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Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away?

 

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CanEHdian  (B 4418)

Oct 11, 2002, 2:07 PM
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Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? Can't Post

Heard this story again the other day about an incident that happened at a local DZ this summer. A student had a spinning mal and the DZO who was doing radio did NOT instruct her to cut away... she rode it in and was injured. Those are the only details that I have on the incident itself.

What I'm confused about is that this instuctor/DZO has been telling people that he could not help, since he is "legally not allowed to instruct someone to cut away"... and so all he could do was watch her go in spinning... hoping she'd do the right thing - but didn't.

Does this make any sense? I'm having a hard time with it...

CanEHdian


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Oct 11, 2002, 2:31 PM
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

Legal or not I DID tell someone on radio to cutaway. They did. They landed safely and walked away. Does make you wonder though.

Chris


mattwhoo  (A License)

Oct 11, 2002, 4:09 PM
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thats one i have never heard. That's like not being able to tell a person to get out of the street before a truck hits them. I dont ever remember reading that one.


christoofar  (A 40633)

Oct 11, 2002, 4:35 PM
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What I'm confused about is that this instuctor/DZO has been telling people that he could not help, since he is "legally not allowed to instruct someone to cut away"... and so all he could do was watch her go in spinning... hoping she'd do the right thing - but didn't.

Does this make any sense? I'm having a hard time with it...

CanEHdian

No, it doesn't make any sense. You are taught on the ground to follow emergency procedures. She had a canopy that was not very landable. She should have used Plan B.

That argument for not asking the student to cutaway seems bizarre.

Playing devil's advocate, I can see why the DZO/Jumpmaster would NOT want to ask for a cutaway:

-If another student jumper in the air happens to get the same instruction on their radio receiver and are low to the ground... this could cause a fatality. Students are inclined to do what their jumpmasters tell them... and if they hear an instruction like this on their radio and it is NOT intended for them... disaterous results could occur.

-DZO/Jumpmaster wants to leave the decision to cutaway solely up to the student. The waiver should protect the DZ from liability, I'm guessing the DZO is taking a liability precaution.


winddrift1  (C 3906)

Oct 12, 2002, 12:50 AM
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Re: [christoofar] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

If another student jumper in the air happens to get the same instruction on their radio receiver and are low to the ground... this could cause a fatality. Students are inclined to do what their jumpmasters tell them... and if they hear an instruction like this on their radio and it is NOT intended for them... disaterous results could occur.



I agree with you. One of the things that we do at our DZ is to keep tell the student to LOOK UP AND CHECK YOUR PARACHUTE. In class we teach them to look upand check your parachute we tell them to say to them self Is it there. Is it square or rectangle. Is it controllable. I know it's not much but thats the best we could come up with if anyone has a better way please reply. It's hard when your on the radio and can't help the person thats having a malfunction some times I wonder if there is only one person in the air should you tell them there having a malfunction and then I wonder when the radio operator will say it when there is more then one parachute in the air that would be a bad thing.


drenaline  (C License)

Oct 12, 2002, 1:00 AM
Post #6 of 75 (3763 views)
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Re: [winddrift1] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
One of the things that we do at our DZ is to keep tell the student to LOOK UP AND CHECK YOUR PARACHUTE. In class we teach them to look upand check your parachute we tell them to say to them self Is it there. Is it square or rectangle. Is it controllable.
Same here, we do a lot of emergency practice before going to the plane.

Our instructor told us that the radio is a back up and that after ground school we would be fully prepared for emergency and we should not expect him to tell us to cutaway.


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Oct 12, 2002, 1:16 PM
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know it's a little mealymouthed, but an alternative I've heard at a couple of DZs is "Exercise your emergency procedures."

And it's always better to have only one radio student at a time, even if it costs a second pass.

HW


fred  (A 44905)

Oct 12, 2002, 1:19 PM
Post #8 of 75 (3715 views)
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What I'm confused about is that this instuctor/DZO has been telling people that he could not help, since he is "legally not allowed to instruct someone to cut away"...

