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The overconfidence of tunnel instructors

 


TunnelThrowaway

Feb 13, 2012, 11:09 AM
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The overconfidence of tunnel instructors Can't Post

I'm posting this on an anonymous throwaway account because quite frankly, I'm too chickenshit to have this associated with my real identity and don't want it to negatively impact the connections and relationships I have within the skydiving/tunnel community. I feel like if I directly addressed my concerns to the people involved they would be brushed off (especially since I only have a couple hundred jumps and a coach rating, and am not an authority on anything tunnel or skydiving-related), so instead I'm taking it to a public forum.

I have noticed a disturbing trend lately where people who are highly experienced tunnel flyers but beginner skydivers WAY overestimate their level of competence and talent when it comes to skydiving. I primarily jump in Colorado, where there is a pretty solid community of tunnel rats and freeflyers and within the last couple years there have been a number of tunnel instructors making the transition to skydiving. From what I've seen, these tunnel instructors (and their peers/mentors) do not believe the rules that apply to every other beginner skydiver seem to apply to them. It seems like the norm is a tunnel flyer/instructor will get their A card stamped and immediately get pulled on an 8 way head down jump with all their tunnel flying buddies. And it goes beyond the implicit acceptance that such behavior is safe and normal, it's more like you HAVE to start doing serious multiway freefly jumps as soon as you're licensed. When we on dropzone.com hear about someone who starts sitflying right after graduating AFF or getting their A license, or a guy who straps on a gopro with 50 jumps, the clear consensus is that it's a bad idea. And yet, it appears there are special allowances made for tunnel instructors because their body flying abilities somehow mean they have the skydiving experience required to handle more dangerous/complex situations?

Probably the most troubling part of this (and the reason I created this thread) is what one of my friends told me last night: a couple tunnel instructors from Skyventure Colorado are attending the USPA board meeting this weekend where they will argue that tunnel time should be an acceptable substitute for skydives/freefall time when it comes to earning an AFF-I certification. My initial reaction to this is that my friend was messing with me, because who would seriously think this is a good idea? Being able to carve head down in the tunnel has nothing to do with safely conducting a student training program or AFF skydive, and with turbines making it easier than ever to accumulate jumps quickly the AFF-I requirements should be raised if anything. Anyway, it turns out he was not joking about this at all and a presentation will be made to the board this weekend. I looked up one of the guys who is arguing for this and he has less than 100 jumps, no coach rating (obviously), and his facebook is full of self-shot gopro videos of 10 way head down jumps. He appears to be completely obvious to why him getting an AFF rating would be a bad idea, which is EXACTLY why the requirements shouldn't be lowered, in my opinion.

I want to close by saying I am not condemning tunnel flying or instructors as a whole. I do quite of bit of tunnel flying myself and love it, and personally know many tunnel instructors who are also avid skydivers and did their progression the "right" way and didn't start flying smaller canopies or shooting video until they had the requisite experience. However, most of these people started a few years ago and it appears the "younger" generation of tunnel instructors and flyers have less respect for the concept of a sane progression. I think if we keep letting tunnel instructors break the rules (either explicitly or implicitly) it's only a matter of time before it results in a 8 page thread in the incidents forum of people questioning how so-and-so had hundreds of hours in the tunnel but <100 skydives and was doing _______.

Am I being too much of a busybody about this? Like I said, I'm no authority when it comes to skydiving or tunnel but I feel like I have enough sense to know when something is wrong with someone's attitude toward safety. And it's not like the current requirements to get an AFF-I are particularly stringent, if you are dedicated you can easily accumulate the required jumps/freefall in less than a year. My hope is that the USPA board points out what a bad idea this is when presented to this weekend, and the tunnel people involved gain a bit of humility in regards to their abilities when it comes to skydiving specifically.


diablopilot  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 11:36 AM
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You're not over reacting, and knowing the facility I agree with your assessment of the staff. If the BOD is foolish enough to consider the motion, I think they will find themselves facing the music before the membership. This has come up before and has been shot down.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Feb 13, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for the post. I agree; tunnel flying, while giving you a wealth of experience in flying your body, does not teach one to skydive safely or confer one the ability to be a good AFF jumpmaster. The end of a tunnel session is very different than the end of a skydive (to use just one example) and confusing the two is fatal.


