Forums: Skydiving: Instructors:
"I" means Instructor.

 


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 25, 2007, 5:45 PM
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"I" means Instructor. Can't Post

It's come up again, so I thought I'd start a dialogue about it.

How many people understand that the "I" on the USPA A licence (yellow) card, means an Instructor's, not a Coach's signature, is required for sign offs?

On the newest 2 page version of the A licence proficiency card there are no entries that may be signed by a coach. On the 4 page version, the freefall and exit may be signed by a coach, but the over all category must be signed off by an instructor.

This clearly indicates that USPA Coaches may only conduct evaluations under the supervision or approval of a USPA rated Instructor. By operating in this way the standard of education should be maintained.


(This post was edited by diablopilot on Jul 25, 2007, 5:45 PM)


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 26, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Re: [diablopilot] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

Are there people that don't already know that? For the record: the two-page card is only used by schools that cut corners and pencil whip. Most places I know of that use that two-page card do not even brief their students on it's relevance and purpose until close to the end of the AFF training. That's complete crap.


peek  (D 8884)

Jul 26, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Are there people that don't already know that? For the record: the two-page card is only used by schools that cut corners and pencil whip. Most places I know of that use that two-page card do not even brief their students on it's relevance and purpose until close to the end of the AFF training. That's complete crap.

Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Golly, gee, that is a sweeping comment.

I know of some drop zones that do quite well fitting that 2 page card into their student's progression, (and if it the static line progression this is easier to do because there are more jumps).

However, I believe you if you say that there are still a number of places that do "traditional" AFF where the focus is on the freefall only and they get waaaay behind on the proficiency card.


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 26, 2007, 1:24 PM
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Re: [peek] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

I just got ass-raped by Dave in a PM for that statement as well, but just let me quantify it:

I was working at Raeford Parachute Center the day (October 1st, 2001) that the ISP went into effect. We, on that day, started teaching AFF to the letter of the program.

-Cat A
-Cat B
-Cat C1 and C2
-Cat D1 and D2
-Cat E1, E2, and E3

On inprocessing, we would have students fill out waivers, hand out the course sylabus, explain what the SIM was and where all the student training material came from (chapter 4), and give them their logbook and four-page A-license proficiency card. We would fully explain the program from start to finish and how we would be filling out both the logbook and the four-page card in a systematic manner along the way. We would also tell them that it was possible for exceptional students to finish "AFF" in less than those nine jumps if they could accomplish more TLO's than were required for a particular level. We also discussed what would happen if they failed to meet all the TLO's for a particular category. All very straight-forward and there was never any doubt what a person could expect. They were free to study up in their off time because they knew exactly where to find the material. That school still runs exactly that way, as does my private school here at Z-hills.

Conversely, I have seen more than a few examples of very-busy schools which still use what I consider to be obsolete AFF. They have great instructors, have a great sylabus, but do not expose their students to, explain the purpose of, or mention the importance of ANY A-license proficiency card (and in some cases even the SIM) until late in their seven-level program. They are like "Hey! You graduated AFF!" like that actually means something. It does not. What it means is that you now have quite a number of other tasks to complete in order to achieve your BASIC "license to drive" in skydiving: The A-license. The problem is, they really don't know exactly what comes next and in what order they should accomplish it. The better a student understands that up front, and the more structured that course to completion the better. It's sad when a person just off of "AFF" walks up and goes "what's next?" That really bugs me. It's those places that really take advantage of the two-page card. If that sounds like a rant it is, because I take this all very seriously as a guy who has been at it for 26 years.

Hey, if you are operating or working at a school, have a zero-to-A program that spells every task/jump out for your students and you still like the two-page card, then good for you. It's a fact, though, that the two-page card was added solely as a way for "old school" seven level AFF factories to meet the USPA requirement under the now "regulation" ISP. Those schools and some IAD/SL programs that simply could not find a way to impliment the four-page card. FWIW, the IAD program at the Fort Bragg Parachute Club on Fort Bragg was using the four page card (somehow) with both their AFF and IAD programs, so I know it can be done.

Chuck


peek  (D 8884)

Jul 26, 2007, 1:34 PM
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
... but do not expose their students to, explain the purpose of, or mention the importance of ANY A-license proficiency card (and in some cases even the SIM) until late in their seven-level program.

That would disappoint me too. Fortunately I don't see too much of that. What I see most is people getting close to their "A" license and are familiar with those things, but have not been required to work on them enough to keep caught up with their actual jumps.

In reply to:
Hey, if you are operating or working at a school, have a zero-to-A program that spells every task/jump out for your students and you still like the two-page card, then good for you.

As far as I have been told that's the case around these parts more or less (except for that one place and time we talked about a few years ago).

[edited to explain things better]


(This post was edited by peek on Jul 26, 2007, 2:01 PM)


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 26, 2007, 4:48 PM
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Re: [peek] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
As far as I have been told that's the case around these parts more or less (except for that one place and time we talked about a few years ago).

It's positively not the case in the state of Florida.


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 26, 2007, 4:53 PM
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Are there people that don't already know that?

There are entire DZ's that are ignoring that. I met a coach (not their fault, that's how they were trained) that was told the "I" meant "Initials".

Quote:
Conversely, I have seen more than a few examples of very-busy schools which still use what I consider to be obsolete AFF.

Bingo! Yet they are still USPA group members alot of them.

The 2 page card can be used if the instructors and school take the time to inform the students of the requirements and what to expect. I do like the 4 page card much better however.

There are DZ out there that are allowing coaches to sign off on the proficiency card, and it's not right. IMO any "A" licence issued on such a card is not valid.

Edit: I think that the 2 page card can work in to situations. When the DZ has an all inclusive training program much like the standards up heald at Skydive Chicago, or Spaceland (from what I've seen of their programs) or at small DZ's that can devote more time and focus to their students. But the 2 page card does not work at "20 minutes till the next student" DZ's.


