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Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation?

 


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Mar 27, 2005, 8:56 PM
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Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? Can't Post

Hi from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I am writing to ask what it would take to get me certified, considering that I am hearing impaired (deaf).

I have jumped twice tandem at Ganonque,
including one that was videotaped (and I converted to web format)
http://www.marky.com/...eo/yes-i-did-it.mpeg
This video was my first jump... edited down to 3 minutes to show only the relevant parts. Very funny video ;-) As you can see, I seem to learn fast -- I started myself off in a 360-degree spin and stopped to face the camera, using my own control (The instructor may have helped, but it felt like I was controlling my own 360-degree spin, you can see my hands trying to balance myself during the spin if you watch the video!)

As a deaf guy, I would not be able to use radios.
I was wondering what it would take to get me certified.

I'd like to know what it would take for me to become licensed and be allowed to freefall solo and/or formation. I also am checking out http://www.deafskydivers.org/ to see how they trained themselves. I'm looking for the best way to train myself, preferably or primarily domestically, without breaking the bank way too much (i.e. having to travel internationally several times just to get certified, would be incredibly expensive). I love travelling, just need to be within my means.

I am shopping around for the right training system for me that does not require me to travel to the USA to get the instruction I need....

Eventually I'd like to do solo freefalls.

I have jumped tandem twice already so I know I am ready for it...

Comments?


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Mar 27, 2005, 8:57 PM)


tdog  (D 28800)

Mar 27, 2005, 9:04 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not an instructor... But your post made me think... So much of what you learn in skydiving (AFF) is reading lips sometimes, understanding hand signals a lot... You learn AFF sign language... (Pull, Arch, Circle of Awareness, Legs Out, etc.)

I bet you would do better off than us that can hear... Why, because we are used to communicating with our hearing, so freefall is new to us... Whereas, not being able to hear is normal for you, so you will be many times better "hearing" with your eyes.

I am interested too in what the professional instructors think. Am I crazy??? Either way, I bet you will be an awesome skydiver and will jump with ya if you ever stop in my neck of the woods.

T.


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Mar 27, 2005, 9:13 PM
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Re: [tdog] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the prompt reply! Yes, I often have increased situational awareness as a result of my lack of hearing. Same reasons why the statistics say that deaf drivers are often safer drivers than hearing drivers. (When governments first learned about this statistic, they legallized giving drivers licenses to the deaf a few decades ago... Well, at least the western governments, though.)

I usually use a hand language called Cued Speech, but I also know the ASL fingerspell as my "second" hand language (PUN intended! Laugh ) ... I could learn AFF without trouble.

I thought of an addendum to my previous message -- If I have to travel just to get to a deaf-friendly drop zone, can I get certified during just one vacation? (Strong preference would be a deaf-friendly dropzone in either Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa .... Since I have friends and relatives who could host me in those cities) If I cannot get certified during one vacation (i.e. 1 week vacation), will I at least be allowed to go freefall solo and/or even limited formation after that? Or is that all unnecessary, and I can convince a local dropzone to take me as a student instead?


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Mar 27, 2005, 9:13 PM)


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Mar 28, 2005, 5:30 AM
Post #4 of 20 (2817 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm cross-posting a link to this to the Skydivers with Disabilities forum. There are enough experienced deaf skydivers that they do annual world record jumps with a number of participants.

Wendy W.


174fps  (C 3060)

Mar 28, 2005, 7:09 AM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

We have trained several deaf people at our DZ, we have an advantage in that our manifest girl is an asl interpreter, so that we were happy that the deaf students understood the FJC.
For landing we use a combination of designated point and flags.
we had the student fly to a designated point (students had altimiters) so that they were facing into the wind and facing the instructor with the flags
on final approach.

Andrew


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Mar 28, 2005, 10:05 AM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Have you talked to the Ganonoque DZO? His name is Tom and I'll bet he can come up with a safe, effective method. As far as the radio goes, we didn't always have radios. We used to use a big red arrow; that work for you?


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Mar 28, 2005, 5:56 PM
Post #7 of 20 (2724 views)
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Re: [174fps] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
We have trained several deaf people at our DZ, we have an advantage in that our manifest girl is an asl interpreter, so that we were happy that the deaf students understood the FJC.

