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kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 19, 2007, 7:54 AM
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Other than the BMI, are there any other formalized wingsuit instructional programs?


piisfish

Jul 19, 2007, 8:04 AM
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PFI phoenix fly
FyBI Fly your Body


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 19, 2007, 8:11 AM
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Re: [kallend] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

I dont care too much about ratings from the formal side of things.

But I think rating can and should be a guideline, as to knowing the person who holds that rating is a good teacher/coach.
Both on the ground and in the air.

At the moment, there isnt a boogie you can go to, without 75% of all attendees having some form of a wingsuit rating.

Yet when you see most people fly, they cant even get a normal 2 way to fly together.

With all ratings (and not one excluded) there are people who work hard to get that rating. And can and wil definately give you your moneys worth when you decide to go up with them for an FJC, camerajump or coaching. Be that for free, at slotprice, or for an additional coaching/instruction/video fee.

But there's also a large bunch of people out there who didnt really earn that rating. And Im not even talking about an exam. Im just talking about having the skills as an instructor, which the rating they 'flash' indicates they have...

With some people having ratings from 5 years ago, and not having done anything to read up, learn or fly since then. Yes. There's people out there that may have helped setting up the dicipline 'back in the days', but shouldnt be a teacher anymore. And there are people who had their 'whatever' rating handed out over drinks, at a campfire or at an exitpoint somehwere.

But I still dont think thats a reason to just throw away the good intentions behind the rating. And especialy the whole rebelling against it.

As some point, it wil become clear who are good and bad teachers.
And who will give you coaching worth your money, and who not..
But sadly, that point is not here yet.

Every new manufacturer starting a new rating, instead of trying to work towards a non factory/manufacturer specific rating which is recognised worldwide (such as tandem/AFF etc), is definately not helping in making things clearer.

BMI, PFI, SFly-I, TonySuits, EG suits....tons of different ratings...and most of them are based on the same innitial rating system...

Although its going to be hell at first...I would cheer on an official rating system, that also specifies the organising/coaching skills level.

But then again...why even try, as most will be against it anyways...


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 19, 2007, 12:24 PM
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In reply to:
I dont care too much about ratings from the formal side of things.<Careful now this goes against a carefully crafted structure here to protect you.

There's people out there that may have helped setting up the dicipline 'back in the days', but shouldnt be a teacher anymore.< Who gets to decide this?



Every new manufacturer starting a new rating, instead of trying to work towards a non factory/manufacturer specific rating which is recognised worldwide (such as tandem/AFF etc), is definately not helping in making things clearer.

The money I pay a manufacturer is for the best quality product that they can produce shipped to me in a reasonable time frame-------Period! Squandering their resources politically chasing a world wide rating system for wingsuits would turn my stomach. You can always have the "ban the 270" committee do that once they are done with their current mission. They'll have nothing to do.

Money wasted on some wingsuiters who are sponsored with free or greatly reduced price wings is bad enough. Its even worse if these guys don't actively do anything to promote WS positively. You know who pays for their gear? Everybody that buys a suit for fair market price without thinking they are special.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 19, 2007, 12:56 PM)


Zoter

Jul 19, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Re: [VectorBoy] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree to an extent with JDam here...
I have seen a few people who seem to have put 'getting' a WS Instructor rating ahead of actually getting out there and being a good WS teacher...( teaching ability/WS skills/WS experience)...and I'm puzzled by it..
Why 'get' a rating if you have little desire to be out there every weekend...teaching ??
I have come across a few people with an Instructors rating who are OK WS pilots...but frankly are found wanting as WS teachers/Instructors compared to those who know what they are doing...
'Big fish' in a little pond syndrome....

I was lucky enough to receive my first wingsuit instruction from Jdam b4 he was offcially a BMI......I chose this route ahead of 'formal' Instruction over here with the local PFI/BMI because his ability /skills and enthusiasm to teach were already well apparant to me...and in my opinion seemed ahead of the game of those Instructors at the DZ's I went to.

Rather than 'get' an Instructor rating ( is it still a system where you pay to do the course ) I think a couple of Chief Instructors should be just awarding that to individuals who are demonstrating their ability and ALSO desire to teach others how to fly...
PFI/BMI etc etc...shouldnt be just a badge...its a 'working' title...

A more generic WS Instructors rating is a great idea...over here in the UK we have all sorts of 'stickers' for different disciplines except WS.....but I reckon thats coming...and along with it hopefully some sort of common rules(ability,currency,teaching ability) for the Instructors beyond just ...you have a manufacturers rating....you must be a good WS' teacher.
I think the top two manufacturers being the proactive people they are will support this fully.


