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skyjumpsteve  (D 14734)

Jun 25, 2009, 9:07 PM
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Parachutist Editorial Can't Post

From this month's Parachutist. Thoughts? Discuss.....

http://www.uspa.org/...mfid/12/Default.aspx

A President's Perspective

July 2009 | by Jay Stokes

The definition of the word “educate” includes terms like “cultivation and training.” To USPA it means the establishment of recommendations that facilitate learning and the continuing development of a culture of safety, currency and proficiency.

The definition of the word “regulate” includes terms like “influence and regularize.” USPA regulates by developing and codifying standards—requirements—to be observed by all.

The two terms—educate and regulate—are not anathema to one another or mutually exclusive. This is especially true in skydiving where regulation and education are almost always derived from the harsh realities of our sport. All skydivers attend the School of Hard Knocks. Very few of today’s active skydiving professionals would argue that what the USPA has achieved would have “just happened” without the organizational discipline and procedures that we have all developed together over the years. The true business of USPA is saving lives. And so, as new equipment, methods and disciplines appear in our sport, the lessons we have collectively learned need to be taken into account, even in the face of vehement opposition that says, “We can do it ourselves.”

In January of this year a skydiver fell out of his wingsuit and died because his leg straps were not properly secured under his suit. This was only his second wingsuit jump. As an observer I was shocked by this incident, as were many others. How could this happen?

After discussion with several wingsuit manufacturers and their instructors, I have become aware of their specific training programs. Each wingsuit manufacturer endorses their own instructors for their specific gear. With at least five different makers, there are bound to be differing approaches and emphases. The current corps of wingsuit trainers are well versed in how to fly the suits, but have they learned basic instructional techniques, and do they know about teaching concepts to develop and maintain a safe jumping environment?

Wingsuiting is a radical form of skydiving, requiring different body positions, freefall strategy, deployment procedures, emergency procedures and even different canopy procedures. A “first-flight course” is conducted by a person endorsed by the specific wingsuit manufacturer. After that first flight these skydivers are generally released to jump on their own without supervision and without a syllabus for continued learning and proficiency. It makes sense that standardized techniques and procedures would be a great advantage to skydivers learning wingsuit piloting.

Of course, USPA already has wingsuit training recommendations (and in this case the jumper had 110 jumps—far fewer than the “minimum of 500 freefall skydives; or a minimum of 200 freefall skydives, made within the last 18 months” suggested by USPA to even begin training.) But is more than education needed? Specifically, does USPA need to regulate by establishing a wingsuit course, perhaps taught only by a USPA-rated wingsuit instructor? Some say, “yes,” that the over-arching instructional training concepts, techniques and standardized procedures that are part of the USPA training and instructional rating system would be a great advantage to skydivers learning wingsuit piloting, just as they have been beneficial in basic student training since the 1980s.

Or does USPA need to simply educate by developing more in-depth wingsuit recommendations, then educate skydivers and work with the manufacturers and their endorsed instructors? What is the safest course to take? Educate or regulate? Or use a combination of the two? Several members of the wingsuit community have stepped up to develop their ideas and offer them to USPA’s Board of Directors. Regardless of what form the ideas take—either as requirements or as recommendations—all those who want to try this new form of skydiving will benefit from the debate and the effort.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jun 26, 2009, 5:42 AM
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Educate don't regulate!


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 6:34 AM
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Quote:
Educate don't regulate!

That's a great slogan, but what does it mean?

Seems to me like the USPA educates and regulates already. They regulate who can teach an AFF or S/L course. They regulate who can jump with a student skydiver (i.e., instructors, coaches), and when a skydiver can start jumping with others (when they get an "A" license). They regulate how often people need to do recurrency jumps, among a whole bunch of other requirements...

As for the "educate" part, there is no USPA wingsuit instructor rating at the moment - so the USPA is not educating on wingsuiting at all. USPA has, up to this point, basically just suggested that all wingsuiters receive "one-on-one instruction from an experienced wing suit jumper". The concern I have there is the result is hit or miss. Being an "experienced wingsuiter" doesn't automatically make you a good instructor of wingsuiting any more than having attended kindergarten makes you a good kindergarten teacher.

So, when you say "educate", what do you take that to mean - what would you want it to be? Because clearly there's no "education" being done by USPA at the moment...

