Forums: Skydiving: Instructors:
freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets

 


AFFI  (D 25538)

Mar 3, 2005, 7:20 AM
Post #1 of 22 (2632 views)
Shortcut
freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets Can't Post

Our DZO is considering freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets… Looking for some feedback from anyone having experience with this.

Will the "voice" take away from mechanical concentration in a high speed environment?

Strict guidance to instructors....what can and can't you say to your student? ie cutaway, PULL, spiral etc???

Good under canopy?

Any shared experience and perspectives are greatly appreciated…


diablopilot  (D License)

Mar 3, 2005, 11:12 AM
Post #2 of 22 (2559 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AFFI] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Looking for some feedback from anyone having experience with this.

No experience with AFF students in freefall, but in the tunnel people often forget what they are doing when listenting, especially when the instructor is talks alot.

Me thinks bad idea for AFF.


Shark  (D 24499)

Mar 3, 2005, 11:33 AM
Post #3 of 22 (2554 views)
Shortcut
Re: [diablopilot] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't used it yet, nor even seen them. I wouldn't recommend it for AFF since there is a lot of stuff going on. How many relax signals do you give during a jump?! Then again, some people are visual, while some are aural.Crazy

For post-AFF coach jumps it might be a better option, since they have probably gained some confidence and are more relaxed.Cool


gkc1436  (D 18232)

Mar 3, 2005, 2:45 PM
Post #4 of 22 (2533 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AFFI] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

in my view...
you can not build the internal clock with voice assist

relying on to many mechanical devices is not good for safety

hey wait......i dont have to pull...i have a cypress!!!!!


tdog  (D 28800)

Mar 3, 2005, 4:45 PM
Post #5 of 22 (2515 views)
Shortcut
Re: [diablopilot] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...but in the tunnel people often forget what they are doing when listenting, especially when the instructor is talks alot.

Can you further clarify... Do you mean the student forgets the info on a long term basis - like a day after the tunnel it did not sink in... Or do you mean right then and there - the student gets the dear in the headlights look and has a hard time concentrating on the task at hand because their brain is focused on the words... or something completely different???


AFFI  (D 25538)

Mar 3, 2005, 4:54 PM
Post #6 of 22 (2511 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Shark] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I haven't used it yet, nor even seen themCrazy

http://www.raredynamic.com/default.htm


Follow the link to check em out...


obelixtim  (D 84)

Mar 5, 2005, 1:17 PM
Post #7 of 22 (2459 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AFFI] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Dumb idea for F/f....overloading the brain is a big problem....not to mention all the other issues of reliability, clarity, verbiosity, dependance on technology.....

Essential under canopy until canopy control is mastered.....


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Mar 6, 2005, 2:20 AM
Post #8 of 22 (2443 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Dumb idea? How so?

Commuicatifg with your student is not, nor it is EVER a dumb idea. If talking works, then do it.

How many "legs out" signals can you give someone with no response.... I would rather say, "hey Bruce, stick your legs out some more."

Of course we are all assuming that the instructor can actually relax enough himself to talk in freefall.....

The systems are already out there, the only reason I do not use them is they cost an outrageuos amoutn of money.....

TK


obelixtim  (D 84)

Mar 6, 2005, 9:24 AM
Post #9 of 22 (2434 views)
Shortcut
Re: [tkhayes] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

 Its dumb for the reasons I posted, plus you gave one yourself.....the ability of the instructor to manage the situation.....what if the instructor has a problem???........it happens....

Verbiosity is just one reason I gave...what I mean is, I know VERY few instructors with the discipline to speak correctly on a radio....a few can do it, but most talk too much...and a lot talk shit.....and most can't speak in a calm clear voice when things are going wrong......

Freefall is not the place to have a student overwhelmed with someone yelling in their ear.....most humans can't handle multiple sensory inputs in normal situations, let alone a first jump......students can't listen and think clearly at the same time...and in FF they need their brain switched on and FOCUSED.....