Interesting!

One barrier is that I don't know the full ASL -- I do know "Cued Speech" and the "Finger Spell" ASL. Although I can learn a few of the essential signs, that will be done in the air and on the ground (flags, etc)

One thing I could try getting is some kind of skydiving handbook to study before my FJC -- as a supplement to the FJC to fill in any gaps. Any recommendations especially suited for a deaf guy like me?

I am curious -- Did it cost substantially more to train a deaf guy than a non-deaf guy? What was the typical price for solo freefall certification?


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Mar 29, 2005, 7:09 AM
Post #8 of 20 (2684 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
One thing I could try getting is some kind of skydiving handbook to study before my FJC

That's a great idea. I'd suggest either "Parachuting, the Skydiver's Handbook" by Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff (Para Publishing) and/or Jump! by Tom Buchanan (McGraw/Hill). Both are available at Amazon or from skydiving equipment retailers.


AggieDave  (D License)

Mar 29, 2005, 7:13 AM
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Re: [skybytch] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
That's a great idea. I'd suggest either "Parachuting, the Skydiver's Handbook" by Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff (Para Publishing) and/or Jump! by Tom Buchanan (McGraw/Hill). Both are available at Amazon or from skydiving equipment retailers.


You left the important one off your list. The USPA SIM.

Get the SIM, you can get it for free of the USPA's website or you can buy the printed and bound version. Personally I buy mine, it saves me time and hassel, not to mention what to do with a 2" stack of paper that's not bound...hard to use that way. I buy one every 2 years.

It has the FJC layed out in it as well as the catagories layed out, explaining what the industry standard for jump progression and student training. It also has advanced information in it that you will continue to consult long past when you get your license.


DeNReN  (B 5642)

Mar 29, 2005, 8:50 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

While the USPA SIM would no doubt be helpful......the CSPA PIM's would be more appropiate Wink

http://www.cspa.ca/.../Contact/Website.jsp


AggieDave  (D License)

Mar 29, 2005, 12:41 PM
Post #11 of 20 (2652 views)
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Re: [DeNReN] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
While the USPA SIM would no doubt be helpful......the CSPA PIM's would be more appropiate

Thanks for the catch, I should start reading slower and I may have read the first line that has CANADA really big on it.ShockedLaugh

Ok, my advice still stands with a couple slight changes in spelling. CSPA PIM it is.Smile


Fuzzy  (D 26596)

Mar 29, 2005, 3:21 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Ok, my advice still stands with a couple slight changes in spelling. CSPA PIM it is.

You weren't really that far off

Skydive Gananoque, although in Canada, & if he decides to come here is USPA (we're only a few minutes from the border & get lots of people from the U.S.)

We also have a CSPA club here that he can get his ratings through as well - which is what I would recommend. So SIMs or PIMs - They're all good here Smile

Mark has been emailed me privately and I have put him in touch with the Owner, hope we can work it out.

As far as training - Climbout is eye contact and nods, & freefall is hand signals anyway.

The big thing in my mind would be the practical side of canopy control.


Fuzzy  (D 26596)

Mar 29, 2005, 3:34 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Mark

I see by the PM's that you and Will McCarthy have been in touch with each other, so I'll leave you guys to it.

If you have any other questions etc. feel free to get in touch with me anytime.

No matter what route, or where you go, make sure all the bases are covered and that everything is safe.

I know that money is a bit of an issue, but remember that a little bigger investment at the start usually means a bigger payoff at the end & can usually save you money in the long run.

Hope to see you out this year.

Fuzzy


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Mar 30, 2005, 2:39 PM
Post #14 of 20 (2596 views)
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Re: [Fuzzy] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey...

(Hello Fuzzy... I recognize ya, nice to see you here too... I think you're in my video too)

Yes, Will and I have been discussing what it would take. Ganonque is high on my list just because it's where I made my first jump. Still have plenty to think about, but if I do anything, I'd probably aim to do it in May or June, but I'm also evaluating other dropzones, including those that have already had experiences with the deaf, but this may be more expensive because of an airplane flight. It'll probably be one month before I make a final decision...

