(i) Has briefed the passenger parachutist before boarding the aircraft. The briefing must include the procedures to be used in case of an emergency with the aircraft or after exiting the aircraft, while preparing to exit and exiting the aircraft, freefall, operating the parachute after freefall, landing approach, and landing.
I do not disagree with what you are saying. Tandems are meant to be a training tool vs an amusement ride. The problem is not everyone wants to be trained. Some people want to show up and just experience the thrill of freefall and a canopy ride. Should we push it on these folks? I usually give them what they want.
Yes, train them how to read the Alti and pull as the Tandem is meant to introduce the Student to our sport with minimum stress and TRAINING. In the industry standard "meet at the 20 minute call" you can still explain to them how to arch, put their hands on the harness (arms not crossed of course), legs near together between yours, bring their hands out when signaled, read the alti and reach back and pull with assistance (that last part sounds like a Cat "A" huh?).
When they balk, reassure them your right there with 'em! They laugh and giggle and then most try!
Sunday, last Sunday, we had a Tandem Student who liked his jump so much he jumped again within the hour! On his second jump (I was his T-I) I had him pull, fly the canopy (taught him a controlability check, wind line, play area, pattern and he flew it to the Base leg). He bought his AFF jump before he left!
I think he became an AFF student because he attempted to pull the first jump, and got even more to do on the second, he was involved.
Yes, a few will just want to check the box and move on (others won't be able to participate as much for various reasons). They can still get the brief, they may change their minds when the students see the others in their group getting training, better to dirt dive on the ground than in the plane right?
As a Member of the BOD, I want to ask you why you did not see this as a good thing?
I do not understand why this was not adopted, the Big Three gave USPA an Olive Branch and we used it to roast the wiener.
The 19 are safety first items, USPA should be a safety first organization.
Lawsuits naming USPA: There are three currently in contention. One of which I informed the plaintiff's attorney that they did not have a vialble case against the USPA. I have been informed that there are numerous "bad vibes" about me being an expert witness in skydiving matters simply because I was a plaintiff's expert witness against a pilot who, in the opinion of five major MEL Jump Pilots was not operating an aircraft safely leading to an injury of a skydiver (partial permanent paralysis). What the public has not been told is that I have helped shut down at least 12 other lawsuits where either I informed the plaintiff's attorneys that they didn't have a case or that the attorneys settled for fear of a costly court battle.
How is it that you find yourself involved in so many skydiving lawsuits?
I have been meaning to respond to the results of the summer BOD meeting, but I wanted to do it after I had some time to consider the ramifications of what did (and didn't) occur there.
Regarding the vote to exempt tandems from the BSR that requires students be given altimeters, I am really disappointed that the vote occurred.
The reasoning behind the vote as I am told is that it was felt that an experienced TI should not need a second visual altimeter in the unlikely event that his (or her) visible altimeter fails. That they should be able to rely on their internal "jump clock" to remain altitude aware.
The incident in Jonesboro was not that long ago, an incident that was argued could have began due to loss of altitude awareness if I remember correctly. To make a case that a TI should not need a secondary visual altimeter reference in such short order after the Jonesboro tandem incident is completely inappropriate in my opinion. Should loss of altitude awareness happen? No. Could it happen? Obviously it is possible, so why take something out of the BSRs that could help avoid loss of altitude awareness?
The answer I got was that alot of DZs are already not giving tandem students altimeters.
That makes no sense to me. I understand the logic behind it, but I don't agree with that logic. Instead i would have suggested that we keep the BSR as is and educate/campaign to reach the non-complying DZs to assist them into compliance. Altimeters are just not that expensive. It's not a financial burden. And giving tandem students all altimeters does nothing but INCREASE the safety of both the instructor and thus the student.
USPA questions "Do the manufacturers want us to manage the program or not?". I don't speak for the manufactures, but in my opinion, in a perfect world, USPA could admin the program successfully like the BPA, APF and NZPIA are able to. Unfortunately, as it stands, the current incarnation of USPA oversight of the tandem program is not working. This vote on the BSRs is a perfect example. Our BOD voted to make tandem less safe and our non-complying DZs, now BSR compliant in the process. Does that bother anyone? It should.
