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The overconfidence of tunnel instructors

 

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Ron

Feb 14, 2012, 9:13 AM
Post #26 of 47 (1270 views)
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Re: [beowulf] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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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
Post #27 of 47 (1259 views)
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Re: [Ron] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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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
Post #28 of 47 (1244 views)
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Re: [beowulf] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #29 of 47 (1238 views)
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Re: [beowulf] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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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
Post #30 of 47 (1224 views)
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Re: [beowulf] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #31 of 47 (1203 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #32 of 47 (1198 views)
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Re: [rehmwa] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

Perfect post.
I don't see anything in there that anybody could argue with.
Thanks.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Feb 14, 2012, 10:40 AM
Post #33 of 47 (1189 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #34 of 47 (1151 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #35 of 47 (1129 views)
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Re: [paul.Mcallister] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #36 of 47 (1084 views)
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Re: [rehmwa] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (1081 views)
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Re: [paul.Mcallister] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
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 (1033 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
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 (995 views)
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Re: [Vallerina] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


(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 (969 views)
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Re: [Vallerina] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


diablopilot  (D License)

Feb 15, 2012, 6:23 AM
Post #41 of 47 (909 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 (868 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
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 (815 views)
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Re: [Baksteen] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012, 11:57 AM
Post #44 of 47 (775 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 (764 views)
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Re: [ufk22] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (753 views)
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Re: [Vallerina] The overconfidence of tunnel instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (643 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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