If you haven't trained a student properly before the jump, a radio is not going to compensate for that.......too many things can cause confusion....e.g. multiple pairs of students in the air at once....do you have different frequencies for each pair....or do they all recieve everything on their headsets....confusion city......

I've trained enough students to know that this is a minefield........you need to keep things really simple for the best results......this is an unecessary complication......and thus is an unecessary danger to the student......


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Mar 6, 2005, 3:59 PM
Post #10 of 22 (2427 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

that's plain silly - you are basically saying because we are no good on radios, we should not use communications. The fault here appears to be your perceptioon of the instructor's ability, yet you blame, the technology for it.

Change the technology and TEACH people how to use it.

It would an GREAT tool.

TK


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Mar 6, 2005, 6:22 PM
Post #11 of 22 (2419 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I've trained enough students to know that this is a minefield........you need to keep things really simple for the best results......this is an unecessary complication......and thus is an unecessary danger to the student......

How many students have you trained using air-to-air radios?

Derek


Paige

Mar 7, 2005, 8:20 AM
Post #12 of 22 (2399 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AFFI] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Our DZO is considering freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets… Looking for some feedback from anyone having experience with this.

Will the "voice" take away from mechanical concentration in a high speed environment?

Strict guidance to instructors....what can and can't you say to your student? ie cutaway, PULL, spiral etc???

Good under canopy?

Any shared experience and perspectives are greatly appreciated…

I used it in the tunnel and it is wonderful! If you space out, the instructor is able to easily tell you what you need to do to correct the problem. I think if used properly and sparingly with AFF students, it may be able to get students to feel what is going on and feel how to correct instead of guessing if what they are doing is right. Immediate correction can also help to avoid some bad situations if you can stay on top of it, I would imagine (no exp. with mics in air here so please don't take this post as "the word.").


obelixtim  (D 84)

Mar 7, 2005, 1:30 PM
Post #13 of 22 (2390 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Hooknswoop] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

 After switching to square canopies for students back in 1987 I realised after one try without them, that radios were essential as an aid for canopy control.....but it was difficult to find a reliable, practical system......

I did find a system that worked most of the time, but it couldn't be 100% guaranteed......some students couldn't hear for the simple reason that their ears popped.....so my training was always based on the premise that the radio didn't exist.....but was a backup...

Probably trained around 8000 students using radios after introducing squares....

Even after switching to a new, improved radio system around 1988 there were occasionally problems (tendency of rechargeable batteries to suddenly die with little warning being one of them.....usually exactly at the wrong time).

Radio failure under canopy never caused any major problems however...it was made clear to the students not to rely on them, and they were trained to cope easily without them.......

An avionics techician made up a system that we tested in FF (came up with the idea in the pub....for possible use as an aid for CRW initially...then extended our thoughts to use it for team RW training, then maybe as an aid for RW training)......

Did about 20 FF test jumps with it with another instructor, and even though it did work enough times to assess its potential, we dismissed it as impractical......mainly because it wasn't 100% reliable (wind noise, static, interference from other transmitters, flat batteries, wrong frequencies, garbled transmissions, loudness, quietness,....to list a few).....but ALSO it was a distraction to clear thinking........which was magnified A LOT if there was any sort of problem....

It was confusing at times, even with two experienced instructors who had carefully planned the dive and knew what to expect......when a problem occurred it was very easy to become "task fixated", and lose track of what was going on around you.....even though we were aware of, and planned for this possibility.....

Could a student cope with this?....I think not!!!.

I didn't consider putting radios on AFF students, and even if there was a totally 100% reliable system to be found, I still wouldn't.....an AFF student is already at the point of sensory overload on a jump anyway......push them over that threshold at your peril....they have to cope with an awful lot anyway.......altimeters, audible altimeters, plus FF and canopy tasks (they do need a radio for canopy control)......

"Task fixation" is definitly a factor in skydiving accidents, as it is in many aircraft accidents.........I believe it would cause way more problems than it was worth for AFF students....

There is no substitute for simple training, clear signals, and repeating the jump if necessary...

A system is fine if it works as planned, however what you must always keep in mind is what happens when it doesn't........and Murphy's Law is always gonna apply to skydiving......

