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USPA and the canopy issue

 

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davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 6, 2010, 5:37 AM
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Re: [danornan] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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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 (986 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 (981 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 (979 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.

????
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 (961 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 (960 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (952 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (948 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #59 of 285 (942 views)
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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
Post #60 of 285 (939 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #61 of 285 (941 views)
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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
Post #62 of 285 (938 views)
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Re: [Fast] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #64 of 285 (933 views)
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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
Post #65 of 285 (918 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #66 of 285 (909 views)
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Re: [robinheid] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #67 of 285 (898 views)
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Re: [DocPop] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

>Are you seriously suggesting that banning HP canopies is a better option
>that education?

No.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Oct 6, 2010, 10:47 AM
Post #68 of 285 (895 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA and the canopy issue [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #69 of 285 (888 views)
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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
Post #72 of 285 (897 views)
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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)
Moderator
Oct 6, 2010, 11:53 AM
Post #73 of 285 (890 views)
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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
Post #74 of 285 (878 views)
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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
Post #75 of 285 (877 views)
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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


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