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Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers

 

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Trae  (Student)

Jan 3, 2006, 8:39 PM
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It appears to me that there is a definite lack of responsible leadership in our sport. 'GO FOR IT'....'GO FAST" .... "JUST DO IT" these are the leaders mottos of our current crop.

IT's ALL GOOD........such motto sprouting people must have their heads up their dark places.

eg's of irresponsible leadership and self regulation.

eg1 newbies having unrestricted access to high performance canopies.

This is like giving a baby a loaded hairtrigger handgun.Crazy Who's idea was it to have a free reign for inexperienced people to use whatever gear their inexperience tells them to.???

eg 2 AFF pushing students through the course too quickly not allowing time for newbies to absorb sufficient information.

30 jump people with sabres chopping up the sky is who's delusional dream other than the manufavctureres ???? Just because you've finished your AFF doesn't mean you know how to skydive responsibly.

eg 3 Low jump number people let loose on the wingsuiting world by low jump number BMi instructors.

I've really enjoyed being told how to skydive by a 6month 300 jump wonder who couldn't even spot....NOT.

eg 4 self regulation has done very little about cutting down on the canopy control fatalities issue.

Can our regulators and leaders be trusted to have our best interests at heart.??

From their track record I think NOT.

Who's gonna put the brakes on ... it won't be the Go For It crowd that's for sure ..especially with the smell of blood in the air.

Dodging speedy wicked little drugged up skydivers is getting VERY boring.

Who's got some sense out there.....GET IN CHARGE.

Angelic


(This post was edited by Trae on Jan 3, 2006, 8:41 PM)


happythoughts  (D License)

Jan 3, 2006, 8:45 PM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, millions, even billions of skydivers are dying daily and you've done nothing about it. I see that you accept no responsibility for this.

Groan. Crazy


micro  (A 49033)

Jan 3, 2006, 9:02 PM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

what exactly are you going to do about this?


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jan 3, 2006, 9:25 PM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm trying to do my part.Smile

Don't know if I've done any good. Maybe some people listen. Some don't.


AFFI  (D 25538)

Jan 3, 2006, 9:26 PM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

It is understandable to recognize the points make by Trae are valid, on the other hand there are also the need to identify and bring to the surface that there are instructors and leaders in the skydiving field that are quite safety oriented and do lead by example. The lack of responsibility for safety is a two sided coin as there are many students and low time jumpers who are not as teachable as they could be. I have experienced this on the high school football field, racing high performance motorcycles, in survival training and on the firing range or even the playground. Some individuals are teachable and have a desire to learn, to be the cream that rises to the top and some are not.

We are responsible as individuals to decide which examples we will follow in life.

Don Yharling was an individual that I often consulted for advice and he was always willing to take time to reply in detail and he assisted me is becoming a better instructor. I once sent Don a list of things that bothered me about similar issues Trae raised, below is his reply to me and was the shortest reply he ever sentÖ

Hi, Mykel,
(Concerning your complaints about the leadership in skydiving)
Re: USPA- perhaps thereís an echo in here. Now that youíve vented, Iíll send along a bill for ĎMisc. ConsultationĒ- we all have our figurative crosses to bear. Iíll deal with mine, you deal with yours.
There was a BOD Meeting last week- didnít see your name on the agenda. Perhaps next time, assuming that youíre RD canít convey your concerns directly to USPA.
Iím still here, as always, willing to listen, intolerant of error.
Sílong for now,
Don

This particular note from Don helped me to undertstand that I need to do what I can in my little corner of the world, to make skydivers who are willing to learn beter and safer skydivers...

Thanks Don for always being willing to enhance my perception and give me thought provoking ideas.


(This post was edited by AFFI on Jan 3, 2006, 9:33 PM)


Ron

Jan 3, 2006, 9:40 PM
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Trying to do my part...It gets old people with 100 jumps telling me I have no clue about skydiving since I dont' know them and their skills.Crazy


AFFI  (D 25538)

Jan 3, 2006, 9:53 PM
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Re: [Ron] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Trying to do my part...It gets old people with 100 jumps telling me I have no clue about skydiving since I dont' know them and their skills.Crazy

Ron, do you remember when we had LIFE all figured out?