Thats why I think its a dumb idea for FF students......but hey...what do I know???....

Feel free to disagree, as I'm sure you will.....


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Mar 7, 2005, 1:38 PM
Post #14 of 22 (2387 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Hand signals require the student, in a very stressful enviroment, to see them, then convert them into what they mean )"Arch", "Relax", etc.) then do it. To hear a calm soothing voice say "Relax" would cut out some of the sensory input, reducing overload. Radios would be invaluable on jump run for spotting, climb out, etc.

A reliable Instructor to student, 1-wat free fall comm system would reduce sensory overload, reassure the student, and steepen the learning curve.

Derek


obelixtim  (D 84)

Mar 7, 2005, 2:33 PM
Post #15 of 22 (2381 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Hooknswoop] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

 Ah ha......"Reliable".....the key word....

"Calm soothing voice".....

Of course!!!.......The secret ingredient........

I know shitloads of properly trained coaches, JM's and Instructors.......

A VERY small percentage of them can speak in a "calm soothing voice" when the shit hits the fan..........I've heard them in action.....and yes, it should be easy.......but not many people have a good radio manner.....most say too much, and say lots of irrelevant stuff.....

Your vocab should be about 10 key words...max...

And thats the variable you've got.....which is most likely to cause problems.....even with training....

I'd rather you were the guinea pig, so fill ya boots.......go for it......


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Mar 8, 2005, 12:37 AM
Post #16 of 22 (2368 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Radio failure under canopy never caused any major problems however...it was made clear to the students not to rely on them, and they were trained to cope easily without them.......

EXACTLY - it has NEVER caused any major problems. Now you are suggesting that a system COULD cause major problems. I doubt it. And no one said that the student would have to rely on it either way.

Quote:
Did about 20 FF test jumps with it with another instructor, and even though it did work enough times to assess its potential, we dismissed it as impractical......mainly because it wasn't 100% reliable (wind noise, static, interference from other transmitters, flat batteries, wrong frequencies, garbled transmissions, loudness, quietness,....to list a few).....but ALSO it was a distraction to clear thinking........which was magnified A LOT if there was any sort of problem....

Al,ost everything you talk about here has been moot'd by improved technology. You cannot say, "I tried it once and it did not work" and then never try it again when better stuff arrives.

Quote:
I didn't consider putting radios on AFF students, and even if there was a totally 100% reliable system to be found, I still wouldn't.....an AFF student is already at the point of sensory overload on a jump anyway......push them over that threshold at your peril....they have to cope with an awful lot anyway.......altimeters, audible altimeters, plus FF and canopy tasks (they do need a radio for canopy control)......

Are you not 'pushing them over the edge' at 5000' when you are stabbing a point finger in their face from both sides when they do nto start the pull sequence? It's the same thing.

I would rather just say" Time to pull - now do it!"

Sounds like you are alreayd closed up on the idea. Likely others will pass you while you stand still.

"Those of you that say it can't be done are getting in the way of those of us that are already doing it"

TK


AFFI  (D 25538)

Mar 8, 2005, 6:35 AM
Post #17 of 22 (2357 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote: "your vocab should be about 10 key words...max..."
In reply to:

The radio has been one of the most challenging aspect of skydive instruction for me. I speak in a clear consice voice and use as few words as possible and I observe other instructors radio students to learn. It would be great if there were a comprehensive tutorial on good radio skills but it seems that experience is gained through doing in this arena of our disicipline (instruction). The "10 key word max" statement is a very good piece of advice, at least one of the best I have been exposed to so far. Another is to walk out (time permitting) to student landing area whilst on radio and walk your student back in and ween them off the radio ASAP. My commands are as follows (if everything goes well):
1) Practice Flare (establish communication)
2) Turn Left or Right (prefer North South East West if student has moxy)
3) Fly to holding area
4) Start Pattern at 1000
5) If needed - Start Base Leg, Start final
6) Feet and Knees together (as soon as they turn on final - DZ policy where I work)
7) Hands up and Focus
8) Start Flare - 1,2,3
9) Great Landing - Good Job!
10) Watch for traffic landing as you walk back to the hangar.

