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davelepka  (D 21448)

Feb 6, 2010, 3:59 PM
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Re: [riggerpaul] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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But, much more central to the discussion as it has evolved, is the question of the USPA recognizing that they cannot in any effective way say that they have any confidence in the jumpers that our current training is producing.

Don't you feel you have the right to expect that the guy between you and the door knows what he is doing?

Of course I would love to have confidence in every other jumper on board, but that's just not the case. My hopes and dreams don't help some dumbass to make the right choice when push comes to shove. With that in mind, I look for the methods that will produce the highest rate of success, with success in this case being defined as safe skydiving.

The problem with modern day skydiving, is that it's not what it used to be. Skydiving used to be more of an 'outlaw' sport. For a long time there was no specialized gear, it was left over stuff from the military, and even after that gave way to sport skydiving gear, there was very little standardization. There were all sorts of rigs that all worked in different ways. There were no turbines, very few twins, no GPS, no reliable AADs, and a very 'relaxed' attitude about rules and regulations.

That environment attracted a certain type of individual. Actually it attracted all sorts of individuals, but if you weren't confident and self sufficient, the sport would either scare you off, or kill you. It was litterally Darwin at work, thinning the herd. Survival of the fittest.

Fast forward to 2010. Now we have standardized gear with RSLs, Skyhooks, AADs, very reliable mains and even better reserves. Big turbines are everywhere, with GPS, load organizers, and packers to back it all up. Making 6 or 8 jumps per day is the norm, all using $5000 worth of gear and wearing a $300 suit. On top of it all, you have the ever PC instructional machine that believes 'anyone can skydive', and works to make that true.

Nobody 'fails' a level, they just 'do not pass' (don't want to hurt their feelings), and it's not unheard of for jumpers to repeat levels over and over again, yet the instructors support them, hold their hands, and tell them everything will be OK.

This environment attracts a much wider scope of individuals. The sport is more open and accessible to people who could have never cut it a generation ago. It took a real man (or woman) to tough out the static line jumps with a round and a belly wart.

In today's world, virtually anyone can make a skydive. Even if you seem to be having trouble with the FJC, they'll still hook you up and tandem you. Most of the time they have 'demote' an AFF student to tandem, they turn around after the tandem and say, 'Well, you did pretty well on the tandem, come back nest week and give the FJC another shot. You can do it, and we will help!".

In the end, the skydivers out there today are not all the same as they used to be. If you want the market to be what it is today, you need the volume to support the planes and gear manufacturers. If you want to 'thin the herd' the whole sport will have to thin out as well.

So here we are, and now we have to deal with what we've created. There is a segment of our population that is not up to the par of days past. The only reason they survive is because of the system that created them. If you want to change that system, great, I'm all for it. Until that happens, we have to support the 'children' we created.

Al Frisby, in an interview with Skydiving magazine, once said "We're promising them Disneyland, but we're delivering Death Valley'. This was right around the time Point Break came out, and the business was booming. You had every shithead who saw the movie showing up at the DZ so they could back out of the Otter and say, 'Adios amigo!', which was fine, but the sport wasn't set up for every shithead who could buy a movie ticket. That's what Al was talking about.

Now we're set up for all of those shitheads, and as long as they're on the DZ, we have to account for them. By all means, try to train everyone to be the well informed, self sufficient, thinking skydiver that you want to have between you and the door, but as long as the skydiving environment remains 'friendly' and 'PC', that training isn't going to stick to all of them.

I have no idea how to fix this, by the way.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Feb 6, 2010, 4:58 PM
Post #77 of 146 (808 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

Ron? Is that you?


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Feb 6, 2010, 6:10 PM
Post #78 of 146 (799 views)
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Re: [davelepka] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

I think climbing passes make much more of a difference when you're talking about a multiple otter DZ like mine. When you've got a couple of planes running back to back it has more of an affect on operations to have a level and cut pass.

As far as the "things aren't what they used to be", the genie is out of the bottle now, you can't put it back in. Coddling people in everything they do, won't make them stronger or better skydivers, it'll make them weaker and in more need of support.