Young, dumb and full of testosterone?

Remember to consider the source, and that we must pick and choose our battles in life - but I feel ya brother...


(This post was edited by AFFI on Jan 3, 2006, 10:10 PM)


NelKel  (D 25024)

Jan 3, 2006, 10:00 PM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

Dodging speedy wicked little drugged up skydivers is getting VERY boring.
<<<<<


Sweet, think I gonna make it my sig line.Tongue


bodypilot1  (D 16037)

Jan 3, 2006, 10:09 PM
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In reply to:
Hi, Mykel,
(Concerning your complaints about the leadership in skydiving)
Re: USPA- perhaps thereís an echo in here. Now that youíve vented, Iíll send along a bill for ĎMisc. ConsultationĒ- we all have our figurative crosses to bear. Iíll deal with mine, you deal with yours.
There was a BOD Meeting last week- didnít see your name on the agenda. Perhaps next time, assuming that youíre RD canít convey your concerns directly to USPA.
Iím still here, as always, willing to listen, intolerant of error.
Sílong for now,
Don


What a great reply from Don, rest his soul....

Too many times people complain of things they do not care to get involved in enough to fix the problems, nor do they elaborate on details they are complaining about.

Get involved and do something about it. Wink


Be safe
Ed


Trae  (Student)

Jan 3, 2006, 10:52 PM
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in reply to 'Iím still here, as always, willing to listen, intolerant of error.
Sílong for now,
Don
.............................

Nice reply .
I suppose bringing this up here is a bit of a bleat into nothingness but already it feels a bit better having a bleat.

I've just had to watch another skydiver die from hitting the ground too hard under a perfectly good canopy sold to him by a perfectly good company. resuscitate ????.......the guys legs were hanging out his ears.

If this was just an unusual accident then sure some of the less caring replies to my concerns may be quite reasonable. The thing is it's not unusual at all and nothing seems to be being done about it. The skydiver misjudged his landing.etc etc etc etc etc etc

No-ones responsible for it that's the problem what I'm getting at.
A perfectly good life is lost just because some irresponsible pace setters make out it's all acceptable, Acceptable risk. unacceptable behaviour. And there's no leader big enough to say enough is enough ...... this is no longer acceptable in a caring world.

What am I gonna do about it?????

I encourage my students to stick with a nice slow parachute until around 100 jumps . If they exhibit dangerous tendencies then they'll be going that much slower and won't be such a danger to the rest of us either.

I had my crashes as a young un and was grounded for much less than what passes for OK now . I lived because my parachute only went about 30mph. If I'd been under a pocket rocket I'd be a statistic not a pain in the proverbial .

It appears that todays leaders don't have the responsible attitudes that they should have given their positions of power and influence. Of course there are many exceptions to this. Unfortunately they are usually a very small voice lost in the winds of change.

Where is the reward for proving safe consistent behaviour. ? HP canopies could be just such a reward ..after proving yourself as a responsible skydiver ...not just by flashing plastic.$$

Be at the next USPA meeting and voice my concerns????? Why should I have to??? What's happened to the voice of reason .?
My guess is it's been replaced with $$$$$$$ talking.

ho hum it was a beautiful funeral .........again.
Angelic


NelKel  (D 25024)

Jan 3, 2006, 11:10 PM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

Hay man I hear you, I know what you mean.

This is the deal, after 25 jumps they stop listning to the voice of reason, us. They start listning to the call for danger, just like their hero's who are pictured in the magazines.

When they were students they hung on every word we said, after 25 they start listning to the little voice inside that says "go faster, jump harded, turn lower"
I have been around for only 7 years and I can see the pattern you speak of. I do not know how to correct it.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jan 3, 2006, 11:11 PM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

>Who's got some sense out there.....GET IN CHARGE.

People will reply "why should I have to?"

It's easy to criticize what's going on. It's a lot harder to effect change. I've been trying to get a canopy coach rating into the SIM for three years now; no luck yet. Even when people on the BOD are pushing too, there's a lot of inertia.

