Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
A question for you instructors.....

 


Michele  (B 26874)

Jul 21, 2001, 5:38 PM
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A question for you instructors..... Can't Post

With no names (and no, it didn't happen to me), I want to ask your opinion as to a situation which occurred to a friend of mine.

The person it happened to is a student (level 5). This student has a spinning problem. This student's instructor let go of them, and the student started spinning really hard. The student looks around for their instructor, and the instructor is about 50-75 feet *below* the student. The student was unable to regain control, but upon opening, was fine. However, the instructor was nowhere near the student at any point after the release. When the student landed (a perfect stand up), they asked the instructor "where'd you go?" to which the instructor replied "you were spinning uncontrollably. And I could see you, so don't worry about it...." and then asked the student why they hadn't responded to the signals this instructor was giving. To which the student replied "you were too far away, I couldn't see any signals". The instructor asked why the student didn't pull early, to which the student replied "there were 10 tandems after me, and I didn't want to open early because of them".

The student is really ticked off. Keep in mind, though, that I only have this student's version as to what happened. Is this o.k.? I'm too new to know, and any time I have jumped my instructor stayed right with me (well, except for the time I lost Ed.....). And even when it posed a danger to Ed, when I was spinning, he grabbed my arm or my leg to stop me, so I could correct myself.

I was just curious as to your opinions as instructors.

Thanks-
ciel bleu-
Michele



Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jul 22, 2001, 9:38 AM
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Tough one Michele. It's hard to know what really happened if there wasn't video on the dive. Sometimes instructors "lose" students; that's part of why there are two jm's on the earlier levels. Skydiving instructors aren't all gods (regardless of what they might think of themselves Wink), and a spinning student can be very difficult to stay with, much less getting in there and stopping the spin.

Your friend needs to remember that no one (even an instructor) is always perfect in the air. This instructor just may be mentally kicking the shit out of him/herself right now over that jump.

It may have been scary for the student, but it sounds like he/she took care of the most important part of the skydive for him/herself - the main was opened without any assistance from the instructor.

In any event, I'd suggest that the student discuss the skydive with the school's chief instructor. And a trip to the wind tunnel to work on body position without having to worry about everything else that goes on during a real skydive might not be a bad idea either.

pull and flare,
lisa
----
I am a nobody.
Nobody's perfect.
Therefore, I am perfect!


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 23, 2001, 8:25 AM
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This Instructor let himself be hosed. These situations occur for several reasons. Freefall coaching is not for everyone and this guy might have just "eeked" through the course. More likely, though, is that he just got a bit lackadaisical and wasn't anticipating a problem. If you cannot stay close enough to stop a problem as it occurs, then you are just asking for it. A spinning student generally creates a ton of lift which, if not stopped IMMEDIATELY, can lead to that Instructor/Coach/JM not being able to catch up and help. I am on pins and needles when I jump with students. I ALWAYS anticipate getting hosed, so my head is where it should be. It is quite easy to stop a spin when you are on the same plane (or slightly above)the student, but impossible if you can't reach the student.

Chuck Blue
D-12501
SL-I, TM-I

Yes, your friend's "I" is most definitely kicking himself in the ass over this. My question is this: has the student always had a spinning problem? If so, he (or she) should have never progressed beyond level III.



skymedic  (C 33561)

Jul 23, 2001, 9:11 AM
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I am not an instructor(or even close) but did see video of one of my instructors attempting to stop a spinning student and get whacked in the head. he wasn't wearing a helmet(stupid on his part) and was knocked three ways from silly. he regained consciousness as he fell through 2,000 ft. I was just wondering if this other instructor was weary of endangering himself. (although it is his job to protect that student)

Marc
A-38578


Grogs  (D 24265)

Jul 23, 2001, 10:01 AM
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In reply to:
I am not an instructor(or even close) but did see video of one of my instructors attempting to stop a spinning student and get whacked in the head. he wasn't wearing a helmet(stupid on his part) and was knocked three ways from silly. he regained consciousness as he fell through 2,000 ft. I was just wondering if this other instructor was weary of endangering himself. (although it is his job to protect that student)
I'm not an AFF-I either, but I did have the pleasure of watching the AFF JM Course at our DZ last fall. Every single jump was videoed, and at the end of the course I got to watch every jump on a compilation video. In almost every dive the student went on his back, started spinning, or did both and the prospective JM's had to stop it. I don't think any of them enjoyed stopping the spin, but some students are going to get into a spin and they have to be able to stop it.