I don't know where the line is (especially considering that I did tandem progression so apparently I'm at the bottom of the 'real man' barrel) but we're not going to hit bottom for a while if we're going to go down the path to dumb everything down to the point that we need someone to tell us HOW we get out of the plan because we can't figure it out.

I'm in favor of no climbing passes for anyone who doesn't have a D license (n.b. I have a C) if that's what it takes. People will aspire to that and look, we have something to say you need D for then!


kallend  (D 23151)

Feb 6, 2010, 8:16 PM
Post #79 of 146 (788 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
The skydiver is not responsible for the plane and its remaining occupants. The PIC is responsible for the plane and its remaining occupants and should fly the plane in a way that minimizes the possibility of a tailstrike.

Every skydiver on every load has a responsibility to keep the aircraft as safe as possible for those still onboard, including the pilot. This means your gear is maintained so that when you climb out (on any type of exit) gear is not extracted possibly damaging the a/c. It means you minimize the amount of weight you shift to the tail as the plane slows down. Etc, etc.

The FAA places the burden clearly on the PIC. That's what the "IC" part means.

In reply to:


Kallend, you make it sound as if the skydivers can get in the plane and do whatever they want, because its only the pilots job to keep the aircraft safe. This is a patently poor way of thinking, and I hope does not truly reflect your attitude towards aircraft safety.


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Nope - skydivers must do their part. However, skydivers are not given command responsibility for the safety flight of the A/C, the PIC is. That would include configuring the A/C to minimize the possibility that some jumper having a brain fart will take out the horizontal stabilizer.


(This post was edited by kallend on Feb 6, 2010, 8:19 PM)


fasted3  (D 30104)

Feb 6, 2010, 8:39 PM
Post #80 of 146 (783 views)
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Re: [kallend] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Nope - skydivers must do their part. However, skydivers are not given command responsibility for the safety flight of the A/C, the PIC is. That would include configuring the A/C to minimize the possibility that some jumper having a brain fart will take out the horizontal stabilizer.

So would a pilot be justified in banning wingsuits, given that they increase the posibility of a tail strike?
If a wingsuiter hits the tail, is that the pilot's fault?


jacketsdb23  (D 29802)

Feb 6, 2010, 9:32 PM
Post #81 of 146 (777 views)
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I don't understand what the big deal is?

Cut and level the plane for hop n' pops. Seems simple.

I too have jumped from the king air on a climbing low pass. It was done safely, but a level plane is more safe. I've seen the same plane level out for a more inexperienced jumpers.

With that being said, I don't care if the plane is leveled out or not...but it seems leveling it out is a safe option and costs little. If there is a cost impact, raise the price. This practice won't put a DZ out of business and is a safer option independent of jumper education and knowledge.

USPA would be smart to take a position that says leveling off the plane and reducing power is the proper configuration for exiting the aircraft.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Feb 7, 2010, 12:25 AM
Post #82 of 146 (769 views)
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Re: [kallend] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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The FAA places the burden clearly on the PIC. That's what the "IC" part means.
In reply to:


Really?? The FAA came out to our dz after a jumper was injured on a tail strike, did a thorough investigation, and did not fault the pilot at all. The authorities were satisfied that the PIC was flying the plane in accordance with all the FAR's and the manufacturer's restrictions. Therefore, the FAA places the responsiblity for the exit of a licensed, experienced skydiver solely on the skydiver.

According to Jan Meyer's mathematics, the critical factor on an exit is if someone jumps up or not. So, lets hear from pilots out there: would you rather be controlling a plane with possible damage to the tail section climbing under power, or level and cut?

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popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 7, 2010, 6:16 AM
Post #83 of 146 (762 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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... the safety of the plane is everybody's business who is on the plane - the pilot, the jumpers, the guy doing the climbing-pass exit.
Can't argue with that. It's a far cry from your original focus of the responsibility being on the jumper and not the pilot but there you have it.