Which means that EVERYONE has to push. When people say "why should I have to do anything?" then nothing will ever get done. When they start putting their money where their mouth is, we will start to see change.


AFFI  (D 25538)

Jan 3, 2006, 11:15 PM
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Re: [NelKel] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I do not know how to correct it.

One little piece at a time...

Have you ever seen a 16 year old driving a Vette? Same difference.

We can only do what we can do and we are all here to do what we are here to do...
Some of us are here to die so that others can learn and live...

Bill, you got a petition to sign?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jan 3, 2006, 11:21 PM
Post #14 of 117 (2901 views)
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>Bill, you got a petition to sign?

I've gone that route before. USPA will say "Thanks so much! We'll sure take this under advisement." I suppose it's worth a try though.


AFFI  (D 25538)

Jan 3, 2006, 11:29 PM
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Re: [billvon] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me know how I can help.


FrogNog  (C 34484)

Jan 3, 2006, 11:34 PM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

The problem is within most of us. We jump what we want to, which may not be what we should. Some of us have enough experience and risk tolerance to make this OK (even when it ends badly due to chance - always a factor to some degree) but it's not obvious to strangers who has experience and risk tolerance and who does not.

One solution is a nanny state. This does seem to work fairly well for the first 25 jumps or so. Currently it falls apart after that.

Another solution is to make people want to be safe. The problem here is it's hard to force anyone to want anything.
I want to not wear a cast again, shower on one foot, ask strangers to carry my lunch tray, and get fat, depressed, and weak.

But does anyone have any idea how to get other people to want to go slower and be smarter?

As an aside: Trae's mention of the "Go Fast" energy drink slogan brings to mind Red Bull: it gives you wings. Hope it doesn't give you a harp too! Tongue


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Jan 3, 2006, 11:56 PM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

I see a bunch of generalities here:
Quote:
eg's of irresponsible leadership and self regulation.

who? Where? USPA traiing doctrines, BSR's and such all look pretty good to me. self regulation is NOT a bad thing

Quote:
eg1 newbies having unrestricted access to high performance canopies.

This is like giving a baby a loaded hairtrigger handgun.Crazy Who's idea was it to have a free reign for inexperienced people to use whatever gear their inexperience tells them to.???

eg 2 AFF pushing students through the course too quickly not allowing time for newbies to absorb sufficient information.

30 jump people with sabres chopping up the sky is who's delusional dream other than the manufavctureres ???? Just because you've finished your AFF doesn't mean you know how to skydive responsibly.

eg 3 Low jump number people let loose on the wingsuiting world by low jump number BMi instructors.

I've really enjoyed being told how to skydive by a 6month 300 jump wonder who couldn't even spot....NOT.

Where? Not at any of the DZ's I see around here

Quote:
Can our regulators and leaders be trusted to have our best interests at heart.??

Are you blaming the regulators for the list of above problems that you apparently see? 'cause it sounds like a local issue to me

There is no 'Rule' that USPA can make that will necessarily stop anyone from buying a smaller high performance parachute and then seeking out a place to fly it.

sounds like you need to speak to your local DZO, 'cause it sounds like a local DZO problem.

Again I do not see what you speak of anywhere around our area.

TK


skydog  (D 567)

Jan 4, 2006, 5:43 AM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

I read this and, unfortunately, find myself agreeing on most of the things.

I ask if I can change things and also ask if its my responsibility.

I can give people information and advice, but what they choose do do with it is up to them.

I read in horror of a wingsuit flyer not knowing how to "cock" a pilot chute.

I pick up on things happening at my DZ and elsewhere on my travels and make my point.

I think of myself more as a shepherd rather than "my brother's keeper".

The stupid will always find new and interesting ways of killing themselves, I just make sure they are not killing me in the process.

