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1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008)

 

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Dminor1954

Mar 18, 2008, 8:15 PM
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1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) Can't Post

NickDG from my perspective you are right on the money! Rex was a friend of mine and had visited at my DZ on Saturday the 8th. I learned to skydive at Kapowsin Sky Sports in Washington State. Rex had just sat in on a safety review at my DZ on that Saturday, even though he wasn't going to be jumping that day. He discussed the program with our DZO who also is the NW Regional USPA Director & S&TA. I was privy to the conversation of our program vs STP at Spaceland, of which Rex was learning under. I frankly was shocked at the differences in just these two programs, where safety of the student is concerned.

First of all having only 64 jumps myself, you can see I'm fairly new to the sport. However, even I as a beginner question some of this programs procedures. You indicated that these programs suffer from a systemic problem which has allowed for an increase in student deaths. With the little knowledge that I possess in this area, I might tend to agree. Heres why:

First, while talking with Rex about his jumps (and he was on Level 5), he was amazed to find out that at Kapowsin, students jump with two (2) instructors holding on to them. He (Rex) said that he had always jumped with one instructor. I posed the question, "What if that instructor gets kicked by you and you knock him unconscious? Then what?". He hadn't really thought about it.

Secondly, when I explained the door routine that students are required to perform prior to exit, he just gave me this bewildered look. I explained that these exercises help to focus your mind while in this stressed environment. Level five for us means that only one instructor exits the plane holding on to the student. One practice pull, two toe taps, then the instructor lets go of you. If you are flying in the column of air stable and controlled, he's still in close proximity to you just in case.

But, before that, at Jump Level 4 with two instructors still holding on to a student, if you can't fly stable no go. Rex had trouble flying stable because he was 6'3" tall but only had a 29" inseam. Even in all his tunnel work at Eloy this was a problem.

His son was a jumper on the same aircraft that day and has some 300 jumps. I have heard that the instructor chased him across the sky trying to get to him to deploy his main. However, because allegedly Rex panicked and had lost all semblance of stable and control flight he (instructor) couldn't get a hold of him to deploy his main. I'm not placing blame on anyone, however, this gives credence to youe assumption the the system make be broken. For me, I do not want to see another death that is preventable. The sport will be hurt significantly if the USPA and DZO tally these deaths up to "unfortunate". There job is to minimize this if we are to promote and increase our ranks as divers.

I just hope that the USPA can see that safety is above the Dollar. Any new student to the sport want to know that if I attend a DZ in Kansas or one in New York, that these programs are uniform in nature. This is unexcusable for a sport, with such inherent pleasure and extreme unforgivness, thay it doesn't have a tried and true uniform, across the board instructional program that everybody has to use. A one method for all, sorta speak.Frown
In reply to:


(This post was edited by PhreeZone on Mar 18, 2008, 9:12 PM)


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Mar 18, 2008, 9:10 PM
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Re: [Dminor1954] Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

I have split this part of the conversation off and moved it since it warrents further discussion. The original post was in the Incidents forum.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Mar 18, 2008, 9:44 PM
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Re: [Dminor1954] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

The USPA has the ISP or Intergrated Student Program that allows DZ's to use what ever method they want to teach but still have measureable progression so it is easy to fit a student into their program and they already know what has been covered and what has not. A Category A dive is the first jump and this can be done via Tandem, AFF, Static Line or IAD. What the ISP does is lay the goundwork for someone that might have started off as an AFF studnet but goes to a Static line DZ where there are no AFF instructors to complete their next category since they can look and see that the student has been signed off as passing Cat A, B and C so far so they need to design a Static line dive around the requirements of the Cat D levels. This is a huge improvement over years ago when someone would show up at an AFF DZ from a static line DZ and no one knew exactly what had been covered to that point and there was not easy way to figure out what to do with them.

In terms of every single side jump master program I have seen typically the student has 2-5 tandem jumps complete and they know the basics of freefall stability, controlibility and how to correctly pull. By this point the student should know enough that they can pull if anything is going wrong and have pulled a few times already. In early AFF levels the student is taught that if they are unable to find their AFF instructors in freefall they should pull, the same should be covered in any program.

In programs like Spaceland's STP or Skydive Chicago's AFP there are a lot of other items included and modified beyond the standard 7 levels in AFF. They move things around and change the dive flows to better suit the needs of the students to have 1 on 1 experience with instructors for 15-18 jumps the entire time. This allows them to pass information to the student to prevent things like information overload and to have an opprotunity to progress their skills beyond just getting stable, turnning and pulling. The DZ can use the ISP to say "our level 9 meets the requirements of Cat F" or however it works out for them.