I'm sorry guy, but expecting 30,000+ people to follow rules and safety guidelines is NOT realistic. It's more realistic to expect pilots to do that.

You've heard it...You can't fix stupidity. You gotta admit there are some less-than-smart people out here jumping out of airplanes and quality of training has nothing to do with it.

In reply to:
I just think that micromanaging jump runs and exits is categorically not the business of USPA.
The point here is that, yes, USPA is in the business of safety and aircraft orientation on exit is a safety issue.
If nothing else, leveling the plane will make it harder for the stupid to hurt themselves and possibly you, too.

In a nutshell, idealism is cool, but it's not realistic.

Might I suggest tasking a breather for re-evaluating your thoughts?


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 7, 2010, 6:23 AM
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Re: [davelepka] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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...Nobody 'fails' a level, they just 'do not pass' (don't want to hurt their feelings), and it's not unheard of for jumpers to repeat levels over and over again, yet the instructors support them, hold their hands, and tell them everything will be OK.

<hijack>
Damn, Dave. You're one of those hardliners aren't you?
Your statement tells me that you focus on the negative instead of the positive.

Man, it's NOT about hurting feelings...it's about encouraging success. This is not anything like no score-keeping in little league. Please don't confuse it with that silliness.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 7, 2010, 6:34 AM
Post #85 of 146 (756 views)
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Re: [riggerpaul] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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...Recently, I came to the realization that we are trying to fix this problem absolutely ass backwards.

We should make demonstrating a safe climbing low tail side door exit technique an "A" license requirement....

...The very best time to teach this skill would be right at the end of the primary training, AFF, IAD, whatever.

Tongue-in-cheek, was it?

Instructors should be teaching that stuff already with the A-license hop and pop requirement.

In reply to:
But, at the same time, admit that we are not training the jumper adequately, and fix that problem too.
Put me on-board with that. It's going to be rowing uphill trying to get that done, though. Too much stuff has been going on that dilutes the quality of training students get. Sheer massive numbers of Instructors and Course Directors is one cause.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Feb 7, 2010, 6:59 AM
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As far as the "things aren't what they used to be", the genie is out of the bottle now, you can't put it back in. Coddling people in everything they do, won't make them stronger or better skydivers, it'll make them weaker and in more need of support.

Right, which is why I advocate proper training for all skydivers. But even if you start today, and train every skydiver to be alert, aware, and self sufficient, you still have a generation of jumpers who are 'less than'.

We promised these jumpers Disneyland, and until they quit the sport, we have a responsibility to provide that. They were 'brought up' in an environment where everyone was reminded to keep their arms and hands inside the car at all times on every jump, and we have to continue on that way.

Change is good, and chnage should happen, but it's not instantaneous. It will take time to implement change, and even more time for it to 'trickle down' (up?) and leave a nice even coat on all surfaces.


kallend  (D 23151)

Feb 7, 2010, 7:01 AM
Post #87 of 146 (748 views)
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Re: [fasted3] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
Nope - skydivers must do their part. However, skydivers are not given command responsibility for the safety flight of the A/C, the PIC is. That would include configuring the A/C to minimize the possibility that some jumper having a brain fart will take out the horizontal stabilizer.

So would a pilot be justified in banning wingsuits, given that they increase the posibility of a tail strike?
If a wingsuiter hits the tail, is that the pilot's fault?

A camera suit is just a wingsuit with small wings. I've seen a very very experienced cameraman hit the tail of a Caravan during a 120 way (at X-Keys in 2003).

Since hitting the tail IS possible if jumper makes an imperfect exit, and has happened in the past, I agree with the USPA ad on this issue.


(This post was edited by kallend on Feb 7, 2010, 7:16 AM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Feb 7, 2010, 7:05 AM
Post #88 of 146 (745 views)
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In reply to:
The FAA places the burden clearly on the PIC. That's what the "IC" part means.
In reply to:


Really?? The FAA came out to our dz after a jumper was injured on a tail strike, did a thorough investigation, and did not fault the pilot at all. The authorities were satisfied that the PIC was flying the plane in accordance with all the FAR's and the manufacturer's restrictions.

