Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
USPA and the canopy issue

 


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 3, 2010, 12:14 PM
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USPA and the canopy issue Can't Post

USPA Executive Director Ed Scott used his “Gearing Up” editorial in the October 2010 Parachutist magazine to discuss the high percentage of skydiving fatalities in the US in 2010 attributed to canopy issues of one sort or another. He noted that of the 16 fatalities through August, 12 were “canopy-related”.

Ed went on to say that canopy-related deaths as a percentage of all fatal skydiving accidents has increased (might I add skyrocketed) despite the organization’s ongoing campaign to improve that statistic, citing 40% of 2008 fatalities were from canopy problems, 45% in 2009, and a whopping 75% this year – so far.

Next, Ed detailed the things USPA has done to combat the problem. In 2000, canopy training was introduced as part of the Integrated Student Program. In 2005, the head shed distributed a video – called “Fly to Survive” – and an accompanying poster to group member DZ’s. By 2006, USPA updated the Skydiver’s Information Manual with more information on canopy flight. In 2008 a new provision was added to the group member pledge requiring DZ’s to “establish and disseminate landing procedures that include separation of high-speed landings and normal landings”. He also mentioned numerous e-newsletters and repeated “Parachutist” magazine content on the subject.

Lastly, Ed mentioned the organization’s latest effort, the issuance of not one, but two safety advisories on the subject. One went to individual members via e-mail and the other went to rating holders, S&TA’s, and DZ’s, reminding them of the addition of canopy safety management to the group member pledge issued in 2008.

The one thing made very clear by Ed’s editorial is that USPA’s efforts to curtail canopy fatalities haven’t worked. That of course begs the question “why”?

I submit that the problem persists is because no one at USPA, or anyone else that I know of, is investigating the root cause of these accidents. It’s easy to spew rhetoric about insuring adequate separation after group skydives, but has anyone asked if adequate separation was achieved by others in the group in these post-deployment collision accidents? USPA mentions making sure break-offs are high enough to leave time to get that separation. Has anyone at USPA actually inquired about the break-off altitudes on these skydives? Has anyone asked if there were other factors that led to inadequate separation? Was it poor tracking skills? Could one of the jumpers have experienced a vision problem from the loss of a contact lens or tearing up during tracking? Were more of these collisions after freefly jumps rather than belly jumps? We don’t know because no one is asking. A few pointed questions of witnesses and survivors could prove to be very revealing – and might tell us we are chasing the wrong demons.

What if we found a pattern of post-deployment collisions after short tracking times? What if we found a link between these collisions and the group size vs. experience level of the people involved? If so, we might discover that while poor separation resulted in the collision, it was not the core problem.

The advisory is – unfortunately – nothing but a repeat of the same things USPA has preached for a decade or more, and none of those have worked.

The advisory recommends taking a canopy course. Did they bother to ask how many of this year’s canopy-related accident victims had taken one? If not, how can they come to the conclusion that a canopy course by itself would have helped any of these people – or you?

The advisory says DZ's should separate high-speed landing areas from slow-speed landing areas. Has anyone asked how many of 2010's accidents actually had anything to do with landing area seperation?

The advisory suggests planning canopy descent and alternate plans for when things don’t go as planned. It cites that three of the four fatal canopy collisions in 2010 happened at pattern altitude, seeming to indicate one or both of the jumpers involved failed to fly a good pattern or simply failed to see each other. Has anyone inquired if a failure to do so was actually the cause of any of these accidents or if any of the victims had a habit of hot-dogging or poor canopy control in general? Has anyone asked how many of these accidents involved one jumper turning into the other from above vs. how many involved jumpers with level, converging flight paths? Probably not, but knowing that information could help us discover what’s really happening up there.

The advisory suggests downsizing in accordance with USPA recommendations. Has anyone compiled wing loading statistics vs. jumper experience and currency in any of 2010’s accidents? My guess is no.

You get the picture.

If we are going to get a handle on canopy accidents, we need to ask the right questions. I suggest USPA do more than publish a few facts from an accident report with a follow up message that sounds like a broken record. I believe USPA should perform an exhaustive investigation into every canopy-related accident – fatal and non-fatal – to trace the root cause of each one, rather than just the basic, incomplete, facts.


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Oct 3, 2010, 3:50 PM
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Re: [chuckakers] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree.

One part of the problem is that the current incident reporting system doesn't capture all the incidents. 

I suspect that a non-injury, non-fatality canopy collision would probably not be reported to USPA. Heck, even if there were injuries, it might not be reported. 


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 3, 2010, 6:31 PM
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In reply to:
I agree.

One part of the problem is that the current incident reporting system doesn't capture all the incidents. 

I suspect that a non-injury, non-fatality canopy collision would probably not be reported to USPA. Heck, even if there were injuries, it might not be reported. 

Agreed. But if USPA really wants to change things as they claim, they will have to consider changing the way they do things.


Marisan  (E 123)

Oct 3, 2010, 8:12 PM
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Re: [chuckakers] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been out of the sport for a bloody long time (20+ years) but reading the incident reports there is one common factor. The Canopies.
I started in 1974 and went through the transition to the modern (for my time) squares. Turn to low, not a problem, flare out with the other toggle. Worked a charm and even gave you a softer landing. Canopy collision. They just bounced off of each other. Might break a leg but that was it. High speed spinning mals, unheard of.
These modern miniature canopies leave absolutely no margin for error and jumpers, like all other people, make errors. And, believe me, those Mad Skillz tend to run out at the most inconvenient time. Just my 2 cents worth and I'm prepared to be flamed by those that haven't hurt themselves yet.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 3, 2010, 8:14 PM
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I had a similar reaction to that same peice, was considered writing a post similar to yours.

One of the areas I surprised to see was when he revealed that 75% of the 2010 fatalities were canopy related, and that this high number is prompting both the piece and the 'action' of the USPA.

For comparison, he states that the number was clsoer to 40% or 45% for the last two years. Are we to believe that 40% or 45% is acceptable, and not worthy of the increased attention and focus on the issue? Keeping in mind that 40% or 45% still represented the vast majority of the pie chart, with the remaining 60% of all fatalities split between 4 or 5 other catagories. That's not bad enough to warrant a 2/3 of a page in Parachutist?

I was also amused by the summary of the 'work' the USPA has done on the subject. A video that was not 'required reading' for anyone, and a poster reminding everyone to 'be safe out there'? That's the master plan? Don't they realize that without a clear and detailed definition of what it means to 'be safe', it does not suffice to simply tell people to 'be safe'. As mentioned many times on DZ.com, every jumpers who went in left the plane thinking they were being safe. The problem was that their definition of being safe, and the reality of being safe were two different things. It's like me instructing someone to 'make me a tasty sandwhich'. Should I really be surprised when they produce a sandwhich that they think is tasty, not one that I think is tasty?

Then he touts the USPAs 'unprecedented' step of releasing two safety advisories. The first amounts to nothing more than another poster for the wall suggesting everyone to 'be safe', and the other was directed to the group member DZs, who all signed a pledge to do one thing or the other, of course with understanding that like with most aspects of the group member program, there would be no actual enforcement of said pledge.

Again, does the USPA really think that jumpers are going to read the advisory and suddenly realize, "Oh, I'm suppsed to follow the DZs landing pattern, not just do whatever I want" or, "So I should leave plenty of room for seperation at pull time, when I was thinking I wanted to be close by the other jumpers in my group".

Quote:
The advisory recommends taking a canopy course. Did they bother to ask how many of this year’s canopy-related accident victims had taken one? If not, how can they come to the conclusion that a canopy course by itself would have helped any of these people – or you?

This is one area where I with agree and disagree with you. There are very few jumpers out there who could not benefit from a canopy control course. Some jumpers need different courses than others, but we all have room to learn. I picked up a tidbit or two listening in on Luigi giving a canopy control course last year. The point is that everyone would be a better, more informed pilot if they dedicated some time toward developing that skill. That very dedication can lead people to put a little more thought into their canopy flight, and take some pride in 'doing it right'.

So I disagree that a canopy control course isn't a good idea for everyone, but I do agree with you that the USPA is going about it all wrong.

One of the key purposes of the USPA is to train and educate skydivers. Case in point, the safety advisory being discussed here. It's their position as a training and educating body that allows them to even release such an advisory and expect people to read it and take it seriously. Know why the Muff Brothers didn't put out an advisory on canopy control? That organization is not looked at as the authority for skydiver education and training, but the USPA is.

So for the 10,000 time, the USPA reccomends taking a canopy control course. OK, fine by me, when and where is the next USPA canopy control scheduled? I'll go anywhere, in fact with the end of the season coming up here in Ohio, I could work it into a winter trip down south. Just let me know the dates and location. You could e-mail it me, or just print it in Parachutist, I'll see it there.

There it is people. That's the end of the line for the USPA. Expecting them to develop and implement a canopy control course is more than the USPA is willing to undertake. Five years ago I was in contact with the head of the safety and training ccomitte over at the USPA reagrding this very issue. They were well aware of it then, and are well aware of it now. Still they take no action beyond suggesting you take a canopy control course given by an unknown jumper, at an undisclosed location, containing information of unknown validity, given by an individual who is charging enough to cover his time, travel and efforts.

If the USPA would get off their duffs and put together a USPA endorsed canopy control course, and bestow local S&TAs the right to conduct the course themselves, or the authority to appoint a qualified local jumper, suddenly many of the above problems disappear. The couses would be available at every USPA group member DZ, with cirriculum developed and approved by the USPA, conducted by a USPA approved instructor, and with the whole enchilada being a 'local' affair, it would cost 1/3 what people currently pay for a canopy control course.

Take it one step further, and make the course a requirement for an A license, and in addition to making the courses more accessible to more people and regulating the quality of the courses, you take the stand that, "This is important. Important enought that every new jumper needs this information before being licensed becasue without this information, you're at risk for suffernig the most common fate among skydivers, losing your life with an open canopy above your head".

Quick story to prove my point - I got a call from an old business partner who told me his son (now 19) had done a tandem, and was now looking to learn to skydive, and he asked me to help his son through the process and keep an eye on him.

Fast forward, the kid sails through AFF and right as he earns his A license, a Skyvan shows up at a DZ not far from us for a week or two. I suggest that he head that way to jump the Skyvan because, hey, it's a Skyvan. About this time I realize that this will be his frist time at a new DZ, with a new plane, and nobody really watching him becasue now he has a license. With this in mind I suggest we meet for a coffee before we head down to jump the Skyvan, and talk about canopy control and new DZs.

The majority of the discussion was about spotting, jumpruns, windlines, patterns, accuracy, and stratagies for landing off. He had 25 jumps, so his experience allowed him to easily understand what I was saying, but afterwards he admitted than 90% of what I said was new information to him. He had a rough understanding of each of the topics, but a detailed understanding of the mechanics and theory, such that he could use them as a tool in his jumping, had not been taught to him thus far.

Sure, he knew enough to jump safely at his home DZ, out the familiar plane, in familiar surroundings, but the majority of that was just through repitition. When it came to planning a parachute descent at a new location with whatever conditions prevailed that day, he was largely unpreparred, and while he might have been fine, it would not have been due to thourough and prudent planning on his part, it would be due to luck and the general good fortune skydvers seem to enjoy.

This was an A licesned jumper, certified by the USPA to self jumpmaster in all aspects of making a skydive, and would have been treated as such by any DZ in the country. This is what the USPA is producing, and then they are surprised that people are dying under open canopies?


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Oct 4, 2010, 6:43 AM
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A relatively simple way for USPA to increase jumpers' exposure to more canopy skill practice would be to move all the tasks from the "canopy proficiency card" to the requirements for various licenses.

Some of those tasks might go best on the A-lic requirements, others might fit best on the B-license requirements.

I made this suggestion to the USPA last year (staff Dir of S&T; chair of S&T committee, & my regional director). I have heard nothing more about it since then.


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Oct 4, 2010, 7:41 AM
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay,

Two points,
First I have noticed that those that take canopy classes (yes I recommend them to all) are not the ones I am worried about. Sounds strange but those are the ones that are actively seeking knowledge to become proficient canopy pilots and are usually the most conservative and safest jumpers. It is the ones that dont think they need a canopy course that worry me, because they are the ones that are more likely to get themselves or others in trouble.
Second, The first jump course is designed to apply to all USPA dropzones across the world. Sometimes instructors who have been teaching for a long time tend to get tunnel vision and adapt the course to their local dropzone. This does the student an injustice for just the reason youstated above. Not all first jump course student will only jump at your DZ.

and Lastly, the attempts by USPA, in the above posts are categorized as feable but I think we need to remember we are all onthe same team, and that this constructive critisism can help improve an area that is in desperate need of improving.


Douggarr  (D 2791)

Oct 4, 2010, 8:16 AM
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Chuck, you bring up good points all. I have noticed that at the last four DZs I've jumped there has not been enough of an effort to encourage or enforce the landing traffic pattern directions. I mean, what good is a sign in the bathroom stalls -- "Left Hand Pattern!" -- if skydivers ignore it. I'd like to know if canopy collision frequencies correlate with tandem factory DZs, two-plus turbo aircraft turning all the time, etc. Also, what time of day are these collisions occurring? Late sunset jumps on crystal clear days in summer and early fall make it sometimes difficult to see other canopies when you're beginning to concentrate on final at around 500 feet (for us non-swoopers). The "head on a swivel" seems to be only in effect at higher altitudes for many skydivers. More research needs to be done about these accidents.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 4, 2010, 8:23 AM
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Quote:
First I have noticed that those that take canopy classes (yes I recommend them to all) are not the ones I am worried about. Sounds strange but those are the ones that are actively seeking knowledge to become proficient canopy pilots and are usually the most conservative and safest jumpers. It is the ones that dont think they need a canopy course that worry me, because they are the ones that are more likely to get themselves or others in trouble.

OK, how many people do you think would be willing to jump with an abbreviated FJC? Not many, but there would be some, There is always that guy who thinks it's no big deal, and that he doesn't need all day to train for the jump. Why does he then end up spending the whole day training for the jump? Becasue the USPA said he has to, and due to that students, instructors and DZOs all believe that, and give the concept value.

How many jumpers would be happy to get a B license without doing live water trianing? I would bet a good portion of them figure that they know how to swim, and don't jump near water anyway. Of course, they all end up getting the training, again, because the USPA says they have to, and that makes it important.

All the jumpers who don't think they need to take a canopy control course all spent 8 hours in a FJC, and all end up doing live water training for their B. If the USPA required a canopy control course for an A license, people would take it seriously. It would be looked at as a thing of value, and it would make a mark in the mind of the students that canopy control is a real and serious issue that needs to be given due consideration for the duration of your skydiving carreer,

Quote:
Second, The first jump course is designed to apply to all USPA dropzones across the world. Sometimes instructors who have been teaching for a long time tend to get tunnel vision and adapt the course to their local dropzone

That's irrelevant to this issue. As previously discussed, the canopy control portion of the FJC is sufficient for making the first handful of jumps. Between the student canopies, wind limits, instructor oversight, and radio assist, the student doesn't need any more in the way of canopy control then is already presented. The student has more pressing issues to be concerned about like EPs and altitude awareness.

In the example I gave above, the 'chat' I had with the new jumper was about 2 hours in length. There's no way to work that into the FJC, and the truth is that it would take even longer at that point. The fact that the jumper had 20-some jumps at the time really helped with his understanding of some of the concepts covered. His practical experience with winds, landing patterns, and canopy controls made him an ideal student for the rest of what he really needed to know.

This isn't about the FJC. How many FJC students make it to jump #2? It's a huge waste of time to teach the bulk of a canopy control course to anyone unless they plan on getting a license and jumping without supervision. It's easier to teach a guy with 20 jumps under his belt, and he'll get more out the course based on those 20 jumps. They provide a frame of reference making the information that much easier to understand.

Quote:
the attempts by USPA, in the above posts are categorized as feable but I think we need to remember we are all onthe same team,

No we're not. Not anymore. Ten years ago we were on the same team. Five years ago we might have been on the same team, but not anymore. How can you justify what amounts to no efforts in the way of improving what has consistantly been the number one killer of skydivers for better than a decade.

In that time, they have wasted their time left and right with bullshit. Who remembers the BIC? Where is that now? How about the ISP? In retrospect all that did was make it harder and more expensive for someone to become a skydiver. New jumpers aren't any safer or better informed than they used to be, just poorer.

Meanwhile, the elephant in the room has been there all along. An occasional statistical anomoly made things look better in one year or another, and they hitched their wagon to that like it was their own doing. The following year there was 'no news' becasue the anomoly worked itself out, the fatalities were back on track.

It took the elephant walking up to the board room table and taking a huge dump on it for them to even notice. That huge dump, of couse, was when open canopy fatalities hit 75% of the overall fatalities, but even then their response was the equivilant of putting some newspaper on the giant pile of shit.

Nobody can argue that a canopy control course would be a good thing for all jumpers. Some argue that canopy type and WL limitations aren't helpful. but some argue that they would be, but in either case those types of limitations would 'do no harm'. With thses points in mind, and open canopy fatalitied being the #1 killer of skydivers, it would seem like a no-brainer to put one or both of those programs in place, however, as we all know, nothing has been done. Nothing.

I'm going to re-quote one of my favorite lines of all time. When I first read it some 10 or 12 years ago I liked it because it was 'clever' and seemed like a funny concept. The more time that passes, the more I realize that Al Frisby knew more about what he was saying than he thought when he said in reference to new jumpers, "We're advertising Disneyland. and delivering Death Valley".


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 4, 2010, 8:26 AM
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Quote:
Expecting them to develop and implement a canopy control course is more than the USPA is willing to undertake. Five years ago I was in contact with the head of the safety and training ccomitte over at the USPA reagrding this very issue. They were well aware of it then, and are well aware of it now. Still they take no action beyond suggesting you take a canopy control course given by an unknown jumper, at an undisclosed location, containing information of unknown validity, given by an individual who is charging enough to cover his time, travel and efforts.

If the USPA would get off their duffs and put together a USPA endorsed canopy control course, and bestow local S&TAs the right to conduct the course themselves, or the authority to appoint a qualified local jumper, suddenly many of the above problems disappear. The couses would be available at every USPA group member DZ, with cirriculum developed and approved by the USPA, conducted by a USPA approved instructor, and with the whole enchilada being a 'local' affair, it would cost 1/3 what people currently pay for a canopy control course.

They don't have to. It's been developed. By very active, articulate, and passionate skydivers.
However, the USPA has made clear on mulitple occasions that they do not believe in being involved in advanced training. They want to make new skydivers, and make rules and training to keep those new skydivers safe.
Everything else is not much of an afterthought in the whole of the USPA's direction.
BOD members (as individuals) seem to agree that additional training options should be created, with some sort of advanced path.
I proposed something not terribly different than the Coach 1/Coach 2 system that Canada uses, and it was thought to be too complex.

The USPA has several options here.
~"Buy" an existing canopy control course and modify it for general distribution (somewhat like what has happened with the Skydive U content).

~Promote/produce a canopy control course tour that went from DZ to DZ based on regional sensibilities. Use the team from Flight 1 as instructors/coaches, and set a fee scale commensurate with their normal fees /X factor (more people attending, promotional costs paid by USPA, therefore canopy coach is paid less per head). I suspect that if there were enough dates/stops in the region, a successful fee scale could be negotiated.

~ Use the course already submitted to the USPA and give the authors a pat on the back. Require that all group members/DZ's host this event or co-locate this training event by "X" date in 2011.

~Revisit the "Advanced Coach Rating" discussion and use a blend of the options available above.
Advanced coach rating system could be applied to every discipline in skydiving, but that would also require some modifications to the way that the USPA views training.
The focus has only been on students, never on advanced/experienced skydivers. Students aren't colliding with others all that often, students aren't pounding in under hook turns.

The folks at USPA generally mean well, and most of the BOD (IMO) are really great people but many are out of touch with what's going on in the "real world." They're just too damn busy running their DZ's to take the time to fly around to boogies, funjump at bigger DZs, or see how others are managing things.

But...if they can't see the value in changing up the safety culture and opportunities for safety then they need to shut up about rising Workman's Comp and insurance costs.

The USPA BOD vote is coming up soon.
Have a hard look at the candidates that vote down working processes such as an advanced coach course or vote against taking disciplinary action when there is a fatality that involves negligent actions and surviving skydivers. Look at who is actively involved in skydiving as a skydiver vs being a DZO.

I truly believe the USPA board would implement a program if enough people scream for it and an easy option is placed before them. The option is there. Now folks need to scream.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 4, 2010, 8:43 AM
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Quote:
the USPA has made clear on mulitple occasions that they do not believe in being involved in advanced training. They want to make new skydivers, and make rules and training to keep those new skydivers safe.

It's been clear for many years that this is not 'advanced' training. This is training that should be considered remedial, and required for every jumper looking to earn a license and self-jumpmaster.

Quote:
I truly believe the USPA board would implement a program if enough people scream for it and an easy option is placed before them

Scream? How about die? How many people have to die for something before the USPA takes notice?

Easy option? Easy, hard, or close to impossible, they should be (and should have been) doing someting.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 4, 2010, 9:10 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
the USPA has made clear on mulitple occasions that they do not believe in being involved in advanced training. They want to make new skydivers, and make rules and training to keep those new skydivers safe.

It's been clear for many years that this is not 'advanced' training. This is training that should be considered remedial, and required for every jumper looking to earn a license and self-jumpmaster.

Quote:
I truly believe the USPA board would implement a program if enough people scream for it and an easy option is placed before them

Scream? How about die? How many people have to die for something before the USPA takes notice?

Easy option? Easy, hard, or close to impossible, they should be (and should have been) doing someting.

We're entirely on the same page, Dave. Except that I do believe the BOD is going to see any training that doesn't involve pre-A licence instruction as being "advanced" training.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 4, 2010, 9:45 AM
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Quote:
We're entirely on the same page, Dave. Except that I do believe the BOD is going to see any training that doesn't involve pre-A licence instruction as being "advanced" training.

Rachet up a few posts, and you'll see that I'm not talking about post-A license training, I'm talking about fnishing the job that the FJC started.

Again, the canopy control portion of the FJC is adequate for students who are borderline overwhelmed with other, more important, issues. While you are a student, or even on the coach jumps, you are largely supervised, renting student gear, and not really 'on your own',

Earning an A licese represents a significant shift. Maybe at your home DZ you are still watched over, being known as a 'new' jumper and remembered from two weeks ago as a student. When you jump a new DZ, however, all of that is lost. Manifest might know your experience based on checking you in and seeing your logbook, but beyond that none of the jumpers know you or that you only have 26 jumps.

You are truely on your own, and this by design of the USPAs licesne program. You properly earned your license, and the other jumpers at the new DZ are honoring their responsibilities as per the USPA, which are none with regards to you. The situation I outlined above is possible and probable given the structure of the USPAs license and trainging system.

I contend that this is not OK, and that the canopy control info left out of the FJC in the interest of brevity needs to be re-visited at some point before a jumper is given a license and 'cut loose'.

For example, are you sure that every jumper granted an A license has a complete understanding of the use of brakes or rear risers, its effect descent rate and air speed, and it's application for exstanding your glide with the wind and shortening your glide into the wind?

Let's face it, this is a fairly simple proposition, and one that can go a long toward avoiding off field landings (and the related dangers) and improving accuracy, two things that can be very valuable to new jumpers. Do you really think that every new A licesne jumper is 100% clear on that subject?

How about the concept of a windline, and that as the wind increases, your landing pattern needs to stay tighter to the windline due to the increased crosswind component on the base leg? Again, a simple situation, easy to understand, and valuable for helping to keep jumpers where they want to be when the winds pcik up. Despite this, I have little confidence that every new A licensed jumper has an understanding of this and how to apply it.

How about object turbulence, and how it works? Even if jumpers know this, if they stray too far off the windline in the pattern on a windy day. and can't make it back to their intended turn-in point for their final leg, they are forced to fly an alternate final, which may or may not be free of the turbulenxce they were tyring to avoid by selecting the final leg they chose in the first place.

Those are just a handful of things that a jumper should know and understand before being cut loose to self-jumpmaster. Too complicated and too involved for the FJC? Yes. In every way possible, yes. Too complicated and too involved for a jumper with 20 jumps attending a dedicated canopy control course? Not in the least.

As per my example from a few posts up, with no planning or a syllabus of any kind I managed to cover everything I could think of in two hours. With some work and some polish on the presentation, it could probably be cut back to 60 - 90 minutes. You don't even need to do any actual jumps, I did my 'course' at a Starbucks. A classroom with a dry erase board would suffice.

This doesn't have to be a big deal, it doesn't have to take a lot of time, and it doesn't have to be expensive. An hour or so, one evening at the DZ (or any location of the instructors choice) and maybe $20 a head for the instructors time is all it would take, but it does have to happen.

In addition to getting a full set of information to the students, it has another effect, that being the importance granted to the subject of canopy control by virtue of it getting it's own dedicated traning time, and that the training is required to earn a license. New jumpers will believe almost anything we tell them, and if we tell them this is an important subject, and required for advancement, this will make an impression on them. When we tell them it's important, but taking a canopy control course is optional if you can even find one, that also makes an impression on them, and it's not a good one.

CRW guys will tell you taking a CRW seminar is a great idea, and freeflyers will all reccomend one-on-one coaching, but neither of those are required and as such, not many jumpers follow that advice. To expect the subject of canopy control to be any different is just plain silly.


yoink

Oct 4, 2010, 9:52 AM
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Look at the majority of incident / recommendation threads and discussions here and they generally always end in the same way: People stating that 'we don't want no more rules in skydiving!'

As long as that is the prevailing attitude of the people in the sport, nothing will change.

Advisories, suggestions, posters, presentations, BSRs - they're all lip-service to a problem because there's no requirement for people or DZ's to follow them.

The problem isn't the USPA, it's the skydivers themselves. We've become so used to people dying (hey, it's a risky sport! Crazy) and we're so enamoured with the image of skydiving being a counter-culture 70's style club, that we're not willing to put regulations in place that can affect people's behaviour.

It's the opposite of Health and Safety in the workplace gone mad. We see problems that kill people then deliberately do nothing about it.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 4, 2010, 10:45 AM
Post #15 of 285 (3869 views)
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I would disagree with that on many levels. In terms of equipment design and manufacture, safety advances have been plentiful and remain one of the key focuses of ongoing R&D.

In many aspects of training and DZ operations, promoting and maintaining safety is job one, and lots of good people send an awful lot of time and effort in those areas.

You'll notice, however, that the above areas are not overseen by the USPA, these are private enterprises who see the value in doing the right thing, and protecting their business as such.

The problem with the USPA is that the traning mentality in place is from the days when open canopies did not kill the majority of skydivers. When F-111 was king, the majoroty of jumpers never jumped anything smaller than 200 sq ft, and accordingly never had to deal with high closing speeds, high turn rates, and canopies that could dive more than 100 ft. at best.

If you could get your hands on a training manual or FJC syllabus from 1990, you'll see that the majority of the canopy control information is the same as it is today. For the FJC course this is adequate, and in 1990 is was enough to allow a jumper to be cut loose with no additional training. In 2010 (and even in 2000) this is not adequate for a jumper being cut loose with an A license. While the training hasn't changed significantly, the canopies themselves are a world apart. What is considered to be an 'appropriate' entry level canopy today would have been the hottest canopy on the market 20 years ago.

That's the problem. Training that it freefall intensive with very little in the way of canopy control. This is left over from the day when canopies didn'y warrant the additional training, and the only thing you could do in freefall was RW. Things are different now. Canopies and canopy control is more involved , the freefall has way mroe to offer than RW. We need to shift the time and effort away from center-point turns and floating/sinking, and put it towards learning winds/weather/aerodynamics as they pertain to canopy flight.


pilotdave  (D License)

Oct 4, 2010, 11:28 AM
Post #16 of 285 (3851 views)
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Quote:
For example, are you sure that every jumper granted an A license has a complete understanding of the use of brakes or rear risers, its effect descent rate and air speed, and it's application for exstanding your glide with the wind and shortening your glide into the wind? ...

I'm a little confused. You listed a bunch of canopy control topics that aren't included in the FJC and you're proposing additional training on those topics before the A-license, right?