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 12:08 PM
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When the two tunnel instructors went through Jay Stokes' AFF rating class a few months back, I thought it was an interesting stunt. But it's just that, a stunt, and I hope the USPA board will agree.

I'll be at the meeting and will make sure to attend the session that has this on the agenda. Hopefully it'll be a really brief "no way" vote.

Edited to add: I reviewed the agendas for the meeting and don't see this topic included. I looked at all of them, but it would seem like it would belong in Safety & Training. Am I missing it? Do you know where it's supposed to be discussed?

http://www.uspa.org/...genda_ST_2012_02.pdf

http://www.uspa.org/...84/Default.aspx#2445


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Feb 13, 2012, 12:15 PM)


TunnelThrowaway

Feb 13, 2012, 12:18 PM
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I don't believe it's on the official S&T agenda so I don't think there is a risk of it becoming official policy (sorry, I'm not versed on USPA meeting procedure), but that it's going to be more of an unofficial "presentation" to the board at some point.

Also I believe it is the same tunnel instructors who did Jay Stokes' course but I'm not 100% sure on that. I thought the same thing when I heard about it a few months ago, that it was a neat trick and good PR for wind tunnel flying. Arguing that they should be allowed to actually get their AFF-I, however, is not good PR and I don't see how any of the execs at Skyventure saw this was a good idea credibility-wise.


(This post was edited by TunnelThrowaway on Feb 13, 2012, 12:21 PM)


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Feb 13, 2012, 12:19 PM
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In reply to:
Thanks for the post. I agree; tunnel flying, while giving you a wealth of experience in flying your body, does not teach one to skydive safely or confer one the ability to be a good AFF jumpmaster. The end of a tunnel session is very different than the end of a skydive (to use just one example) and confusing the two is fatal.

As long as someone considers that flying skills alone are what makes a good AFFI, then that person is not ready to teach.

I see that a LOT and it's frustrating. Yes, you do need very good flying skills, but that's just one facet of the rating.


beowulf  (C License)

Feb 13, 2012, 1:18 PM
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I was under the impression that they were proposing tunnel training as being more of a supplemental training for AFF Instructors. The guys that went through the AFF-I instruction with Jay are not going to be actual instructors till they have met the criteria already set for instructors. Your original post appears to be more hearsay then first hand knowledge.

It's better to have the full story before making judgments on the merits of what they are proposing.


(This post was edited by beowulf on Feb 13, 2012, 1:21 PM)


TunnelThrowaway

Feb 13, 2012, 1:22 PM
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In reply to:
I was under the impression that they were proposing tunnel training as being more of a supplemental training for AFF Instructors. The guys that went through the AFF-I instruction with Jay are not going to be actual instructors till they have met the criteria already set for instructors. Your original post appears to be more hearsay then first hand knowledge.

Here's a direct quote from one of the guys arguing for it: "We are trying to get create a tunnel training program for future AFF-I candidates. And allow the use of tunnel time to be credited towards a rating (in short)."

That doesn't sound like "supplementing" to me.


beowulf  (C License)

Feb 13, 2012, 1:23 PM
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It sure doesn't sound like replacement to me.


beowulf  (C License)

Feb 13, 2012, 1:33 PM
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In order for anyone to really pass judgment on what is being proposed the full proposal is needed. Otherwise you are just being a troll and stirring up shit.

I think the tunnel is a great supplement to skydiving training. It's most certainly not a replacement.


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 1:36 PM
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Re: [TunnelThrowaway] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Here's a direct quote from one of the guys arguing for it: "We ar trying to get create a tunnel training program for future AFF-I candidates. And allow the use of tunnel time to be credited towards a rating (in short)."

First part sounds great. Some AFFI candidates already do targeted tunnel work to get prepared. Sounds like an excellent marketing idea from a tunnel to package it up as a curriculum of sorts, especially if they work with AFF IEs or other highly experienced AFFIs to develop said curriculum.

Since it's just an optional supplemental training/readiness tool for AFFI candidates, I can't see why or how USPA as a governing body would need to get involved.

It's only when you throw in the second part that you'd need USPA's involvement. And that's where I don't like the idea.

(Of course, I'm neither an AFFI nor an AFF/IE, so take my opinion FWIW ... as with all opinions you get what you pay forLaugh).


