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Students that do dumb things

 

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ceandries  (D License)

Feb 2, 2009, 12:56 AM
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A student last season (5 or 10 jumps, just off radio) tried to make it back to the landing area. The wind was fairly strong but steady and he was barely covering ground. In his flight path there is a row of pine trees with a parking lot on the downwind side. He gets about 10 feet above the pine trees and decides he isn't going to make it over and instead of taking a 4 mph landing in a big soft pine tree, he turns about a 130, ltowards the parking lot, and lands mostly downwind, nearly missing a truck.
i gave him the bowling speech.


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Feb 2, 2009, 1:19 AM
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Re: [ceandries] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

A student had 55 jumps and got on the plane after a very short night.
His tiredness definitely contributed to the fact that he couldn't locate his ripcord at pull time (3k) so the student executed a (full) reserve porcedure after a second try to find his ripcord.
But having nothing out this took "a while" so the student was under canopy and reaching for his reserve toggles at 1000 feet - he DID pull the reserve ripcord himself, but his FXC also fired.

The student was unable to make it back to the DZ and landed in a ditch, badly spraining his ankle.
They gave him an official reprimand in his logbook and an extensive debrief.
That student is now training for his coach rating.

Just saying.

As for your post, I wasn't there and I'm not an instructor - but a student just off radio making such a mistake and immediately getting the bowling speech? He must've shown some promise, or he'd stuill be on radio, right?
Could you please elaborate why you chose to take this course of action? There must be more to the scenario than you described.
Not flaming, looking to learn.


humanflite  (D 99999)

Feb 2, 2009, 1:52 AM
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Re: [ceandries] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
A student last season (5 or 10 jumps, just off radio) tried to make it back to the landing area. The wind was fairly strong but steady and he was barely covering ground. In his flight path there is a row of pine trees with a parking lot on the downwind side. He gets about 10 feet above the pine trees and decides he isn't going to make it over and instead of taking a 4 mph landing in a big soft pine tree, he turns about a 130, ltowards the parking lot, and lands mostly downwind, nearly missing a truck.
i gave him the bowling speech.

Not being funny but you arent qualified to decide if someone is cutout for the sport or not with sub 300 jumps.

It needs to be an experienced instructor who makes that decision.

And if I had the choice of landing in the top of a soft, TALL pine tree, or taking a downwinder, it would be a downwinder any day.

Theres no guarantee you will stay in the top of a tree after landing, and if your canopy doesnt snag or tears, you will drop a massive height if its a tall tree and end up badly broken or dead.
Therefore, a downwinder is much safer IMO


(This post was edited by humanflite on Feb 2, 2009, 1:53 AM)


sparkie  (D License)

Feb 2, 2009, 1:56 AM
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Re: [Baksteen] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

true but i think the diff between student in the 1st story and the 2nd story is

student #1 : indecisive
student #2 : decisive

No one is going to help you up there, therefore i really dislike the indecisive ones and would rather see that they take up bowling for my safety.

Spraining an ankle after an exiting EP is different than brainlessly flying towards trees, hoping to make it over somehow. A landing is a landing, dz or no dz.

You cant teach common sense imo. No common sense on at least a very basic survival level = skydiving is not for you....


sparkie  (D License)

Feb 2, 2009, 2:09 AM
Post #5 of 62 (5105 views)
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Re: [humanflite] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
A student last season (5 or 10 jumps, just off radio) tried to make it back to the landing area. The wind was fairly strong but steady and he was barely covering ground. In his flight path there is a row of pine trees with a parking lot on the downwind side. He gets about 10 feet above the pine trees and decides he isn't going to make it over and instead of taking a 4 mph landing in a big soft pine tree, he turns about a 130, ltowards the parking lot, and lands mostly downwind, nearly missing a truck.
i gave him the bowling speech.

Not being funny but you arent qualified to decide if someone is cutout for the sport or not with sub 300 jumps.

It needs to be an experienced instructor who makes that decision.

And if I had the choice of landing in the top of a soft, TALL pine tree, or taking a downwinder, it would be a downwinder any day.

Theres no guarantee you will stay in the top of a tree after landing, and if your canopy doesnt snag or tears, you will drop a massive height if its a tall tree and end up badly broken or dead.
Therefore, a downwinder is much safer IMO

But the trees were there long before he had to make the decision.....