Now, if you're saying, "well, once I get my 'A' license, I should have a right to do whatever the Hell I want to and the USPA should just stay out of my way", I see your position, but I'd point out one problem - it's not just the wingsuiter that's put at risk when he puts on a wingsuit - it's pretty much everyone on the load. We're basically gravity-powered bombs cruising around the DZ's airspace. Sooner or later, we're going to hear about someone colliding with another skydiver or canopy - or even worse, a tandem - and we're collectively going to have the crap kicked out of us when USPA suddenly realizes they need to regulate us to protect other skydivers. It seems to me that navigation is a critical skill; if that's not being taught well, we're going to have to deal with the consequences of it, sooner or later.

Personally, I'd rather get out in front of the wave than get hit with it. If there is a push to help adopt standards, the wingsuit community ought to be the ones driving the bus.

I heard through the grapevine that the BPA Board accepted changes to their regulation of wingsuiting: a new training manual and a "sticker" system for categorizing new wingsuit flyers. If Mark Harris reads this, maybe he can comment on it further - I'd be curious what the accepted proposal was...

[In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not an intructor (wingsuit or otherwise) and never will be one. But I do have an interest in not seeing my friends and others in the skydiving community get injured or killed.]


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jun 26, 2009, 6:57 AM)


Butters  (C 37840)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:01 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
Educate don't regulate!

That's a great slogan, but what does it mean?

It means gather and give access to the latest information allowing adults to make informed decisions for themselves.

PS: Why are they thinking about regulating wingsuiting but no swooping? More people are getting into swooping and more people are getting injured or killed swooping ...


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:11 AM
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Quote:
It means gather and give access to the latest information allowing adults to make informed decisions for themselves.

So, then you would be in favor of getting rid of the AFF and SL programs and replacing them with a really kick ass user manual, right?

If not, what's the difference?


Butters  (C 37840)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:29 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
It means gather and give access to the latest information allowing adults to make informed decisions for themselves.

So, then you would be in favor of getting rid of the AFF and SL programs and replacing them with a really kick ass user manual, right?

If not, what's the difference?

We're not talking about learning to skydive, we're talking about a skydiver learning to wingsuit. What is the difference? The difference is that the former has no experience and no or limited knowledge where as the later has at least limited experience and limited knowledge.


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:35 AM
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The difference, Jeff, is that we're not talking about students here. What's wrong with an experianced skydiver getting advice from a more experianced one? Thats what we do in every dicipline.
The incident referenced in the editorial was not caused by the suit, it was caused by the victim failing to properly secure his harness.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 7:58 AM
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Quote:
We're not talking about learning to skydive, we're talking about a skydiver learning to wingsuit. What is the difference? The difference is that the former has no experience and no or limited knowledge where as the later has at least limited experience and limited knowledge.

Well, a licensed skydiver who has never wingsuited before sure does know about a few things about skydiving, for sure.

But I'd argue they a skydiver with 200 jumps who has never put on a wingsuit isn't all that much different than a late stage, pre-A license student - with respect to the differences created by the wingsuit.

Stop and think about it - wingsuiting has a HUGE number of differences between it and "traditional skydiving". Just a few:

- We wear an additional piece of gear (the wingsuit) that can be misthreaded, set up wrong, or otherwise fouled up. ("Surpise! you misthreaded your wing!")

- The additional piece of gear can make inspection of the other skydiving gear difficult for the inexperienced (e.g., the hidden leg strap issue).

- We exit out of the aircraft differently than any other type of skydiver. How so? Try doing a count with your leg, RW-style, while in a wingsuit. I watched a very experienced RW chick get peeled off the plane on a FFC because she didn't realize that or remember not to do that.

- We're way more prone to instablility (whether true flat spins or tumbling), and we get out of it in different ways than your typical skydiver. (I learned in AFF that arching solves most stability problems - not so for a wingsuit flat spin, right?)

- We have to navigate! You can't just wait for the 5 to 10 second separation and jump, you need to plot where you are, where you're going, and (most importantly) where everyone else is.

- Our waiving off and deployment sequence is very different. We all know that.

- On most suits, we have to deal with unstowing/unzipping/dealing with our suit after deployment. We all know that can be a problem given a surprise situation (a malfunction, another canopy coming straight at you, etc.).

