Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Why is static line a dying discipline?

 

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next page Last page  View All

kmills0705  (D 21696)

Mar 23, 2009, 11:10 AM
Post #1 of 127 (11100 views)
Shortcut
Why is static line a dying discipline? Can't Post

So as I am reading through some of the recent posts about the recession and students on AFF trying to find the money to get through AFF program I wonder "Why is static line a dying discipline"?

With USPA's ISP (Integrated Student Progression) program designed to get skydivers to A license holder in the same number of jumps I wonder why AFF seems to be the only option these days.

I got my A license with investing less than $800. I went through the static line progression program back in 1997. After the FJC I paid $30 per jump.

After looking at some of the smaller 182 drop zone's here in Indiana I see that on average the Static Line FJC is roughly $160 with subsequent jumps averaging $50.00. That gets a student to the same exact point as the AFF program at a much lower cost. And a student does not have to put down a huge chunk of change at once. Logically I would think a student is more likely to come make 2 or 3 jumps in a weekend (and spend more time at the dz ) for $150 than making a single AFF jump for $200 or more.

So I sit here wondering why it is offered less and less these days? Is it because gone are the days of little 182 dz's and a turbine is no longer a "special" weekend.

Tell me your thoughts. Why would you recommend AFF over static line?


Heatmiser  (C License)

Mar 23, 2009, 11:19 AM
Post #2 of 127 (11006 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Here in OK, it is most definitely NOT a dying method of training. At my home DZ we are training 10 - 20 1st jump students on average a week. It is worthwhile to note that we are very inexpensive, and we do not do tandems. I spent around 1400 all the way to license, and I repeated maybe 8 jumps!


Peaches87

Mar 23, 2009, 11:28 AM
Post #3 of 127 (10983 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

I chose AFF for the same reason I didn't want to do a tandem first. Those jumps might be more expensive, but they are also your first experiences skydiving.

While I don't know much past the basics of static line, I also think that more coaching and experience before getting your license would be safer and more preferable.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 23, 2009, 11:35 AM
Post #4 of 127 (10968 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

For us, it died out over several steps.

The first sign of the end was when we started putting AFF JM's with 'problem' SL students who could not get their C+P's down. We'd basically move them to a modified level 4, and they'd do much better with the extra time to get stable. This wasn't a big hardship because by that time most of our instructors were rated in both, so they'd just put the 'problem student' out last.

Then we switched to direct bag, which was more reliable but had a few problems. One, it led to really ugly openings; sometimes the slider would be moving down the lines before the canopy was completely clear of the bag. Two, it was too fast to do any sort of a respectable practice pull. You had to be lightning fast to do "arch, reach, feel, pull" before the canopy was open. Three, it was catching people's left arms, since the lines would generally pay out above the student, and if he went backwards at all, his arm would be in the lines - especially if he was reaching above his head for the practice pull.

So we started doing a few static lines as an 'intro' and then moving them to AFF. Gave them experience exiting and under canopy, which was good, then they were moved to an AFF level 2 or 3.

After a little while we realized that the SL was becoming something of a white elephant. It didn't save the student much money (because they'd go right into AFF anyway) and started to get a stigma as the "wimpy" way to start. It faded out after that.


AllisonH  (D 29505)

Mar 23, 2009, 11:37 AM
Post #5 of 127 (10961 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Peaches87] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
While I don't know much past the basics of static line, I also think that more coaching and experience before getting your license would be safer and more preferable.


In many cases, you end up with the same number of coach jumps and the same number of total jumps when you get your license. The jumps "taken away" by doing static line in the beginning of your progression are frequently (though of course not always) replaced by solo jumps in the AFF progression. So it's quite possible that the static line student actually ends up with more instructor/coach supervision/interaction.


Heatmiser  (C License)

Mar 23, 2009, 11:46 AM
Post #6 of 127 (10938 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AllisonH] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Every freefall at our DZ is a coach jump, once you reach terminal. Our DZ uses and old school method of climbing stairs of altitude, with a specific goal for every jump. There is no "cleared for solo freefall" in the progression. Every jump has an objective. It can be frustrating, but it guarantees that you don't get the students caught in limbo that are cleared for solo freefall, but not licensed to jump with others. I am curious whether it affects the percentage of students that continue in this sport, one way or another.

Oh, and Bill, you are completely right, it is almost impossible to get a clean DRCP. The static-line beats you to deployment pretty much every time.


Krip  (Student)

Mar 23, 2009, 11:46 AM
Post #7 of 127 (10936 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi K

IMO

if you want it all, now, and $$$ is no object than the customer will take the express ride to being a real skydiver. AFF all the wayUnimpressed

The turbine DZ's need the cash flow and profit that AFF offers, and wants to provide what their customers think they need.