(This post was edited by diablopilot on Jul 26, 2007, 7:43 PM)


peek  (D 8884)

Jul 26, 2007, 5:12 PM
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Re: [diablopilot] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

CB:
Conversely, I have seen more than a few examples of very-busy schools which still use what I consider to be obsolete AFF.

JP:
Bingo! Yet they are still USPA group members alot of them.

GP:
I'm not saying whether this is good or bad, but the ISP is still optional. All a GM DZ needs to do is follow the BSR's.

How to keep the quality of training high? I don't know.

The interesting thing about all of this is that I felt that when AFF was taught in a "traditional" way by most DZs that offered AFF, that it was very standardized, (though inferior to the way many of us train now, including much more than freefall training.)

An AFF student in the middle of their AFF "levels" used to be able to go to multiple DZ's and take up where they left off.

(Didn't they?) Something tells me you guys are going to say, "hell no!"

This is a pretty good thread, I hope we get some more opinions here.


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 26, 2007, 5:17 PM
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Re: [peek] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

So does it make sense to train (hopefuly) instructors to all the same standard using the same method (ISP) but then not ensure the same standards in the program to train students?

I believe a USPA group member should pledge to use the USPA approved traing program (ISP). Otherwise, what's the point of the membership?


peek  (D 8884)

Jul 27, 2007, 4:33 AM
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Re: [diablopilot] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I believe a USPA group member should pledge to use the USPA approved traing program (ISP). Otherwise, what's the point of the membership?

There are a lot of points to the GM program (too numerous to mention here) but most of them are to the advantage of the DZ, (otherwise what DZ would want to join?) There is a list of things they promise to do, but does not include using the ISP.

There was an attempt to require using the ISP at GM DZs when it first came out, but it was so poorly written at that time that there was a rebellion.

USPA serves so many types of members and group members that it is difficult to _make_ anyone do anything. It may not even be a good idea to do this with many things.

[edited to correct spelling]


(This post was edited by peek on Jul 27, 2007, 7:56 AM)


tdog  (D 28800)

Jul 27, 2007, 7:17 AM
Post #11 of 17 (1717 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Are there people that don't already know that? For the record: the two-page card is only used by schools that cut corners and pencil whip. Most places I know of that use that two-page card do not even brief their students on it's relevance and purpose until close to the end of the AFF training. That's complete crap.

Only???

My home DZ uses the two-page card, and they have a very organized coaching system with dive flows, coaches on staff, etc. The card is not pencil whipped. I feel the students (if they opt to participate and be active learners) are some of the best out there...


tdog  (D 28800)

Jul 27, 2007, 7:41 AM
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Re: [diablopilot] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

EDIT:

I deleted my post because it opens a can of worms I cannot put back in the jar, or watch crawl around, because I am going to be busy for a few days. See the reply below by DiabloPilot that addresses how coaches can operate... It basically points to how it can be done.


(This post was edited by tdog on Jul 27, 2007, 9:43 AM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 27, 2007, 9:34 AM
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Re: [tdog] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

The SIM does not allow for the other blocks to bee filled out in by coaches. Coaches may ONLY conduct freefall evaluations, and then should sign off on them in the student's log book, to be then reviewed by a qualified instructor.

At some point the standards of education must be monitored.


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 28, 2007, 10:06 AM
Post #14 of 17 (1579 views)
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Re: [peek] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The interesting thing about all of this is that I felt that when AFF was taught in a "traditional" way by most DZs that offered AFF, that it was very standardized,

That was never my experience. Back when an A-license was 20 freefall parachute jumps (SL's did not count and were lettered instead of numbered), the big selling point of AFF was that you could "become qualified" in seven jumps (actually levels). They would claim that SL students had to make more jumps in order to be cut free to "up jumper" status. After a person's second 45 second delay in the SL (or IAD) program the student was considered an up jumper. After graduating Level VII at every AFF-based school I have ever seen the same thing happened. The only thing you could not do prior to finishing the required jumps for your A-license was travel around to other DZ's and rent gear. If there was any "level VIII" jumping, it was just generally a no-stress fun dive, hop and pops under supervision, or a full-on pass-off to something like Skydive University (which I loathe). Again, though, many schools I saw (and still see all around the country in my travels would tell their Level VII graduates "Hey, you're done. Now go buy beer and make fun of the SL students who are still doing 15 second delays. "

While it MIGHT have been possible for a student to go from one DZ to another during your envisioned old-school AFF program, that would not help today. Every place I have visited in the past several years has some different variant of AFF. They call their programs by many different names, too. I see no standardization at all in schools that do not do "by the book" ISP-based training.

Chuck


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jul 30, 2007, 7:33 AM
Post #15 of 17 (1475 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I...On the newest 2 page version of the A licence proficiency card there are no entries that may be signed by a coach...

To highlight:
There is a note on the 2-page version that says, "All verification blocks require the initials and C- or D- license number of a USPA Instructor or I/E."

How anybody using the 2-page version could get confused is beyond me. Gross stupidity???


DanAlvarez

Aug 5, 2007, 10:34 AM
Post #16 of 17 (1309 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

How do you guys feel about a USPA tandem instructor that is not an instructor in any other method, signing off on anything other than CAT A or B sections on the proficiency card?


diablopilot  (D License)

Aug 5, 2007, 7:16 PM
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Re: [DanAlvarez] "I" means Instructor. [In reply to] Can't Post

Direct from the IRM section on the USPA Tandem Instructor Rating:

"All student and jump supervision may be conducted by any USPA Instructor, but method specific jumps (AFF, IAD, static line, and tandem) require the instructor to hold that method specific rating."



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