Forums: Skydiving: Tandem Skydiving:
Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this?

 


poser  (Student)

Sep 17, 2009, 10:54 PM
Post #1 of 25 (3234 views)
Shortcut
Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? Can't Post

I think this belongs here, maybe in general, anyway..
Scenario:
We're on the ride up, I'm last man before the tandems. Tandem student is next to me and directly across from her is what I believe to be another tandem master (looks like he's flying camera maybe). Based on the exchange he's definitely employed by the DZ.
He reaches over to the student and puts his finger in the chest strap which has a loop sticking straight out of about 3-4" and tugs on it to see if it's actually connected, looks at the tandem instructor for said student and the following exchange happens:
"little loose isn't it?"
'it's all they had available' (palms up with a slight shrug)
to student "well you better hold on tight"
student is oblivious.

Now this is my level 1 AFF jump, so I've got other things on my mind at this time, there are my two instructors right there, and another couple tandems behind the one in question. I saw a few glances around which I took to mean that nobody else thought it was a major issue, but now that some time has passed it's kinda spooky in that close call sort of way...

So the question is, how dangerous is a loose chest strap on a tandem?

In retrospect I think I should have elbowed one of my instructors and asked them if that looked like something they should jump or not, but like I said I was pretty preoccupied at the time.
Last thing I want to do blow it out of proportion and get the tandem student freaked out.

Given the tandem instructors response and body language, it sure seemed like he wasn't entirely comfortable with it but did it anyway = bad judgment in my opinion.

So I guess I'm wondering the best way to handle something like this (in the future), and does it merit letting the DZ management know?


eightate8at8  (A License)

Sep 17, 2009, 11:08 PM
Post #2 of 25 (3207 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe they were kidding around for the video?


indyz  (D 28525)

Sep 17, 2009, 11:14 PM
Post #3 of 25 (3199 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

When the instructors hooks up and tightens down the lower connections, the chest strap and belly strap will get a lot tighter. If those straps are snug before hooking up, they often have to be loosened a bit afterwords.

Most likely you just saw a pretty common stupid joke that tandem instructors make.


dragon2  (D 101989)

Sep 17, 2009, 11:43 PM
Post #4 of 25 (3190 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Standard joke thing. If you had interfered, you'd have either really made the student nervous (a SKYDIVER thinks this is dangerous too?) or made a lot of fun of for falling for it. Now whether this joke is appropriate or not depends on who it was played with and on who you ask, you could just ask the DZO about it but not likely you're gonna make a difference there,, esp. if you're not a TM yourself. If you continue to skydive you'll likely see more TM/student interaction like that, best is to stay out of it.


agnieszkas  (B 2717)

Sep 18, 2009, 2:31 AM
Post #5 of 25 (3160 views)
Shortcut
Re: [eightate8at8] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Could have been a joke...

Seen many times the tandem instructor making serious comments like that, or even better "this is my first tandem jump" - trying to get some reaction (scared reaction) from his passenger.


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 18, 2009, 3:52 AM
Post #6 of 25 (3144 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Classic TI/Vidiot/Student humor. You fell for the joke that is meant for the tandem group.

Now, in the future, please start by asking questions to your instructors instead of here. The internet is full of "experts" who give wrong information which can be dangerous in skydiving.


Chubba  (A 10160)

Sep 18, 2009, 4:11 AM
Post #7 of 25 (3138 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

You're the type of person I like around the dropzone... no matter the experience level, you should always be looking (remember, never touch without asking) at everyones rigs.


peek  (D 8884)

Sep 18, 2009, 5:10 AM
Post #8 of 25 (3104 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with all the other respondents that it was one of those stupid jokes tandem staff plays on students.

If this makes another student (you) uncomfortable it kind of proves that it is stupid, doesn't it? Why would an instructor do something that makes (any) student nervous?

Be glad you are an AFF student, and some day when you get many jumps and become an instructor, maybe you can be more professional.


Chubba  (A 10160)

Sep 18, 2009, 5:17 AM
Post #9 of 25 (3101 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

The more I think about it, you should have given your AFFI's that nudge and recieved a solid explanation.


MikeJD  (D 10605)

Sep 18, 2009, 5:27 AM
Post #10 of 25 (3089 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Chubba] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You're the type of person I like around the dropzone... no matter the experience level, you should always be looking (remember, never touch without asking) at everyones rigs.

Agreed. A tandem instructor wouldn't be using a harness that he genuinely thought was unsafe, but don't be put off asking questions by the fact that you might have been the butt of a joke in this case - just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't be heads-up. You might spot something that an old hand has missed through complacency!