It's large set of different skills. Sure, some of the skills used in wingsuiting carry over from traditional skydiving (an experienced skydiver knows his or her rig better, can pilot a canopy better - all things being equal, for instance).

But there's enough differences that it's almost a different species of skydiving.

Think of it this way, Butters: when you first wanted to wingsuit, you sought out an instructor, right? Why was that? Sure, the SIM says it's recommended, but I suspect the real reason you did it because you wanted to learn how to do it safely (and well). The reason you felt you needed to do that was the significant differences between the two, right?

Now, the truth of the matter - that very few of us are willing to admit - is that not all instructors are equal. Most are great. Others, maybe not so much. Some teach a lot. Some give you the bare minimum and show you out the door. The different manufacturers use different curricula.

What I think Jay Stokes was getting at is, does the USPA want to have a formal, standardized program (so we have all the information in one place, as you suggested) and roster of wingsuit instructors (in the same way that USPA has a roster of AFF instructors)?


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jun 26, 2009, 11:42 AM)


Butters  (C 37840)

Jun 26, 2009, 8:21 AM
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In reply to:
- We wear an additional piece of gear (the wingsuit) that can be misthreaded, set up wrong, or otherwise fouled up. ("Surpise! you mistheaded your wing!")

This risk can be reduced with education and awareness.

In reply to:
- The additional piece of gear can make inspection of the other skydiving gear difficult for the inexperienced (e.g., the hidden leg strap issue).

This risk can be reduced with education and awareness.

In reply to:
- We exit out of the aircraft differently than any other type of skydiver. How so? Try doing a count with your leg, RW-style, while in a wingsuit. I watched a very experienced RW chick get peeled off the plane on a FFC because she didn't realize that or remember not to do that.

This risk can be reduced with education and awareness.

In reply to:
- We're way more prone to instablility (whether true flat spins or tumbling), and we get out of it in different ways than your typical skydiver. (I learned in AFF that arching solves most stability problems - not so for a wingsuit flat spin, right?)

This risk can be reduced with education and developing certain skills.

In reply to:
- We have to navigate! You can't just wait for the 5 to 10 second separation and jump, you need to plot where you are, where you're going, and (most importantly) where everyone else is.

This risk can be reduced with education, awareness, and developing certain skills.

In reply to:
- Our waiving off and deployment sequence is very different. We all know that.

This risk can be reduced with education and developing certain skills.

In reply to:
- On most suits, we have to deal with unstowing/unzipping/dealing with our suit after deployment. We all know that can be a problem given a surprise situation (a malfunction, another canopy coming straight at you, etc.).

This risk can be reduced with education and awareness.

In reply to:
Think of it this way, Butters: when you first wanted to wingsuit, you sought out an instructor, right?

Wrong.

In reply to:
What I think Jay Stokes was getting at is, does the USPA want to have a formal, standardized program (so we have all the information in one place, as you suggested) and roster of wingsuit instructors (in the same way that USPA has a roster of AFF instructors)?

Why focus on wingsuiting and not swooping (which is injuring and killing more of our friends and fellow skydivers)?


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 8:26 AM
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Quote:
The difference, Jeff, is that we're not talking about students here. What's wrong with an experianced skydiver getting advice from a more experianced one? Thats what we do in every dicipline.

Hey Dave,

That's a good point, but I'd suggest that the difference between going from other forms of skydiving to wingsuiting is bigger than the difference from going from belly flying (for example) to free flying.

I know a lot of people who started free flying right after getting their A license. There are a few differences between the two, for sure, but nowhere near as many as with the transition from other skydiving to wingsuiting. I think what I'm suggesting is that wingsuiting is just different enough to warrant special training.

Quote:
The incident referenced in the editorial was not caused by the suit, it was caused by the victim failing to properly secure his harness.

Yep. I agree 100%.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jun 26, 2009, 8:42 AM
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I think we're talking past one another.

You keep saying "This risk can be reduced with education and awareness."

Yes. I agree. Absolutely. Fo' sho.

That's not what I'm questioning, though. Here's the issue put more succintly: "How do we convey the education and awareness that you're talking about?" How does it go from the brains of the people who have it to the brains of the people who need it?

