person. They adjust them on a regular basis to suit
> the requirement for higher premiums such as are common in Austria and
> Switzerland. An example of this was that the German insurer recently
> raised
> their minimum level of insurance up to 2.9 million Euros purely for German
> skydivers at Bad Lippspringe to be in line with the BPA 2 million.
> Sadly,
> this open and forward thinking attempt to resolve the situation was
> rejected
> by the BPA insurer.
>
> Insurance Culture in Europe
>
> The Council should be aware of the huge differences in insurance culture
> that exists between the UK and the rest of Europe. In the UK we have a
> raft
> of ambulance chasing lawyers all trying to get employees to sue their
> employers and willing participants in our sport to sue the instructors,
> the
> association and even each other. This has led to a huge increase in our
> premiums and the consequence of our 'blanket cover' is that we all take
> responsibility for the failings of others and pay more for those who
> claim.
> So who wins? The claimants occasionally win. The insurer always wins as
> he
> gets the premium, while at the same time the British skydiver just pays a
> bigger premium.
>
> By comparison, the European outlook is that the individual takes
> responsibility for his own actions at all times. Remember, that in German
> law an individual must obey the law and will be in breach of the law if he
> takes any action that endangers others or property. It is a very 'black
> and
> white' way of looking at things but you can see that in comparison to our
> culture, in Europe it would be considered ridiculous for the association
> to
> be sued when an individual may at blame. This grown up attitude to
> personal
> responsibility has ensured that German insurance premiums have remained
> the
> same for the last 5 years, and moreover has ensured a mature and
> responsible
> attitude towards the risks involved in skydiving by all those who take
> part.
>
> Management of German Skydivers at Bad Lippspringe
>
> Ever since the first concession in 2000 at Bad Lippspringe we have
> employed
> a six stage checking in procedure for experienced German DFV skydivers.
> Note that the original concession applied only to "experienced German
> skydivers and not those under instruction or any other nationality" We
> applied a limit of 100 jumps as a line over which they were deemed to be
> experienced and applied it rigidly. Everyone else joined the BPA without
> exception. This situation worked very well and even the German skydivers
> liked it as it acted as a sort of natural selection, in other words you
> had
> to be good and experienced to jump at Bad Lippspringe. On top of the BPA
> requirement we also applied a language standard so that in order to
> skydive
> on this DZ they must be able to speak English reasonably well for safety
> reasons.
>
> This system has worked extremely well for 5 years without incident and
> there
> is no reason why this record cannot continue. While we are on the subject
> and just for the record, there has never been a claim on the BPA insurance
> by an experienced German skydiver since RAPA was formed in 1964, nor has
> there ever been any sort of claim made against a member of staff by
> anyone.
>
> What effect has Council's decision had on Lippspringe DZ?
>
> You are aware that this came into effect on 01 April and already has had a
> huge impact on this dropzone in terms of 'bums on seats'. For example,
> last
> weekend (02/03 April) we had excellent weather all over Europe and we made
> the following descents:
>
> Military Civilian Tandem
> AFF Total Jumps
>
>
>
> 02 Apr 20 26 0 0
> 46
>
> 03 Apr 33 12 1 0
> 46
>
>
>
> This weekend (09/10 April) we had a total of five punters on the DZ all
> weekend. (Three on Saturday and two on Sunday) They were all British
> military and none jumped as the weather was poor. However, even without
> the
> bad weather the situation would not have been much better than the weekend
> before. You can see that a total of 46 paying jumps on both days is
> hardly
> a firm basis for any club to be operating from. Some of you who operate
> or
> jump at multi-turbine UK drop zones might not believe those figures but
> they
> are exactly correct and you are welcome to check them anytime you want.
> At
> this rate it will not take long for expenditure on maintenance to overtake
> the income from ticket sales and the club will very soon be in negative
> equity.
>
> For those of you who think that Lippspringe DZ is supported by the
> military
> you are quite wrong. While the military provide the manpower they do not
> provide the aircraft or parachute equipment. All of that is privately
> owned
> and maintained by RAPA, a non public ie: private fund, exactly the same as
> any other drop zone. Now imagine what would be happening at your own drop
> zone if you had reducing attendance because most of your punters were off
> to
> Iraq and the remainder were forced to buy another insurance on top of the
> one they already have?
>
> One last factor that is affecting this DZ and all drop zones in Germany is
> rising inflation and unemployment. You may be aware that the German
> economy, once the envy of the western world, is now in recession and
> German
> unemployment figures have topped the 5.4 million mark in the last few
> days.
> Those that have employment are naturally careful with their disposable
> cash
> and therefore the sports and leisure industry in Germany which includes
> skydiving have all taken a severe blow. This means that those lucky
> Germans
> that do have jobs are working overtime to keep them (literally) and are
> not
> spending their hard earned cash on frivialities such as skydiving. While
> this is hardly the main interest of BPA Council, it is worth remembering
> that even though the UK has not yet adopted the Euro our economy is linked
> to the European economy and there may be a knock on effect for the UK not
> too far away. It is another factor that has affected the future of this
> dropzone and has been compounded by Councils decision.
>
> Summary
>
> I have taken some considerable time to explain the situation as it stands
> now at Bad Lippspringe DZ, one of the longest running BPA drop zones. The
> situation is serious and getting worse. I have also tried to present not
> only my own case as Officer Commanding JSPC(L) but also the case from the
> German perspective. I have had to be objective and play 'devils advocate'
> on a couple of occasions.
>
> I appeal to Council to seriously reconsider the decision that prevents
> German skydivers from jumping at Bad Lippspringe on their own membership
> and
> insurance and to consider the position of British skydivers abroad in
> relation to other European skydiving nations. I reiterate that our
> position
> as the only BPA drop zone in mainland Europe and with our special and
> unique
> circumstances remains that:
>
> "All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able
> to
> skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on their
> own national membership and insurance".
>
> I would be grateful if anyone who has any questions on this call me or
> send
> me an e-mail. I intend to be at Council on the 19th, along with my Chief
> Instructor, Dave Openshaw and Ludwig Schmude who is the Chairman of
> Fallschirmsport Club Paderborn. Of course we will answer any questions
> any
> Council member may have.
>
> Regards,
>
>
> Paul Moore
>
> BPA 39691
> (Original Signed)
>
> Copy to:
>
> All BPA Council Members (by e-mail)
>
> BPA Office
>
> DFV Office
>
> Army Parachute Association
>
> Rhine Army Parachute Association
>
> HQ ATG(A)
>
> HQ ATG (G)
>
> File
>
>
>




16 Apr 2005 21:50:50
Tam
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

Having read the various posts and listen to numerous arguments I would
just like to ask why Bad Lippsringe needs to remain a BPA drop zone.
If the majority of the jumpers are German. Change over to a German
operated DZ. That way the UK based BPA members are not subsidising
your jumps and membership. Seems a simple solution to me.

I think that we need to ask if there is a need to have a BPA drop zone
in Germany. Its convenient yes and preferable for the few Brits that
are based there but on a purely commercial level, does it make sense
for the rest of the BPA membership to subsidise your jumps? I don't
think it is. If it was a German DZ then the locals would jump there
with DFV membership and the Brits who are based there join the DFV if
they think its worth while. If we make an exception for Bad Lippsringe
then it'll end up more expensive for us all. With BPA membership
almost doubled as it is, I don't fancy paying for your jumps on top of
the membership fee.

