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USPA and the canopy issue

 

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theonlyski  (D License)

Oct 22, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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So, lots of factors can be considered... I fail to see how early eduction is a bad thing.

I never said it was a bad thing, only that, according to the USPA's numbers, most of the fatalities have been by people with 400+ jumps.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 22, 2010, 10:59 AM
Post #252 of 285 (880 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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So, lots of factors can be considered... I fail to see how early eduction is a bad thing.

I never said it was a bad thing, only that, according to the USPA's numbers, most of the fatalities have been by people with 400+ jumps.

Since a "D" requires (at least) 500 jumps, I submit that making advanced canopy flight a "D" license prerequisite is the way to go.


theonlyski  (D License)

Oct 22, 2010, 11:02 AM
Post #253 of 285 (875 views)
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Re: [kallend] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
In reply to:
So, lots of factors can be considered... I fail to see how early eduction is a bad thing.

I never said it was a bad thing, only that, according to the USPA's numbers, most of the fatalities have been by people with 400+ jumps.

Since a "D" requires (at least) 500 jumps, I submit that making advanced canopy flight a "D" license prerequisite is the way to go.

What do you consider advanced? What does the USPA consider advanced?


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Oct 22, 2010, 11:36 AM
Post #254 of 285 (868 views)
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Re: [kallend] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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Since a "D" requires (at least) 500 jumps, I submit that making advanced canopy flight a "D" license prerequisite is the way to go.

Very true, but lets put it in earlier at the "C" level so they have practiced it before the "D" level.

So many are playing with the advanced canopy landings at that jump number range maybe this will help to motivate them to get the training.

Matt


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 22, 2010, 6:21 PM
Post #255 of 285 (827 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Looks like most of those fatalities were with people that have more than 400-500 jumps

Granted, and were those people born with 400-500 jumps, or were they, at one time, new and impressionable jumpers? Were they introduced to, or trained in, a skydiving environment where canopy skill, usage, and selection was viewed as being a 'big deal', or was it more of a relaxed attitude where the training was minimal, and the oversight in terms of gear selection non-existant?

This is a long term problem we are trying to solve. It's been well over a decade in the making to get to where we are right now. There may not be any solution that will produce 'quick' results, as you may not be able to fix a long term problem quickly at all.

If we start today, and train each student in a different environemnt, where we explain importance of canopy piloting and selection, we back that up by mandating meaningful training and conseravtive oversight in terms of gear selection, and in 4 or 5 years, those students will be the jumpers with 400 or 500 jumps, and they will have been introduced to a skydiving environment where it's 'cool' to have a reasonable WL, and to stay at that loading for a fair number of jumps.

Minimum pull altitudes come to mind as a fair comaprison. Low pulls, what used to be considered a plain old 'good time', and was seen as a right of any jumper to partake in or not, has now become uncool and taboo on the DZ. Jumpers who engage in low pulls are looked at as reckless and a danger to the community.

Just like the status quo of low pulls has shifted completely, so can the status of jumpers who ignore safe canopy piloting practices, and rush into high WL or high performance canopies.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
Moderator
Oct 23, 2010, 11:40 PM
Post #256 of 285 (777 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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If there is to be a mandated course to pass people off for HP canopies or high wingloadings, it would require a consistent evaluative process vs an opinion.

And I know people that never learned to pack, never did water training...etc.

Just because some people break the rules does not mean the process is flawed.

If the consistent evaluative process were not observed, we're right back to "my buddy is pretty good, and he's my buddy, so I should sign him off and let him get his D regardless of how badly he flies, how often he S turns in the pattern, and regardless of how many times he's turned 180's in the student landing area...."

Without a consistent baseline, it's all subjective so there may as well not be any sign-off in the first place.


crotalus01  (B 28932)

Oct 24, 2010, 1:42 AM
Post #257 of 285 (771 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

And exactly how is this different than, say, going through AFF with your two buddies as your AFF-Is? "well, hes our buddy, and his forward motion wasnt all that bad, yeah he tracked in a circle and I had to put his hand on his hackey but...."
Maybe a bit extreme example (or maybe not since we have all seen folks that should not be jumping that have As or better), but most everything is subjective when it comes to performance evaluation.
Unless you come up with a system that has checks of the checks that the Instructors do this is always going to be a (potential) issue. The Good Ole Boy network is not run by just two or three people...