What I think Jay Stokes is pointing at - if a little indirectly - is "do we want to have a USPA wingsuit instruction program?"

There is no USPA instruction on wingsuiting at the moment, so they aren't fulfilling the "education" role that you want them doing, right? So if you want them "educating", how do you want them doing it?

Do you want them to develop a "First Flight Manual"? If so, no argument here.

However, as I hope you'd agree, there's a lot of skydiving that you can't get from reading a book. If they're going to come out with a First Flight Manual, you'd want to be able to identify people who are qualified and capable teachers. That would lead to a USPA wingsuit instructor role.

If you don't want the USPA educating, and want to leave it to skydivers to instruct other skydivers or gear manufacturers, then your slogan for the USPA ought to be "neither education nor regulation".

And as for you never having sought out instruction: I'm glad it worked out well for you. I hope that all skydivers who want to try out a wingsuit have your natural ability to fly one. My suspicion, though, is not everyone does.


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 26, 2009, 9:17 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:

I think what I'm suggesting is that wingsuiting is just different enough to warrant special training.

What I'm suggesting is that "special training" is available to anyone who seeks it. We DON'T need any more mandates from uspa.

I'm not easily offended, but i get very offended when some authority figure tries to protect me from myself.

I used to do the occasional demo. I don't anymore because it"s not worth my while to jump through the hoops and pay the tax to uspa.
Same deal with level 8 (now called "coach jumps") I guess I've trained my last wingsuit pilot too. Frown


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jun 26, 2009, 10:20 AM
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I think the main issue is

Are we COACHING people (like freefly and swooping) or are we INSTRUCTING people on something completely new.

With the experience levels dropping more and more with regards to who 'instructors' are taking on for a first flight course, it does almost tend to lean towards AFF consolidation jumps at times...


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 26, 2009, 11:29 AM
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In reply to:
I think the main issue is

Are we COACHING people (like freefly and swooping) or are we INSTRUCTING people on something completely new.

With the experience levels dropping more and more with regards to who 'instructors' are taking on for a first flight course, it does almost tend to lean towards AFF consolidation jumps at times...


I would agree with this rhetorical, Jarno....
As the guy that gave Jay Stokes his first flight course, it was enlightening for both of us. He was treated in much the same manner as I treat AFF students; as though he had no jumps.
There are many aspects of a wingsuit jump that Jay had never considered, suit issues aside. Yet you'd struggle to find a skydiver more experienced in a wide variety of skydiving experiences than Jay Stokes. He had a lot of questions, and admitted that he'd never thought about this or that in terms of a wingsuit skydive. He knew why the number of recommended jumps existed, but hadn't thought about what those numbers may or may not mean.

Flip side to that; 3 months ago there was a newsletter from a wingsuit manufacturer's examiner pleading that "we gotta obey the rules, guys," who a few days later took out a student without even 100 skydives.

Self-regulation only works in a perfect world. The last two deaths alone have proved that it's not a perfect world. The Sebastian fatality would not have occurred had his instructor followed recommendations (USPA or manufacturer). He was turned down by more than one instructor, so he searched til he found one that would take him. The Moab fatality would not have happened had his instructor followed recommendations; I was there when the S&TA at my DZ told Race he couldn't fly a wingsuit jus a few weeks before.
There is no acountability nor responsibility placed on their instructors shoulders. Both young men died with fewer than 118 skydives.
Both might not be alive today had their instructors "followed recommendations" but they sure as hell wouldn't have died that day.
Requiring 100 wingsuit skydives and having a beer with a buddy who is an "examiner" for PF or Birdman is a joke. 100 WS skydives isn't shit, and everyone of us know it. Couple that with the fact that most wingsuit "instructors" don't have coach or AFF ratings, they likely don't know how to teach in a manner that is effective and embedded.

I believe when the Birdman program was initially set up by folks like Jari, Chuck Blue etc, the intent was that instructors would maintain integrity and uphold the standards they'd agreed to. Yet the lure of manufacturer incentives to sell suits is pretty strong and provides a provocative temptation to take someone out for a First Flight when they're maybe "just a few jumps short of the recommendation." In the case of one of the two deaths, I personally heard the "instructor" say "I'm a wingsuit instructor, I'm an AFF instructor, I can look at a student and know if he can do it or not. Numbers don't matter."