If the DZO is more concerned about his own liability than my life, I'd think about heading to a different dropzone.

I agree, however, that the student shouldn't have relied on the radio to tell her to cutaway. It's the student's decision, and hopefully ground prep would have prepared her for that possibility.


Bruno

Oct 12, 2002, 4:14 PM
Post #9 of 75 (3698 views)
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

generally speaking.
from the ground you don't know how the situation is. If the person has lines wrapped with his leg, is better, at altidude, to try to clear before to cut. if you immediately order a cutaway, things can became worse.
Of course when you see a student doing nothing and going too low you must order something.
Bruno


RichM  (D 100226)

Oct 12, 2002, 6:24 PM
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've recently completed the UK Basic Instructor course and it is quite clear that we do not instruct students to cut away.

There are 3 main arguments that I have established but please correct me if I am wrong. They are presented in no particular order.
- The person under the canopy is in by far the best position to assess the canopy as per their significant and repetitive ground training. They are 15 ft away from it, we are at least 2000ft.
- There is often more than 1 student in the air and an instruction to cutaway may result in simultaneous cutaways by 7 students or more, some may be below survivable height.
- If an instructor gives a command and the student dies or is injured there is sadly a significant chance that it will be dragged through the courts in a negligence case. Whether the case is won or lost it will cause serious financial and operational burden on the DZ, CCI and instructor concerned. Too many of these and skydiving will cease to be financially viable for many DZ's.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 12, 2002, 11:45 PM
Post #11 of 75 (3652 views)
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

>A student had a spinning mal and the DZO who was doing radio did
> NOT instruct her to cut away...

I will never tell a student to cut away. If I think they have a mal I will tell them "Check your canopy; if it doesn't pass a control check you know what to do." I don't tell them to cut away because a) you can't tell a released brake from a tension knot 4000 feet away, b) you might just get that guy at 200 feet to cut away (same frequency) c) you can't rely on radios for emergency procedure advice.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Oct 12, 2002, 11:48 PM
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Re: [fred] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

>If the DZO is more concerned about his own liability than my life,
>I'd think about heading to a different dropzone.

Most are. A DZ where the DZO was more concerned with keeping you alive than just keeping himself from being sued would be quickly boycotted. Would you jump at a DZ that required large 7-cells, AAD's, RSL's, and outlawed large RW, freeflying, skyboarding and hook turns of any type? Because if a DZO's first priority is to keep you alive, that's the sort of stuff you will experience.


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Oct 13, 2002, 6:41 AM
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Re: [billvon] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Most are. A DZ where the DZO was more concerned with keeping you alive than just keeping himself from being sued would be quickly boycotted.

Ummmm....am I reading this right?

Chris


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Oct 13, 2002, 9:24 AM
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Re: [diverdriver] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

Three points:
First, students should be responsible for their own lives. If they are not bright enough to decide - on their own - that a parachute is not landable, then they should not be in the air. Far too few people are willing to take responsibility for their own actions these days. Depending upon a radio instructor to tell you whether or not to cutaway is a cop out.
Secondly, billvon made a good legal point. It is a sad state of affairs that nowadays some decisions are based more on the risk of a lawsuit than the health of the participant.
Finally, radios are inherently unreliable. A couple of weeks ago, I had a student hanging under a mostly-inflated main that was turning faster than I would want to land. I was worried that maybe he had a tension knot that was causing a turning problem. I was tempted to tell him to cutaway, but bit my tongue instead. He eventually made a soft landing, in the correct field, on his own. After landing he complained that he heard so much chatter from a nearby trucking company that he could not understand what I was saying on the radio. The worst thing I could have done in that situation was tell him to cutaway from a good main canopy.
Besides, it is against company policy to tell students to cutaway.


