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Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners

 

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SwampGod  (D 27345)

Sep 14, 2012, 7:18 AM
Post #76 of 157 (996 views)
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Re: [GobbleGobble] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Insurance companies don't give a rats tail if a training program is put in place. They're bean counters! They only care about their investments not being put at risk.

Certainly but they charge premiums based on the associated composite risk score.

When our DZO forwarded me (an S&TA) these e-mails, he was looking for a solution today, right now. What we came up with goes beyond the scope of what a wingsuit coach would be able to do when training newbies, as it also involves the pilot. This is what it boiled down to:

"My advice - Make sure your pilots (and staff) know the benefit of wingsuiters exiting from a properly trimmed and cut airplane with their wings closed until they clear the airplane."


In another internet forum for DZOs I found what I believe to be the same concept... they just used better words:

"This is an easily avoidable problem. Make sure the pilots never fly a climbing, power on jump run, and make sure all of the wingsuiters are trained to roll out of the door with the wings collapsed. If this is done, they drop like a stone away from the airplane. If anyone at the drop zone teaching wingsuit flight is teaching anything else for an exit, they should be corrected, or not allowed to teach wingsuit flight."


So when mixed together, is the above protocol for pilots mixed with Section 6-9 of the SIM shaping up to be the "procedure manual for wing suit jumps" the insurance company is looking for?

http://www.uspa.org/...169/Default.aspx#69d

Thanks to all for putting our heads together on this one!!!

-eli


robinheid  (D 5533)

Sep 14, 2012, 9:22 AM
Post #77 of 157 (944 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Reducing tailstrikes is simple: Make sure everybody keeps their wings closed for one second after the leave the plane. Period.

Apparently it is easy for people forget such things.

I do not believe that many wingsuiters that have hit the tail or come close have lacked the proper instruction.

Whether it is by formal training with USPA endorsed/certified instructors and curriculum, or more careful application of the more informal methods currently used, how will we accomplish the goal of getting people to not forget? I think that is what the focus needs to be, How can training achieve the goal of people not forgetting?

Maybe a ground simulator with electro-shock punishment for bad behavior?

Nice post -- and while your electro-shock punishment would no doubt help, it's probably too expensive to be practical -- although you could probably defray the costs by selling tickets.

Wink

Seriously, though, most people do receive some sort of training, and many of the tailstrikes are experienced people, so the problem does indeed seem to revolve around what you said:

"Apparently it is easy for people forget such things."

That is why the solution set I propose focuses on reminders throughout the process, independent of instruction, ability or experience:

1. A separate, one-signature wingsuit-only waiver -- or contract, actually -- that says very briefly and non-legalistically that in exchange for being able to jump a wingsuit at that DZ, the jumper promises to not open his/her wings until one second after s/he leaves the plane, and accepts that failure to do so will result in immediate 30/60/365-day prohibition on doing wingsuit jumps at that DZ, and financial responsibility for any damage caused.

2. Reminder by the loader and/or pilot upon boarding to not open their wings for one second after they leave the plane.

3. Reminder by the other jumpers going out ahead of the wingsuiter(s) to not open their wings for one second after they leave the plane.

4. Reminder by the wingsuiters to each other to not open their wings for one second after they leave the plane.

6. Reminder near the Pavlov light to not open their wings until one second after they leave the airplane.

7. A slogan near the DZ rules, landing area maps, et al, that says "Wingsuiters! Remember the 1-second rule!"

8. Whatever other creative ideas individuals and DZs can come up with to minimize forgetfulness.

Repetition helps minimize forgetfulness and there are some things about which we all need to be reminded, regardless of experience or expertise.

One of my all-time favorite examples thereof:

John Elway is in every conversation about who is the greatest pro football quarterback of all time. During one of the two Super Bowl victories that capped off his Hall of Fame career, in either his 15th or 16th year as a pro and 30th year of playing quarterback at any level, he started to trot out onto the field for an offensive series -- and his coach, Mike Shanahan said as he went: "Remember to set your feet."

This is perhaps the most fundamental element of throwing a good pass, yet even the great John Elway forgot about it often enough that his coach felt it necessary to remind him to do it right before he went out on the field!