(This post was edited by Zoter on Jul 19, 2007, 1:09 PM)


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 19, 2007, 2:39 PM
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Re: [Zoter] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

A more generic WS Instructors rating is a great idea...I think the top two manufacturers being the proactive people they are will support this fully.
If the bulk of the instructors out there now are not so hot ( according to you guys ) what in the world would lead you to believe that a governing body/ universal world level instructor would be any closer to ideal? Who do you think the applicants and the inspectors would be? It would be all of the same people it is now! In order for them to be better they are going to have to get better ( in due time).

More importantly focus on the fact that if the bulk of instructors we have now are not so hot ( as is being said ) we really never needed them to the extent we all thought. Hummmn. This is real old news to most of all of us BTW.

State one reason why any of the manufacturers should try and promote a universal instructor? Most know you don't need it. If you guys feel you need more governance and guidance you guys should push your governing body for it. AND be sure and leave the bulk of us, the ones that do this all the time Laugh , out of it. We don't need no stinking badges.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 19, 2007, 2:52 PM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 19, 2007, 3:04 PM
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Re: [mccordia] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I dont care too much about ratings from the formal side of things.

But I think rating can and should be a guideline, as to knowing the person who holds that rating is a good teacher/coach.
Both on the ground and in the air.

At the moment, there isnt a boogie you can go to, without 75% of all attendees having some form of a wingsuit rating.

Yet when you see most people fly, they cant even get a normal 2 way to fly together.

...

Ha! I made my first WS jump some three years ago, and my instructor (BMI rating) said I should exit first and fly straight ahead; he would then catch me and fly alongside giving pattern directions. I did just as he said but I never saw him again! He totally screwed up his exit and ended up way behind and below and never caught up. So I managed my own pattern. The next weekend he broke his leg while landing.

So I've often wondered about the value of a WS I rating.


JohanW  (D 86318)

Jul 19, 2007, 3:16 PM
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Re: [kallend] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

And my experience was completely different.

I got a training program beforehand, then a briefing, a suit and a plan, and when I executed that plan and was humming along the pattern nicely, my BMI and another jumper showed up at my right and left respectively, and I flew a 3-way on my first flight.

This BMI I believe got his rating before there was a formalised BMI program, and the other jumper never got a rating.

I just love n=1 experiments.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 19, 2007, 3:25 PM
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Re: [kallend] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

 
So I've often wondered about the value of a WS I rating.
Its a great value in that you get unsuspecting wanna-be Wingsuiter to pay for your jumps. In some cases you get the DZ to pay for your jumps while you organize WS for the boogie. The entire boogie could be travelled to and enjoyed cost free.
In the early days some instructors got free suits and I'm sure some still do.
Thats a street value of several thousand dollars.

I'm only picking on the frauds here. We should all be aware that there are individuals whom donate much more time, energy and resources than they received in order to promote the whole wingsuit experience. I'm not here to ridicule them, unless it turns out to be a slow work week.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 19, 2007, 3:26 PM)


Zoter

Jul 19, 2007, 5:23 PM
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Quote:
State one reason why any of the manufacturers should try and promote a universal instructor? Most know you don't need it. If you guys feel you need more governance and guidance you guys should push your governing body for it.

Thats what I'm saying....the USPA /BPA ...whatever introducing guidelines/min standards for wingsuiting competency and instruction outside of ( but encorporating the existing hard work done by) the manufacturers makes the standards more likely to be consistant and impartial.
I'm not saying anything about anything but have seen and read about individuals with what I would consider questionable experience being endorsed as an instructor by a manufacturer...in an area with 'limited' wingsuit instructor coverage.....read into that what you will....to me its wrong.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 19, 2007, 7:32 PM
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Re: [Zoter] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

 Zoter, you do realize in the begining there were no wingsuit instructors. You could get a WS shipped from the very few outfits that made them. Read the manual if there was one and fly. No problem.

The instructor program kind of evolved into a well thought out pyramid scheme to attract lots of eager flockers coming in with lots of cash, they in turn attracting more eager cash rich wanna flockers. It quickly devolved into what we have today when a great many people realized a scheme is a scheme and their cash could be used for more flights to actually get better and not wasting it on someone who actually does not fly that well but are there to make you feel better about a FFC.

A few other companys were forced to have an instructor program even though not all do. The fact that the "structure" started out as a pyramid scheme didn't stop it from being used as a PR tool. " Look at us we have a certified safe instructor program and the others don't".