Can anyone blame the manufacturers for being concerned about this level of mismanagement of a program so vital to the sustained growth of our industry?
[MikeTJumps:] Lawsuits naming USPA: There are three currently in contention. One of which I informed the plaintiff's attorney that they did not have a vialble case against the USPA. I have been informed that there are numerous "bad vibes" about me being an expert witness in skydiving matters simply because I was a plaintiff's expert witness against a pilot who, in the opinion of five major MEL Jump Pilots was not operating an aircraft safely leading to an injury of a skydiver (partial permanent paralysis). What the public has not been told is that I have helped shut down at least 12 other lawsuits where either I informed the plaintiff's attorneys that they didn't have a case or that the attorneys settled for fear of a costly court battle.
How is it that you find yourself involved in so many skydiving lawsuits?
By context, that inquiry seems to have the message "How dare you?" implied with it. As both a skydiver and a litigation attorney, but one who dislikes skydiving lawsuits, let me lend a little un-emotional perspective.
He's really not a "traitor to our tribe" deserving of banishment, ostracism or tar-and-feathering. Expert consultants, to industries outside the expert's field of practice, exist in every field. Doctors, engineers, architects, psychologists, etc., all do it. And just like any form of professional networking, whether active or passive, when an expert undertakes one outside consulting project, he often becomes known as someone with whom one can consult for a professional evaluation.
And, as his post suggests, if they consult to the legal community, it's not at all unusual for an expert to have to give an attorney-client the frank news that their side of the case (or potential case) is weak. In that regard, keep in mind the part of his post where he noted that he's told about a dozen attorneys that their side of a skydiving case is weak.
Now with USPA NOT agreeing to the Safer Standards, we once again have a double standard with which we USPA and Manufacturer Rated Instructors have to follow.
That was very well put Matt, and very accurate. The tandem group came together primarily for two reasons: 1) Increase the safety margins that the tandem industry operates under. and 2) Standardize the rules and regulations for all three manufacturers to remove any confusion resulting from operating one system over another.
As with the change to the BSR to exempt tandem students from being required to have visual altimeters, I also believe that the failure of S&T and the BOD to adopt the tandem commandments is also a step in the wrong direction.
For example: When people talk about getting out low on tandems. What UPT, Strong and JS have seen and understand better than anyone is that when you look at the "domino effect" leading to malfunctions and problems on tandems, it often starts with getting out lower than usual. Side spins, drogue entanglements due to sloppy/unstable drogue throws, etc, simply have a greater chance of occurring when we get out lower. Why? The normal operating procedure changes. Hook up sequences start lower, some TIs feel anxiety about doing a lower exit, get tense, and that's all you need to start a tandem jump under less than optimal conditions.
Is there a magic line between 6500ft and 7500ft that makes it safe to get out at 7500ft and not 6500ft? Of course not. But what the increase does is give TIs additional valuable time to sort out any issues they encounter on exit. UPT, Strong and JS have the experience on malfunction reporting to show that getting out a little higher, greatly reduces the chance of a bad exit.
It's a skydiving interpretation of the saying "what's the most useless thing in all aviation?.....the runway behind you." For us it is the altitude above us. I've seen some of the videos, and read some of the reports. It's not just the new TIs, it could happen to anyone with 1000s of tandem jumps, even those that consider themselves true professionals and immune to all this.
The 19 Commandments were created to increase safety margins for the entire tandem industry.
That the BOD did not fully grasp this may just signify that the concept of the commandments needs to be better explained. I expect at the next BOD meeting you will probably see reps from all three manufacturers to assist in that understanding.
In the interim, I am putting the back stories of each of the commandments (the "why do they exist?") into a manual. When it is done I will release it to USPA for dissemination to any and all that care to better understand where this process came from.
If you go back and reread the commandments, and ask yourself, why did Mark Procos, Bill Morrissey and Nancy LaRivierre put all this information together, I mean really give it some thought, you'll understand why this commandment project was undertaken.
As for USPA's role, I'll end on a positive:
Everyone wants to see this situation improve and it will. The manufacturers have and continue to put in the time needed, and I think the future will see more of that time communicating with USPA.