(This post was edited by crotalus01 on Oct 24, 2010, 1:46 AM)


crotalus01  (B 28932)

Oct 24, 2010, 2:00 AM
Post #258 of 285 (767 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
In terms of more advanced jumpers, that where a jump number based limitation of wing loading and canopy type into play. If you can keep jumpers on a conservative WL and canopy type through 400 or 500 jumps, they will have time to develop the experience to better handle higher performance canopies and make better choices while doing so.

According to the USPA:
Quote:
Intentional Low Turns—43 fatalities, typically jumpers with several hundred jumps or more trying to swoop. Number of jumps: Mean is 1,489. Median: 1,000

Canopy Collisions—38 fatalities, some caused by being too close on deployment but most are collisions at pattern altitudes. High-performance approaches resulting in striking slower-flying canopies are on the rise. Number of jumps: Mean is 1,490. Median: 850

Unintentional Low Turns—32 fatalities, typically trying to turn into the wind or avoid an obstacle. Number of jumps: Mean is 706. Median: 200

Landing Problems—32 fatalities, mostly striking obstacles and bad landings, many are related to off-field landings. Number of jumps: Mean is 1,419. Median: 450

Low cutaway/low reserve deployment—13 fatalities, many of the low-cutaway fatalities involved higher wing-loaded canopies where a great deal of altitude was lost in a short time under a spinning main canopy. Number of jumps: Mean is 922. Median: 96

Looks like most of those fatalities were with people that have more than 400-500 jumps. (going by median jump numbers) with the means showing it happening much more to higher jump numbers.


I have yet to see this honestly and objectively addressed on these forums. The data seems to say that it is the experienced jumpers that are killing themselves under small canopies, despite all the worries about Joe Blow jumping a 1.5 w/l at 300 jumps, or Johnny Public jumping a Stiletto 190 at 200 jumps.


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 24, 2010, 12:33 PM
Post #259 of 285 (730 views)
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Re: [ianmdrennan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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I'd make it an S&TA instead of an instructor.

To play devils advocate;
I know of one S&TA that was tossed off a DZ (with video support) for being a safety hazard in multiple instances.

A different S&TA passively participated in an event that ultimately let to a fatality.

Counting on a USPA appointee doesn't offer any fundamental security.

If there is to be a mandated course to pass people off for HP canopies or high wingloadings, it would require a consistent evaluative process vs an opinion.

Agreed. I'm sure there are many S&TA's out there who are good, but I've known more than one that was a danger to themselves and everyone else.

Being a S&TA doesn't make someone an authority on canopy flight (or anything for that matter).

Ian

I find this a rather disturbing admission. Effectively one of our self-regulation mechanisms is acknowledged to be failing. This could lead to the FAA deciding that perhaps we should not self-regulate if we cannot do it effectively.


Ron

Oct 24, 2010, 2:38 PM
Post #260 of 285 (714 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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Without a consistent baseline, it's all subjective so there may as well not be any sign-off in the first place.

There is a difference between a "mandated course" and "a consistent baseline".


Ron

Oct 24, 2010, 2:50 PM
Post #261 of 285 (715 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The data seems to say that it is the experienced jumpers that are killing themselves under small canopies, despite all the worries about Joe Blow jumping a 1.5 w/l at 300 jumps, or Johnny Public jumping a Stiletto 190 at 200 jumps.

Maybe because so many people bitch at and about the 200 jump person under a 1.5 that it just does not happen that much.

Sample size has a lot to do with things.

Look at it this way.... Say only three guys have 100 jumps and a 1.5 WL. but all three go in. There might be 1000 jumpers that have 1000 jumps and 10 go in. That is going to skew the numbers to look like the 1000 jump wonder is the danger.... But the 100 jump guys with a 1.5 has a 100% fatality rate in this example vs the 1% rate for the other guys.

Also, a lot of folks do not start hook turning till 200-300 jumps. So that is going to skew the numbers. Example: Take a look at the jump number of instructors that die. Well, since most folks need 400ish jumps to get an instructor rating.... that does not mean than a guy with 200 jumps would be safer as an instructor.