As for the "not qualified to see if s/o is cut out for the sport" comment, Agreed if it were a more subtle mistake. If someone for instance purposely tries to land IN the hangar I dont think you need to have xxx jumps to be able to see that person needs to find another hobby.

I wouldnt have given the guy the bowling speech myself however. I think that job for an instructor, so if that is what you meant then we agree.

In my gliding career i knew a guy who had more flights than i had at that time, but I knew he wasnt cut out for the sport because he was random on even the 101 stuff. I also voiced my concerns to an i. He later msitook the trim handle for the airbrake handle on final (with passenger) and when he saw he was going to land further in the 3000 ft long field (not even overshooting at that stage) he initiated a climbing left turn over buildings and trees.......with predicable results.

I think even most students grasp the concept that a climbing turn + glider (no engine) + little altitude = not a long life

Not making a call because you have less flights/ jumps = retarded and dangerous imo


USPA  (D 81812)

Feb 2, 2009, 2:59 AM
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Re: [ceandries] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

Strange that you gave him the bowling speech....

His mistake was that he noticed too late he wasn't able to make it back. This happens with sub 10 jumpers. Educate he how to check if he can make it to the DZ.

When he did screw up, he solved the problem, instead not doing anything and hitting a object (pottentially very dangerous), he took evasive action and landed downwind (not a big deal).

Makes me wonder BTW who was he JM and how the spot?


yoink

Feb 2, 2009, 3:04 AM
Post #7 of 62 (5083 views)
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Crikey... people seem a bit keen to give the 'bowling ball' speech! Unsure

If the student is just off radio, I'd be surprised if they've had a great deal of canopy training, been taught the accuracy trick of judging if they're going to clear an obstacle or even if they're confident in flying on their own yet, and you're saying they're not fit to skydive??? These things happen to students!

Perhaps a better solution would be to actually teach the student something...? You're supposed to be an instructor after all.
How about taking them through flat turns? How about giving them some canopy skills that aren't covered in the first jump course? How about giving them the knowledge that allows them to make decisions earlier when accidents can be avoided?

Mad

Edit: Doh! Paul beat me to it...


(This post was edited by yoink on Feb 2, 2009, 3:05 AM)


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Feb 2, 2009, 5:10 AM
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Re: [ceandries] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
i gave him the bowling speech.

I think you had absolutely no business doing that.

Students are expected to make mistakes - and quite frankly, it's their right to make a certain number of mistakes. They're students, and their instructors are supposed to be educating them and helping them make good choices, but also providing direction and enforcing rules to help keep them out of trouble in the first place.

In this case, it sounds like this student was let down by his instructors who let him jump in high wind, and didn't help prepare him for strange circumstances.

As an instructor, I'd be very upset if a newbie like you was giving instruction, never mind the bowling speech to one of my students.

I've never given the bowling speech. I hope I never will.

_Am


humanflite  (D 99999)

Feb 2, 2009, 5:20 AM
Post #9 of 62 (5022 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
i gave him the bowling speech.

I think you had absolutely no business doing that.

Students are expected to make mistakes - and quite frankly, it's their right to make a certain number of mistakes. They're students, and their instructors are supposed to be educating them and helping them make good choices, but also providing direction and enforcing rules to help keep them out of trouble in the first place.

In this case, it sounds like this student was let down by his instructors who let him jump in high wind, and didn't help prepare him for strange circumstances.

As an instructor, I'd be very upset if a newbie like you was giving instruction, never mind the bowling speech to one of my students.

I've never given the bowling speech. I hope I never will.

_Am

Bingo! well said that man.

I think most of us here have made mistakes as a student (I certainly did) and part of being a safe skydiver is having past experience of how things can go bad... so you can avoid it in future.

A good instructor debrief and some refresh training...and this student could have been right back on track..

and used the accuracy trick the next time they are unsure


steveorino  (D 26782)

Feb 2, 2009, 5:29 AM
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Re: [ceandries] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

First thing that went through my head was "why are you giving him a bowling speech?" I am an AFFI, TI, and IADI, and I never gave one, but if I ever did, it would never be for the scenario you just described. Crazy


Chubba  (A 10160)

Feb 2, 2009, 5:50 AM
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Re: [ceandries] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

Screw landing in a tree Angelic

I've seen plenty of down winders in the short 12 months I've been in the sport, definitely not a reason to be nasty to a newcomer, he/she would have came back from the incident looking for some constructive support... not an ego filled lecture.


michalm21  (Student)

Feb 2, 2009, 6:24 AM
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Re: [ceandries] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

And I will be another one saying that you had no business in giving his the bowling speech.
Students make mistakes, we all make mistakes.
With that little # of jumps people need guidance not bashing and a bowling speech.