Who cares about instructors. This discipline needs trusty organizers with the equivalance of 10,000 wingsuit jumps experience. It needs events worthy of gathering the interested and skilled together so that there can be growth. Having an instructor specification governed by large organizations will not do anything to promote the above. Maybe you might actually end up with a fraction of the instructors we have today. The remaining instructors will be to busy or tired to bring the spare suits to your out of the way boogie. Thats not progress.


bodypilot1  (D 16037)

Jul 19, 2007, 10:33 PM
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In reply to:
Who cares about instructors. This discipline needs trusty organizers with the equivalance of 10,000 wingsuit jumps experience. It needs events worthy of gathering the interested and skilled together so that there can be growth. Having an instructor specification governed by large organizations will not do anything to promote the above. Maybe you might actually end up with a fraction of the instructors we have today. The remaining instructors will be to busy or tired to bring the spare suits to your out of the way boogie. Thats not progress.

Glen, your such a Rebel......Laugh Get back to work Cupcake.Tongue


Be safe
Ed


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Jul 20, 2007, 8:38 AM
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Re: [VectorBoy] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

So if you are interested in WS would you take the course or read, read, read (as I have) and just go make a first flight yourself?


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 20, 2007, 8:44 AM
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Re: [mnskydiver688] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So if you are interested in WS would you take the course or read, read, read (as I have) and just go make a first flight yourself?

Knowing plenty of stories of people who did the read, read, read, and still had some bad hickups on their first jump that could have been prevented had someone given them a good 1st flight course..

Id say yes...1st hand instruction from a capable person is always 10x better then reading...

reading about a flight patern, or having someone 'walk' it with you can already be the difference between understanding it or being lost in the sky.
Maybe not for you, but plenty of low-jump-number-ahead-of-the-curve-heads-up-firsttimers out there who probably wont grasp every aspect of wingsuit flight that well from reading it in a book.

Next to the fact that a lot of the unofficial 'reading material' available online is not always the best advice possible...


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Jul 20, 2007, 9:07 AM
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I am getting off subject, but I am wondering about gear requirements. I have read about the longer bridle and larger PC (F111 or ZP?) but, I have an older container, (Flexon) and am wondering if a container with less than stellar riser covers would be acceptable? I got new risers with hard housings for the cutaway cables and that isn't helping with keeping the risers in check. I would prefer to not have to buy a new rig, but rather spend my money on a wingsuit and jumps.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 20, 2007, 9:11 AM
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Re: [mnskydiver688] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So if you are interested in WS would you take the course or read, read, read (as I have) and just go make a first flight yourself?

Should have, could have, knowing what I know today absolutely would have!

My experience was a lot like Kallend's, the instructor was never seen again after exit. All of my friends did not pay an instructor we were all fine. It was quite a few jumps later that we would run into another flyer who had more ability than ourselves in a wingsuit. That was due to having thousands of jumps of world class experience and not in a wingsuit. It was all FF/tracking.

It would be years before we ran into someone who was better due to being a rated WS instructor.

How well someone does on their first WS flight has much more to do with what kind of skydiver/athlete they are more so than what their instructor brings. If you are not that good then maybe you need some help.

I know people that, without any instruction, have done superbly and still set a benchmark. And by the same token jumpers who have had extensive pre training, First flight specific training and many follow up coach jumps with very capable instructors but still are very weak in wingsuits.


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 20, 2007, 9:20 AM
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Re: [mnskydiver688] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

 I would prefer to not have to buy a new rig, but rather spend my money on a wingsuit and jumps.
Then do it! You won't need freefly -speed- safe gear. Anything that is good enough for RW will work. I have an 18 year old back up rig with fresh velcro for wingsuiting. Several guys use larger, older rigs to stuff their big base canopy in. Works great.

But just about any used container now will be modern enough to use even for FF. Our old stuff is so old we can't even sell it,.... why not use it?


The111  (D 29246)

Jul 20, 2007, 9:22 AM
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In reply to:
How well someone does on their first WS flight has much more to do with what kind of skydiver/athlete they are more so than what their instructor brings. If you are not that good then maybe you need some help.

I know people that, without any instruction, have done superbly and still set a benchmark. And by the same token jumpers who have had extensive pre training, First flight specific training and many follow up coach jumps with very capable instructors but still are very weak in wingsuits.