The solution to wingsuit tail strikes really is a back-to-the-future proposition. We need to go back to the lurkfulness that existed in the old days of skydiving, where everyone looked out for one another, looked out for where they were and where they were going instead of everyone doing their own thing and trusting to Pavlov lights instead of even looking out the door before they jumped.*

Perhaps one of the most bizarre things I have read in all of these threads and posts is in post #53, wherein it is claimed:

"The wingsuit community has been asking for standardized instruction for 4 years. 82% of wingsuiters want it (according to uspa)."

Assuming this is actually true, I find it disconcerting that instead of applying lurkfulness to the equation and being responsible for their own actions and those of the sub-discipline to which they belong, they plead for a higher authority to supervise and control them. It inspired me to write this summation (with apologies to the 18 percenters who are wingsuit pilots, not wingsheep).

Baa, baa, wingsheep,
Have you any sense?
No sir, no sir, we're just dense.

We want a master
To tell us what to do.
We don't want it on us,
We don't have a clue.

44
Cool

* True story from Perris about ten years ago. Long-time DC-3 pilot Skip Evans flew an Otter load. SOP for Skip was turn on the green light, which meant: "Jump run. Spot your load and go when ready."

Perris Otter SOP, though, was: "Red light - open door. Green light - go."

So when Skip turned on the green light, the guys at the back opened up the door and went -- two miles from the DZ.

So did everyone on the entire load, to include many highly experienced jumpers.

Everyone forgot that simple reminder we all learn as children -- Look before you leap -- yet most of them were mad at the pilot instead of themselves.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Sep 14, 2012, 9:29 AM
Post #78 of 157 (935 views)
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Re: [Fast] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

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Getting to participate in the DZO side of this conversation, I have already seen one more dropzone ban wingsuiting to just not have to deal with the problem.

To anyone who says "if you're jumping a wingsuit you know to keep your wings closed on exit", you're wrong. I have seen people with no practical knowledge try to go skydiving with a wingsuit.

I personally, would like to get to the point where I can be a wingsuit instructor/coach. The real question I have is, who should I get to teach me this stuff. I mean - I know all the practical basics, why don't I just put myself out there now as a first flight instructor. I want to see wingsuiting grow and I want to see my people in the air.

If you are serious about wanting to learn freeflying or swooping or just good canopy handling, there are a bunch of schools out there -- privately created school completely independent of USPA -- that can do that for you.

For wingsuiting, you can go to Elsinore's "SEWS" school, and I'm sure there are others scattered around, too, as well as individual instructors of good repute.

No bureaucracy needed.

The basic premise of the "new bureaucracy needed" camp is that, if we dont have USPA impose thise new bureaucracy, then nothing will happen and wingsuiting will be banned.

This is provably puppy poop because in all other disciplines, the demands of the marketplace have resulted in ever more comprehensive training options being offerd -- voluntarily.

And therein lies the principal danger here: Whenever you have a segment of private enterprise demanding that government force people to buy their products, then you run into a bunch of problems.

44
Cool


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Sep 14, 2012, 9:33 AM
Post #79 of 157 (928 views)
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Re: [robinheid] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So when Skip turned on the green light, the guys at the back opened up the door and went -- two miles from the DZ.

That why I have always called it the "lemming light". Crazy

Sparky


robinheid  (D 5533)

Sep 14, 2012, 9:34 AM
Post #80 of 157 (928 views)
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Re: [tkhayes] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

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Air Inc is the broker that pretty much exclusively provides hull insurance for skydiving aircraft in the USA. No Air Inc, no insurance, no industry, pretty much that simple.

Bottom line is that insurance companies do have a great effect on our industry and we have no choice but to listen to them unless you want skydives that cost $75 each.

Create policies all you want and tell people 'not to do it', but unless real action is taken, 'they' will ban the wing-suiting, not the DZO, and the DZO will follow suit because they have a huge mortgage on their airplane and they need the insurance.

It was a heads up - and all of us turbine operators got the email from Air Inc. And we are paying attention to it.

That does not mean we plan to ban anything, but we sure will be making sure the people on a wing-suit on our million dollar plus aircraft have a half clue what they are doing and have a plan to stick to it. And that they understand how serious WE are taking the issue.

Now who wants to be strike #12?