If something concerns you in the plane, say so - preferably to your instructor or JM. The worst that can happen is that someone will reassure you that everything is fine and maybe have a smile at your expense. On the other hand, you may just save a life.


normiss  (D 28356)

Sep 18, 2009, 6:31 AM
Post #11 of 25 (3049 views)
Shortcut
Re: [agnieszkas] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Humor CAN help relieve some tension and apprehension the student has. We're not looking to scare them at all, hopefully get them to relax a bit.
The scared ones are typically the ones you don't want to joke with!


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Sep 18, 2009, 7:57 AM
Post #12 of 25 (2979 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Corny joke!
If the harness is adjusted correctly - for arching - it will look loose when you sit down.

This is because the distance between your shoulders and thighs decreases when you sit down.
If you make the mistake of tightening the chest strap - so it is tight while sitting - it will prevent you from spreading your shoulders and chest into an arch.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Sep 18, 2009, 8:04 AM
Post #13 of 25 (2977 views)
Shortcut
Re: [peek] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

We had a TI that would loudly scream "OH MY GOD, what was that?" or "HOLY SHIT, what was that?" while poking the student in the ribs. The student inevitably would say "What happened?" to which he'd reply "It was nothing."

Scared every one on the loads for the first week he was jumping at our place.

Some of the tandem jokes are funny, such as "If I do this one right, they'll let me start jumping by myself."


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Sep 18, 2009, 8:35 AM
Post #14 of 25 (2944 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DSE] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Or to the student as the T-I sits them in their lap: "You know what the difference between a BMW and a hard on it? (Insert T-I's name here) doesn't have a BMW!"

It works with other top end brand name cars as well.

Jokes are used well by some and poorly by others. Instructors have to be good enough judges of charactor and timing, to be able to tell what and when jokes will work, not just force them out as the only routine they know every time.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Sep 18, 2009, 9:33 AM
Post #15 of 25 (2911 views)
Shortcut
Re: [matthewcline] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Jokes are used well by some and poorly by others. Instructors have to be good enough judges of charactor and timing, to be able to tell what and when jokes will work, not just force them out as the only routine they know every time.
Perfect response. You have to read the student and see what their emotional state is. Some are ready for a little light gallows humor, others need reassurance and calming.

To DSE, I hope that TM changed his schtick. That screaming crap would wear on me really quickly.

To the OP:

1- Thanks for keeping your eyes open and watching for safety issues. That's the kind of habit that will save someone someday. You're welcome on my load any day.

2- Feel free to ask your AFF-I's, quietly, if you have a question. A good instructor will be glad to answer your question, especially about safety. Smile


Ion01  (B License)

Sep 18, 2009, 10:18 AM
Post #16 of 25 (2876 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DSE] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
"If I do this one right, they'll let me start jumping by myself."

Thats hilarious. When my wife did her first tandem the instructor was saying things like that the whole time. Like when the chute opened he said "shew....it opened this time...." or when on the way to the plane he asked her what she was planning on doing, she said "jump out of the plane," to which he replied "well I have a parachute...what are you going to do?" She loved the jokes and it made it way more fun. I think we enjoy the video for the jokes more than for the jump.


kmills0705  (D 21696)

Sep 22, 2009, 10:46 AM
Post #17 of 25 (2456 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think this belongs here, maybe in general, anyway..
Scenario:
We're on the ride up, I'm last man before the tandems. Tandem student is next to me and directly across from her is what I believe to be another tandem master (looks like he's flying camera maybe). Based on the exchange he's definitely employed by the DZ.
He reaches over to the student and puts his finger in the chest strap which has a loop sticking straight out of about 3-4" and tugs on it to see if it's actually connected, looks at the tandem instructor for said student and the following exchange happens:
"little loose isn't it?"
'it's all they had available' (palms up with a slight shrug)
to student "well you better hold on tight"
student is oblivious.

Now this is my level 1 AFF jump, so I've got other things on my mind at this time, there are my two instructors right there, and another couple tandems behind the one in question. I saw a few glances around which I took to mean that nobody else thought it was a major issue, but now that some time has passed it's kinda spooky in that close call sort of way...

So the question is, how dangerous is a loose chest strap on a tandem?

In retrospect I think I should have elbowed one of my instructors and asked them if that looked like something they should jump or not, but like I said I was pretty preoccupied at the time.
Last thing I want to do blow it out of proportion and get the tandem student freaked out.

Given the tandem instructors response and body language, it sure seemed like he wasn't entirely comfortable with it but did it anyway = bad judgment in my opinion.

So I guess I'm wondering the best way to handle something like this (in the future), and does it merit letting the DZ management know?

Poser, I think the general consensus here is that tandem instructors often will play and joke around with their students. This isn't meant to scare anyone, but typically they are reading their students expressions and adjusting their levels of joking to that. Not typically to the rest of the plane.

