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Parachutist Editorial

 

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Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 30, 2009, 5:40 PM
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Re: [fasted3] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I see jump numbers as a key part of this discussion, and the desire to make regulations about that issue by some. Fair enough; the accidents have been by low timers and now there are eyes pointed this way. Stating instructor requirements or comparing different methods is fine, but defining who has to do what to get in the air and regulating it is what it's all about. What do we want, and what are we going to get? As I stated, I'm all for following rules, so whatever is regulated is fine by me.
I see this change as drawing a line at 200 jumps. After that everyone needs a FFC. The instructors will have to follow a syllibus, and also follow the rules, if they come about and however they are defined; not a bad thing.

It's not about the jump numbers. What it's really about is:
-Getting manufacturers out of incentivizing instructors (which in turn gets a lot of them taking people out with low numbers) and the training game.

-placing a cohesive instructional method and syllabus akin to IAD, AFF, S/L, and Tandem instruction that is one color, one message, and that everyone who instructs uses so that confusion amongst the "wild wild west teaching methods" are eliminated.

-Bringing instruction in line with USPA guidelines so that instructors are also accountable for their mis-steps (ie-Scott's comment) But this isn't about the jump numbers of the Sebastian fatality, it's about procedures, consistency, and conforming to a long-established methodology of instruction.

-Regardless of jump numbers (ie;500 jumps) anyone wanting to jump a WS will need an FFC. At 500 jumps, you can be a TI, too. With training.
I'll use Jay Stokes as my example. Jay rec'd his FFC from me. More than once he commented "I'd never considered that."
John Mitchell, an AFFI/TI with 5000+ jumps made similar comments during his FFC. I'm sure anyone who instructs has run into this sort of commentary. A wingsuit skydive isn't just another skydive. There is a lot to know, a lot to do, and it can't be taught in 10 minutes.

When has Birdman or PF _ever_ pulled a rating from anyone for taking someone out with low numbers?
Rolf Brombach, a Birdman I/E sends out a newsletter pleading with people to follow the rules, and less than 2 weeks later takes out someone with only 70-odd jumps. We _all_ know stories like this. One BMI/PFI looked me straight in the eye and said "I'm an AFFI, I'm a BMI/PFI, I can tell if someone is ready for the wingsuit or not." One of his students is dead at 118 jumps. Was his rating pulled?

I'm told this discussion is no different than when AFF was brought to the USPA; no one thought it was necessary, a number of jumpmasters fought it. Yet AFF has proven to be one of the greatest assets of the USPA, and adopted in some format or another by nearly every other governing body in the world. It has opened another door for USPA to promote skydiving. USPA doesn't promote wingsuiting, we're not a recognized discipline by the FAI. This is a great first step towards achieving promotion and credibility, IMO.


(This post was edited by DSE on Jun 30, 2009, 8:17 PM)


notsane  (D 9465)

Jun 30, 2009, 6:37 PM
Post #52 of 234 (1230 views)
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Re: [PhoenixRising] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

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I CANNOT agree more. That is how it should be, and how we proposed it.

I am curious who "we" are, because I know for sure that no one has asked for my opinion ... not that they should have.

But have "we" considered the price of this new rating system? I'm just a fun jumper. I don't make any money from jumping (other than for writing articles .. enough to buy a nice dinner altogether) ... this is not my job. No one has ever given me a suit or gear for free. After taking the BMI course years ago from Chuck Blue and Scott Campos, I've taught people for the love of the sport.

If the process of being a wingsuit instructor becomes too much of a hassle, I'll simply stop doing it. I have other priorities, the ones I like to call "a life". And I'm sure there will be plenty of others in the same position. The growth of the sport, which was the honor of many will become the job of a few ... and that growth will likely be slower.

So, good luck, "we". I hope someone was breathing down our necks to regulate ourselves, before they did it to us.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jun 30, 2009, 6:49 PM
Post #53 of 234 (1223 views)
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Re: [notsane] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Im in the same boat as you are....Im not making any money on the sport.
Im happy if I get a free trip out of it every once in a while, but its all for the love of the sport.

But the work currently going on behind the screens is good stuff, and is a thing thats (in my view) workable to a point where even someone like us could easily adopt and join in on this new instruction standard.