Well said, TK. There are multiple solution sets out there, all of which can be tailored to focus on the wingsuit tailstrike problem without having to impose a new bureaucracy upon the sport that is 99 percent not focused on avoiding tailstrikes.

The list of real actions that I have proposed can have more and/or different elements, and not only can but should vary from DZ to DZ depending upon multiple factors.

However, forcing a new bureaucracy upon DZOs and the membership should be absolutely last on that list.

44
Cool


normiss  (D 28356)

Sep 14, 2012, 9:37 AM
Post #81 of 157 (934 views)
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Re: [robinheid] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

I've gotten out over 6 miles from a dz before.
Made it back easy.
In a wingsuit.
Tongue


-ftp-

Sep 14, 2012, 9:58 AM
Post #82 of 157 (925 views)
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Re: [tkhayes] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
No I do not, and it is not relevant.

Since when is accurate and verifiable data not relevant?


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 14, 2012, 10:18 AM
Post #83 of 157 (908 views)
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Re: [-ftp-] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
No I do not, and it is not relevant.

Since when is accurate and verifiable data not relevant?

Very often. Accurate and verifiable data on, for example, the Higgs Boson is not relevant to my choice of meat at the grocery store.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Sep 14, 2012, 10:36 AM
Post #84 of 157 (890 views)
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Re: [SwampGod] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Insurance companies don't give a rats tail if a training program is put in place. They're bean counters! They only care about their investments not being put at risk.

Certainly but they charge premiums based on the associated composite risk score.

When our DZO forwarded me (an S&TA) these e-mails, he was looking for a solution today, right now. What we came up with goes beyond the scope of what a wingsuit coach would be able to do when training newbies, as it also involves the pilot. This is what it boiled down to:

"My advice - Make sure your pilots (and staff) know the benefit of wingsuiters exiting from a properly trimmed and cut airplane with their wings closed until they clear the airplane."


In another internet forum for DZOs I found what I believe to be the same concept... they just used better words:

"This is an easily avoidable problem. Make sure the pilots never fly a climbing, power on jump run, and make sure all of the wingsuiters are trained to roll out of the door with the wings collapsed. If this is done, they drop like a stone away from the airplane. If anyone at the drop zone teaching wingsuit flight is teaching anything else for an exit, they should be corrected, or not allowed to teach wingsuit flight."


So when mixed together, is the above protocol for pilots mixed with Section 6-9 of the SIM shaping up to be the "procedure manual for wing suit jumps" the insurance company is looking for?

http://www.uspa.org/...169/Default.aspx#69d

Thanks to all for putting our heads together on this one!!!

-eli

+1!!!!!!

Really, Eli, this rocks!

It addresses the total environment -- pilot/ac as well as wingsuits, creates the "paper trail" that helps with the insurance people, focuses tightly on tailstrike-specific instruction/reminders -- and does it all without imposing a new bureaucracy that is 99 percent not focused on avoiding tailstrikes.

Really excellent work, Eli, and one that USPA can get to work on quickly -- and an informal version of which could be disseminated industry-wide in pretty short order.

44
Cool


(This post was edited by robinheid on Sep 14, 2012, 10:47 AM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Sep 14, 2012, 10:40 AM
Post #85 of 157 (880 views)
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Re: [normiss] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I've gotten out over 6 miles from a dz before.
Made it back easy.
In a wingsuit.
Tongue

LOL... Unfortunately, none of the people on this load was winging it.

I guess for wingsuiters, "look before you leap" is not as important an adage as "keep your wings closed until 1 second after you leap."

44
Cool


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Sep 14, 2012, 10:53 AM
Post #86 of 157 (871 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

According to a link from their FB page, Skydive Spaceland has responded to this by instituting a "wingsuit agreement" that must be signed by all wingsuiters.

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/...GzjA6334yO-hm1djqRLZ (Scroll down to mid-page).


scottygofast  (D 28686)

Sep 14, 2012, 10:55 AM
Post #87 of 157 (870 views)
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Re: [SwampGod] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

to Eli:
In Reply To

"When our DZO forwarded me (an S&TA) these e-mails, he was looking for a solution today, right now. What we came up with goes beyond the scope of what a wingsuit coach would be able to do when training newbies, as it also involves the pilot."

If I understand you clearly, you're saying that a proper FFC doesn't involve training/communication with the pilot on the part of the WS student and instructor?