Tom


"Paul" <PaulMoore@t-online.de > wrote in message news:<d3s3f5$kll$03$2@news.t-online.com>...
> To all BPA members,
>
> This letter was sent to all Council members by e-mail a few days ago so that
> they could read it before the Council meeting on Tuesday 19 April.
>
> Today in Germany, after a foggy start we had wall to wall blue skies. We
> did a total of three Islander lifts over the whole day and only 17 jumps
> were made between the first lift at 1130 hrs and the last lift at 1730 hrs.
> No DZ can
> survive like that for long.
>
> Since we were forced to implement BPA Councils decision that German
> skydivers had to join the BPA they have voted with their feet and have
> either stopped jumping or jump elsewhere. Please read the letter.
>
> If you agree with my comments I would be grateful if you could mail one of
> the Council members letting them know this, I would be grateful for a copy.
>
> Better still, why not attend Council on Tuesday evening and let them all
> know for yourself?
>
> If you dont agree with our position here in Germany or would like more
> information then I'd be grateful to hear from you too.
>
> I will post some comments recieved on another post.
>
> Regards,
>
>
>
> Paul
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Dear BPA Council Member, 11 April 2005
>
>
> BAD LIPPSPRINGE DZ & GERMAN PARACHUTISTS
>
> I am writing so that you, as a council member, may be better informed on the
> German position and leave you in no doubt as to the effect the Council
> decision is having on this BPA dropzone and in order to leave you in no
> doubt as to the level of interest in this issue throughout Europe, the issue
> being the BPA discrimination against German skydivers.
>
> I am also aware that several Council members have never been to this
> dropzone and have not witnessed for themselves the measures that were in
> place to ensure that German skydivers met the criteria for parachuting on
> their own membership and the years of fostering strong Anglo/German
> relations at this and other drop zones. The remainder who do know this
> dropzone have not been here for several years and have not seen the decline
> in attending British and German skydivers.
>
> When you read this, make a mental comparison with the situation at your own
> drop zone and imagine how it would affect your operation if you had the
> 'special and unique circumstances' that prevail at Bad Lippspringe.
>
> Some background information:
>
> At Bad Lippspringe we rely almost totally on our German skydivers for a
> small but continuous supply of skydiving 'bums on seats'. While the Rhine
> Army Parachute Association is set up primarily as a means of providing a
> parachute training facility for British servicemen and their families, the
> Anglo/German interface in sport and the community is seen as an essential
> component of our basis for being in Germany.
>
> The British Forces in Germany number only some 28,000 personnel with about
> another 10,000 dependants of an age suitable for parachuting. At any given
> time of those 28,000 personnel at least 50% are either deployed on
> operations or are in training or recovering from an operation, so from this
> you can see that given that skydiving is a minority sport this does not
> leave a huge amount of British skydivers in Germany. We estimate that in
> total, there are only between 20-25 British skydivers in Germany who are
> above BPA Cat 8 not including my staff and while the majority of what we do
> here is student training, it is the experienced and committed skydivers that
> keep the place going. This includes the Germans.
>
> At Bad Lippspringe, the resident FallschirmClub Paderborn have been based
> here for a long time and the majority of them were originally trained under
> the BPA system. A couple of these have retained their BPA membership over
> the years as they only jump at Bad Lippspringe, but the majority took
> Deutche Fallschirmsport Verband (DFV) membership for the following reasons:
>
> a. The DFV is their equivalent of the BPA therefore they
> feel 'obliged' to join their national organisation, particularly as under
> German law, German
> citizens must join the DFV if they want to jump elsewhere in Germany. It is
> worth noting that
> German law has primacy at Bad Lippspringe DZ and if an offence is committed
> on the DZ
> it will be a German policeman who makes the arrest and NOT the military
> police.
>
> b. DFV membership is cheaper than BPA membership. The way the DFV
> is set up and their attitude to individual responsibility, risk, insurance
> and
> compensation are much different to ours and therefore they benefit from
> cheaper membership
> and insurance. On top of this, the DFV membership is valid worldwide
> including the USA.
> Simple economics.
> It should be noted that in comparison to ours, the Germans pay their
> membership of the DFV separate from the insurance element. They have the
> choice of 13 separate insurance companies who insure skydivers to choose
> from in Germany
> so that they can shop around for the one that's suits their personal
> circumstances much
> in the same way as you would shop around for car insurance. The end result
> is that the
> German skydiver holds two pieces of paper - his DFV membership card and his
> proof of
> insurance.
>
> One thing did not change however is that they have largely remained loyal to
> Bad Lippspringe as a British DZ and loyal to the BPA in the sense that as
> DFV members, they respect the fact that we operate to the BPA Ops Manual,
> and we have an excellent safety record.
>
> German Law as applicable to skydivers
>
> The Sennelager training area (STA) on which the DZ lies is German land
> leased to the UK government for training purposes and therefore as I said
> before German law has primacy, even for British Military personnel.
> However, as a matter of practice we always call the military police in any
> case and they invariably hand over to the German Civil Police. (GCP)
>
> The main point of this is the fact that under the German system, all
> experienced parachutists are licensed as 'sports pilots' by the German
> government. Therefore if they break a rule of aviation, they are actually
> breaking the law. (Note 1) To the British this seems overly draconian but
> in fact it is a much more reliable system than we have in so much that the
> majority of Germans are actually very law abiding citizens and do respect
> their laws. Overall, this makes for a very conservative German skydiver, in
> the aircraft, in the air and on the field. He knows that if he does
> something that causes injury or damage to someone else or their property he
> must have broken the law or been reckless and therefore in terms of
> insurance he is culpable.
>
> Note 1:
>
> The Germans consider the experienced skydiver to be a 'pilot' whether he is
> in freefall ie: pilot of his own body, or as pilot of a canopy. This means
> that he, as the sole manipulator of the controls is responsible for what
> happens in freefall and under canopy. If he were to fly his canopy in such
> a fashion as to hit someone else or damage something, he would be negligent
> and breaking the law by flying his canopy in a dangerous fashion.
>
> The Anglo / German Interface
>
> All British military personnel in Germany, are duty bound to get along with
> our NATO and German hosts and neighbours, and in fact it is the policy of
> the British Government that we enhance our links with our NATO and German
> neighbours for all sorts of economic, social, military and cultural reasons.
> At Bad Lippspringe, the field is open to the public even though the firing
> ranges 200m west are not. We take great care in fostering good relations
> with all visitors to the centre, in particular with the residents of the
> village and nearby Paderborn town. This is no different to what happens at
> most UK drop zones and is in fact purely good neighbourly practice. The FSC
> Paderborn have called Lippspringe DZ their 'home DZ' for nearly 30 years and
> almost all were originally trained here under the BPA system.
>
> The Burgermiester (Mayor) of Bad Lippspringe is an active pilot and while
> not a skydiver, takes a keen interest in the Anglo/German activity on the
> airfield and has been our greatest ally in fending off the occasional noise
> complaints. He often visits the field at weekends with his young son and
> divides his time equally between the British and German skydivers. It is
> for this reason the Burgermiester is invited to present the prizes at the
> annual British Forces Parachuting Championships rather than a high ranking
> British Officer. I am sure that Council are aware of the political
> importance of contacts with the community such as this, not only to the
> image of British Forces Germany, but also to the overall standing of UK PLC
> within the German community as a whole.
>
> The German Position
>
> The German position is very simple. They are quite naturally miffed at
> being told that they must buy another insurance on top of the one they
> already have, to jump at a DZ on German soil.
>
> The general feeling among the Germans is that they could'nt give a toss if
> they had to buy BPA membership in the UK. However, to have to do this at a
> DZ in Germany irrespective of whether it is a BPA DZ or not, has really got
> them going. You must remember, the Germans did not have an organisation
> like the BPA / DFV until 1992. They actually modelled a lot of their
> training and operations manual on a mix of the USPA and BPA and on top of
> this spent years negotiating with the German government and insurance
> companies on how best to regulate skydiving within Germany. Naturally, they
> are very proud of their DFV and they believe that they have the best system
> for German parachutists and that it easily matches other associations around
> the world, including the BPA and USPA.
>
> As you know, the DFV insurance is valid worldwide including USA, and as far
> as they are concerned, this also includes the UK and UK drop zones, after
> all, no-one has actually banned German skydivers from anywhere in the world
> so their membership and insurance must be OK!. However, it is common
> practice that they will be made to join the BPA at any UK drop zone.
> Consider the future of British entries into the European Skydiving League.
> Our teams compete in Europe without restriction and yet if an ESL
> competition were to be held at a UK drop zone we would make them all join
> the BPA?
>
> Lets not lose sight of what this is all about: German skydivers jumping at
> a BPA DZ on German soil in Germany.
>
> German Law
>
> A German lawyer (Thomas Diehl, also an experienced skydiver so this affects
> him) has assured me that under German law, German skydivers must be allowed
> to jump at any drop zone in Germany so long as they are qualified, licensed
> and insured to do so. The intimation of this statement is that by making
> the Germans buy BPA membership, which they do not need (as they already have
> their own) as a pre-requisite for jumping at Bad Lippspringe, the policy is
> in direct contravention of German legislation that says that their
> qualifications, licences and insurances are valid in Germany and worldwide.
>
> As a British Army Officer in command of this parachute centre, the German
> lawyer's statement puts me in a difficult situation. I am bound by my oath
> of allegiance to the Queen to uphold the law wherever I may be. This also
> includes the law of any nation in which I may be serving. You can see from
> this that if the German lawyer is correct and that by following the Council
> decision and making the Germans take BPA membership and insurance I am in
> breach of German law then I must stop doing so. The situation at the time
> of writing this is that I have not had time to investigate this fully and
> therefore we will continue as normal until we establish the facts. However,
> I believe that Thomas Diehl is about to write to Council stating exactly
> what I said above.
>
> The European Perspective
>
> Skydiving is an international sport. It is not unusual for UK skydivers to
> travel to Empuria for a weekend skydiving or to go to the USA for slightly
> longer trips abroad. Putting the USA to one side for a moment, lets look at
> the Brit skydiver in Europe. Currently, I don't know of anywhere in Europe
> where British skydivers have to buy the membership and insurance of the
> country in which they are skydiving. This is a facility that we have taken
> for granted.
>
> A fine example of European skydiving co-operation has to be the recent
> operation in Portugal where a British DZ operator and a German DZ operator
> set up their DZ in a third party state and operated jointly under the German
> Ops Manual. I have been told that several hundred skydivers from 20+
> different nations jumped there over the winter without any problems
> whatsoever. No-one was asked to buy Portugese, German or British membership
> and insurance on top of what they already had and by agreement all skydivers
> operated to an accepted operations procedure without serious incident.
> Another example of this type of European international co-operation occurs
> in Sweden every two years at the Hercules Boogie which many UK skydivers
> attend.
>
> The only BPA DZ that can say it is fully in Europe is Bad Lippspringe. We
> are situated right in the heart of Europe in north-central Germany and we
> have 9 EU member states within 8 hours drive of the drop zone. I don't know
> how many drop zones are within that range but it is a considerable amount.
> From this you can see that within Europe it is perfectly acceptable to
> skydive anywhere else in Europe on your own membership and insurance without
> discrimination. From our perspective at Bad Lippspringe this is all that is
> good and fair.
>
> However, in recent years we have found that many skydivers would by-pass
> this drop zone in favour of jumping elsewhere purely because they had to
> join the BPA to jump here. It was for this reason combined with the falling
> numbers of military parachutists that prompted my predecessor to write to
> council requesting the original concession for experienced German skydivers
> in 2000, and last year my request that it be extended to all European
> skydivers on the same basis. As the only BPA drop zone in the heart of
> Europe dealing with multi-national skydivers on a daily basis we firmly
> believe that the position all over Europe should be that:
>
> "All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able to
> skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on their
> own national membership and insurance".
>
> I fear that the BPA may be leaving itself out in the cold as far as European
> skydiving is concerned by allowing the insurer to dictate the terms on which
> we conduct our sport in the UK and in Europe. The BPA seems to be
> withdrawing into itself as far as Europe and international skydiving is
> concerned, and all this is driven by the insurer. It is a bit like the tail
> wagging the dog. We, as the membership should be telling the insurer what
> we want from our insurance as opposed to the insurer telling us what we can
> and cannot have.
>
> The latest reduction in cover abroad is yet another indication that as far
> as the insurer is concerned they would much rather no-one was skydiving
> abroad so that they could try to manage the risk within the UK. I wonder
> how many of Council realise that by reducing overseas cover to 100,000 puts
> the UK skydiver below the minimum threshold for most European skydiving
> insurance and that this means that UK skydivers abroad now have to take out,
> German, Portugese or Spanish insurance? This is not progress but a step
> backwards.
>
> Remember, all of the other nations in Europe recognise each other's
> membership and insurances and the BPA insurer has just put ours under the
> threshold for most of them! I fully recognise the need for the association
> to protect itself and the assets of the membership but this should not be at
> the expense of participation in the sport, nor should it be at the expense
> of one particular DZ that just happens to be in Europe and has, as Council
> previously admitted: "special and unique circumstances".
>
> I recently wrote to the BPA and the DFV and asked the question: "If I were
> able to find a suitable insurance company to insure me as a BPA member,
> would this be acceptable to the BPA / DFV?"
>
> Tony Butler of the BPA wrote a long letter back to me explaining all the
> reasons why (in his opinion) it would not be a good idea, however he drew
> short of saying that I could or could not. I suspect that under European
> legislation there is nothing stopping me from doing so. In addition to
> this, the Gerling Concern who are the insurers of the DFV have stated that
> they are more than happy to insure me as a BPA member and they will be
> pleased for my insurance to be valid anywhere in the world up to 1.5 million
> Euros. (much better than the 100,000 our present insurer has insisted
> upon) If they will do this for me then I suspect that the Gerling Concern
> may actually be interested in becoming the insurer for the BPA. However I
> strongly suspect that they will also insist on the individual being insured
> and not the association as a whole as we have now. All of the insurances
> that the Germans and other European nations have all vary from country to
> country and person to person. They adjust them on a regular basis to suit
> the requirement for higher premiums such as are common in Austria and
> Switzerland. An example of this was that the German insurer recently raised
> their minimum level of insurance up to 2.9 million Euros purely for German
> skydivers at Bad Lippspringe to be in line with the BPA 2 million. Sadly,
> this open and forward thinking attempt to resolve the situation was rejected
> by the BPA insurer.
>
> Insurance Culture in Europe
>
> The Council should be aware of the huge differences in insurance culture
> that exists between the UK and the rest of Europe. In the UK we have a raft
> of ambulance chasing lawyers all trying to get employees to sue their
> employers and willing participants in our sport to sue the instructors, the
> association and even each other. This has led to a huge increase in our
> premiums and the consequence of our 'blanket cover' is that we all take
> responsibility for the failings of others and pay more for those who claim.
> So who wins? The claimants occasionally win. The insurer always wins as he
> gets the premium, while at the same time the British skydiver just pays a
> bigger premium.
>
> By comparison, the European outlook is that the individual takes
> responsibility for his own actions at all times. Remember, that in German
> law an individual must obey the law and will be in breach of the law if he
> takes any action that endangers others or property. It is a very 'black and
> white' way of looking at things but you can see that in comparison to our
> culture, in Europe it would be considered ridiculous for the association to
> be sued when an individual may at blame. This grown up attitude to personal
> responsibility has ensured that German insurance premiums have remained the
> same for the last 5 years, and moreover has ensured a mature and responsible
> attitude towards the risks involved in skydiving by all those who take part.
>
> Management of German Skydivers at Bad Lippspringe
>
> Ever since the first concession in 2000 at Bad Lippspringe we have employed
> a six stage checking in procedure for experienced German DFV skydivers.
> Note that the original concession applied only to "experienced German
> skydivers and not those under instruction or any other nationality" We
> applied a limit of 100 jumps as a line over which they were deemed to be
> experienced and applied it rigidly. Everyone else joined the BPA without
> exception. This situation worked very well and even the German skydivers
> liked it as it acted as a sort of natural selection, in other words you had
> to be good and experienced to jump at Bad Lippspringe. On top of the BPA
> requirement we also applied a language standard so that in order to skydive
> on this DZ they must be able to speak English reasonably well for safety
> reasons.
>
> This system has worked extremely well for 5 years without incident and there
> is no reason why this record cannot continue. While we are on the subject
> and just for the record, there has never been a claim on the BPA insurance
> by an experienced German skydiver since RAPA was formed in 1964, nor has
> there ever been any sort of claim made against a member of staff by anyone.
>
> What effect has Council's decision had on Lippspringe DZ?
>
> You are aware that this came into effect on 01 April and already has had a
> huge impact on this dropzone in terms of 'bums on seats'. For example, last
> weekend (02/03 April) we had excellent weather all over Europe and we made
> the following descents:
>
> Military Civilian Tandem
> AFF Total Jumps
>
>
>
> 02 Apr 20 26 0
> 0 46
>
> 03 Apr 33 12 1
> 0 46
>
>
>
> This weekend (09/10 April) we had a total of five punters on the DZ all
> weekend. (Three on Saturday and two on Sunday) They were all British
> military and none jumped as the weather was poor. However, even without the
> bad weather the situation would not have been much better than the weekend
> before. You can see that a total of 46 paying jumps on both days is hardly
> a firm basis for any club to be operating from. Some of you who operate or
> jump at multi-turbine UK drop zones might not believe those figures but they
> are exactly correct and you are welcome to check them anytime you want. At
> this rate it will not take long for expenditure on maintenance to overtake
> the income from ticket sales and the club will very soon be in negative
> equity.
>
> For those of you who think that Lippspringe DZ is supported by the military
> you are quite wrong. While the military provide the manpower they do not
> provide the aircraft or parachute equipment. All of that is privately owned
> and maintained by RAPA, a non public ie: private fund, exactly the same as
> any other drop zone. Now imagine what would be happening at your own drop
> zone if you had reducing attendance because most of your punters were off to
> Iraq and the remainder were forced to buy another insurance on top of the
> one they already have?
>
> One last factor that is affecting this DZ and all drop zones in Germany is
> rising inflation and unemployment. You may be aware that the German
> economy, once the envy of the western world, is now in recession and German
> unemployment figures have topped the 5.4 million mark in the last few days.
> Those that have employment are naturally careful with their disposable cash
> and therefore the sports and leisure industry in Germany which includes
> skydiving have all taken a severe blow. This means that those lucky Germans
> that do have jobs are working overtime to keep them (literally) and are not
> spending their hard earned cash on frivialities such as skydiving. While
> this is hardly the main interest of BPA Council, it is worth remembering
> that even though the UK has not yet adopted the Euro our economy is linked
> to the European economy and there may be a knock on effect for the UK not
> too far away. It is another factor that has affected the future of this
> dropzone and has been compounded by Councils decision.
>
> Summary
>
> I have taken some considerable time to explain the situation as it stands
> now at Bad Lippspringe DZ, one of the longest running BPA drop zones. The
> situation is serious and getting worse. I have also tried to present not
> only my own case as Officer Commanding JSPC(L) but also the case from the
> German perspective. I have had to be objective and play 'devils advocate'
> on a couple of occasions.
>
> I appeal to Council to seriously reconsider the decision that prevents
> German skydivers from jumping at Bad Lippspringe on their own membership and
> insurance and to consider the position of British skydivers abroad in
> relation to other European skydiving nations. I reiterate that our position
> as the only BPA drop zone in mainland Europe and with our special and unique
> circumstances remains that:
>
> "All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able to
> skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on their
> own national membership and insurance".
>
> I would be grateful if anyone who has any questions on this call me or send
> me an e-mail. I intend to be at Council on the 19th, along with my Chief
> Instructor, Dave Openshaw and Ludwig Schmude who is the Chairman of
> Fallschirmsport Club Paderborn. Of course we will answer any questions any
> Council member may have.
>
> Regards,
>
>
> Paul Moore
>
> BPA 39691
> (Original Signed)
>
> Copy to:
>
> All BPA Council Members (by e-mail)
>
> BPA Office
>
> DFV Office
>
> Army Parachute Association
>
> Rhine Army Parachute Association
>
> HQ ATG(A)
>
> HQ ATG (G)
>
> File