(This post was edited by michalm21 on Feb 2, 2009, 6:25 AM)


tombuch  (D 8514)

Feb 2, 2009, 7:10 AM
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Re: [AndyMan] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

I've never given the bowling speech. I hope I never will.

_Am

You are spot on that this person shouldn't have given the bowling speech. And it should be very rare for an instructor to actually give the bowling speech. Most of our students, like the one discussed here, can learn from their mistakes and progress to safe and fun skydivers who we will all enjoy sharing the sky with. Heck, they may even become some of our best instructors with a background that inspires empathy.

I have never given the bowling speech directly. I think it just makes the student angry and resistant to feedback, and might well simply drive the person to another DZ, or perhaps another similar high-risk sport. I have had a few students who really are not cut out for skydiving, although that's not clear from a single error in judgment or mistake. Rather, it becomes clear after a period of time and direct contact with several instructor who concur that the person would be better off doing something else.

My objective as an instructor has always been to help guide students to the action or conclusion that I want them to reach. I've found that's the best way to teach, and to build strong future decision making skills in the students mind. In the case of a student who isn't cut out for skydiving there should be a solid record of performance failures in the log book, and I've always found that a general discussion about historical performance will help the student to see his own strengths and weaknesses, and will drive the student to conclude that he shouldn't be jumping. That discussion should be broadly focused and not based on a single performance error, nor should it be held as part of a specific jump debrief, although it could certainly follow a conventional debrief. Always, however, the student should be removed from a "defensive" position and should understand the discussion is about his overall safety, and not a specific action. And wherever possible, the student should reach the conclusion that he shouldn't be jumping.

Passing judgment is not easy, even for the most experienced instructor. And deciding to have the bowling discussion is even harder. But hey, that's what we get the big bucks for!


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Feb 2, 2009, 7:17 AM
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Aside from agreeing that the student shouldn't have received the bowling speech, I'm curious about how badly the student or the truck was injured??Wink

Quote:
lands mostly downwind, nearly missing a truck.


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Feb 2, 2009, 9:33 AM
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Re: [AndyMan] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

  Regarding: "As an instructor, I'd be very upset if a newbie like you was giving instruction, never mind the bowling speech to one of my students. "

Reviewing the OP's profile, it appears that he may have been the instructor, speaking to HIS student.


peregrinerose  (D 28983)

Feb 2, 2009, 9:56 AM
Post #16 of 62 (4807 views)
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Re: [ceandries] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
A student last season (5 or 10 jumps, just off radio) tried to make it back to the landing area. The wind was fairly strong but steady and he was barely covering ground. In his flight path there is a row of pine trees with a parking lot on the downwind side. He gets about 10 feet above the pine trees and decides he isn't going to make it over and instead of taking a 4 mph landing in a big soft pine tree, he turns about a 130, ltowards the parking lot, and lands mostly downwind, nearly missing a truck.
i gave him the bowling speech.

I think that one mistake, even a major one, does not warrant a bowling speech.... there needs to be a lot of poor judgement calls, a bad attitude, history of unsafe behaviors, etc that would make me want to give a student a bowling speech. I had a student just like yours... I was a brand new coach, maybe 300 jumps, student pulled a similar maneuver (low turn, ground came up fast, no flare, butt landing) and broke his back in two places. I spent a lot of time working with him (after he healed up) and a year to the day after his injury, he got his A license. He's now considering being a coach, and will most likely be a very good one, in part because of his own experience.


half-a-greek  (C 39212)

Feb 2, 2009, 10:26 AM
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Re: [peregrinerose] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

To the person above who mentioned someone landing in the hangar, check this out...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQv1-fihGv8

Stupid hurts, and the sad thing is this guy propbly is relativly experienced... stupid, but experienced.