However, if there is a good reputation for deaf training and the price somewhat compensates for the travelling... Well, I'll have finally decided within a month.

The cost of the course itself isn't a problem itself, but I'm already warned it could cost far more than that to maintain myself, so that's something for me to think about... Will told me of a saying that is popular in these circles, "it'll cost you two hundred dollars for your first jump, and half your paycheque for the rest of your life".

As for the book, USPA SIM and CSPA PIM. Hmmm. To CSPA or to USPA, that is the question.... I guess it must have to be CSPA PIM as I am Canadian?

I guess, by consensus, there's two pre-study books I should pick up right away... the CSPA PIM and "Parachuting, the Skydiver's Handbook"


sneaky

Apr 7, 2005, 4:16 AM
Post #15 of 20 (2508 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey

PM ' deaffreeflyer' .. his name is stuart wilson and he is a friend who is proufoundly deaf all his life and freeflies his ass off, he can explain his method of instruction during AFF with a great guy Kevin Macarthy and his company in spain call ' Freefall Company'.

Anyone for that matter, whom wishes to teach Deaf students, and have no knowledge of sign language, contact this guy.

Blue Skies

jc


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Apr 7, 2005, 6:58 PM
Post #16 of 20 (2485 views)
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Re: [sneaky] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have determined that Ganonque is willing to give me a try, if I paid. They seem to have all the right intentions and can communicate with the appropriate guys for the proper training procedures for me.

Now, the only thing stopping me from starting a training program, is the need for transportation to Ganonque. I have to figure out how to solve this.

I live and make a living downtown, so I get by without owning a car. Renting a car *every* single weekend will definitely be a killer, since all the dropzones are located out of the city.

See my post in Introductions and Greets

Once I figure out how to solve this, I'm pretty much ready to plunk down the money for the training.

(However, I might try a different dropzone if that's a better solution...it may be easier for me to just take a longer vacation at an open-all-week dropzone, rather than a weekends-only dropzone, and get myself certified for solo during this one vacation. Then for the rest of the summer, I can continue to learn/maintain myself by carpooling with other people who just want to do tandem jumps...I've got a bunch of friends and coworkers wanting to try tandem now, that I can take advantage of...but not long enough for me to do the initial training!)


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Apr 7, 2005, 6:59 PM)


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Apr 11, 2005, 1:24 AM
Post #17 of 20 (2451 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me compliment my TI today, William McCarthy. He did a great job on me today!

Today's Jump...
My birthday was yesterday, April 9th. I went today April 10th (er, yesterday) and did one of the qualifying tandems before my PFF course. Today pre-PFF tandem instruction went well.
The TI today went well beyond what I paid for and gave me essentially an hour total of direct instruction and questions-answers, and made sure I accomplished many objectives successfully. Was told I had great altitude awareness this time! Before I went into the plane, I wrote a quite a bit of notes, writing down everything I could remember from memory. After the jump, I made more notes to write down what I thought were minor errors I made (i.e. we synced our altimeters in the plane 1000M too early, for example, and knees a little low at some point) and I talked about what I can do better next time. But the important part was I learned a lot! And that an essential item, my altitude awareness, was great this time which was the main objective of today!! I correctly signalled my TI to pull. Even did two practice flares high up in the air, and aided the TI in the actual flare during landing. What I learned today will help me greatly when when I finally start my actual PFF and classroom stuff. I really want to make sure I soak up as much information as I can, so that my hearing impairment is less of a barrier during classroom training.

Signalling Methods...
In advance, we negotiated a signal of taps and shake-shake pulls. Leg-to-leg tap for knees up, shoulder tap to move my arms into boxman position, etc. You get the idea. I repeated these several times on the ground to make sure I memorized everything correctly.

Upcoming Deaf Communication Needs...
I will still need to bribe a fast typist to type the teacher's speech on my laptop during classroom training, so I can follow the speaking more easily. I also need to negotiate the canopy control communications once I'm under canopy solo, that Billy Vance suggested paddle/flag signalling from the landing area. I'm reading up as much as I can from "Parachuting: The Skydiving Handbook" as well, to minimize the chance I'll get lost in class.