Those topics are all part of the ISP canopy training! I didn't see anything on your list that doesn't get covered by the time the student passes Category H. Seems to me that the solution you're proposing already exists. Are dropzones not following the ISP??? [gasp!]

Dave


(This post was edited by pilotdave on Oct 4, 2010, 11:29 AM)


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 4, 2010, 12:22 PM
Post #17 of 285 (3808 views)
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Dave - I know we have had our disagreements in the past (mostly relating to what I, myself, was doing), but I have to say that I agree 100% with what you are saying here.

I felt that the AFF course was totally unsatisfactory when it came to even basic canopy control, let alone actually understanding how a canopy flies and what you can do with it.

I was one of the minority who went on to seek out (multiple) canopy courses and can attest to how useful they really are for the newbie.

We HAVE to get someone to mandate more canopy training. If the USPA won't act, then maybe we should "go over their heads" to the FAA. Or at least threaten to.

My personal opinion is that we should let people get their A-license and then mandate more canopy training before their B. I say this because I do think it is important to have some early point of achievement in today's instant gratification society.

Thanks for taking this and running with it.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 4, 2010, 12:41 PM
Post #18 of 285 (3802 views)
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>I felt that the AFF course was totally unsatisfactory when it came to even
>basic canopy control, let alone actually understanding how a canopy flies
>and what you can do with it.

To me those are two different topics.

If we have to do a better job teaching basic canopy control in the FJC, then we should definitely work on that. But understanding canopy flight, and understanding everything you can do with a canopy, should come later when students have enough experience to understand what you're telling them.


labrys  (D 29848)

Oct 4, 2010, 1:06 PM
Post #19 of 285 (3781 views)
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Quote:
Those topics are all part of the ISP canopy training! I didn't see anything on your list that doesn't get covered by the time the student passes Category H. Seems to me that the solution you're proposing already exists. Are dropzones not following the ISP??? [gasp!]

As a coach, I try very hard to devote enough time to the canopy progression part of every level when I train someone but it's a LOT harder to get that stuff to sink in when you've got an exited, amped up student who's thinking more about the freefall portion of their skydive. They "know" they need to "pass" the freefall requirements. They "know" the coach may or may not be able to see enough of them under canopy to tell whether or not they're practicing the canopy progression as well.

If you change that dynamic to focus the student on canopy control alone, knowing someone on the ground is watching and evaluating, like a canopy course, it may sink in more.


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 4, 2010, 3:26 PM
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In reply to:

Quote:
The advisory recommends taking a canopy course. Did they bother to ask how many of this year’s canopy-related accident victims had taken one? If not, how can they come to the conclusion that a canopy course by itself would have helped any of these people – or you?

This is one area where I with agree and disagree with you. There are very few jumpers out there who could not benefit from a canopy control course. Some jumpers need different courses than others, but we all have room to learn. I picked up a tidbit or two listening in on Luigi giving a canopy control course last year. The point is that everyone would be a better, more informed pilot if they dedicated some time toward developing that skill. That very dedication can lead people to put a little more thought into their canopy flight, and take some pride in 'doing it right'.

So I disagree that a canopy control course isn't a good idea for everyone, but I do agree with you that the USPA is going about it all wrong.

One of the key purposes of the USPA is to train and educate skydivers. Case in point, the safety advisory being discussed here. It's their position as a training and educating body that allows them to even release such an advisory and expect people to read it and take it seriously. Know why the Muff Brothers didn't put out an advisory on canopy control? That organization is not looked at as the authority for skydiver education and training, but the USPA is.

So for the 10,000 time, the USPA reccomends taking a canopy control course. OK, fine by me, when and where is the next USPA canopy control scheduled? I'll go anywhere, in fact with the end of the season coming up here in Ohio, I could work it into a winter trip down south. Just let me know the dates and location. You could e-mail it me, or just print it in Parachutist, I'll see it there.
In reply to:

I actually agree with you on that. My comment was meant from a purely staistical point of view. If we find that 95% of those involved in canopy-related accidents HAVEN'T attended any kind of canopy training it might encourage participation. But we don't know because no one asks.Unsure


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 4, 2010, 3:37 PM
Post #21 of 285 (3710 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
However, the USPA has made clear on mulitple occasions that they do not believe in being involved in advanced training. They want to make new skydivers, and make rules and training to keep those new skydivers safe.
Everything else is not much of an afterthought in the whole of the USPA's direction.

Do you not consider instructional rating training advanced training? That too, is one of USPA's primary functions. I'd call getting an AFF rating pretty advanced. At least it used to be.Shocked


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 4, 2010, 4:11 PM
Post #22 of 285 (3696 views)
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Re: [chuckakers] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

now you're twisting words, Chuck.
Or, are you advocating that a 200 jump skydiver should be taking the AFFI pre-course so that he learns canopy control?

USPA does not believe in advanced training for non-instructional skydivers might be a different way of saying what I said earlier.

USPA does not believe in creating instructional ratings intended for teaching advanced/experienced skydivers.

When someone has 200 jumps, what USPA-endorsed program is out there to learn Freefly, Canopy Piloting, Wingsuiting, Camera Flying, CRW?
Not one.
What if that same person doesn't want to become an instructor? Does that mean USPA doesn't care about them? It's people in that range that are killing themselves and each other. Maybe USPA needs to think more about the actuarial curve of incident + experience and provide a clear path to better informing, training, and monitoring. I believe some members of the BOD would like to do that?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 4, 2010, 4:40 PM
Post #23 of 285 (3676 views)
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Quote:
Those topics are all part of the ISP canopy training! I didn't see anything on your list that doesn't get covered by the time the student passes Category H. Seems to me that the solution you're proposing already exists. Are dropzones not following the ISP???

Even DZs that attempt to follow the ISP to the letter come up short in the area of canopy control. As previously mentioned, trying to teach canopy control in bits and pieces during the student progression is not the ideal situation.

Students are aware that they are not graded on canopy conttrol, and the informaiton they are given isn't directly related to learning objectives on the upcoming jump. Due to this, the student is less likely to see the canopy control portion as a 'lesson', and the instructor is less likey to address it that way. It sounds more like 'tips' for them to file away with all of the other 'tips' they get like 'carry a pullup cord in your pocket' or 'don't pee into the wind'.

Students focus on their next big task, which is their next jump, and the freefall portion is all they are graded on, and by virtue of that, all that seems important.

Trying to teach the finer points of canopy control in a hap-hazzard, bits and peices method to a jumper with other things on their mind, and 10 whole jumps experience is far from ideal. The idea is to catch them with 20 jumps, after they have built up a little time under canopy and done more than half of their jumps without a radio. This is where they have begun to develop an understanding of mechanics of it all, and teaching the finer points is the natural extension of that.

Additionally, when you teach in a stand-alone class, it allows the instructor to use a methodical syllabus where one lesson leads into the next. The topics can be arranged so the thing you teach first helps with the understanding of the thing you teach second, and so on.

The other thing a dedicated class does is make it easier for the student to ask questions. Without a plane to catch, or a jump on their minds, they'll feel more free to put their hand up. Of course, all of the other students in the class then get the benefit of hearing the question and the answer, something that does not happen when you're trying to dirt dive a guy to make laod 3.

The big one, the one I keep coming back to, is that by making canopy control a 'thing' that gets it's own stand-alone class, required for getting an A license, it sends the message that it is important. Canopy control is not a 'tip', or an add-on to a level 9 student jump, it's a 'thing' that is important enough that when you get serious about jumping and want an A licesne, you have to take this class or no licesne for you.


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 4, 2010, 6:11 PM
Post #24 of 285 (3647 views)
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In reply to:

If we have to do a better job teaching basic canopy control in the FJC, then we should definitely work on that. But understanding canopy flight, and understanding everything you can do with a canopy, should come later when students have enough experience to understand what you're telling them.

I agree. Which is why I said my opinion is that it should be a pre-B-license requirement.


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 4, 2010, 6:29 PM
Post #25 of 285 (3643 views)
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In reply to:
now you're twisting words, Chuck.
Or, are you advocating that a 200 jump skydiver should be taking the AFFI pre-course so that he learns canopy control?

USPA does not believe in advanced training for non-instructional skydivers might be a different way of saying what I said earlier.

USPA does not believe in creating instructional ratings intended for teaching advanced/experienced skydivers.

When someone has 200 jumps, what USPA-endorsed program is out there to learn Freefly, Canopy Piloting, Wingsuiting, Camera Flying, CRW?
Not one.
What if that same person doesn't want to become an instructor? Does that mean USPA doesn't care about them? It's people in that range that are killing themselves and each other. Maybe USPA needs to think more about the actuarial curve of incident + experience and provide a clear path to better informing, training, and monitoring. I believe some members of the BOD would like to do that?

I was just asking if you think instructional rating training is advanced training. I wasn't splitting hairs.

But on the issue, I personally think USPA would better serve its' membership by focusing on things like advanced training, including the instructional side as warranted, and a sh*tload less on other stuff, primarily the group membership program.

Of course I'm talkin' recommendations, not BSR's. The ones we have now are plenty.

One thing is for sure. We have a big problem with the canopy issue. And so far, from the Excaliber through the Comp Velo, USPA has sat on the sidelines from a leadership perspective.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 4, 2010, 7:26 PM
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Quote:
Which is why I said my opinion is that it should be a pre-B-license requirement

Why B? By that time the jumper could have gone to any DZ, and jumped in all sorts of different situations and conditions where the extra information could come in handy.

I'm not suggesting we teach pre A license jumeprs to swoop, far from it. What I'm saying is that if you thought about a young person close to you, and they had just learned to skydive, what would you want them to know before they headed out to an unknown DZ on their own. No instructors watching over them, no oversite from experienced jumpers concerned for their well-being, just out in the world left to fend for themselves.

Whatever you could think of, that's what we should be teaching people. The A licesne grants jumpers the right to self jumpmaster, and sometimes that means doing a solo on a nice day, jumping from a 182 shared only with a tandem pair. It also means doing a solo out of one of three otters flying non-stop on a busy Perris valley day, with some of those Perris winds kicking up from time to time. It's two distinctly different scenarios, requiring two different skill sets to be successful, but every A license jumper should be ready for either one, or anything in between.

They're not all ready for everything in between. They should be, but they're not.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 4, 2010, 7:40 PM
Post #27 of 285 (1287 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>By that time the jumper could have gone to any DZ, and jumped in all
>sorts of different situations and conditions where the extra information
>could come in handy.

Or could have gone to a new DZ and learned new information that will come in handy.

The A license is, at best, a license to learn.

>No instructors watching over them, no oversite from experienced jumpers
>concerned for their well-being, just out in the world left to fend for
>themselves.

Well, that's not quite true. At most DZ's, any A-licensed jumper can ask almost anyone for help and they'll get it, without having to be part of a structured program and without having to pay for it. The big distinction between pre-A license and post-A license is that they have to start asking for it. So in some respects, the A license is a way to cover everything _very_ superficially, so people can ask intelligent questions (and more importantly know when to ask.)

>They're not all ready for everything in between. They should be, but
>they're not.

Not even close. Which is why it's a good idea to get people out of their home DZ to places that have different ways of doing things.


Marisan  (E 123)

Oct 4, 2010, 8:30 PM
Post #28 of 285 (1273 views)
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Re: [billvon] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

This is how the Military do it.

To quote my JP instructor. "You're about a second behind the aircraft. You'll get away with it here, but on Gnats it will be dangerous, and on Lightnings it will be fatal." So no fast jets and off to helicopters (see, I wasn't actually "chopped"). He was wrong on one point. It would probably have been fatal on the Gnat. Would have loved to have had a try though.


grimmie  (D 18890)

Oct 4, 2010, 9:10 PM
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Re: [Marisan] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Do we really have a "learning curve, lack of training" issue? Or do we have a "heads up our asses under canopy" issue?
Take a look at all of our canopy collisions that happened in the past few years. Was it newer skydivers or older, over 1,000 jump skydivers involved?
How many of us have asked a jumper to slow down under canopy? How many of us have seen that same jumper injure or kill themselves in the manner we predicted to them?
This is a much bigger problem than USPA only can fix. It has to start with each jumper, and each DZO.
I'm all for canopy courses for newer jumpers. But what are we going to do with the hundreds of older jumpers under newer canopies? A lot of them are a danger also.
We have to educate the masses and change the current mainstream mindset.
We have to have more training than "here is a photo of the DZ, it's always a left hand pattern, and land here".
We dirt dive the freefall but never dirt dive the canopy ride. We have many different size canopies all aiming for the same LZ. We have to train jumpers how to handle the various landing scenarios.
I agree though, if we start training them early on canopy skills and pattern safety, we will create a safer future skydiving environment.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 4, 2010, 9:29 PM
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In reply to:

But on the issue, I personally think USPA would better serve its' membership by focusing on things like advanced training, including the instructional side as warranted, and a sh*tload less on other stuff, primarily the group membership program.

Of course I'm talkin' recommendations, not BSR's. The ones we have now are plenty.

I agree. When I see the training that is more or less requisite in Australia, the canopy control processes they have in the Scandinavian countries... USPA could do a lot to look at their methods.
Ed Scott handed me a line of thought regarding insurance, litigation concerns, and manufacturer concerns if we had a progression chart like they use in Scandinavia. I don't know that I buy it, but one thing is for certain; We have more canopy collisions here than other countries do. We have more lift capacity too, and perhaps those numbers are relevant.
I've attended a canopy control course in Australia, and it was very well done with a great deal more focus on collision avoidance, clouds, etc. I wish we had something from USPA like the APF offers.

Curiously enough, I feel PIA offers better information, access to information, and manufacturer-sponsored presentations at the conference than the USPA offers its membership.
But...it's not that deeply attended.
USPA has access to the Chris Gay Canopy Control training DVD that covers a huge amount of information as well. Perhaps they could do something with that.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 5, 2010, 7:48 AM
Post #31 of 285 (1232 views)
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In reply to:
Do we really have a "learning curve, lack of training" issue? Or do we have a "heads up our asses under canopy" issue?
Both

In reply to:
This is a much bigger problem than USPA only can fix. It has to start with each jumper, and each DZO.
Yes, the fundamental problem.

In reply to:
I'm all for canopy courses for newer jumpers.
Put me solidly in the camp of Dave's idea of mandatory training prior to issuing any license.

In reply to:
But what are we going to do with the hundreds of older jumpers under newer canopies? A lot of them are a danger also.
Don't forget the older jumpers who know it all already, the Mad Skillz dupes, the skygods, the instructors who only do freefall skills and the egotists.
What I'm seeing is that it's those guys who are doing the stupid shit. I'm seeing DZOs letting them get away with it. I'm seeing DZOs who only pay lip service to safety and only enforce "rules" on those who are not in "the clique"...and even that on a haphazard basis.

In reply to:
We have to educate the masses and change the current mainstream mindset.... I agree though, if we start training them early on canopy skills and pattern safety, we will create a safer future skydiving environment
Train the youngsters now and some of them will retain the mindset for a while. The experienced ones? HA! Call me a cynic but I don't see much progress with that group.

Geezuz, I'm depressed.


peek  (D 8884)

Oct 5, 2010, 8:03 AM
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In reply to:
We have more canopy collisions here than other countries do. We have more lift capacity too, and perhaps those numbers are relevant.

Not only are they relevant, they are related.

While I don't have the statistics in front of me, I would guess that people are seldom colliding under canopy after having jumped from a C182. (Someone correct me if they have statistics that show otherwise.)

As a number of previous posters have pointed out, canopies have changed. In general they are faster now.

The way loads are flown has changed too, but in a way that results in less safety, not more. I remember the days of multiple passes, but we don't seem to do that anymore.

Combine the two changes and it is no wonder that there are more canopy collisions.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 5, 2010, 8:24 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
We have more canopy collisions here than other countries do. We have more lift capacity too, and perhaps those numbers are relevant.

Not only are they relevant, they are related.

While I don't have the statistics in front of me, I would guess that people are seldom colliding under canopy after having jumped from a C182. (Someone correct me if they have statistics that show otherwise.)

As a number of previous posters have pointed out, canopies have changed. In general they are faster now.

The way loads are flown has changed too, but in a way that results in less safety, not more. I remember the days of multiple passes, but we don't seem to do that anymore.

Combine the two changes and it is no wonder that there are more canopy collisions.

So,
~we have a more broad access to single-load lift capacity than we did when the training was created.
~We have faster canopies and arguably higher wingloadings.
~We have fewer passes in those larger planes (presumably due in part to the fact that canopies can now fly further, in addition to fuel savings)
~Swooping/high performance turns are a greater component than they were 10 years ago.

As a USPA BOD member, can you offer a reason that the USPA doesn't appear to see a valid path to better canopy training, standardized instruction for all skydivers as either part of a license progression or as part of a general learning program sponsored by USPA?


Fast  (D 28237)

Oct 5, 2010, 8:33 AM
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Re: [peek] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

All of the stuff in this thread just really helps put it home for me that these licenses that USPA issues should actually mean something. I mean, in reality, there aren't a whole lot of reasons to have anything other than an A license if you don't want to be an instructor. So here we have a stepwise licensing program that really has a very limited purpose.

I don't think that most of the people getting into this sport are going to be able to stomach another course that they are going to have to pay someone to teach them how to do before they get their A license. I also think that even at 25 jumps, most of the people we are talking about aren't going to be able to soak up much more information. At least at my dropzone, the program is very progressive and there is a constant building of skills from jump 1 to jump 25. At some point in there they have to learn how to pack too.

If the licensing system had some meaning to it, we could solve some of these problems. I am not huge on forcing people on things, really, but if there were good reasons to progress in the licensing program and good training that was required for you to progress then people would be doing it. If to get a B license you had to sit through a canopy flight course that emphasized on the saftey issues, explained things in more detail, explained about the different types of traffic you're going to encounter, the differences between small and big dropzones, etc, we would all of a sudden have a reason for people to get a B license.

Then, as a dropzone operator, when a guy shows up at your DZ for the first time and has only an A license, you are distinctly aware of the fact that he either hasn't gotten this training or doesn't want to get it and you need to take special care of this person. Maybe it's an issue of figuring out where this person jumps and what they are used to and getting them the safety information they need for your dropzone. Maybe it's saying, hey man, you can't jump here w/o xyz happening first. Maybe the B license becomes the defacto standard to jump at big boogies, who knows. The point is, then it has some kind of meaning. For most jumpers it comes up quick, 50 jumps can be only a few months after getting an A license. I would say that most people don't stray from their home dz in that period.

Then down the road the C license comes along and I don't have an answer for what that should entail, but it does happen to be right around the point where people start wanting to jump camera, wingsuits and all that other distracting stuff. There again, I see some kind of educational opportunity that can make this license have meaning and not just be another number.

We have the basic structure in place for this stuff to happen, I think we just need to take things one step further and actually ensure that the information is getting out there. Back when they made these licenses, getting to those jump numbers took a lot more time and effort. The people you were jumping with didn't demand that you buy their jumps for them and pay them a fee to teach you stuff. Now a lot of them do and I think because of this, people just aren't getting the same kind of education that they did in the past. We have to make sure that people who don't want to or are afraid to seek out the knowledge are getting it.

For the most part it flabbergasts me that the only thing standing in my way from getting the highest license the USPA has to offer is water training, 2 night jumps and what can amount to less than a year in the sport (500 jumps is doable if you have the cash). Somewhere along there some more training should happen if people aren't going to seek it out on there own.

I don't want to encourage more people to try and take even more money from people learning how to skydive, but we do need to offer the education somehow.


peek  (D 8884)

Oct 5, 2010, 8:42 AM
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In reply to:
... can you offer a reason that the USPA doesn't appear to see a valid path to better canopy training...

I'm not sure what USPA should do. The point of my post was to suggest that perhaps large aircraft should be doing multiple passes.

An interesting example is that Jan Meyer once told me that she downsized to a smaller canopy because with the larger one she used to have, she would have jumpers from a later aircraft passing her up and landing before her when she was jumping at a busy DZ like Perris Valley.

We are creating very busy skies with all this activity. Perhaps it is time to pace ourselves and spread the jumpers out a bit.


(This post was edited by peek on Oct 5, 2010, 8:49 AM)


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Oct 5, 2010, 9:09 AM
Post #36 of 285 (1192 views)
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I cant say that I totally agree with that reason for a downsize. Especially for a newer jumper.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 5, 2010, 9:24 AM
Post #37 of 285 (1183 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
... can you offer a reason that the USPA doesn't appear to see a valid path to better canopy training...

I'm not sure what USPA should do. The point of my post was to suggest that perhaps large aircraft should be doing multiple passes.

An interesting example is that Jan Meyer once told me that she downsized to a smaller canopy because with the larger one she used to have, she would have jumpers from a later aircraft passing her up and landing before her when she was jumping at a busy DZ like Perris Valley.

We are creating very busy skies with all this activity. Perhaps it is time to pace ourselves and spread the jumpers out a bit.

Given that multiple passes increase the cost of the jump to the DZO, that'll be a no-go proposition. When you have a DZO demanding that the aircraft turn 3-4 times in an hour, multiple passes are perhaps an effective solution but not a practical answer.
Failing that...step backwards from the exit point and look more at separations, which falls into the world of education/awareness. And we're right back in the lap of USPA at least making an attempt to do something that goes beyond lip service.
If we can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a dozen press releases, surely USPA can find a means of funding education, which is a great deal more effective.

Then again...perhaps the first jumps generated by fatalities are statistically more powerful than the first jumps inspired by press releases.Unsure


DanG  (D 22351)

Oct 5, 2010, 9:55 AM
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In reply to:
Even DZs that attempt to follow the ISP to the letter come up short in the area of canopy control. As previously mentioned, trying to teach canopy control in bits and pieces during the student progression is not the ideal situation.

Students are aware that they are not graded on canopy conttrol, and the informaiton they are given isn't directly related to learning objectives on the upcoming jump. Due to this, the student is less likely to see the canopy control portion as a 'lesson', and the instructor is less likey to address it that way. It sounds more like 'tips' for them to file away with all of the other 'tips' they get like 'carry a pullup cord in your pocket' or 'don't pee into the wind'.

Then the coach or instructor is doing it wrong. When I was coaching (and jumping) I would spend the same amount of attention on canopy issues as on freefall. And I would "fail" students on levels G or H if they showed poor canopy control.

If the instructional staff at your DZ is brushing over the canopy control portion of the ISP, then get that proverbial beam out of your eye. You might be surprized at the improvements you see.


labrys  (D 29848)

Oct 5, 2010, 11:02 AM
Post #39 of 285 (1148 views)
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Quote:
And I would "fail" students on levels G or H if they showed poor canopy control.

It's easy to fail a student for poor canopy control. One of the points being made was that you can't usually see if the student is properly practicing the actual canopy progression skills they've been taught while you're negotiating a place in the pattern and landing your own canopy. It's a lot easier to observe that aspect of the coaching from the ground


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 5, 2010, 12:13 PM
Post #40 of 285 (1117 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
Which is why I said my opinion is that it should be a pre-B-license requirement

Why B?

Because I don't think there should be any more obstacles put in the way of a jumper attaining their A-license.

I think it is an important goal for students to attain and making it more difficult would be demotivational.

However, I don't believe that anyone should be allowed to progress beyond 'A' without further potentially life-saving canopy tuition. I agree with the sentiment that perhaps an A license should come with some further restrictions such as not jumping at boogies or with any more that a 4 way (for example) as an added incentive to get the 'B' as well as for safety reasons.

Just my opinion. I seem to be the only low-timer chipping in on this discussion so I am prepared to be swayed by others arguments.


DanG  (D 22351)

Oct 5, 2010, 1:05 PM
Post #41 of 285 (1102 views)
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In reply to:
One of the points being made was that you can't usually see if the student is properly practicing the actual canopy progression skills they've been taught while you're negotiating a place in the pattern and landing your own canopy. It's a lot easier to observe that aspect of the coaching from the ground

I agree to a point, but it's pretty hard to tell if a student is doing a rear riser turn vs. a toggle turn from 4000ft away, too. I took two professional canopy control courses, and neither one involved the instructor watching me do my canopy work from the ground with a pair of binoculars. The only part that was videoed/directly observed was the landing pattern work. That's the same thing that should be happening with ISP canopy instruction. The only way to avoid self-reporting of canopy practice is to jump with the student and do no-touch CRW. I think that's beyond what is practical for primary canopy control instruction.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 5, 2010, 3:24 PM
Post #42 of 285 (1083 views)
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In reply to:
The only way to avoid self-reporting of canopy practice is to jump with the student and do no-touch CRW. I think that's beyond what is practical for primary canopy control instruction.


Yes, yes Yes! It could be done if more people with knowledge and experience would take those young jumpers under their wing and jump 1-on-1 with them.

Air-air radio and video would be simply great!

Not so very hard to do.

On the down side, it's very discouraging to spend so much time with the youngsters only to have them see and hear the "experienced" bozos doing and talking stupid shit.

You experienced guys...Please know and understand that YOUR ACTIONS are setting an example for the youngsters. YOU doing stupid shit gets them thinking that they can do it too.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 5, 2010, 4:23 PM
Post #43 of 285 (1073 views)
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In reply to:
USPA Executive Director Ed Scott used his “Gearing Up” editorial in the October 2010 Parachutist magazine to discuss the high percentage of skydiving fatalities in the US in 2010 attributed to canopy issues of one sort or another. He noted that of the 16 fatalities through August, 12 were “canopy-related”.

<snip>

If we are going to get a handle on canopy accidents, we need to ask the right questions. <snip>.

There is only one right question to ask and that is:

WTF are we doing teaching people how to freefall before we teach them to fly a canopy without a RADIO?"

The root of the problem is our freefall-based training system. PERIOD.

Until we discard it and return to a system that teaches fundamental PARACHUTING SURVIVAL SKILLS before tangenting off on freefall fun skills, we will never get a handle on this problem.

"Adapting" our current freefall-focused training system to increase the canopy training is just plastering more bandaids on a severed artery.

Get a clue, people. This is NOT rocket science: In any dangerous undertaking, you teach the basic survival skills first, then the fun skills.

Until sport parachuting addresses this fundamental flaw in its outlook, attitude and product delivery, we're just gonna keep killing way more people than necessary clinging to that fatal flaw.

Unfortunately, we seem to understand cutting away a canopy that we expected to work but didn't, but can't seem to even be able to notice that the training system we expected to work... doesn't.

Cool


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 5, 2010, 5:15 PM
Post #44 of 285 (1059 views)
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In reply to:
Unfortunately, we seem to understand cutting away a canopy that we expected to work but didn't, but can't seem to even be able to notice that the training system we expected to work... doesn't.

Cool

Maybe you've failed to notice that one is very simple mechanics while the other is a fairly complex process.
If you have so much to say about it, Robin...why not come up with a course/program/syllabus and work to get it adopted?


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 5, 2010, 5:44 PM
Post #45 of 285 (1050 views)
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I don't think a canopy training course will makes a difference. Here is a copy of a corrected letter I wrote about a month ago to Jay Stokes....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To: Jay Stokes
President of the USPA

From: Dan Rosenthal
D-11308
USPA #
Date: 08 15 2010

Subject: Unpredictability in the Landing Zone

Jay, It was a pleasure to meet you this past weekend at the event in Deland, honoring Col Joe Kitteringer. This memo is in reference to my conversation with you about what I think might reduce the deaths that are occurring in the Landing Zone (LZ) at many parachute centers throughout the world.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the past few years, the number of deaths under good parachute has been increasing to greater than 50% of all skydiving fatalities. I think this is mostly because of either high speed landings that go awry (hook turns) that not only affected the skydiver in particular, but too often, an innocent bystander or another skydiver, when it has occurred close to the ground and/or at several hundred feet.

I feel that we have this problem because, unlike airplanes that must land in a particular direction, skydivers land in different directions. This creates an unnecessary hazardous environment.

My solution is a predictable landing pattern at every USPA Member Drop Zone. In order to be an approved “member” USPA drop zone, you would have to agree to abide by this requirement.

The FAA mandates a predictable landing pattern for airplanes. We can do the same for parachutes.

I think that the USPA requires a separation between the regular LZ and a designated high performance LZ but the term separate is very ambiguous and not the same thing as a formal landing pattern.