We've all watched "instructors" give FFC's without teaching COA's, PCRP's, flatspin management, emergency procedures, navigation, waveoff, and stabilization techniques. One instructor (the one who inspired me to want to be an instructor) gives a first flight course away from the DZ that lasts about 10 minutes, and then expects the student to jump without his instructor being there to brief, observe, and debrief.

There is a video of a guy on YouTube bragging about doing his first wingsuit jump, shows his Birdman "instructor" and the jump, and the guy later talking about how he celebrated his 75th jump in a wingsuit. It ws pretty obvious he didn't have very many skydives under his belt.

Comparing wingsuit instruction to freefly or swooping instruction/coaching are absurd. They're irrelevant (IMO) for the reasons Jeff mentions above and more.
Who's training the trainers right now? No one, really. If you've got a wingsuit, 100 jumps, and a few bucks, you're a "rated instructor." The jokes about ratings over a beer were once funny. My own first flight course included nothing about flying 180 degrees to others, navigation, emergency procedures, practice touches...It was just about putting the rig on the suit and deployment. Nothing more. The DZM pleaded with me to not go on that jump but I stupidly did anyway. It took a long time after that jump til Scott Campos convinced me to do another FFC with a good instructor.

I don't know if I'm a good instructor or not. I'm an AFFI, professional trainer outside of the sport of skydiving, professional motivational speaker, and I feel I do a decent job of building blocks and goals for my students. I didn't feel remotely qualified to "teach" until I had 400+ wingsuit skydives. And I'm still learning various methods of teaching and flying. Yet there are guys hanging out shingles as "instructors" that have 100 WS skydives or less.
Self regulation doesn't work. It hasn't worked. It can't work.
That said...
I'll be surprised if the USPA board will pass a wingsuit rating program, as they foolishly didn't pass an advanced canopy coaching rating program either. Many members of the BOD don't skydive anyway. At least Jay Stokes has sought out every discipline of skydiving there is, and has recently added BASE jumping to his repertoire of experiences so that he can better understand the relative aspects of the sport he's responsible for leading and guiding into the future.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jun 26, 2009, 4:09 PM
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Self regulation doesn't work. It hasn't worked. It can't work.
That said...
I'll be surprised if the USPA board will pass a wingsuit rating program

Sure it can. I hope you don't think that regulation would have kept people alive that didn't follow the currently established recommendations.

Sure you can make a gesture of a measure to keep everyone who openly regards themselves as a wingsuit instructor actually rated in some form or another. But guess, what every stooge instructor on a website roster will probably be grandfathered guaranteed!

People wanting to try out demo suits at a boogie could be properly screened as long as they are honest enough to present an undoctored log book, maybe.

But how do you propose to keep an overconfident skydiver , regardless of jump experience, from just calling up a wingsuit vendor or a used wingsuit in a classified add. Reading the manual and just winging it on their own? That would be an impossibility.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 26, 2009, 8:55 PM
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In reply to:
I hope you don't think that regulation would have kept people alive that didn't follow the currently established recommendations.
I know with a 100% certainty that Race Price and Dan Kulpa would not have died at jumps 118 and 110 had their instructors followed the currently established recommendations. Dan Kulpa would have turned 23 years old today.


In reply to:
Sure you can make a gesture of a measure to keep everyone who openly regards themselves as a wingsuit instructor actually rated in some form or another. But guess, what every stooge instructor on a website roster will probably be grandfathered guaranteed!


Of the two proposals I've seen that were going to be submitted to USPA, neither of them allowed for "grandfathering" of anyone. The recommendations for becoming a USPA-rated wingsuit instructor are significantly more stringent than those currently required by PF or BM. There may be a third, fourth, or tenth proposal that may allow for grandfathering, I dunno. I think doing so would be a huge mistake and an immediate hit on the credibility of any USPA program.

I'm not in favor of more regulation either, but at least with USPA-designed/collated training, training would be consistent, instructors could be held accountable, and instructors would be tested or have documented evidence of their training for their renewals every year just as we are now.