Also, I would recommend you ask the questions to your instructors in the moment. Posting to a public forum will get you nothing but speculation. We were not there. We didn't see the chest strap and hear the tone of the others involved.

While there are some kudos to being aware of equipment and other jumpers - being aware won't help you if you bring it up after the fact.


rivetgeek

Sep 22, 2009, 8:30 PM
Post #18 of 25 (2358 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kmills0705] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

On my first (and only) tandem the TI (Elsinore, i think it was christian) puts on this 5 minute long fake conversation with his girlfriend (wife?) about her being upset that he's violating parole by being at the dropzone. Actually had me goin for a couple minutes.


Tuna-Salad  (C 38765)

Sep 23, 2009, 1:27 AM
Post #19 of 25 (2311 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think this belongs here, maybe in general, anyway..
Scenario:
We're on the ride up, I'm last man before the tandems. Tandem student is next to me and directly across from her is what I believe to be another tandem master (looks like he's flying camera maybe). Based on the exchange he's definitely employed by the DZ.
He reaches over to the student and puts his finger in the chest strap which has a loop sticking straight out of about 3-4" and tugs on it to see if it's actually connected, looks at the tandem instructor for said student and the following exchange happens:
"little loose isn't it?"
'it's all they had available' (palms up with a slight shrug)
to student "well you better hold on tight"
student is oblivious.

Now this is my level 1 AFF jump, so I've got other things on my mind at this time, there are my two instructors right there, and another couple tandems behind the one in question. I saw a few glances around which I took to mean that nobody else thought it was a major issue, but now that some time has passed it's kinda spooky in that close call sort of way...

So the question is, how dangerous is a loose chest strap on a tandem?

In retrospect I think I should have elbowed one of my instructors and asked them if that looked like something they should jump or not, but like I said I was pretty preoccupied at the time.
Last thing I want to do blow it out of proportion and get the tandem student freaked out.

Given the tandem instructors response and body language, it sure seemed like he wasn't entirely comfortable with it but did it anyway = bad judgment in my opinion.

So I guess I'm wondering the best way to handle something like this (in the future), and does it merit letting the DZ management know?


Everyone here so far dodged a fact with their smart ass "just a joke" remarks. You post whores here might think you are experts with your thousands of jumps and tens of thousands of posts to rectify it or think im just another "100 jump wonder" but I know if you take this sport for granted or lose respect for it then it will kill your ass. Not taking things seriously has the potential of helping others make fatal mistakes. This should be learned from

I ask you now.....What if it wasn't a joke? Good that this new jumper is paying attention to detail.. I applaud you.


kkeenan  (D 22164)

Sep 23, 2009, 7:55 AM
Post #20 of 25 (2247 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Tuna-Salad] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...might think you are experts with your thousands of jumps ...

What, exactly, do you consider qualification to be called an "expert" ?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Sep 23, 2009, 8:01 AM
Post #21 of 25 (2243 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kkeenan] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:


What, exactly, do you consider qualification to be called an "expert" ?

A D license in posts?Laugh


kmills0705  (D 21696)

Sep 23, 2009, 9:05 AM
Post #22 of 25 (2226 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Tuna-Salad] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Tuna... I think that is the thing I was trying to say is that it was mostly likely typical tandem Instructor banter, but since we weren't there we don't know... it is all pure speculation of what happened.

I also feel like if he was paying that close attention to detail then he should have asked his Instructor in the plane. Had the harness been too loose and posed a safety threat it wouldn't have done any good for this guy to say "I noticed this in the plane but didn't say anything to anyone". We need to encourage our students to talk to us if something isn't right.


skypuppy  (D 347)

Sep 24, 2009, 7:23 AM
Post #23 of 25 (2110 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tightness of the chest strap isn't necessarily real important, not like the length of the main lift web is. The chest strap holds the upper part of the main lift webs together, but they are also held together by the snaps on the tandem student's harness which are clipped onto the instructor's tandem rig. They can't spread apart a whole lot once they're clipped onto the tandem rig's rings, it holds them in place relative to each other.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Sep 24, 2009, 9:18 AM
Post #24 of 25 (2072 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poser] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Everyone's harness is a little loose when you're sitting on the plane. It's adjusted to fit right when you arch.Smile


Bill_K  (D 30260)

Sep 24, 2009, 11:00 AM
Post #25 of 25 (2047 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DSE] Questionable tandem harness - how dangerous was this? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:


What, exactly, do you consider qualification to be called an "expert" ?

A D license in posts?Laugh

LOL, I just about spit on my keyboard.Laugh



Forums : Skydiving : Tandem Skydiving

 


Search for (options)