As an example, I regularly skydive at Z-Hills where there is a separate swoop pond. EVERYONE must walk by it or in front of it to get from the LZ back to the packing area. It is separate but in the path of everyone walking back to pack!


One of the complaints I’ve heard to having a pre determined pattern is the fact that some people might occasionally have to land downwind. My answer to that is to land down wind. It is a skill that every skydiver should know. Skydivers have died because they were afraid to do a downwind landing and turned too low.


A predictable pattern will not stop the deaths, but will reduce them significantly.

At least there will be a plan.. Right now there are no rules, just informal agreement that literally change with the wind!

What is the present landing “rule?”

1. Watch the windsock and chase it all around.
2. Everyone agrees before boarding the airplane on a landing direction and then someone changes their mind in the air.
3. First one down sets the pattern, unless the wind changes!

and on and on...



I land as far from the peas as possible and try to be last down. I’m never in a hurry to get down first. After my parachute opens I don't want any more excitement.

My bottom line question is, “Why not have a predictable landing pattern in the LZ?”


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 5, 2010, 5:55 PM
Post #46 of 285 (1043 views)
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In reply to:

My solution is a predictable landing pattern at every USPA Member Drop Zone. In order to be an approved “member” USPA drop zone, you would have to agree to abide by this requirement.

The problem with this is that of enforcement.

There is already a requirement for USPA DZs to separate high performance and "normal" landings, but it doesn't happen in all cases and there don't seem to be any consequences for DZs that ignore it.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 5, 2010, 8:12 PM
Post #47 of 285 (1013 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
We have more canopy collisions here than other countries do. We have more lift capacity too, and perhaps those numbers are relevant.

Not only are they relevant, they are related.

While I don't have the statistics in front of me, I would guess that people are seldom colliding under canopy after having jumped from a C182. (Someone correct me if they have statistics that show otherwise.)

As a number of previous posters have pointed out, canopies have changed. In general they are faster now.

The way loads are flown has changed too, but in a way that results in less safety, not more. I remember the days of multiple passes, but we don't seem to do that anymore.

Combine the two changes and it is no wonder that there are more canopy collisions.

So,
~we have a more broad access to single-load lift capacity than we did when the training was created.
~We have faster canopies and arguably higher wingloadings.
~We have fewer passes in those larger planes (presumably due in part to the fact that canopies can now fly further, in addition to fuel savings)
~Swooping/high performance turns are a greater component than they were 10 years ago.

As a USPA BOD member, can you offer a reason that the USPA doesn't appear to see a valid path to better canopy training, standardized instruction for all skydivers as either part of a license progression or as part of a general learning program sponsored by USPA?

About time the useless night jump requirement was replaced by an advanced canopy flying requirement.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 5, 2010, 9:20 PM
Post #48 of 285 (999 views)
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Re: [kallend] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>About time the useless night jump requirement was replaced by an
>advanced canopy flying requirement.

It's even easier to avoid a HP canopy than it is to avoid a night jump.


ufk22  (D 16168)

Oct 5, 2010, 9:58 PM
Post #49 of 285 (993 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Unfortunately, we seem to understand cutting away a canopy that we expected to work but didn't, but can't seem to even be able to notice that the training system we expected to work... doesn't.

Cool

Maybe you've failed to notice that one is very simple mechanics while the other is a fairly complex process.
If you have so much to say about it, Robin...why not come up with a course/program/syllabus and work to get it adopted?
Doesn't need to be inventend, the program is called
STATIC LINE/IAD PROGRESSION.
Sorry, I realize that this is no longer cool, better to go AFF and then require another course to learn to fly your canopy.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 5, 2010, 10:36 PM
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Re: [ufk22] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I suppose I'm not articulating well.
My opinion is that in addition to proper emphasis (not changes) being placed on the canopy portions of the A license requirements, an "advanced" canopy course is another option that has merit.
Teaching "Your rear risers allow you do this" and "your toggles do that" doesn't bridge the disconnect between "what this does" vs "when you'll need this technique."
We grill students in pre-A license training with contrived scenarios, but we don't offer endorsed/consistent mechanisms for post AFF training opportunities.

Clearly, some people "get it" and access Flight 1, Brian Germain, or other canopy coaches to help them learn more techniques, advanced concepts for canopy handling in traffic, winds, or other challenging situations. These people are self-motivated, and that's terrific. Many people have no motivation to learn more. They just want to jump. Taking some of the Flight 1, Germain, or "other" syllabus and experience, tying it to a license, boogie stamp, or "other" should raise awareness, provide motivation for greater safety, and raise the overall skill level of the skydiving population in the USA.

I've been to various boogies all over the US this summer and seen landing directions from all points of the compass. I've seen 3 canopy collisions that thankfully didn't end in a fatality. I've observed people overflying areas that are clearly dangerous due to winds, and watched one fatality because of same. A friend died due to being hit from behind just a few weeks ago.

I cannot help but think that the increase in canopy collisions should be cause for pause and for the USPA to dig into the trend, identify means of reducing it, and education vs rules seem to be the intelligent path. The benefits range from better jumper awareness and skill down to lower insurance costs for DZs.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 6, 2010, 5:37 AM
Post #51 of 285 (942 views)
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Quote:
My solution is a predictable landing pattern at every USPA Member Drop Zone.

Brilliant. So this should solve the problem at every DZ where they all currently agree to an unpredictable landing pattern.

That, of course, is sarcasm. Just like every jumper who goes in thinks they are being safe and that their jump will go fine, every load at every DZ has some intention of a predictable landing pattern. There is always either an agreed upon landing direction, or a 'follow the first jumper down' rule.

The best you could hope for is to help the DZs that do nto mandate the direction of the pattern. Some DZs allow left or right hand patterns at the same time, but even then those places are rare.

The reason your overly simple solution will not work is becasue the problem isn't that simple. Canopy collisions are 'accidents' meaning that nobody intended for them to happen, and something went wrong to allow them to occur. Even if you have an established pattern including the direction of turns and direction of landing, things can still go wrong.

How about the first group out on a pass? They exit downwind of the DZ, and may not have the altitude to make it all the way upwind to the pattern entry, then turn back and fly the complete pattern. These jumpers are left entering the pattern on the base or final leg. That's not predictable, it depends on the severity of the winds and the quality of the spot, but adds a variable to your 'predictable' pattern.

How about the other end of the jumprun? Jumpers too far from the DZ upwind may not have the altitude to make to the DZ by pattern entry. They might be able to cut the pattern short and fly it low and tight, but again, this adds a variable to your 'predictable' pattern.

How about traffic in the pattern itself? If a jumper flies a tighter pattern than another and makes and inside turn to final, the outside jumper might feel too close to them under canopy. So they skew off to the right (given a left hand pattern) and cut off anyone coming from their right rear position. That's not 'predictable'.

How about the newbie who turns onto final too high for the LZ, and opposed to overrunning it and landing out, they make a 45 degree turn and take advanatge of the longer diagonal line across the LZ to land within the field? That's not predictable.

Are you catching on? There's nothing predicatbe about 20 unpowered aircraft, all flying at different speeds with pilots of different skill levels. No amount of pre-planning or good intentions are going to level that playing field and make it sensible.

The key is education. Teach jumpers about winds, and how to use them to their advantage. Teach them about different flight modes of the canopies, and what you can use them for. Show them techniques for improviing accuracy and encourge them to do hop n pops to practice those techniques.

Want proof? Go watch a load of tandems land. Notice how they don't have any problems even if they don't use a pattern? There are no sequencing problems or proximity issues under canopy. They all manage to land next to their camera guy with no problems. The reason is pilot skill. A load of tandems is an example of a group of accomplished, rated jumpers completing the simpel task of landign several parachutes in one area.

Want more proof? Watch a swoop training camp. They put out four or five jumper on a single pass, and every single one of them will land in the exact same spot with no problems at all. The reason is that these are skilled jumpers with an interest in a successful canopy flight such that they create and follow a plan. Again, educated pilots flying their canopies in a controlled fashion.

If you could describe every load as the same, 'eductaed jumpers flying canopies in a controlled fashion' you wouldn't have a problem. So educate the jumpers, then mandate a landing pattern, and since they will have the knowledge and skill to follow it, it will work.

As an aside, study the available data, high speed approaches are not a part of the majority of open canopy incidents. Nothing can kill an arguement more than an unfactual premise, and that's exactly what you have there.


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 6, 2010, 7:57 AM
Post #52 of 285 (920 views)
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Re: [billvon] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>About time the useless night jump requirement was replaced by an
>advanced canopy flying requirement.

It's even easier to avoid a HP canopy than it is to avoid a night jump.

Not if it's packed in your container.

Are you seriously suggesting that banning HP canopies is a better option that education? You won't get my support on that one.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 6, 2010, 8:22 AM
Post #53 of 285 (915 views)
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
My solution is a predictable landing pattern at every USPA Member Drop Zone.

Brilliant. So this should solve the problem at every DZ where they all currently agree to an unpredictable landing pattern.

No solution is perfect. The suggestion is an excellent one that will reduce problems.

In reply to:
Canopy collisions are 'accidents' meaning that nobody intended for them to happen, and something went wrong to allow them to occur. Even if you have an established pattern including the direction of turns and direction of landing, things can still go wrong.

...and this is why no solution is perfect. Unfortunately we don't live in a world where absolutes prevail.


In reply to:
No amount of pre-planning or good intentions are going to level that playing field and make it sensible.

Again, no absolutes in life. Does this mean we do nothing that would help reduce problems? I'm sure that is NOT what you are driving at.

As far as predictability, what we're looking at is a defined landing pattern PLAN. All the things you mentioned about exits and how they affect the landing pattern can, and should be, accounted for in your landing pattern PLAN. This is one place where education can go a long way towards preventing problems when those situations arise.

In reply to:
The key is education. Teach jumpers about winds, and how to use them to their advantage. Teach them about different flight modes of the canopies, and what you can use them for. Show them techniques for improviing accuracy and encourge them to do hop n pops to practice those techniques. (adding: And teach them about what to do when other jumpers force modifications to their landing pattern plans.)

Yep, that's a good start. How can we include the experienced jumpers who (should) know these things but ignore them for whatever reason?

In reply to:
Want proof?

Both of your examples involve similar experience levels, similar skills and similar canopy flight characteristics. The usual load has a vast mixture of these three things.

I cannot bring myself to support the idea of "do nothing until the absolute best fix is figured out."

Yes, Dave, I know that is not what you are saying here. You do advocate predictable landing patterns after all and you do advocate education as indicated in your next-to-last paragraph.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Oct 6, 2010, 8:23 AM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 6, 2010, 8:26 AM
Post #54 of 285 (913 views)
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In reply to:
>About time the useless night jump requirement was replaced by an
>advanced canopy flying requirement.

It's even easier to avoid a HP canopy than it is to avoid a night jump.

????
I'll need an explanation on how you came up with that, Bill.
Was it meant as sarcasm?


Douggarr  (D 2791)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:20 AM
Post #55 of 285 (895 views)
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Re: [chuckakers] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read through the threads pretty thoroughly and have this suggestion: There should be two canopy control courses; one basic, and one advanced. The basic one should be required and part of the licensing progression. Maybe the basic should include a practical text of one or two skydives? The advanced should be optional and offered for anyone who wants to take it -- like me, a returning skydiver over a long layoff who is constantly looking at high-performance canopies blazing the horizon. I was an accuracy competitor under rounds and eventually squares, and although i have plenty of 0.00s in my log books, I still would take an advanced course.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:22 AM
Post #56 of 285 (894 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Unfortunately, we seem to understand cutting away a canopy that we expected to work but didn't, but can't seem to even be able to notice that the training system we expected to work... doesn't.

Cool

Maybe you've failed to notice that one is very simple mechanics while the other is a fairly complex process.
If you have so much to say about it, Robin...why not come up with a course/program/syllabus and work to get it adopted?

Sorry, Spot, cutting away a bad canopy and cutting away a bad training system are both equally simple, especially when in the latter case the system in question violates every basic training precept: teach survival skills first, fun skills second.

And I know you're still kinda new around here, but I did in fact "come up with a course/program/syllabus" more than 15 years ago, and have since then "work(ed) to get it adopted," including the post I made yesterday to this thread, posts I've made on multiple other threads on this site, a series of SKYDIVING articles that addressed this situation is both technical and systemic detail over a 16-year period, and both formal and informal presentations over the years to BOD members.

But to go back to the cutaway analogy, some people die because they wait too long to cut away, either because they don't recognize the danger soon enough -- or are too prideful to admit to themselves that the pack job in which they had so much confidence just was not up to the job.

Both of these factors are at work with cutting away this fatally flawed training system, despite the efforts of those such as myself who keep shouting: "Cut it away! Cut it away!"

Cool


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:30 AM
Post #57 of 285 (886 views)
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Quote:
Sorry, Spot, cutting away a bad canopy and cutting away a bad training system are both equally simple,

It's an absurd analogy and we both know it.

Damn...that's GREAT that you wrote a syllabus and worked to implement it 15 years ago. AWESOME!

15 years ago I worked to bring the standard of DV to broadcast from the NAB level. We won, and DV became a standard.
DV is dead.
Now we're working on 2k.
Times change. If the fight is worth fighting, you keep fighting and adapting.
Bitching about it on an internet forum is just... bitching.
Gather others to support your message. If it's just you, the one lone voice in the desert, you're not gonna get heard and worse, may not be representative of the collective community.

Obviously we both feel changes need to be made. In this thread, I've made some suggestions. You feel they're worth a scoff or two from you, but you fail to provide a path.
Insanity is trying the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Perhaps try to find a different way to achieve your goal?


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:36 AM
Post #58 of 285 (882 views)
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In reply to:
I suppose I'm not articulating well.
My opinion is that in addition to proper emphasis (not changes) being placed on the canopy portions of the A license requirements, an "advanced" canopy course is another option that has merit.

No, you are not understanding it well. You persist in thinking a freefall-focused basic training program (the severed artery) can somehow be "fixed" with the bandaids you propose.

And did you notice how no one else (except UFK22) even addresses this issue? You at least don't ignore me as if I'm the crazy uncle at the wedding, but notice how no one - no one - even entertains the notion that the system itself is a bad canopy that needs to be cut away.

And even you completely ignore ufk22's advisory that the necessary replacement system is already in place -- and was, in fact, the primary training system before the advent of "AFF," the very name of which disqualifies it as a legitimate means through which to teach PARACHUTING skills.

Time for sport parachuting wake up and chop that puppy before it kills us all.

Cool

P.S. And when are you other peeps who have so much to say about bandaids gonna devote at least a paragraph or two to explaining why you persist in sticking with a system that violates every basic training system in the book: survival skills first, fun skills second?

Or maybe Upton Sinclair was talking about all of you when he said ""It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"


(This post was edited by robinheid on Oct 6, 2010, 9:37 AM)


Fast  (D 28237)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:40 AM
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have nearly the time in sport or experience that you do, but advocating that we all go back to doing static line isn't going to get you very far. There are a plethora of reasons why this is true and I have to assume that you know this. Why bark up that tree?

We need to fix the system that we have because no one is about to go back to the old system even if it did things much better in that part of the sport. It just wont happen. Static line has it's flaws too.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:46 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
Sorry, Spot, cutting away a bad canopy and cutting away a bad training system are both equally simple,

It's an absurd analogy and we both know it.

Thanks for telling me what I know, buddy, but jes' fer the sake of understanding what it is I apparently already know, in what way is the analogy absurd?

In reply to:
Damn...that's GREAT that you wrote a syllabus and worked to implement it 15 years ago. AWESOME!

Nice. You ask me to act on my concerns, and when I tell you I did, you sneer at my efforts.

In reply to:
I've made some suggestions. You feel they're worth a scoff or two from you, but you fail to provide a path.

I've provided a path for 16 years, and periodically remind others of it.... but they either scoff the way you do, or ignore it completely.

The path is very simple. Cut away AFF and go back to the future by using already-in-place systems that are parachute-focused (survival skill-focused) instead of freefall-focused (fun skill-focused).


Cool


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:52 AM
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

And you've missed Robin's point as well.

Why did AFF replace Static Line? It didn't need to. It should have been added to Static Line by replacing the short freefall progression of solo skydives.

Some will say that they don't have the gear for Static Line. Fair enough. But any student freefall rig can be used for IAD.

Every (successful) skydive ends with a canopy ride. We should be teaching canopy skills before we teach freefall skills.

What we have now, where AFF is the predominant route to skydiving, ends up putting most of the effort into the freefall, and only poor lipservice is paid to canopy skills.

Teach the canopy stuff first, utilizing either SL or IAD as the way to get the canopy open in the air.

When sufficient canopy skills are demonstrated, graduate and move on to AFF.

If this means that some students will leave because they aren't getting the instant gratification they want, so be it. Maybe filtering in this way will help select for a group of novice skydivers who understand that the best way to do this is one step at a time. Maybe it will help select against the people who think that they should be jumping a wingsuit and a camera on jump 26.

Robin did offer a path. Teach canopy skills first.


(This post was edited by riggerpaul on Oct 6, 2010, 10:03 AM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:54 AM
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In reply to:
We need to fix the system that we have because no one is about to go back to the old system even if it did things much better in that part of the sport.

Indeed.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" -- Upton Sinclair

But really, you make broad sweeping statements. Suppose you support them with some facts or at least details, to wit:

What is the "plethora of reasons why this is true?"

Why is "no one about to go back to the old system even if it did things much better (in the very part of the sport that is -- by FAR -- causing the most fatalities)?"

What are the "flaws" in static line training -- and how do they compare to the fundamental flaws of a system that teaches fun skills before it teaches the basic survival skills?

Cool


grimmie  (D 18890)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:57 AM
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I think dirt diving the openings, pattern and landings in the loading area as a group can mitigate a little of the hazards. What are the group sizes?Who's is flying what and where are they opening? What is the jump run, ground winds etc. What is the pattern? It helps a bit, especially at boogies.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:59 AM
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

There sincerely is no sneer, Robin.
If you undertook the effort, then I applaud it. Effort is effort and takes dedication.
But what you did 15 years ago isn't relevant to today.
Were I to have been around for wingsuiting 12 years ago, the syllabus I'd have proposed back then would have been tremendously different than what I'd propose today.

What you propose means taking steps back from a very good system that is in place, and isn't going to change. You want a manufactured zebra to not only no longer have stripes, but to be a cow instead.
Yes, the system has flaws. Identifying those flaws and working to fix them inline is much more efficient than attempting to take everything offline.
Advocating static line to replace AFF?
Really?


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 10:25 AM
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In reply to:
There sincerely is no sneer, Robin.
If you undertook the effort, then I applaud it. Effort is effort and takes dedication.

okay, thanks. Appreciated.

In reply to:
But what you did 15 years ago isn't relevant to today.


How would you know? You don't even know what I wrote... and really, what part of "teach survival skills first, fun skills second" isn't relevant today?


In reply to:
What you propose means taking steps back from a very good system that is in place.


If it's such "a very good system," then why are there bandaids stuck all over it, with more coming every day, and scores of peeps still dying because of its failures?


In reply to:
You want a manufactured zebra to not only no longer have stripes, but to be a cow instead.


talk about absurd... what did you put in your coffee this morning?


In reply to:
Yes, the system has flaws.


A fatal flaw, just like a pack job that turns into a ball of cow manure when you deploy it.


In reply to:
Identifying those flaws and working to fix them inline is much more efficient than attempting to take everything offline.


Try applying that "logic" the the ball of cow manure over your head as you're screaming earthward.


In reply to:
Advocating static line to replace AFF?
Really?


Nice straw man. As riggerpaul said, and I repeat (for the umpteenth time): teach survival skills FIRST, then teach the fun skills.

If you had done some due diligence into my past efforts on this subject, you would know that one specific example I use to validate what I propose is the Goriesky experience over several years at the Air Force Academy.

Search for it on this site -- and from now on, if you want to argue with your professor, it's best to do your homework first.

Cool


(This post was edited by robinheid on Oct 6, 2010, 10:30 AM)


Fast  (D 28237)

Oct 6, 2010, 10:35 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
We need to fix the system that we have because no one is about to go back to the old system even if it did things much better in that part of the sport.

Indeed.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" -- Upton Sinclair

But really, you make broad sweeping statements. Suppose you support them with some facts or at least details, to wit:

What is the "plethora of reasons why this is true?"

Why is "no one about to go back to the old system even if it did things much better (in the very part of the sport that is -- by FAR -- causing the most fatalities)?"

What are the "flaws" in static line training -- and how do they compare to the fundamental flaws of a system that teaches fun skills before it teaches the basic survival skills?

Cool

Well, you hit one of the nails on the head. Financially, it's not going to work for most DZOs and short of "forcing" people to go back to a static line teaching methodology, which I don't think is practically enforceable, it's one of the biggest reasons why it wont happen.

For where I jump, we used to have very large static line classes, drop 20-30 students a day (before my time) and then tandem came along and changed things. AFF worked it's way in at some point in the past and we started making skydivers that were competent in freefall from nearly the word go. I have a static line rating (surprisingly) because we did static line up until this year at my DZ. It works well out of a 182. Dropping static line students out of a fuel hungry turbine aircraft that is just making a quick stop at hop and pop altitude isn't practical for most operations.

In addition, for the most part, w/o a strut to hang from or a step to stand on the students don't get to learn much either. It's one of the reasons that we dropped the whole program. Exiting from inside a side door aircraft with stability and managing a static line and all of the like was not productive.

We had it set up where the student would do some static lines and at the point where they would be moving to actual clear and pulls we transitioned them into AFF. It scared the instructors less and was more practical for the student to learn. Over time, it also became clear that given an option of AFF, the only people who chose static line were the ones who couldn't afford to do a tandem (our cheapest jump type other than static line) and not the people who wanted to learn to skydive.

We also are finding more and more (and not just at my dropzone, in fact, not really at my dropzone) in this sport that the level of mentoring for free is dropping off. There are some great places out there where that isn't the case, but most people with an A license at a big dropzone end up on their own or have to pay for more coaching. We expanded our AFF program to an AFP program that has coaching and the like through most of the first 25 jumps because we got sick of losing skydivers who had gotten an A license and were incapable of being on a freefall skydive. No one would jump with them, no one would teach them, they were in limbo. The just quit the sport. Static line as a concept is great, except the average student coming off static line doesn't have anywhere near the freefall skills that an AFF student does and when it comes down to it, people you have to jump with are going to choose someone else if you can't hang. (Shitty I know, but in a day where every jump ticket has a bigger impact on household finances, that's how people are)

I don't think that's any kind of excuse to not teach canopy skills. It's an important subject. I don't think that it's an AFF vs Static Line issue really. It's a "what are we teaching people" issue. I went through an AFF course and at this point, I am a fairly skilled swooper jumping a velocity, but I can land a parachute w/o hook turning it too and know how to fly predictably and how to look out for others who aren't. So, clearly it's possible to get to a good place from the AFF program, just need to have people who want to learn or give them reasons to learn these things. It's an easier subject to force on people than trying to convince everyone to take a "step back" by about 20 years.

I also think that this comes down to the case of education not keeping up with the times. From what I have learned from people who have been around a lot longer than I have parachutes have changed so much and the teaching hasn't. The things that were taught 20, 30 years ago aren't going to produce a skydiver that can manage being in the air with 10-30 other skydivers jumping canopies that are faster even at a beginner level than most people jumped back then at higher experience levels. The education needs to catch up to parachute design.

No one wants to slow down and take a breath and learn stuff. They want it all now. It's a generational thing and changing that attitude isn't going to be easy. We need to give people reasons to want to learn this stuff. We need to not make it harder for people to get into the sport than it already is. Oh and we need to find a way to do this w/o overly affecting the bottom line or dropzones just aren't going to deal with it.

That's my thoughts on the matter, I hope it helps.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 6, 2010, 10:44 AM
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>Are you seriously suggesting that banning HP canopies is a better option
>that education?

No.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Oct 6, 2010, 10:47 AM
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In reply to:
Advocating static line to replace AFF?
Really?

Maybe it is fun to bicker with Robin. God knows I enjoy the arguments he and I have in email.

But I would like some feedback on the idea of using each teaching method at the appropriate time.

I don't want to replace anything with anything. I want to use each program to our best advantage.

Start with SL or IAD (probably IAD, for its practical considerations) as a way to get a student under an open canopy, and learning to use that canopy, jumping that way until acceptable canopy skills have been learned.

And then moving on to AFF, replacing the solo short delays that were part of the SL program.

Apply each method to the problems that it is best suited to address.


pilotdave  (D License)

Oct 6, 2010, 11:17 AM
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Re: [riggerpaul] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I just don't buy that removing freefall from the first few jumps would lower the number of canopy collisions, low turns, and swoops gone bad. Static line and IAD instructors don't teach more about canopy flight in their FJCs than AFF instructors do. I have my IAD rating and my AFF rating. The IAD instructor course didn't teach any magical information that the AFF course was missing. The difference is instructor emphasis during pre-jump training and post-jump debriefs.

There's no reason the AFF FJC couldn't put a greater emphasis on canopy flight. In fact, many instructors do put a bigger emphasis on canopy flight than freefall. I'd hardly call AFF to be freefall focused considering there are just as many canopy rides in 10 AFF jumps as their are in 10 static line jumps.

I also don't think an FJC can really (effectively) teach more about canopy flight, whether its AFF or static line/IAD. A student that has never jumped before can only take in so much info. The FJC teaches the most basic survival skills. They don't, and shouldn't teach everything a student will learn over their next 200 jumps.

Some have advocated for a seminar-type of canopy course being taught at some point before the A-license is earned. Not a bad idea... but I still don't think students can learn as effectively by listening to a whole wide variety of canopy control topics without putting them into practice, one at a time, before moving on to the next topic. The Flight-1 (aka Scott Miller) canopy course teaches a skill, then the students go out and put it into practice. Then they come back and learn the next skill.

As I said before, we already have that arrangement built into the ISP. There are new canopy control topics added with each category, one at a time. The student has the opportunity to try them, one at a time.

My DZ has a relatively small landing area, surrounded by obstacles, and a big plane. We've made a lot of effort to add a lot of discussion about "landing lanes" and maintaining separation from other canopies in the pattern. But students are students... You can teach, they can learn, but applying it in the air is a whole different ballgame. Unfortunately much of it just comes with experience.

I do not think the first jump method has much to do with the current state of canopy flying. We don't have more canopy collisions now because static line was ditched years ago. It's because canopies are smaller and faster than ever before. Education has to be continuous to lower the accident rate... canopy education requirements for every license, not just the A.

Dave


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 11:29 AM
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Re: [pilotdave] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I just don't buy that removing freefall from the first few jumps would lower the number of canopy collisions, low turns, and swoops gone bad. Static line and IAD instructors don't teach more about canopy flight in their FJCs than AFF instructors do.

TRUE!

But what I've proposed is that we EXPAND the sl/iad training tothe point that the student is a competent pilot who has downsized to a somewhat manageable canopy-container system before they start freefall training.

No more 5-jumps-then-you-freefall... you stay on sl/iad until you meet certain performance and classroom milestones, then you start freefalling.

this training would be like the aff system in that people can ace the course in X number of jumps, but it usually takes several more. and, to me, "graduation" means when you're competent enough to go from 260-300 sf canopies down to something in the .7 to 1.0 wing loading range.

then, and only then, do you graduate to freefall training. as roger nelson discovered, putting people on smaller ZP canopies helped their freefall learning because the they were flying the rigs instead of the the rigs flying them.

Cool


pilotdave  (D License)

Oct 6, 2010, 11:43 AM
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting concept... but all I can see is it'd put students on smaller, faster canopies more quickly. It has the benefit that downsizing would be monitored and based on demonstrated skill. How many jumps do you assume the "default" course would take before freefall? Guessing far fewer than a typical student has now when they reach the point of downsizing to 1.0.

It would also force DZs to offer more sizes of student rigs.

Personally, I bet there'd be more injuries, not less. You can't teach experience.

Dave


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Oct 6, 2010, 11:46 AM
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Re: [pilotdave] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

It isn't necessarily about the instruction or the instructor. It is about the student.

The student will focus on what he perceives to be what he wants to learn.

The canopy-ride-only jumps might help to get the student focused on the canopy work.