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Feb 13, 2012, 1:39 PM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 2:25 PM
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Quote:
Since it's just an optional supplemental training/readiness tool for AFFI candidates, I can't see why or how USPA as a governing body would need to get involved.

Unfortunately the USPA already started down that slippery slope a few years back when they allowed wind tunnels to receive group membership.


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 2:27 PM
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In reply to:
Quote:
Since it's just an optional supplemental training/readiness tool for AFFI candidates, I can't see why or how USPA as a governing body would need to get involved.

Unfortunately the USPA already started down that slippery slope a few years back when they allowed wind tunnels to receive group membership.

I didn't know that. But I'm not sure it's relevant to this discussion - unless the proposed training program is being proposed to become a required part of the AFFI course.


jumpsalot-2  (D 33093)

Feb 13, 2012, 2:40 PM
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Freefly like a Pro.......Land like a student, under a student canopy. Follow student canopy progression standards.....then you might be going some place....but what WILL happen is these instructors thinking they can land/swoop like very experienced canopy pilots, which they are not, will start crashing and burning all over the place.....Unsure


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Feb 13, 2012, 2:42 PM
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>but what WILL happen is these instructors thinking they can land/swoop like very
>experienced canopy pilots . . .

Or spot an airplane.
Or determine exit separation.
Or deal with turbulence under canopy.
Or land out.
Or launch a subterminal exit.
Or deal with a bailout.

There's a lot to being a skydiver; freefall is only one small part of it.


fencebuster  (D 29918)

Feb 13, 2012, 6:31 PM
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Tunnel time is a great supplement to experience in actual free fall. I did an hour of tunnel working on fall rate, roll-over, spins stops before my AFFi course and it was great experience. But there is no substitution for the free fall experience with student/evaluators; the tunnel is small and limiting when it comes to a student in an AFF jump. Good experience and practice for certain skills; not a substitute for real free fall and chasing a student.


diablopilot  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 6:42 PM
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More importantly there is no substitute for being on a DZ and the experience of seeing how things go right and wrong. I'd argue that with the state of skydiving as it is there should be some higher standards in place including a time in sport requirement.


theonlyski  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 8:05 PM
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In reply to:
>but what WILL happen is these instructors thinking they can land/swoop like very
>experienced canopy pilots . . .

Or spot an airplane.
Or determine exit separation.
Or deal with turbulence under canopy.
Or land out.
Or launch a subterminal exit.
Or deal with a bailout.

There's a lot to being a skydiver; freefall is only one small part of it.

Or gear related questions
Or packing
Or good gear checks
Or determining exit order
Or KNOWING WHEN TO SIT DOWN.


Ron

Feb 14, 2012, 7:04 AM
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Tunnel is no replacement for skydiving for skydiving related activities.

Yes, flying in the tunnel will greatly help your skills in the Air. But I have more than enough stories of fantastic tunnel fliers getting hurt while skydiving.

So, I don't think tunnel should EVER replace skydiving requirements. Now, that being said, tunnel can sure as hell supplement skydiving skills. I spent ~20 mins with Paul Rafferty in the Bragg tunnel working on stopping spins and rollovers years ago. Now that did not replace my doing them in the air, but you wanna bet that it sure as hell made the air work easier?

I hope the USPA never allows tunnel to replace skydiving skills..... But I would encourage either the tunnels to create a tunnel version of the USPA, or even the USPA to create some sort of tunnel program.

I see this a lot like taking AFF students to the tunnel... When we started doing that people thought we were crazy. Yet, I have taught AFF to students that were flying in the 'mantis' due to their tunnel time. Frankly, it works.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 7:39 AM
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In reply to:
I think the tunnel is a great supplement to skydiving training. It's most certainly not a replacement.

And I would disagree with that wholeheartedly.
Tunnel is a great supplement to freefall training...nothing more, nothing less.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 7:43 AM
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In reply to:
>but what WILL happen is these instructors thinking they can land/swoop like very
>experienced canopy pilots . . .

Or spot an airplane.
Or determine exit separation.
Or deal with turbulence under canopy.
Or land out.
Or launch a subterminal exit.
Or deal with a bailout.

There's a lot to being a skydiver; freefall is only one small part of it.

...or being capable of teaching any of that.


beowulf  (C License)

Feb 14, 2012, 8:05 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I think the tunnel is a great supplement to skydiving training. It's most certainly not a replacement.