17 Apr 2005 07:40:15
Paul
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

Tom,

You're missing the point slightly. Bad Lippspringe Dz is a joint services
parachute centre running courses for military guys thruogh the week but at
weekends it becomes a parachute club like any other. The BPA membership
have NEVER been in a position where they are subsidising either the club or
anyones jumps!

Bad Lippspringe has been a BPA club since 1964, almost since the BPA was
formed and it would be preferable for us to remain a BPA club. We operate
to the BPA ops manual and all of our instructors and staff are BPA trained
members. We are proud of our long affilliation with the BPA and the Germans
certainly dont want us to swap over to the DFV.
The main point of my letter is that the BPA have cut off a large portion of
our club members from jumping here by making them have to buy another
insurance on top of the one they already have.

Think about it. Lets say the same happenned at your local DZ what would you
do? If the BPA were to make you buy another insurance on top of the
already expensive one you have to jump at your local club would you still
jump there or would you go to another DZ not far away and jump on the one
you already have.??

Tom, this issue affects you! the BPA Council have just reduced your
overseas cover to 100,000 which means YOU WILL have to buy more insurance
if you go abroad this year.
Please read the letter in detail and ask someone who knows Lippspringe DZ to
explain to you. Our point of view remains the same:

"All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able to
skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on their
own national membership and insurance".