Bryn


artistcalledian  (F 853862)

Jan 4, 2006, 6:17 AM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

freedom of choice i guess

would you also be in favour of not letting a 17 year old buy a Ferrari if he had the money?


lisamariewillbe  (A License)

Jan 4, 2006, 6:22 AM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

I just dont see this... maybe I have jumped at places that choose to go out and help, train, teach, guide etc etc and well I thought that was the normal progression of being a skydiver... I guess I was / am lucky... then again the Farm is different on so many levels I guess I should realize that the attention newbies get is different as well. I always hear the complaining on here about 100 jump wonders... Ive not seen that at my DZ Ive only seen one complete idiot but he had somewhere in the ball park of 500 ... I figured it had more to do with his age then anything else...


kallend  (D 23151)

Jan 4, 2006, 6:47 AM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Right. Let's put the FAA in charge of skydiving. TSA inspections before we're allowed on the plane.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jan 4, 2006, 7:25 AM
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In reply to:

Right. Let's put the FAA in charge of skydiving. TSA inspections before we're allowed on the plane.
I bet people would still get on the plane with their chest straps undone. TSA morons would probably open your reserve for 'inspection."


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jan 4, 2006, 8:25 AM
Post #23 of 117 (2675 views)
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
eg1 newbies having unrestricted access to high performance canopies.

This is like giving a baby a loaded hairtrigger handgun. Who's idea was it to have a free reign for inexperienced people to use whatever gear their inexperience tells them to.???

This wasn't an idea that anyone had, this was a situation that developed. Not too long ago, there were no dangerous canopies and regulation in that area wasn't needed. Canopies have evolved, training and regulation (in the US) has not.

Thats the reason. The situation still sucks.

Quote:
eg 2 AFF pushing students through the course too quickly not allowing time for newbies to absorb sufficient information.

30 jump people with sabres chopping up the sky is who's delusional dream other than the manufavctureres ???? Just because you've finished your AFF doesn't mean you know how to skydive responsibly

Pretty much the same situation as the canopy thing. Skydiving itself has evolved. You can progress faster,a nd do more sooner then you used to be able to.

Lets go way back to SL. You had 5 or so SL jumps, then who knows how many short delays leading up to a full skydive. Mix that with Cessnas, rounds, and the like, and you're moving at a slow pace.

Now a student can go from zero to A license in two weeks, provided the time and money. Beyond that they can rack up the jumps with back to backs, and a packer.

It doesn't suck, but it does present problems with inexperienced jumpers who think otherwise, and no real soluttio in sight.

The botom line is this: This is not the weekend club sport it was 20 years ago. I can be, but it can also be a fast paced, high performance, intense sport. Jumpers seem to want the best of both worlds.

They want the easy going attitude when it comes to training and regualtion, and then they want to turn around and spin points like Shannon Pilcher, or build big HD stuff like Mike Swanson, and then out swoop the both of them. It doesn't work that way.

If a guy wants to do SL at a Cessna DZ, and then do nothing bigger than a four way (remember it's a Cessna) and jump at 1.1 or less, then by all means, give them as much freedom as they want.

But all the jumpers who want to go big, they need to understand that skydiving isn't a game. Scrabble is a game, and think of how much fun Scrabble is. Now think of how much more fun skydiving is. Well, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and if you want big fun, it takes big effort.


KNewman  (C 37065)

Jan 4, 2006, 8:56 AM
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Re: [NelKel] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

Not all of us newbies stop listening. I will always listen to those who instructed me. I will not attempt anything new or try out new equipment without consulting my mentors first. My mentors made it very clear to me that my first priority is to gain experience first. I am perfectly happy with the equipment I am jumping now and have no desire to become a Speed Demon or a Hook Turner. I am content to fly my canopy out of the way and let everyone else land first. I will always be a "Student" as there is so much to learn in this sport. My first priority will always be my safety and the safety of those around me.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 4, 2006, 9:26 AM
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Re: [Trae] Lack of responsible leadership is killing skydivers [In reply to] Can't Post

The blame doesn't solely lie with USPA board members or manufacturers.

