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Chasing your student into the ground!?!

 

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polarbear  (D 25673)

Jun 14, 2011, 6:03 PM
Post #51 of 162 (1540 views)
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Re: [DSE] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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My (untested) theory is that if you want the student to pull, seeing their instructor deploy should set the wheels in motion

That's exactly what USPA teaches...if they don't pull, signal them (altitude permitting), if they still don't pull, deploy your own parachute. Hopefully they'll see it and know to pull, if not, you keep yourself from going low and having an AAD fire or worse.

The point of the video (among other things) is to reinforce this belief, and to make folks realize that it's easy to talk about it on the ground but when YOU are actually in the moment you might not actually do it unless you prepare yourself for it.

Instructional rating holders fall for this ploy all the time; there have been fatalities from it. What will YOU do if your student doesn't pull and is on his back spinning down to the ground?


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jun 14, 2011, 7:06 PM
Post #52 of 162 (1513 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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As per usual everyone knows exactly what was going on and why it all went bad.

If you want to get mad, how about start with the AFF I who passed this jumper to a coach after an admittedly unsatisfactory re-certification jump.
Then get mad at the coach who got in way over his head, and made several mistakes it the process.

Getting mad at the guy who simply points these things out might make you feel better, but in the end it does nothing the solve the very problems that guy is pointing out.

The sad and telling part is that both the AFFI and the Coach failed here.

This is just one more example of why USPA has no hope of fixing anything to make skydiving safer.

USPA can come up with any and all the "training" programs they can dream up and people will do what's necessary to pass the course and then promptly throw it all by the wayside and go off on their own doing whatever they damn well please as long as they get paid to do whatever stupid shit they can come up with.

USPA will continue to turn a blind eye to the real problem. They will continue to put out advisories, pamphlets, posters and other stupid, meaningless recommendation crap while the carnage only gets worse and worse.

The cows are out of the barn.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Jun 14, 2011, 8:16 PM
Post #53 of 162 (1482 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

I respectfully disagree with that. I know all of the people involved with this jump very well, they all took it very seriously, and so does the rest of the staff (including me). This is not something we ever want to see happen again and have taken measures to deal with it.

We appreciate the comments; people have pretty much pointed out all of things we spotted. One thing I would add is that this particular jumper earned his license way before AFF was really in effect (he was static line). The usual hand signals, which became mainstream with the ISP, meant nothing to him.

As for the leg straps I'll have to go back and look at that again. I know for a fact this guy received the usual three gear checks; one during gear up, one before boarding, and one before exiting. I have a suspiscion he might have caused something to loosen as he rolled around in the plane trying to get out. We'll look at that one again.


(This post was edited by polarbear on Jun 14, 2011, 8:23 PM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 14, 2011, 8:49 PM
Post #54 of 162 (1462 views)
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Re: [hekle] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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This "student" was an experienced D licensed skydiver making a SECOND re-currency jump. So certain assumptions were made. It is correct to state that this individual should not have been placed with a coach but thats the luxury of hind sight.

What sort of assumptions would make if a jumper needed more than one re-currency jump? Would those assumptions point toward pairing such a student with a coach who was not trained, nor expected to catch, stabilize and pull for a student?

How is it hindsight when the instructors were well aware that this jumper was not ready for unsupervised jumping? That's what it means when you require more than one re-currency jump, after the first one you were still not proficient enough to be considered 'current'.

I don't blame the coach for the overall situation, that responsibility falls to the instructor who handed the student over. Coaches are intended for, and trained for, jumping with current students who have made a satisfactory skydive within the proceeding 30 days. Does that description match the student in this incident?

The instructor put the coach in the bad spot, plain and simple. The coach had no way of knowing how the student would perform beforehand, but the instructor did, as they were the last to jump with them.

Again, I like how I'm the asshole for pointing out the significant and dangerous mistakes that others made. I never claimed that I was perfect or imperfect, but either way my actions are not the topic of conversation here.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
Moderator
Jun 14, 2011, 9:27 PM
Post #55 of 162 (1445 views)
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Re: [polarbear] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

If the gear checks were thorough...they might have caught skipped/missing elastic keepers on the legstraps? I've seen more than a couple instances on WS skydives where the elastics are bypassed and pressure from the suit allows the legstrap to get loose( resulting in a nut-buster).

