I know the above is probably a pipe dream. So let's hear other suggestions. And to those of you who think everything is fine the way it is, please look closer. It could be a lot better . . .
I guess I would ask - not what could be better, as much as, what is broken?
You don't see incident reports weekly on the forums about "student lost by instructor, has cypres fire" or "student hurt on exit, instructor to blame."
The most common incidents that are student related seem to be (someone correct me if I am wrong) - landing incidents - poor (panic) decisions under canopy - and they tend to happen after AFF is over.
Just my gut feeling - if we are going to "fix" anything in skydiving instruction - it is canopy related....
Sure, there are other "business" things we could fix in operations - a lot of DZs have their students wait, wait, wait, rush a dive, leave - promoting one time sells and no long term relationships... Or many DZs pay the TIs and AFFIs the same, yet one has to train students, pack their own gear, debrief - and the other does twice the jumps on back to backs without paying a penny for gear or packjobs, meeting their student in the plane and shaking hands goodbye in the landing area - meaning a TI can make over twice to three times the revenue of an AFFI (depending on gear costs)... With those numbers, why would a professional want to do AFF over TI (assuming they are doing the instruction to pay the bills and enjoy both equally). How about giving the AFF instructor $.50 from every jump that student does for the rest of their life at that DZ - and not paying the instructor a penny for the AFF jump over their slot... I bet AFF instructors would become the best salesmen and work their butt off to make sure students stick around past the revenue jumps - becoming long term mentors and load organizers - and perhaps would be there after the 7th or 10th jump when all of a sudden the canopy issues occur as the student downsizes and experiences their first "oh shit" moment.
But - all business problems aside, before the "system" is knocked too hard, knock where it is broken (where students are failing/getting hurt). I think it is canopy control...
So when everyone is saying the new system is too easy - how much of that is in the canopy control part of the instruction - and how much is in the freefall ability???
Just my two cents - or maybe three on this one.
(This post was edited by tdog on Oct 8, 2006, 10:17 PM)