Paul


"Tam" <allrightscud@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:4ca10d51.0504162050.484e6a74@posting.google.com...
> Having read the various posts and listen to numerous arguments I would
> just like to ask why Bad Lippsringe needs to remain a BPA drop zone.
> If the majority of the jumpers are German. Change over to a German
> operated DZ. That way the UK based BPA members are not subsidising
> your jumps and membership. Seems a simple solution to me.
>
> I think that we need to ask if there is a need to have a BPA drop zone
> in Germany. Its convenient yes and preferable for the few Brits that
> are based there but on a purely commercial level, does it make sense
> for the rest of the BPA membership to subsidise your jumps? I don't
> think it is. If it was a German DZ then the locals would jump there
> with DFV membership and the Brits who are based there join the DFV if
> they think its worth while. If we make an exception for Bad Lippsringe
> then it'll end up more expensive for us all. With BPA membership
> almost doubled as it is, I don't fancy paying for your jumps on top of
> the membership fee.
>
> Tom
>
>
> "Paul" <PaulMoore@t-online.de> wrote in message
> news:<d3s3f5$kll$03$2@news.t-online.com>...
>> To all BPA members,
>>
>> This letter was sent to all Council members by e-mail a few days ago so
>> that
>> they could read it before the Council meeting on Tuesday 19 April.
>>
>> Today in Germany, after a foggy start we had wall to wall blue skies. We
>> did a total of three Islander lifts over the whole day and only 17 jumps
>> were made between the first lift at 1130 hrs and the last lift at 1730
>> hrs.
>> No DZ can
>> survive like that for long.
>>
>> Since we were forced to implement BPA Councils decision that German
>> skydivers had to join the BPA they have voted with their feet and have
>> either stopped jumping or jump elsewhere. Please read the letter.
>>
>> If you agree with my comments I would be grateful if you could mail one
>> of
>> the Council members letting them know this, I would be grateful for a
>> copy.
>>
>> Better still, why not attend Council on Tuesday evening and let them all
>> know for yourself?
>>
>> If you dont agree with our position here in Germany or would like more
>> information then I'd be grateful to hear from you too.
>>
>> I will post some comments recieved on another post.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>>
>>
>> Paul
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Dear BPA Council Member, 11 April 2005
>>
>>
>> BAD LIPPSPRINGE DZ & GERMAN PARACHUTISTS
>>
>> I am writing so that you, as a council member, may be better informed on
>> the
>> German position and leave you in no doubt as to the effect the Council
>> decision is having on this BPA dropzone and in order to leave you in no
>> doubt as to the level of interest in this issue throughout Europe, the
>> issue
>> being the BPA discrimination against German skydivers.
>>
>> I am also aware that several Council members have never been to this
>> dropzone and have not witnessed for themselves the measures that were in
>> place to ensure that German skydivers met the criteria for parachuting on
>> their own membership and the years of fostering strong Anglo/German
>> relations at this and other drop zones. The remainder who do know this
>> dropzone have not been here for several years and have not seen the
>> decline
>> in attending British and German skydivers.
>>
>> When you read this, make a mental comparison with the situation at your
>> own
>> drop zone and imagine how it would affect your operation if you had the
>> 'special and unique circumstances' that prevail at Bad Lippspringe.
>>
>> Some background information:
>>
>> At Bad Lippspringe we rely almost totally on our German skydivers for a
>> small but continuous supply of skydiving 'bums on seats'. While the
>> Rhine
>> Army Parachute Association is set up primarily as a means of providing a
>> parachute training facility for British servicemen and their families,
>> the
>> Anglo/German interface in sport and the community is seen as an essential
>> component of our basis for being in Germany.
>>
>> The British Forces in Germany number only some 28,000 personnel with
>> about
>> another 10,000 dependants of an age suitable for parachuting. At any
>> given
>> time of those 28,000 personnel at least 50% are either deployed on
>> operations or are in training or recovering from an operation, so from
>> this
>> you can see that given that skydiving is a minority sport this does not
>> leave a huge amount of British skydivers in Germany. We estimate that in
>> total, there are only between 20-25 British skydivers in Germany who are
>> above BPA Cat 8 not including my staff and while the majority of what we
>> do
>> here is student training, it is the experienced and committed skydivers
>> that
>> keep the place going. This includes the Germans.
>>
>> At Bad Lippspringe, the resident FallschirmClub Paderborn have been based
>> here for a long time and the majority of them were originally trained
>> under
>> the BPA system. A couple of these have retained their BPA membership
>> over
>> the years as they only jump at Bad Lippspringe, but the majority took
>> Deutche Fallschirmsport Verband (DFV) membership for the following
>> reasons:
>>
>> a. The DFV is their equivalent of the BPA therefore
>> they
>> feel 'obliged' to join their national organisation, particularly as
>> under
>> German law, German
>> citizens must join the DFV if they want to jump elsewhere in Germany. It
>> is
>> worth noting that
>> German law has primacy at Bad Lippspringe DZ and if an offence is
>> committed
>> on the DZ
>> it will be a German policeman who makes the arrest and NOT the military
>> police.
>>
>> b. DFV membership is cheaper than BPA membership. The way the
>> DFV
>> is set up and their attitude to individual responsibility, risk,
>> insurance
>> and
>> compensation are much different to ours and therefore they benefit from
>> cheaper membership
>> and insurance. On top of this, the DFV membership is valid worldwide
>> including the USA.
>> Simple economics.
>> It should be noted that in comparison to ours, the Germans pay their
>> membership of the DFV separate from the insurance element. They have the
>> choice of 13 separate insurance companies who insure skydivers to choose
>> from in Germany
>> so that they can shop around for the one that's suits their personal
>> circumstances much
>> in the same way as you would shop around for car insurance. The end
>> result
>> is that the
>> German skydiver holds two pieces of paper - his DFV membership card and
>> his
>> proof of
>> insurance.
>>
>> One thing did not change however is that they have largely remained loyal
>> to
>> Bad Lippspringe as a British DZ and loyal to the BPA in the sense that as
>> DFV members, they respect the fact that we operate to the BPA Ops Manual,
>> and we have an excellent safety record.
>>
>> German Law as applicable to skydivers
>>
>> The Sennelager training area (STA) on which the DZ lies is German land
>> leased to the UK government for training purposes and therefore as I said
>> before German law has primacy, even for British Military personnel.
>> However, as a matter of practice we always call the military police in
>> any
>> case and they invariably hand over to the German Civil Police. (GCP)
>>
>> The main point of this is the fact that under the German system, all
>> experienced parachutists are licensed as 'sports pilots' by the German
>> government. Therefore if they break a rule of aviation, they are
>> actually
>> breaking the law. (Note 1) To the British this seems overly draconian
>> but
>> in fact it is a much more reliable system than we have in so much that
>> the
>> majority of Germans are actually very law abiding citizens and do respect
>> their laws. Overall, this makes for a very conservative German skydiver,
>> in
>> the aircraft, in the air and on the field. He knows that if he does
>> something that causes injury or damage to someone else or their property
>> he
>> must have broken the law or been reckless and therefore in terms of
>> insurance he is culpable.
>>
>> Note 1:
>>
>> The Germans consider the experienced skydiver to be a 'pilot' whether he
>> is
>> in freefall ie: pilot of his own body, or as pilot of a canopy. This
>> means
>> that he, as the sole manipulator of the controls is responsible for what
>> happens in freefall and under canopy. If he were to fly his canopy in
>> such
>> a fashion as to hit someone else or damage something, he would be
>> negligent
>> and breaking the law by flying his canopy in a dangerous fashion.
>>
>> The Anglo / German Interface
>>
>> All British military personnel in Germany, are duty bound to get along
>> with
>> our NATO and German hosts and neighbours, and in fact it is the policy of
>> the British Government that we enhance our links with our NATO and German
>> neighbours for all sorts of economic, social, military and cultural
>> reasons.
>> At Bad Lippspringe, the field is open to the public even though the
>> firing
>> ranges 200m west are not. We take great care in fostering good relations
>> with all visitors to the centre, in particular with the residents of the
>> village and nearby Paderborn town. This is no different to what happens
>> at
>> most UK drop zones and is in fact purely good neighbourly practice. The
>> FSC
>> Paderborn have called Lippspringe DZ their 'home DZ' for nearly 30 years
>> and
>> almost all were originally trained here under the BPA system.
>>
>> The Burgermiester (Mayor) of Bad Lippspringe is an active pilot and while
>> not a skydiver, takes a keen interest in the Anglo/German activity on the
>> airfield and has been our greatest ally in fending off the occasional
>> noise
>> complaints. He often visits the field at weekends with his young son and
>> divides his time equally between the British and German skydivers. It
>> is
>> for this reason the Burgermiester is invited to present the prizes at the
>> annual British Forces Parachuting Championships rather than a high
>> ranking
>> British Officer. I am sure that Council are aware of the political
>> importance of contacts with the community such as this, not only to the
>> image of British Forces Germany, but also to the overall standing of UK
>> PLC
>> within the German community as a whole.
>>
>> The German Position
>>
>> The German position is very simple. They are quite naturally miffed at
>> being told that they must buy another insurance on top of the one they
>> already have, to jump at a DZ on German soil.
>>
>> The general feeling among the Germans is that they could'nt give a toss
>> if
>> they had to buy BPA membership in the UK. However, to have to do this at
>> a
>> DZ in Germany irrespective of whether it is a BPA DZ or not, has really
>> got
>> them going. You must remember, the Germans did not have an organisation
>> like the BPA / DFV until 1992. They actually modelled a lot of their
>> training and operations manual on a mix of the USPA and BPA and on top of
>> this spent years negotiating with the German government and insurance
>> companies on how best to regulate skydiving within Germany. Naturally,
>> they
>> are very proud of their DFV and they believe that they have the best
>> system
>> for German parachutists and that it easily matches other associations
>> around
>> the world, including the BPA and USPA.
>>
>> As you know, the DFV insurance is valid worldwide including USA, and as
>> far
>> as they are concerned, this also includes the UK and UK drop zones, after
>> all, no-one has actually banned German skydivers from anywhere in the
>> world
>> so their membership and insurance must be OK!. However, it is common
>> practice that they will be made to join the BPA at any UK drop zone.
>> Consider the future of British entries into the European Skydiving
>> League.
>> Our teams compete in Europe without restriction and yet if an ESL
>> competition were to be held at a UK drop zone we would make them all join
>> the BPA?
>>
>> Lets not lose sight of what this is all about: German skydivers jumping
>> at
>> a BPA DZ on German soil in Germany.
>>
>> German Law
>>
>> A German lawyer (Thomas Diehl, also an experienced skydiver so this
>> affects
>> him) has assured me that under German law, German skydivers must be
>> allowed
>> to jump at any drop zone in Germany so long as they are qualified,
>> licensed
>> and insured to do so. The intimation of this statement is that by
>> making
>> the Germans buy BPA membership, which they do not need (as they already
>> have
>> their own) as a pre-requisite for jumping at Bad Lippspringe, the policy
>> is
>> in direct contravention of German legislation that says that their
>> qualifications, licences and insurances are valid in Germany and
>> worldwide.
>>
>> As a British Army Officer in command of this parachute centre, the German
>> lawyer's statement puts me in a difficult situation. I am bound by my
>> oath
>> of allegiance to the Queen to uphold the law wherever I may be. This
>> also
>> includes the law of any nation in which I may be serving. You can see
>> from
>> this that if the German lawyer is correct and that by following the
>> Council
>> decision and making the Germans take BPA membership and insurance I am in
>> breach of German law then I must stop doing so. The situation at the
>> time
>> of writing this is that I have not had time to investigate this fully and
>> therefore we will continue as normal until we establish the facts.
>> However,
>> I believe that Thomas Diehl is about to write to Council stating exactly
>> what I said above.