NtheSeaOrSky  (Student)

Oct 13, 2002, 2:02 PM
Post #15 of 75 (3586 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just to add another point of view....
On my last radio assisted jump, there were 2 of us (students) on the load. I was doing a solo, the other jumper his graduation dive. The winds aloft were kickin, so we were insructed upon opening to face into the wind and stay until down below the upper winds else we would be blow into the next town. During the dive, as I pulled, I saw the other jumper (spinning like a top) and his jumpmaster fall past, and I remember thinking gosh that sucks (as I had my own spinning issues during the progression). I did my controlability check and faced into the wind. Immediately after, what I heard was a frantic "cutaway NOW", and I looked down going WTF is going on down there?!?!? in time to see the main float away as a reserve inflated. The student landed in a nearby field and was ok. Once I landed, I was curious as to what happened...well he lost alti awareness in the turns and pulled as the cypress fired. The ground person saw the reserve "bucking up the main lines" so he instructed to cutaway.
In this particular scenario, given the proximity to the ground, and an obviously unaware student, do you think the instruction to cutaway was a wrong one??
(Oh, and he claims he said that students name before the 'cutaway' command, but I swear I never heard it)


(This post was edited by NtheSeaOrSky on Oct 13, 2002, 2:03 PM)


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Oct 13, 2002, 5:37 PM
Post #16 of 75 (3553 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

Billvon said originally:
Quote:
Most are. A DZ where the DZO was more concerned with keeping you alive than just keeping himself from being sued would be quickly boycotted.

Then Riggerrob said:

Quote:
Secondly, billvon made a good legal point. It is a sad state of affairs that nowadays some decisions are based more on the risk of a lawsuit than the health of the participant.

Ok. I'm reading Billvon's words as the DZO would be boycotted if he was MORE worried about the safety of the participant than a lawsuit. My question is...did I read this correctly because according to you it is not what he meant. Bill, can you clearify that for me?

Chris


(This post was edited by diverdriver on Oct 13, 2002, 5:39 PM)


Scoby  (A 41205)

Oct 13, 2002, 5:58 PM
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Re: [diverdriver] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Ok. I'm reading Billvon's words as the DZO would be boycotted if he was MORE worried about the safety of the participant than a lawsuit. My question is...did I read this correctly because according to you it is not what he meant. Bill, can you clearify that for me?

I think I understand what Bill was getting at with his reply. If safety was the number one concern, then DZOs wouldn't allow small canopies, hook turns, and all sorts of other things. However, that wouldn't be acceptable to most skydivers. Safety is important, but if it were our main concern, we wouldn't be even skydiving. Safety is a relative thing, and we make a tradeoff between safety and fun everytime we gear up and get on a plane. Were a dropzone too heavily skewed towards the former, the latter would suffer and skydivers would go elsewhere.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 13, 2002, 10:19 PM
Post #18 of 75 (3512 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

>Ummmm....am I reading this right?

Not sure how you're reading it. If there was a DZO that placed keeping all the jumpers at his DZ alive above all other considerations, no one would want to jump there. Would you be willing to have a DZO require you to jump a .9 to 1 Spectre, because he wants you to be as safe as possible? How about a DZO that does not allow you to jump in winds over 10 kts or under 5 kts? (to prevent landing direction confusion, of course.) How about a DZ that allows only belly 2-ways, to reduce the risk of freefall collisions? I suspect such a DZ would not be very popular.

However, history has shown that if a DZO doesn't care about being sued (i.e. he doesn't use waivers, he promises students they will not get hurt) then he will go out of business pretty quickly. Consequently, most DZO's are more concerned with ensuring they will not go out of business than making sure you can't hurt yourself - rightly, I think. The business (and its protection) is his responsibility; your safety is _your_ responsibility.


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Oct 14, 2002, 6:56 AM
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Re: [billvon] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

If he wants to be "safe as possible" then he won't open a DZ to begin with.

I guess I'm confused how this supports the "don't tell them to cutaway" topic of the thread. Ok, I'm just gonna go back and reread everything cuz I seem to have missed something.

I agree with the reasons for not telling a student to cutaway. Those are good reasons. I just said in my situation that I did tell a guy to cutaway because if he had landed the canopy in the configuration that he was in he very well could have gotten seriously injured or killed landing on some houses, trees, dirt mound, etc.....

