May 21, 2001, 4:26 AM
Post #1 of 8
AFF level 8 in England
I was up at Netheravon (UK) the day before yesterday doing some funky freeflying. Just before my 7th jump of the day my friend and I were practising the exit in a mockup when we overheard an AFF instructor briefing his student on what to do on her AFF level 8, which here in England is a case of getting out at 5000ft and pulling within 5 seconds or thereabouts. What got me listening was the fact that the student was asking about what exit to do as she had only ever done dive exits on her previous levels, and the instructor told her to try sitting on the door and getting out that way. Probably not a good idea seeing as she was meant to get stable and pull within 5 seconds or so. I would say she should do what she was comfortable with. Anyway, the bit that made me pretty angry was that she was obviously worried about being able to pull stable within 5 seconds. Now we all know that if you get out at 5 grand it takes about 20 seconds to get to pull altitude (about 3k), and it is important to pull stable. But she said to him "what happens if I'm not stable after 5 seconds?" to which he replied "just pull anyway - count to five and then pull whether you are stable or not". Does anybody agree with me that this is bad? Tom Arnold.
I agree with Geoff...considering it was probably the student's first comparitively low jump, the most important thing for them to do is pull. A seated student exit decreases the chance of the student being widly unstable...this is the way that 1st time static line jumpers are despatched after all.
Slightly off-topic, but why is the UK altitude for graduation clear 'n pulls so high? In South Africa it is '4 000, in the states I joined an AFF graduation load (v. cheap JT) from '3 000 for a hop 'n pop. Local safety regulations like the gear check before boarding are great - but a clear 'n pull from '5 000? Gives me a whole lot more respect for UK SL progression students.
1. Pull 2. Pull on altitude (4500 ft for this student) 3. Pull stable on altitude
Right on! In at least one of the <A HREF="http://www.pia.com/SSK/saves02b.htm" target="_new">Cypres save reports</A>, when asked why they didn't pull, the student says they thought that being stable was "the most important thing in skydiving". Sounds silly when looked at in this light, but if you think about it, there is quite a bit of emphasis on it.
BTW, these reports are kind of sketchy, but they are so incredible to read, because the actual participants can answer the "why" question that the fatailites can't.
I think 5000ft is a compromise - it's high enough that the student can screw up and not pull for some considerable time longer than the 5 sec required and still be safe. On the other hand if they did hop n pops from a lot higher, say, 10000ft, they'd start to be a danger to other air traffic or jumpers exiting on a higher pass.