Will a rating system make for a perfect world? Hell no. There are a lot of AFFI's, TI's, coaches, S/L, and IAD instructors out there that shouldn't likely be allowed to be within 10 feet of a student. But a rating system overseen by the USPA would at the least, force SOMEONE to test and observe a potential wingsuit instructor candidate. I would expect the USPA to initially appoint a few Instructor/Examiners that would be responsible for certifying a candidate to be a wingsuit instructor, but at some future point in time, the I/E rating would have to be earned, just as it has happened/is happening with TI ratings. I can easily see people like Chuck Blue, Ed Pawlowski, Scott Callantine, and others like them being tapped out to be Examiners given their time in sport, current ratings, and wingsuit skills.

In reply to:
But how do you propose to keep an overconfident skydiver , regardless of jump experience, from just calling up a wingsuit vendor or a used wingsuit in a classified add. Reading the manual and just winging it on their own?

That's a very valid point, and a scenario that can't be easily addressed, just as you can't prevent a 100 jump wonder from buying a Velo 90. Hopefully the GM program and S&TA oversight, plus common sense will help prevent this from occurring. If nothing else, hopefully a better educational focus on the part of the USPA will help reduce the number of "stooge instructors" that are out there.


fasted3  (D 30104)

Jun 26, 2009, 9:16 PM
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The key words there are recommendation and regulation. Were it a regulation presented in the SIM by the USPA then dropzones, vendors, and instructors, coaches, or friends would not let people fly with less than 200 jumps.
The question is should it be a regulation? If so, it seems like it could be, given the types of accidents we've seen. If we generally get behind it, that would probably influence the USPA to some extent.


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 26, 2009, 9:37 PM
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Quote:
I know with a 100% certainty that Race Price and Dan Kulpa would not have died at jumps 118 and 110 had their instructors followed the currently established recommendations. Dan Kulpa would have turned 23 years old today.

Putting all the blame on the instructors is unfair. Both these young men knew they were violating the established recommendations, and sought out "instructors" who didn't care.

Who is responsible for your skydive?


(This post was edited by skydave114 on Jun 26, 2009, 9:43 PM)


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jun 26, 2009, 9:54 PM
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I know with a 100% certainty that Race Price and Dan Kulpa would not have died at jumps 118 and 110 had their instructors followed the currently established recommendations.
In reply to:

That is a HUGE assumption. What you mean to express is that they would not have died with the assistance of an instructor type to blame. But in each of these liscensed and qualified to self regulate skydiver's cases they were previously turned away by someone who explained why. They each knew they were traveling beyond what was recommended for their experience level. They were bound and determined.

I'm not sure Price suffered from a situation 100% directly related to wingsuits, to me it sounds like altitude awareness. I loathe to speculate in these fatalities. Dan's issue with legstraps after a second acceptable flight? Altitude awareness and proper harness/container fitment were taught in AFF.

Back before my first wingsuit flight myself and six or seven other guys already owned our own suit and the manuals or copys of. Do you want to venture a guess as to how many in our group got intructors for the first flights?

You will never ever regulate an under experienced jumper getting their hands on too small of a canopy or a wingsuit. The concept is pure fantasy!


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 26, 2009, 10:51 PM
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Back up the bus. I'm not putting ANY responsibility for the fatalities on the instructors, and if it appears that way, mea culpa.
These young men knew they were violating the rules; they're 100% responsible for their failure/fatality, just as I was responsible for the fuckups that occurred on my first flight.

That said...
A responsible skydiver who wants to learn a new discipline responsibily seeks out someone who can train them, guide them, and teach them. If the instructor fails to teach something critical, is it the student's fault for not knowing what he doesn't know?

An example I recently used:
A new skydiver wanting to know more about flying camera with a tandem came to me asking if I'd show him some things. We started out with safety discussions such as being aware/clear of the deploying drogue, being under/over the tandem, cone of danger, etc. Suppose I forget to teach him about the trap door that a tandem might catch him with, and he falls into that burble, taking out himself, the TI, and the student. Do I or don't I bear some accountability as an "authority figure" asked to train? I submit that I do. I'm not responsible for the incident, but I should be held accountable for what I failed to teach, just as an AFF instructor is accountable for what he/she may fail to teach?

Glenn says:
Quote:
That is a HUGE assumption. What you mean to express is that they would not have died with the assistance of an instructor type to blame. But in each of these liscensed and qualified to self regulate skydiver's cases they were previously turned away by someone who explained why. They each knew they were traveling beyond what was recommended for their experience level. They were bound and determined.