And I would disagree with that wholeheartedly.
Tunnel is a great supplement to freefall training...nothing more, nothing less.

Now that's just being anal. Either way it's a supplement.


(This post was edited by beowulf on Feb 14, 2012, 8:09 AM)


artard  (B License)

Feb 14, 2012, 8:17 AM
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In reply to:
I hope the USPA never allows tunnel to replace skydiving skills..... But I would encourage either the tunnels to create a tunnel version of the USPA, or even the USPA to create some sort of tunnel program.

Wouldn't the IBA qualify as the tunnel version of the USPA?


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 8:40 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I think the tunnel is a great supplement to skydiving training. It's most certainly not a replacement.

And I would disagree with that wholeheartedly.
Tunnel is a great supplement to freefall training...nothing more, nothing less.

Now that's just being anal. Either way it's a supplement.
Anal? And you would be correct. I'm like that in many ways, I know....particularly so when it comes to students and young jumpers and dealing with them. Much more loosey-goosey with experienced jumpers.

Either way a supplement? That's the part I disagree with. One way, yes, the other, no.

Great tool for learning freefall skills. Worthless for learning other skills that have already been highlighted. Simple as that.


beowulf  (C License)

Feb 14, 2012, 9:00 AM
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I think you are making a very silly and unnecessary distinction.


Ron

Feb 14, 2012, 9:13 AM
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Quote:
I think you are making a very silly and unnecessary distinction.

I see his point and kinda agree.

See you are smart enough to know that when you say it is a "supplement to skydiving skills" that you know we are only talking about freefall skills.

BUT, there is a lot of people out there that think that it is a supplement to ALL aspects of skydiving skills. So that kinda makes his point more important.

100 hours of tunnel is not going to help you one bit with a malfunction, landing pattern, or altitude awareness. And I have seen fliers MUCH better than me screw up and get broken and in at least one case die.


beowulf  (C License)

Feb 14, 2012, 9:18 AM
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Quote:
BUT, there is a lot of people out there that think that it is a supplement to ALL aspects of skydiving skills.

I question that. I can't think of anyone that I have met that thinks that way.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 9:41 AM
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In reply to:
I think you are making a very silly and unnecessary distinction.

OK. That's fine. I don't know why the difference between having only freefall skills and having the abilities for teaching all those other skydiving skills is silly and unnecessary but, OK.
YMMV. All is well.


Ron

Feb 14, 2012, 9:44 AM
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Quote:
I question that. I can't think of anyone that I have met that thinks that way.

Well, we will just have to disagree.....

You might remember the thread from the Tunnel forum where a guy stated "Well I guess that's why folks with a couple hundred jumps, no ratings, and 1000's of tunnel hours were on the last HD World Record. Because they lacked the skydiving skills."

Fact is that I do know people who incorrectly think that tunnel skills = skydiving skills. You may not, so we will just have to disagree. But the fact that this posts exists says there is at least one other person who does not agree with you.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 10:02 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
BUT, there is a lot of people out there that think that it is a supplement to ALL aspects of skydiving skills.

I question that. I can't think of anyone that I have met that thinks that way.

Rightfully so in your case and that's fine! And I would hope that was the case throughout the entire industry but in real life, it's not.

And I can't think of many who would say that tunnel time comes anywhere near close to qualifying anyone for AFFI ratings.

Others can, and will think that way. And Ron nailed it about MY concerns....others may very well be influenced by those who think in terms of supplemental = replacement. That's why I feel the need to point out that it doesn't. Simply driven from a concern that the AFFI rating requirements are going downhill and our students and young jumpers are suffering for it.

As far as others seeing that possibility for example, from the OP:

- "I have noticed a disturbing trend lately where people who are highly experienced tunnel flyers but beginner skydivers WAY overestimate their level of competence and talent when it comes to skydiving."

- "From what I've seen, these tunnel instructors (and their peers/mentors) do not believe the rules that apply to every other beginner skydiver seem to apply to them."

- "And yet, it appears there are special allowances made for tunnel instructors because their body flying abilities somehow mean they have the skydiving experience required to handle more dangerous/complex situations?"

- "a couple tunnel instructors ...are attending the USPA board meeting this weekend where they will argue that tunnel time should be an acceptable substitute for skydives/freefall time when it comes to earning an AFF-I certification."