If they cannot get to the "real fun" until they have demonstrated some better canopy control, there may be a greater chance that they will try harder to do good canopy work.

If an instructor can always say "you need a few more canopy-ride-only jumps before you can do freefall", how can the student help but not want to do it better?

But, since the freefall is likely what brought them in in the first place, they will emphasize that if allowed to.

We need stepwise goals that lead to good learning. If we don't provide that sort of structured learning experience, it is the rare student who will provide it on his own.

You say that the ISP already has arrangements built in.

But the real canopy work is at the end of it, not the beginning.

I'd prefer that it is at the beginning, before the fun stuff distracts them.

Call it whatever you like. I just want a shift in the order and priorities of things.

Again, thanks for your reply.

-paul


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Oct 6, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Re: [riggerpaul] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think the issue is in how he jumper makes their first jump since we do not have large numbers of AFF/SL/IAD jumpers running into each other or hooking into the ground. Most incidents occur well past the point where the basics are expected to be taught and are frequently with jumpers that should know better but don't since they stopped learning once they got their license. Students of any progression should be taught items like canopy control, basic riser inputs (front and rear) and patterns since those are all survival skills. Once they move further through their jumps there is a whole block of information that is only being passed along now via canopy courses or getting more experience. Those blocks of information are want need to be recaptured and built into the licenses again.

You should not need to understand at a detailed level what doing different inputs will do to your ability to get back from a long spot at 15 jumps but you should be able to talk about it at 50 jumps in detail. Same thing with some of the more complicated items around splitting patterns or being able to shoot accuracy approaches. Teaching the ability to transpose a pattern is something that is taught for the A license but being able to fine tune that pattern and have 5 meter or better accuracy is not expected to be taught to a student but should be aught prior to 50 jumps.

We front load the current programs with survival skills and then drip feed more information until a student passes their A license then basically tell them they are on their own to learn everything from there. This leads to a lot of DZ specific information being taught with out global standardization. I was never taught how work on getting back from a long spot since my DZ had 1000's of acres of fields around it - just land in one and you are fine. Go to a DZ like Deland and that does not work there anymore. That was a skill that I learned via a canopy course and one that is able to be taught with an hour or two of ground training covering the theory and then application of it. I also learned nothing at all about canopy sizes except that the cool people had the smaller canopies but no one hooked them since a hook turn was dangerous, to go faster just get a smaller canopy but stay going in straight. I can't even figure out how many ways that is wrong anymore...

Having a better advanced canopy training program helps educate not just the future students but current skydivers also.


(This post was edited by PhreeZone on Oct 6, 2010, 11:56 AM)


pilotdave  (D License)

Oct 6, 2010, 12:10 PM
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Re: [riggerpaul] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the order has little importance in the big picture. You won't lower canopy accident rates among experienced jumpers by front loading canopy training while they're students. I believe spreading it out is a good approach for learning. Teach more advanced topics to more advanced students. Early on, let them focus on just finding the landing area and flying a pattern.

I also think the already poor student retention rates would drop if it took a long time to get to freefall.

Dave


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 12:10 PM
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Re: [Fast] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
We need to fix the system that we have because no one is about to go back to the old system even if it did things much better in that part of the sport.

Indeed.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" -- Upton Sinclair

But really, you make broad sweeping statements. Suppose you support them with some facts or at least details, to wit:

What is the "plethora of reasons why this is true?"

Why is "no one about to go back to the old system even if it did things much better (in the very part of the sport that is -- by FAR -- causing the most fatalities)?"

What are the "flaws" in static line training -- and how do they compare to the fundamental flaws of a system that teaches fun skills before it teaches the basic survival skills?

Cool

Well, you hit one of the nails on the head. Financially, it's not going to work for most DZOs and short of "forcing" people to go back to a static line teaching methodology, which I don't think is practically enforceable, it's one of the biggest reasons why it wont happen.

the thing is, it makes economic sense for a DZ to do this. With sl/iad training, you have planes dropping more students lower, so faster cycle times, plus the ability to have them jump when it's cloudy as long as the cloud base is 3k or more.


In reply to:
For where I jump, we used to have very large static line classes, drop 20-30 students a day (before my time) and then tandem came along and changed things.

and not for the better because it's used as a carnival ride instead of dual instruction.

my system creates a from-the-start two-track tandem offering: a) carnival ride for $X; b) beginning dual instruction for $Y.

Then, if you want to keep jumping, one or more short-delay tandems to teach canopy piloting.

Then you go to sl/iad ONLY... no "choice" for the students. If they want to become skydivers, they learn how to handle the gear first, then they go for fun.

Benefits: cheaper for the students per jump; easier for them to get more jumps faster (several students per instructor instead of several instructors per student), and they learn the key survival skills while at the same time hanging out at the dz learning more about everything.

In reply to:
AFF worked it's way in at some point in the past and we started making skydivers that were competent in freefall from nearly the word go.


but who can't fly their canopies competently. one BIG thing that drove AFF adoption against all reason was one reason: instructors get paid to JUMP, not to teach, so of course they resist and actively sabotage sl programs. I watched them do it at perris.


In reply to:
I have a static line rating (surprisingly) because we did static line up until this year at my DZ. It works well out of a 182. Dropping static line students out of a fuel hungry turbine aircraft that is just making a quick stop at hop and pop altitude isn't practical for most operations.

then don't do it. dedicate student turbine loads in between the high loads -- and because they pay a higher-than-high-load price to go to a way lower altitude, you can send up your turbine half-empty and still make money.


In reply to:
In addition, for the most part, w/o a strut to hang from or a step to stand on the students don't get to learn much either. It's one of the reasons that we dropped the whole program. Exiting from inside a side door aircraft with stability and managing a static line and all of the like was not productive.

Valid concern... but easily solved.

Just have them exit like an airborne trooper -- feet together, legs straight, bent at the waist, hands and elbows tight against their torso.

paratroopers do it this way because the windblast on big planes is strong, and they're wearing tons of gear, so poised exits aren't practical and the airborne exit reduces line twists and flipping through lines, etc.

remember, THE GOAL HERE IS PARACHUTE TRAINING, so just get them out the door in a way that promotes good openings and... get this, gets them comfortable with jumping out the door.

instead of worrying and focusing on their body position, they assume an easy relaxed positionwhich promotes... relaxation out the door. then they get open and do their thing.

so this way you acclimate them to doing, in a relaxed fashion, the weirdest part of a parachute jump -- stepping from an airplane in flight.


In reply to:
We had it set up where the student would do some static lines and at the point where they would be moving to actual clear and pulls we transitioned them into AFF. It scared the instructors less and was more practical for the student to learn.


Cool but as i say in another post near this one, just keep them on sl/iad longer... don't use the old-fashioned progression; just leave them at clear-and-pull until they graduate from basic parachute training.

In reply to:
Over time, it also became clear that given an option of AFF, the only people who chose static line were the ones who couldn't afford to do a tandem (our cheapest jump type other than static line) and not the people who wanted to learn to skydive.

okay, fine, let them keep doing that.

but for peeps who DO want to learn to jump, after that first sl, they do dual-instruction tandems, then go back to sl for basic parachute training.


In reply to:
I don't think that's any kind of excuse to not teach canopy skills. It's an important subject. I don't think that it's an AFF vs Static Line issue really.


you're right. It's not one versus the other -- it's using both -- and inthe right order!

Survival skills first (basic parachute training), followed by the fun skills (basic freefall training).

AFF has proven itself to be an effective way to teach basic freefall skills.

It has similarly proven itself to be incapable of teaching basic parachuting skills.


In reply to:
I also think that this comes down to the case of education not keeping up with the times... the education needs to catch up to parachute design.

to catch up training to match parachute design, we need more intensive and parachute-focused training instead of the all-in-one thing that is AFF -- and that is precisely what the system i propose will do. AFF began where everyone jumped 200-230sf canopies, so it's obsolete as a basic training system.

We need to cut the freefall out of the basic training and focus on the parachute, THEN go to the freefall training.

pretty simple: survival skills first; fun skills second.

In reply to:
No one wants to slow down and take a breath and learn stuff.

most especially the peeps who think they already know it all!

Cool


pilotdave  (D License)

Oct 6, 2010, 12:23 PM
Post #76 of 285 (880 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

If you ask me, pulling is about the most basic survival skill in skydiving. Your system removes it from the basic training and puts it with the "fun stuff."

Listen, if AFF students were dying left and right under good parachutes, I'd agree with you. But it's experienced jumpers dying and killing each other. Initial training is not the cause.

Dave


(This post was edited by pilotdave on Oct 6, 2010, 12:27 PM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 12:29 PM
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In reply to:
Interesting concept... but all I can see is it'd put students on smaller, faster canopies more quickly. It has the benefit that downsizing would be monitored and based on demonstrated skill. How many jumps do you assume the "default" course would take before freefall? Guessing far fewer than a typical student has now when they reach the point of downsizing to 1.0.

It would also force DZs to offer more sizes of student rigs.

Personally, I bet there'd be more injuries, not less. You can't teach experience.

Dave

okay then, just delete the downsize part of the graduation requirements.

Next?

Cool


grimmie  (D 18890)

Oct 6, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Make every licensed skydiver in the world take an advanced canopy/landing course.

Ever go to a boogie and watch the "experienced" jumpers fly?Crazy


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 12:35 PM
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Re: [pilotdave] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If you ask me, pulling is about the most basic survival skill in skydiving. Your system removes it from the basic training and puts it with the "fun stuff."

Listen, if AFF students were dying left and right under good parachutes, I'd agree with you. But it's experienced jumpers dying and killing each other. Initial training is not the cause.

Dave
pulling is only a survival skill if you are... uh... freefalling.

and the point here is that experienced people are dying in canopy accidents because they never learned how to do things right in the first place and it's a testament to the relative safety of parachuting that they lived as long as they did.

Castles made of sand look great until the first wave; castles made of rock look good after the wave too.

Our current parachute training turns out canopy-pilot castles made of sand that sometime lasts for a long time before that first wave shows up and kills them.

I'm saying we need parachute training that turns out canopy pilot castles built on rock, not sand.

Cool


(This post was edited by robinheid on Oct 6, 2010, 12:48 PM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 6, 2010, 12:39 PM
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Re: [grimmie] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Make every licensed skydiver in the world take an advanced canopy/landing course.

Ever go to a boogie and watch the "experienced" jumpers fly?Crazy

that TOO!

For example, as part of every license requirement, there must be a continuing education canopy course/workshop/seminar of some kind.

when you hit the top license, a similiar requirement every other renewal year, or every third/fourth/fifth renewal year... you know, like with a driver's license in many states... you have to re-take the written test every X number of years.

There are many models on which to base our system; we just have to be open to seeking them out and then applying them.

Cool


(This post was edited by robinheid on Oct 6, 2010, 12:45 PM)


Fast  (D 28237)

Oct 6, 2010, 1:45 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
If you ask me, pulling is about the most basic survival skill in skydiving. Your system removes it from the basic training and puts it with the "fun stuff."

Listen, if AFF students were dying left and right under good parachutes, I'd agree with you. But it's experienced jumpers dying and killing each other. Initial training is not the cause.

Dave
pulling is only a survival skill if you are... uh... freefalling.

and the point here is that experienced people are dying in canopy accidents because they never learned how to do things right in the first place and it's a testament to the relative safety of parachuting that they lived as long as they did.

Castles made of sand look great until the first wave; castles made of rock look good after the wave too.

Our current parachute training turns out canopy-pilot castles made of sand that sometime lasts for a long time before that first wave shows up and kills them.

I'm saying we need parachute training that turns out canopy pilot castles built on rock, not sand.

Cool

Ya know, you might be right. Maybe you're not though. Either way - it isn't something we are ever going to find out. USPA would never force that on dropzones and most of them would just leave USPA to keep doing AFF. We have to look at practical solutions.

In our AFF program we emphasize and freefall and canopy. We expect a lot from our students. For the most part we are creating skydivers that have a good concept of both aspects of a skydive.

I am still heavily in favor of a continuing / advanced education program that is built up and progresses around the different steps of licenses. It's a practical solution (at least in comparison to making people start with a static line program). It's something that we have the groundwork set up for and it's something I can see USPA supporting and implementing.

We just need the "educational" stuff to go along with our licensing program. Someone needs to sit down and figure it out. "What's important to teach at what experience level and how much of it do you think people can really absorb." I don't think most of my first jump students could really wrap their head around all the extra canopy stuff that should be covered even if we took freefall away for 20 skydives.

A program that steps the skydiver up into more and more advanced topics and has an easy way of pointing out to people where you are at in the progression could help, it certainly wouldn't hurt.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 6, 2010, 6:57 PM
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Re: [Fast] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
[I am still heavily in favor of a continuing / advanced education program that is built up and progresses around the different steps of licenses. It's a practical solution (at least in comparison to making people start with a static line program). It's something that we have the groundwork set up for and it's something I can see USPA supporting and implementing.

.

Derek, we're on the same page. The advanced courses are there already, just not inside the USPA framework and certainly not requisite.
The problem with tying to licenses is that you'll always have someone saying "I'm happy with just an A license so I can travel around."
Any ideas on how to get this class of skydiver into advanced training?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 6, 2010, 8:57 PM
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

 

We're fucked. The training is old school and the canopies are new school V3.0. On top of that, the average WL and performance that is considered 'acceptable' for newbies and low timers has been creeping up every year, and in direct correlation, so have the number of open canopy incidents and fatalities.

Why does an A license holder recieve the same canopy related training I recieved 15 years ago?

Why does that same jumper then jump a canopy that would have been an 'expert' level wing 15 years ago?

When are we going to relize that the top-end of canopy performance has nothing to do with anyone but the top level canopy pilots? Just becasue Luigi can jump a 37sq ft canopy, I didn't rush out and downsize my wing, his accomplishements have nothing to do with me.

What used to be considered a 'hot' canopy was a sqaure-ish square, short diving Sabre 135. That was a wing-and-a-half back in the day, but today the semi-eliptical, long diving Sabre2 135 is looked at as 'intermediate' and as a 'stepping stone'. The training hasn't changed, jumpers haven't all become The 6 Million Dollar Man, smarter, stronger, and faster than ever before, but for some reason the idea of what canopies are 'acceptable' has slowly crept way too far in the wrong direction.

The USPA sucks. They sat there with their thumb up their butt too long, and now it's out of control. The situation is so far out of hand that getting back to a reasonable place would represent a huge change in training, equipment selection, and the general thinking of the community as a whole, and none of that is ever going to happen for the worst reason of all.

Much like what canopies or sizes have become 'acceptable' for newbies, so has the number of canopy related fatalites. Forgetting that 75% of the 2010 fatalites thus far have been under open canopies, and using the '08 and '09 figures alone, you get an average of 42.5% of all fatalites happening under open canopies. If steps were taken to cut that number in half (fat chance) the community as a whole would rise up and rejoice. People would sing the priases, and the USPA would boast in some bullshit PR move that open canopy fatalites were only 20% of the total.

People would be happy that 20% of skydivers died with an open canopy because we let it get so far that 40% actually are. 20% still sucks dick, but everyone would be blinded by the 40% we're at now that it would seem OK.

The only solution is for the individual jumpers to take action. If you see a new jumper you like the looks of, mentor the shit out of them. Don't let them fall into these traps. Make them learn about their parachutes, and how they work. Lock them down to a 1.0 to 1 max for 100 jumps. Max meaning the maximum, meaning that many people will actually be below that.

If they don't want to listen, deciede how much you really care. If you really care, make their time at the DZ a living hell. Ostracize them, and make sure nobody wants to jump with them, and nobody wants to pack for them, and nobody even wants to hang out with them. Get them to quit jumping before jumping makes them quit jumping. If you really care, you'd rather never see them again knowing you kept them alive and kicking that much longer than to just let them make the same mistakes that are killing other jumpers, only to have to meet their family for the first time at their funeral.

If you deciede you really don't care, screw it, and make sure they don't take you out in the process of doing whatever it is that's going to kill them, and find someone to mentor who will listen.

We're fucked.


Premier rwieder  (C 32349)

Oct 6, 2010, 9:02 PM
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Quote:
Any ideas on how to get this class of skydiver into advanced training?

Eventually the DZ's are going to have to step up their efforts to puch programs such as this one. I'm a firm believer (If I were the DZO) that a PJSM, JSA would be held each jumping day. (PJSM: Pre Jump Safety Meeting) (JSA: Jump Safety Analaysis) That way everyone is on the same page while under canopy & on jump run. I've been missed by no less than 2 feet by 2 skydivers who was still in freefal while I'm under a SSS canopy while some jack-ass is getting his rocks off pushing the envelope and getting all of the ground rush he possibly can. When I was training years ago we had one guy who wouldn't pull until a 1,000 AGL then having a 2 second canopy ride, while he's thinking he's cool. I'm calling BS on all of the skydivers who pull this BS. It's selfish, careless & ignorant on their behalf. They only care about getting what they want f*ck anybody else. I have approached a couple of skydivers who have pulled this crap on me and told them if they did that around me again, somebody's getting an ass whooping, maybe me, maybe them. Sad but true, it's the only language they understand.

Quote:
I encourage everyone who listens to "Please" obey the safety rules," so neither them or anyone else is ever hurt for no reason other than a moments lapse in they're thought process.
We can either police ourselves, or be policed by the USPA. Which do you prefer? Please give what I've said some thought. Thanks for listening, and may God Bless each & every one of you.


(This post was edited by rwieder on Oct 6, 2010, 9:13 PM)


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Oct 7, 2010, 4:43 AM
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

For the younger jumper who really is focused on canopy piloting, make sure they understand that it's a discipline in and of itself, and that if they're focusing on that, it means they're not learning canopy piloting at the end of a bad-ass freefly or RW jump -- they get out on their own pass, and do just that.

There's a limited amount that most people can learn on a single jump. With the advancements in canopy, it's no longer "what you do at the end," it's something that requires as much time and effort as the other disciplines.

Wendy P.


DanG  (D 22351)

Oct 7, 2010, 4:56 AM
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Why does an A license holder recieve the same canopy related training I recieved 15 years ago?

Like I said before, if that's the case at your DZ, they are doing it wrong. I, too, started 15 years ago, and received essentially no canopy training after the FJC. Students today receive canopy training (admitedly less than may be required) during the entire student program up the the A license.

Or at least they should be. Read the ISP. It has tons more canopy information and requirements than existed when you and I made our first jumps.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 7, 2010, 5:21 AM
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In reply to:
Make every licensed skydiver in the world take an advanced canopy/landing course.

If every jumper of every experience level took a canopy course structured like the one in the SIM, I might put my rig back on.

Too bad it'll never happen.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 7, 2010, 6:13 AM
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Re: [pilotdave] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think the order has little importance in the big picture. You won't lower canopy accident rates among experienced jumpers by front loading canopy training while they're students. I believe spreading it out is a good approach for learning. Teach more advanced topics to more advanced students. Early on, let them focus on just finding the landing area and flying a pattern.


Dave

Make advanced canopy training a D license requirement and drop the useless night jump requirement. People are dying in daylight flying their canopies. We don't have an epidemic of sunset load fatalities because people haven't enough night jump experience.


Ron

Oct 7, 2010, 6:29 AM
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Re: [DocPop] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Are you seriously suggesting that banning HP canopies is a better option that education? You won't get my support on that one.

No, what he is saying is that if one thinks night jumps are useless since they could not happen without prior planning then it is even easier to avoid HP canopy flight.

And BTW I have given a night jump brief on the ride to altitude before because it looked like it was going to be darkish when we landed. I told everyone that they could stay on the plan no issue, but if they were going to jump...Listen up.

It was pretty dark... so "night" jumps have a better chance of just happening than HP canopy flight.

He never suggested banning anything.... He never has.


pilotdave  (D License)

Oct 7, 2010, 6:51 AM
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I'm fine with that. I personally like the night jump requirement (topic for another thread), but I'd be all for adding a canopy course requirement in addition to, or instead of the night jump requirement.

I'd have no problem swapping a canopy course instead of live water training for the B-license too. Many DZs offer canopy courses more often than water training as it is. Or better yet, require both.

We had 3 canopy courses at my DZ this year. The first was Flight-1's essential skills course. One person that took the course had about 2 years in the sport and about 1000 jumps. Extremely current. He nearly got kicked out for falling asleep and not paying attention. Turns out he was so bored because he did all the things being taught in the course when he was an AFF student (which lasted 3 whole weeks, BTW). Even though I was pissed at how he behaved in the course, I was pretty happy to hear he wasn't learning a thing!

Dave


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 7, 2010, 10:35 AM
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Re: [kallend] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>Make advanced canopy training a D license requirement . . .

Sounds good. Training might indeed reduce fatalities.

>We don't have an epidemic of sunset load fatalities because
>people haven't enough night jump experience.

Might that be because we require night jump training? If you really think that training reduces fatalities, then that applies to more than just canopy control.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 7, 2010, 12:05 PM
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In reply to:
>We don't have an epidemic of sunset load fatalities because
>people haven't enough night jump experience.

Might that be because we require night jump training?

Nope, not at all.
Sunset...night jump...two completely different animals (unless you're the bozo with the dark, dark, dark shades)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 7, 2010, 12:38 PM
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Re: [popsjumper] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>Sunset...night jump...two completely different animals . . .

Some of my favorite night jumps started out as "sunset" jumps.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 7, 2010, 2:39 PM
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Re: [billvon] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

(This has been a great discussion about the topic!)

If we are looking to have experienced jumpers learn better canopy control, it only seeems logical that we do that as early as possible, before they develop bad habits or injure/kill themselves. Therefore, we should make at least a "basic" class an A license requirement, then subsequent class(es) should be part of higher license requirements. Maybe each license has its canopy class that is required?

Ultimately, this will add to the costs of being a student, and working through the license progression later on. Also, this puts more pressure on the DZ (especially the smaller ones) to have instructors availible for canopy control courses.

top


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 7, 2010, 2:56 PM
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In reply to:
(This has been a great discussion about the topic!)

If we are looking to have experienced jumpers learn better canopy control, it only seeems logical that we do that as early as possible, before they develop bad habits or injure/kill themselves. Therefore, we should make at least a "basic" class an A license requirement.

And all I'm saying is... put this basic class BEFORE the freefall training starts.

D'OH!

Cool


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 7, 2010, 3:04 PM
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In reply to:
And all I'm saying is... put this basic class BEFORE the freefall training starts.

D'OH!

Cool

I'm on your side on this one, Robin.

top


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 7, 2010, 3:04 PM
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
There sincerely is no sneer, Robin.
If you undertook the effort, then I applaud it. Effort is effort and takes dedication.

okay, thanks. Appreciated.

In reply to:
But what you did 15 years ago isn't relevant to today.


How would you know? You don't even know what I wrote (or did)... and really, what part of "teach survival skills first, fun skills second" isn't relevant today?

Still awaiting your answer.

Cool


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 7, 2010, 3:11 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
And all I'm saying is... put this basic class BEFORE the freefall training starts.

D'OH!

Cool

I'm on your side on this one, Robin.

top

Coolio!

I thought maybe you were... my comment was aimed more at the peeps who get it that we need more parachute-specific training outside of our current freefall-focused training system, but who don't yet get it that it needs to be the FIRST thing new jumpers learn to do, not a subsequent thing.

Cool


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 7, 2010, 3:13 PM
Post #99 of 285 (618 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
There sincerely is no sneer, Robin.
If you undertook the effort, then I applaud it. Effort is effort and takes dedication.

okay, thanks. Appreciated.

In reply to:
But what you did 15 years ago isn't relevant to today.


How would you know? You don't even know what I wrote (or did)... and really, what part of "teach survival skills first, fun skills second" isn't relevant today?

Still awaiting your answer.

Cool

My answer is the same one I put in a different explanation above, but if you wanna poke...

Advocacy of replacing/supplementing AFF with SL/IAD is strained at best because it's not practical. Many DZ's won't go for it for any number of reasons.
So...dream of your Utopia all you wish. Utopia will always be there for you.
But back in the world of reality...
Canopy training emphasis in the existing structure, supplanted with better training methods, can be very effective, I believe.

Tools like the ParaSim are terrific teaching tools too, but you're not going to see the USPA mandate those at every GM DZ either.
Work within the parameters of reality, maybe we can have a real discussion, Robin.
Now please, i've got to get back to my Munchkins slaving away in my candyland.


(This post was edited by DSE on Oct 7, 2010, 3:41 PM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 7, 2010, 4:26 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
There sincerely is no sneer, Robin.
If you undertook the effort, then I applaud it. Effort is effort and takes dedication.

okay, thanks. Appreciated.

In reply to:
But what you did 15 years ago isn't relevant to today.


How would you know? You don't even know what I wrote (or did)... and really, what part of "teach survival skills first, fun skills second" isn't relevant today?

Still awaiting your answer.

Cool

My answer is the same one I put in a different explanation above, but if you wanna poke...

Advocacy of replacing/supplementing AFF with SL/IAD is strained at best because it's not practical. Many DZ's won't go for it for any number of reasons.
So...dream of your Utopia all you wish. Utopia will always be there for you.
But back in the world of reality...
Canopy training emphasis in the existing structure, supplanted with better training methods, can be very effective, I believe.

Tools like the ParaSim are terrific teaching tools too, but you're not going to see the USPA mandate those at every GM DZ either.
Work within the parameters of reality, maybe we can have a real discussion, Robin.
Now please, i've got to get back to my Munchkins slaving away in my candyland.

So, when it comes to USPA's failed media and marketing system, you loudly challenge the status quo and call out those who defend and perpetuate it (clicky).

But when it comes to USPA's failed training system, you loudly defend and perpetuate the status quo and call out those who challenge it.

Fascinating.

Cool


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 7, 2010, 4:28 PM
Post #101 of 285 (979 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>Therefore, we should make at least a "basic" class an A license
>requirement, then subsequent class(es) should be part of higher license
>requirements. Maybe each license has its canopy class that is required?

Sure, that works. We have something like that now (accuracy requirements) - it would be an increase in skills demonstration rather than something completely new.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 7, 2010, 4:53 PM
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice try, Robin...
USPA cannot compel dropzones to spend exceptionally high dollars for different training methods than those already in place.
USPA can control how they spend our money.

Where in that thread is anyone defending how USPA is spending our money? Umm...no where. It's just another one of your fantasies. I'll give ya this, you're a great creative writer.

You know this as well as I do, and the truth is, I'm the bigger fool for continuing the discussion with you.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 7, 2010, 5:05 PM
Post #103 of 285 (970 views)
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In reply to:
>Sunset...night jump...two completely different animals . . .

Some of my favorite night jumps started out as "sunset" jumps.

Yes, you have the skill to handle both. Sorry you had to cruise around for an hour waiting to make the sunset load into a night jump.


Anvilbrother  (C 39168)

Oct 7, 2010, 5:37 PM
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I don't know if its been said yet, and I cant read 3 pages right now, but did anyone mention the easiest solution to the problem would be for ALL the DZO, ST&A, and Instructors, and other jumpers just sacking up and setting the people that are doing obviously stupid stuff straight, or they cant jump there?

I have done it with a friends before that thought they could downsize faster than they should. Its been done to me (camera) and it works! Thanks DSE and Joe!

You don't have to be a dick about it, but if it comes to that, do what you gotta do, if they decide to take their 99sq ft coming in sideways in the pattern cutting people off nylon rocket somewhere else then fine that's less broken or dead bodies at your DZ!


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 7, 2010, 9:53 PM
Post #105 of 285 (928 views)
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In reply to:
USPA cannot compel dropzones to spend exceptionally high dollars for different training methods than those already in place.

Nice straw man, Douglas... all of the training methods I suggest are already in place... I'm just saying we need to rearrange and re-prioritize what we already have to teach survival skills first and fun skills second.


In reply to:
Where in that thread is anyone defending how USPA is spending our money? Umm...no where. It's just another one of your fantasies. I'll give ya this, you're a great creative writer.

Enough with the straw men, dude... I didn't say the defenders were on the thread... D'OH! the defenders of the failed marketing status quo that you're calling out are the BOD and HQ peeps.... you know, the same BOD and HQ peeps whose failed training system status quo you're defending on this thread.


In reply to:
You know this as well as I do, and the truth is, I'm the bigger fool for continuing the discussion with you.