You mention a door routine, could you explain that since its not something I am firmilar with and I'd like to see if its something else I've seen or if its something unique to your DZ.


jlmiracle  (D License)

Mar 19, 2008, 6:16 AM
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Re: [Dminor1954] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
"What if that instructor gets kicked by you and you knock him unconscious? Then what?". He hadn't really thought about it.

What were you told to do if you lost one or both JM?

Judy


hchunter614  (B 30368)

Mar 19, 2008, 8:40 AM
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Re: [jlmiracle] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

If you still have 1 JM, continue the dive flow. If you have no JM, pull.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Mar 19, 2008, 9:29 AM
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Re: [Dminor1954] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

>Any new student to the sport want to know that if I attend a DZ in
>Kansas or one in New York, that these programs are uniform in nature.

Why? Dropzones are different, and so are their programs. There are common progressions (AFF, AFP, SL etc) but each school has their own idiosyncracies. I've been to DZ's that do absolutely excellent canopy control instruction - and then don't use radios. I've been to DZ's that have all students required to do at least one low exit, and to DZ's where that is not a requirement. Some have single-JM programs, some have two-JM programs. Some have poised exits, some have floating exits, some have tailgate exits. The program changes to fit the dropzone, the aircraft, the students and the traditions at the DZ.

USPA has done a good job (IMO) of coming up with a set of training goals and a list of ways to reach those goals. The details will always be different at different DZ's, though. And while I see the value in having common goals, objectives, rules and procedures, I don't see the value in having the same program everywhere.


chrismgtis  (B 32561)

Mar 19, 2008, 9:51 AM
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Re: [Dminor1954] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
he was amazed to find out that at Kapowsin, students jump with two (2) instructors holding on to them.

That's part of the AFF program that I assumed all USPA member drop zones "had" to follow. I guess they aren't as strict as I thought.

What rules or guidelines does the USPA require that a drop zone follow for it to maintain USPA membership? Does anyone know?


labrys  (D 29848)

Mar 19, 2008, 10:02 AM
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Re: [chrismgtis] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
That's part of the AFF program that I assumed all USPA member drop zones "had" to follow. I guess they aren't as strict as I thought.

What rules or guidelines does the USPA require that a drop zone follow for it to maintain USPA membership? Does anyone know?

It's not a matter of how "strict" they are. It's not required.

Edit to add: The rules and guidelines are a secret. No one can share them with the public, so shhh....

http://www.uspa.org/...ications/manuals.htm


(This post was edited by labrys on Mar 19, 2008, 11:12 AM)


bodypilot1  (D 16037)

Mar 19, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Re: [chrismgtis] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
In reply to:
What rules or guidelines does the USPA require that a drop zone follow for it to maintain USPA membership?

A big check in the mail....


UDSkyJunkie  (D 25746)

Mar 19, 2008, 12:30 PM
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Re: [chrismgtis] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
he was amazed to find out that at Kapowsin, students jump with two (2) instructors holding on to them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


That's part of the AFF program that I assumed all USPA member drop zones "had" to follow. I guess they aren't as strict as I thought.

What rules or guidelines does the USPA require that a drop zone follow for it to maintain USPA membership? Does anyone know?

the USPA ISP lists two AFF instructors for AFF levels 1, 2, and 3A; after that, it's one instructor. I believe some DZ's may go to 1 instructor sooner, but don't quote me on that. Regardless, the 2-instructor requirement is applicable to the AFF program ONLY... if you start with tandem progression (as I believe Rex did) then your first "AFF" jump can be done with a single instructor. Either way, by the time you're at level 5-6, one instructor would be the norm.

With the rules part out of the way, consider the following: some DZ's (mostly larger operations like Spaceland, Eloy, Perris, Deland...) have a lot of very experienced, current, talented AFF instructors, and can therefore justify going to a single instructor earlier in the program. Other DZ's (mostly smaller operations) may only have 1 or 2 top-notch instructors or may not have any at all... it is an unfortunate truth that the best instructors will tend to leave the small DZ's for the large ones so they can earn enough to live in a trailer instead of a tent. The instructors they do have (even the good ones) are in general going to be less experienced, less current, and have less of a support system to help them learn quickly. Those DZ's are more likley to need to keep 2 instructors later in the program.