Glen, you keep referring to how "well" people do with and without instruction, and it seems to imply to me that you think the point of an instructor (rated or not) is to make you a "good" wingsuit flyer. It's not. Only practice and skills will do that. The point of an instructor is to make you a SAFE wingsuit pilot, and to bring all the major safety concerns unique to wingsuiting to your attention, in case you have overlooked one in your preparation (gear selection, jump procedures, etc). It is entirely possible to figure all these things out on your own, and it's also entirely possible to miss one of the details and have a "less than enjoyable" or even "dangerous" jump because of it. I have met a LOT of people at boogies who say they did one wingsuit jump years ago and will never do one again because they had a horrible experience and landed off. I asked them to describe their instruction and in all cases came to the conclusion that they would have been much better off with better instruction.

You are right, everybody does not need an instructor. But that does not mean instructors are useless. There is a very good reason to have experienced instructors with a comprehensive training course, and in-air/post-jump feedback.


(This post was edited by The111 on Jul 20, 2007, 9:23 AM)


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 20, 2007, 9:51 AM
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Re: [mccordia] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Knowing plenty of stories of people who did the read, read, read, and still had some bad hickups on their first jump that could have been prevented had someone given them a good 1st flight course..

Id say yes...1st hand instruction from a capable person is always 10x better then reading...

reading about a flight patern, or having someone 'walk' it with you can already be the difference between understanding it or being lost in the sky.
Maybe not for you, but plenty of low-jump-number-ahead-of-the-curve-heads-up-firsttimers out there who probably wont grasp every aspect of wingsuit flight that well from reading it in a book.

Next to the fact that a lot of the unofficial 'reading material' available online is not always the best advice possible...
I'm going to have disagree with every point listed. Your statements are absolutes and not individual case by case situations. This is just not our experiences.

And with that in mind I have to ask what is your complaint about the status quo of the current instructor paradigm? You say this above>

"At the moment, there isnt a boogie you can go to, without 75% of all attendees having some form of a wingsuit rating.

Yet when you see most people fly, they cant even get a normal 2 way to fly together."

You contradict yourself. How can it be 10x better having an instructor on a FFC if you say yourself they can't fly relative? Its pretty much required to fly relative to a potentially wild card student. Kind of like the examiner in an AFF course.

The first flight experience is just that getting you through the first flight and its not rocket science. If you think you need help, get some help. Flying relative to others comes from actually flying relative to others and not everybody with a WS has this luxury. We all know of the sol WingSuiter on a given DZ who was taught by a traveling instructor or the one that primarily does solos in the back country.

I will agree with your statement about online reading material not being the best advice. There was a lot of hoopla about flat spins and banning of wingsuits at certain DZs that was just laughable. These scare tactics freaked a lot of people out enough were they became scared to try stuff slowing their progress down. You must be careful but you can't be timid to the point of disfunctional.


(This post was edited by VectorBoy on Jul 20, 2007, 2:57 PM)


The111  (D 29246)

Jul 20, 2007, 10:03 AM
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In reply to:
Maybe not for you, but plenty of low-jump-number-ahead-of-the-curve-heads-up-firsttimers out there who probably wont grasp every aspect of wingsuit flight that well from reading it in a book.

In reply to:
I'm going to have disagree with ever point listed. Your statements are absolutes and not individual case by case situations. This is just not our experiences.

Glen, look at the part of Jarno's post I quoted above your response. How can you possibly say that is an "absolute"? He specifically spells out that it is NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE, but in all cases it is BETTER to have competent instruction. Perhaps a better way to put it is that competent instruction will not in any way make your jump worse, and can either make it a little better, a lot better, or not any better at all (in the rare impossible event that the first flight is perfect in all regards).


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 20, 2007, 10:35 AM
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 Matt, Im not argueing the pro or con of the whole instructor thing. I could care less.

People say there are a boat load of instructors out there and not a lot of represented skills. You say as an instructor you would have made me a safer flyer on my FFC course,NOT if you were not right there in the air next to me!

Safe, rated , respected I say FUCK the instructor all of them.......... all of them who ever took a dime from for a first flight without being right their the entire time in the air with the student. Fuck the instructor who conned free gear from a manufacturer with out the intention of being out there promoting the product. Fuck the instructor that isn't out there actively load organizing, networking with the boogie promoter to make some events happen. Fuck those guys

Meanwhile anybody and everybody involved in actively getting you some instruction , spare suits to the boogie, demos to your remote DZ, cool WS related aircraft or multiples there of, coaching for the bigway, flags- banners-Tshirts-food-judging etc.etc. In other words actively working the thankless job of WS promotion, Hail them, thank them, spend your money on them. " This beer is for you". "Real skydiver heroes"!

