Dec 13, 2004, 6:33 PM
Post #1 of 7
letting the student know
Your thoughts only please - A few years back I was with an instructor on a level three(release dive).The student was stable - holding heading within 20 degrees and his legs were in a good place. The instructor had about 10,000 jumps and about 1000 hrs of tunnel time. He was someone I was learning from for a time. He flew in front of the student and gave a big breathing expression, big smile and a thumbs up. The students body position turned into a very stable and crisp attitude that took me for surprise. I talked to the student about it and he said he was exited at first but then saw the smile of the instructor and the breathing and relaxed as the instructor was. I have jumped with many different levels of instructors since then and most with that same level of skill and time in the sport say they are comfortable with this simple idea when and if the student has earned it with a well enough body position. I would love to hear from all other AFF instructors that have a few years or more teaching, your thoughts and ideas - tunnel coaching and what you have used from that area in an AFF environment, communication with one instructor and another. Thanks
Aaron, are you asking if you think it's cool to fly around front and give a smile and a thumbs up? I would not have any problem with that at all, particularly if it was the reserve-side guy doing it. For that matter, I wouldn't have any problem with either guy doing it in the middle of the skydive so long as the student is doing an OK job on the jump and doesn't need any "hands on" adjustments.
Do what feels good so long as you are in position to take care of business at the bottom end.
I don't know what Stage 3 is like in the US, but here in Australia on stage 3 one of the instructors is suppose to move around to the front of the student and give signals, and the other instructor may let go if the student is in a good position.
JMHO....On my 4th AFF dive, we went over the dive on the ground from exit to landing. He told me that if everything looked good, he would fly in front of me. On the jump, I was so worried that I could not get a stable (in my mind) as I could have been. Once he flew in front, gave me a big smile, thumbs up....I relaxed and was very stable. On the debrief, he said the exit was clean and my body was a little stiff, but still stable and he made the decision to fly in front to get me to relax. It worked for me.
One last note....All of you AFF-Is out there, Its an ominous position your in, taking someone life in your hands, guide them and make the possible spit-second decision while falling at 120mph to return this person to the ground safely. I salute my instructors and all of you AFF-Is out there!! Its not an easy task becoming an AFF-I.
just my 0.02
(This post was edited by robertmicp on Dec 14, 2004, 11:58 AM)
A USPA level 3 is a release dive, so there shouldn't be a problem with one JM flying in front. It is, however, important for the student to know that might happen. It is also important that the second AFF instructor (if there is one) knows a fly around might happen.
Smiling is always a great relaxer. It can be used by a good instructor on any level jump at the standard COA's. I'm glad to hear you watched (and noticed) a pro employ this simple technique.
If my students practice pulls and body position are good during a any release dive, there is no reason not to fly in front of them and show a smile or thumbs up to get them to relax, and help remind them that it's FUN and they are doing great. I do this often then move to the mainside just before they wave off and pull.
Just be ready on the bottom end of the jump incase the shit hits the fan.
A USPA level 3 is a release dive, so there shouldn't be a problem with one JM flying in front. ...
Smiling is always a great relaxer.
From a fresh student to instructors, it worked for me:
I have to admit, looking back at AFF1 and 2 - you kind of feel alone out there since you don't look eye to eye with the instructors. What you see is this vast airspace and nothing else that you can touch except for air. It is the first time you are in this new world. You know your instructors are there, you see them for a few seconds on the COA, but you know they are working, perhaps as hard as you are. Also, when you have instructors holding onto you, you have this sense of “need” because you have never done this task without them. If they suddenly both disappeared – could you survive without them??? How hard are they really working? Are they still holding on? Am I doing this right?
On my AFF3 - I lost an instructor on exit... My main side. He came out front and we looked eye to eye and gave me good feedback, like a nod, a twist of the head like "damn good" and a smile... I suddenly knew I was flying myself, that I did not need him holding on… All of a sudden, instead of me being a wind dummy controlled by my instructor’s grips, I was actually flying! Now I could interact with the instructors instead of being controlled by the instructors. This was my turning point – and when the instructors commented, “I could tell you were having fun by the grin on your face.”
My debrief went like, "On exit I ended up under you, so I let go. By the time I got back, you were stable and did not need me - so there was no need for me to grab on and screw it up. So I decided to come out front and say hi. Did you see me fly back to your side at pull time just in case you needed help???"
Just my observations.
(This post was edited by tdog on Dec 14, 2004, 10:06 PM)