Indeed... you forgot the old maxim: the first step to getting yourself out of a hole is to... stop digging.

Cool


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 8, 2010, 5:51 AM
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So how about we look at what might need to be included in these courses. Let's assume for this that there will be a compulsory basic course and then an advanced one.

I'll start things of, please feel free to add to the lists. I am not trying to make these lists exhaustive - just enough to give someone more 'feel' for their canopy to make them fly safer. Neither is a how-to-swoop course.

Basic
Accuracy trick
Planning, flying and adjusting a pattern
Planning an off-landing
Flat turns for obstacle avoidance
Flaring correctly (height, speed and technique)

Advanced
Stall point on rears and toggles
Braked approach landings
Downwind and crosswind landings
Landing using double fronts (?)


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 8, 2010, 6:57 AM
Post #107 of 285 (908 views)
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In reply to:
Therefore, we should make at least a "basic" class an A license requirement, then subsequent class(es) should be part of higher license requirements. Maybe each license has its canopy class that is required?

Pre-A license holders "should" be getting enough basic canopy training from their instructors... if they're using the ISP and working with rated instructors, that is. They also spend more then enough money in those first 25 jumps.

The same "basic" course that is outlined in the SIM could be required for a B license. This allows the new jumper some time to financially recover from the A license, and in most cases to downsize from student sized canopies to their own gear. Being on the canopy they're likely to put the next 200 jumps on when they take the course will make what they learn far more valuable to them.

In addition, since it's mostly not the 50 jump wonders who are killing themselves and others today, the same course should at some point very soon be required of EVERY SKYDIVER OUT THERE. This could be done by requiring that the year after a canopy coaching program is put together, every jumper renewing their membership (which, technically, is also renewing their license) complete an "approved" basic course, and any jumper renewing an expired membership in the future would have to meet the same requirement.

Of course, none of that will stop Johnny Awesome at 200 jumps from flying his 1.6 loaded whatever into you... only enforcable limits on what canopies Johnny Awesome can fly until he has a D license will do that...


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 8, 2010, 6:59 AM
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The only thing on your list that isn't covered in the basic course outline provided in the SIM is double fronts for landing. There's no need to reinvent the wheel for this.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 8, 2010, 7:12 AM
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In reply to:
The only thing on your list that isn't covered in the basic course outline provided in the SIM is double fronts for landing. There's no need to reinvent the wheel for this.

Maybe "re-inventing" instructors is the thing to do.
Too many out there only teach freefall skills and neglect canopy skills....you see it everywhere.


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 8, 2010, 7:47 AM
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Re: [skybytch] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

But it isn't getting into students' heads!!

What I am talking about here is an additional course for new jumpers cleared for to self-supervise (exactly when this should happen has been discussed previously).

I think the things I listed are important enough to warrant repetition in an environment solely focused on canopy work.

My experience is that newer jumpers are not good at accuracy, pattern flying etc. Maybe your experience is different. Anyway you look at it - unacceptable numbers of people are dying.

Please feel free to suggest improvements, but merely shooting down ideas without giving better alternatives is not very productive.


stayhigh  (F 111)

Oct 8, 2010, 7:55 AM
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Re: [chuckakers] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

How will uspa control one's ego????
How would uspa talk to someone with 2000+ jumps and who shouldn't be on crossbrace????
How will uspa undo one's landing habit which will eventually lead to eat shit if lucky??????

How about problem lies in jumpers not reading shit????
SIM book has enough information on what to work on under canopy.
Also parachute and pilot will be another good start.
Whenenver i suggest new jumper about the book and what do they do????? Nothing, cuz they know everything right?????


(This post was edited by stayhigh on Oct 8, 2010, 8:03 AM)


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 8, 2010, 8:05 AM
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In reply to:
How will uspa control one's ego????
How would uspa talk to someone with 2000+ jumps and who shouldn't be on crossbrace????
How will uspa undo one's landing habit which will eventually lead to eat shit if lucky??????

How about stripping someone of S&TA status if an investigation shows an accident was entirely predictable and no action was taken (eg. repeated safety violations) ?

If it needs to have more teeth than that, then those who lose S&TA status could be "named and shamed" in Parachutist.

Hurt feelings might be better than hurt skydivers.


stayhigh  (F 111)

Oct 8, 2010, 8:08 AM
Post #113 of 285 (885 views)
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How about currency is the key.
200 jumps in 20 year will likely get YOU hurt one day.


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 8, 2010, 8:53 AM
Post #114 of 285 (864 views)
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In reply to:
How about currency is the key.
200 jumps in 20 year will likely get YOU hurt one day.

Why are you attacking me? I am posting here trying to add value and provide legitimate suggestions.

You know nothing. Half those jumps are in the past 5 months. Fuck you and stick to the point.

Currency does NOT automatically make someone a heads-up safe canopy pilot. So your thinly veiled attack is also wrong.


(This post was edited by DocPop on Oct 8, 2010, 9:06 AM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 8, 2010, 9:46 AM
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In reply to:
>Make advanced canopy training a D license requirement . . .

Sounds good. Training might indeed reduce fatalities.

>We don't have an epidemic of sunset load fatalities because
>people haven't enough night jump experience.

Might that be because we require night jump training? If you really think that training reduces fatalities, then that applies to more than just canopy control.

So following that to its logical conclusion, we shouldn't allow anyone on a sunset load unless they've done 2 night jumps.

I'm unaware of any epidemic of accidents on sunset loads of people with A, B and C licenses. Maybe you can enlighten us (pun intended).

We DO have an epidemic of canopy accidents in broad daylight.


OG-Tahiti  (C 38906)

Oct 8, 2010, 10:17 AM
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Well I know we are talking about training here, but I am sure that regulations play a big role.

I am sure lots of people would love to do 120 mph on the freeway, and some would probably manage it just fine, but guess what you are NOT allowed to.

I would like to talk about the french system for canopy downsizing here.

Some of you know that it is based on jump numbers and is conservative enough that it proved being effective since it's implementation in France. I don't have numbers to back it up but the french USPA equivalent is happy with it and DZ safety advisors only have good things to say about it, well those I talked to.

Now I'll take myself as an example, I'm rather new to the sport, and have under 200 jumps.

I learned in Elsinore and made 90% of my jumps there.

I weight about 144 pounds and according to the french wing loading chart I have to be under a 170 MAX until 250+ jumps, then it's a 150 until 400, after that it's all on me I should know better by then.

Well when I jump at my home DZ of Elsinore I see that all the friends that started around the same time I did and have about the same number of jumps, are all under much smaller and higher loaded canopies.

I honestly don't think you see that many newer jumpers in the US with around 200 jumps at a wing load thats lower than 1:1

Looks like it works good here in France, and I am VERY happy under my 170, I make it back from long spots easily and I am far from using it to it's max, not much of a reason to downsize yet... Once I start feeling comfortable doing front riser dives on landing and using the whole range of controls on it, then yeah maybe a 150 will be more fun and just as safe.

I am sorry but as my sig says, people will not always make the smart choice, even with the best training available. That's why sometimes regulations are one of the only solutions.


(This post was edited by OG-Tahiti on Oct 8, 2010, 10:20 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 8, 2010, 10:22 AM
Post #117 of 285 (835 views)
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Re: [DocPop] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>How about stripping someone of S&TA status if an investigation shows an
>accident was entirely predictable and no action was taken (eg. repeated
>safety violations) ?

What's a "safety violation?" Lands on their butt? That happens a lot. Cuts someone off? That's indeed a problem, and in most places, that will get you a talking to. Is that sufficient "action?" Lands in a way that looks like he's out of control? How do you determine that? You know they're going to say "I was fine." What do you do if there are four S+TA's at a DZ and they're all teaching/doing tandems when this guy lands?

This sounds like trying to legislate common sense and that's always hard to do.


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 8, 2010, 10:26 AM
Post #118 of 285 (834 views)
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In reply to:
How will uspa control one's ego????
In reply to:
Controlling ego idn't their job. That's the job of peer pressure and emergency room visits.
How would uspa talk to someone with 2000+ jumps and who shouldn't be on crossbrace????
In reply to:
The same way you tell a hundred jump wonder.

How will uspa undo one's landing habit which will eventually lead to eat shit if lucky??????
How about problem lies in jumpers not reading shit????
SIM book has enough information on what to work on under canopy.
Also parachute and pilot will be another good start.
Whenenver i suggest new jumper about the book and what do they do????? Nothing, cuz they know everything right?????

yeah...uh, ok... I think.Crazy


vdschoor  (D 27300)

Oct 8, 2010, 10:54 AM
Post #119 of 285 (822 views)
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Re: [billvon] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

This was a very entertaining read to say the least.

A lot of good points are being made by a lot of people I respect a LOT.

Just wanted to add one small point, we're looking at USPA to change things, I say: revolution.

WE are all skydivers, WE are the ones that are jumping with these people that should really get training, or get a talking to right?

USPA is at their head quarters, in my case "all the way on the other side of the country"

I can complain to my regional director, give him tips on what I think should change at USPA.. but hey.. if USPA implements a new training method, but it's not being taught at the DZs, nothing changes right?

You are not going to get that old school badass in a classroom, unless he wants to.

You DO get him in there, if he cannot jump that hot shot canopy at your dropzone, and not at the dropzone next door, and not at the one across the country.

DZOs are not likely to take action unless a jumper comes up to him and says :hey this dude is sketchy under canopy.. I dont think he should be jumping that.
Result: the guy gets a talking to, and is told to jump a different canopy, or "jump somewhere else"
If enough DZs and fun jumpers do this, eventually that person might be in a class for "advanced training"

Have the DZs ask you for a certificate after that.. and now things will start working, but it all starts with the first questions when you show up at a new DZ:

1. how many jumps do you have?

A D license for some is only 200 jumps, for the newer jumpers its 500, but that's still "nothing", so a D license does not make you an "expert canopy pilot"

2. what are you flying?

3. How long have you been flying this

etc.

Start within and then start pushing it to USPA if the other way around is not working, and change the attitude of how you talk to people.

I talked to someone with 75 jumps last week about flying a camera (gopro)
I ASKED him to not fly it for a while and have some fun jumping with his buddies, and having someone else film the jump and copy it to his computer if he wanted proof of his jumps.

It was a very easy conversation, cause I was not being a DICK to him about it..

I agree, some people do not listen unless you are a dick to them.. but in general I'd like to think people are reasonable and you can have a discussion like this with them.


(This post was edited by vdschoor on Oct 8, 2010, 10:55 AM)


peek  (D 8884)

Oct 8, 2010, 5:12 PM
Post #120 of 285 (794 views)
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In reply to:
I talked to someone with 75 jumps last week about flying a camera (gopro) ... It was a very easy conversation, cause I was not being a DICK to him about it.

Thank you, and good job.


labrys  (D 29848)

Oct 8, 2010, 5:13 PM
Post #121 of 285 (796 views)
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Re: [skybytch] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Pre-A license holders "should" be getting enough basic canopy training from their instructors... if they're using the ISP and working with rated instructors, that is. They also spend more then enough money in those first 25 jumps.

They should be and they probably are. One big problem I feel is that when you ask a student to learn freefall skills and canopy skills on the same jump, they focus more on the freefall skills. It's human nature. It comes up every time the static line vs AFF argument is raised here that static line students appear to learn better canopy skills earlier than the AFF students do. I'm not making that claim, I"m just saying I hear the argument a lot.

And there's really no reason it has to cost a dime more. We already require 2 HnPs, right? Make it 4 or 5 instead, have the student do them when they are near licensing, and use them to really focus attention on the canopy skills they've been introduced to in the ISP.

At most DZs, low altitude passes are cheaper than full alti. If the DZ's staff are so focused on money that a coach isn't willing to hold a video camera for 5 minutes and debrief the canopy flight, then give 'em 5 bucks for it. It doesn't seem all that complicated and while it's just my opinion that it may help, I honestly can't see how it would do any harm.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 8, 2010, 6:22 PM
Post #122 of 285 (784 views)
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In reply to:
But it isn't getting into students' heads!!

I think we're talking about two different things. I'm talking about the basic canopy skills course in section 6 of the SIM. This is essentially the course taught by Flight 1.

I think you're talking about what is in the ISP. A good instructor/student program will cover all of that.

I could be wrong though.


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 11, 2010, 6:25 AM
Post #123 of 285 (707 views)
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I do understand the need for canopy training, but to me, that is not the real problem. I'm sure that it will help, but the main problem this year is the actions below 1,000 feet and in the so called landing pattern.

Learning better canopy skills is like learning better ways to handle a car. It's all good, but in order to have PREDICTABILITY in the LZ, there have to be rules. A road intersection must have rules for everyone to get through safely.

The rules are not always followed, and some will always choose to ignore them, but without a set of enforceable guidelines in the LZ, and not just assumptions, we will continue to have swoopers in the pattern, high performance parachutes overtaking the slow ones and hook turns killing innocent bystanders.

I have been on the receiving end of what I am complaining about and learned that the safest place in the LZ was far from the peas and spectators.


Ron

Oct 11, 2010, 7:53 AM
Post #124 of 285 (691 views)
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Quote:
but to me, that is not the real problem. I'm sure that it will help, but the main problem this year is the actions below 1,000 feet and in the so called landing pattern

That is part of canopy training.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 11, 2010, 9:00 AM
Post #125 of 285 (677 views)
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In reply to:
I'm sure that it will help, but the main problem this year is the actions below 1,000 feet and in the so called landing pattern.

The pattern and the importance of flying it predictably are part of the basic canopy skills course outlined in the SIM. Teaching it helps a lot - I've seen improvement in the pattern at the dz I used to jump at after teaching 4 courses using the outline in the SIM.


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 11, 2010, 9:17 AM
Post #126 of 285 (1042 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
but to me, that is not the real problem. I'm sure that it will help, but the main problem this year is the actions below 1,000 feet and in the so called landing pattern

That is part of canopy training.

I disagree ... If multiple groups are boarding an Otter and one group "decides" to land into the wind and it changes for the second load and one person "heard" that they should follow the first person down, and "most" people know that the landing direction is N-S, they are all right and we have a real cluster in the LZ. How is that taught in the SIM?

Everyone is right and we have kaos. There needs to be a drop zone rule that everyone follows. Not something determined at the loading area.


Ron

Oct 11, 2010, 9:28 AM
Post #127 of 285 (1037 views)
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Quote:
I disagree ... If multiple groups are boarding an Otter and one group "decides" to land into the wind and it changes for the second load and one person "heard" that they should follow the first person down, and "most" people know that the landing direction is N-S, they are all right and we have a real cluster in the LZ. How is that taught in the SIM?

Simple... You are supposed to land in the direction as the first person down on your load. You are taught that training. The people that didn't get the memo didn't ask and they failed in their prep.

If there is a doubt which is the landing direction, you discuss this before you take off... Again taught in training.

Quote:
Everyone is right and we have kaos.

Not everyone is right. This is where you are missing the point.

Quote:
There needs to be a drop zone rule that everyone follows. Not something determined at the loading area.

There are rules:

1. Land in the direction as the first person down.
2. Discuss the landing direction before loading.

If you don't follow the rules, that is an individual problem, not a rules problem.

It is like you claiming that a guy running a red light is cause for creating a new rule... The answer is to punish the red light runner, not make another rule he will ignore.


(This post was edited by Ron on Oct 11, 2010, 9:30 AM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 11, 2010, 10:53 AM
Post #128 of 285 (1010 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I'm sure that it will help, but the main problem this year is the actions below 1,000 feet and in the so called landing pattern.

The pattern and the importance of flying it predictably are part of the basic canopy skills course outlined in the SIM. Teaching it helps a lot - I've seen improvement in the pattern at the dz I used to jump at after teaching 4 courses using the outline in the SIM.

See, this is what I meant when I demolished DSE's straw man on this point a few posts back: Everything we need is, in fact, already in the system -- it's just in the WRONG ORDER.

We need to stop with the freefall training from first-jump on, and focus on the parachute training until beginning parachutists "graduate" with their basic parachute skills dialed in.

Then they commence with freefall training.

It isn't revolutionary, it isn't going back to the past, and it sure isn't rocket science; it's just rearranging the existing system to eliminate the freefall-focused bias of its progenitors in favor of the common sense imperative that we teach the survival skills before the fun skills.

Cool


pilotdave  (D License)

Oct 11, 2010, 7:22 PM
Post #129 of 285 (976 views)
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Quote:
See, this is what I meant when I demolished DSE's straw man on this point a few posts back: Everything we need is, in fact, already in the system -- it's just in the WRONG ORDER.

Demolished? Wow. How did I miss it?

I just don't agree with your opinion. I don't believe the order matters. In fact, I think it would make things worse to focus entirely on canopy training first. I've explained my reasons earlier in this thread. Can I take credit for demolishing anything now?

Dave


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 11, 2010, 7:32 PM
Post #130 of 285 (970 views)
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In reply to:

See, this is what I meant when I demolished DSE's straw man on this point a few posts back: Everything we need is, in fact, already in the system -- it's just in the WRONG ORDER.

"Demolished?"

Lemme guess...you carry a special shrink to fit ruler, too?LaughLaugh
What you're agreeing to now is what I said earlier. The basics are already there.
How they're implemented is a different story.
You failed to explain why advanced training post AFF is a bad thing.
Do you often disagree with yourself?


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 11, 2010, 8:42 PM
Post #131 of 285 (961 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I disagree ... If multiple groups are boarding an Otter and one group "decides" to land into the wind and it changes for the second load and one person "heard" that they should follow the first person down, and "most" people know that the landing direction is N-S, they are all right and we have a real cluster in the LZ. How is that taught in the SIM?

Simple... You are supposed to land in the direction as the first person down on your load. You are taught that training. The people that didn't get the memo didn't ask and they failed in their prep.

.

Was at a big way event at Elsinore earlier this year when, in light and variable winds, two people each thought they would be 1st down and set up in opposite directions. Mass confusion followed. F'in stupid rule IMO.


Ron

Oct 12, 2010, 5:56 AM
Post #132 of 285 (933 views)
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Quote:
Was at a big way event at Elsinore earlier this year when, in light and variable winds, two people each thought they would be 1st down and set up in opposite directions. Mass confusion followed. F'in stupid rule IMO.

You ignored rule #2 then. That's YOUR fault.... One rule normally does not cover every situation.

You would think having been involved in a collision you would have done a better job of following rule #2 this time.


(This post was edited by Ron on Oct 12, 2010, 5:57 AM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 12, 2010, 6:21 AM
Post #133 of 285 (925 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh ho ho ho hoooo!
Another FMD proponent!

Another DZ to avoid!

"One rule normally does not cover every situation."
Sure thing! Designated landing pattern does it.
Oh...you're worried about downwind landings...well, learn that skill! Simple as that!

Show us where the SIM teaches FMD, please.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Oct 12, 2010, 6:24 AM)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 12, 2010, 8:03 AM
Post #134 of 285 (909 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

At Elsinore, the rule is pretty simple, and issues are fairly rare.
Light/variable winds; land towards the lake.
If you do not want to land towards the lake, go to the student landing area, to the pond area (look out for swoopers), or to the open fields to the west or north. Worst case, head for the empty field (private property) to the west


Ron

Oct 12, 2010, 8:39 AM
Post #135 of 285 (896 views)
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Quote:
Oh ho ho ho hoooo!
Another FMD proponent!

You need to read the whole thing and not jump to accusations.

Work on that.

Quote:
Another DZ to avoid!

Please do. I don't need people who only read half the rules creating a dangerous situation.

Quote:
Oh...you're worried about downwind landings...well, learn that skill! Simple as that!

I'll put my canopy control skills up against yours any day of the week.


(This post was edited by Ron on Oct 12, 2010, 8:46 AM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 13, 2010, 12:57 AM
Post #136 of 285 (853 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You need to read the whole thing and not jump to accusations.

"You need to read the whole thing......"
LaughLaugh
Typical lame comeback.

You stated 2 rules. One was the FMD, one was
discuss it:

(From post #127 was it?)
There are rules:

1. Land in the direction as the first person down.
2. Discuss the landing direction before loading.

I believe, unless my eyes are deceiving me, that there's a mention of FMD in there somewhere.

Quote:
Another DZ to avoid!

In reply to:
Please do. I don't need people who only read half the rules creating a dangerous situation.
Comeback based on typical lameness as before.

And you're safe with your FMD stuff creating the dangerous situations. Have fun.

Quote:
Oh...you're worried about downwind landings...well, learn that skill! Simple as that!

In reply to:
I'll put my canopy control skills up against yours any day of the week.

OK, the "you're" was 2nd person plural intended for all FMD proponents, not 2nd personal singular. No need to puff up your chest on piloting skills. I should have been more specific.



---------------------
In reply to:
You are supposed to land in the direction as the first person down on your load. You are taught that training.
Does this mean that at your DZ, the FJC teaches FMD as standard or is it specified that it is DZ specific?


In reply to:
If you don't follow the rules, that is an individual problem, not a rules problem.
I can certainly agree with that.


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 13, 2010, 5:56 AM
Post #137 of 285 (840 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Way too many delusional people. This is not in direct response to anyone, so unless the shoe fits, please ignore!

The FOD (First One Down) does not work for several reasons, unless you are doing 4-way out of a small Cessna! Please try to face REALITY as it IS and not as you'd like it to be. This thought process will will continue to keep getting people under a good working canopy killed.

Can't think of any reason to not land a parachute like an airplane. Even gliders must enter the pattern and cannot do hook turns or swoop a pond in the LZ.

Have a set, agreed upon pattern for the LZ and enforce it. You might have to enter the pattern late or downwind, but in the words of some organizers, "Suck it up cupcake."


Ron

Oct 13, 2010, 7:41 AM
Post #138 of 285 (822 views)
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Quote:
Typical lame comeback.

Typical lame attack from you. You ignore half of a post and act like the half you read was the *only* part. To acknowledge the whole post makes your rant moot and silly.... So you only pay attention to one sentence.

Quote:
OK, the "you're" was 2nd person plural intended for all FMD proponents, not 2nd personal singular. No need to puff up your chest on piloting skills. I should have been more specific.

Typical... You run your mouth then when asked to put up, you run away. Name the event or quit running your mouth.

I don't know what's up your butt. But you ignore half a post just to start a fight and make accusations you are unwilling to back while throwing childish insults.


(This post was edited by Ron on Oct 13, 2010, 8:08 AM)


Communications

Oct 13, 2010, 12:00 PM
Post #139 of 285 (789 views)
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Quote:
USPA Executive Director Ed Scott used his “Gearing Up” editorial in the October 2010 Parachutist magazine to discuss the high percentage of skydiving fatalities in the US in 2010 attributed to canopy issues…

I’m pleased to see that someone reads Gearing Up! Smile Seriously, we’re glad this discussion is taking place because, as someone here said, this is a community-wide problem and it’s going to take all of us to reverse the trend of canopy-related accidents. USPA has begun to collect a full range of ideas that can be considered by all stakeholders—skydivers, instructors, S&TAS, DZOs, dealers, and gear manufacturers among them. Read my blog about the issue, and that will lead you to our new web page where you can monitor and participate in the discussion.

Ed Scott
USPA


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 13, 2010, 1:55 PM
Post #140 of 285 (761 views)
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Re: [Communications] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

The irrational fear of landing downwind has led to hook turns too close to the ground and caused needless deaths to canopy pilots and innocent bystanders.

Maybe landing down wind should be, if it isn't already, part of the introductory canopy course that is being discussed.

This won't solve all of the landing issues, but will go a long way in helping, along with initiating at all DZ's, a fixed landing pattern.

Eliminating hook turns below 1,000 feet, except in a designated area will also play a major part in preventing landing deaths.


theonlyski  (D License)

Oct 13, 2010, 5:38 PM
Post #141 of 285 (752 views)
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Re: [danornan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Maybe landing down wind should be, if it isn't already, part of the introductory canopy course that is being discussed.

Or possibly requiring a couple (under controlled circumstances) for your a-license under canopy work.


craigbey  (C 31991)

Oct 13, 2010, 5:53 PM
Post #142 of 285 (749 views)
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Re: [danornan] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The FOD (First One Down) does not work for several reasons, unless you are doing 4-way out of a small Cessna

I don't think the FOD rule works at small DZ's either.

FOD may be OK for a few very unique DZ's that have stong and fast variations in wind speed / direction, but how many DZ's are actually like that? How often do these conditions really mandate the use of the FOD rule -- or eliminate the possibility of using a pre-determined landing pattern and landing direction?

Those are honest questions for anyone at a DZ that uses the FOD rule. If it works at your DZ, that's cool. I'm perfectly happy following the local rules at any DZ and landing in the direction of the FOD even if it means changing my flight pattern or landing downwind.

But for most DZ's, establishing a pre-determined landing pattern and landing direction is more appropriate.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 13, 2010, 6:56 PM
Post #143 of 285 (736 views)
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Re: [danornan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>Maybe landing down wind should be, if it isn't already, part of
>the introductory canopy course that is being discussed.

Definitely. There are times when landing downwind can be deadly (i.e. 15kt winds) but being able to land in light downwinds is a critical skill - since light and variable winds are common at many DZ's.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 13, 2010, 7:19 PM
Post #144 of 285 (730 views)
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Re: [Communications] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Read my blog about the issue, and that will lead you to our new web page where you can monitor and participate in the discussion.

Don't take this personally, but how about you read this web page? This discussion has been going on here for years. Literally years.

Several posters on this board, myself included, have made attempts to bring the thoughts and ideas exchanged here to the USPA, and we have all consistantly been told, 'Thanks, but no thanks' by the fine folks on the BOD.

Go check out your blog? How about you spend a few hours and read what we've all been 'blogging' about here for years, and finally get off your duff and do something about it. I think I can safely say that any idea worth considering has been hashed and rehashed ad-nauseum on these very boards.

Read up, take your pick, and make something happen already. You wanted to be the man in charge, well congratulations, you got it. Now do something with it.


Ron

Oct 13, 2010, 8:02 PM
Post #145 of 285 (719 views)
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Re: [craigbey] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
FOD may be OK for a few very unique DZ's that have stong and fast variations in wind speed / direction, but how many DZ's are actually like that? How often do these conditions really mandate the use of the FOD rule -- or eliminate the possibility of using a pre-determined landing pattern and landing direction?

And what if while in your pattern you see that everyone else is landing 90* off what you thought was discussed.... Are you going to follow your plan come hell or high water, or follow the people below you and blend into the pattern?


fasted3  (D 30104)

Oct 13, 2010, 8:37 PM
Post #146 of 285 (711 views)
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Re: [chuckakers] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Some time back I tried to address this problem, and offered my solution. I still think it's a good idea. Here is the thread:

http://www.dropzone.com/...post=3608467#3608467


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 13, 2010, 8:56 PM
Post #147 of 285 (696 views)
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Re: [billvon] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>Maybe landing down wind should be, if it isn't already, part of
>the introductory canopy course that is being discussed.

Definitely. There are times when landing downwind can be deadly (i.e. 15kt winds) but being able to land in light downwinds is a critical skill - since light and variable winds are common at many DZ's.

Just to clarify - landing downwind in a 15kt wind can be accomplished perfectly safely as I and countless others have proved.


Halfpastniner  (D 30747)

Oct 13, 2010, 9:16 PM
Post #148 of 285 (693 views)
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Re: [DocPop] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
>Maybe landing down wind should be, if it isn't already, part of
>the introductory canopy course that is being discussed.

Definitely. There are times when landing downwind can be deadly (i.e. 15kt winds) but being able to land in light downwinds is a critical skill - since light and variable winds are common at many DZ's.

Just to clarify - landing downwind in a 15kt wind can be accomplished perfectly safely as I and countless others have proved.

You really think he doesnt know that? 15 kt plus the speed of a canopy could be fatal if you flew into something.


craigbey  (C 31991)

Oct 14, 2010, 3:30 AM
Post #149 of 285 (674 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

As I said in my prior post ...

Quote:
I'm perfectly happy following the local rules at any DZ and landing in the direction of the FOD even if it means changing my flight pattern or landing downwind.

Again, if it works for your DZ, that's cool.

Most other DZ's -- and many people -- will get better results using a pre-determined landing pattern and landing direction.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 14, 2010, 4:23 AM
Post #150 of 285 (665 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You ignore half of a post and act like the half you read was the *only* part.
Count 'em Ron. Only two parts.