I'm not sure that Cessna DZ and static line is a thing of the past in all parts of the country. They offer a quality product at a fair price. It's just not a glamerous or fast as AFF. How many video's do you see on line of a static line jump vs a AFF jumpTongue

The recession is going to hit all area's of our economy (Except GunsWink) I think It's just hitting the turbine DZ's harder.

Back in the day static line cessna 180/182 was all there was thats how we learned. It works

I've seen the mega DZ with Turbines, tandems, AFF swimming pool, snack bar, gear store, professional skydivers, video people, packers. If thats what the public think they need so be it.

Different strokes for different folks. Enjoy what you got. Whatever it is, as long as its safe.


gearless_chris  (D 29012)

Mar 23, 2009, 12:05 PM
Post #8 of 127 (10888 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

   My DZO says that AFF gets pushed at turbine dz's because they can drop everybody on one pass. If they had static line progression students they may have to make a pass at 3,500, another at 5,500, another at 7,500, and then the rest at 12,500. All the extra passes kills a lot of time and fuel. At a 182 dz with a good radio operator the static line is much faster and more profitable for the dz than AFF. At Goshen they even had static line videos if there was staff available for it. The dz's are going to push what's more profitable for them than what's cheaper for the students.
Do you guys do static line or IAD at Richmond? We had Jim come up to Angola a couple years ago and get us rated for IAD


kmills0705  (D 21696)

Mar 23, 2009, 12:23 PM
Post #9 of 127 (10847 views)
Shortcut
Re: [gearless_chris] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

We do static line at Richmond (as well as AFF) and it is still popular here in the Midwest. I just read a lot on dz.com and wonder why the hell aren't these people choosing to go the slower/cheaper route. Well at the big turbine drop zones they don't offer it anymore for reasons that have all been mentioned here.

Greensburg, IN no longer offers static line (where I started jumping via static line progression).

I have mixed feelings on some of the replies. I am a static line Instructor and have put out approximately 150 static line student. I have seen clean prcp's and have seen many students successfully complete the progression program. I personally think it is a great program - less demanding on the students and gets you to A license regardless. Repeating a level isn't so costly.

Keep the replies coming!


pwln  (C 35574)

Mar 23, 2009, 1:08 PM
Post #10 of 127 (10792 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems to me that a few years ago S/L was dead at a lot of dz's but has started to make a comeback recently. If I could have picked S/L when I was training I would have but the cheapest way for me was tandem to IAD. AFF was WAY too much $$ for my pocket.

S/L seems cheaper for the DZ's that have a 182 sitting around, less instructors to pay, shorter classes and maybe even a better sense of accomplishment from the student?


sid  (D 20135)

Mar 23, 2009, 1:14 PM
Post #11 of 127 (10788 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

part of the move away from Static Line was for financial reasons. Once the course was developed a whole "AFF Industry" grew up around it. The certification course to become an AFF I was very expensive and had a relatively low pass rate, so some instructor candidates had to repeat the course. Then the "pre-course courses" popped up and then came the courses to train people to be AFF evaluators. DZO's and candidates spent a lot of time and money getting themselves and their staff qualified to offer and maintain AFF.

The Instructors needed to promote the AFF program to recover their investment and the DZO had to promote it as many had fronted the cost of the courses. So when new skydivers came along the AFF program was pushed over the Static Line program, and it was common to hear phrases like "Static Line only teaches you to fly a parachute" or "If you want to be a real skydiver, AFF is the only option" and yet all of the people that developed the AFF program learned through Static line.... Wink

I really believe that the huge upfront costs of AFF have reduced the retention rate of new skydivers and put off a lot of people who would otherwise have gone through training. At 25 jumps you should all have the same knowledge no matter what program you take.


SStewart  (D 10405)

Mar 23, 2009, 1:23 PM
Post #12 of 127 (10771 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

If you look at the dropzone listings on this site there are 265 dropzones in the US listed. Out of those 164 offer static line training or almost 62% In some states all of the DZ's have a SL (or IAD)program in others states most of them do. It seems that SL/IAD training is less common in the warmer and drier states that have larger turbine DZ's.

I think it is still the most cost effective way at small cessna DZ's and just the opposite at the large commercial centers.

Two AFF instructors and one student out of a 182 at 10,000 feet or one instructor and 3 students from 3000?

Do the math.

Wink


pwln  (C 35574)

Mar 23, 2009, 1:27 PM
Post #13 of 127 (10762 views)
Shortcut
Re: [sid] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll agree with that. With all of the changes the past few years most people would have to give their right arm just to get a coach rating let alone an aff rating.

I guess that's what happens when the USPA is ran by DZO's. Didn't new jumpers used to be trained by old jumpers that just wanted more people to jump with?