(Im a pilot, and I know I discuss what's happening with the pilot every jump I make, as I teach my students to do)

How many people died doing wingsuit jumps with fewer than 200 skydives before 2010? At least 5. One of witch was told NO by myself and Chuck Blue, due to his lack of experience, but went and died anyways someplace else.

How many people died doing wingsuit jumps with fewer than 200 skydives after 2010? None.

That was the year of the BSR about wingsuits.

Did the BSR save lives? Maybe. But from an insurance company view, it absolutely did stop fatalities, and proves that standards from USPA are at least having some effect, and that instructional standards would be most likely to have the same effect on the problem we currently see with tail strikes.

Regardless of what anyone wants to believe, the situation is real, and is verified by DZO's on this thread, as well as a direct statement from the company responsible for brokering most all policies for turbine aircraft in the US. If their request for action isn't heeded, there will be no need for this conversation to continue, we just simply wont be able to fly wingsuits in the US anymore. if the insurance company says "NO", DZO's have no choice.

Scotty Burns
--


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Sep 14, 2012, 11:11 AM
Post #88 of 157 (853 views)
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Re: [scottygofast] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Attachments: FightBite.jpg (141 KB)
  bad-exit_2.jpg (190 KB)


SwampGod  (D 27345)

Sep 14, 2012, 11:37 AM
Post #89 of 157 (835 views)
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Re: [scottygofast] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I says - "When our DZO forwarded me (an S&TA) these e-mails, he was looking for a solution today, right now. What we came up with goes beyond the scope of what a wingsuit coach would be able to do when training newbies, as it also involves the pilot.
Quote:
Scotty says - "If I understand you clearly, you're saying that a proper FFC doesn't involve training/communication with the pilot on the part of the WS student and instructor?"

Gosh, that wasn't it at all. To clarify, what I'm saying is that a solution at our drop zone will involve not just the jumpers, but also our primary and visiting pilots.

We need to make sure we have a policy in place regardless of whether or not our drop zone is offering First Flight Courses. When looking at tail strikes, the configuration of the airplane on jump run can be a contributing factor, regardless of whether any wingsuits are on board.

My feeling is that this goes beyond the "do we need wingsuit ratings" debate. Even if there were ratings today, it would still go beyond them. First, as already noted, it's not all about the skydiver (the pilot has a role). Second, not every drop zone will have a wingsuit coach/instructor on site.... so there would need to be a solution independent of any training program. Not every drop zone that allows fun jumpers has an AFF or Static Line Instructor on site, and in those cases a protocol still exists for said jumpers. I'm just trying to find that protocol.


In reply to:
How many people died doing wingsuit jumps with fewer than 200 skydives before 2010? At least 5....
How many people died doing wingsuit jumps with fewer than 200 skydives after 2010? None. That was the year of the BSR about wingsuits.
Did the BSR save lives? Maybe.

I was on site for two of the fatalities you are talking about, so this is very real to me. Both jumpers had just over 100 jumps. I have no problem with regulation per se, and feel the 200 jump BSR was an effective and thoughtful solution to a problem. We can't prove it, but I believe that particular BSR has saved lives.


In reply to:
But from an insurance company view, it absolutely did stop fatalities, and proves that standards from USPA are at least having some effect, and that instructional standards would be most likely to have the same effect on the problem we currently see with tail strikes.

I agree that standards from USPA do have an effect. I don't agree that it proves ALL standards would have a positive effect. When it comes to tail strikes, education is part of the solution, to be sure. I'm not sure a factory or USPA recognized wingsuit instructor is the only person that can be teaching our pilots and jumpers this information, though.


In reply to:
Regardless of what anyone wants to believe, the situation is real,

I agree, Scotty. Because this is such an important issue, we are looking for a solution that works now, today. So far it looks like that solution is going to be in the form of pilot training, reinforcement with wingsuiters of the known risk of tail strikes, and maybe even an agreement with people who want to wear wingsuits.

Thanks for reaching out, and keeping it on track!

-eli


PS - I received a very cordial PM talking to me about the downsides of mandating rolling exits. Just for ze record, when I quoted the other DZO in an earlier thread talking about teaching people to, "roll out of the door with the wings collapsed," I must admit I wasn't meaning to reference any particular style of perching in the door... just the concept of exiting with the wings closed. Hope this whole thing clarifies my thoughts. Thanks, peoples!!!!