>>
>> The European Perspective
>>
>> Skydiving is an international sport. It is not unusual for UK skydivers
>> to
>> travel to Empuria for a weekend skydiving or to go to the USA for
>> slightly
>> longer trips abroad. Putting the USA to one side for a moment, lets look
>> at
>> the Brit skydiver in Europe. Currently, I don't know of anywhere in
>> Europe
>> where British skydivers have to buy the membership and insurance of the
>> country in which they are skydiving. This is a facility that we have
>> taken
>> for granted.
>>
>> A fine example of European skydiving co-operation has to be the recent
>> operation in Portugal where a British DZ operator and a German DZ
>> operator
>> set up their DZ in a third party state and operated jointly under the
>> German
>> Ops Manual. I have been told that several hundred skydivers from 20+
>> different nations jumped there over the winter without any problems
>> whatsoever. No-one was asked to buy Portugese, German or British
>> membership
>> and insurance on top of what they already had and by agreement all
>> skydivers
>> operated to an accepted operations procedure without serious incident.
>> Another example of this type of European international co-operation
>> occurs
>> in Sweden every two years at the Hercules Boogie which many UK skydivers
>> attend.
>>
>> The only BPA DZ that can say it is fully in Europe is Bad Lippspringe.
>> We
>> are situated right in the heart of Europe in north-central Germany and we
>> have 9 EU member states within 8 hours drive of the drop zone. I don't
>> know
>> how many drop zones are within that range but it is a considerable
>> amount.
>> From this you can see that within Europe it is perfectly acceptable to
>> skydive anywhere else in Europe on your own membership and insurance
>> without
>> discrimination. From our perspective at Bad Lippspringe this is all that
>> is
>> good and fair.
>>
>> However, in recent years we have found that many skydivers would by-pass
>> this drop zone in favour of jumping elsewhere purely because they had to
>> join the BPA to jump here. It was for this reason combined with the
>> falling
>> numbers of military parachutists that prompted my predecessor to write to
>> council requesting the original concession for experienced German
>> skydivers
>> in 2000, and last year my request that it be extended to all European
>> skydivers on the same basis. As the only BPA drop zone in the heart of
>> Europe dealing with multi-national skydivers on a daily basis we firmly
>> believe that the position all over Europe should be that:
>>
>> "All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able
>> to
>> skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on
>> their
>> own national membership and insurance".
>>
>> I fear that the BPA may be leaving itself out in the cold as far as
>> European
>> skydiving is concerned by allowing the insurer to dictate the terms on
>> which
>> we conduct our sport in the UK and in Europe. The BPA seems to be
>> withdrawing into itself as far as Europe and international skydiving is
>> concerned, and all this is driven by the insurer. It is a bit like the
>> tail
>> wagging the dog. We, as the membership should be telling the insurer
>> what
>> we want from our insurance as opposed to the insurer telling us what we
>> can
>> and cannot have.
>>
>> The latest reduction in cover abroad is yet another indication that as
>> far
>> as the insurer is concerned they would much rather no-one was skydiving
>> abroad so that they could try to manage the risk within the UK. I wonder
>> how many of Council realise that by reducing overseas cover to 100,000
>> puts
>> the UK skydiver below the minimum threshold for most European skydiving
>> insurance and that this means that UK skydivers abroad now have to take
>> out,
>> German, Portugese or Spanish insurance? This is not progress but a step
>> backwards.
>>
>> Remember, all of the other nations in Europe recognise each other's
>> membership and insurances and the BPA insurer has just put ours under the
>> threshold for most of them! I fully recognise the need for the
>> association
>> to protect itself and the assets of the membership but this should not be
>> at
>> the expense of participation in the sport, nor should it be at the
>> expense
>> of one particular DZ that just happens to be in Europe and has, as
>> Council
>> previously admitted: "special and unique circumstances".
>>
>> I recently wrote to the BPA and the DFV and asked the question: "If I
>> were
>> able to find a suitable insurance company to insure me as a BPA member,
>> would this be acceptable to the BPA / DFV?"
>>
>> Tony Butler of the BPA wrote a long letter back to me explaining all the
>> reasons why (in his opinion) it would not be a good idea, however he drew
>> short of saying that I could or could not. I suspect that under European
>> legislation there is nothing stopping me from doing so. In addition to
>> this, the Gerling Concern who are the insurers of the DFV have stated
>> that
>> they are more than happy to insure me as a BPA member and they will be
>> pleased for my insurance to be valid anywhere in the world up to 1.5
>> million
>> Euros. (much better than the 100,000 our present insurer has insisted
>> upon) If they will do this for me then I suspect that the Gerling
>> Concern
>> may actually be interested in becoming the insurer for the BPA. However I
>> strongly suspect that they will also insist on the individual being
>> insured
>> and not the association as a whole as we have now. All of the
>> insurances
>> that the Germans and other European nations have all vary from country to
>> country and person to person. They adjust them on a regular basis to
>> suit
>> the requirement for higher premiums such as are common in Austria and
>> Switzerland. An example of this was that the German insurer recently
>> raised
>> their minimum level of insurance up to 2.9 million Euros purely for
>> German
>> skydivers at Bad Lippspringe to be in line with the BPA 2 million.
>> Sadly,
>> this open and forward thinking attempt to resolve the situation was
>> rejected
>> by the BPA insurer.
>>
>> Insurance Culture in Europe
>>
>> The Council should be aware of the huge differences in insurance culture
>> that exists between the UK and the rest of Europe. In the UK we have a
>> raft
>> of ambulance chasing lawyers all trying to get employees to sue their
>> employers and willing participants in our sport to sue the instructors,
>> the
>> association and even each other. This has led to a huge increase in our
>> premiums and the consequence of our 'blanket cover' is that we all take
>> responsibility for the failings of others and pay more for those who
>> claim.
>> So who wins? The claimants occasionally win. The insurer always wins as
>> he
>> gets the premium, while at the same time the British skydiver just pays a
>> bigger premium.
>>
>> By comparison, the European outlook is that the individual takes
>> responsibility for his own actions at all times. Remember, that in
>> German
>> law an individual must obey the law and will be in breach of the law if
>> he
>> takes any action that endangers others or property. It is a very 'black
>> and
>> white' way of looking at things but you can see that in comparison to our
>> culture, in Europe it would be considered ridiculous for the association
>> to
>> be sued when an individual may at blame. This grown up attitude to
>> personal
>> responsibility has ensured that German insurance premiums have remained
>> the
>> same for the last 5 years, and moreover has ensured a mature and
>> responsible
>> attitude towards the risks involved in skydiving by all those who take
>> part.
>>
>> Management of German Skydivers at Bad Lippspringe
>>
>> Ever since the first concession in 2000 at Bad Lippspringe we have
>> employed
>> a six stage checking in procedure for experienced German DFV skydivers.
>> Note that the original concession applied only to "experienced German
>> skydivers and not those under instruction or any other nationality" We
>> applied a limit of 100 jumps as a line over which they were deemed to be
>> experienced and applied it rigidly. Everyone else joined the BPA without
>> exception. This situation worked very well and even the German skydivers
>> liked it as it acted as a sort of natural selection, in other words you
>> had
>> to be good and experienced to jump at Bad Lippspringe. On top of the BPA
>> requirement we also applied a language standard so that in order to
>> skydive
>> on this DZ they must be able to speak English reasonably well for safety
>> reasons.
>>
>> This system has worked extremely well for 5 years without incident and
>> there
>> is no reason why this record cannot continue. While we are on the
>> subject
>> and just for the record, there has never been a claim on the BPA
>> insurance
>> by an experienced German skydiver since RAPA was formed in 1964, nor has
>> there ever been any sort of claim made against a member of staff by
>> anyone.
>>
>> What effect has Council's decision had on Lippspringe DZ?
>>
>> You are aware that this came into effect on 01 April and already has had
>> a
>> huge impact on this dropzone in terms of 'bums on seats'. For example,
>> last
>> weekend (02/03 April) we had excellent weather all over Europe and we
>> made
>> the following descents:
>>
>> Military Civilian Tandem
>> AFF Total Jumps
>>
>>
>>
>> 02 Apr 20 26 0
>> 0 46
>>
>> 03 Apr 33 12 1
>> 0 46
>>
>>
>>
>> This weekend (09/10 April) we had a total of five punters on the DZ all
>> weekend. (Three on Saturday and two on Sunday) They were all British
>> military and none jumped as the weather was poor. However, even without
>> the
>> bad weather the situation would not have been much better than the
>> weekend
>> before. You can see that a total of 46 paying jumps on both days is
>> hardly
>> a firm basis for any club to be operating from. Some of you who operate
>> or
>> jump at multi-turbine UK drop zones might not believe those figures but
>> they
>> are exactly correct and you are welcome to check them anytime you want.
>> At
>> this rate it will not take long for expenditure on maintenance to
>> overtake
>> the income from ticket sales and the club will very soon be in negative
>> equity.
>>
>> For those of you who think that Lippspringe DZ is supported by the
>> military
>> you are quite wrong. While the military provide the manpower they do not
>> provide the aircraft or parachute equipment. All of that is privately
>> owned
>> and maintained by RAPA, a non public ie: private fund, exactly the same
>> as
>> any other drop zone. Now imagine what would be happening at your own
>> drop
>> zone if you had reducing attendance because most of your punters were off
>> to
>> Iraq and the remainder were forced to buy another insurance on top of
>> the
>> one they already have?
>>
>> One last factor that is affecting this DZ and all drop zones in Germany
>> is
>> rising inflation and unemployment. You may be aware that the German
>> economy, once the envy of the western world, is now in recession and
>> German
>> unemployment figures have topped the 5.4 million mark in the last few
>> days.
>> Those that have employment are naturally careful with their disposable
>> cash
>> and therefore the sports and leisure industry in Germany which includes
>> skydiving have all taken a severe blow. This means that those lucky
>> Germans
>> that do have jobs are working overtime to keep them (literally) and are
>> not
>> spending their hard earned cash on frivialities such as skydiving. While
>> this is hardly the main interest of BPA Council, it is worth remembering
>> that even though the UK has not yet adopted the Euro our economy is
>> linked
>> to the European economy and there may be a knock on effect for the UK not
>> too far away. It is another factor that has affected the future of this
>> dropzone and has been compounded by Councils decision.
>>
>> Summary
>>
>> I have taken some considerable time to explain the situation as it stands
>> now at Bad Lippspringe DZ, one of the longest running BPA drop zones.
>> The
>> situation is serious and getting worse. I have also tried to present not
>> only my own case as Officer Commanding JSPC(L) but also the case from the
>> German perspective. I have had to be objective and play 'devils
>> advocate'
>> on a couple of occasions.
>>
>> I appeal to Council to seriously reconsider the decision that prevents
>> German skydivers from jumping at Bad Lippspringe on their own membership
>> and
>> insurance and to consider the position of British skydivers abroad in
>> relation to other European skydiving nations. I reiterate that our
>> position
>> as the only BPA drop zone in mainland Europe and with our special and
>> unique
>> circumstances remains that:
>>
>> "All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able
>> to
>> skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on
>> their
>> own national membership and insurance".
>>
>> I would be grateful if anyone who has any questions on this call me or
>> send
>> me an e-mail. I intend to be at Council on the 19th, along with my Chief
>> Instructor, Dave Openshaw and Ludwig Schmude who is the Chairman of
>> Fallschirmsport Club Paderborn. Of course we will answer any questions
>> any
>> Council member may have.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>>
>> Paul Moore
>>
>> BPA 39691
>> (Original Signed)
>>
>> Copy to:
>>
>> All BPA Council Members (by e-mail)
>>
>> BPA Office
>>
>> DFV Office
>>
>> Army Parachute Association
>>
>> Rhine Army Parachute Association
>>
>> HQ ATG(A)
>>
>> HQ ATG (G)
>>
>> File