Altitude Awareness...
Fortunately, he didn't even need to remind me to look at my altimeter during freefall. In advance, we negotiated I do a thumbsup signal at 9000ft, and then 7000ft. Then a wave at 5500ft followed by grab chest straps (this signals my TI to pull, as tandem students are not allowed to pull at this DZ) and look up to watch canopy open. I did all the signalling correctly. Now, I was almost too busy making sure I accomplished my assigned tasks to really enjoy the scenery much nor get scared, this time it was far less scary than many rollercoasters I have ridden on. I was concentrating on accomplishing a few tasks. Regardless of this success today, I know I cannot become too complacent even if I did that successfully today, it's life-or-death, I know... Eventually altitude awareness should become second nature and I'll have time to enjoy the scenery and have fun during the freefall!

Canopy Opening...
He told me that it's educational to watch the canopy open, even at this pre-PFF stage. I observed what was a single collapsed cell at a left corner of the canopy, and watched my TI reinflate it in 2 seconds from a gentle yank. After that, thumbsup then I take the toggles. The TI guides me where to turn, all the way to landing, including controllability check and two practice flares.

Sensory Overload...
I was warned of this, but it wasn't a major problem, as I managed myself during freefall very well on this jump. I had more sensory overload during canopy control than the freefall, so made a few minor mistakes here and there, mainly regarding my knees being too low at some points. (Most of the minor mistakes I made seemed to be right after successful canopy opening, giving me plenty of time to correct my actions)

Landing...
I observed my TI signal my toggles to manoever the canopy to stay upwind of the landing zone until around 1000ft. The TI told me to look at what 1000ft looked like, so I can judge ground distance on my next jump. We then headed downwind, past the landing, and then turned around back to face upwind for the landing-into-the-wind approach. The approach was similiar to approach diagrams I saw earlier. I helped with the flare too.

Summary...
I think I didn't do bad considering I didn't know what a "flare" meant only 2 weeks ago, and this is my first tandem jump this year (I never went solo before - only 2 tandem jumps in previous years), and I haven't started the PFF course yet! Have to do my fourth pre-qualifying tandem, that's paid for now, but it was suggested I hold off until the same weekend as the start of the PFF course, good idea...

So that's how it went. Kudos to my TI, William! And the dropzone staff and visitors who chatted with me (even. I believe I also got my carpool problem solved too, making new friends already.

As soon as my May 1 paycheck arrives, I'm finally starting PFF! (Otherwise, I'd start sooner!)


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Apr 11, 2005, 1:58 AM)


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Apr 15, 2005, 5:07 PM
Post #18 of 20 (2364 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have declared my intention to start PFF training at Gananoque on April 30th, assuming good weather.

Most of the logistics are solved.
(1) I found a carpool partner.
(2) The timing of my April 29th paycheque dictates the weekend.
(3) I'll be the only person during classroom training (dedicated tutoring). Thank goodness for small neighbourhood-like dropzones!
(4) I'll be bringing my laptop, so that the instructor and I can type to each other during classroom training
(5) I've been suggesting the use of a flagman for canopy control

The remaining logistics is negotiating the final details between me and my instructor for communications-related issues. Like who's responsible for supplying the flags/paddles for flagman signalling.

I may suggest to the TI that on my 4th and final pre-PFF tandem (during the same day as my first PFF jump), that we test out the flagman signalling, and I would control the toggles without the TI signalling me like he did during my 3rd jump.

Do you think this is a good idea to test the flagman signalling during my 4th tandem, before my first solo landing?
(The TI will still be lightly holding onto them, ready to grab and take over steering if I make any errors)


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Apr 15, 2005, 5:11 PM)


teamlf  (D 26542)

May 3, 2005, 12:43 PM
Post #19 of 20 (2292 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

whats up I am an instructor at the Ogden skydiving center in Utah and we have a profesinol ASL translator on hand to help with the training of deaf students at no additinol charge if you are intrested feel free to pm me for details

scott Palmer


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 4, 2005, 6:15 PM
Post #20 of 20 (2258 views)
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Re: [teamlf] Deaf skydiver -- How to get licensed for solo and/or formation? [In reply to] Can't Post

Heya...

I'm finally already in training. See other post...

Thanks for the help, everyone!



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