SwampGod  (D 27345)

Sep 14, 2012, 11:40 AM
Post #90 of 157 (832 views)
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Re: [DSE] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

DSE - Is that "fight the bite" sign you attached posted on a low-tail aircraft, or are you referencing a policy on all airplanes? Well... all non-tailgate airplanes?

Thank you!

-eli


-ftp-

Sep 14, 2012, 12:30 PM
Post #91 of 157 (796 views)
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Re: [kallend] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
No I do not, and it is not relevant.

Since when is accurate and verifiable data not relevant?

Very often. Accurate and verifiable data on, for example, the Higgs Boson is not relevant to my choice of meat at the grocery store.

So if you hear your meat could potentially have mad cow desease, you don't care about the source or accuracy? Or does it become relevant then?

You don't want to VERIFY the source of tailstrikes? Seems a little absurd to not want accurate data when that data is what is being used to create the issue at hand no?


GobbleGobble  (D 32887)

Sep 14, 2012, 12:57 PM
Post #92 of 157 (763 views)
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Re: [SwampGod] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
DSE - Is that "fight the bite" sign you attached posted on a low-tail aircraft, or are you referencing a policy on all airplanes? Well... all non-tailgate airplanes?

Thank you!

-eli

It's posted in the Caravan.


normiss  (D 28356)

Sep 14, 2012, 1:00 PM
Post #93 of 157 (759 views)
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Re: [DSE] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

That's gotta be very challenging keeping your butt (or knees) on the floor for three seconds after exit.
Tongue


Fast  (D 28237)

Sep 14, 2012, 1:08 PM
Post #94 of 157 (749 views)
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Re: [robinheid] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If you are serious about wanting to learn freeflying or swooping or just good canopy handling, there are a bunch of schools out there -- privately created school completely independent of USPA -- that can do that for you.

For wingsuiting, you can go to Elsinore's "SEWS" school, and I'm sure there are others scattered around, too, as well as individual instructors of good repute.

No bureaucracy needed.

The basic premise of the "new bureaucracy needed" camp is that, if we dont have USPA impose thise new bureaucracy, then nothing will happen and wingsuiting will be banned.

This is provably puppy poop because in all other disciplines, the demands of the marketplace have resulted in ever more comprehensive training options being offerd -- voluntarily.

And therein lies the principal danger here: Whenever you have a segment of private enterprise demanding that government force people to buy their products, then you run into a bunch of problems.

44
Cool

You're fighting the wrong fight man. I have said this in other posts previously discussing canopy stuff. The bureaucracy already exists, it's called the USPA and FAA.

Some important perspective here is that, you're opinion means absolutely nothing if someone farther up the food chain says they aren't happy with what we are doing.

Your points to freeflying and swooping don't really relate well. Though, with how often fledgling swoopers injure or kill themselves maybe we need some focused instructional requirements there too. You can head on over to this thread if you want to argue that. (Other Controversial Topic, or one of the many threads about the canopy proficiency card).

Back here in the discussion regarding wingsuits you have to consider where this is all coming from. I mean, when a skydiver goes in swooping, runs into someone head down or otherwise does something stupid in freefall, nothing bad happens to the plane, which most of the time isn't even owned by the dropzone and is shielded otherwise from liability. Welcome to the uninsured part of skydiving, you know the insurance that towns and airports often demand that we get, but doesn't exist. There is just too much risk in the average skydiving activity for any insurance company to get anywhere near it.

Now, when it comes to wingsuits, they have a significantly greater chance of causing aircraft damage or problems. We use more airspace than regular freefall (while being much harder to see than a canopy) and because of the nature of our suits, it's easier to make a mistake and damage a plane on exit. Planes are one area we can thankfully get insurance still in this industry, cause w/o it, we wouldn't have many turbines flying around that's for damn sure.

In our current setup, you as an outsider (or an insurance company, or the uspa, or anyone) have no idea what standards my dropzone follows regarding wingsuiters. You don't know who we do or don't let jump them and what the people who are getting them are taught. In the insurance world, that equates to an unknown variable. They don't like that.