Matt some people just make good stuff happen in the sport they love. They need support and respect or they will stop doing it. Others say I'm safe, I'm rated, I deserve to get free stuff and paid but I don't plan to lift a finger for it. Fuck him!


VectorBoy  (F 321)

Jul 20, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Glen, your such a Rebel......Laugh Get back to work Cupcake.Tongue


Be safe
Ed
Can you tell its a slow work week? I'm stuck here Saturday boy is this gonna get goodPirate.


Buried  (D License)

Jul 20, 2007, 11:04 AM
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group hug


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 20, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
You contradict yourself. How can it be 10x better having an instructor on a FFC if you say yourself they can't fly relative? Its pretty much required to fly relative to a potentially wild card student. Kind of like the examiner in an AFF course.

In an ideal world, everyone takes the same exam. Both based on flying skills, chasing dummy students, doing briefings, debriefing.

And some people who are out there as instructors do so, and can.

So yes..having SOMEONE (notice I never used the word instructor, I sayd capable person, so even you 'you rebel you' would fall under that catagory) who 100% deserves the actual title 'instructor' (and by that I dont mean 'officialy', just in terms of someone being good at teaching someone....then yes...that truly is 10x better then any 'reading' FJC you could do.

And Id gladly call anyone who thinks low jumpnumbers and little to no guidence getting into this dicipline an idiot..

If you truly want to fly wingsuits, there's only 2 things that are important.

Have some decent experience flying your body before you ad wings...and no matter what you think you can do at 100 jumps...come back online when you have a 1000 and tell me that is not a HUGE difference in awareness and skill..

Take the efford to listen to people who have made all the mistakes for you...who learnt things which they could teach you..both 'to do's' and 'not to do's'...

It might seem like the cool and quick thing to start flying soon, but listen to the right people, and learn from them..instead of trying to be the hot new kid, bragging how you learnt it without guidence, skill or experience and somehow survived...

Being the guy that flies safely...flies where people want to see him on a formation or to the point in the air where they expect him to open (or further), and you will be the coolest guy alive.

You can get there the easy way or the hard way.
And just inventing everything on your own, doing a lot of scary shit in the air, with the risk of hurting other people (oh yea..and yourself)...

But taking that same route with some proper guidence from people who have made all the mistakes for you, definately helps making you a safer jumper...

You dont need someone with the TITLE BMI/PFI/WS-I or whatever....you need someone who is an instructor in his heart (gay as that may sound)

Doing it for the love of flying...doing it for the smiles....and doing it because he or she wants to further the dicipline...a huge force of enthousiasm and drive to fly being what makes him or her want to teach people..


There is a whole lot of bitching about the instructor title...its useless..there probably wont be any unity in that untill something really bad happens and the organisations start making safety rules...and even then...who will take the exams..hand out titles etc.

Its a sad thing the title isnt a 100% secure way of telling if someone has the skill, attitude and drive to really be teaching someone...
But I think that was the drive behind starting it all..and still support the training of new instructors who go for such a title..

Im proud for what I did when I had the exam (2 days of flying, teaching dummy students, and even a real one) and for me..in terms of structure of a briefing...(the ground stuff) it taught me A LOT which I use in every briefing I give...

The I programs may not be flawless...half or more of the instructors out there may or may not even know how to fly...but if nobody is trying and working towards something better...this flawed and tainted instriuctorsystem is all we got...

Long rant....no point....probably......


The111  (D 29246)

Jul 20, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Re: [VectorBoy] Instructors [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You say as an instructor you would have made me a safer flyer on my FFC course,NOT if you were not right there in the air next to me!

Actually, to me the ground portion of wingsuit instruction alone can provide many benefits. If Joe Schmoe reads the wingsuit forum for 2 years before buying a suit and going up by himself, he may have gleaned almost every single fact he needs to fly safely, but what if he's missing one? Here's what he knows:

- Stable canopy
- BOC
- Flight patterns
- Pull procedure
- Post opening and emergency procedures
- Instructors are worthless, fuck them

But somehow in Joe's two years of casual browsing, he never noticed any mention of exit procedures. On his first flight, he exits out the door in the best wingsuit position he can achieve (something he's been practicing on the ground for two years). He pops up and goes through the tail of the Otter, instantly killing himself, and the pilot shortly thereafter.

A competent instructor would have gone over exit procedures.

This is just one example, of where having an instructor is preferable over not. It's obvious your vendetta is against people (certain instructors you've met, no doubt), and not the concept of instructorship. You can FUCK in bold and capitals those people all you want, but in doing so you are abandoning the actual discussion at hand, which is the value of a competent instructor.


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