I just started doing coach jumps recently. I had a jump similar to that this weekend. He wasn't spinning (and I'm not supposed to stop him if he does) but he fell so fast I simply couldn't keep up with him. I swooped down and docked, but as soon as I released him he sank away again and we were never able to work on any exercises. I felt like a real ass for that one... so much so I actually asked manifest not to charge him for my lift ticket. I guess the point I'm trying to make is JM's are human beings too. They can make mistakes and get caught short on occasion.



PhillyKev

Jul 23, 2001, 11:20 AM
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In reply to:
I actually asked manifest not to charge him for my lift ticket
Wow...you make your students pay for you to go skiing??? That's a nice gig you got there for yourself Smile

cielos azules y cerveza fra

-Kevin


Michele  (B 26874)

Jul 23, 2001, 5:44 PM
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Hi, everyone.

I told the student to talk to the chief instructor, and as far as I know the 'dent did. I don't know what the resolution was, though. As for the spinning problem, I haven't got a clue as to how long this has been happening...could've been the first, may have been many times; I just dunno. Sorry.

Not being there, and not having a video tape to see (hah! as if I would know what I was looking at!!!) this 'dent's word is all I can take. All I know is how much I respect and admire you instructors, because you are (literally) flying for two for the first I don't know how many jumps. I know I have almost kicked Ed in the head several times. I made it a point to tell Rob (my JM on level 6) that I tended to have a lazy drift left, and that I dropped like a rock, and asked him to read my log book. I figured that way, he would know what I had been dealing with, and he would be as prepared as I could make him. He did, and we had a great jump.

I appreciate the advice. I have told this 'dent about coming here, and reading and posting, because of all the help I have gotten, as well as other people I tell about this place (like Kimmer).

Thanks a million, and ciel bleu-
Michele



Michele  (B 26874)

Jul 23, 2001, 5:46 PM
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Hi, everyone.

I told the student to talk to the chief instructor, and as far as I know the 'dent did. I don't know what the resolution was, though. As for the spinning problem, I haven't got a clue as to how long this has been happening...could've been the first, may have been many times; I just dunno. Sorry.

Not being there, and not having a video tape to see (hah! as if I would know what I was looking at!!!) this 'dent's word is all I can take. All I know is how much I respect and admire you instructors, because you are (literally) flying for two for the first I don't know how many jumps. I know I have almost kicked Ed in the head several times. I made it a point to tell Rob (my JM on level 6) that I tended to have a lazy drift left, and that I dropped like a rock, and asked him to read my log book. I figured that way, he would know what I had been dealing with, and he would be as prepared as I could make him. He did, and we had a great jump.

I appreciate the advice. I have told this 'dent about coming here, and reading and posting, because of all the help I have gotten, as well as other people I tell about this place (like Kimmer).

Thanks a million, and ciel bleu-
Michele



des  (F 372)

Jul 24, 2001, 5:08 AM
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skymonkeyone,
you must be one of the few aff instructors that has never been caught out by a spinning student.i've seen who i considered the best,caught out,(9000 jumps,world 8 way medalist)it can be impossible to anticipate, and reach incredible speeds in a few revs.i feel for this instructor, cos i've been there too,and it feels like shit!
i agree the only way is to stop it early(not as easy as it sounds),no-one has come up with an answer as yet ,god! i wish someone would ,we all know this is the most common problem in aff,and we know that relaxation is probably the answer.easy? not for a 3 or 5 jump student.
i personally know 3 people who took 30-50 jumps to complete aff,for this reason ,and who now are all very competent skydivers,(1 is an aff instructor).
michele,tell your friend to be aggressive,stop that turn before it starts.every student has a natural drift one way,left or right, make your 1st turn opposite to your drift,if you can do that,you can stop the opposite,unwanted turn.hope this helps.
des




Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 24, 2001, 2:09 PM
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In reply to:
one of the few aff instructors that has never been caught out by a spinning student.
First, to preface: I am not an AFF-I; I am an SL-I and TM-I. I failed the AFF cert course back in '92 because I was too busy shooting leg-locks practicing for a 4-way meet. That fact, of course, does not mean that I don't do FF work with students. I am with them, right off their side, for every jump from the first 15-SD until graduation and up to A-license. Do I take grips, stop spins, and all the other stuff a rated AFF guy does? You are god-damn right I do. I never planned to go back, until this year, because the majority of students I train are under the SL program. Now, with tandem progression, I feel I need the rating in order to be able to "legally" train students unilaterally. I have bought the course material and am just waiting for a break in the swoop-meet circuit in order to get to a course. I did not say that I had never been hosed by a spinning student floating up faster than I could react; that happened to me once ten years ago. I said that the instructor in question had been hosed; which he had. I was not belittling the man, nor you or anyone else; just stating a fact. Also, I promise you that 9000 jumps does not an instructor make. If all you have ever done is competion RW (which used to be my staple), then you are WAY more likely to get hosed by a student. Reason? Simple; your teamates would NEVER do anything like that. You KNOW that they are going to be right there after you crank that 540 to RH donut. You must be in a completely different mindset to deal with FF students. It took me a while to get that mindset. Another benefit for me is that I fly a lot in the Ft. Bragg wind tunnel and practice instructor drills. I have taken many a boot to the face in there doing spin drills, but will not hesitate to fly in and hook a leg when it simply must be done.

In reply to:
tell your friend to be aggressive,stop that turn before it starts
Absolutely. The problem lies when they just "can't figure it out", or will not respond to visual signals or learn from video debrief. Man, I wish I had that helmet-to-helmet commo system that I have seen on TV. THAT would be great. A spinning student, like Michelle's friend, isn't going to see any damn hand signals, especially from a guy 20 feet below him (or her). Hell, lots of time they don't see them when you are right in their face! LOL! Still, remedial training is definitely important. A wind tunnel would be of IMMENSE help to those students.

Chuck



des  (F 372)

Jul 25, 2001, 5:15 AM
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yeah, i know jump no's don't make an instructor,(or even a good skydiver)what i mean't was, he's the best aff inst i've ever seen,( and i've seen alot. 5 yrs in charge of aff at a busy dz.)my point was ,the best can still get caught out.
i know how this guy feels,and hope so does the dzo,and he doesn't suffer any castigation because of one mistake.
i think i also know something of what the student feels too.
he/she will probably need some confidence build up now.i'm sure there will be someone capable of this.
best wishes to all. des



Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 25, 2001, 9:47 AM
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In reply to:
i mean't was, he's the best aff inst i've ever seen
Understood. And yes, you are correct in saying that we have all been there, one way or another. It is our job as Instructors to get these people through the hard times, and thus, through the program and onto the fun stuff.

BSBD,
Chuck



ClayFowler  (A 36447)

Jul 25, 2001, 4:28 PM
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Not that anyone needed defending....but I just wanted to relate a little story. Dont have my log book in front of me but I believe it was either one of my 30 or 45 sec drills that Chuck was JMing me on. I was supposed to do a left 360 Right 360 and track. On Chuck's direction I executed the Right and then the left 360. He then gave me the signal to track and since we hadnt really discussed this portion other than that I needed to do it, I was going to make it easy on him I thought. I turned and tracked away for about 2 seconds. I brought my arms up and was turning around to track back when....I was a little startled that Chuck's smiling face was right in mine! He was close enough to touch me, as he should be. He then started turning points. Which I thought (because I hadnt done this yet) meant more beer for each point. Chuck...I dont think I ever told you but thats why I shook my head "no" after the first couple points...LOL. Thanks for the jump and introducing me to the sport. It has made me a better person. Granted dont take any of this "out of context" as fucking around with a student. All the JM's there knew I was confident from the get go an "easy student" I was just impressed that he stuck that close to me as all the other JM's didnt.




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