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What's more important on a tandem?

 


Poll: What's more important on a tandem?
Maximize the student's involvement, let them help flare; 16 / 24%
Maximize the chance of a standup landing, do the flaring by yourself 50 / 76%
66 total votes
 
skydiver30960  (D License)

Jul 12, 2004, 10:15 AM
Post #1 of 24 (2965 views)
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What's more important on a tandem? Can't Post

Hi guys and gals. Here's one from me to all the tandem I's out in dropzone.com-land. It's long (sorry), but read on and help me out cuz it's a question that's really important to me:

I've recently moved to a new DZ, where I find I have the choice of a couple different tandem canopies. Throughout my previous tandem career, I've always tried to do everything I could to involve the student in the skydive: i.e. the student is "making a skydive" not just "taking a parachute ride". Two examples of this are that I always give students the chance to pull the ripcord, and I (until now) always let the students land (flare) the canopy with me. I feel that the more involved they are, the more fulfilling the experience will be, and they'll be more heads-up on their next jump.

At my new DZ we have two canopies (not naming them since I don't want this degenerating into good-canopy bad-canopy discussion). One is a sort of "both instructor and student give full flare and you take what you get" kind of canopy, the other is a newer design that flares like a true elliptical, that is you feel out the flare through the landing, with a great success rate at standups even in low wind. Problem is, "feeling out the flare" is really hard to teach to first jumpers so when I'm on this newer canopy I feel that, while I'm going to have a better chance at a standup due to the great flare, I prefer not to have the student assist in order to avoid a "pop-up and plop-down" from too much flare.

So the question is:

Which do you feel would be more valuable in the eyes of your students: being involved in the landing flare even though it means probably sliding in on your butt, or not being involved in the landing flare but ending up with a pretty, comfortable standup?

Thanks to all;

Elvisio "still learning every day" Rodriguez


AggieDave  (D License)

Jul 12, 2004, 10:33 AM
Post #2 of 24 (2942 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

Could we have a 3rd option? Have them help you fly around until 1000' then tell them that you need to take over for the landing and to drop the toggles. Possibly the middle of the road solution that could help you out?

It might even peak their interest to learn more and start the student progression.


Dougiefresh  (Student)

Jul 12, 2004, 11:01 AM
Post #3 of 24 (2922 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd say let them help, if they're involved in the jump they'll be more likely to want to continue learning and jumping. That was my experience anyway.


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Jul 12, 2004, 11:17 AM
Post #4 of 24 (2913 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Could we have a 3rd option? Have them help you fly around until 1000' then tell them that you need to take over for the landing and to drop the toggles. Possibly the middle of the road solution that could help you out?

It might even peak their interest to learn more and start the student progression.

Dave, I agreee and that is what I do. I have had a number of problems from the first time tandem passengers "helping" in the flare. I will let them help if it is not their first Tandem and they are in a training situation but other then that My job is to get both of us to the ground as safely as possible....

Scott C.


crutch  (D 10182)

Jul 12, 2004, 11:17 AM
Post #5 of 24 (2913 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

Let them help you fly it around down to maybe 300' to 500', then you finish the job. The only person thta i have hurt doing a tandem, got the toggles flared too early, we floated and I couldn't get under her enough to save her. The problem with some of the newer canopies and the landing technique, is that is is not a s simple as flre, flare, flare anymore. So do you want to risk hurting the passenger and/or yourself so you may get that 0ne-in-twenty student to come back? I think a few broken limbs does more damage than a couple extra "fulfilled" students!


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 12, 2004, 12:08 PM
Post #6 of 24 (2896 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

On first tandems, I let the passenger fly, or assist flying the canopy down to 500 feet, then I take the controls and land the canopy. If it is a tandem progression student I am going to let them start helping with the whole landing on the second jump.

edited to add: I don't need any assistance to flare any "modern" tandem canopy to a nice landing. When I was jumping old 360's and 421's, even EZ's, I would generally always let the passenger help with the landing. Yes, I had them flare hard and high on me several times, but luckilly I was never injured, nor were the passengers.

Chuck


(This post was edited by SkymonkeyONE on Jul 12, 2004, 12:12 PM)


skydiver30960  (D License)

Jul 12, 2004, 12:52 PM
Post #7 of 24 (2874 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry guys, I guess I should have been more specific. I would always let them fly the canopy... my question related only to the approach and landing itself.