The pilot is responsible for conducting the flight in a safe manner - which in this case would include configuring the plane appropriately for the exit. Doesn't mean the pilot is AT FAULT for everything that happens.

Was the plane climbing at the time, or flying level? Did the FAA sanction the jumper by suspending his certificate? --- oh, waitTongue


(This post was edited by kallend on Feb 7, 2010, 7:25 AM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Feb 7, 2010, 7:19 AM
Post #89 of 146 (738 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
...Recently, I came to the realization that we are trying to fix this problem absolutely ass backwards.

We should make demonstrating a safe climbing low tail side door exit technique an "A" license requirement....

...The very best time to teach this skill would be right at the end of the primary training, AFF, IAD, whatever.

Tongue-in-cheek, was it?

Instructors should be teaching that stuff already with the A-license hop and pop requirement.

A "hop" is just a one legged jump. Perhaps we should start calling them "drop and pop" in case students get the wrong ideaWink


(This post was edited by kallend on Feb 7, 2010, 7:20 AM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Feb 7, 2010, 7:22 AM
Post #90 of 146 (735 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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Damn, Dave. You're one of those hardliners aren't you?
Your statement tells me that you focus on the negative instead of the positive.

Man, it's NOT about hurting feelings...it's about encouraging success. This is not anything like no score-keeping in little league. Please don't confuse it with that silliness.

There's a degree of hardliner there, but I'm not a full fledged member of the dark side.

I'm all for encouraging people, and I'm all for giving people an opportunity to be people. People make mistakes, and people learn at different rates.

However, when it comes to not using the F word to describe what is, in actuallity, a failure, I think does more of a dis-service to the student than not.

These are adults were training here, and they are being trained to operate in an environment where there is real danger and real consequences for failure, and they should be treated as such. Part of being a skydiver is knowing how to 'act' (physically) like a skydiver, arching, pulling, flaring, etc. The other part is teaching people to think like a skydiver, being alert, organized, disciplined, and managing risk.

Anyone who would react poorly to being told they failed a level is not the sort of person I want in between me and the door of any jumpship. If you cannot accept the use of the correct term, 'fail', how can you be expected to deal with the other, far more harsh, realities of skydiving?

How do they react when their canopy 'tells' them they are having a malfunction?

How do they react when their situation 'tells' them they are getting backed up into the treeline?

There's no 'soft sell' when it comes to things going wrong in skydiving, so there shouldn't be one when things go wrong during skydiving training either.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Feb 7, 2010, 7:34 AM
Post #91 of 146 (737 views)
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In reply to:
Instructors should be teaching that stuff already with the A-license hop and pop requirement.

A "hop" is just a one legged jump. Perhaps we should start calling them "drop and pop" in case students get the wrong ideaWink

Back in the Bronze Age we called them "clear & pull". But that just wouldn't be vogue now.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Feb 7, 2010, 8:40 AM
Post #92 of 146 (725 views)
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I have no idea how to fix this, by the way.

A clear admission that there is a problem might help some.

Considering the ad that started all this discussion, USPA should have been clear that the jumper made at least as big an error as any the pilot made.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Feb 7, 2010, 9:02 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
...Recently, I came to the realization that we are trying to fix this problem absolutely ass backwards.

We should make demonstrating a safe climbing low tail side door exit technique an "A" license requirement....

...The very best time to teach this skill would be right at the end of the primary training, AFF, IAD, whatever.

Tongue-in-cheek, was it?

Instructors should be teaching that stuff already with the A-license hop and pop requirement.

In reply to:
But, at the same time, admit that we are not training the jumper adequately, and fix that problem too.
Put me on-board with that. It's going to be rowing uphill trying to get that done, though. Too much stuff has been going on that dilutes the quality of training students get. Sheer massive numbers of Instructors and Course Directors is one cause.

Not tongue-in-cheek at all. That hop'n'pop is worthless for this as it seems to commonly be done.

