TomNoonan (D 24313)
Nov 18, 2010, 5:17 PM
Re: [skybytch] Tom Deacon for USPA National Director
There is no excuse for a newly rated I/E being told months after receiving the rating that they still have to jump through another hoop before they can exercise the privileges of that rating..
I'm not sure if your referring to something that has already happened to someone, or the potential that something like that could potentially happen if the I/E criteria is strengthened?
I have a story that I think has some merit regarding your concern that I would like to share, as it directly relates to your statement:
In early 2009, Air Adventures in Clewiston hosted a USPA IERC course that fell just prior to a Strong Tandem Examiner course I was holding in Orlando, so I took that opportunity to bring my candidates down there for the IERC course. The IERC was still in it's infancy at the time, and it's course directors were still being "checked out" so to speak, to verify the accuracy of their info presented and their teaching ability. One of the those IERC course director's being checked out was Rob Laidlaw of Skydive University. For those unfamiliar with the creation of the IERC, it evolved from Skydive University's Advanced Instructor Course, the AIC, which Rob created to fill an instructional void he felt the industry was experiencing. He literally created the syllabus for Skydive University and it was subsequently morphed into what was to become the IERC. He had practically the entire content of the IERC in his head and could teach it with his eyes closed, yet there he was, spending 3 days in Clewiston assisting teaching a course that he effectively created. Some could have viewed that as him having to jump through a hoop, but he didn't. He used the opportunity to participate in evolving his SDU AIC into the USPA IERC.
Also in attendance as a course attendee in this IERC was Bill Morrissey. Bill created the Strong tandem training program twenty plus years earlier, and like Rob and his syllabus, Bill could teach a tandem course with his eyes closed. Arguably not a person on the planet had or has more experience training tandem instructors and tandem examiners than Bill. Yet there he was, sitting for three days taking copious notes, participating, asking questions and learning. Some would argue making him attend an IERC to remain a USPA Tandem I/E would be the biggest hoop of all anyone would have to jump through, yet there he was. Genuinely engaged and happy to be there, looking to improve his teaching technique, after two decades of training tandem instructors and tandem examiners.
Another attendee of the course was Jen Sharp from Skydive Kansas. Since completing that course, she has flown around the country attending as many IERCs and tandem courses as she can, even though she already has the I/E ratings. She is a rising star in the I/E field and it's because she jumps through her own hoops, ones she believes will continually elevate her already exceptional teaching ability.
As the IERC course concluded, the candidates took a picture with the course directors outside the hangar. Standing there, everyone just sort of looked at each other and realized that a course of this caliber and attendance was a unique thing and would probably not be duplicated for a long time. You had Rob Laidlaw, Bill Morrissey and USPA President Jay Stokes all in the same classroom together. (The coolest thing was that years ago Bill trained Jay and now Jay was training Bill.)
I offer this story as it's a great example of perception. From the outside it could have looked like Rob and Bill were jumping through hoops, but the reality was, when you have that caliber for course directors there is no such thing as a hoop to jump through, there are just new opportunities to learn.
So......if in fact when this is all said and done a newly minted AFF I/E is asked by either the President of USPA, or the Chair of S&T or even the Director of Safety and Training at USPA to jump through another training hoop, they will have the choice to view it as a punishment or an opportunity to learn.
The only other alternative, to avoid hurting their feelings is to let someone that is not meeting a standard continue to train and create AFF Is that themselves are not prepared for the responsibility of the rating. Then that AFF I goes on to lose a student, the student has an AAD fire, gets injured, or worse, killed, and then we all come on here and say "We all saw it coming, AFF I/E John Doe didn't teach to a standard, you all knew it and you didn't do anything about it. Now his AFF I lost a student and this happens."
What other options does the Safety and Training committee, or USPA for that matter, have? There is a legitimate problem out there. Something like 150+ instructors signed a petition that Rich Winstock created because they believe the course standards need serious improvement. To improve the standards, we have to start at the AFF I/E level and when that is fixed, it will filter dow to the AFF I level.
Admittedly, I am not an AFF I/E, so I am speaking a little bit out of my realm, but during this whole process this past term, I have consulted 3 of the most competent AFF I/Es working today, I have their numbers on speed dial..... During breaks in BOD sessions, I was on the phone with them and texting them to make sure I was educated in my presentation, and if re-elected, I will continue along that path, working with the AFF I/Es out there to strengthen the AFF I/E program.
(This post was edited by TomNoonan on Nov 18, 2010, 5:23 PM)
Post edited by TomNoonan
(Moderator) on Nov 18, 2010, 5:23 PM