17 Apr 2005 08:26:42
Geordie Page
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

Paul you have got some support on council but costantly your posts tell half
a tale. The first most important thing is that dfv insure individuals and
not the association this is fact yet is being constantly brushed over. As
you quite rightly mentioned german approach to rules is different lets look
at a small situation purely ficticious A geman jumper hits my car and
causes damage the german jumper is found to be negligent DFV pay out to me
happy days. Unfortunately as already discussed afore mentioned German
jumped through cloud insurance refuses to pay who do I chase for money the
centre or the CCI who are covered by the BPA The BPA could in turn try to
recoup the loss by suing the DFv but hey they aint got a lot because they
are not the insured party .It is quite some time since I last visited RAPA
and got to confess it was slow even before the BPA took this stance. I have
lots of sympathy and am already looking at why the insurers are dead set
against this proposal. Having been privvy to a lot of the paperwork, this
is the thing I can't yet answer which means that a lot of people on the
newsgroup will support you but are not armed with all the facts

"Paul" <PaulMoore@t-online.de > wrote in message
news:d3sssk$54d$05$1@news.t-online.com...
> Tom,
>
> You're missing the point slightly. Bad Lippspringe Dz is a joint services
> parachute centre running courses for military guys thruogh the week but at
> weekends it becomes a parachute club like any other. The BPA membership
> have NEVER been in a position where they are subsidising either the club
> or anyones jumps!
>
> Bad Lippspringe has been a BPA club since 1964, almost since the BPA was
> formed and it would be preferable for us to remain a BPA club. We operate
> to the BPA ops manual and all of our instructors and staff are BPA trained
> members. We are proud of our long affilliation with the BPA and the
> Germans certainly dont want us to swap over to the DFV.
> The main point of my letter is that the BPA have cut off a large portion
> of our club members from jumping here by making them have to buy another
> insurance on top of the one they already have.
>
> Think about it. Lets say the same happenned at your local DZ what would
> you do? If the BPA were to make you buy another insurance on top of the
> already expensive one you have to jump at your local club would you still
> jump there or would you go to another DZ not far away and jump on the one
> you already have.??
>
> Tom, this issue affects you! the BPA Council have just reduced your
> overseas cover to 100,000 which means YOU WILL have to buy more insurance
> if you go abroad this year.
> Please read the letter in detail and ask someone who knows Lippspringe DZ
> to explain to you. Our point of view remains the same:
>
> "All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be able
> to skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on
> their own national membership and insurance".
>
>
> Paul
>
>
> "Tam" <allrightscud@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:4ca10d51.0504162050.484e6a74@posting.google.com...
>> Having read the various posts and listen to numerous arguments I would
>> just like to ask why Bad Lippsringe needs to remain a BPA drop zone.
>> If the majority of the jumpers are German. Change over to a German
>> operated DZ. That way the UK based BPA members are not subsidising
>> your jumps and membership. Seems a simple solution to me.
>>
>> I think that we need to ask if there is a need to have a BPA drop zone
>> in Germany. Its convenient yes and preferable for the few Brits that
>> are based there but on a purely commercial level, does it make sense
>> for the rest of the BPA membership to subsidise your jumps? I don't
>> think it is. If it was a German DZ then the locals would jump there
>> with DFV membership and the Brits who are based there join the DFV if
>> they think its worth while. If we make an exception for Bad Lippsringe
>> then it'll end up more expensive for us all. With BPA membership
>> almost doubled as it is, I don't fancy paying for your jumps on top of
>> the membership fee.
>>
>> Tom
>>
>>
>> "Paul" <PaulMoore@t-online.de> wrote in message
>> news:<d3s3f5$kll$03$2@news.t-online.com>...
>>> To all BPA members,
>>>
>>> This letter was sent to all Council members by e-mail a few days ago so
>>> that
>>> they could read it before the Council meeting on Tuesday 19 April.
>>>
>>> Today in Germany, after a foggy start we had wall to wall blue skies.
>>> We
>>> did a total of three Islander lifts over the whole day and only 17 jumps
>>> were made between the first lift at 1130 hrs and the last lift at 1730
>>> hrs.
>>> No DZ can
>>> survive like that for long.
>>>
>>> Since we were forced to implement BPA Councils decision that German
>>> skydivers had to join the BPA they have voted with their feet and have
>>> either stopped jumping or jump elsewhere. Please read the letter.
>>>
>>> If you agree with my comments I would be grateful if you could mail one
>>> of
>>> the Council members letting them know this, I would be grateful for a
>>> copy.
>>>
>>> Better still, why not attend Council on Tuesday evening and let them all
>>> know for yourself?
>>>
>>> If you dont agree with our position here in Germany or would like more
>>> information then I'd be grateful to hear from you too.
>>>
>>> I will post some comments recieved on another post.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Paul
>>>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>> Dear BPA Council Member, 11 April 2005
>>>
>>>
>>> BAD LIPPSPRINGE DZ & GERMAN PARACHUTISTS
>>>
>>> I am writing so that you, as a council member, may be better informed on
>>> the
>>> German position and leave you in no doubt as to the effect the Council
>>> decision is having on this BPA dropzone and in order to leave you in no
>>> doubt as to the level of interest in this issue throughout Europe, the
>>> issue
>>> being the BPA discrimination against German skydivers.
>>>
>>> I am also aware that several Council members have never been to this
>>> dropzone and have not witnessed for themselves the measures that were in
>>> place to ensure that German skydivers met the criteria for parachuting
>>> on
>>> their own membership and the years of fostering strong Anglo/German
>>> relations at this and other drop zones. The remainder who do know this
>>> dropzone have not been here for several years and have not seen the
>>> decline
>>> in attending British and German skydivers.
>>>
>>> When you read this, make a mental comparison with the situation at your
>>> own
>>> drop zone and imagine how it would affect your operation if you had the
>>> 'special and unique circumstances' that prevail at Bad Lippspringe.
>>>
>>> Some background information:
>>>
>>> At Bad Lippspringe we rely almost totally on our German skydivers for a
>>> small but continuous supply of skydiving 'bums on seats'. While the
>>> Rhine
>>> Army Parachute Association is set up primarily as a means of providing a
>>> parachute training facility for British servicemen and their families,
>>> the
>>> Anglo/German interface in sport and the community is seen as an
>>> essential
>>> component of our basis for being in Germany.
>>>
>>> The British Forces in Germany number only some 28,000 personnel with
>>> about
>>> another 10,000 dependants of an age suitable for parachuting. At any
>>> given
>>> time of those 28,000 personnel at least 50% are either deployed on
>>> operations or are in training or recovering from an operation, so from
>>> this
>>> you can see that given that skydiving is a minority sport this does not
>>> leave a huge amount of British skydivers in Germany. We estimate that
>>> in
>>> total, there are only between 20-25 British skydivers in Germany who are
>>> above BPA Cat 8 not including my staff and while the majority of what we
>>> do
>>> here is student training, it is the experienced and committed skydivers
>>> that
>>> keep the place going. This includes the Germans.
>>>
>>> At Bad Lippspringe, the resident FallschirmClub Paderborn have been
>>> based
>>> here for a long time and the majority of them were originally trained
>>> under
>>> the BPA system. A couple of these have retained their BPA membership
>>> over
>>> the years as they only jump at Bad Lippspringe, but the majority took
>>> Deutche Fallschirmsport Verband (DFV) membership for the following
>>> reasons:
>>>
>>> a. The DFV is their equivalent of the BPA therefore
>>> they
>>> feel 'obliged' to join their national organisation, particularly as
>>> under
>>> German law, German
>>> citizens must join the DFV if they want to jump elsewhere in Germany.
>>> It is
>>> worth noting that
>>> German law has primacy at Bad Lippspringe DZ and if an offence is
>>> committed
>>> on the DZ
>>> it will be a German policeman who makes the arrest and NOT the military
>>> police.
>>>
>>> b. DFV membership is cheaper than BPA membership. The way the
>>> DFV
>>> is set up and their attitude to individual responsibility, risk,
>>> insurance
>>> and
>>> compensation are much different to ours and therefore they benefit from
>>> cheaper membership
>>> and insurance. On top of this, the DFV membership is valid worldwide
>>> including the USA.
>>> Simple economics.
>>> It should be noted that in comparison to ours, the Germans pay their
>>> membership of the DFV separate from the insurance element. They have
>>> the
>>> choice of 13 separate insurance companies who insure skydivers to choose
>>> from in Germany
>>> so that they can shop around for the one that's suits their personal
>>> circumstances much
>>> in the same way as you would shop around for car insurance. The end
>>> result
>>> is that the
>>> German skydiver holds two pieces of paper - his DFV membership card and
>>> his
>>> proof of
>>> insurance.
>>>
>>> One thing did not change however is that they have largely remained
>>> loyal to
>>> Bad Lippspringe as a British DZ and loyal to the BPA in the sense that
>>> as
>>> DFV members, they respect the fact that we operate to the BPA Ops
>>> Manual,
>>> and we have an excellent safety record.
>>>
>>> German Law as applicable to skydivers
>>>
>>> The Sennelager training area (STA) on which the DZ lies is German land
>>> leased to the UK government for training purposes and therefore as I
>>> said
>>> before German law has primacy, even for British Military personnel.
>>> However, as a matter of practice we always call the military police in
>>> any
>>> case and they invariably hand over to the German Civil Police. (GCP)
>>>
>>> The main point of this is the fact that under the German system, all
>>> experienced parachutists are licensed as 'sports pilots' by the German
>>> government. Therefore if they break a rule of aviation, they are
>>> actually
>>> breaking the law. (Note 1) To the British this seems overly draconian
>>> but
>>> in fact it is a much more reliable system than we have in so much that
>>> the
>>> majority of Germans are actually very law abiding citizens and do
>>> respect
>>> their laws. Overall, this makes for a very conservative German
>>> skydiver, in
>>> the aircraft, in the air and on the field. He knows that if he does
>>> something that causes injury or damage to someone else or their property
>>> he
>>> must have broken the law or been reckless and therefore in terms of
>>> insurance he is culpable.
>>>
>>> Note 1:
>>>
>>> The Germans consider the experienced skydiver to be a 'pilot' whether he
>>> is
>>> in freefall ie: pilot of his own body, or as pilot of a canopy. This
>>> means
>>> that he, as the sole manipulator of the controls is responsible for what
>>> happens in freefall and under canopy. If he were to fly his canopy in
>>> such
>>> a fashion as to hit someone else or damage something, he would be
>>> negligent
>>> and breaking the law by flying his canopy in a dangerous fashion.
>>>
>>> The Anglo / German Interface
>>>
>>> All British military personnel in Germany, are duty bound to get along
>>> with
>>> our NATO and German hosts and neighbours, and in fact it is the policy
>>> of
>>> the British Government that we enhance our links with our NATO and
>>> German
>>> neighbours for all sorts of economic, social, military and cultural
>>> reasons.
>>> At Bad Lippspringe, the field is open to the public even though the
>>> firing
>>> ranges 200m west are not. We take great care in fostering good
>>> relations
>>> with all visitors to the centre, in particular with the residents of the
>>> village and nearby Paderborn town. This is no different to what happens
>>> at
>>> most UK drop zones and is in fact purely good neighbourly practice. The
>>> FSC
>>> Paderborn have called Lippspringe DZ their 'home DZ' for nearly 30 years
>>> and
>>> almost all were originally trained here under the BPA system.
>>>
>>> The Burgermiester (Mayor) of Bad Lippspringe is an active pilot and
>>> while
>>> not a skydiver, takes a keen interest in the Anglo/German activity on
>>> the
>>> airfield and has been our greatest ally in fending off the occasional
>>> noise
>>> complaints. He often visits the field at weekends with his young son
>>> and
>>> divides his time equally between the British and German skydivers. It
>>> is
>>> for this reason the Burgermiester is invited to present the prizes at
>>> the
>>> annual British Forces Parachuting Championships rather than a high
>>> ranking
>>> British Officer. I am sure that Council are aware of the political
>>> importance of contacts with the community such as this, not only to the
>>> image of British Forces Germany, but also to the overall standing of UK
>>> PLC
>>> within the German community as a whole.
>>>
>>> The German Position
>>>
>>> The German position is very simple. They are quite naturally miffed at
>>> being told that they must buy another insurance on top of the one they
>>> already have, to jump at a DZ on German soil.
>>>
>>> The general feeling among the Germans is that they could'nt give a toss
>>> if
>>> they had to buy BPA membership in the UK. However, to have to do this
>>> at a
>>> DZ in Germany irrespective of whether it is a BPA DZ or not, has really
>>> got
>>> them going. You must remember, the Germans did not have an organisation
>>> like the BPA / DFV until 1992. They actually modelled a lot of their
>>> training and operations manual on a mix of the USPA and BPA and on top
>>> of
>>> this spent years negotiating with the German government and insurance
>>> companies on how best to regulate skydiving within Germany. Naturally,
>>> they
>>> are very proud of their DFV and they believe that they have the best
>>> system
>>> for German parachutists and that it easily matches other associations
>>> around
>>> the world, including the BPA and USPA.
>>>
>>> As you know, the DFV insurance is valid worldwide including USA, and as
>>> far
>>> as they are concerned, this also includes the UK and UK drop zones,
>>> after
>>> all, no-one has actually banned German skydivers from anywhere in the
>>> world
>>> so their membership and insurance must be OK!. However, it is common
>>> practice that they will be made to join the BPA at any UK drop zone.
>>> Consider the future of British entries into the European Skydiving
>>> League.
>>> Our teams compete in Europe without restriction and yet if an ESL
>>> competition were to be held at a UK drop zone we would make them all
>>> join
>>> the BPA?
>>>
>>> Lets not lose sight of what this is all about: German skydivers jumping
>>> at
>>> a BPA DZ on German soil in Germany.
>>>
>>> German Law
>>>