Quote:
OK, the "you're" was 2nd person plural intended for all FMD proponents, not 2nd personal singular. No need to puff up your chest on piloting skills. I should have been more specific.

In reply to:
Typical... You run your mouth then when asked to put up, you run away. Name the event or quit running your mouth.
Sorry you see it that way even after the clarification. You choose your own colored glasses.

In reply to:
quit running your mouth.
So, as usual, the chest puffing is your normal SOP, eh? Can't handle discussion without it?

In reply to:
... just to start a fight
You can read into it anything you want. Choose your own viewpoint. Your posts seem to indicate an angry young man. Float your own boat.

Bottom line: Your FMD rule causes more problems than it solves. Take it or leave it.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Oct 14, 2010, 4:36 AM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 14, 2010, 4:45 AM
Post #151 of 285 (886 views)
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Re: [fasted3] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Some time back I tried to address this problem, and offered my solution. I still think it's a good idea. Here is the thread:

http://www.dropzone.com/...post=3608467#3608467

Quote:
...my main suggestion is to get away from 'chase the windsock' chaos that seems to happen at good, safety oriented DZs on a regular basis.

..and therein lies one of the main problem with FMD.
Add in the fast canopies coming in first who intentionally do downwinders and......



But back to the USPA....they cannot enforce any "requirement" or "recomendation" and it is impossible to get everyone doing the same thing voluntarily.

Both FMD and designated patterns have issues that neither can solve.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 14, 2010, 5:14 AM
Post #152 of 285 (882 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Was at a big way event at Elsinore earlier this year when, in light and variable winds, two people each thought they would be 1st down and set up in opposite directions. Mass confusion followed. F'in stupid rule IMO.

You ignored rule #2 then. That's YOUR fault.... One rule normally does not cover every situation.

You would think having been involved in a collision you would have done a better job of following rule #2 this time.

Which rule takes precedence, then? #1 or #2, when they are in conflict?

How is it MY fault if 2 other people set up in opposite directions?


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 14, 2010, 6:23 AM
Post #153 of 285 (868 views)
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Re: [Halfpastniner] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
>Maybe landing down wind should be, if it isn't already, part of
>the introductory canopy course that is being discussed.

Definitely. There are times when landing downwind can be deadly (i.e. 15kt winds) but being able to land in light downwinds is a critical skill - since light and variable winds are common at many DZ's.

Just to clarify - landing downwind in a 15kt wind can be accomplished perfectly safely as I and countless others have proved.

You really think he doesnt know that? 15 kt plus the speed of a canopy could be fatal if you flew into something.

No, I am quite sure that Bill knows that. Hence my use of the phrase "Just to clarify" for newbies who are reading this.


Ron

Oct 14, 2010, 8:22 AM
Post #154 of 285 (847 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Count 'em Ron. Only two parts.

You are the one that ignored the second part. Don't blame me for your inability to read past the first period.

Quote:
Sorry you see it that way even after the clarification. You choose your own colored glasses.

Don't run your mouth and you will not have to back peddle your ass from where your mouth took it.

Quote:
You can read into it anything you want. Choose your own viewpoint. Your posts seem to indicate an angry young man.

Ah, the best you can do is run your mouth, then run away and throw insults.... Got it.

Quote:
Bottom line: Your FMD rule causes more problems than it solves. Take it or leave it.

I guess you are the one guy that ignores the people below him and sets his own pattern no matter what is going on..... Take it or leave it.

Quote:

Both FMD and designated patterns have issues that neither can solve.

Huh, I guess thats why I had two parts. You would have known that if you had read past the period, or were not just trying to start a fight.


(This post was edited by Ron on Oct 14, 2010, 8:42 AM)


Ron

Oct 14, 2010, 8:31 AM
Post #155 of 285 (844 views)
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Re: [kallend] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Which rule takes precedence, then? #1 or #2, when they are in conflict?

When you are on base in your Mooney for 36 and you see a guy on final on 18... Do you turn final on 36 anyway?

Quote:
How is it MY fault if 2 other people set up in opposite directions?

Your fault or not... It is your ass on the line. I'd rather pay attention to what the guys below me are doing than just do what was briefed and end up dead.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 14, 2010, 9:10 AM
Post #156 of 285 (831 views)
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Re: [DocPop] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>Hence my use of the phrase "Just to clarify" for newbies who are reading this.

Just to clarify for newbies, then- landing downwind when the winds are doing 15kts can be deadly. However, learning to land in _light_ downwinds is a good idea.


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 14, 2010, 10:17 AM
Post #157 of 285 (816 views)
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Re: [billvon] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

All of the above issues throughout this thread stem from the same thing, confusion.... Better training is always a good thing. Common sense, though not always common will prevail at exceptions! Better thought to have all follow a rule most of the time.

Without a BASIC rule that all are aware of, there will ALWAYS be confusion. My personal opinion is that a rule stating that below X altitude, you are in the predetermined pattern and will land as such is the safest approach. It is a starting point and there will be exceptions.

BUT, even if my rule is not the one, I can promise to follow what ever the agreed upon rule is. This will limit confusion. It is the unexpected that is killing people, not the rule.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 14, 2010, 11:30 AM
Post #158 of 285 (793 views)
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Re: [billvon] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>Hence my use of the phrase "Just to clarify" for newbies who are reading this.

Just to clarify for newbies, then- landing downwind when the winds are doing 15kts can be deadly. However, learning to land in _light_ downwinds is a good idea.

And just to clarify further, for noobs and the experienced as well, never forget that you can turn in a flare and flare in a turn.

Every degree you can turn off the windline as you flare on a downwind landing reduces your groundspeed and therefore landing force.

This doesn't mean do a 180 low so you can land directly into the wind (and then crater because you increased your rate of descent); it means turning slowly as you flare so that by the time you finish that flare you've taken yourself several degrees off the downwind line, thus significantly reducing your landing force.

Cool

P.S. At Perris, sometimes they have the FJD (first one down ain't always a MAN, you know) thing in effect and sometimes they have a designated pattern direction, but they also have something else I haven't seen mentioned in this thread (though I may have just missed it):

At Perris, if you don't like the direction of the designated pattern, or the choice made by the FJD, then you can land off the primary landing area in whatever direction you want.

This of course is a luxury that tighter DZs may not have, but it's a great choice to have... and one that's made regularly by jumpers with a lot of gray in their hair. They may have to walk a little farther to get back, but I'd rather have a longer walk to the packing area than a shorter stretcher ride to the ambulance.


(This post was edited by robinheid on Oct 14, 2010, 2:54 PM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 14, 2010, 4:40 PM
Post #159 of 285 (766 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep, angry young man.
Maybe you'll grow out of it. Maybe not.

Why is it others can discuss and debate but you have to get all hussied up? You're well known for that.

Your point about watching out below you is valid but that has nothing to do with FMD only. It applies across the board regardless of the DZ-mandated landing rules. No need to debate that in either case...it's just common sense. So why get so wrapped up in it?

Why are you so hung up on something so simple as that?

How about discussing the real issue: FMD vs other?

Got anything of value?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 14, 2010, 4:48 PM
Post #160 of 285 (762 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Both of you cut it out. If you can't talk about this without attacking each other, then take it to PM's.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 14, 2010, 4:49 PM
Post #161 of 285 (762 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
And just to clarify further, for noobs and the experienced as well, never forget that you can turn in a flare and flare in a turn.

Every degree you can turn off the windline as you flare on a downwind landing reduces your groundspeed and therefore landing force.

This doesn't mean do a 180 low so you can land directly into the wind (and then crater because you increased your rate of descent); it means turning slowly as you flare so that by the time you finish that flare you've taken yourself several degrees off the downwind line, thus significantly reducing your landing force.

Good stuff. Well worth repeating.


In reply to:
At Perris, if you don't like the direction of the designated pattern, or the choice made by the FJD, then you can land off the primary landing area in whatever direction you want.

This of course is a luxury that tighter DZs may not have, but it's a great choice to have... and one that's made regularly by jumpers with a lot of gray in their hair.

LaughLaughLaughLaugh
That would be me.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 14, 2010, 4:50 PM
Post #162 of 285 (759 views)
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Re: [billvon] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry 'bout that, Bill.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 14, 2010, 5:04 PM
Post #163 of 285 (755 views)
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Re: [billvon] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

So, Bill. You would know this, I'm sure.

Has there been a side-by-side comparison or synopsis of sorts listing the pros and cons of both the FMD and the Designated Pattern rules, as yet, in any of the several threads dealing with landing pattern rules?

I don't recall one.


JumpRu  (D License)

Oct 15, 2010, 7:43 AM
Post #164 of 285 (713 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
And just to clarify further, for noobs and the experienced as well, never forget that you can turn in a flare and flare in a turn.

Every degree you can turn off the windline as you flare on a downwind landing reduces your groundspeed and therefore landing force.
Just to add something to discussion:
If winds are light then wind direction does not really matter at all. Especially when you have lots of energy coming out of the swoop. That is an obvious statement. But when winds are 10+ mph (I’ve never done more then 20) then crosswinds are much more dangerous then downwind. The only safe way to land downwind in those conditions is sliding (on your feet or and on your butt &#61514;) and the biggest danger is to roll sideways in process. For that reason I’d rather go downwind then try to do crosswind landing.
None of this is recommended for conventional approach on a big canopy especially for new jumpers.


kkeenan  (D 22164)

Oct 15, 2010, 8:56 AM
Post #165 of 285 (694 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
When you are on base in your Mooney for 36 and you see a guy on final on 18... Do you turn final on 36 anyway?

I won't speak for John, but I'd add power and stay up in the pattern until the other traffic was clear. I'd listen on Unicom for other incoming traffic and ask the guy who just landed why he picked that runway, if it was downwind.

I'm sure you realize that none of these choices is available to a jumper landing a parachute.


(This post was edited by kkeenan on Oct 15, 2010, 8:57 AM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 15, 2010, 8:58 AM
Post #166 of 285 (693 views)
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Re: [JumpRu] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
And just to clarify further, for noobs and the experienced as well, never forget that you can turn in a flare and flare in a turn.

Every degree you can turn off the windline as you flare on a downwind landing reduces your groundspeed and therefore landing force.
Just to add something to discussion:
If winds are light then wind direction does not really matter at all. Especially when you have lots of energy coming out of the swoop. That is an obvious statement. But when winds are 10+ mph (I’ve never done more then 20) then crosswinds are much more dangerous then downwind. The only safe way to land downwind in those conditions is sliding (on your feet or and on your butt &#61514;) and the biggest danger is to roll sideways in process. For that reason I’d rather go downwind then try to do crosswind landing.
None of this is recommended for conventional approach on a big canopy especially for new jumpers.

I must respectfully point out that your addition to this discussion defies the laws of physics.

Force = mass x acceleration -- or to say it in English, if you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard (more or less).

Which means -- D'OH! -- each unit of speed subtracted from your landing speed = a much bigger unit of force subtracted from your landing impact.

Ergo, "the biggest danger" is not "to roll sideways in process" but to hit the ground harder than your body can absorb without breaking. Period.

Cool

P.S. News flash: "rolling" is a great way to dissipate your landing force by distributing it along time and body parts. You might want to look into that -- rumor has it they call it a PLF.


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 15, 2010, 9:10 AM
Post #167 of 285 (687 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

You can still land with almost zero VERTICAL speed even downwind.

If you then transition to a slide there is very little force on the body, provided you don't slide into an obstacle.

IMO and that of others, rolling (PLFing) is more likely to result in injury than sliding, when the body has a lot of horizontal speed. Check this:

http://www.dropzone.com/...tail_page.cgi?ID=729


(This post was edited by DocPop on Oct 15, 2010, 9:14 AM)


JumpRu  (D License)

Oct 15, 2010, 9:40 AM
Post #168 of 285 (675 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

What I described is a part of intentional downwind landing. It requires careful setup and some sort of acceleration (hook turn) for better lift at touchdown to ensure zero vertical speed for substantial time that require for weight transfer. It also requires nice and even landing surface for sliding. I don’t know from personal experience will or will not this be helpful in case of emergency crash landing. But this is a way to practice downwind landings. Everything else can get you to hospital.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 15, 2010, 10:09 AM
Post #169 of 285 (664 views)
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Re: [JumpRu] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What I described is a part of intentional downwind landing. It requires careful setup and some sort of acceleration (hook turn) for better lift at touchdown to ensure zero vertical speed for substantial time that require for weight transfer. It also requires nice and even landing surface for sliding. I don’t know from personal experience will or will not this be helpful in case of emergency crash landing. But this is a way to practice downwind landings. Everything else can get you to hospital.

I must respectfully point out that your addenda to this discussion defies the rules of discussion and common sense.

I don't see the words "intentional" or "practice" anywhere in your prior post, nor do I recall seeing anywhere in this thread any mention of downwind landings as something to be practiced or done intentionally.

Secondly, if you have time for a "careful setup" to a downwind landing, then, uh... why don't you just, you know, do a careful setup so you can, uh... land into the wind?

Which brings me to your utterly absurd notion that you want to hook turn into your downwind landing for better acceleration -- toward what? The ambulance? The morgue?

Cool


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 15, 2010, 3:03 PM
Post #170 of 285 (634 views)
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Re: [JumpRu] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>is a part of intentional downwind landing. It requires careful setup and
>some sort of acceleration (hook turn) for better lift at touchdown to ensure
>zero vertical speed for substantial time that require for weight transfer.

That is indeed one way to do a downwind landing. However, you do not neet to do a "hook turn" to land downwind safely, at least in light winds (which is what we were talking about.)


grimmie  (D 18890)

Oct 15, 2010, 3:16 PM
Post #171 of 285 (630 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

The FMD rule seriously injured a jumper at the Lost Prairie boogie. The jumper tried to follow the final turn of the FMD, and toggled into a broken femur, neck, pelvis.Unsure
The FMD only works when a clear and visible downwind, base and final are performed by the "pre designated" FMD. IMHO.


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Oct 15, 2010, 4:18 PM
Post #172 of 285 (620 views)
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Re: [grimmie] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Not to go against the grain the FMD had nothing to do with the broken femur, neck, pelvis..

Ultimately a safe landing trumps FMD. I think maybe a discussion on canopy seperation and giving the fmd enough room so you can safely navigate a pattern would be in order.

I should add I am not a complete advocate for FMD for several reasons all stated previously. I am an advocate for patterns that are predictable. Hence, some standard that all jumpers are well aware of.


(This post was edited by Para5-0 on Oct 15, 2010, 4:19 PM)


craigbey  (C 31991)

Oct 15, 2010, 5:58 PM
Post #173 of 285 (606 views)
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Re: [grimmie] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The FMD only works when a clear and visible downwind, base and final are performed by the "pre designated" FMD

Good point and it brings up another question for those at DZ's that regularly use the FMD rule...

How often is a standard pattern used by the FMD at your DZ? Is it mandated?


Ron

Oct 15, 2010, 6:40 PM
Post #174 of 285 (596 views)
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Re: [kkeenan] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I won't speak for John, but I'd add power and stay up in the pattern until the other traffic was clear. I'd listen on Unicom for other incoming traffic and ask the guy who just landed why he picked that runway, if it was downwind.

I'm sure you realize that none of these choices is available to a jumper landing a parachute.

The point is that you would not just ignore the traffic and do as you pleased. Even flying a Cub with no radio into an uncontrolled field can be done safely if you bother to pay attention to other traffic.

And any pilot worth a damn is going to pay attention and not just follow the briefed approach if it is going to kill him.

And if you will notice not once did I ever claim that a plan discussed before hand was not part of the answer (inspite of what some tried to claim).

But in the end, it is being observant that will prevent a collision, not a great plan. Because it only takes one jackass to destroy a great plan... But the guy without his head up his ass can still land safely.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 16, 2010, 12:08 PM
Post #175 of 285 (562 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Which rule takes precedence, then? #1 or #2, when they are in conflict?

When you are on base in your Mooney for 36 and you see a guy on final on 18... Do you turn final on 36 anyway?

Quote:
How is it MY fault if 2 other people set up in opposite directions?

Your fault or not... It is your ass on the line. I'd rather pay attention to what the guys below me are doing than just do what was briefed and end up dead.

So if two people below you land simulataneously in opposite directions, what do YOU do?

I landed 1/2 mile out and walked back.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 16, 2010, 12:11 PM
Post #176 of 285 (1284 views)
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Re: [Ron] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Which rule takes precedence, then? #1 or #2, when they are in conflict?

When you are on base in your Mooney for 36 and you see a guy on final on 18... Do you turn final on 36 anyway?

.

Happened to me at pagosa Springs, CO. I went around. Unfortunately I don't have an engine in my parachute.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 16, 2010, 12:27 PM
Post #177 of 285 (1278 views)
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Re: [craigbey] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>How often is a standard pattern used by the FMD at your DZ?

Standard pattern is used 95% of the time. When the first guy down is in a group of people (i.e. not a swooper on a separate pass) it's 99.9%.

> Is it mandated?

Yes, with a few caveats.


Ron

Oct 16, 2010, 8:40 PM
Post #178 of 285 (1255 views)
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Re: [kallend] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So if two people below you land simulataneously in opposite directions, what do YOU do?

Am I third out of three, or third out of 20?

Am I 20 out of 20?

Quote:
I landed 1/2 mile out and walked back

And that is always a good option.


DaVincisEnvy  (C License)

Oct 18, 2010, 12:22 PM
Post #179 of 285 (1204 views)
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Re: [chuckakers] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Reading the thoughtful responses of so many experienced and respected jumpers makes me a bit hesitant to chime in to this discussion as a total newb, but since I'm nearer the experience level of those who are most frequently killed during canopy flight, I wanted to offer up my experience wrt canopy instruction and canopy flight at small and mid-sized DZ's.

I took a canopy control course at my home DZ at 17 jumps. It wasn't expensive and it wasn't elaborate. The S&TA (an accomplished canopy pilot) taught the course one Saturday morning, and it cost students $50 plus the cost of the HnP's that comprised the practical section. In fact, I completed both of my A-license HnP requirements as part of that course. It was invaluable.

While the basics of canopy inputs and landing patterns were taught as part of my AFF course, there wasn't much emphasis, and I hadn't had much reason to practice those at my home DZ (Cessna DZ, big landing area). In addition to reviewing the mechanics, usage, and applicability of the various toggle and riser inputs, the canopy course also covered inputs to get you back from bad/long spots (upwind and downwind), flat turns, reverse turns, harness turns, flare technique, stalling, tricks to enter the landing pattern when you're not exactly where you want to be at 1000 or 1500 feet, braked approaches/landings, accuracy tricks for landing, how to properly land downwind or crosswind rather than risking a low turn, etc. Our instructor filmed and de-briefed our patterns and landings after each jump.

Like many have said time and again during this discussion -- if the student doesn't have a reason to learn those canopy skills, they won't. And if they don't have an opportunity to learn those skills, they won't. This course wasn't mandated by my DZ, but it was organized and strongly encouraged for new jumpers. I, and the 5 or 6 other students in my class, were eager and excited to learn about the capabilities of our canopies and how to use them safely and effectively. Most pre A-license jumpers want to learn canopy skills! Pre A-license (before students start heading off to new and unfamiliar DZ's) is a wonderful time to teach eager young jumpers the skills they need to survive.

And I'm all for making more advanced canopy training a part of each progressive license or part of the license renewal process. No one should ever stop learning, and I, for one, am already looking forward to taking another canopy control course now that I have my own gear.

I've also taken a few downwind landings to avoid those low turns. I was nervous as hell when I realized I was going to have to make my first one (new DZ, and I mis-judged my landing pattern). But thanks to that canopy control course and discussions with many experienced jumpers at my home DZ, I knew that the downwinder was the better option than a low turn. And much to my surprise, even in 10kt winds, it wasn't so bad. I flared at the correct altitude, had just about zero vertical speed, and slid it out in a cloud of dust like a baseball runner sliding into home. I think it's a pretty good idea for new jumpers to make at least one or two intentional downwind landings in light winds so that they understand that they're not something to be afraid of and certainly not something to avoid in favor of a low turn into the wind.

And I'm sorry I can't remember who posted the comment about mentoring young jumpers, but you are absolutely right. I have been so fortunate to have made some wonderful friends and mentors in the more experienced jumpers at my home DZ -- folks with 1000+ jumps who have always been wiiling to jump with and advise a newbie on topics ranging from buying a responsible first rig to RW techniques to flying and landing safely at new and far busier DZ's. I cannot thank them enough for taking me under their wing and making me a far better, more skilled, more conscientious, and safer skydiver.


(This post was edited by DaVincisEnvy on Oct 18, 2010, 12:24 PM)


grimmie  (D 18890)

Oct 18, 2010, 2:24 PM
Post #180 of 285 (1175 views)
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Re: [Para5-0] Re:USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Not to go against the grain the FMD had nothing to do with the broken femur, neck, pelvis..

Ultimately a safe landing trumps FMD. I think maybe a discussion on canopy seperation and giving the fmd enough room so you can safely navigate a pattern would be in order.

I should add I am not a complete advocate for FMD for several reasons all stated previously. I am an advocate for patterns that are predictable. Hence, some standard that all jumpers are well aware of.

It had everything to do with the first man down rule. The jumper was fixated on following the FMD, and lost track of everything else, instead of landing in the pre determined direction.

This isn't the first time a jumper following the first person down has been seriously injured trying to do a last minute correction of direction.

And how many times have we all seen the FMD be two jumpers, going in different directions on a no wind day, landing at the same time????Crazy


MrDree  (Student)

Oct 19, 2010, 1:28 AM
Post #181 of 285 (1141 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I must respectfully point out that your addition to this discussion defies the laws of physics.

Force = mass x acceleration -- or to say it in English, if you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard (more or less).

Yours too...

I'm just curious. Based on that formula, can you explain why the impact is four times harder when speed is doubled? Where does that come from? Where is speed in your equation?







Here's a hint:
The right formula for kinetic energy is E = 0.5 * mass * speed^2



peek  (D 8884)

Oct 19, 2010, 4:34 AM
Post #182 of 285 (1120 views)
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Re: [DaVincisEnvy] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Reading the thoughtful responses of so many experienced and respected jumpers makes me a bit hesitant to chime in to this discussion as a total newb...

Your input is appreciated especially since you recently learned the stuff we are discussing, hence my questions below.

In reply to:
While the basics of canopy inputs and landing patterns were taught as part of my AFF course...

What do you think is missing in the AFF course (assuming that much of the canopy control stuff is taught on the later Categories (Levels) when a student is not so overloaded from the freefall part?

Simply missing things that are not in a "canopy course"?
Missing the repetition and review?

In reply to:
.. I hadn't had much reason to practice those at my home DZ (Cessna DZ, big landing area).

Did your instructors tell you to practice those things?

In reply to:
In addition to reviewing the mechanics, usage, and applicability of the various toggle and riser inputs, the canopy course also covered inputs to get you back from bad/long spots (upwind and downwind), flat turns, reverse turns, harness turns, flare technique, stalling, tricks to enter the landing pattern when you're not exactly where you want to be at 1000 or 1500 feet, braked approaches/landings, accuracy tricks for landing, how to properly land downwind or crosswind rather than risking a low turn, etc.

Most of those things are normally covered sometime in your student instruction, probably during the "coached phase". When you say your "AFF course" are you including the coached phase?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 19, 2010, 5:39 AM
Post #183 of 285 (1110 views)
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Re: [peek] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Most of those things are normally covered sometime in your student instruction, probably during the "coached phase". When you say your "AFF course" are you including the coached phase?

This is where the bottom falls out of the ISP. Most of that stuff is not taught in the later levels becasuse most of those levels are taught by coaches who never learned those things themselves, and might have as little as 100 jumps.

That's one of the problems with the coach system, is that by this point, many actual coaches went through the ISP themselves, and any shortcomings in the program are doomed to repeat themselves becasue the students are now the teachers. How are they supposed to teach things they never learned themselves?

Let's face it, it takes an in-depth understanding of the subject matter to be able to effectively teach the material. Not everyone learns in the same way, and part of being a good teacher is being able to present the material in several different ways, and indentifying which of those ways is the most effective for one student or another.

Additionally, trying to teach the finer points of canopy control piecemeal alongside of the dive flow for a high-energy freefall jump is a very, very poor course of action. For starters, it's hard to overcome the excitment of a freefall for a new jumper. It's an obvious 'attention hog', and probably the foremost thought on any students mind for at least 24 hours before the jump. To think that you could pepper in some canopy control stuff to the mix, and that the student would give those points their due consideration is just naive.

The second problem with the piecemenal idea is that the majority of the information in a canopy control course is cumulative in that learning one lesson is essential for understanding the following lesson, and so on. When you break it down in to tiny little bits, offered up at indetermined intervals, the 'building block' effect is lost.

When you train a student for freerfall, you are building on skills they already have, and adding only one or two new things. However, you still review the 'building blocks' of skills they learned on previous jumps, such as EPs, body position, altitiude awareness, and pull time. All of these things are reviewed or covered in the dirt dive, but the end result is that everything gets it's due consideration, except the canopy control portion. When was the last time you referenced past lessons in canopy control when discussing new canopy control goals with a student? I'm going to guess it's very rare that this happens, but the freefall related material gets covered and reviewed for every jump.

If you reference post #5 in this 180+ post thread, you'll see that I introduce the idea of a dedicated canopy control course being mandatory for anyone wanting an A license, and that anywhere in the 15 to 25 jump range was the right time for these people to take the course. I provided an example of a new A license jumper I conducted such a 'course' with where I was able to confirm what he did and did not know or understand. Now another new A license holder has taken a similar course at the about the same point in his learning progression, and confirmed that he was largely uninformed, and that the dedicated canopy control course provided a weath of information and the right setting for absorbing that information.

How long should be wait until we realize that this is a good idea? Another 175 posts? Should we follow the USPAs lead, and give it a decade to see how things work themselves out? Or maybe wait until the percentage of jumpers killed under open canopies doubles again? I've got news for you, you can't double 75%, it's impossible.

It's such a simple proposition. Establish a basic canopy control course consisting of 1.5 to 2 hours of classroom time followed by 3 or 4 hop n pops with dedicated learning objectives on each jump. The ISP requires two hop n pops anyway, so all this adds is two hop n pops to the A license requirement. The material would be remedial enough that any S&TA could either tecah it themselves, or appoint a qualified jumper to do so.

It doesn't take a special rating, and the associated ratings course and course directors. It deosn't take days of anyones time or require travel any further than a students home DZ. The calssroom time happens one evening, the jumps are completed the following morning so nobody has to be stuck in a classroom while the props are turning outside. WTF people?


DanG  (D 22351)

Oct 19, 2010, 6:35 AM
Post #184 of 285 (1094 views)
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

The canopy control portion of Categories E-H (actually, of the whole ISP) is to be taught and signed by an instructor. Not a Coach.

Again, you're doing it wrong.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 19, 2010, 6:41 AM
Post #185 of 285 (1092 views)
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Re: [DanG] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Again, you're doing it wrong.

I'm not doing anything, just observing what's really happening.

If there's nothing wrong with the training, why are the nuber of fatalities (and injuries) under open canopies continually on the rise? If the system was working, we could at least expect to see a stagnation of the percentage, if not a decline, but that is clearly not the case.

How can you continue to defend the system when the very limited data we have shows a clear failure to perform? You're using the USPA model of, 'Close your eyes and push the ISP, close your eyes and push the ISP, close your eyes and push the ISP'.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 19, 2010, 6:46 AM
Post #186 of 285 (1090 views)
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Re: [DanG] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 19, 2010, 6:52 AM
Post #187 of 285 (1085 views)
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Just seems to me that training and a perdictable pattern are two different issues. Not hooking it in the pattern is another.

To say that the accidents will be reduced with different of better training is like saying that drivers ed will negate the need for no stop signs at a busy intersection. Training is always good, but rules are needed to make the LZ more perdictable.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 19, 2010, 7:01 AM
Post #188 of 285 (1079 views)
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Re: [danornan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
To say that the accidents will be reduced with different of better training is like saying that drivers ed will negate the need for no stop signs at a busy intersection. Training is always good, but rules are needed to make the LZ more perdictable

Maybe so, but the difference is that drivers know how to operate their vehicles. Gas, brake, steering, they know these things, teaching them the rules of the road is the next step.