I guess my point is that it can not be a hard and fast rule. And a DZO had better have someone on the radio that they trust to talk to students. Two cases: Mine where I told the student to cutaway and they walked away from the landing and another where another skygod JM was talking to the student who refused to tell the student to cutaway when I suggested it. She was obviously out of control and not getting better and only getting lower. She snapped her femur in two. I had to go pick that girl up...well, just be with her until paramedics got there. Each case there was only one student in the air on the radio. Both times it was obvious they didn't have conrol and if they landed what they had they would get seriously hurt if not killed. At the time I told (and suggested) a cutaway they had plenty of altitude to perform a cutaway.

I just don't feel that it is a hard and fast rule but there are very REAL reasons why you should not tell a student on radio to cutaway. That's all.

Chris Schindler


nacmacfeegle  (D 11004)

Oct 14, 2002, 7:25 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

There is another consideration here....Not that the above are wrong, this is merely supplemental to the good reasons already discussed.

If a student is 'expecting' to hear a cutaway instruction and doesn't for whatever reason hear it there may be a propensity to hold on to that malfunction longer than necessary.


GrumpySmurf  (C 32988)

Oct 14, 2002, 1:50 PM
Post #21 of 75 (3371 views)
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have seen an instructor tell a student to chop, a couple of years ago (in Canada as well), he basically said, "You know what to do, cut it away." Think it was a line over, cuz it was right after he openned that the instruction was given.

My feeling is that the students safety outweights any silly conception of what is 'law'. Even if it means changing the wording to, "You know you can't land it, do what we taught you."


Samurai136  (D 26609)

Oct 14, 2002, 5:34 PM
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Re: [GrumpySmurf] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have instructed a Static line student to cut away via radio.

1. He was the only student in the air on radio.
2. It was his first stable clear and pull; 5 sec delay.
3. He spent so much time trying to be "stable" that he pulled at the same instant the AAD activated.
4. In a 2-out situation I observed his main go into a downplane and he did not cut away immeadiately.

I instructed him by name that his main was in a down-plane and to cut away. No immeadiate response. I instructed him to pull his right handle until the all the yellow line was pulled from the housing. He cut away. I told him to take a safe landing in the cornfield and we'd be right there to pick him up.

In any other 'emergency' situation I wouldn't give emergency procedure instruction on the radio.


Ken


fred  (A 44905)

Oct 15, 2002, 10:58 PM
Post #23 of 75 (3259 views)
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Re: [Samurai136] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

If a student's still under canopy, and they're in a situation that clearly calls for a cutaway, then it is the instructors responsibility to instruct the student to cutaway. If the only reason an instructor wouldn't say something is because, "Hey, I might be sued." ... Well, it's one of the few cases where I think an instructor should be sued. It is gross negligence.

I agree with others, though, that there may be legit reasons why an instructor wouldn't want to recommend a cutaway. Another student on the same frequency, lower to the ground, for instance. But I think, "Student number 4, if you cannot control your canopy, you should cutaway" is still generally safe.

All I have a problem with is the idea that some instructor wouldn't instruct a student to cutaway for the sole reason that their ass may be on the line.


freakshow  (A 43831)

Oct 15, 2002, 11:34 PM
Post #24 of 75 (3251 views)
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Re: [CanEHdian] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know this was debated extensively before I got to post and I read most of them. Just wanted to throw out that we had an incident at our dz last weekend where a student was collapsing his canopy doing practice flares. The instructor on the radio said are you sure that's a good canopy more then once. He was thinking malfunction cut away kid but if he would have said cut away he might have and really there was no need for it. Long way of saying the student was a lot closer to the canopy and knew what was going on and had been instructed in emergency procedure in my opinion the instructor made the right call. It comes down to a student having to be able to save there own life if they have to.

B.L.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Oct 16, 2002, 7:57 AM
Post #25 of 75 (3224 views)
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Re: [fred] Radio instruction - can you tell them to cut away? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If a student's still under canopy, and they're in a situation that clearly calls for a cutaway, then it is the instructors responsibility to instruct the student to cutaway.

You base that on which regulation or course material?


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