Now, in a world where USPA has a mandated training program and subsequent license endorsement, everyone can point to that as a standardized program that can be changed over time if needed to reflect best methods of training and improve upon problems. Then when a tail strike or xyz other problem happens, there are ways to combat the issue. Training can be adjusted, etc. There is a way for me as a DZM to know that someone showing up at my counter knows what they are doing. When someone does mess up it becomes an accident, not an industry wide lack of training.

What we have now amounts to "Everyone do whatever they want and teach whatever standards they want." That doesn't work, we don't do that in AFF and we don't do that for Tandems. Not surprisingly, those are the areas that this sport has the least amount of problems. Get on board here, we need to fix this before wingsuiting just goes away.

The way things are set up now with a first time AFF student, we put a person who has very little skill in a highly structured learning environment and teach them the rules of the road taking them from completely ignorant, to reasonably informed on safety. Then we basically turn them loose to do whatever DZO#329 lets them get away with. That just seems quite silly to me.

None of this is a perfect system, but we have to work within the framework that is set up for us.


(This post was edited by Fast on Sep 14, 2012, 1:11 PM)


dninness  (D 19617)

Sep 14, 2012, 1:19 PM
Post #95 of 157 (737 views)
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Re: [tkhayes] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Air Inc is the broker that pretty much exclusively provides hull insurance for skydiving aircraft in the USA. No Air Inc, no insurance, no industry, pretty much that simple.

Bottom line is that insurance companies do have a great effect on our industry and we have no choice but to listen to them unless you want skydives that cost $75 each.

Create policies all you want and tell people 'not to do it', but unless real action is taken, 'they' will ban the wing-suiting, not the DZO, and the DZO will follow suit because they have a huge mortgage on their airplane and they need the insurance.

It was a heads up - and all of us turbine operators got the email from Air Inc. And we are paying attention to it.

That does not mean we plan to ban anything, but we sure will be making sure the people on a wing-suit on our million dollar plus aircraft have a half clue what they are doing and have a plan to stick to it. And that they understand how serious WE are taking the issue.

Now who wants to be strike #12?

I had a whole nice reply all jimmied up, and TK went and basically stole it from me. LOL. Well played, TK. Well played!

At the end of the day, its going to come down to money. Plain and simple. As do many other decisions in this sport.

If a/c owners are passed an increased premium from the insurers to continue to allow wingsuiters, they're going to either pass it along to their customer (the DZ) or disallow it altogether. Depending on their experience with wingsuiters, it could go either way. An a/c operator who has more than one dent in his horizontal stab from a wingsuiter's helmet is probably going to say "Yeah, uh, no more. Here's why."

DZOs, who are notoriously cash-strapped as it is, will not absorb a cost premium to allow wingsuiters that gets passed on to them from the a/c owners. They will say "My aircraft provider now says that wingsuiters will cost me more than RW jumpers, tandems & freeflyers. Yeah, fuck wingsuiters."

So you have a choice:

A) A sign over the manifest window that says "Due to insurance concerns, wingsuiting is no longer allowed from any aircraft owned and/or operated by Truman Sparks Aviation LLC dba The Pecos Parachute School"; or

B) A sign that says "Per our aircraft owner, effective immediately, wingsuit slots will incur a $10 surcharge per jump to cover increased insurance premiums."

Honestly, would a little increased oversight/guidance/guidelines from the USPA and/or some BSRs around wingsuiting be better than the potential alternative of _not_doing_it_at_all_?


(This post was edited by dninness on Sep 14, 2012, 1:20 PM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Sep 14, 2012, 1:41 PM
Post #96 of 157 (722 views)
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In reply to:

You're fighting the wrong fight man. I have said this in other posts previously discussing canopy stuff. The bureaucracy already exists, it's called the USPA and FAA.

<snip>

Now, when it comes to wingsuits, they have a significantly greater chance of causing aircraft damage or problems. We use more airspace than regular freefall (while being much harder to see than a canopy) and because of the nature of our suits, it's easier to make a mistake and damage a plane on exit. Planes are one area we can thankfully get insurance still in this industry, cause w/o it, we wouldn't have many turbines flying around that's for damn sure.