- "Being able to carve head down in the tunnel has nothing to do with safely conducting a student training program or AFF skydive, "

- "I looked up one of the guys who is arguing for this and he has less than 100 jumps, no coach rating (obviously), .... He appears to be completely obvious to why him getting an AFF rating would be a bad idea, "

- "My hope is that the USPA board points out what a bad idea this is when presented to this weekend, and the tunnel people involved gain a bit of humility in regards to their abilities when it comes to skydiving specifically. "


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Feb 14, 2012, 10:29 AM
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I think a general allowance is a terrible idea.

As noted, excellent body flying skills are just a small part of the ability to teach - though that seems to be argued here by a few as the only key point. The others comes from time in sport, exposure to all aspects of the sport, and certain personality types (at least for the good instructors) relating to coaching, communication, and empathy. This comes with good mentors and, simply, time-in-sport. (IMHO)



As for very talented tunnel instructors that have been teaching in the tunnel environment for a long time, have the (of course) body flying skills, and have since put in a lot of time at the DZ to learn canopy and safety and gear and coaching,etc?

Well, there's always that option to petition USPA for an exception on a case basis. I'd prefer that scenario to require some pretty substantial references from experienced instructors even. (for my part, I think the minimum criteria is way too low even now - exceptions to the minimums should be next to impossible. As for allowing tunnel time to credit in lieu of actual criteria - no way)

And I say this knowing some excellent tunnel coaches. But the ones I really appreciate tend to be both tunnel experts, and skydivers. They really have the potential to bring the best of both worlds to the learning experience.

One thing I really like about (good) tunnel coaches - they have an excellent understanding about the actual aerodynamics going on with their bodies. The benefit of being able to stay in an airflow for such a long time, is to really learn how the body and air interact. This is not so easy on skydives as in a tunnel with no other distractions and priorities.

(edit: this isn't much of a concession, but I'd say that the first step of the recommendation should have been excepting this class of skydiver from Coach pre-reqs (pretty much can you dress yourself on days where you have a pulse). It's a much simpler discussion. That would then allow the debate to vet out the issues relating to teaching, canopy, safety, etc without the ego bits of any flying skills discussion - which really isn't the main concern here)


(This post was edited by rehmwa on Feb 14, 2012, 10:34 AM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Perfect post.
I don't see anything in there that anybody could argue with.
Thanks.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Feb 14, 2012, 10:40 AM
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In reply to:
Perfect post.
I don't see anything in there that anybody could argue with.
Thanks.

I don't like the thread title. Most tunnel instructors I know are a class act. (I don't know them all). At least they aren't any more or less arrogant than the AFFI's that i know. The fact that they are exploring the extent to which their training can translate to the sky is natural. Vetting it out is actually a good discussion.

I think the arrogance thing is symptomatic to the sport in general. Our newer jumpers (time in sport) just seem to think they are entitled to move at a nutty pace, even though today's experience involves a lot LESS personal responsibility that it did even 15-20 years ago. I really had no issue at all with someone with 100 jumps that trained at a local DZ in the 80's doing a lot of teaching and jumpmastering static line. Today's 100 jump wonders just don't seem to be nearly the same caliber. Of course, it takes a lot less time to hit 100 now than then also.


paul.Mcallister  (A License)

Feb 14, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
And I can't think of many who would say that tunnel time comes anywhere near close to qualifying anyone for AFFI ratings.
Quote:

I did some tunnel time before I started my AFF class, and then another 30 minutes of belly flying training after I got my A license.

To be honest, I was surprised how little of this translated to the "big sky" Sure, I had a better sense of what I was trying to learn during my AFF maneuvers, but making small subtle body corrections in a tunnel didn't help me to learn how to move 20' across the sky, hold the same level as another flyer and not smash into them at a great rate of knots.

Would I tell a prospective AFF student to get some tunnel time first? hell yes, but it isn't a magic pass that's sure.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Feb 14, 2012, 12:27 PM
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Paul - the discussion isn't about pre - AFF Students (tunnel is GREAT for that).