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Mar 23, 2009, 1:32 PM
Post #14 of 127 (10748 views)
Shortcut
Re: [pwln] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

The experience with S/L can also vary quite a bit even at the same DZ. I ended up having two distinct S/L progressions. My first try I made 14 jumps in about a month. I got to full altitude and hit a plateau. I was having a very hard time learning anything and so I just quit. I never had an instructor follow me out during the first try. I didn't jump at all the next summer. The following year I decided to give it another go. This time around an instructor followed me out on every jump. Gave pointers and in some cases I had video to look at. That guidance and the video debriefs, made all the difference. Haven't looked back since.

With AFF you know you will have an instructor along for the AFF levels. There is more guaranteed in the early stages of AFF in regards to instruction than with S/L.

As a side note, I think you end up learning more and end up being more comfortable in different situations with S/L however.

Example, a static line taught jumper goes to a turbine DZ and laughs a little inside when he hears the AFF students going crazy about exiting at 3,500 feet, when they were exiting at that altitude or even a bit lower from their first jump. Think about how a static line trained jumper/student would act in a emergency situation that requires exiting at 2,500 feet in comparison to an AFF taught jumper/student.


gearless_chris  (D 29012)

Mar 23, 2009, 1:49 PM
Post #15 of 127 (10719 views)
Shortcut
Re: [SStewart] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

  In Goshen they felt that they needed to go higher than normal to justify the extra expense of AFF so they tried to get 11,500. Some days they could get it some days they couldn't, they just climbed until it dropped under 200 ft/min. They had a widebody so it climbed slow to begin with. If the rigs worked out right they could be dropping a second load of static line students by the time we got to jump. I hated doing AFF video, that extra 15 minutes in the plane killed me.
I like sid's answer too. I never understood why someone would want to pay $200-$300 for the first 8 jumps, then still do coach jumps for the next 17.


kmills0705  (D 21696)

Mar 23, 2009, 1:51 PM
Post #16 of 127 (10717 views)
Shortcut
Re: [SStewart] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If you look at the dropzone listings on this site there are 265 dropzones in the US listed. Out of those 164 offer static line training or almost 62% In some states all of the DZ's have a SL (or IAD)program in others states most of them do. It seems that SL/IAD training is less common in the warmer and drier states that have larger turbine DZ's.

Wink

Thanks for looking up the stats. I wonder though if that is a true representation though. I looked up Skydive Greensburg - my old DZ I used to teach the S/L FJC at. They are listed here as: Aircraft: Super Otter, Grand Caravan, Cessna 206
Training: AFF, S/L, Tandem
AAD: Not Required
Hook Turns: Allowed
USPA Membership: Required

They no longer do static line. As their website states:
Tandem Skydive:
Reg. Price: $239.00 - Sale Price: $189.00
Accelerated Freefall Skydive:
Reg. Price: $339.00 - Sale Price: $289.00
Video of your jump:
Reg. Price: $89.00 - Sale Price: $79.00


But they are now a bigger turbine DZ and gone are the days of static line.

I just think it shouldn't be overlooked as a cheaper - perhaps better option for those who can't throw 3K into AFF.

Maybe I am a little biased as this program made an awesome skydiver out of me AND I am an instructor too!!! LaughWink


peek  (D 8884)

Mar 23, 2009, 2:22 PM
Post #17 of 127 (10677 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

S/L instruction requires instructors that care about the sport than about themselves and their pay. This type of instructor is becoming harder to find as our poor sport is becoming more and more commercialized.

One DZO I know gave up on S/L instruction because his staff was too cool to go dispatch a few S/L students and do a clear and pull after them. They wanted the freefall and the pay the AFF instruction provided.

Don't even get me started on Tandem ....


Oops, changed my mind!

We have 2 training methods that 1. use/require more turbine aircraft support, 2. are oriented toward longer freefalls and "more fun", and 3. generally pay the instructors more, than S/L.

They kind of "gang up" on S/L instruction don't they?

Once a dropzone has a turbine aircraft that they can barely afford (because they have to "keep up with the Jones'" and won't admit it is sucking them dry), it's "all about" the turbine. More tandems, more AFF, (and more freefall video too.)

Although S/L instruction can make them more money if done from more affordable aircraft, it doesn't fit in as well with the turbine aircraft.


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Mar 23, 2009, 2:33 PM
Post #18 of 127 (10657 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

Having worked on DZs that offered both for years, I do believe that AFF students are better flyers at 25 jumps than those who go standard progression. Furthermore I think that difference persists to the B licence level. There is value in teaching people to arch properly from the beginning. The immediate feedback helps.
The other reason is risk management. The AFF has a much lower fatality rate. The first AFF fatality in the US (with both instructors actually rated) was more than 20 years into the program.