Kami-kaze  (C 34855)

Feb 2, 2009, 10:52 AM
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Re: [half-a-greek] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

When I was doing AFF in Coffs Harbor Australia, I was given one of 'em speeches. I was told by other instructors to put up with the boss, that he had scared off so many students with his talk, and when it happened to me I thought, "Fuck this I am going to take my business somewhere else" I went to Nelson in NZ and never regretted that decision. Some people shouldn't be teachig before they learn some social commonsense beforehand. It's not high school, you don't have to go thru shit like that.


humanflite  (D 99999)

Feb 2, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Regarding: "As an instructor, I'd be very upset if a newbie like you was giving instruction, never mind the bowling speech to one of my students. "

Reviewing the OP's profile, it appears that he may have been the instructor, speaking to HIS student.

An instructor with 275 jumps and 2 years in the sport?

Surely this cant be possible?!!

Where is the OP anyway....?


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Feb 2, 2009, 12:17 PM
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Re: [humanflite] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

From the 2008 USPA Instructional Rating Manual:

Candidates may earn the USPA IAD or Static-Line
Instructor rating who have met all the following
requirements:
a. reached the age of 18 years
b. holds or has held any USPA instructional rating
c. earned a USPA C license or the FAI equivalent and
made at least 200 jumps
d. completed the USPA IAD and Static-Line
Instructor Proficiency Card (applicable portions)
e. satisfactorily completed a USPA IAD or Static-Line
Instructor Certification Course registered with
USPA headquarters



GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Feb 2, 2009, 2:03 PM
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If all of us who did something stupid/scary as a student were told to go bowling... it would be damned hard to fill an airplane with jumpers.

I suspect that it is not what we do, but how we think about it later which is the most important....

"Hey no problem, I survived didn't I?" CoolCoolCool

versus

"Oh damn, that was scary! I never want to make that mistake again! What do I need to do differently next time?"ShockedUnimpressedBlush

No, I am not a skydiving instructor. I am a nursing instructor, and there are strong parallels. For me, the student's response to their error is usually far more important than the error itself.


ceandries  (D License)

Feb 2, 2009, 4:06 PM
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there was a little more context to the story that i did not mention... his attitude after it happened was, "oh that was reallly cool and funny, hey all my whuffo friends thought it was awesome." I tried to explain to him how dangerous it was and he shrugged it off and disagreed with me.
I was the person to talk to him about it because the two most experienced instructors on the dz were still in the plane and his jm gave me the task of watching his landing and debriefing him.

When his jm got down, she agreed with me.


ceandries  (D License)

Feb 2, 2009, 4:57 PM
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Re: [ceandries] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

...and when I say I gave the bowling speech I didn't say "your're not cut out for this sport, don't come back" I told him that if he isn't going to take this sport seriously he should think about taking up another one.

Was I being harsh? I don't know, let me know what you think. the student ended up making a few more jumps (without incident) but never got his A.

I wasn't trying to be a bully or make myself out to be something I'm not. I should've been more clear with my example, but the thread wasn't about my decisions with students, I just wanted to hear about everyone else's experiences dealing with students and their sometimes poor decision making.


(This post was edited by ceandries on Feb 2, 2009, 5:16 PM)


Jumpah  (D License)

Feb 2, 2009, 5:53 PM
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Re: [half-a-greek] Students that do dumb things [In reply to] Can't Post

I know the person in that video...he is quite skilled and not stupid. It was a planned stunt that didn't go to plan Wink


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Feb 2, 2009, 5:59 PM
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In reply to:

Was I being harsh? I don't know, let me know what you think. the student ended up making a few more jumps (without incident) but never got his A.

I don't know if you were harsh or not, but I can say this:

If I ever suggest to someone else that he give up the sport, that will represent a failure as me as an instructor. It will represent a failure in my ability to reach students through whatever means necessary to teach them to love the sport like I do.

Now, not every student that walks onto the DZ is going to get their 'A', that much is obvious, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

Instructors are responsible for the future of skydiving. If we approach it carefully with respect, we can help others to learn the love that we feel. If we approach it half-heartedly, we serve a disrespect not only to the students, but to the sport as a whole.

That's all I'll say on that matter.

To address your other question - yes, Students do stupid things. It's their right. It's our responsibility as instructors to prep them before the jump, and correct them after the jump when they inevitibly screw up. God knows they'll screw up. They're students, that's what they do. I certainly did...

I don't see a lot of value in telling scary student stories in an open forum like this. It's too easy for it to turn into a 'bash the student' thread. Some of the scary students I've known have grown into good skydivers. Some of them have even been featured in parachutist. Those are the stories I'd rather tell.

_Am


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