Something like that...


obelixtim  (D 84)

Mar 8, 2005, 11:39 AM
Post #18 of 22 (2341 views)
Shortcut
Re: [tkhayes] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

 Its obvious that you haven't read my post properly......or misunderstood what I said.....

My degree is in education, my masters thesis was specifically "teaching and learning under stress"....Skydiving was the perfect activity to base it on.......I've been involved with teaching and learning processes, and skydiving for 30 years now....with over 10000 students trained personally, as well as many Jumpmasters and Instructors trained as well....

I think I know a little bit about what makes a student tick......

There is a world of difference between a student hanging safely under a good canopy with the time and training to cope without a radio, and a FF student amping out on adrenalin at 120mph.........perhaps wildly out of control with their instructor some distance away......and silence on the radio when he's expecting it to work.......

"Not rely on it either way"

I've seen lots of instances where AFF students canopy training consists of nothing more than "listen to the radio".....and its evidenced by the general deterioration in canopy flying skills amongst AFF trained skydivers in the last 10 years.........a culture of dependance on technology has definitely evolved.....in my opinion a "negative" amongst many positives.....total reliance on the radio...

A visual signal at 5 grand is something simple for the student to process...a "reminder" or "picture" if you like.......easy to process into conscious thought......a bit different from something received aurally......freefall is not the place to try to translate sounds into action.....what if the student has limited English??.....(I've trained many students from foreign countries whose English is quite limited).....one wrong word, or lapse into slang, or jargon, can throw them completely......

The original poster asked for opinions....all I've done is throw in a FEW of the factors that need to be considered, as he asked.....because you can't just bolt a radio onto an AFF student and chuck them out the door.......

Don't recall saying it was impossible....but you seem to imply I am opposed to change, and will be "getting in the way of those OF US who are already doing it".....

OK then....I'm looking forward to seeing how "you are doing it". Please enlighten us all.

What system?.....
Cost?....
Test jumps done?....
Problems encountered?...
Problems solved?....
Training involved?... (both students and instructors)....
Radio commands?.....
Students successfully using the system....(numbers)....
Feedback from students.....

I've had many "great" ideas in my time....some of them were fine.....some of them turned out to be "dumb"......because while the theory was fine, practically they were useless....some you use, some you discard......but they all need to be checked out.......

Let me know your results please....but I won't hold my breath.........


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Mar 8, 2005, 2:08 PM
Post #19 of 22 (2333 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

You stated that radio communications might 'put the student over the edge'

I countered that with a similar anecdote that suggested that waving your fingerr in a pull sign frantically at 5000' might do exactly the same thing.

both are forms of communication. Some instrcuitors are good at hand signals, some are good at talking, some are good at acting.

You went on to suggest that radio communications would be a bad thing.

I went on to suggest that given that communications is communications, whether it be by hand or mouth, that it has the same effect, at least it has NO WORSE effect to the student.

Bad idea? I doubt it.

I never tyalked ANYTHING about your experience, your abilities, your ratings or otherwise. I am also an instructor with ratings from two countries as well as coach training OUTSIDE skydiving with 23 years+ and hundreds and hundreds of student sunder my belt.

So I will again say that communications is communications - done well it is a good thing.

In the hands of someone who actually holds a rating, I doubt it could be a bad thing. Yes we have bad instructors out there, but I will not stop progressing due to those few.

No I have not used any air-to-air communications, I have seen the recent system being marketing in the USA, and I will not buy it yet becuse of cost.

If it was $500, I would outfit my DZ with them.

TK


obelixtim  (D 84)

Mar 8, 2005, 3:26 PM
Post #20 of 22 (2326 views)
Shortcut
Re: [tkhayes] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

 I posted something about my experience simply to illustrate that I DID have some idea of what I was talking about, and I wanted to illustrate that I wasn't speaking from ignorance, or some dogged, inflexible position. I realise you hadn't mentioned it.....likewise, I assumed that you were reasonably experienced as well, and I respect that.......