It takes courage to share, and I wish more people would share so that we can all learn. Legal issues aside, most folks don't have the balls to post their screwups, let alone take responsibilty for them.
The internet makes it possible for people to beat you up but know that for every one person that chews on you for your actions, there are at least 5-10 silent sets of eyes that learn from (and appreciate) what you've shared.


hekle  (B 32445)

Jun 15, 2011, 12:26 AM
Post #56 of 162 (1413 views)
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Re: [Zymurdoo] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry for the emotional outburst. This is my first time knowing a little about a topic here. I know I owe beer.


hekle  (B 32445)

Jun 15, 2011, 1:05 AM
Post #57 of 162 (1406 views)
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Re: [hekle] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

I watched all this from the ground. I have never seen a jumper spinning on his back so close to the ground. And I froze up. I realized it could have been me in freefall thinking I'm watching my student go in and lock up just like I did on the ground.


nigel99  (D 1)

Jun 15, 2011, 2:28 AM
Post #58 of 162 (1388 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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What sort of assumptions would make if a jumper needed more than one re-currency jump? Would those assumptions point toward pairing such a student with a coach who was not trained, nor expected to catch, stabilize and pull for a student?

Just out of curiosity my understanding is that a SL trained instructor can supervise re-currency. Based on this incident would you expect a D license jumper to do a SL jump with a practice pull?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 15, 2011, 4:27 AM
Post #59 of 162 (1362 views)
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Re: [nigel99] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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Just out of curiosity my understanding is that a SL trained instructor can supervise re-currency. Based on this incident would you expect a D license jumper to do a SL jump with a practice pull?

I'm not sure what you mean. An SL instructor can supervise an SL jump, not make a one-on-one freefall jump in an instructional capacity.

With that in mind, I'm not sure how an SL jump with a practice pull would be an adequate indication of currency for a jumper intending to make freefall jumps with an extended delay.

Just like you need to select an appropriate instructor for recurrency jumps, you need to select an appropriate skydive. If the jumper is looking to do SL jumps, or 5 second delays, then yes, maybe an SL I and an SL jump with a dummy pull would be appropriate. If the jumper wants to do freefall jumps from full altitude, that what that need to do in the presence of an instructor rated to teach that type of jump.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jun 15, 2011, 5:46 AM
Post #60 of 162 (1327 views)
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Re: [DSE] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The internet makes it possible for people to beat you up but know that for every one person that chews on you for your actions, there are at least 5-10 silent sets of eyes that learn from (and appreciate) what you've shared.

...and I suspect even those doing the chewing are learning something, too. At the very least, getting re-enforcement on what they already know.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jun 15, 2011, 5:50 AM
Post #61 of 162 (1325 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Again, I like how I'm the asshole for pointing out the significant and dangerous mistakes that others made.

Dave, you are NOT the asshole.
Holy bejeebus, should we all just let shit pass without saying anything at all? Should we all become enablers?
I think not.
You provide a valuable service...no need to defend that.


nigel99  (D 1)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:07 AM
Post #62 of 162 (1311 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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USPA C and D-license holders who have not made a
freefall skydive within the preceding six months should
make at least one jump under the supervision of a USPA
instructional rating holder until demonstrating the ability to
safely exercise the privileges of that license.

From the SIM it does not have to be AFF rated instructor. So I was asking how a Static Line Rated instructor would supervise recurrency. I realise this is fairly hyperthetical as SL is a dying training method.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:19 AM
Post #63 of 162 (1302 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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An SL instructor can supervise an SL jump, not make a one-on-one freefall jump in an instructional capacity.

Sure they can! S/L and IAD instructors are rated to perform any jump in that line of the ISP, from cats A-H, which includes ALL freefall work in the IAD/S/L line. They are also rated to do recurrency work, in fact the SIM requires an 'appropriately rated instructor'...which to me means if the jumper learned S/L, he goes with an S/L instructor.

Clearly, with the benefit of hinsight, this guy should have been bumped back further. The point is that's with hindsight. If someone showed up on YOUR DZ and was an uncurrent D-licensed skydiver, would you just grab him and say 'your making an S/L jump'? The SIM does NOT require it...would you? I have never seen that done at any dropzone. Maybe for lower licenses, but not for D-licenses.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:25 AM
Post #64 of 162 (1296 views)
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Re: [nigel99] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
If you read the passage you quoted, the last part is the most telling. It states the jumper must 'demonstrate the ability to safely exersice the privileges of that license'. All of the USPA licenses that I know of include the privilege of making unsupervised freefall jumps, so if currency requires demonstration of that, and a freefall jump requires a freefall instructor, then no, you cannot use an SL I to establish currency.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:26 AM
Post #65 of 162 (1293 views)
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Re: [nigel99] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
USPA C and D-license holders who have not made a
freefall skydive within the preceding six months should
make at least one jump under the supervision of a USPA
instructional rating holder until demonstrating the ability to
safely exercise the privileges of that license.