The data given is nice and a good data point... But incomplete. That does not mean it should be ignored, but it should not be taken as the only important point.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 24, 2010, 3:58 PM
Post #262 of 285 (707 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In terms of more advanced jumpers, that where a jump number based limitation of wing loading and canopy type into play. If you can keep jumpers on a conservative WL and canopy type through 400 or 500 jumps, they will have time to develop the experience to better handle higher performance canopies and make better choices while doing so.

According to the USPA:
Quote:
Intentional Low Turns—43 fatalities, typically jumpers with several hundred jumps or more trying to swoop. Number of jumps: Mean is 1,489. Median: 1,000

Canopy Collisions—38 fatalities, some caused by being too close on deployment but most are collisions at pattern altitudes. High-performance approaches resulting in striking slower-flying canopies are on the rise. Number of jumps: Mean is 1,490. Median: 850

Unintentional Low Turns—32 fatalities, typically trying to turn into the wind or avoid an obstacle. Number of jumps: Mean is 706. Median: 200

Landing Problems—32 fatalities, mostly striking obstacles and bad landings, many are related to off-field landings. Number of jumps: Mean is 1,419. Median: 450

Low cutaway/low reserve deployment—13 fatalities, many of the low-cutaway fatalities involved higher wing-loaded canopies where a great deal of altitude was lost in a short time under a spinning main canopy. Number of jumps: Mean is 922. Median: 96

Looks like most of those fatalities were with people that have more than 400-500 jumps. (going by median jump numbers) with the means showing it happening much more to higher jump numbers.


I have yet to see this honestly and objectively addressed on these forums. The data seems to say that it is the experienced jumpers that are killing themselves under small canopies, despite all the worries about Joe Blow jumping a 1.5 w/l at 300 jumps, or Johnny Public jumping a Stiletto 190 at 200 jumps.

That point has been made repeatedly since around 2003, but the fans of more regulation still haven't addressed it.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
Moderator
Oct 24, 2010, 11:30 PM
Post #263 of 285 (671 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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Without a consistent baseline, it's all subjective so there may as well not be any sign-off in the first place.

There is a difference between a "mandated course" and "a consistent baseline".

"Mandated"=requisite up-training/advanced canopy training prior to achieving a C or D license (or whatever else better option) I don't feel licensing is the best direction but I also don't have a better solution to offer.

"Consistent Baseline"=everyone participating in the training meets the same evaluation standard as opposed to S&TA, DZO, or handsome single guy passing off their buddy or cute chica.


Ron

Oct 25, 2010, 6:39 AM
Post #264 of 285 (647 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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"Mandated"=requisite up-training/advanced canopy training prior to achieving a C or D license (or whatever else better option) I don't feel licensing is the best direction but I also don't have a better solution to offer.

"Consistent Baseline"=everyone participating in the training meets the same evaluation standard as opposed to S&TA, DZO, or handsome single guy passing off their buddy or cute chica.

Exactly.... They are different. If you have a problem with the S&TA doing things they should not be doing, then it is more an issue with the S&TA process than anything else.

When you are a pilot and want to fly a HP plane. You can have an instructor sign you off for HP flight. If an Inst is just pencil whipping for his buddies... that is an issue with that Inst, not the process that works 99% of the time.

Just look at Section 61.31(f) of the FARs. This seems to work in aviation, why would it not work in skydiving?


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Oct 25, 2010, 7:03 AM
Post #265 of 285 (638 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

(ii) Received a one-time endorsement in the pilot's logbook from an authorized instructor who certifies the person is proficient to operate a high-performance airplane.



Open up the liability, lawsuit issue now. If an S&TA signs this now his ratings, qualifications, experience, skydiving history, background all become party to the first lawsuit and discoverable because Johnny Q decides to hook in. I do like the idea though. Maybe note saying they are proficient but they have been educated would help.


(This post was edited by Para5-0 on Oct 25, 2010, 7:04 AM)


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 25, 2010, 7:12 AM
Post #266 of 285 (631 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

As someone who has responded several times on this thread, it was ironic this past weekend to watch, while on my downwind final, at about 200 feet, another canopy hooking it in in front of me. I knew he didn't have enough altitude to make it and he ended up just breaking (I think) his femur as he tumbled with the wind at his back.