Until jumper know how their canopies work, you cannot expect them to adhere to rules in the pattern. Teach a jumper how their canopy works, what effects the different controls have over the canopy and how the wind plays into the scheme of things, and then you can expect them to accurately fly their canopy in and around the pattern.

Until such time you can continue to expect jumpers who cannot make to the pattern entry point at the correct alititude, or properly handle their canopy when it's impossible to make it into the pattern.


pilotdave  (D License)

Oct 19, 2010, 7:41 AM
Post #189 of 285 (1066 views)
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If there's nothing wrong with the training, why are the nuber of fatalities (and injuries) under open canopies continually on the rise?

I think the training could be better. But I don't think poor student training is the reason fatalities and injuries are up. The training now is FAR better than it was when I was a student. The ISP has done a LOT to make new A-licensed jumpers better canopy pilots. I'm not saying it's perfect, but I am saying there's only so much you can ask of someone with under 25 jumps. Better student training is not the only answer to reducing canopy accidents. And I absolutely don't believe that canopy training used to be better than it is now... even in the static line days.

Modern canopies are fast and many jumpers are over their heads without even knowing it. They can land just fine. But then they make poor decisions or reactions when things don't go as planned. What they learned when they had 15 jumps has little to do with it.

Dave


DanG  (D 22351)

Oct 19, 2010, 7:48 AM
Post #190 of 285 (1055 views)
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I never said the ISP is perfect. I'm just pointing out that your criticisms do not accurately reflect the ISP. Furthermore, most if not all of the training you advocate is already contained in the ISP. If there is an implemenation problem, then it needs to be addressed, but saying that the USPA has done nothing to address canopy training since you started jumping in 1995 ignores the very real fact that they completely revamped canopy training. If old school instructors and DZOs don't implement it, then the blame does not lie entirely on USPA's shoulders. USPA can't go around to every DZ and conduct the training themselves, that's not their job. It is up to instructors to train their students, and USPA has prvided at least a good framework for them to use.

If you think you see 'Close your eyes and push the ISP, close your eyes and push the ISP, close your eyes and push the ISP', all I see from you is 'Blame USPA, blame USPA, blame USPA.'


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 19, 2010, 8:38 AM
Post #191 of 285 (1034 views)
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Re: [DanG] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
all I see from you is 'Blame USPA, blame USPA, blame USPA.'

Who esle is calliing the shots around here? From my point of view, even when the USPA puts their foot down in one area or another, the actual implementation out in the real world isn't quite 100%. You'll find some degree of implementation, but you always find that each DZ has 'their way', and they tend to stick to it. So when you look at an issue where the USPA does nothing, you can expect the general population to do exactly the same.

The bitch of the ISP is that is covers both the subject matter, and the implementation of that subject matter, so a failre of either of those areas represents, at laest in part, a failure of the ISP.

The right information presetned in the wrong way at the wrong time is still wrong. My quote from an earlier post -
Quote:
trying to teach the finer points of canopy control piecemeal alongside of the dive flow for a high-energy freefall jump is a very, very poor course of action. For starters, it's hard to overcome the excitment of a freefall for a new jumper. It's an obvious 'attention hog', and probably the foremost thought on any students mind for at least 24 hours before the jump. To think that you could pepper in some canopy control stuff to the mix, and that the student would give those points their due consideration is just naive.

The second problem with the piecemenal idea is that the majority of the information in a canopy control course is cumulative in that learning one lesson is essential for understanding the following lesson, and so on. When you break it down in to tiny little bits, offered up at indetermined intervals, the 'building block' effect is lost.

The ISP isn't new anymore. The open canopy fatality issue isn't new either, and hasn't gotten any better since the ISP. Why else would the ISP include a revamp of the canopy control training other than a reaction to the problem of open canopy incidents, which was well established as a problem at the time the ISP was developed?

The reason is to address the open canopy incidents problem. That problem has gotten worse every year since, so the solution that the ISP was supposed to be clearly isn't working. How long does this odea have to fail before a revamp is called for?

Maybe the scope of the material is correct, but the implementation of the material is wrong. This is why I suggest taking the material, and presenting it in a different way. Don't tack it on to an already action packed, performanced based freefall skydive, give it it's due consideration and hold a proper, focused, canopy control course. Get the information across effectively, and send the message that it's mportant and worthwhile of a student's time and energy.

In the end, the ball is (and always has been) in the USPAs court. Any failure of the ISP, in either material or implementaion is on them, as is the responsibility to recognize that failure and take action to correct it. I am still waiting for either to take place.


DanG  (D 22351)

Oct 19, 2010, 8:47 AM
Post #192 of 285 (1028 views)
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually agree with most of what you've said here. I always thought that the hop-n-pops and solo tracking drives in the early part of the coached section of the ISP were a good time to focus on canopy skills. The freefall portions of those jumps are pretty simple, with very limited goals. I don't think it would be too much to concentrate more canopy work into those 4-5 jumps. It would require the DZ have a dedicated canopy instructor to work with the students and observe them.

The only thing I take exception to in your post is the implication that USPA hasn't done anything to improve open canopy incidents. I think it has, but you may be right that it needs to go further. I'm not convinced that primary education, however, will improve the statistics. Many of the open canopy fatalities every year are experienced jumpers, some highly experienced. A good number come to mind, in fact, that would probably have been qualified to teach a primary canopy course.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 19, 2010, 9:09 AM
Post #193 of 285 (1013 views)
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Re: [DanG] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'm not convinced that primary education, however, will improve the statistics. Many of the open canopy fatalities every year are experienced jumpers, some highly experienced

You can't eliminate the risk of an open canopy incident 100%. Skydiving in itself is taking a risk, and the canopy flight is part of skydiving.

However, you have to consider how long the ISP has been in place, and that students who went through the ISP could, by this point, have significant experience to the point of being instructors themselves. Once a training method has been in place long enough to allow a 'generation' of jumpers to be educated in that method and go on to become 'experienced' jumpers, to some degree you have to connect that training method to the actions of 'experienced' jumpers who went through it.

Even if open canopy incidents aren't exclusively linked to newbies with under 100 jumps, that doesn't mean that the ISP wasn't a part of what eventaully lead to the incident.

I'll just add at this point that the only real data we have is for open canopy fatalities, not open canopy injuries. It's not surprising that the average jump number would be higher for open canopy fatalities becasue, in my opinion, you're much more likely to have a fatal incident once you advance past a 'beginner' canopy. It's just easier to kill yourself, and become a data point, on a 150 than it is on a 190.

When it comes to open canopy injuries, what I see are more low time jumpers. Even minor injuries like twisted ankles or tib/fibs due to overshooting a landing area, or a mis-timed flare are things we need to work to avoid. These 'minor' injuries are sometimes enough to stop the momentum of a new jumper looking to become a 'skydiver'. There's nothing like six weeks on crutches to bolster the argument from family members that skydiving is dangerous, and that the student should stop.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 19, 2010, 10:09 AM
Post #194 of 285 (983 views)
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Why are people waiting for USPA to "do something?" IF you see that canopy collisions are causing more fatalies than in the past, shouldn't you be improving your skills in that area? It is your life on the line, not just someone at HQ. USPA is working to help solve this problem, but that will take time to study, implement, and see the results.

Get out there now and learn more canopy control, learn collision avoidance techniques, take a canopy course, learn from those who have been around a while and have seen this stuff for years.

The life you save may be mine too!

top


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 19, 2010, 10:24 AM
Post #195 of 285 (979 views)
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Re: [MrDree] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I must respectfully point out that your addition to this discussion defies the laws of physics.

Force = mass x acceleration -- or to say it in English, if you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard (more or less).

Yours too...

I'm just curious. Based on that formula, can you explain why the impact is four times harder when speed is doubled?

F = m * a

In reply to:
Where does that come from?

God.

In reply to:
Where is speed in your equation?

F = m * a

In reply to:
The right formula for kinetic energy is E = 0.5 * mass * speed^2

Actually, it's KE = 0.5 * m * v^2, but you're talking flying apples and splattered oranges.

Kinetic energy is a calculation of potential force before a body in motion "comes to rest."

Force is a calculation of how hard a body in motion hits when it does come to rest.

Or to say it again in English:

If you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard.


(This post was edited by robinheid on Oct 19, 2010, 10:30 AM)


Fast  (D 28237)

Oct 19, 2010, 10:47 AM
Post #196 of 285 (962 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Why are people waiting for USPA to "do something?" IF you see that canopy collisions are causing more fatalies than in the past, shouldn't you be improving your skills in that area? It is your life on the line, not just someone at HQ. USPA is working to help solve this problem, but that will take time to study, implement, and see the results.

Get out there now and learn more canopy control, learn collision avoidance techniques, take a canopy course, learn from those who have been around a while and have seen this stuff for years.

The life you save may be mine too!

top

I bolded a portion of your post for emphasis. The problem is that the people on here complaining about this are the ones that are learning and trying to do something about it for exactly the reason of they don't want to be the next person killed because of someone else.

The main problem is all those other people out there who either are too damn sure they know everything, don't think that they really need to know more than they do or are just too lazy to seek out the information. We need to encourage those people to learn this stuff.

I'm also getting sick of being the "bad guy" who has to lay down the law and make these people learn stuff. It just makes people annoyed. If the rules and information comes from the top down, it's not just XYZ DZO being an asshole and it keeps jumpers from just shopping for a dz that doesn't care.


(This post was edited by Fast on Oct 19, 2010, 10:47 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 19, 2010, 10:55 AM
Post #197 of 285 (954 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>IF you see that canopy collisions are causing more fatalies than in the
>past, shouldn't you be improving your skills in that area?

Because most canopy pilots believe that they have exceptional canopy skills, and that other people need to improve their skills.


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Oct 19, 2010, 2:21 PM
Post #198 of 285 (923 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Where does angle of attack come in? You can be swooping at 40 + MPH and use no flare and have less impact than if you fly a larger canopy and come straight down with no flare. Just curious, I am not a psysics guy.
I am trying to say or ask you can impact the ground (if it is measurable in some fashion) harder going slower if the angle is steeper. In fact if the angle is extremly low then I imagine your injury will be more of a ass over tea kettle injury as opposed to a crushing type.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 19, 2010, 5:37 PM
Post #199 of 285 (876 views)
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Re: [Para5-0] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

> In fact if the angle is extremly low then I imagine your injury will be more
>of a ass over tea kettle injury as opposed to a crushing type.

Agreed. But "ass over teakettle" can be pretty bad as well.

Recently we had a very experienced jumper bail at Perris and land downwind in strong winds. He got his vertical speed to zero, but the resulting tumble broke his back.

A while further back we had someone at Brown try to land downwind during Santa Ana winds. He also got his vertical speed to near zero - but then tripped and landed on his head at about 25mph. He died.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 19, 2010, 8:43 PM
Post #200 of 285 (856 views)
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Re: [Para5-0] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Where does angle of attack come in? You can be swooping at 40 + MPH and use no flare and have less impact than if you fly a larger canopy and come straight down with no flare. Just curious, I am not a psysics guy.
I am trying to say or ask you can impact the ground (if it is measurable in some fashion) harder going slower if the angle is steeper. In fact if the angle is extremly low then I imagine your injury will be more of a ass over tea kettle injury as opposed to a crushing type.

It's not angle of attack you're talking about in your example; it's angle of impact.

F = m * a can be a little tricky, because the "a" is for acceleration, which is sorta like speed, but sorta not.

The "a" means how fast your speed changes, or, in other words, how fast you come to a stop.

In the scenario you describe, the force of the swooper landing is distributed over more time so injuries may be less catastrophic, whereas the force of the big canopy landing is distributed over less time, so the injuries will probably be more catastrophic.

And as Bill outlined in the scenarios he described, certain body parts can come to a more sudden stop than the rest of you, with the resulting catastrophic injuries he described.

That's why it's important to slow down your landing speed as much as you can, which is why we land into the wind -- and why we should remember that we can turn in a flare and flare in a turn; if we ever do find ourselves heading downwind, it gives us a fighting chance to get into the wind enough to bleed off some of that extra speed so that we don't end up bleeding (as much) without making everything worse.

Cool


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 19, 2010, 9:43 PM
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We should be talking about enforcement, that is where the weakness is.

Every dropzone should be taking its own responsibility, regardless of whether or not the USPA mandates something or not.

The fact is, when avoidable accidents happen, the S&TA system is failing.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 19, 2010, 9:47 PM
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Quote:
Why are people waiting for USPA to "do something?"

Because if I stand up and say that every A license candidate needs to attend a basic canopy control course, and here is the syllabus for that course; nobody is going to listen, and nothing will be accomplished.

If the USPA stands up and says that every A license candidate needs to attend a basic canopy control course, and here is the syllabus for that course, everyone is going to listen, and every A licesne candidate will attend a basic canopy control course.

I'll expand that last statement a bit - every A license candidate will attend a basic canopy control course before being awarded the A license, and set free to jump along side you and I with little or no supervision.


MrDree  (Student)

Oct 20, 2010, 12:02 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I must respectfully point out that your addition to this discussion defies the laws of physics.

Force = mass x acceleration -- or to say it in English, if you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard (more or less).
Yours too...

I'm just curious. Based on that formula, can you explain why the impact is four times harder when speed is doubled?
F = m * a
In reply to:
Where does that come from?

God.
In reply to:
Where is speed in your equation?
F = m * a


Acceleration is not speed. That's physics 101. Unsure


In reply to:
In reply to:
The right formula for kinetic energy is E = 0.5 * mass * speed^2
Actually, it's KE = 0.5 * m * v^2, but you're talking flying apples and splattered oranges.


That's exactly what I wrote (writing conventions aside). Thank you.


In reply to:
Kinetic energy is a calculation of potential force before a body in motion "comes to rest."

Force is a calculation of how hard a body in motion hits when it does come to rest.

Or to say it again in English:

If you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard.


Okay, that's what I thought... Or to say it in English: you are unable to explain why you hit four times as hard. So I'll explain it to you.

Kinetic energy is the energy you have when you move. When you don't move, your kinetic energy is 0. So, when an object hits the ground, its kinetic energy drops suddenly to 0. That is because the kinetic energy it contained was liberated in the form of a sudden strong pressure on the object, a crater in the ground, some heat, some noise and maybe some broken bones.
Now, you're right about one thing: when the speed is doubled, the impact is four times harder. But obviously you don't really understand why.
Why is the impact four times harder? Because in the equation:
E = 0.5 * m * v^2
v is squared. So, when v is 2 times larger, E is 4 times larger. When v is 3 times larger, E is 9 times larger, etc...

Furthermore, there's a fundamental thing you don't seem to get: F = m*a describes a force, and E = 0.5*m*v^2 describes an enregy. Force and energy are two different things. Once again, that's physics 101.



In reply to:
F = m * a can be a little tricky, because the "a" is for acceleration, which is sorta like speed, but sorta not.

Wow, now that is real physics...

Seriously, you should take a refresher course in physics, because you seem to lack the basics. And please stop trying to teach it to others. You're really not helping them.


DaVincisEnvy  (C License)

Oct 20, 2010, 6:07 AM
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In reply to:
What do you think is missing in the AFF course (assuming that much of the canopy control stuff is taught on the later Categories (Levels) when a student is not so overloaded from the freefall part?

Simply missing things that are not in a "canopy course"?
Missing the repetition and review?

I'm not sure the problem is with the instructed portion of AFF or early coached jumps. Students really do tend to be overloaded at that point and far more focused on freefall. They're also either still under radio or recently off radio. It wasn't until I'd been off radio for several jumps and had to plan and implement my own landing pattern un-aided that I began to realize just how much I didn't know about canopy work and just how important it would be to learn as much as possible.

Honestly, the most valuable portions of the canopy control course for me were the (more) in-depth discussions of the aerodynamics of canopy flight, the most common applications of specific canopy skills/maneuvers, the dedication of the hop n' pop jumps to canopy work only, and the de-brief after every jump.

During the FJC and instructed portion of AFF, the basics of canopy flight were covered (e.g. standard landing pattern, flare height, flying in breaks, and how to steer with toggles and risers). However, the focus was almost entirely on how to do an A-card skill, not why that skill/technique works (why, aerodynamically, a specific input produces a specific result), or when to use it. And knowing when to use a skill early-on usually comes from discussing common applications, as well as by learning the basic aerodynamic theory so that students can properly apply those skills to not-so-common situations.

I'm not advocating for or against the ISP here, just relating my personal experience. And my experience was that canopy work was not emphasized very much during the instructed portion of AFF. There really wasn't much emphasis during the coached phase, either, although that could have also been a result of being at a small DZ where there aren't many coaches (and solo-self-supervise students are vying for the attention of instructors who are already trying to get the next AFF student briefed and in the air).

When I was filling out my A-card, I would usually ask an instructor what a particular maneuver/skill was and how to do it. Then I'd make a jump, complete the skill, and get signed off. For my own curiosity and out of a desire to be a more informed and safer skydiver, I would then seek out one or two of the most experienced jumpers at the DZ and engage them in a discussion about when to use that maneuver/skill and what some of the nuances, cautions, and consequences are of using that maneuver in different situations (e.g. be careful not to stall your canopy at 100 ft if you're using a flat turn to avoid an obstacle on final, etc).

What my home DZ lacks in certified coaches, it more than makes up for in mentors, but as has been mentioned before, mentoring only works if the student and the mentor are willing. I've met many accomplished and experienced skydivers who will take literally hours to talk to and teach eager new jumpers. But I've met far more students who choose to ignore and avoid the advice of those experienced jumpers, and I've already seen several hurt because of it.

The mentorship method works wonderfully (and, in my opinion, works even better than formal instruction much of the time) when the student and mentor both want to be there. But not all students will be of the persuasion or mentality to seek out knowledge on their own. In that case, I think that a formal requirement for a canopy control course before the A-license is issued is a wonderful idea.

In reply to:
Did your instructors tell you to practice those things?
Yep, and I did, but it was really just going through the motions to get signed off on my A-card until I took that canopy course and learned the how, the why, and the when of those techniques.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 20, 2010, 6:11 AM
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There should be a penalty for practicing physics without a license.


timmyfitz  (D License)

Oct 20, 2010, 6:16 AM
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In reply to:

There should be a penalty for practicing physics without a license.

Careful. You're ego is showing.

http://www.phdcomics.com/...chive/phd081508s.gif


(This post was edited by timmyfitz on Oct 20, 2010, 6:32 AM)


Ron

Oct 20, 2010, 7:03 AM
Post #207 of 285 (1026 views)
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Re: [danornan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

There already is an answer.....

1. Canopy stacks like Demo jumpers do. Ever watch the GK's? They do an 8-10 way and have one guy landing at a time. They do a quick check of wingloading and the guy with the highest WL lands #1, next #2, next #3... Etc. Guys in the second group land after the first group in their own order.

This means the guy with the Sabre 190 should not be spiraling down to try and land first AND the guy with the Velo 90 should not be hanging in breaks trying to land last. In Zhills my 4way team had a guy with a Sabre 135 that was landing with my team. We were the first group out, he was the second group out. He had a Sabre 135, our largest canopy was a Stiletto 107. There is NO reason a guy in the second group with a 135 should be landing with the first groups velos....

2. Separate landing areas. We are able to land a 400 way without people hitting, but an otter load creates confusion?

First group out lands over here, second group out lands over there, third here... etc. Wanna swoop the pond? Do a hop n pop.

3. Keep your head on a swivel.

The problem is a Sabre is now considered a "novice" performance canopy. 10 years ago it was "High" performance. The education has not kept up with the equipment and people are getting high performance wings with little experience.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 20, 2010, 7:11 AM
Post #208 of 285 (1021 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:

There should be a penalty for practicing physics without a license.

Careful. You're ego is showing.

http://www.phdcomics.com/...chive/phd081508s.gif

Not pickin' on the Prof but damn! that was funny!


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 20, 2010, 7:15 AM
Post #209 of 285 (1018 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Ron, I think that you and I, and a lot of others that are responding to this thread are really saying a lot of the same things. I'm hoping that the USPA reads this and not just their "internet dissucssion."

I do agree that education will play a part in safer canopy action. My concern is under 1,000 feet and what you said about the GKs is quite accurate.

They land as if there is a pattern with each where he needs to be automatically. Unfortunately on informal loads, even with the proper education, a previously set pattern, that is enforced will help to do the same thing.

There is no reason why the education can't be improved, but how do you re educate the 50,000 that are already licensed?

I think it is time for a few stop signs on the DZ that are enforced.

1. Each DZ has an established pattern below 1,000 feet.
2. No hook turns or swoops in the pattern, only in designated areas.

I don't think that you can leave it only to education.


Ron

Oct 20, 2010, 7:32 AM
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Quote:
but how do you re educate the 50,000 that are already licensed?

The same way you get someone to land in the correct area on a 400 way. 1. You tell them. 2. You warn them once. 3. You ground them.


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 20, 2010, 8:11 AM
Post #211 of 285 (1015 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Ron, Does it have to be either or? Why not do both? What would be the downside?

Seems like they could both play a part in a safer drop zone.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 20, 2010, 10:23 AM
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Re: [timmyfitz] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

There should be a penalty for practicing physics without a license.

Careful. You're ego is showing.

http://www.phdcomics.com/...chive/phd081508s.gif

If you want legal advice, do you go to a lawyer?


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 20, 2010, 11:09 AM
Post #213 of 285 (972 views)
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In reply to:
Ron, I think that you and I, and a lot of others that are responding to this thread are really saying a lot of the same things. I'm hoping that the USPA reads this and not just their "internet dissucssion."


I don't think that you can leave it only to education.

USPA is doing somethin and not just letting this be an electronic discussion, but that takes time. Time to gather data, evaluate various methods, make whatever changes are necessary, and implement those changes. In the meantime USPA HQ is putting the word out there that changes are coming and we need to put this on our personal radar now.

top


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 20, 2010, 1:14 PM
Post #214 of 285 (943 views)
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Re: [MrDree] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I must respectfully point out that your addition to this discussion defies the laws of physics.

Force = mass x acceleration -- or to say it in English, if you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard (more or less).
Yours too...

I'm just curious. Based on that formula, can you explain why the impact is four times harder when speed is doubled?
F = m * a
In reply to:
Where does that come from?

God.
In reply to:
Where is speed in your equation?
F = m * a


Acceleration is not speed. That's physics 101. Unsure


In reply to:
In reply to:
The right formula for kinetic energy is E = 0.5 * mass * speed^2
Actually, it's KE = 0.5 * m * v^2, but you're talking flying apples and splattered oranges.


That's exactly what I wrote (writing conventions aside). Thank you.


In reply to:
Kinetic energy is a calculation of potential force before a body in motion "comes to rest."

Force is a calculation of how hard a body in motion hits when it does come to rest.

Or to say it again in English:

If you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard.


Okay, that's what I thought... Or to say it in English: you are unable to explain why you hit four times as hard. So I'll explain it to you.

Kinetic energy is the energy you have when you move. When you don't move, your kinetic energy is 0. So, when an object hits the ground, its kinetic energy drops suddenly to 0. That is because the kinetic energy it contained was liberated in the form of a sudden strong pressure on the object, a crater in the ground, some heat, some noise and maybe some broken bones.
Now, you're right about one thing: when the speed is doubled, the impact is four times harder. But obviously you don't really understand why.
Why is the impact four times harder? Because in the equation:
E = 0.5 * m * v^2
v is squared. So, when v is 2 times larger, E is 4 times larger. When v is 3 times larger, E is 9 times larger, etc...

Furthermore, there's a fundamental thing you don't seem to get: F = m*a describes a force, and E = 0.5*m*v^2 describes an enregy. Force and energy are two different things. Once again, that's physics 101.



In reply to:
F = m * a can be a little tricky, because the "a" is for acceleration, which is sorta like speed, but sorta not.

Wow, now that is real physics...

Seriously, you should take a refresher course in physics, because you seem to lack the basics. And please stop trying to teach it to others. You're really not helping them.

All your egghead blah-blah aside, the fundamental thing I DO get is:

If you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard.

And here's a hint for you: Acceleration is in fact sorta about speed and sorta not because, you know, acceleration is the rate of change of speed as a function of time. That's Physics 101 too. Unsure

Seriously, you should take a refresher course in English reading comprehension because you seem to lack the basics.*

Cool

* Just kidding about this last point; respect to you for your English skills; I'd be a very happy guy if I could read, write or speak any second language 1/10th as well as you do English.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 20, 2010, 1:54 PM
Post #215 of 285 (930 views)
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In reply to:
Why are people waiting for USPA to "do something?"

Is asking USPA to live up to it's supposed purpose of "keeping skydivers safe" really so much to ask?

Any one jumper can only "do something" at the local level. Most of those you see discussing this issue here have "done something" and continue to "do something" at their local level. And we've been asking USPA to support what we're doing for years now...


Ron

Oct 20, 2010, 3:17 PM
Post #216 of 285 (912 views)
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Quote:
Ron, Does it have to be either or? Why not do both? What would be the downside?

It is both. Step one (tell them) is education. Step 2 is making sure they understood. Finally, Step 3 is grounding if they refuse to follow the procedures at that DZ.


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Oct 20, 2010, 6:18 PM
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Re: [skybytch] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I am wondering if anyone has specifically spoken to a director and specifically given him or her something to present to Safety and Training? If so then where is it? If Safety and Training votes on the proposal it will be presented to the full BOD. I have read the whole thread and wondered if this time was spent putting something together then maybe we can initiate some debate and/or change.
I think minus a few word exchanges about physics everyones somewhat on the same page. Why not use the time to present something that makes good sense.
Again, I am just trying to get some more information maybe some of you have gone down that road or maybe it has fallen on deaf ears I dont know.
I do like alot of what I am reading though, education can only be a good thing, as long as it isnt accompanied by over regualation.
Every Friday night for 8 weeks we conducted a canopy seminar in the evening this summer. What I found out was the ones that were present were the most conscientious skydivers amongst the dz. It wasnt them I wanted to reach out to, it was the ones that werent there. Your proposals will allow us to reach that group.
http://www.richwinstock.com


(This post was edited by Para5-0 on Oct 20, 2010, 6:20 PM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 20, 2010, 7:17 PM
Post #218 of 285 (876 views)
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Quote:
USPA is doing somethin and not just letting this be an electronic discussion, but that takes time. Time to gather data, evaluate various methods, make whatever changes are necessary, and implement those changes. In the meantime USPA HQ is putting the word out there that changes are coming and we need to put this on our personal radar now.

You're kidding, right?

How long does it take for the USPA to take notice of a problem? What is it now that's suddenly got them all hot and bothered? That 75% of the fatalities in 2010 are under open canopies? Is that what did it?

I don't know the exact figures or dates, but I do know that open canopy fatalites have been the #1 killer of skydivers in the US for years, and I don't think I'm going out on a limb if I say it's been a decade.

Additionally, before that segment was the top of the fatalities list, there had to be a period of several years where it's percentage was on the rise. That alone should have been enough to wake up the USPA that there was a problem and that it needed attention. Once the upward trend was established, and maintained for 2 or 3 years, this should have been the #1 issue in the area of safety and training.

Despite this, we get students who learn all about center point turns, and fall rate control, but who are afraid to exit an aircraft below 10k ft and cannot fly their canopies out of a hole in the ground.

I make no apoligies for my attitude about this issue and the USPA. I don't buy any of their bullshit, and never will until they put their (actaully my) money where their mouth is, and produce some sort of results. Not just a plan, but produce the plan, implement, and get results. Then I'll give credit where credit is due, but in the last few years all I've seen are a poster, a DVD nobody watched, and more and more dead jumpers.


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 21, 2010, 2:35 AM
Post #219 of 285 (854 views)
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In reply to:
I am wondering if anyone has specifically spoken to a director and specifically given him or her something to present to Safety and Training? accompanied by over regualation.

YES

I started several months ago and the response was very positive. If everyone interested in a change would do the same there, it would make a positive difference. I want more predictability in the LZ.

It needs to be emphasized in TRAINING and ENFORCEMENT. Not one or the other, but both.


MrDree  (Student)

Oct 21, 2010, 4:45 AM
Post #220 of 285 (847 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
All your egghead blah-blah aside, the fundamental thing I DO get is:

If you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard.