That being said, it sounds like most folks are in agreement. Thanks, y'all have given me something to mull over!

Elvisio "sick of my grass-stained ass" Rodriguez


livendive  (D 21415)

Jul 12, 2004, 3:39 PM
Post #8 of 24 (2823 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

I let them help steer till 1000 ft on their first tandem, but I don't let them help with the landing. On tandem progression jumps I let them help land as long as they've been heads up and done what I've told them up till that point.

Blues,
Dave


nightjumps  (D 23385)

Jul 12, 2004, 7:19 PM
Post #9 of 24 (2793 views)
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Re: [sdctlc] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Dave, I agreee and that is what I do. I have had a number of problems from the first time tandem passengers "helping" in the flare. I will let them help if it is not their first Tandem and they are in a training situation but other then that My job is to get both of us to the ground as safely as possible....

Ditto. Word for word.


tandembrent  (D 24878)

Jul 12, 2004, 7:41 PM
Post #10 of 24 (2786 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

it's part of my post-opening routine to get the students hands in the toggles as early as possible. i feel it gets them involved and maybe helps them back to reallity sooner. then at 1000' AGL i pick-up the secondaries and simply tell them that i'm driving from here on in. they never assist in the landing, it helps me maintain as much positive control as possible.

i also set-up for a 90* toggle turn at about 100' to build up some speed for some really long swoops/butt slides. i try to not land in a standing position , as i beleive that leads to more TI broken or sprained lower limbs.

this is what works for me and my student to ensure we both walk away. that certainly doesn't mean i think it's the only way, just that it's the safest for me.

brent

Quote:


skydiverton  (D 123456789)

Jul 13, 2004, 1:32 AM
Post #11 of 24 (2755 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

Most important is a SAFE landing. That means
- No student assistent in the flare! They need their hands to keep the legs up.
- Stand-up is nice, but it is an extra risk for injury.
I normally make a sliding, only if I say stand or walk we make a stand-up.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jul 13, 2004, 11:56 AM
Post #12 of 24 (2699 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been doing tandems about 13 years, and started out with the old megaboat canopies, the 500 and 421. With such high toggle pressure, I almost always had the student help. Yep, sometimes you got too much flare, too early, sometimes too little flare, too late. Now we have the ZP ellipticals, and life is easy, but I still have the students help flare.

Two things I do makes it easier to have them help. One is that I grab not in the loops, but above the toggle-line attatchment point, like using an old fashioned hard toggle. That give me about 8 inches of slack to work around what the student is doing. They can have their hands in the up and ready position, and I can still make turns to final, etc.

The second thing is I train them to do a 2-stage flare, first to half brakes, then to full flare. This allows you to control the landing, and the student, much better. It's helped me out quite a bit.


(This post was edited by JohnMitchell on Jul 13, 2004, 11:58 AM)


FreeflyGoat  (D 26046)

Jul 13, 2004, 2:10 PM
Post #13 of 24 (2670 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems that briefing a student on how to help you flare takes up time that could be spent on the them enjoying the ride. You already have to brief them on clearing ears, loosening side connectors, adjusting leg straps, lifting legs on landing. Adding additional practice for landing in my opinion takes away from the student rather than helping them. I think the exceptions are IAF students who need to start learning to fly and land the canopy or someone who requests specifically to help.


douwanto  (D 23851)

Jul 13, 2004, 11:32 PM
Post #14 of 24 (2630 views)
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Re: [FreeflyGoat] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

Let em fly but I land all first timers and progression students will earn it from opening to 1000'.
When I started doing Tandems I let them all help with the landing thinking if something went wrong and they got hurt it would be easy to put the blame on them.

Now I believe it is better to land us own my own because I am less likely to cause an injury own my own than with their help.

My2centS

Chris Whitley


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jul 18, 2004, 8:57 AM
Post #15 of 24 (2490 views)
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Re: [FreeflyGoat] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It seems that briefing a student on how to help you flare takes up time that could be spent on the them enjoying the ride. You already have to brief them on clearing ears, loosening side connectors, adjusting leg straps, lifting legs on landing. Adding additional practice for landing in my opinion takes away from the student rather than helping them. I think the exceptions are IAF students who need to start learning to fly and land the canopy or someone who requests specifically to help.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I disagree.