A 2nd instructor may or may not have changed things. If it is true that the student was to track off a breakoff and things went bad after he broke away, the chances of recovery would be extremely small in either case... too much distance to cover in too short a time, even if the student were perfectly stable.


denete  (B 33880)

Mar 19, 2008, 5:56 PM
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Re: [billvon] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There are common progressions (AFF, AFP, SL etc) but each school has their own idiosyncracies.

As do instructors, even within a single dropzone's instructional pool.


voodew1  (D 25988)

Mar 20, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Re: [Dminor1954] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

I approach every AFF jump as I will be the only instructor there -- if you count on your partner and something happens to them you as an instructor should be able to handle the dive.

I have stepped away from many 'meat bombs' because I was not sure I would be able to handle the fall rate on a level 3 and didn't want to leave my partner alone - on any AFF jump I do accept, I plan on being the only one there - if I have someone on the other side thats great.

That being said the incident this came from no matter what type of program you have at your DZ (AFF) it would have been a single instructor dive.

I personally don't like the program that is used at Spaceland as I am not a TI so I would have never jumped with the student and then be handed the student on a release dive flow not knowing what to expect -- I much perfer at least 1 non release dive before letting go. Spaceland program seems to work fine and this was an isolated incident that has nothing to do with the discussion of 1 or 2 instructors.

If your an AFFI even with a lot of experience and say you have never been burned by a student your lying. That doesn't mean they went to cypres fire but just being behind the power curve happens - no one can see everything before it happens - students are there to make you work - you train on the ground and everything can look great but once you leave the plane it can go to shit in a hurry.


Booster_MPS  (C 36331)

Mar 20, 2008, 1:03 PM
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Re: [voodew1] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

I personally don't like the program that is used at Spaceland as I am not a TI so I would have never jumped with the student and then be handed the student on a release dive flow not knowing what to expect -- I much perfer at least 1 non release dive before letting go. Spaceland program seems to work fine and this was an isolated incident that has nothing to do with the discussion of 1 or 2 instructors.

Just to clarify:

The Spaceland STP program includes two no release jumps prior to the first release dive flow. The STP program is also begun after the student completes two tandem jumps and attends a first jump course.


voodew1  (D 25988)

Mar 20, 2008, 1:11 PM
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Re: [Booster_MPS] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew there were tandems but I was not aware of the 2 no release dives --- that makes it sound better


Dminor1954

Mar 20, 2008, 1:26 PM
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Re: [PhreeZone] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

As I mentioned in my original posting, Kapowsin Sky Sports utilizes a door exit routine that all AFF students rigorously learns on the ground along with the required education that one receives as a student. This routine requires the student to enter-act with the JM's (2 one inside the aircraft and one outside) prior to exiting and insures through this exercise a means of non verbal communication, along with the verbal, safe exit for all envolved and final visual inspection of students equipment .

Normally, one has enjoyed a tandem jump and decides to take the course. After, extensive ground instruction, equipment, emergency procedures, the drop zone, etc, etc, you're up and away. Now as we all know that first time you're getting ready to jump, all kinds of things are going through your mind. Heres the procedure used at Kapowsin.

POSITION OF STUDENT AND JUMP MASTERS
The reserve side JM steps outside the door of the aircraft. Then the student gets in place at the door. The Reserve side JM grips the students leg harness. The student gets in the door facing towards the front of the aircraft. He takes a crouched position (bent at the knees) one foot in front of the other, toes touching the door jam. The other foot (toes) touching the other heel. Main chute JM is inside the aircraft holding on to the students other leg harness.

STUDENT INITIATES JUMP SEQUENCE:
The student looks inside the aircraft to the Main Chute JM and Yells, " Checking In"! He waits to receive a thumbs up from JM. Student looks outside to the Reserve Chute JM and yells, "Checking Out". Student waits for thumbs up. Note: (This is performed so that reserve side JM can make final check of the air space outside the aircraft, as well as both JM's giving one final check of the students equipment. If all is good, we go).

Student looks forward with head slightly outside the aircraft and yells, "Prop"! Student then yells up, while simultaneously moving his body up. Then student yells, "down", while simultaneously moving into a bent at he knees crouch. Then, "Arch"! Which is when the student side steps out of the aircraft in the Arched position, catching relative air. Both JM's are gripping both leg harness's of student

Once the student and JM's are in stable flight the student looks at altimeter and Yells out the altitude to the reserve side JM, then the main chute side JM.