Im not part of all this, but having seem some bits and pieces, I cant say anything else but 'Im impressed and hope its what gets accepted as the new standard'


pms07  (D 7571)

Jun 30, 2009, 8:13 PM
Post #54 of 234 (1204 views)
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Re: [mccordia] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Im in the same boat as you are....Im not making any money on the sport.
Im happy if I get a free trip out of it every once in a while, but its all for the love of the sport.

But the work currently going on behind the screens is good stuff, and is a thing thats (in my view) workable to a point where even someone like us could easily adopt and join in on this new instruction standard.

Im not part of all this, but having seem some bits and pieces, I cant say anything else but 'Im impressed and hope its what gets accepted as the new standard'

Just a thought; maybe the proposal in the hands of the USPA for consideration needs wider distribution so those interested can consider and comment. Or maybe even attend the Board of Directors meeting to advocate.


PhoenixRising  (D 28021)

Jun 30, 2009, 8:14 PM
Post #55 of 234 (1204 views)
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Re: [notsane] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

"We" is a group of wingsuiters that collaborated on a document, similar to what Mark Harris did for the B.P.A. We were informed a wingsuit rating was was in consideration. Better to be in front of the train, running at the same speed than to be hit by it. "We" are not the only ones who submitted.

I hope that a ws rating does not take over and slow the growth of the sport. I feel it will not, only it will weed out the ones who are not pulling their weight, so to speak.Smile

Look at Aff, or Tandem etc. The growth is not slowed by the rating required to teach it, it simply helps make sure the individuals teaching it are competent.

Justin


(This post was edited by PhoenixRising on Jun 30, 2009, 8:17 PM)


PhoenixRising  (D 28021)

Jun 30, 2009, 8:15 PM
Post #56 of 234 (1203 views)
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Re: [pms07] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Just a thought; maybe the proposal in the hands of the USPA for consideration needs wider distribution so those interested can consider and comment. Or maybe even attend the Board of Directors meeting to advocate.


you can


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
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Jun 30, 2009, 9:47 PM
Post #57 of 234 (1185 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
When has Birdman or PF _ever_ pulled a rating from anyone for taking someone out with low numbers?

You have my phone number. Call me and I will tell you if it's that important to you.


On a different note. I have been following this thread and when I actually have some time to sit down and type something longer out I will. A few good comments so far but just keep in mind, you don't know what you don't know and be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Jun 30, 2009, 10:16 PM
Post #58 of 234 (1177 views)
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Re: [LouDiamond] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Response to no one in particular.....
Yes, some kind of across the board standardization is a real good thing.
Make a minimum jump number for WS a regulation-OK, now DZO's can enforce it even.
But I'm just having a hard time comparing the "need" for an "official" WSI rating with AFFI or TI.
Just seems ....well not quite apples and oranges but kinda.......
I'm I the only one having a hard time with the comparison????


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jul 1, 2009, 1:52 AM
Post #59 of 234 (1148 views)
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Re: [LouDiamond] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
A few good comments so far but just keep in mind, you don't know what you don't know and be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

It shows you dont know what you dont knowWinkTongue
Having seen what the boys are working on, I hope we get what we ask for.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:39 AM
Post #60 of 234 (1114 views)
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Re: [mccordia] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Having seen what the boys are working on, I hope we get what we ask for.

I hope not. I prefer freedom and am willing to accept that with great freedom comes great responsibility ...


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 1, 2009, 6:53 AM
Post #61 of 234 (1107 views)
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Re: [Butters] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Having seen what the boys are working on, I hope we get what we ask for.

I hope not. I prefer freedom and am willing to accept that with great freedom comes great responsibility ...

Please define specifically how the implementation of a USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating would restrict your freedom as a skydiver/wingsuiter? Otherwise, it's just FUD, and about as valuable and condescending as saying "you don't know what you don't know."
I'm impressed as hell that the team FlyLikeBrick are endorsing this sort of program, that tells me it's got some significant merit.


skydave114  (D License)

Jul 1, 2009, 8:06 AM
Post #62 of 234 (1084 views)
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Re: [bigbearfng] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
But I'm just having a hard time comparing the "need" for an "official" WSI rating with AFFI or TI.
Just seems ....well not quite apples and oranges but kinda.......
I'm I the only one having a hard time with the comparison????

No.
Experienced jumper learning a new trick vs. 1st timer?
more like apples & orangutans.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 1, 2009, 8:26 AM
Post #63 of 234 (1076 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Having seen what the boys are working on, I hope we get what we ask for.