From the SIM it does not have to be AFF rated instructor. So I was asking how a Static Line Rated instructor would supervise recurrency. I realise this is fairly hyperthetical as SL is a dying training method.

If I understand the language USPA uses, it does not require an Instructor either.

"Instructional rating holder" includes USPA Coach.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:30 AM
Post #66 of 162 (1291 views)
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Re: [polarbear] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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the SIM requires an 'appropriately rated instructor'...which to me means if the jumper learned S/L, he goes with an S/L instructor.

Sure, if all they intend to do is SL jumps. If they want to do freefall jumps, then they need a freefall instructor.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:36 AM
Post #67 of 162 (1282 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

S/L instructors ARE freefall instructors, Dave, they are rated to do all of the freefall jumps with any student who went through the S/L program - stability, turns, flips, tracking, fall rate, docking, all of it. They can also work with an AFF student once that student gets to Category F.

They can also do recurrency jumps.

Are you saying the only person who can teach freefall is an AFF-I? That isn't true. AFF-I are required to teach and administer an AFF Category A-E jump. That's the only thing they are required for.


ufk22  (D 16168)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:39 AM
Post #68 of 162 (1278 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Just out of curiosity my understanding is that a SL trained instructor can supervise re-currency. Based on this incident would you expect a D license jumper to do a SL jump with a practice pull?

I'm not sure what you mean. An SL instructor can supervise an SL jump, not make a one-on-one freefall jump in an instructional capacity.

With that in mind, I'm not sure how an SL jump with a practice pull would be an adequate indication of currency for a jumper intending to make freefall jumps with an extended delay.

Just like you need to select an appropriate instructor for recurrency jumps, you need to select an appropriate skydive. If the jumper is looking to do SL jumps, or 5 second delays, then yes, maybe an SL I and an SL jump with a dummy pull would be appropriate. If the jumper wants to do freefall jumps from full altitude, that what that need to do in the presence of an instructor rated to teach that type of jump.
From the SIM "USPA C and D-license holders who have not made a freefall skydive within the preceding six months should make at least one jump under the supervision of a USPA instructional rating holder until demonstrating the ability to
safely exercise the privileges of that license."
Dave, I'm sure you are very knowledgeable about skydiving, but I see no instructional ratings in your profile. A S/L Instructor is fully rated to make not just S/L jumps, but also freefall instructional jumps. They are just NOT allowed to take harness holds or deploy for the student.
No one has stated what level of retraining this returning jumper received, but this thread has, from the beginning, been full of assumptions (initially that the person going out with the student was an AFF I, assumptions about proper gear checks, assumptions about why the coach posted this, even assumptions about the exit that the previous jumper leaving the airplane made) based on no facts.
I've seen a lot of returning jumpers over the years, and I've seen more than 1 case where giving the jumper the "benefit of the doubt" has worked well, but I've also seen (and been directly involed in some) where this has gone poorly.
Retraining for this type of jumper at a S/L DZ, based on my experience, would involve a complete first jump course, at least 1 successful PRCP, and a clear and pull before progressing to freefall. This is based on 20 years of instruction.
While this is my standard, it is not USPA's. USPA RECOMMENDS additional training after a long lay-off from the sport, but does not require it.
Would I make this mistake today? No.
Could I have made this mistake 15-20 years ago, with a lot less experience? Yes.
I have PMed the coach involved and told him I hoped he wouldn't give up his rating over this. He's not the first one to make a mistake, nor will he be the last. A USPA instructional rating is not a certificate of perfection. It is a license to teach and a license to learn.
Lastly, I certainly hope all the posters that are so quick to condemn are willing to hold themselves to the same standard of "no mistakes ever" perfection that they seem to be willing to impose on others.
I've been around long enough to know that is NOT the case, but I keep hoping........


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:41 AM
Post #69 of 162 (1277 views)
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Re: [polarbear] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
This where interpretation of the 'letter of the law' and common sense create a fork in the road, and which one you want to follow is up to you.

I know, let's take an uncurrent D license jumper who doesn't perform well on a recurrency jump and pair them with a USPA coach. According to the 'letter of the law', that jump would be allowed by the USPA. I wonder how that would turn out?


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:44 AM
Post #70 of 162 (1273 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
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the SIM requires an 'appropriately rated instructor'...which to me means if the jumper learned S/L, he goes with an S/L instructor.

Sure, if all they intend to do is SL jumps. If they want to do freefall jumps, then they need a freefall instructor.

Per Nigel's quote from the SIM, a recurrency jump does not require an Instructor of any sort in the first place. "Instruction rating holder" includes USPA Coach.