The student is most likely to get a nice jumprun with a cut and flaps and no special considerations needed.

No, not tongue-in-cheek. I'm talking about a climbing low tail exit so they can see how low the tail is and understand that they must take care not to hit it. Make it like "The pilot just said GET OUT NOW. Here's what you've got to deal with. Here's how you do it right."


davelepka  (D 21448)

Feb 7, 2010, 9:48 AM
Post #94 of 146 (712 views)
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A clear admission that there is a problem might help some.


A problem? It depends who you ask.

The USPA certainly doesn't have a problem with making skydiving more accessible to the general public. Membership (and dues $) are up, and the more DZs that it can support only makes for even more members. Gear manufacturers and DZOs, likewise, have no problem with catering to a wider audience.

The trouble is that we are running out of 'safety nets' for people who shouldn't be skydiving. Today it's the climbing low pass. Let's get rid of that, and then we won't have a fatality or paralyzed jumper every couple of years.

Sooner or later we're going to make skydiving as safe as it can ever be. Equipment, airplanes, policies, and procedures will all be as good as they will ever be, maybe even 'perfect'. However, you still have the individual jumper up there, making decisions on their own, where the USPA, engineers from Cessna and DeHaviland, and Bill Booth cannot help them. Maybe that's where the 'talent pool' of jumpers will find it's own level.

Of course that level will be a far cry from the 'personal responsibility' that many seem to be crowing for today. It will be a reflection of the hand-holding, nanny state (thanks Robin) that we will have created. The solution, of course, is to stop that, and get back to the reality of this which is that you have to be personally responsible for yourself, or something is going to bite you, be it a climbing low pass or otherwise.

That's all just pie-in-the-sky talk. What we actually have to deal with now are the jumpers currently in AC across the country, and you just can't trust every single one of them to do the right thing, so we have to pull the power and push the nose over. For now.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Feb 7, 2010, 9:53 AM
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[replyWas the plane climbing at the time, or flying level? Did the FAA sanction the jumper by suspending his certificate? --- oh, waitTongue
Full power climb. I talked to the FAA safety officer about this incident a little while ago, and he placed 100% of the blame on the jumper, not the pilot.

Think about the "load line" in some planes where a jumper cannot be aft of during flight. There is always some dickhead who has to plop down behind it even after they have been told to stay forward of it repeatedly. It is the PIC's responsibility to keep the plane in its weight and balance limits, but it ends up being those of us on the load moving the errant skydiver forward. So the next logical step would be to get planes that do not have a way for skydivers to put the plane out of cg. Do we then get planes that do not have propellers? That don't need stairs? When does it stop?

If we were really interested in improving everyone's survivability in this sport, we would ban small canopies, hook turns, and turf surfing. I see the issue of "climbing pass" as being very low on the priority list of things that can injure/kill the average skydiver. (Not wanting to hijack thread!)

I think getting this discussion happening has brought it tnto many jumpers minds and that is a good thing. Hopefully, more jumpers will look/think before they leap!

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Andy9o8  (D License)

Feb 7, 2010, 11:02 AM
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Full power climb. I talked to the FAA safety officer about this incident a little while ago, and he placed 100% of the blame on the jumper, not the pilot.

And that's one person's opinion. That doesn't mean that it's the only one, or even necessarily the best one. If it was, then threads like this would be 3 posts long, and done.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Feb 7, 2010, 9:19 PM
Post #97 of 146 (659 views)
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In reply to:
Full power climb. I talked to the FAA safety officer about this incident a little while ago, and he placed 100% of the blame on the jumper, not the pilot.

And that's one person's opinion. That doesn't mean that it's the only one, or even necessarily the best one. If it was, then threads like this would be 3 posts long, and done.

Yes, but it was one that counted!

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diablopilot  (D License)

Feb 7, 2010, 9:27 PM
Post #98 of 146 (657 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA Safety Day advertisement [In reply to] Can't Post

Be advised.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Feb 7, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Be advised.