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Mar 23, 2009, 2:44 PM
Post #19 of 127 (10639 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andrewwhyte] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a hard time completely agreeing with the first statement. I think with AFF students it really depends on their experiences after they are cleared for solo's. If they just go out and screw around from 7 to 25, what have they really improved on? Is the AFF system setup in such a way to have a better chance of being a better flyer at 25 jumps? Yes. Do students always stay diligent in the task of learning something new on every jump? Not always.

Disclaimer: I know very little. Wink


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Mar 23, 2009, 2:58 PM
Post #20 of 127 (10611 views)
Shortcut
Re: [mnskydiver688] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I have a hard time completely agreeing with the first statement. I think with AFF students it really depends on their experiences after they are cleared for solo's. If they just go out and screw around from 7 to 25, what have they really improved on? Is the AFF system setup in such a way to have a better chance of being a better flyer at 25 jumps? Yes. Do students always stay diligent in the task of learning something new on every jump? Not always.

Disclaimer: I know very little. Wink
The point is they are not allowed to get bad habits on the first five minutes of FF. I have spent a lot of time trying to fix knees down positions on jumpers who got into the habit when no one was watching. This was the original justification for 'buddy jumping' which lead to AFF. It is also the big justification for putting students in the tunnel before they even get into an aircraft.


Croc  (D 29552)

Mar 23, 2009, 3:44 PM
Post #21 of 127 (10555 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andrewwhyte] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In my very limited experience I have also noticed that most SL students have a great deal of trouble with stability, backsliding, turns, etc. in freefall. But I also think AFF students are more likely to be ignored after they are cleared for freefall. At a smaller DZ, without a huge investment to recoup in the student program, I suspect more attention is paid to the jumper who is cleared for freefall but not yet licensed.

That having been said, everyone learns differently. We had a SL student who made several attempts to make his first jump but could not overcome the open door. He came back and jumped later that year. He had taken AFF at a nearby DZ, finished in one week, and already had his C license!


Cutaway68  (D 29478)

Mar 23, 2009, 4:06 PM
Post #22 of 127 (10534 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andrewwhyte] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Having worked on DZs that offered both for years, I do believe that AFF students are better flyers at 25 jumps than those who go standard progression. Furthermore I think that difference persists to the B licence level. There is value in teaching people to arch properly from the beginning. The immediate feedback helps.
The other reason is risk management. The AFF has a much lower fatality rate. The first AFF fatality in the US (with both instructors actually rated) was more than 20 years into the program.

Except their canopy flying skills. I believe SL students are better canopy pilots (where the flying part matters most).

Besides, most AFFI's were probably AFF students, that means they get scared getting out low.Tongue


kmills0705  (D 21696)

Mar 23, 2009, 4:09 PM
Post #23 of 127 (10532 views)
Shortcut
Re: [peek] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Once a dropzone has a turbine aircraft that they can barely afford (because they have to "keep up with the Jones'" and won't admit it is sucking them dry), it's "all about" the turbine. More tandems, more AFF, (and more freefall video too.)

Although S/L instruction can make them more money if done from more affordable aircraft, it doesn't fit in as well with the turbine aircraft.

You know I was talking to my boyfriend about this topic this afternoon. He is an I/E in all three disciplines. The answer really comes down to the turbine. You can't drop static lines from a turbine (safely or economically speaking).

Well, I will still promote the static line program for those who have it available. It is a good solid program and there are those of us instructors who are still eager to share our knowledge and passion for the sport.


robskydiv  (D 26660)

Mar 23, 2009, 5:45 PM
Post #24 of 127 (10456 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Heatmiser] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

The "Static Line" method may be more intimidating to the student because the student won't have anyone holding onto him/her once on freefall. Maybe it's not as appealing as AFF.


blueskiesbill  (B 30169)

Mar 23, 2009, 6:15 PM
Post #25 of 127 (10420 views)
Shortcut
Re: [robskydiv] Why is static line a dying discipline? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a product of S/L and here is my two cents:

had it been more expensive i am not sure if I would have made it financially....well i would not have finished as quick...knowing that every jump after my first $160 investment was only $38 was cake for me...i didnt even think about the money

although i must fill you in on my wonderful home DZ -- a tiny place in northern NY (now in Northern VT) that was a volunteer not for profit club...after i made it to freefall status i was jumping with 50 yr olds with 15000 jumps and 25 yr olds with 400 and everything in between ... and the 'coach jumps' were free ....

so if it werent for S/L i prob would not be where i am today and even more importantly the static line definitley prepares you for LINE TWISTS

i think it should be offered some more because given both options i think people will still take AFF for their own personal comfort reasons...S/L is not for everyone --- hanging from the side of a tiny cessna that looks like its about to go in a nose dive straight to the ground because all that duct tape holding the engine together that is about to break and then some guy is yelling at you from inside the plane and all you can think is what the hell am i doing then 10 seconds after you let go your like 'damn i love this shit!!!'


First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Skydiving : Safety and Training

 


Search for (options)