Most people were landing into the wind as it was fairly steady, but this individual decided to hook it, in the designated LZ. Luckily, he was the only injury.

I was told later that management had spoken to this person 3 times in the past week and he was still acting as if he was the only on at the DZ. Until people are either banned or sat down for a month or two, this activity will continue. But not by him!


Ron

Oct 25, 2010, 7:21 AM
Post #267 of 285 (626 views)
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Re: [danornan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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I was told later that management had spoken to this person 3 times in the past week and he was still acting as if he was the only on at the DZ. Until people are either banned or sat down for a month or two, this activity will continue. But not by him!

I agree... Remember I had said:

1. Educate
2. Warn
3. Ban

Can you tell us his jump#, WL etc?


beowulf  (C License)

Oct 25, 2010, 7:26 AM
Post #268 of 285 (623 views)
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Re: [danornan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I think things like this are not so much an educational problem as they are a personality problem. I have met the occaisonal self described "natural" who is not interested in advanced canopy classes and would not benefit from any class due to their ego. It seems that these people can only learn through severe pain and we can either ground them and hope they learn or hope they femur and don't take anyone out in the process. All this talk about mandatory advanced canopy class will help those willing to learn, but will do nothing for those who believe they are "naturals".


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 25, 2010, 7:32 AM
Post #269 of 285 (620 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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Quote:
I was told later that management had spoken to this person 3 times in the past week and he was still acting as if he was the only on at the DZ. Until people are either banned or sat down for a month or two, this activity will continue. But not by him!

I agree... Remember I had said:

1. Educate
2. Warn
3. Ban

Can you tell us his jump#, WL etc?

He is visiting Z-Hills from another country and I don't know him personally or have answers to your question. Maybe someone from Z-Hills can give you an accurate answer.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 25, 2010, 9:33 AM
Post #270 of 285 (584 views)
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Re: [kallend] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In terms of more advanced jumpers, that where a jump number based limitation of wing loading and canopy type into play. If you can keep jumpers on a conservative WL and canopy type through 400 or 500 jumps, they will have time to develop the experience to better handle higher performance canopies and make better choices while doing so.

According to the USPA:
Quote:
Intentional Low Turns—43 fatalities, typically jumpers with several hundred jumps or more trying to swoop. Number of jumps: Mean is 1,489. Median: 1,000

Canopy Collisions—38 fatalities, some caused by being too close on deployment but most are collisions at pattern altitudes. High-performance approaches resulting in striking slower-flying canopies are on the rise. Number of jumps: Mean is 1,490. Median: 850

Unintentional Low Turns—32 fatalities, typically trying to turn into the wind or avoid an obstacle. Number of jumps: Mean is 706. Median: 200

Landing Problems—32 fatalities, mostly striking obstacles and bad landings, many are related to off-field landings. Number of jumps: Mean is 1,419. Median: 450

Low cutaway/low reserve deployment—13 fatalities, many of the low-cutaway fatalities involved higher wing-loaded canopies where a great deal of altitude was lost in a short time under a spinning main canopy. Number of jumps: Mean is 922. Median: 96

Looks like most of those fatalities were with people that have more than 400-500 jumps. (going by median jump numbers) with the means showing it happening much more to higher jump numbers.


I have yet to see this honestly and objectively addressed on these forums. The data seems to say that it is the experienced jumpers that are killing themselves under small canopies, despite all the worries about Joe Blow jumping a 1.5 w/l at 300 jumps, or Johnny Public jumping a Stiletto 190 at 200 jumps.

That point has been made repeatedly since around 2003, but the fans of more regulation still haven't addressed it.

First, something needs to change, we all know that.

Second, are we getting accurate data? We only get the data on fatalities, or sometimes serious injuries, so it is difficult to see how many non-fatal incidents people with various numbers are involved in. A low timer may have a canopy collision, but because of the low wingload and higher opening altitude, it produces a cutaway and reserve deployment, not any injuries.

Third, we need to recognize there are two types of canopy collisions- those right at or just after opening, and those in the pattern (down to landing). Seperating that data would be more instructive, as we would see if we are having group seperation issues or pattern issues or both.

Fourth, I would much rather see more education and less regulation. As each person becomes better educated as to the dangers, they become self-regulating and less reliant on someone watching out for them.