The blame lies with every skydiver who has ever told a new jumper "I did that and I survived, you'll be fine." The blame lies with every skydiver who has ever told a new jumper "just fly that 1.3 wingloading conservatively and you'll be fine." The blame lies with every skydiver who has ever told another jumper they "should be on something smaller." The blame lies with every skydiver who has given another jumper shit about flying a big parachute. The blame lies with every skydiver who insists that wingloadings under 1.0 are inherently unsafe. The blame lies with every jumper who tells a new skydiver that they will want to downsize after 20, 50, 100 jumps. The blame lies with every skydiver who has forgotten about all the things they didn't know when they had 50 jumps and makes gear recommendations based on their current experience level. The blame lies with every skydiver who says that canopy control courses are designed solely to pad the pockets of those jumpers who care enough about the future of our sport to put their time, money and effort into putting them on. The blame lies with every skydiver who tells a new jumper that those who preach conservative gear selection are "old school" and out of touch. The blame lies with every skydiver who says that big parachutes are boring.

The blame lies with each and every one of us, because at some point or another we've all contributed to the "go small, go fast" culture.

In reply to:
30 jump people with sabres chopping up the sky is who's delusional dream other than the manufavctureres ????

ZP is not the devil. I don't see an issue with novice jumpers flying Sabres, Spectres, etc. as long as they are loaded light enough that the novice can screw up and still walk away. ZP canopies flare and fly differently than do older, all F111 designs; you can get away with a very sloppy flare on an older design canopy. I think it's best to learn to fly and land zp early instead of waiting until a sloppy flare is ingrained into muscle memory.

Canopy manufacturers are giving the skydiving public what they want. Isn't that how successful businesses stay in business? Spend a few minutes talking to some of their employees and you'll see that most of them will do everything they can to keep novice jumpers away from canopies that are not suitable for them. The same is true of the majority of gear dealers.

Unfortunately, the same is not true of many people with pieces of paper that say they should know something. Ask any gear dealer how many times a novice jumper has told them their instructors recommended a 1.2 wingloading for a first main...

In reply to:
Just because you've finished your AFF doesn't mean you know how to skydive responsibly.

Just because you've got 500, 1000, 2000, 3000 skydives doesn't mean you know how to skydive responsibly either. The sport has changed in the past 20 years; those who refuse to change with it are just as hazardous to others as are those who let testosterone make their gear decisions for them.

In reply to:
Low jump number people let loose on the wingsuiting world by low jump number BMi instructors.

I've really enjoyed being told how to skydive by a 6month 300 jump wonder who couldn't even spot....NOT.

That 6 month, 300 jump wonder is probably far better in the air than I am. I'd even go so far to say that in many cases that 6 month, 300 jump wonder is a safer skydiver than I am - because he's very current and I'm not. Heck, for all we know that 6 month, 300 jump wonder may be an excellent instructor. I was told that I was an excellent instructor when I had 200 jumps and a year in the sport... I don't see a difference.

Who's responsible for that guy not knowing how to spot? The people who taught him to skydive. Spotting is still a part of what USPA says should be taught to students. This is not a failure of the "system", it's a failure of individual instructors.

In reply to:
self regulation has done very little about cutting down on the canopy control fatalities issue.

Can our regulators and leaders be trusted to have our best interests at heart.??

From their track record I think NOT.

I've been a big proponent of a wingloading BSR based on jump numbers for a few years now. Yes, I spent quite a bit of time bitching about it on these forums but I've also written letters to the S&T committee and talked face to face with USPA board members about it.

I think that they are listening. Take a look at the latest version of the SIM - there's a section in there that gives solid, conservative guidelines for jumpers to follow (and instructors to refer them to). This is progress.

Yes, progress has been slow and I think more still needs to be done, but I don't think that slow is neccessarily a bad thing. What we don't need is leadership that throws down regulation from on high without taking the time to be sure that said regulation is workable in the real world. I'd much rather have BOD members who have to be convinced of the need prior to taking action than have BOD members who will force feed us what they think is right.

In reply to:
Who's got some sense out there.....GET IN CHARGE.

You don't have to run for the BOD to be a part of the solution. You don't have to attend a BOD meeting to be part of the solution. Did you vote in the last USPA election? Have you let your regional director know how you feel? Have you let the S&T committee know how you feel?

If you aren't willing to do more than bitch about it on an internet forum you are as much a part of the problem as are those who continue to "advise" new jumpers to buy and fly canopies that are beyond their ability to fly and land safely.


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