Agreed, these guys knew they were stepping out of the boundaries, and were determined. In Kulpa's case, he drove all the way across Florida on New Year's Day to get to a DZ where he knew he could get coaching.

No one should be looking to place blame on the instructors involved in either of these fatalities. The "blame" has to lie with the deceased in both of these instances.


I don't agree it's a huge assumption that they wouldn't have died, however. They may have still gone in, but they wouldn't have gone in on THAT particular day, were there a fear of official repercussion from an officating body. At least that's my take on it. If I know I could lose my rating, license, ability to skydive because I take someone out on a wingsuit jump before they reach required or recommended numbers, then I'm not even going to think twice about saying "no." The risk/reward is just too high. Perhaps I simply feel a higher degree of responsibility to my students than others may feel. If in my non-skydiver training world I fail to teach a critical component of an exercise, no one will die, they simply may lose their job. But they'll look to me to bear some level of accountability for failing to fully inform. In other words, I might not be indictable, but I believe I'm guilty of dereliction of duty.
I find that reprehensible.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jun 27, 2009, 1:28 AM
Post #21 of 234 (4525 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 I don't understand how it could be stated that these instructors failed to teach a component of a proper first flight course. Failed to properly screen or willfully allow low experience skydivers to jump wingsuits I'll give you that.

Altitude awareness issues and forgetting legstraps has happened before to very experienced jumpers. I'm talking jumpers with thousands of jumps and many wingsuit jumps. Sadly both will probably happen again. Not because of jump numbers but because we are human, we forget, we loose awareness. We are not inertial guidance systems with built in telemetry. We are freaky styley humans and on any given day we might not be a 100%.

DZ operators work hard at screening people off canopys they shouldn't be on. Some work real hard at it. But all that effort doesn't keep someone from going someplace else to die or femur. Lets face it there are a lot of places we can go and nobody will be looking after you, just ourselves.


skydave114  (D License)

Jun 27, 2009, 6:13 AM
Post #22 of 234 (4483 views)
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Re: [skyjumpsteve] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

back to the question at hand;
do we need a uspa wingsuit instructor rating? it's a fair question, and one that deserves debate. I vote hell no. such a thing will only increase cost, and restrict access. will a wingsuit license, with another tax, be required next?
imo, the proper regulating authority for such things is the dzo / s&ta.


scottygofast  (D 28686)

Jun 27, 2009, 8:42 AM
Post #23 of 234 (4449 views)
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Re: [skydave114] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
back to the question at hand;
do we need a uspa wingsuit instructor rating? it's a fair question, and one that deserves debate. I vote hell no. such a thing will only increase cost, and restrict access. will a wingsuit license, with another tax, be required next?
imo, the proper regulating authority for such things is the dzo / s&ta.



I will be glad to respond in greater length and details to my view on this subject, but first a quick question~


So a guy has his private pilots liscense and has about 40 hours, which is alot more time than a liscensed skydiver, and also much more complex than simply jumping out a plane with a parachute on. Now would it be ok to take that same private pilot, and tell him, hey, i know you want to fly jumpers, so why dont you come out to the Huey with me, and ill give you an hour breifing and set u loose to take the next load up?


This relationship is akin to the newer skydivers inability to comprehend all the forces involved, and profeciancy required in order to safely execute the plan... I know I wouldnt get on that huey~


Just a thought... be back later


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jun 27, 2009, 9:56 AM
Post #24 of 234 (4436 views)
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Re: [mccordia] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I think the main issue is

Are we COACHING people (like freefly and swooping) or are we INSTRUCTING people on something completely new.

I INSTRUCT first flight students and I coach people who have the rudimentary skill-set. That's the difference and that's what I will be telling the board of directors in July.


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Jun 27, 2009, 4:38 PM
Post #25 of 234 (4369 views)
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Re: [skydave114] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
back to the question at hand;
do we need a uspa wingsuit instructor rating? it's a fair question, and one that deserves debate. I vote hell no. such a thing will only increase cost, and restrict access. will a wingsuit license, with another tax, be required next?
imo, the proper regulating authority for such things is the dzo / s&ta.


And alls I can think if it were to pass.....
Next-arguments for-
Required Instructor ratings for
FF
Camera
Automauti
etc, etc..........


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