It's about AFF Instructor Pre-requisite experience criteria.


and it's a pretty decent discussion


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 3:52 PM
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OK...after getting more information on what they are trying to do and how they are going about it, I'm going to limit my personal concerns to this:

-Integrity
What I have learned shows a very high level of integrity in achieving the goal of building AFFIs. My concern is limited, in that respect, to the program being able to continue that level if integrity in the future. In light of the current program being bastardized in so many ways these days, it's going to be a major challenge for them.

-Time in sport
Setting flying skills aside, it's going to be extremely hard for the program to meet the benefits of actually skydiving with others and building the knowledge and skills that come with actually being on the DZ and jumping out of an aircraft over a large period of time.

They are addressing the basics...aircraft, equipment, canopy flight, EPs, etc. and that's all well and good. What it can't address is the intangibles that come with actual skydiving and only jump numbers and time in sport will help that.

-Freefall time
Here's where the push is. We have the requirements for jump numbers and we have the requirements for freefall time. The push-back seems to be that tunnel time doesn't equate to actual freefall time but that goes back to the benefits of actual skydiving (see Time in Sport above). You may note that current requirements for freefall time include wing suit time....how does that benefit the potential AFFI candidate? In comparison, tunnel time far outweighs that.

-AFF Flying Training
As far as tunnel being able to teach close-proximity AFF flying requirements, hell yes....can't beat it for training. No concerns there at all.


Now, having said all that, I'll speak to the OPs complaint about a low jump-numbers on the jump.

On the face of it, yes, it may not have been a good idea but we have to consider several factors....none of which we, as arm-chair quarterbacks can know.

- Those there on the jump were better able to decide on the abilities of the jumper. and the advisability of including him.

- We all know that some learn and perform better and faster than others. My standards are not your standards.

- His knowledge and abilities at those numbers may well have put your knowledge and abilities at twice the numbers to shame. We QBs don't know and, in all fairness, can't be judge and jury on that.


Bottom line:
I wish them well. Lord knows we need improvement in the AFFI program and they seem to know and agree with that.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 3:57 PM
Post #37 of 47 (1084 views)
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To be honest, I was surprised how little of this translated to the "big sky" Sure, I had a better sense of what I was trying to learn during my AFF maneuvers, but making small subtle body corrections in a tunnel didn't help me to learn how to move 20' across the sky, hold the same level as another flyer and not smash into them at a great rate of knots.

Would I tell a prospective AFF student to get some tunnel time first? hell yes, but it isn't a magic pass that's sure.

Paul,
How much tunnel time do you do? Did you have a qualified instructor with you? These are all things that you could have, and should have learned in the tunnel for new jumper skills.

-a better sense of what I was trying to learn during my AFF maneuvers,

-making small subtle body corrections

-hold the same level as another flyer

-not smash into them at a great rate of knots

Are you sure it didn't help in those areas?


Vallerina  (C License)

Feb 14, 2012, 8:00 PM
Post #38 of 47 (1036 views)
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In reply to:
>but what WILL happen is these instructors thinking they can land/swoop like very
>experienced canopy pilots . . .

Or spot an airplane.
Or determine exit separation.
Or deal with turbulence under canopy.
Or land out.
Or launch a subterminal exit.
Or deal with a bailout.

There's a lot to being a skydiver; freefall is only one small part of it.

Or gear related questions
Or packing
Or good gear checks
Or determining exit order
Or KNOWING WHEN TO SIT DOWN.

Shouldn't our AFF-I courses be designed to test a candidate's knowledge on that? Someone having the minimum freefall requirement doesn't guarantee they have that knowledge, and I'm sure we're all very familiar with the young, hipster kid with 400 jumps who has never looked out of a plane before and always pays a packer. When the young, hipster kid gets his AFF-I rating, however, everyone celebrates even though he flies like crap and his teaching skills leave little to be desired.

To put things in another safety perspective, who would you rather have on someone's first release dive? Weekend warrior or tunnelrat?


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 10:15 PM
Post #39 of 47 (998 views)
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Shouldn't our AFF-I courses be designed to test a candidate's knowledge on that?
Yes, and you've touched on a major hole in the rating course. They don't test for skydiving knowledge at all.

Case in point:
How is it that a student had to explain to his AFFI how to read the winds aloft charts from NOAA? Yes, it has happened.

How is it that an AFFI teaches the 45 degree rule? Yes, it has happened.

How is it that an AFFI doesn;t know how to spot? Yes, it has happened.