In our current setup, you as an outsider (or an insurance company, or the uspa, or anyone) have no idea what standards my dropzone follows regarding wingsuiters. You don't know who we do or don't let jump them and what the people who are getting them are taught. In the insurance world, that equates to an unknown variable. They don't like that.

<snip>

None of this is a perfect system, but we have to work within the framework that is set up for us.

And this is what is so absolutely brilliant about Eli's proposed solution set:

It not only addresses wingsuit flyer conduct with regards to tailstrikes, it covers the pilot and related aircraft operations too -- no new bureaucracy needed.

It also amends the association documentation to specifically address tailstrike avoidance, which is a key element for the insurers -- no new bureaucracy needed.

Moreover, the pilot/aircraft operations element applies to ALL parachuting operations, thereby further reducing the risk of ALL tailstrikes -- which will show the insurers that our community is really serious about fixing the tailstrike problem, regardless of sub-discipline -- no new bureaucracy needed.

Next, Eli's proposed solution can be implemented very quickly, whereas imposing a new bureaucracy will of necessity require a lot of time, debate, development and debugging before it can be employed.

Finally, Eli's proposed solution requires from USPA and its volunteer BOD about 1/100th the effort and 1/1000th the headaches that imposing a new bureaucracy would add.

44
Cool


(This post was edited by robinheid on Sep 14, 2012, 1:46 PM)


Fast  (D 28237)

Sep 14, 2012, 2:25 PM
Post #97 of 157 (697 views)
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Re: [robinheid] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
And this is what is so absolutely brilliant about Eli's proposed solution set:

It not only addresses wingsuit flyer conduct with regards to tailstrikes, it covers the pilot and related aircraft operations too -- no new bureaucracy needed.

It also amends the association documentation to specifically address tailstrike avoidance, which is a key element for the insurers -- no new bureaucracy needed.

Moreover, the pilot/aircraft operations element applies to ALL parachuting operations, thereby further reducing the risk of ALL tailstrikes -- which will show the insurers that our community is really serious about fixing the tailstrike problem, regardless of sub-discipline -- no new bureaucracy needed.

Next, Eli's proposed solution can be implemented very quickly, whereas imposing a new bureaucracy will of necessity require a lot of time, debate, development and debugging before it can be employed.

Finally, Eli's proposed solution requires from USPA and its volunteer BOD about 1/100th the effort and 1/1000th the headaches that imposing a new bureaucracy would add.

44
Cool

Who should be making sure this stuff is followed? DZOs? AFFIs? S&TAs? What if that person doesn't know anything about wingsuiting. Serious question, not sarcastic.

I mean at a minimum, a lot of this stuff would have to go into the BSRs so that dropzones had to follow it. If the above mentioned person doesn't know anything about wingsuiting do we produce some kind of document to try and teach them? What if they don't want to learn, does the dropzone just ban wingsuiting?

That doesn't even get into, how do we make sure that a person is at least reasonably competent in the air. For all the other mentioned disciplines the stuff boils back down the skills learned in AFF = basic safety. Wingsuiting is different, it's a whole different set of skills. Again, who do we get to teach the noobs in the sport, do we depend on the manufacturers? Do we require manufacturer training? Do we just let people buy a suit and wing it (hah).

These are serious questions that I haven't seen people answering. I like this part of the sport, I don't want to see it go away for any reason. (Insurance companies, ratings, etc). But there has to be an answer to this kind of stuff. People need to get themselves in the shoes of the younger generations. The people who want to strap on a gopro on their aff level 3.

What's the answer? Wingsuiting is very different than regular skydiving. I have taken 2 first flight courses and they taught different things. Who has the right answer?

How the hell do we sort all this stuff out.


Edit to add: Given what people have suggested, the only option I can see to support is having some kind of wingsuit instructor rating. Most of the other suggestions people have made are basically fancy versions of "just keep doing what we are doing". I haven't seen anyone put anything out there with substance that is going to make sure people are getting educated on this stuff and following best practices. If people don't want to support the WSI thing, there at least needs to be some kind of better option proposed other than "damn the man, no soup for you". Otherwise this part of the sport that I really dig could end up going away and that will make me and a lot of other people sad.


