Sounds like he has to be checked out by an instructor, and they're either busy with tandems, or not there. So he's cooling his heels at the DZ without getting to do anything.
To the OP -- you can try calling to make a formal appointment with an instructor, so that they know you're coming. Or you can just ask manifest how you can go out and NOT waste your time.
BUT: as a student, the more time you spend at the dropzone, the more you'll be jumping. And, as a low-timer, you're more at the mercy of winds, so you'll spend more time sitting down. But that gets better as you get jumps.
So make yourself known in manifest; remind them periodically that you're interested in getting checked out so that you can jump at that DZ (thereby spending money).
And whether instructors are required to be there regardless of the student load is up to each DZ.
There are a good number of instructors that only do Tandems... Just like the converse is true as well. Many times the instructor is multi rated and/but if they are doing Tandems, I am guessing this is partly due to the way the DZ has it set up. In effect they, the instructors, are doing what they are told...
I would talk with the DZ and find out when they have instructors or coaches available. You are noting 40 jumps. I am guessing that you dont have an "A" license by the question. I hope that you are working on getting your A license card filled out if you dont have a license.
Again depending on what you are looking to accomplish, talk to the DZ and see what/when the availability to meet those needs is. Also you are listed as being in the New York area, look at other options in terms of DZ's... If you have in the 40 jump range you should have a log book with some of the completed skills you have towards getting licensed. You should be able to move to another DZ that may give you what you want as well.
I am kinda like Phree in that the question is not completely clear as some of the holes need to get filled in but the DZ usually has a good bit of say in how the staff is utalized.
(This post was edited by sdctlc on Jul 3, 2007, 2:03 PM)
I am not easily upset or offended, and since I understand you are probably frustrated and do not know what you are talking about there is not need for me to get upset. But I know a lot of awfully good instructors that do teach students, and work very hard at being the best solo freefall instructors they can be and give years of their lives dedicated to that aspect of the sport. Just because you have had an experience in your small corner of the world there is no need to make such degrading generalizations because there are some very good people that do their best because they do give a damn about teaching students and the future of this sport...
You said your experiences were MANY DZ's, including PA. If you are coming to PA, get to Chambersburg. You can't spit without hitting a coach here. Most of the AFF instructors and coaches are not TMs. Depending on what you need, you may not have to pay for a coaching jump. But why don't you have a license yet, with 40 jumps?
Contrary to popular opinion some instructors actually have a life besides the dropzone!! I live an hour away but if there is an appointment on the book we make it a point have someone available. I have had students hours late, not show (even with a deposit), or expect me to sit for hours because the "sunset load is so pretty". For me to be at the DZ at 8:00 I get up at 5:00 so I can feed all the animals at my ranch and leave by 7:00. Sometimes during the summer I don't get home till after 8:00 and then I spend another hour helping my wife feed. I eat dinner and get back up at 5;00 for the next day!!If you don't make an appointment I won't know your coming and you will have to wait or go home. Instructors get paid per jump and if we don't know your coming we will attend to the same life details that you take care of on your days off.
Personal Information Real Name: John Elliott Location: North America/United States/New York City: Buffalo Occupation: Student Interests: Private Pilot, Sky and SCUBA Diver, Equestrian, Rock Climber, Skier, etc... A.S., B.S., M.S., MD/PhD (student) Email: JohnBear14213@Yahoo.com Jump Profile Home DZ: No home dropzone entered. Number of Jumps: 41 Years in Sport: 2 Disciplines of Choice: Freeflying (40 jumps)
Gear Container: No container entered. Main Canopy: No main entered. Reserve Canopy: No reserve entered. AAD: No AAD entered. Forum Activity Status: Registered User Registered: Mar 1, 2006, 5:38 PM Last Logon: Jul 5, 2007, 7:17 AM Local Time: Jul 5, 2007, 3:09 PM Posts: 20 (0.0 per day)