How is it that an AFFI doesn't know how to give a proper gear check and misses a mis-routed RSL? Yes, it has happened.

Ahhhhh....I'll tell you why.
He was able to stay close enough to a fake student to pass air skills. He was able to regurgitate two training jump outlines that were provided to him. Simple as that.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Feb 14, 2012, 10:15 PM)


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Feb 15, 2012, 2:14 AM
Post #40 of 47 (972 views)
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To put things in another safety perspective, who would you rather have on someone's first release dive? Weekend warrior or tunnelrat?

What is the definition of "weekend warrior"? I'm curious now as I seem to have misunderstood all the time I post on here.


diablopilot  (D License)

Feb 15, 2012, 6:23 AM
Post #41 of 47 (912 views)
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Re: [Vallerina] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

The weekend warrior. They have some practical experience being on a DZ.

The EASY part of about being an AFF instructor is catching a bad student.

A GOOD instructor never has to put those skills to the test.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Feb 15, 2012, 8:39 AM
Post #42 of 47 (871 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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In reply to:
Shouldn't our AFF-I courses be designed to test a candidate's knowledge on that?
Yes, and you've touched on a major hole in the rating course. They don't test for skydiving knowledge at all.

Case in point:
How is it that a student had to explain to his AFFI how to read the winds aloft charts from NOAA? Yes, it has happened.

How is it that an AFFI teaches the 45 degree rule? Yes, it has happened.

How is it that an AFFI doesn;t know how to spot? Yes, it has happened.

How is it that an AFFI doesn't know how to give a proper gear check and misses a mis-routed RSL? Yes, it has happened.

Ahhhhh....I'll tell you why.
He was able to stay close enough to a fake student to pass air skills. He was able to regurgitate two training jump outlines that were provided to him. Simple as that.

I kinda lean to needing some kind of referral to the course director prior to taking the class - but that has it's own issues.


ufk22  (D 16168)

Feb 15, 2012, 10:34 AM
Post #43 of 47 (818 views)
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In reply to:
To put things in another safety perspective, who would you rather have on someone's first release dive? Weekend warrior or tunnelrat?

What is the definition of "weekend warrior"? I'm curious now as I seem to have misunderstood all the time I post on here.
WEEKEND WARRIOR; someone that has a real life outside of skydiving, a term often used to criticize those who do by those who don't.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012, 11:57 AM
Post #44 of 47 (778 views)
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Re: [Vallerina] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

>When the young, hipster kid gets his AFF-I rating, however, everyone celebrates even
>though he flies like crap and his teaching skills leave little to be desired.

I agree! But he's going to be a better instructor than the same person but with tunnel, rather than actual freefall, experience.

A clueless AFF-I MAY have never spotted an airplane. He may have never had to sit down because of gusty winds, or have had to do a bailout, or been on a load where someone got killed. He may have never seen a premature deployment or caught a misrouted RSL. Or he may have - there are no guarantees the way the program is set up now. (Which, IMO, is a problem.)

However, there is a guarantee with a tunnel rat. He is guaranteed to have zero experience in all of that.


FastRon

Feb 15, 2012, 12:13 PM
Post #45 of 47 (767 views)
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FWIW- I have seen a "course challenge" type mechanism used and proposed in other sports, w/ re: to knowledge bases, but I wouldn't want the rigger packing my reserve to have "challenged" the course of study. Most sports don't have the level of negative consequences that "lapses" of knowledge might have in skydiving.
When I get around to ignoring the doctor's 'recommendation' and restart jumping- I will seek the most knowledgeable, experienced, and best qualified AFFI, I can find.


dragon2  (D 101989)

Feb 15, 2012, 12:21 PM
Post #46 of 47 (756 views)
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Quote:
To put things in another safety perspective, who would you rather have on someone's first release dive? Weekend warrior or tunnelrat?

Weekend warrior.


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Feb 16, 2012, 2:29 AM
Post #47 of 47 (646 views)
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Re: [ufk22] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
To put things in another safety perspective, who would you rather have on someone's first release dive? Weekend warrior or tunnelrat?

What is the definition of "weekend warrior"? I'm curious now as I seem to have misunderstood all the time I post on here.
WEEKEND WARRIOR; someone that has a real life outside of skydiving, a term often used to criticize those who do by those who don't.

Thank you Smile

In that case, definitely weekend warrior.



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