(This post was edited by Fast on Sep 14, 2012, 2:31 PM)


Fast  (D 28237)

Sep 14, 2012, 2:44 PM
Post #98 of 157 (685 views)
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Re: [normiss] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That's gotta be very challenging keeping your butt (or knees) on the floor for three seconds after exit.
Tongue

Funny, but what I see that's challenging in that sign is doing anything bigger than a 2-3 way (no floaters allowed???) How the hell do the other people in the group get in position to exit?

Also, flying stable 3 seconds fully closed up is kinda a bitch when it comes to building formations. It's also entirely not nessecary. After 3 seconds you're 200 feet or more away from the plane.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Sep 14, 2012, 4:22 PM
Post #99 of 157 (651 views)
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Re: [-ftp-] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

just because YOU might feel the need to 'verify it' is also not relevant. They happened. You can pick it apart and say it is this and that, and come up with all the excuses and plans you want. But while that is happening the insurance company just might close down your dropzone.

I have no idea where they happened. I have no idea why they happened. i have no idea if it is a trend, or whatever. But I do know that my insurance policy is in jeopardy if we do not do something about it.


SwampGod  (D 27345)

Sep 14, 2012, 4:23 PM
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Re: [Fast] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, let me let my brain catch up.

It seems we have an issue. The solution could come in the form of more regulation or more education, or even both. Either way, said solution will then have to be communicated to everyone if there’s a chance of people following it.

The problem? Tail strikes are bad. Check.

So what makes a tail strike more likely? Exiting when the aircraft is flying faster than normal or climbing is riskier… as is using a large wingsuit, or exiting improperly in any type of suit (birthday included).

To manage this risk we communicate with the wingsuiters and the pilots (the two parties directly involved) to make sure we're minimizing said risk.

At our drop zone the DZO, S&TAs, Instructors, Pilots, and manifest help work together to keep things running as safe and smooth as possible. Therefore, all of the above would have our dz wingsuit procedures shared with them.


In reply to:
Who should be making sure this stuff is followed? DZOs? AFFIs? S&TAs? What if that person doesn't know anything about wingsuiting. Serious question, not sarcastic.

Right now the heat has been turned up by the insurance companies. So I would say the first people that realistically would make sure this stuff is being followed would be aircraft owners. They would ultimately be responsible for the training of their pilots, as well.

DZOs and S&TAs work with pilots and aircraft owners (if they're not the DZO). I, as an S&TA, am motivated by the huge paycheck and fame.... wait.... something’s not right… start over.

Apart from the riches, I am motivated by safety. When in doubt, I consult my elders in the sport in the discipline they excel in. When no elders are present, I use the SIM as a reference. I'm fairly sure I'm not alone, but I may be the only one to admit it. :)


In reply to:
I mean at a minimum, a lot of this stuff would have to go into the BSRs so that dropzones had to follow it. If the above mentioned person doesn't know anything about wingsuiting do we produce some kind of document to try and teach them? What if they don't want to learn, does the dropzone just ban wingsuiting?

I read and follow the BSRs, but also read and follow most of Section 6 of the SIM (Advanced Progression)… to prep for night jumps, brief on jumping cameras, and most recently talk to B License candidates about canopy control. I did not consult the SIM to learn about CRW or tail strikes... that teaching was all done by life.

I guess my point is that if no expert is available, we still have a section on Wingsuiting in the SIM, and there is even a part on exiting.

Quote:
SIM Section 6-9

D. Wingsuit exit and flight

b. The Coach should observe the exit to evaluate:
(1) the students’ stability; and
(2) that the student delayed opening their wings as instructed to avoid the horizontal stabilizer.

If the assumption that only an experienced wingsuit pilot can tell if someone didn’t keep their wings closed, I would not support that statement. However if I am misreading this, please let me know.


So... we have aircraft owners that have a huge financial incentive to make sure this is followed, and a couple of simple procedures to be followed, most of which are already in the SIM.

My question is… where will this stuff end up? Section 6? As a download on the website? In the mailing for Group Members? Again, the procedures involve more than just wingsuits, so maybe Section 6-9 isn’t the right place for this…


Because I believe the tail strike issue goes beyond mere wingsuits, the rest of your questions (“how do we make sure that a person is at least reasonable competent in the air”) pertain to wingsuit training specifically more than tail strikes specifically. I think they are good questions, but might belong in another thread. Let me know if I missed your point, though.

Later, all!

-eli


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