How about a different canopy course required for a B, C, and D license?

top


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
Moderator
Oct 25, 2010, 10:10 AM
Post #271 of 285 (578 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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How about a different canopy course required for a B, C, and D license?

top

I would be in favor of this direction, but then you're back to "mandated/regulatory" vs mere "education."
Some folks don't seem to like that idea.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 25, 2010, 1:58 PM
Post #272 of 285 (553 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:

How about a different canopy course required for a B, C, and D license?

top

I would be in favor of this direction, but then you're back to "mandated/regulatory" vs mere "education."
Some folks don't seem to like that idea.

Just trying to make education more palatable- Smaller bites. You don't need to know about highly wingloaded elipticals as you get a B license, and you may not need a refresher on F-111 300's as you get a D license. Different levels have different skill requirements.

top


Fast  (D 28237)

Oct 26, 2010, 9:54 AM
Post #273 of 285 (481 views)
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Re: [DocPop] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to say that I am surprised by the fact that the comments regarding S&TA's as being an unreliable source of control for some of this stuff has skated by. I really don't like the concept that "some S&TAs are a danger to themselves." If that's the case, how can we expect things to be working at all? The S&TA is supposed to be the person on the dropzone helping to give order to how a student program works, what is safe and expected on the dropzone and when "enough is enough" for a person and they need to sit down.

If the S&TA themselves is dangerous how on earth can we expect them to do those things. That is somewhat a different conversation, but I feel as if it ties into this one. We are having an issue here where the concern is if people are getting the education that they need. If the person on the dropzone responsible for ensuring that is happening is not qualified... then what?

This comes back to the issue that someone else pointed out. USPA isn't much into doing any sort of enforcement. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I do know that the mentality of a lot of jumpers is that "skydiving is supposed to be dangerous" and most people don't like any form of rules whatsoever, but where do we draw the line. I feel bad having to ground someone or yell at them for doing something dumb, but what else am I supposed to do? I don't have an answer to that.

It just keeps coming back around to "required" education. If we can at least get people the basic knowledge that they are going to need at a gradual and increasing pace after getting their first license we are both educating them and showing them that "this is the way we do things" around here. The message now seems to be more along the lines of "you know enough to survive, well help you if you want otherwise figure it out on your own" and that's exactly what a lot of people do. I had someone on my dz this year decide he was going to start learning to swoop on his own, it wasn't long before bruises and sore spots and a rough landing changed that concept. There are plenty of things that those of us with experience can teach people how to do, but giving them an A license and turning them loose on the world and just handing them higher and higher licenses w/o much in the way of additional learning doesn't encourage them to ask for help.

I also think that fixing this problem isn't going to happen overnight. We need to get the training infrastructure in place at dropzones around the country and then start working in the requirements. It would allow us to avoid having to constantly keep making rules if we could work on getting people in the right mindset from the start. We don't need a rule that you can't jump at a 2.0 wingloading at 200 jumps if everyone has been educated on why this is dumb. Also, for those people who just won't listen to reason, the answer really does come down to knowing when it's time to ground a person and help them learn exactly how much it sucks to not be able to jump. I'd rather see them grounded and walking around then grounded cause they are busted up.


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 26, 2010, 10:10 AM
Post #274 of 285 (475 views)
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Re: [Fast] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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....the answer really does come down to knowing when it's time to ground a person and help them learn exactly how much it sucks to not be able to jump.

+1 to everything you said but I would just add to the above:

"..and having the balls and the inclination to do it."


craigbey  (C 31991)

Oct 26, 2010, 5:43 PM
Post #275 of 285 (438 views)
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Re: [Fast] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I had someone on my dz this year decide he was going to start learning to swoop on his own, it wasn't long before bruises and sore spots and a rough landing changed that concept.

A 200+ jump wonder at one of my favorite DZ's did the same early this summer, but broke his back. Another injury that went unreported and therefore is not part of the statistics (maths?) used in some of these discussions.

He's been trying everything to get back in the air including lying to his doctor, family and friends. The DZ (this includes many people -- staff and regular jumpers) has kept him on the ground ever since the incident.

I hope he feels a small amount of physical pain until he gets back in the air next spring. Given the damage that was done to his back ... he will.

Quote:
I feel bad having to ground someone

Why?


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