>>> A German lawyer (Thomas Diehl, also an experienced skydiver so this
>>> affects
>>> him) has assured me that under German law, German skydivers must be
>>> allowed
>>> to jump at any drop zone in Germany so long as they are qualified,
>>> licensed
>>> and insured to do so. The intimation of this statement is that by
>>> making
>>> the Germans buy BPA membership, which they do not need (as they already
>>> have
>>> their own) as a pre-requisite for jumping at Bad Lippspringe, the policy
>>> is
>>> in direct contravention of German legislation that says that their
>>> qualifications, licences and insurances are valid in Germany and
>>> worldwide.
>>>
>>> As a British Army Officer in command of this parachute centre, the
>>> German
>>> lawyer's statement puts me in a difficult situation. I am bound by my
>>> oath
>>> of allegiance to the Queen to uphold the law wherever I may be. This
>>> also
>>> includes the law of any nation in which I may be serving. You can see
>>> from
>>> this that if the German lawyer is correct and that by following the
>>> Council
>>> decision and making the Germans take BPA membership and insurance I am
>>> in
>>> breach of German law then I must stop doing so. The situation at the
>>> time
>>> of writing this is that I have not had time to investigate this fully
>>> and
>>> therefore we will continue as normal until we establish the facts.
>>> However,
>>> I believe that Thomas Diehl is about to write to Council stating exactly
>>> what I said above.
>>>
>>> The European Perspective
>>>
>>> Skydiving is an international sport. It is not unusual for UK skydivers
>>> to
>>> travel to Empuria for a weekend skydiving or to go to the USA for
>>> slightly
>>> longer trips abroad. Putting the USA to one side for a moment, lets
>>> look at
>>> the Brit skydiver in Europe. Currently, I don't know of anywhere in
>>> Europe
>>> where British skydivers have to buy the membership and insurance of the
>>> country in which they are skydiving. This is a facility that we have
>>> taken
>>> for granted.
>>>
>>> A fine example of European skydiving co-operation has to be the recent
>>> operation in Portugal where a British DZ operator and a German DZ
>>> operator
>>> set up their DZ in a third party state and operated jointly under the
>>> German
>>> Ops Manual. I have been told that several hundred skydivers from 20+
>>> different nations jumped there over the winter without any problems
>>> whatsoever. No-one was asked to buy Portugese, German or British
>>> membership
>>> and insurance on top of what they already had and by agreement all
>>> skydivers
>>> operated to an accepted operations procedure without serious incident.
>>> Another example of this type of European international co-operation
>>> occurs
>>> in Sweden every two years at the Hercules Boogie which many UK skydivers
>>> attend.
>>>
>>> The only BPA DZ that can say it is fully in Europe is Bad Lippspringe.
>>> We
>>> are situated right in the heart of Europe in north-central Germany and
>>> we
>>> have 9 EU member states within 8 hours drive of the drop zone. I don't
>>> know
>>> how many drop zones are within that range but it is a considerable
>>> amount.
>>> From this you can see that within Europe it is perfectly acceptable to
>>> skydive anywhere else in Europe on your own membership and insurance
>>> without
>>> discrimination. From our perspective at Bad Lippspringe this is all
>>> that is
>>> good and fair.
>>>
>>> However, in recent years we have found that many skydivers would by-pass
>>> this drop zone in favour of jumping elsewhere purely because they had to
>>> join the BPA to jump here. It was for this reason combined with the
>>> falling
>>> numbers of military parachutists that prompted my predecessor to write
>>> to
>>> council requesting the original concession for experienced German
>>> skydivers
>>> in 2000, and last year my request that it be extended to all European
>>> skydivers on the same basis. As the only BPA drop zone in the heart of
>>> Europe dealing with multi-national skydivers on a daily basis we firmly
>>> believe that the position all over Europe should be that:
>>>
>>> "All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be
>>> able to
>>> skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on
>>> their
>>> own national membership and insurance".
>>>
>>> I fear that the BPA may be leaving itself out in the cold as far as
>>> European
>>> skydiving is concerned by allowing the insurer to dictate the terms on
>>> which
>>> we conduct our sport in the UK and in Europe. The BPA seems to be
>>> withdrawing into itself as far as Europe and international skydiving is
>>> concerned, and all this is driven by the insurer. It is a bit like the
>>> tail
>>> wagging the dog. We, as the membership should be telling the insurer
>>> what
>>> we want from our insurance as opposed to the insurer telling us what we
>>> can
>>> and cannot have.
>>>
>>> The latest reduction in cover abroad is yet another indication that as
>>> far
>>> as the insurer is concerned they would much rather no-one was skydiving
>>> abroad so that they could try to manage the risk within the UK. I
>>> wonder
>>> how many of Council realise that by reducing overseas cover to 100,000
>>> puts
>>> the UK skydiver below the minimum threshold for most European skydiving
>>> insurance and that this means that UK skydivers abroad now have to take
>>> out,
>>> German, Portugese or Spanish insurance? This is not progress but a step
>>> backwards.
>>>
>>> Remember, all of the other nations in Europe recognise each other's
>>> membership and insurances and the BPA insurer has just put ours under
>>> the
>>> threshold for most of them! I fully recognise the need for the
>>> association
>>> to protect itself and the assets of the membership but this should not
>>> be at
>>> the expense of participation in the sport, nor should it be at the
>>> expense
>>> of one particular DZ that just happens to be in Europe and has, as
>>> Council
>>> previously admitted: "special and unique circumstances".
>>>
>>> I recently wrote to the BPA and the DFV and asked the question: "If I
>>> were
>>> able to find a suitable insurance company to insure me as a BPA member,
>>> would this be acceptable to the BPA / DFV?"
>>>
>>> Tony Butler of the BPA wrote a long letter back to me explaining all the
>>> reasons why (in his opinion) it would not be a good idea, however he
>>> drew
>>> short of saying that I could or could not. I suspect that under
>>> European
>>> legislation there is nothing stopping me from doing so. In addition to
>>> this, the Gerling Concern who are the insurers of the DFV have stated
>>> that
>>> they are more than happy to insure me as a BPA member and they will be
>>> pleased for my insurance to be valid anywhere in the world up to 1.5
>>> million
>>> Euros. (much better than the 100,000 our present insurer has insisted
>>> upon) If they will do this for me then I suspect that the Gerling
>>> Concern
>>> may actually be interested in becoming the insurer for the BPA. However
>>> I
>>> strongly suspect that they will also insist on the individual being
>>> insured
>>> and not the association as a whole as we have now. All of the
>>> insurances
>>> that the Germans and other European nations have all vary from country
>>> to
>>> country and person to person. They adjust them on a regular basis to
>>> suit
>>> the requirement for higher premiums such as are common in Austria and
>>> Switzerland. An example of this was that the German insurer recently
>>> raised
>>> their minimum level of insurance up to 2.9 million Euros purely for
>>> German
>>> skydivers at Bad Lippspringe to be in line with the BPA 2 million.
>>> Sadly,
>>> this open and forward thinking attempt to resolve the situation was
>>> rejected
>>> by the BPA insurer.
>>>
>>> Insurance Culture in Europe
>>>
>>> The Council should be aware of the huge differences in insurance culture
>>> that exists between the UK and the rest of Europe. In the UK we have a
>>> raft
>>> of ambulance chasing lawyers all trying to get employees to sue their
>>> employers and willing participants in our sport to sue the instructors,
>>> the
>>> association and even each other. This has led to a huge increase in our
>>> premiums and the consequence of our 'blanket cover' is that we all take
>>> responsibility for the failings of others and pay more for those who
>>> claim.
>>> So who wins? The claimants occasionally win. The insurer always wins as
>>> he
>>> gets the premium, while at the same time the British skydiver just pays
>>> a
>>> bigger premium.
>>>
>>> By comparison, the European outlook is that the individual takes
>>> responsibility for his own actions at all times. Remember, that in
>>> German
>>> law an individual must obey the law and will be in breach of the law if
>>> he
>>> takes any action that endangers others or property. It is a very 'black
>>> and
>>> white' way of looking at things but you can see that in comparison to
>>> our
>>> culture, in Europe it would be considered ridiculous for the association
>>> to
>>> be sued when an individual may at blame. This grown up attitude to
>>> personal
>>> responsibility has ensured that German insurance premiums have remained
>>> the
>>> same for the last 5 years, and moreover has ensured a mature and
>>> responsible
>>> attitude towards the risks involved in skydiving by all those who take
>>> part.
>>>
>>> Management of German Skydivers at Bad Lippspringe
>>>
>>> Ever since the first concession in 2000 at Bad Lippspringe we have
>>> employed
>>> a six stage checking in procedure for experienced German DFV skydivers.
>>> Note that the original concession applied only to "experienced German
>>> skydivers and not those under instruction or any other nationality" We
>>> applied a limit of 100 jumps as a line over which they were deemed to be
>>> experienced and applied it rigidly. Everyone else joined the BPA
>>> without
>>> exception. This situation worked very well and even the German
>>> skydivers
>>> liked it as it acted as a sort of natural selection, in other words you
>>> had
>>> to be good and experienced to jump at Bad Lippspringe. On top of the
>>> BPA
>>> requirement we also applied a language standard so that in order to
>>> skydive
>>> on this DZ they must be able to speak English reasonably well for safety
>>> reasons.
>>>
>>> This system has worked extremely well for 5 years without incident and
>>> there
>>> is no reason why this record cannot continue. While we are on the
>>> subject
>>> and just for the record, there has never been a claim on the BPA
>>> insurance
>>> by an experienced German skydiver since RAPA was formed in 1964, nor has
>>> there ever been any sort of claim made against a member of staff by
>>> anyone.
>>>
>>> What effect has Council's decision had on Lippspringe DZ?
>>>
>>> You are aware that this came into effect on 01 April and already has had
>>> a
>>> huge impact on this dropzone in terms of 'bums on seats'. For example,
>>> last
>>> weekend (02/03 April) we had excellent weather all over Europe and we
>>> made
>>> the following descents:
>>>
>>> Military Civilian Tandem
>>> AFF Total Jumps
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> 02 Apr 20 26 0
>>> 0 46
>>>
>>> 03 Apr 33 12 1
>>> 0 46
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> This weekend (09/10 April) we had a total of five punters on the DZ all
>>> weekend. (Three on Saturday and two on Sunday) They were all British
>>> military and none jumped as the weather was poor. However, even without
>>> the
>>> bad weather the situation would not have been much better than the
>>> weekend
>>> before. You can see that a total of 46 paying jumps on both days is
>>> hardly
>>> a firm basis for any club to be operating from. Some of you who operate
>>> or
>>> jump at multi-turbine UK drop zones might not believe those figures but
>>> they
>>> are exactly correct and you are welcome to check them anytime you want.
>>> At
>>> this rate it will not take long for expenditure on maintenance to
>>> overtake
>>> the income from ticket sales and the club will very soon be in negative
>>> equity.
>>>
>>> For those of you who think that Lippspringe DZ is supported by the
>>> military
>>> you are quite wrong. While the military provide the manpower they do
>>> not
>>> provide the aircraft or parachute equipment. All of that is privately
>>> owned
>>> and maintained by RAPA, a non public ie: private fund, exactly the same
>>> as
>>> any other drop zone. Now imagine what would be happening at your own
>>> drop
>>> zone if you had reducing attendance because most of your punters were
>>> off to
>>> Iraq and the remainder were forced to buy another insurance on top of
>>> the
>>> one they already have?
>>>
>>> One last factor that is affecting this DZ and all drop zones in Germany
>>> is
>>> rising inflation and unemployment. You may be aware that the German
>>> economy, once the envy of the western world, is now in recession and
>>> German
>>> unemployment figures have topped the 5.4 million mark in the last few
>>> days.
>>> Those that have employment are naturally careful with their disposable
>>> cash
>>> and therefore the sports and leisure industry in Germany which includes
>>> skydiving have all taken a severe blow. This means that those lucky
>>> Germans
>>> that do have jobs are working overtime to keep them (literally) and are
>>> not
>>> spending their hard earned cash on frivialities such as skydiving.
>>> While
>>> this is hardly the main interest of BPA Council, it is worth remembering
>>> that even though the UK has not yet adopted the Euro our economy is
>>> linked
>>> to the European economy and there may be a knock on effect for the UK
>>> not
>>> too far away. It is another factor that has affected the future of this
>>> dropzone and has been compounded by Councils decision.
>>>
>>> Summary
>>>
>>> I have taken some considerable time to explain the situation as it
>>> stands
>>> now at Bad Lippspringe DZ, one of the longest running BPA drop zones.
>>> The
>>> situation is serious and getting worse. I have also tried to present
>>> not
>>> only my own case as Officer Commanding JSPC(L) but also the case from
>>> the
>>> German perspective. I have had to be objective and play 'devils
>>> advocate'
>>> on a couple of occasions.
>>>
>>> I appeal to Council to seriously reconsider the decision that prevents
>>> German skydivers from jumping at Bad Lippspringe on their own membership
>>> and
>>> insurance and to consider the position of British skydivers abroad in
>>> relation to other European skydiving nations. I reiterate that our
>>> position
>>> as the only BPA drop zone in mainland Europe and with our special and
>>> unique
>>> circumstances remains that:
>>>
>>> "All skydivers who are members of a European member state, should be
>>> able to
>>> skydive without any form of discrimination anywhere within the EU on
>>> their
>>> own national membership and insurance".
>>>
>>> I would be grateful if anyone who has any questions on this call me or
>>> send
>>> me an e-mail. I intend to be at Council on the 19th, along with my
>>> Chief
>>> Instructor, Dave Openshaw and Ludwig Schmude who is the Chairman of
>>> Fallschirmsport Club Paderborn. Of course we will answer any questions
>>> any
>>> Council member may have.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>>
>>>
>>> Paul Moore
>>>
>>> BPA 39691
>>> (Original Signed)
>>>
>>> Copy to:
>>>
>>> All BPA Council Members (by e-mail)
>>>
>>> BPA Office
>>>
>>> DFV Office
>>>
>>> Army Parachute Association
>>>
>>> Rhine Army Parachute Association
>>>
>>> HQ ATG(A)
>>>
>>> HQ ATG (G)
>>>
>>> File
>
>




