Forums: Skydiving: Tandem Skydiving:
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating?

 


loltron

Apr 29, 2011, 8:41 PM
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If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? Can't Post

Just got my rating and am curious what advice you all have :) Tips, tricks, things to do slash not to do, things you add or remove from your briefing, etc


BobMoore  (D 13136)

Apr 30, 2011, 1:34 AM
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

Try real hard to be calm while talking to your customer. If you're nervous about your performance, have upset stomach after too many beers and chicken wings last night, you fear your girlfriend is about to leave you, put all that aside. Don't let them see you sweat.

Over time you'll develop a routine of what they need to know, what you want them to know. Too much detail can be distracting to them. Stay away from the "fifth point of attachment" jokes. You never know how that will be received.


rhys  (D 95)

Apr 30, 2011, 2:48 AM
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

whatever anybody says, fly your own body.

Don't hook legs or grab arms... just fly.

oh and Relaxxxxxx.


AdD  (D License)

Apr 30, 2011, 4:29 PM
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Re: [rhys] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

let them fly the canopy but don't let them help you flare


BobMoore  (D 13136)

Apr 30, 2011, 5:50 PM
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Re: [AdD] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
let them fly the canopy but don't let them help you flare

I have 1,700 tandem jumps in my logbook. I always let them help me flare. It's never been a problem.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Apr 30, 2011, 7:00 PM
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Re: [AdD] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

Opinions differ a lot on letting them help flare a lot or not. It depends a lot on the canopy too -- eg, Sigmas are heavy on the toggles so student participation can be nice. Some others are lighter on the toggles, so a hard flare by a student is more likely to cause a problem.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
May 1, 2011, 5:25 PM
Post #7 of 25 (2931 views)
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

Be professional. If you smoke remember to chew gum or a mint before working with a student. Avoid the jokes about bad gear and anything sexual. Those can really make a student uncomfortable. Try to remember how you would want to be treated if you were spending $200 on something. It does not matter how tired or cranky you are, the student is spending a lot of money and should be given the best experience possible.


divingos  (D 15378)

May 2, 2011, 7:11 AM
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

Do the same gear check everytime!!


TheCaptain  (D License)

May 2, 2011, 7:56 AM
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Re: [rhys] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
whatever anybody says, fly your own body.

Don't hook legs or grab arms... just fly.

oh and Relaxxxxxx.
+1


matt3sa  (D 29266)

May 2, 2011, 6:17 PM
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

Trial and error. Keep the brief as simple as humanly possible while emphasizing the things that are important to you at this phase of your career. Don't overwhelm them with information that they probably don't need. Stick to body position instructions and keeping their hands in the harness. I wouldn't even mess around with letting them pull. You don't even have to give them the command to let go of the harness. Make it all about you at first. They won't know the difference! As you go along, your brief will change drastically. I was starting with 10 min of brief and now I'm closer to 2 or 4 minutes depending on the questions they ask. Hook up a little earlier than the others. Remember that the more your hips are pressed together the more control you'll have, but over tightening can discourage a good arch. Remember that giving them the toggles after you do a canopy check gives you lots of time to make necessary adjustments and disconnect lowers etc. Goodluck.


(This post was edited by matt3sa on May 2, 2011, 6:19 PM)


shropshire  (C License)

May 3, 2011, 1:36 AM
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just got my rating and am curious what advice you all have :) Tips, tricks, things to do slash not to do, things you add or remove from your briefing, etc

I fly Tandem Paraglider ... after safety.... remember this .....

"It's all about the Passenger"


Skydive2  (D 24800)

May 3, 2011, 1:34 PM
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Re: [rhys] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
whatever anybody says, fly your own body.

Don't hook legs or grab arms... just fly.

oh and Relaxxxxxx.

What he said!


jumpdude17  (D License)

May 3, 2011, 9:03 PM
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

whats your wing loading and don't listen to anyone on dropzone.com


diablopilot  (D License)

May 3, 2011, 9:05 PM
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Re: [AdD] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
let them fly the canopy but don't let them help you flare

Why?