Not much point to briefing them on all that stuff before the jump. They will forget most of it when the door opens. Far better to casually mention clearing ears when it is useful.
I rarely mention loosening side straps because it is not important to students.
Adjusting leg straps - while under canopy - is old school. If you buy modern student harnesses (i.e Sigma) or at least apply modern adjustment methods, students will end up in a sitting position without all that fuss under canopy.

My students seem to enjoy helping me turn the parachute and practice landings. Having their hands on the steering handles also reduces the incidence of air-sickness because turns are no longer surprises.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jul 19, 2004, 9:21 AM
Post #16 of 24 (2438 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, what you said.Smile


MikeTJumps  (D 5957)

Jul 19, 2004, 9:12 PM
Post #17 of 24 (2403 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have my passengers participate as much as they want to. Very few can prevent me from giving them a full flare unless they hold their hands up full, and even then, I manage to power the flare down safely.

The more they participate, the more they learn. I give them a lesson in canopy flight on the way down as long as it is safe to do so.


pajarito  (D 13125)

Jul 20, 2004, 8:15 AM
Post #18 of 24 (2369 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

It really depends on what you're trying to accomplish with the dive. If they're progressing in the sport or if they're just making one skydive to show their drunk friends at a party their picture on the wall. If they want to learn, I involve them as much as possible. They have to make their intentions clear to me, though. If they don't, I assume they're just wanting to be a passenger and I control the parachute from 1000ft to the ground. Before then, however, I usually let them participate as much as they wish.


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 25, 2004, 7:17 PM
Post #19 of 24 (2261 views)
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Re: [pajarito] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

With the exception of 1 tandem I have had the Student flare on all. I think we can get more to return if they are into the whole experience. It also will help when my 175 lbs butt gets sadled with the 250 lbs reporter for a PR jump.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Jul 27, 2004, 12:56 PM
Post #20 of 24 (2214 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

I do not have the arm strength anymore to do 6-8 tandems a day without being pooped out.

I teach the students to flare, the stages and so on,
then we practice it a couple times, then we do it - I have no problems with it whatsoever.
TK


tandemphil  (D 26626)

Sep 23, 2004, 10:38 PM
Post #21 of 24 (2107 views)
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Re: [skydiver30960] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

100% agree with aggiedave. at 1000' I take over. On tandem progression jumps students help with the flare, but only after lots of practise flares up high, and only if I'm confident that they'll follow my instructions.


murps2000  (D 23114)

Sep 26, 2004, 5:06 PM
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Re: [tandemphil] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just replying to the last post, but I agree with just about everyone here in letting them fly till 1000', and then taking over. I still talk to them about what I'm doing, and what the landing flare is going to be like. I want them to know that although the ground might seem to be rushing up when we come in, we'll get a good flare, and they should just get their legs up when I tell them.

Exceptions I have made, though, were second time tandem students (and even then I don't always let them), and experienced pilots. The few pilots I have taken have gotten a grasp on how to handle the canopy pretty easily. In fact, they have been great students all around, but I don't have that many tandems overall(150).


sabr190  (D 22931)

Sep 28, 2004, 3:06 PM
Post #23 of 24 (1949 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

I totally agree with AD, and that is exactly what I do. I do keep them involved by explaining what I am doing right up to "set up time", then its "get your feet up and get ready to land"


bclark  (D 22626)

Sep 28, 2004, 9:36 PM
Post #24 of 24 (1931 views)
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Re: [sabr190] What's more important on a tandem? [In reply to] Can't Post

Did my first 500 tandems taking over at 1000'. I had a couple of "pop ups" etc that discouraged me from letting students help. Then I moved to a DZ that "strongly encourages" the instructor to have the students hands in the toggles all the way down to the ground. Now I've done about 600 with students hands in toggles.

All it takes is a little bit of extra attention and practice in the air, and getting a good feel for your student. We pull @ 6000', and I do anywhere between 2-4 practice landings. Always stress that working together as a team is important, also that if they overpower you on the controls they will have a VERY hard landing. And of course if you cannot get them to cooperate during practice up high, make them let go at 1000'.

I guess it's one of those things where you go with what is S.O.P. at the DZ you are at. It can be done safely either way.



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