I guess USPA presumes that license holders, even though non-current, should be able to fall out of the airplane without messing up too badly in the first place.

It would appear that such an assumption is not as valid as it once may have been.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 15, 2011, 6:48 AM
Post #71 of 162 (1269 views)
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Re: [ufk22] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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A S/L Instructor is fully rated to make not just S/L jumps, but also freefall instructional jumps. They are just NOT allowed to take harness holds or deploy for the student.

Ok, that's fair. An SL I who follows a student out on a long delay is working with a current student who has proven their skills on the previous jump, and been passed to the next. This is why it's acceptable to have an SL I jumping in freefall with a student, it's based on the premise that this student is moving through the progression, and couldn't do that without 'proving' themsleves on the previous jump.

An uncurrent jumper needs a recurrency jump because they haven't 'proved' themselves in awhile, and they need to do so before being released to self supervise. So on a jump where the possibility of needing to dock, stabilze and pull for the student, you need an instructor who is trained, rated and experienced in doing so.

Nit picking the way the regs are written is one thing, and that might tell you how much you can 'get away' with. Using common sense, even if it creates a situation more conservative than the regs might permit is another way to proceed. I vote for the latter.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Jun 15, 2011, 7:01 AM
Post #72 of 162 (1265 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

When a student 'passes' a jump, they have to perform at a reasonable level, not perfectly. Coaches exist to help refine and perfect.

As I have already stated several times, this gentleman DID make a jump with an instructor, he DID stay stable in freefall and pull at the correct altitude, he DID fly his canopy and land safely, he was just a little rough. He was asked to jump again with a coach to help refine him. That is what coaches are for. It was well withing USPA regs and I think it completely passes the common sense test.

Point is, he went from 'rough' to 'unresponsive' very quickly and with little warning. SINCE YOU HAVE THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT you are justified in your comments. We did not have that benefit.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Jun 15, 2011, 7:10 AM
Post #73 of 162 (1254 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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I know, let's take an uncurrent D license jumper who doesn't perform well on a recurrency jump and pair them with a USPA coach. According to the 'letter of the law', that jump would be allowed by the USPA. I wonder how that would turn out?

It's done that way all the time at drop zones all over the country, Dave, and it works just fine most of the time. It's common practice, which is why it was written into the regs.

This video is one of those times it didn't work. It's easy to watch this video and then attack because of the result, but that's because you have hindsight.

I do not believe it passes the common sense test to force someone to work with an AFF-I. What if that DZ has no AFF-I? What if there are no AFF-I on site at the time? What if the student or recurrency jumper didn't learn in the AFF program? Do you send everyone home, even though you have appropriately rated instructors on site who can handle the load? That makes no sense to me, Dave.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 15, 2011, 7:11 AM
Post #74 of 162 (1251 views)
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Re: [polarbear] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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he was just a little rough.

Would you clear him to self-supervise? That's what coaches are intended for, jumpers who have been cleared to self-supervise, and that's why they are not taught to catch, stabilize or pull for students. It's not part of their job, and they are not qualified to do so.

If he was cleared to self-supervise, and chose to jump with a coach on his own, then fine. If the instructor on the first jump wasn't preparred to clear the student to self-supervise, then the student should not have been passed to a coach trained only to jump with students cleared to self supervise.

For the record, I make this point more for the benefit of others, and not as a 'dig' to your DZ or staff. We all know that anything can happen at any time, and even will all other things pointing in one direction, any jumper can quickly veer off course in the other direction.

However, in hindsight, it's clear that this was a mis-appropriation of a coach, and the way we avoid future instances is by pointing it out and explaing the problem to make sure that people are mindful of the coach, their level of training, and how they should be used at the DZ.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 15, 2011, 7:17 AM
Post #75 of 162 (1241 views)
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Re: [polarbear] Chasing your student into the ground!?! [In reply to] Can't Post

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What if that DZ has no AFF-I? What if there are no AFF-I on site at the time? What if the student or recurrency jumper didn't learn in the AFF program? Do you send everyone home, even though you have appropriately rated instructors on site who can handle the load?

Yeah, you send them home if you don't have an instructor capable of doing the job. Skydiving is a privlege, not a right, and you lose that privilge when you let your currency lapse. It's not the DZs job to staff instructors for you to get your currency back.

How the jumper learned in the first place is irrelevant. They need to demonstrate currency in whatever it is they intend to do. If they want to make extended freefall jumps from full altitude, then that's what they need to demonstrate. If that's the case, a freefall rated instructor is the one you go with.

So the jump in question used an 'appropriately rated' instructor as per the books. As per reality, the instructor could not 'handle the load'.


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