It pissed me off that you had to have a crack at me.....insinuating that I was somehow impeding progress and should get out of the way......

Radio comms ARE essential....but only under canopy.....I seriously DO think that FF is not the place for them......because too many things can go wrong with them, and a high speed FF environment is not the place for a novice to have anything go wrong......even something you or I would consider insignificant or irrelevant is enough to send their stress levels through the roof......

I am surprised that you don't seem to grasp the concept of task overload, especially when dealing with students. It IS a very real factor in early student training.....they are in a totally alien environment, with all the fears, anxieties and stress that comes with the territory, and are at their most vulnerable.

It is not the time to add things that could go wrong.....and radios, no matter how good, often do not do the job...for a multitude of reasons, some of which I pointed out......On any AFF dive, they are already overloaded when they start....

In fact, you yourself illustrated my point perfectly......I said verbiosity was one problem....too much talk.......

I quote: At 5000 feet your instruction to the student would be...

"Its pull time...do it now" .......

You've used 6 words when 1 would do.......

"PULL"!!.....

At 5000 feet its not time to give advice......Its time to demand action......

One word will do that........because another 1000 feet is gone while the student thinks..."what did he say?"....when any one of your 5 unnecessary words is misheard because his ears just popped.....

On the radio you have to minimise your vocabulary......and that discipline must be standard practice by ALL Instructors on the DZ.....

And that one, SIMPLE, thing....is damned difficult......believe me.......


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Mar 9, 2005, 4:41 AM
Post #21 of 22 (2315 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
It pissed me off that you had to have a crack at me.....insinuating that I was somehow impeding progress and should get out of the way......

It was a quote, that is why I put it into quotes, I do not remember the author.

Quote:
I am surprised that you don't seem to grasp the concept of task overload, especially when dealing with students. It IS a very real factor in early student training.....they are in a totally alien environment, with all the fears, anxieties and stress that comes with the territory, and are at their most vulnerable.

I understand COMPLETELY that they are in a totally alien enviropnment. Therefore no matter what you introduce to them, including radios, hand signals or whatever; is also TOTALLY ALIEN to them, and one does not 'overload them' any more than the other. We could teach them any number of tasks to do, (including a set of freefall radio commands), they do not know the difference.

Quote:
"PULL"!!.....

At 5000 feet its not time to give advice......Its time to demand action......

Actually 5000' is NOT the time for decisive action. It is time for them to 'pull', for us to assist them and try to get them to pass the skydive. At our dropzone, 4000' is the minimum altitude and THAT would be the time for 'decisive action', if and only if you need it.

And yes, it could be done with one word (pull), I was demonstrating the 'calmness' that you seem to think does not exist while in freefall. The student is freaked out. Your calm words will help to lower their blood pressure.

I agree with your scenarios. But only as a exception, certainly not as the 'rule'

Our students are no more freaked out than anyone else's. My staff go to great lengths to assist the student in passing the level. They give a pull signal, they grab their hand and try to assist their hand to the pilot chute. The assist with the pull when necessary. We already look students in the eyes, and while we cannot talk, a GREAT DEAL of communication goes on during every skydive.

Do you really believe that if the student could hear our words on top of all that, that somehow they would 'overload' even more?

How many students have come down from your jumps and told you that "thank God the radio worked" " I was SOOO glad to hear your voice when the parachute opened"

that sort of thing happens every day. You are telling us that it would be a bad thing.

TK


obelixtim  (D 84)

Mar 9, 2005, 9:51 AM
Post #22 of 22 (2306 views)
Shortcut
Re: [tkhayes] freefall instructor/student communication devices in helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

 If everything goes to plan.....fine.....

In skydiving......it often doesn't work that way.....and I go into it with the attitude that the exception IS the rule......

Its when things don't work, that your training systems are really put to the test.....

My expectation is that a student should be able to go out the door....forget everything....totally screw up.....and still walk away at the end.....

Why quote someone else if you didn't mean it to convey a message???....I took it as it read....



Forums : Skydiving : Instructors

 


Search for (options)