I hope not. I prefer freedom and am willing to accept that with great freedom comes great responsibility ...

Please define specifically how the implementation of a USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating would restrict your freedom as a skydiver/wingsuiter?

A USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating will limit my freedom to instruct (if I ever choose to do so) ... not mention that a rating will likely be followed by regulations (instead of the current recommendations).


(This post was edited by Butters on Jul 1, 2009, 9:04 AM)


notsane  (D 9465)

Jul 1, 2009, 9:00 AM
Post #64 of 234 (1061 views)
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Spot,

As much as I like Jarno and the FlyLikeBrick folks, a proposal for USPA to regulate wingsuit instruction doesn't affect anyone but us USA folks. So, while their input is appreciated, it's us here who will reap whatever rewards or suffer whatever consequenses. The USPA and FAA have long held a fairly "hands-off" approach for all of us, as opposed to other countries.

So, late in the discussion here, we learn that USPA has "regulating wingsuit instruction" as a discussion topic, and there are multiple groups proposing how such regulations should look before USPA unilaterally regulates us. I hope that the need and costs of that regulation are also on the table.

I can only assume that I've been asleep for months and that FFC folks are lawn-darting into the ground by the dozens. After all, swooping kills 10 or more jumpers a year, and they don't have a formal ratings system. Rated AFF instructors hold on to the student 2 at the time during freefall and require significant air-skills. For us, once a FFC student is out the door, there's little the instructor can do, other than point back to the dz and take pictures. Tandems, AFF and S/L all involve people with no experience and no ability to choose a responsable instructor. FFC students are supposed to have 200 jumps ... that used to mean that person was experienced and able to make intelligent choices for themselves here in the states.

An aside to the folks crafting these proposals ... invite paticipation and you might get some buy-in.


(This post was edited by notsane on Jul 1, 2009, 9:36 AM)


The111  (D 29246)

Jul 1, 2009, 9:25 AM
Post #65 of 234 (1039 views)
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Re: [Butters] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Please define specifically how the implementation of a USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating would restrict your freedom as a skydiver/wingsuiter?

A USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating will limit my freedom to instruct (if I ever choose to do so) ... not mention that a rating will likely be followed by regulations (instead of the current recommendations).

Isn't safety of the student far more important than "freedom" of the instructor?

And as far as recommendations turning into regulations... I can't think of one intelligent person on this forum who would say "yes" to a 150-jump wonder asking to jump a WS today. So if we all agree on the recommendations, what is the harm in making them stick, so that DZ's actually pay attention to them too?

It's funny, I am normally a counter-culture anti-rules kind of guy... but really how much would it hurt any of us if we just made people take the current recommendations more seriously by making them concrete guidelines? Nobody has provided a good answer to that question, just vague fearmongering like "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it." Well, we've been asking that sub-par "instructors" and people with under 200 jumps stop making asses of themselves and the rest of our community. Would it be so bad if we actually got that?

Seriously, if I am wrong here, somebody give me a precise example of a negative consequence (to us) of turning recommendations into rules.


notsane  (D 9465)

Jul 1, 2009, 9:56 AM
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Re: [The111] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Matt,

I think I can address that:

The overall goal is to increase safety for the FFC student. A rating system may do that.

The knowns:
A rating system will cost dollars, time and effort for USPA and participants alike.

Those costs will be passed along to the FFC student.

Instructors unable or unwilling to incur or pass along those costs or obtain the rating will remove themselves from the system.

The unknowns:
What previous incidents would have been prevented by such a rating system?

Will safety for FFC students be increased, and by how much?



There's all this talk about current ratings being given "over a beer" and reigning in instructors who aren't following the guidelines. Do we simply not have the balls to out those folks now (whoever "they" are)? Is calling the USPA to out them going to be easier?

If you think folks used to bitch about instructors making money off FFC's, just wait. If someone is forking out the time and money for a rating, they will want to get paid ... and rightfully so. Tandems and AFF's aren't done for free. Where's VooDoo when you need him? Smile


(This post was edited by notsane on Jul 1, 2009, 10:08 AM)


The111  (D 29246)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Re: [notsane] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeh, but AFF and tandem instructors both get paid. People that want to fly a wingsuit will pay for it... they're gonna pay over a grand for a suit soon anyway.