19 Apr 2005 19:05:48
the unknown flailer
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

When are you Limeys gonna learn to speak proper English?
Might help if yawl used USPA designations for various skill levels also
you know,
no fricking wonder the Germans don't wanna fork out for a BPA
membership to jump at yer dumpy little DZ's. 0~;)P



19 Apr 2005 22:13:57
lugnuts
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

On 19 Apr 2005 19:05:48 -0700, "the unknown flailer"
<kami58@eastex.net > wrote:

> When are you Limeys gonna learn to speak proper English?

Give the guy a break ... he's got a bad lip spring, so of course he
can't talk right. I'll bet he broke it when landing a zero-p canopy.

Sounds like he sent it to Germany to get fixed though. It'll probably
spend a week sitting on the shelf before they send it back with a
4-year stamp of approval like they do with those Cypresses.


20 Apr 2005 03:06:21
the unknown flailer
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists


lugnuts wrote:
> On 19 Apr 2005 19:05:48 -0700, "the unknown flailer"
> <kami58@eastex.net> wrote:
>
> > When are you Limeys gonna learn to speak proper English?
>
> Give the guy a break ... he's got a bad lip spring, so of course he
> can't talk right. I'll bet he broke it when landing a zero-p canopy.
>

Yuh them Limeys artta just go ahead and join the USPA if their gonna
act like members HAW HAW HAW 0~;- >



22 Apr 2005 11:42:52
the unknown flailer
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

Whar did all them trouble making Limeys go? 0~;-o



28 Apr 2005 18:34:12
the unknown flailer
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

Kiny sounds like the BPA artta ask the USPA for a prorate franchise
since their gonna use USPA tactics against German and other foreign
skydivers. They cud call theirselves BSPA <bullshit parachuting
assholes > HAW HAW HAW
0~;- >



29 Apr 2005 08:01:30
Mick Cooper
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists


"the unknown flailer" <kami58@eastex.net > wrote in message
news:1114738452.356050.12110@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Kiny sounds like the BPA artta ask the USPA for a prorate franchise
> since their gonna use USPA tactics against German and other foreign
> skydivers. They cud call theirselves BSPA <bullshit parachuting
> assholes> HAW HAW HAW
> 0~;->
>

Well you certainly would recognise an arsehole.

Don't bother replying - I won't see it.




29 Apr 2005 09:56:25
the unknown flailer
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists


Mick Cooper wrote:
> "the unknown flailer" <kami58@eastex.net> wrote in message
> news:1114738452.356050.12110@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> > Kiny sounds like the BPA artta ask the USPA for a prorate
franchise
> > since their gonna use USPA tactics against German and other foreign
> > skydivers. They cud call theirselves BSPA <bullshit parachuting
> > assholes> HAW HAW HAW
> > 0~;->
> >
>
> Well you certainly would recognise an arsehole.
>
> Don't bother replying - I won't see it.

No, but some other BPA wennie might; And you're right, I
can.....belonged to the USPA a decade or two ago didn't I? Just
surprised theirs one Englander dumb enough to reply to a trouble making
colonial HAW HAW HAW 0~;)



29 Apr 2005 10:46:10
lugnuts
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

On 29 Apr 2005 09:56:25 -0700, "the unknown flailer"
<kami58@eastex.net > wrote:

> Mick Cooper wrote:
> > Don't bother replying - I won't see it.
>
> No, but some other BPA wennie might; And you're right, I
> can.....belonged to the USPA a decade or two ago didn't I? Just
> surprised theirs one Englander dumb enough to reply to a trouble making
> colonial HAW HAW HAW 0~;)

Mick's the sort of chap who complains to the constable that if he
attaches a mirror to a long stick and leans waaaaay out the second
story window, then he can see his neighbor sunning naked.



30 Apr 2005 04:23:00
Tom B
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists


"lugnuts" <me@privacy.net > wrote in message
news:6is471l9qd3u6unuuu70qd9tm0563vkm13@4ax.com...

> Mick's the sort of chap who complains to the constable that if he
> attaches a mirror to a long stick and leans waaaaay out the second
> story window, then he can see his neighbor sunning naked.

Wow that makes them a pair of bookends. Snuffy would complain if he could
NOT see his male neighbor sunning naked. :)

Tom B




30 Apr 2005 07:38:21
the unknown flailer
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists


Tom B wrote:
> "lugnuts" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
> news:6is471l9qd3u6unuuu70qd9tm0563vkm13@4ax.com...
>
> > Mick's the sort of chap who complains to the constable that if he
> > attaches a mirror to a long stick and leans waaaaay out the second
> > story window, then he can see his neighbor sunning naked.
>
> Wow that makes them a pair of bookends. Snuffy would complain if he
could
> NOT see his male neighbor sunning naked. :)
>
> Tom B


Better contact the V.A. tommydink, sounds like yer having flashbacks to
your time in the U.S. Army as a Speck 4 lolling around at that Naval
Station in Corpus Christi screwing some poor sailor out of Stateside
shore duty ;-p



04 May 2005 21:15:55
the unknown flailer
Re:BPA Council - Cause's war with German Skydivers


Mick Cooper wrote:
> "the unknown flailer" <kami58@eastex.net> wrote in message
> news:1114738452.356050.12110@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> > Kiny sounds like the BPA artta ask the USPA for a prorate
franchise
> > since their gonna use USPA tactics against German and other foreign
> > skydivers. They cud call theirselves BSPA <bullshit parachuting
> > assholes> HAW HAW HAW
> > 0~;->
> >
>
> Well you certainly would recognise an arsehole.
>
> Don't bother replying - I won't see it.


Due to both wanting to be or being members of the European Union, the
Germans have encouraged Redneck Mercenary's to step in and harry double
dealing Englishmen setting the BPA.....This can be seen as a paradox in
a way because the insurance scheme to force membership was first
created by the USPA.....who better to fight Tierney is the question
seeing back woods tobacco chewing colonials on the North American
Continent were the only known warriors to have whipped the Redcoats 2
or 3 times and finally send them packing. Hell them there Afrin Boars &
Zulu's never managed that, send that twit Mick over har to South East
Texas and we will show him the many uses Rope, tar und feathers can be
put to. Yaaaaaaahoo boff a britt! 0~;- >



05 May 2005 02:42:41
the unknown flailer
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists

Your only option is to stand up and fight, are you not free Democratic
Germans...is the DZ on German soil? And besides all of that, how did
the European Union allow this to slip under the Radar....Any insurance
involved should come out of the EU HQ and not England....Its clear you
need American Military Advisors to teach you counter insurgery
tactics...I would do this for you but I'm 50 years behind the times and
rather rusty on current force multiplier and international policys Good
luck 0~;-* a friend of free choice



19 May 2005 06:23:51
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists


the unknown flailer wrote:
> Your only option is to stand up and fight, are you not free
Democratic
> Germans...is the DZ on German soil?

Yup, take out the redcoats on the horses first.



19 May 2005 17:25:23
the unknown flailer
Re: Letter to BPA Council - Bad Lippspringe DZ & German Parachutists


dorbie@gmail.com wrote:
> the unknown flailer wrote:
> > Your only option is to stand up and fight, are you not free
> Democratic
> > Germans...is the DZ on German soil?
>
> Yup, take out the redcoats on the horses first.

Roger that, no problem....being chicken shit backwoods or bloody
colonials as the BAC in Europe called us....I'll be hiding in the
tree's shooting their mounts
The Queens mounted calvary are like US Marines, rather cumbersom and
confused on the ground when against a true light infantry...no need to
waste powder on them.....just set the hounds loose....Whats scary is
the BPA is using a USPA style insurance scam to enslave free skydivers
;(P