Agreed. That's a good thing to know.
But knowing why is even better. What about if you land 7 times as fast? How hard will the impact be? To answer this question, you need to know which formula to use.
And the answer is, the impact will be 49 times as hard. Because kinetic energy is proportional to the speed squared (E=0.5*m*v^2).

In reply to:
And here's a hint for you: Acceleration is in fact sorta about speed and sorta not because, you know, acceleration is the rate of change of speed as a function of time. That's Physics 101 too. Unsure

Of course, acceleration and speed are linked, but they're not the same. They represent two different physical properties, measured using two different units.

Would you say that the area of a circle is the same as its diameter? Of course not, even if they're obviously linked.

In reply to:
Seriously, you should take a refresher course in English reading comprehension because you seem to lack the basics.*

Cool

* Just kidding about this last point; respect to you for your English skills; I'd be a very happy guy if I could read, write or speak any second language 1/10th as well as you do English.

Thanks. Actually, English is my fourth language, behind French, Italian and German (and before Japanese Smile).


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 21, 2010, 5:21 AM
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Re: [davelepka] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Why are people waiting for USPA to "do something?"

Because if I stand up and say that every A license candidate needs to attend a basic canopy control course, and here is the syllabus for that course; nobody is going to listen, and nothing will be accomplished.

If the USPA stands up and says that every A license candidate needs to attend a basic canopy control course, and here is the syllabus for that course, everyone is going to listen, and every A licesne candidate will attend a basic canopy control course.

I'll expand that last statement a bit - every A license candidate will attend a basic canopy control course before being awarded the A license, and set free to jump along side you and I with little or no supervision.

I don't see an epidemic of low time jumpers dieing because they don't know basic canopy control. The fatalities seem to be clustered in mid and high time jumpers failing in HP landings or canopy collisions.

By the way, can you fly your canopy out of a hole in the ground?


(This post was edited by kallend on Oct 21, 2010, 5:22 AM)


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 21, 2010, 6:08 AM
Post #222 of 285 (829 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Quote:
Why are people waiting for USPA to "do something?"

Because if I stand up and say that every A license candidate needs to attend a basic canopy control course, and here is the syllabus for that course; nobody is going to listen, and nothing will be accomplished.

If the USPA stands up and says that every A license candidate needs to attend a basic canopy control course, and here is the syllabus for that course, everyone is going to listen, and every A licesne candidate will attend a basic canopy control course.

I'll expand that last statement a bit - every A license candidate will attend a basic canopy control course before being awarded the A license, and set free to jump along side you and I with little or no supervision.

I don't see an epidemic of low time jumpers dieing because they don't know basic canopy control. The fatalities seem to be clustered in mid and high time jumpers failing in HP landings or canopy collisions.

By the way, can you fly your canopy out of a hole in the ground?


Thanks John..... a nice dose of reality!


beowulf  (C License)

Oct 21, 2010, 6:22 AM
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Re: [kallend] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I was thinking the same thing as I was reading through this thread.

I remain unconvinced that the problem is AFF training. That is not to say that AFF doesn't have any room for improvement.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 21, 2010, 8:08 AM
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Quote:
I don't see an epidemic of low time jumpers dieing because they don't know basic canopy control. The fatalities seem to be clustered in mid and high time jumpers failing in HP landings or canopy collisions.

Two things to keep in mind, in terms of the available data, all we have is information on the fatalities under open canopies. Any injuries under open canopies are either unreported, or if they are reported the details of those remain unpublished. As far as I am concerned, both fatalities and injuries are unacceptable, and anything we can do to avoid or reduce the frequency of either has become a necessity.

On that same subject, one reason you may see more fatalities in the mid time jumpers over the newbies is due to canopy size. You have to make a monumental error to kill yourself under a 210 or a 190, canopy sizes common to newbies and their first rig. Once you progress to more of a 'sport' canopy, say a 150 or 135, the magnitude of error needed to result in a fatality goes way down.

The other point is that the current student training program, the ISP, has been in place long enough that many mid to hign time jumpers were trained under that system. When they advance to higher performance canopies, and then are involved in an incident, I feel safe making the assertion that improved training and increased focus on canopy control during their 'formative' years might have made a difference in both their abilities and desicion making.

Beyond all that, the undisputed fact is that there is a very real and very severe problem in skydiving with regards to canopy control. I cannot see how starting at the most basic level, initial training, and tailoring it to include increased focus on canopy control and it's importance in making a safe skydive, can be a bad thing. Even if it turns out not to be the keystone of the effort to reduce open canopy accidents, it will improve the knowledge and outlook of new jumpers, which are both good things.

I have never stated any sort of objection to additional, concurrent action in terms of reducing open canopy incidents, just that I feel improved student training should be a part of that effort. If you have additional ideas about the source or solution to the problem, by all means, speak up. To just roll in and protest an idea, which in itself will 'do no harm', without making an alternate suggestion is a waste of everyones time.

Quote:
By the way, can you fly your canopy out of a hole in the ground?

In a technical sense, if the hole was big enough and I had the airspeed, yes. I have flown my canopy into and then out of a ditch, which is similar to a hole.

In a literal sense, it was not meant in a literal sense. It's a play on the cliche, 'He doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground'.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 21, 2010, 8:39 AM
Post #225 of 285 (795 views)
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In reply to:

I don't see an epidemic of low time jumpers dieing because they don't know basic canopy control. The fatalities seem to be clustered in mid and high time jumpers failing in HP landings or canopy collisions.

no, no, no. Didn't you read upthread where my position is demolished? The solution is that we're not teaching S/L any longer, so people don't learn canopy skills properly. If they learned canopy skills according to the actual ISP, they'd not be having issues at 500 jumps.

Require the canopy course between the C and D licenses, you'd get maybe perhaps possibly somewhere, I think (but I'm not sure).
However, a fair number of people don't go for the C/D licenses. A recent collision involved an A license skydiver with 400 jumps.

I'm looking forward to hearing discussion on this topic at PIA in a few months. The USPA's position has been they can't mandate downsizing, and that they can't mandate landing areas, they can only recommend. And from Ed Scott's mouth to my ear, they will not mandate nor recommend downsizing progression due to a perceived risk of liability.


winsor  (D 13715)

Oct 21, 2010, 9:01 AM
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In reply to:

There should be a penalty for practicing physics without a license.

There is - it includes injury and/or death.


winsor  (D 13715)

Oct 21, 2010, 9:09 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:

There should be a penalty for practicing physics without a license.

Careful. You're ego is showing.

http://www.phdcomics.com/...chive/phd081508s.gif

If you want legal advice, do you go to a lawyer?

Nah, ask a criminal.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 21, 2010, 9:29 AM
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Quote:
from Ed Scott's mouth to my ear, they will not mandate nor recommend downsizing progression due to a perceived risk of liability.

To whom? The USPA? A failure to act on behalf of the members based on a perception of liability to the organization seems a bit backwards. What good is the organization if the members are dead or not jumping due to injury?

It's bullshit anyway. Here's the solution, every size on a WL chart is accompanied by an asterisk, and the below the chart you have this -

* All wingloadings represent the maximum allowable for the corresponding jump numbers. This chart is not suggesting that there is any minimum Wl for any level of experience, and no jumper should downsize their canopy unless they have achieved a level of proficiency on their current canopy, and are comfortable with the idea of jumping a smaller canopy.


Will jumpers disregard this, and follow the max WL to the number? Sure they will, but that's got nothing to do with the USPA. Even then, if the chart repersented reasonable WL values, that plan of action would still represent a reasonable and gradual course od downsizing.

How do you think PD gets away with building canopies that poeple use to drill themselves into the ground on a daily basis (I use PD because of their commanding market share)? It's the warning label, which as we all know indicates a very conservative set of circumsatnces that very few people actaully follow. None the less, they establish the company line, and what people want to do with it is up to them. There's no reason it should be any different for the USPA.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 21, 2010, 10:38 AM
Post #229 of 285 (755 views)
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In reply to:

Here's the solution, every size on a WL chart is accompanied by an asterisk, and the below the chart you have this -

* All wingloadings represent the maximum allowable for the corresponding jump numbers. This chart is not suggesting that there is any minimum Wl for any level of experience, and no jumper should downsize their canopy unless they have achieved a level of proficiency on their current canopy, and are comfortable with the idea of jumping a smaller canopy.

So simple a solution!

But what about all the incidents that people were under apporpriately sized canopies?

Do we want USPA to have the authority to mandate what type/size of canopy you jump? Do you want an S&TA weighing you before you can jump that day to see if you are over the wingloading chart? How do we enforce a wingload rule everyday? Do we have a seperate chart for camera, wingsuits, or instructors (they should be setting a good example to their students and fly more docile canopies)?

Education is the key during all phases of a jumper's career. If you don't have the mental/physical tools to make good flying decisions, flying ANY canopy is still dangerous to you and those around you.

top


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 21, 2010, 11:34 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
All your egghead blah-blah aside, the fundamental thing I DO get is:

If you land twice as fast, you hit four times as hard.

Agreed. That's a good thing to know.
But knowing why is even better. What about if you land 7 times as fast? How hard will the impact be? To answer this question, you need to know which formula to use.
And the answer is, the impact will be 49 times as hard. Because kinetic energy is proportional to the speed squared (E=0.5*m*v^2).

True, but you can use the force equation to get there too.


In reply to:
And here's a hint for you: Acceleration is in fact sorta about speed and sorta not because, you know, acceleration is the rate of change of speed as a function of time. That's Physics 101 too. Unsure

Of course, acceleration and speed are linked, but they're not the same. They represent two different physical properties, measured using two different units.

Would you say that the area of a circle is the same as its diameter? Of course not, even if they're obviously linked.
They are indeed linked, and in both cases, linked closely enough that the average person can use them interchangeably and arrive at the same understanding of space, time and IMPACT... even if in so doing it aggravates "real" physicists.

Wink


In reply to:
Seriously, you should take a refresher course in English reading comprehension because you seem to lack the basics.*

Cool

* Just kidding about this last point; respect to you for your English skills; I'd be a very happy guy if I could read, write or speak any second language 1/10th as well as you do English.

Thanks. Actually, English is my fourth language, behind French, Italian and German (and before Japanese Smile).
Sugoi-ne!

Soshite sensei, arigato gosai-mashita.


Cool


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 21, 2010, 11:35 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:

There should be a penalty for practicing physics without a license.

There is - it includes injury and/or death.

+!

Cool


Communications

Oct 21, 2010, 11:58 AM
Post #232 of 285 (734 views)
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DSE, you said:
Quote:
The USPA's position has been they can't mandate downsizing, and that they can't mandate landing areas, they can only recommend. And from Ed Scott's mouth to my ear, they will not mandate nor recommend downsizing progression due to a perceived risk of liability.

Your last statement first—I’ve never spoken to you about canopy safety, downsizing progression, or any related topic. And I’ve never said to anyone that USPA shouldn’t address downsizing due to perceived liability. (And in fact USPA already does recommend downsizing progression in the SIM.) I don’t know whose words you think you’re repeating, but they’re not mine. As to your first statement, there is no USPA position that holds that restrictions on downsizing or landing areas can only be recommended, not mandated. Recommendations and education may have been USPA’s methods of choice to date for some of these issues, but that doesn’t mean that the USPA board has taken a position that it can never mandate something in this arena.

Overall, we’re glad this thread is so active and we’re pulling some good ideas from it. I’ll also invite anyone to give us their thoughts on our new web page as well. As I’ve said here and elsewhere, we want the full range of ideas to consider how to attack this problem; nothing is off the table.

Ed Scott, USPA Executive Director


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 21, 2010, 12:15 PM
Post #233 of 285 (725 views)
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In reply to:

Require the canopy course between the C and D licenses, you'd get maybe perhaps possibly somewhere, I think (but I'm not sure).
However, a fair number of people don't go for the C/D licenses. A recent collision involved an A license skydiver with 400 jumps.

.

As I have written a number of times before, I would replace the night jump requirement for a "D" with an advanced canopy flight requirement. We clearly have an epidemic of canopy related fatalities. There is no epidemic of sunset load fatalities among parachutists who haven't made night jumps..


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 21, 2010, 12:27 PM
Post #234 of 285 (719 views)
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Re: [Communications] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
DSE, you said:
Quote:
The USPA's position has been they can't mandate downsizing, and that they can't mandate landing areas, they can only recommend. And from Ed Scott's mouth to my ear, they will not mandate nor recommend downsizing progression due to a perceived risk of liability.

Your last statement first—I’ve never spoken to you about canopy safety, downsizing progression, or any related topic. And I’ve never said to anyone that USPA shouldn’t address downsizing due to perceived liability. (And in fact USPA already does recommend downsizing progression in the SIM.) I don’t know whose words you think you’re repeating, but they’re not mine. As to your first statement, there is no USPA position that holds that restrictions on downsizing or landing areas can only be recommended, not mandated. Recommendations and education may have been USPA’s methods of choice to date for some of these issues, but that doesn’t mean that the USPA board has taken a position that it can never mandate something in this arena.

Overall, we’re glad this thread is so active and we’re pulling some good ideas from it. I’ll also invite anyone to give us their thoughts on our new web page as well. As I’ve said here and elsewhere, we want the full range of ideas to consider how to attack this problem; nothing is off the table.

Ed Scott, USPA Executive Director


Awe gee, Ed, you've forgotten our conversation in front of the Cafe during Nationals? When I was uploading video to Good Morning America for you?
That was a special time for me. It was a good conversation.
You might recall the PD flags that kept breaking off/falling to the ground in front of the cafe and that while we were talking, there was a person there trying to hammer wooden pegs into the Eloy dirt.


(This post was edited by DSE on Oct 21, 2010, 2:19 PM)


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 21, 2010, 1:59 PM
Post #235 of 285 (697 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Do we want USPA to have the authority to mandate what type/size of canopy you jump?

If I want to jump an aggressive canopy and/or an aggressive wingloading, then yes, I do want USPA to have the authority to tell me "no, you can't jump that 58 sq ft Icarus Ridicarus until after you've received additional training focused on the ability to fly that canopy without killing or injuring other people."

In reply to:
How do we enforce a wingload rule everyday?

How do we keep 100 jump wonders out of wingsuits? Someone on the dz has the authority to say no. Any S&TA that is worth a shit knows what the local jumpers are flying and which ones shouldn't really be flying what they have. A BSR would give them something to point at when they tell Joe Awesome that a 1.6 wingloading at 200 jumps isn't the best idea and they'll need to go on down the road if they want to jump it.

In reply to:
Do we have a separate chart for camera, wingsuits, or instructors (they should be setting a good example to their students and fly more docile canopies)?

Since when are instructors required to fly docile canopies? I don't recall that being part of the AFF cert course I took a couple of years ago, is it new, did I miss something?

In reply to:
Education is the key during all phases of a jumper's career. If you don't have the mental/physical tools to make good flying decisions, flying ANY canopy is still dangerous to you and those around you.

Good point. Where is a new skydiver supposed to get those tools, and what assurance does s/he have that the information s/he is getting is good?


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Oct 21, 2010, 2:38 PM
Post #236 of 285 (689 views)
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In reply to:
If they learned canopy skills according to the actual ISP, they'd not be having issues at 500 jumps.

If I can pointout that the SIM recommends a 1.5 WL for jumpers with 500 jumps. It is at this juncture in a skydiving career that presumably the jumper will start to initiate higher performance landings. High performance canopies/landings are not covered. So that might be a great time for an advanced canopy course of some sort.
and I do understand that this is being done prior to the 500 jump recommendation. I am dealing with several rather aggressive downsizers at our DZ.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 21, 2010, 2:53 PM
Post #237 of 285 (683 views)
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Re: [Para5-0] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Rich,
There are *several* really good canopy course coaches out there with very solid, functioning programs. USPA might do well to work with what's there vs trying to re-invent the wheel.
There is also a model of "buying" an existing educational program; maybe now is a good time to repeat it.
I'd agree; an advanced canopy course is more what we need vs doing anything differently in the ISP.
FWIW, my home DZ does not allow a wingloading beyond 1.0 for the first 100 jumps. There is a canopy program in the late fall that all newer jumpers are "strongly encouraged" to attend that includes a rehash of the canopy portions of the ISP and conversations about jumping at DZ's that have higher traffic/larger loads.

USPA should be applauded for participating in a discussion on DZ.com. Somewhere in all these ideas has to be an answer. Hopefully USPA will continue to participate here.


(This post was edited by DSE on Oct 21, 2010, 4:24 PM)


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Oct 21, 2010, 3:51 PM
Post #238 of 285 (673 views)
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Quote:
FWIW, my home DZ does not allow a wingloading less than 1.0 for the first 100 jumps.

Do you mean greater than 1.0?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 21, 2010, 4:19 PM
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oops, fixed. er...ThanksBlush


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 21, 2010, 4:28 PM
Post #240 of 285 (657 views)
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In reply to:
USPA should be applauded for participating in a discussion on DZ.com. Somewhere in all these ideas has to be an answer. Hopefully USPA will continue to participate here.

I'll keep participating as long as we have worthwhile discussion (or a physics lesson, can't go wrong with physics!).

There's a whole bunch of smart people here who can come up with something!

top


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 21, 2010, 6:43 PM
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In reply to:
We should be talking about enforcement, that is where the weakness is.

Every dropzone should be taking its own responsibility, regardless of whether or not the USPA mandates something or not.

The fact is, when avoidable accidents happen, the S&TA system is failing.

That's been the problem all along. USPA refuses to be an enforcement agency in all but the most extreme cases, and many DZ's won't police themselves.

Watcha gonna do?


craigbey  (C 31991)

Oct 22, 2010, 3:40 AM
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Quote:
but that doesn’t mean that the USPA board has taken a position that it can never mandate something in this arena

I don't think the USPA is in a very good position to mandate something in this arena, anyway. You already have many USPA members jumping at DZ's that are operating 'outside' of the USPA bubble or other jumpers who don't 'need' to follow USPA training guidelines or recommendations.


Ron

Oct 22, 2010, 7:31 AM
Post #243 of 285 (579 views)
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Quote:
I would replace the night jump requirement for a "D" with an advanced canopy flight requirement.

Expand please.

I think we should follow aviation's example:

Want to fly a complex airplane... Need an instructor to sign you off.

Want to fly a high performance airplane.... Need an instructor to sign off. HP would be defined as a WL higher than Brian Germains WL chart.

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


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Oct 22, 2010, 7:54 AM
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I would leave the night jumps in place and move your course recommendation to the point between the "B" and "C" License.

The ones I have seen getting hurt recently fall into that range.

Matt


(This post was edited by matthewcline on Oct 22, 2010, 9:23 AM)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 22, 2010, 8:41 AM
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In reply to:

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.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 22, 2010, 9:16 AM
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Quote:
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.


That's exactly why it's a bad idea. You cannot expect any sort of consistancy when you have a pass/fail type scenario. Beyond that, you have the problem of administering the testing and certification of both the testers and the students.

This is why my vote is for a greater focus on canopy control in the formative training, instilling the knowledge and skills to pilot a canopy as well as the idea that canopy piloting is a serisou skill worhtwhile of dedicated time and energy.

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.

Jump numbers may not be a perfect metric, but it is consistant and easy to administer. Your jumps are your jumps, end of story. What one S&TA thinks at DZ 'A' as compared to the S&TA at DZ 'B' is of no consequence, if you have 350 jumps, the chart says this is what you get.

What you end up with are jumpers who are instilled with the idea that canopy control is an important area of study, and then are limited to a reasonable course of downsizing if they so desire. By the time a jumper has 400 or 500 jumps, they are ready to be 'cut loose' and make their own choices.

The more complicated you make a solution, the less the chances that solution has of making into practice and actually succeeding. A simple pre-A license canopy control course, which can be taught by any reasonably knowledgable jumper, followed by some limitations as to what size and type of canopy you can fly is about as simple as it gets. It's a two hour class with a few hop n pops, two of which are required for the A anyway. A Wl chart is just a click of the print button from being hung up at every DZ in the country.


Ron

Oct 22, 2010, 9:32 AM
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Quote:
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.


theonlyski  (D License)

Oct 22, 2010, 10:13 AM
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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.


Ron

Oct 22, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
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.

What is does not show is if any of those people had training or if prior training would have prevented the accident.

Also... People trying to learn hook turns.... Most people will not start trying till 200ish jumps, so that will shift the numbers North.

Canopy Collisions... Well, I'd bet most collisions are big ways and people with <200 jumps are not exactly going to be on bigger ways.

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


Premier ianmdrennan  (D 25821)
Moderator
Oct 22, 2010, 10:53 AM
Post #250 of 285 (516 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:

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


theonlyski  (D License)

Oct 22, 2010, 10:55 AM
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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.


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 22, 2010, 10:59 AM
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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.


theonlyski  (D License)

Oct 22, 2010, 11:02 AM
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In reply to:
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 (887 views)
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In reply to:
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 (846 views)
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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)

Oct 23, 2010, 11:40 PM
Post #256 of 285 (796 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
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
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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 (786 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


DocPop  (C License)

Oct 24, 2010, 12:33 PM
Post #259 of 285 (749 views)
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Re: [ianmdrennan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:

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 (733 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
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 (734 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 (726 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)

Oct 24, 2010, 11:30 PM
Post #263 of 285 (690 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
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 (666 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
"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 (657 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 (650 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 (645 views)
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Re: [danornan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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?


beowulf  (C License)

Oct 25, 2010, 7:26 AM
Post #268 of 285 (642 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 (639 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
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 (603 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)

Oct 25, 2010, 10:10 AM
Post #271 of 285 (597 views)
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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.


topdocker  (D 12018)

Oct 25, 2010, 1:58 PM
Post #272 of 285 (572 views)
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In reply to:
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 (500 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 (494 views)
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Re: [Fast] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
....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 (457 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?


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Oct 27, 2010, 7:13 AM
Post #276 of 285 (838 views)
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Re: [Fast] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Thought: one thing that has helped me get the canopy word out so to speak is something I started last year. I was devasted to hear about the double canopy collision at Skys the Limit this year. Two older experienced guys who were adored by all.

I hold around 6 or so water trainings at our dropzone each season. When I get the 50 jump jumpers in front of me for water training, I incorporate a canopy discussion as well to include: landing patterns, canopy flight, canopy seperation, freefall seperation, exit order, landing area seperation, canopy characteristics...etc. This is all included in a power point prior to hitting the pool.
I figure I have their undivided attention and they have to be there so I have them. Why not use the time and fact they have to be there to my advantage. If there was a mandatory canopy sylabus it would be easy to incorporate it in at this point. It has worked well and I know that all new jumpers get that little extra that is needed at the 50 jump mark. It doesnt hurt to answer their questions at this point. Sometimes they are too shy to ask an instructor during normal jump days.
It also helps to do this in the evening or on non jump days so I really have no distractions.
I also like the C license and D license idea of a little extra on the topic being offered.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 27, 2010, 7:54 AM
Post #277 of 285 (824 views)
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Re: [Fast] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
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.

It's not a good thing. Without consequences for surviving something stupid, stupid will keep happening - "I did that and survived so that rule must be bullshit." Without an SOP that assures that every violator receives the same punishment, we end up with one person getting their ratings yanked for and another getting away with the same exact offense.

It also needs to be transparent. If it's a big secret what actually happened to the offender, the membership has to wonder who is being protected - the membership or the offender?


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 27, 2010, 2:39 PM
Post #278 of 285 (770 views)
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Re: [skybytch] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
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.

It's not a good thing. Without consequences for surviving something stupid, stupid will keep happening - "I did that and survived so that rule must be bullshit."

Since jumping out a a plane in flight is intrinsically a stupid thing to do, this must explain why you've given up skydiving. Following your logic, there should be a rule against skydiving.


Fast  (D 28237)

Oct 28, 2010, 9:57 AM
Post #279 of 285 (704 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:
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.

It's not a good thing. Without consequences for surviving something stupid, stupid will keep happening - "I did that and survived so that rule must be bullshit."

Since jumping out a a plane in flight is intrinsically a stupid thing to do, this must explain why you've given up skydiving. Following your logic, there should be a rule against skydiving.

That's actually where I get hung up on the topic. There is a "whole lot wrong" with jumping out of a plane from a practical standpoint. None of us agree with any of that stuff though which is why we jump. So the question becomes, where does the line lay between what's stupid and what's not stupid in a sport that most of the modern world doesn't really understand.

I don't want to see the fun, innovation or free thinkers regulated out of the sport. I think that would do more harm than good. If everyone sits down and decides that hook turning at 30 feet is a bad idea though (I'm exaggerating) then maybe we should do something about that and there needs to be someone standing behind what is decided.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 28, 2010, 4:28 PM
Post #280 of 285 (665 views)
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Re: [kallend] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Following your logic, there should be a rule against skydiving.

Not my logic. Yours. Fairly faulty, too. Which is surprising considering your profession. But you just keep sliding down that slippery slope, Prof. You know you're right and that's all that matters.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 29, 2010, 5:50 PM
Post #281 of 285 (612 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:
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.

It's not a good thing. Without consequences for surviving something stupid, stupid will keep happening - "I did that and survived so that rule must be bullshit."

Since jumping out a a plane in flight is intrinsically a stupid thing to do, this must explain why you've given up skydiving. Following your logic, there should be a rule against skydiving.

+1

Cool


robinheid  (D 5533)

Oct 29, 2010, 8:09 PM
Post #282 of 285 (591 views)
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Re: [skybytch] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Following your logic, there should be a rule against skydiving.

Not my logic. Yours. Fairly faulty, too. Which is surprising considering your profession. But you just keep sliding down that slippery slope, Prof. You know you're right and that's all that matters.

Sorry, Skybytch, the good professor did indeed follow your premise to its logical conclusion - a conclusion to which orders of magnitude more people subscribe than to "your" logical conclusion that only certain skydiving practices are stupid.

There are about 50,000 skydivers on this planet of 6 billion people-- one out of every 120 million. That means we can safely say that at least 5.99 billion of those 6 billion concur with the professor's logical conclusion rather than "yours."

Cool


(This post was edited by robinheid on Oct 29, 2010, 8:10 PM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 31, 2010, 6:31 PM
Post #283 of 285 (527 views)
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Re: [skybytch] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Following your logic, there should be a rule against skydiving.

Not my logic. Yours. Fairly faulty, too. Which is surprising considering your profession. But you just keep sliding down that slippery slope, Prof. You know you're right and that's all that matters.

Logic and consistency are not your strong suits, are they?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Nov 1, 2010, 11:32 AM
Post #284 of 285 (474 views)
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Re: [kallend] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's avoid the personal comments please.


dorbie

Nov 1, 2010, 11:50 AM
Post #285 of 285 (466 views)
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Re: [chuckakers] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Next, Ed detailed the things USPA has done to combat the problem. In 2000, canopy training was introduced as part of the Integrated Student Program. In 2005, the head shed distributed a video – called “Fly to Survive” – and an accompanying poster to group member DZ’s. By 2006, USPA updated the Skydiver’s Information Manual with more information on canopy flight. In 2008 a new provision was added to the group member pledge requiring DZ’s to “establish and disseminate landing procedures that include separation of high-speed landings and normal landings”. He also mentioned numerous e-newsletters and repeated “Parachutist” magazine content on the subject.

..........two safety advisories on the subject.

I submit that the problem persists is because ....................

All this and more people died.

Here's the problem with simply pursuing the same rules more rigorously, if even SOME DZs had implemented these recommendations, fatalities might have been expected to decline (underneath the noise).

So this doesn't offer any explanation for the increase just proposes another untested solution. In fact rough though it may seem, one candidate for the biggest change during this increase may have been emphasis and training on canopy piloting.

There are alternative explanations, since a lack of follow-through on incident investigation would NOT in itself CAUSE numbers to "skyrocket". therefore a few other questions might be higher on the priority list.

Did those involved in accidents recieve additional canopy training; many aspiring swoopers tend to, are the emboldened by it?

What type & size of loads and jumps led some of the incidents. Some of the loudest voices on canopy piloting love bigways (for example).

When stuff isn't working it's time to get dispassionate and ask some questions that aren't simply aimed at promoting the same rules and agenda.



Forums : Skydiving : Safety and Training

 


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