It's a funny issue for me. It's not important enough that I would go crusading for regulation... but at the same time I have no good reason to say no to it either, if others want to do the legwork.


mnskydiver688  (D 30125)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:09 AM
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Re: [The111] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

This may seem a bit fatalistic and please excuse me if I offend anybody. However, isn't it somewhat of a benefit for wingsuiting to be viewed as a more "dangerous" discipline? Without the presence of death in skydiving very few people would voluntarily take a big bite of humble pie. Consider CReW for example. Almost all new jumpers have heard crazy stories about CReW and how close people have come. When I ask around very few new jumpers want to get into CReW. While death is a horrible result that can occur in the sport, isn't it what keeps the rest of us alive?
I understand this doesn't directly relate to the thread, but it is something to consider as we continue to change and evolve the methods of training and instructing, which in turns affects the attitude towards the sport.


notsane  (D 9465)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:13 AM
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Re: [mnskydiver688] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Comparing teaching CRW to a FFC is actually a perfect analogy. Nice insight.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:14 AM
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Re: [notsane] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

People pay money to earn a coach rating too. Spend a few search key moments in the Instructor forums and see how many Coaches are making money for their coached jumps, or are passing along the cost for earning that rating.
Damn few. If you're a wingsuit instructor because you want to make big $$, then you must know something I don't. It'll be a long while til I've earned enough from FFC's to pay for my Intro's in various sizes. I do it for the love of teaching, and the $20.00 a year to renew my rating isn't enough for me to be concerned about. Tell you what, Scott....become a USPA Wingsuit Instructor and *I'll* pay your yearly WSI renewal for as long as you're instructing, because I think you're that valuable to the wingsuiting community.

At this point, it's all FUD. Gee, damn, whiz, wow. Butters is worried that as an instructor, his "freedom" will be restricted. Yeah, it would *really* suck to have to be able to demonstrate you can:
-actually teach so that the student comprehends what you have to share
-actually fly _with_ the student so they can see you during the jump and potentially receive hand signals
-pass a written test of common sense questions that every wingsuit instructor should know.

Damn, that means you'll actually have to prove competency. I can see how that would limit the "freedom" of an incompetent. Which is exactly what a coach rating, AFF rating, TI rating, SL rating, and IAD rating test program actually does. It weeds out those that aren't ready or able.
I can see how those that got their rating over a beer or a lunch are worried about this program going through. I know of several guys that never once saw their instructor during their FFC (including me) or had their instructor flying straight towards them. Those guys can't pass the USPA rating program and therefore won't be able to teach anymore. Good riddance, AFAIC.


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 1, 2009, 10:57 AM
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Butters is worried that as an instructor, his "freedom" will be restricted.

That isn't what I'm worried about (I have no intentions of becoming an instructor). I'm worried about all the regulations that will go along with the instructor rating ...


PhoenixRising  (D 28021)

Jul 1, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Re: [skyjumpsteve] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

The proposals can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/...ng-Executive-Summary and here: http://www.scribd.com/...roposed-Wingsuit-IRM

The first one is an executive summary. It's a good place to start to get the basics. Please do not comment on this document if you do not Read the summary first.

The second one has two parts to it. The first part is the content that would go into the USPA's Instructional Rating Manual. If the organization on that one seems a little weird, it's because it had to match the other sections of the IRM. The second part is the first flight course syllabus.

We'd welcome any constructive feedback.

Justin


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jul 1, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Re: [Butters] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, you mean Article IV, Section 9, paragraph 3: "No Butters Allowed." Wink

Gotcha.

[For the humor impaired, this is a joke - it doesn't refer to him by his dropzone.com nickname...]


Butters  (C 37840)

Jul 1, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Re: [Skwrl] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Oh, you mean Article IV, Section 9, paragraph 3: "No Butters Allowed." Wink

For now it's only a recommendation ... Laugh


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Jul 1, 2009, 11:09 AM
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Re: [DSE] Parachutist Editorial [In reply to] Can't Post

"No.
Experienced jumper learning a new trick vs. 1st timer?
more like apples & orangutans. "

Again-you want to make minimum jump numbers a regulation-I don't see as anyone would argue the point. Hell, even require "RTFM". (Start with the SIMCrazy).

But sorry, but I can't help getting hung up on the comparisons....
TI, you're attached to the student.
AFFI, initially you're harness hold out the door with them, stabilize and pull for them if need be..
WS? They've already learned to jump, been doin it-
Yes, you're imparting knowlege to them pre jump,
But reality is even if you're flying right next to them-they're on their own once they're out the door......


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