LOL!


robinheid  (D 5533)

Feb 8, 2010, 11:41 AM
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The trouble is that we are running out of 'safety nets' for people who shouldn't be skydiving. Today it's the climbing low pass. Let's get rid of that, and then we won't have a fatality or paralyzed jumper every couple of years.

Maybe a better way than making safety nets for people who shouldn't be skydiving is to, uhhhh, not let them skydive?

There's been criticism on this thread about drop zone owners putting the dollar ahead of safety by doing climbing passes, but it seems to me that the larger problem of putting safety ahead of the dollar is coddling and making "safety nets" for people who shouldn't be skydiving instead of, once again, taking the simplest - and safest route by telling them point-blank that they shouldn't be skydiving.

This is perhaps the most bizarre and pervasive disconnect in sport parachuting today; it is a fact that to successfully skydive you need to be a little braver, a little more physically capable, a little more alert and aware than the average bear - and yet we support a governing association that creates and perpetuates a training system designed to get even far-below-average bears to shell out thousands so that they can skydive.

And that is, in fact, the genesis of AFF, which was founded on Ken Coleman's premise that if you had an instructor on each side of the student, then "anybody can make a skydive."

Well, maybe "anybody" can indeed make a skydive under constant, hand-holding supervision at all times, but what happens after we quit holding their hands?

A sport in need of "safety nets" to extend the hand-holding to protect people... who... shouldn't... be... skydiving... in... the... first... place.

So now it's being proposed that our liberty be further curtailed (as DZOs and individual jumpers) to provide "safety nets" for these people who shouldn't be skydiving in the first place - along with accompanying bureaucracy and the economic brakes and additional liability exposure it imposes on DZs.

The logical extension of this "safety net" mentality, however, is the ultimate banning of sport parachuting by government because it's too dangerous to provide a "safety net" for everyone who wants to do it -- because, no matter how safe we make the gear and the operations, people can still die or get hurt doing it, so not only do we need to ban climbing passes, but aircraft exits of all kinds. You know, zero exits, zero skydiving fatalities. (And if you think I'm exaggerating about that mentality, check out the Craighead brothers' report on NPS bear management in Yellowstone. The NPS actively tried to kill off the bears it was supposed to protect because the bears were attacking people and the bureaucratic mentality was: Zero bears, zero bear maulings.)

In reply to:
The solution, of course, is to stop that, and get back to the reality of this which is that you have to be personally responsible for yourself, or something is going to bite you, be it a climbing low pass or otherwise.

+ 1

In reply to:
That's all just pie-in-the-sky talk. What we actually have to deal with now are the jumpers currently in AC across the country, and you just can't trust every single one of them to do the right thing, so we have to pull the power and push the nose over. For now.

- 10

"For now" reminds me of all those "temporary tax increases" politicians impose "for now" - to get past a supposedly transitory problem, but which then get extended, over and over again into perpetuity.

Finally, "trust(ing) every single one of them to do the right thing" on exit is a bogus premise: We don't need to "trust" them; we need to remind them.

And it really isn't that hard. My 3-year-old knows that she must stop before she crosses a street and look both ways to make sure it's safe. She even knows a little video jingle by heart:

STOP before you cross the street.
LOOK before you move your feet.
STOP before you cross the street.
LOOK left and right!

But just because she knows the jingle doesn't mean we don't remind her what she's supposed to do when she gets to a street.

So it seems to me that instead of imposing "safety nets" and deeper bureaucracy and more liability exposure on sport parachuting, we should just remind the 3-year-olds to do the aerial equivalent of looking both ways before they cross the street:

LOOK before you leave the door.
SEE the tail, don't ignore.
LOOK before you leave the door.
DON'T hit the tail!

Seriously, everyone on this thread arguing for a climbing pass ban is basically accepting - and trying to put bandaids on - a system that "passes" people through AFF training who can't think at a 3-year-old level.

So it seems to me that we need to think less about power settings and pitch angles and more about who we're letting on the airplanes.

Cool


(This post was edited by robinheid on Feb 8, 2010, 12:34 PM)


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