Once this is accomplished then you can start your PRCP routine.

This routine may seem at first as though its just something somebody came up with to be different from other DZ's. However, I have found this to be far from the truth. It really does focus the students mind on the task at hand. Remember, we might love to go out of the aircraft, but for someone who may be afraid of 13500ft. (most beginners) it forces you to perform under high stress environment. Even military personnel who have performed 100's of military static line jumps come out to learn and experience the thrill AFF, they all conclude the same thing. That it helps you focus.

I hope that this helps you.
Good JumpsCool
Dminor
Attachments: 220_edited.jpg (15.0 KB)


pilotdave  (D License)

Mar 20, 2008, 1:34 PM
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Re: [Dminor1954] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
This routine may seem at first as though its just something somebody came up with to be different from other DZ's.

Ummm.... did I miss something odd about it? That sounds exactly like every AFF exit sequence at every DZ I've been to. It's all in the SIM...

Dave


(This post was edited by pilotdave on Mar 20, 2008, 1:38 PM)


peregrinerose  (D 28983)

Mar 20, 2008, 2:14 PM
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Re: [pilotdave] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
This routine may seem at first as though its just something somebody came up with to be different from other DZ's.

Ummm.... did I miss something odd about it? That sounds exactly like every AFF exit sequence at every DZ I've been to. It's all in the SIM...

Dave
I was thinking the same thing...


voodew1  (D 25988)

Mar 20, 2008, 2:29 PM
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Re: [peregrinerose] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

Our program is totally different.

We make the student put his/her head all the way out the plane instead of slightly -- it makes a major differenceTongue

Once again I think 95% of DZs use that on 2 instructor jumps (out of an otter / caravan / cessna)
King air exits are different and not in a good way in my opinion.

I have been on AFF jumps where the reserve side instructor stays inside and it works for them just not my style when I am reserve - I perfer to 'block' the door


loudtom  (D 23115)

Mar 20, 2008, 3:09 PM
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Re: [voodew1] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

Voodew,
When are they gonna start letting you jump by yourself without hanging on to anyone else?
Soon we hope!!!
lt yo


pilotdave  (D License)

Mar 20, 2008, 4:45 PM
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Re: [voodew1] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
King air exits are different and not in a good way in my opinion.

I did most of my AFF jumps out of a King Air and it was just like that... And the one I did from a 182 was pretty darn close, 'cept for the whole strut thing. Smile

Dave


davelepka  (D 21448)

Mar 20, 2008, 5:45 PM
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Re: [Dminor1954] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
As previously mentioned, your description of the AFF program at your home DZ closely matches the programs used at most DZs in the US.

In regards to the number of instructors, most DZs will use two instructors through level 3, with some extending that to level 4. I do not know of any DZ that uses two instructors on level 5 or higher.

Seeing as this incident took place on either a level 5 or 6 (it's not clear to me), there would have only been one instructor at any DZ.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Mar 20, 2008, 6:10 PM
Post #22 of 32 (2194 views)
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Re: [Dminor1954] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

That is the same exact exit sequence that I have seen at every freefall assist dropzone if they are using a 1 or a 2 instructor format. I have never heard it called a mind clearing exercise and that may be where the confusion was at.


MarkM  (C 35089)

Mar 20, 2008, 6:22 PM
Post #23 of 32 (2182 views)
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Re: [Dminor1954] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

It's really hard to take your criticism seriously without your profile information filled in.

How many years in the sport do you have? How many jumps, etc etc?

1 instructor after a tandem progression has been done for years. Used to be called AFP at some places when I was checking our different programs in 2002 and I'm sure it was around before that.


chrismgtis  (B 32561)

Mar 21, 2008, 3:20 PM
Post #24 of 32 (2067 views)
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Re: [MarkM] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

When I originally read this thread it sounded like some drop zones push students out on their first few AFF jumps, starting with one instructor instead of the usual two. Is that the case or did I just misunderstand?


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Mar 21, 2008, 3:45 PM
Post #25 of 32 (2057 views)
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Re: [chrismgtis] 1 Instructor AFF vs 2 instructor AFF program (Was: Fatality - Texas (Spaceland) - 12 March 2008) [In reply to] Can't Post

On some programs you do your first few jumps as tandem then move to a single AFF instructor program. Typically your first "AFF" style jump is your 3-5th skydive.


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