I have everyone help me fly and land the canopy, and I do 90%+ stand ups. It's all in taking the time and effort to train someone and it's well worth the effort when they feel good about the "success".


matthewcline  (D 21585)

May 4, 2011, 5:46 PM
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Re: [diablopilot] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
let them fly the canopy but don't let them help you flare

Why?

I have everyone help me fly and land the canopy, and I do 90%+ stand ups. It's all in taking the time and effort to train someone and it's well worth the effort when they feel good about the "success".

And what an actual Instructor would try to do.

Matt


jimjumper  (D 11137)

May 6, 2011, 3:22 PM
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

I took a while to answer this post mostly because I type with 2 fingers. The best advice I can give you first is to develop a bulletproof routine. And I mean from the time your assigned a student to the time you drop the rig in the packing area. With a routine you will instantly recognize when it is interupted and you will become cautious and focused on what you are doing.

Harness or check the way the harness is done to meet your standards.

Know your students name!

Develop a consistent stable exit regardless of students body position. I usually try to use the student as dead weight, (so to speak), so that regardeless of body position we exit in a stable position. This will vary with aircraft ype. If you see brown or green, throw the drouge. If you see blue don't.

Training your student is a good thing. Try to prepare them for what's going to happen and good body postion. However. sometimes you just end up running to the plane and hoping for the best. If that happens a lot complain!

Try to read the attitude of your student. Some want a thrill ride, some are confronting their fears, some are trying to relive their youth, and some just want to want to jump out of plane to see what it's like. You can usually tell by conversation while gearing up the type of student you have. Sometimes I feel like an amateur psychiatrist trying to keep my students happy.

You don't have stand up every landing. Teach them how to get their feet up for landing while under canopy and it will make your life so much easier.

Accept the fact that you won't make every student happy. People are people and you won't like every one of them and sometimes they won't like you. Do the best you can and usually afterwards they are a lot more apprceciative.

Be gracious when they give you a tip.

Carry a barf bag and breath mints. Fear breath is atrocious. I use Lifesavers because its less offensive to the student. Also spinning canopies in the heat is a sure way to wear their lunch.

Remember that all tandems are different. Do your best. The first 200 tandems will feel like an eternity, but it will get better. I had a guy in my first 50 tandems that appeared to be trying to grab his toes! After leglocking him he stopped. He told me after opening that he "Wanted to go head down" like he saw in the James Bond movie he saw last week. Sometimes students have no clue of the risks of what they doing.

Know your limits. Big students and old students can be a handful. Also a little bit of jumpsuit material will help with stability and while it may not be necessary, it helps the video look better.

And last, try to not be the Big Dog right off the bat. You'll get there eventually! Remember YOU! are totally responsible for their safety and hurting a student will probably get you fired and then you also will get to live with the guilt for a long time.


angryelf  (D License)

May 6, 2011, 10:05 PM
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

to borrow from a way more experienced jumper/tm/mentor> "Jumping has 4 phases: 1) The ride up, 2) Exit/Freefall, 3) Canopy Deployment/Descent and 4)LANDING. We can screw up the first 3 pretty badly and be ok-we've only got one shot at the landing, and it ain't optional."

Landing is where you have the most likelyhood of twisting your customer's ankle, mangling them or ending the jump smoothly and professionally. Some factors are out of your control, but you can: decide NOT to jump in winds that are too high, do practice landings on every jump, NEVER do low turns to "build speed", ensure you are jumping an appropriate main/reserve and only take passengers you are 100% certain you can land safely.

Stay safe out there!

-Harry


(This post was edited by angryelf on May 6, 2011, 10:07 PM)


phantomII

May 8, 2011, 11:29 PM
Post #18 of 25 (2223 views)
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If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

As a T/E I really appreciate all the good answers in this thread.
Keeping all the mentioned points (always) in mind will make a very good T/I.

It cannot be said often enough, it's all about the person in front.

Even though we answered the question of a new T/I I wished that all the seasoned ones would stick to the mentioned points as well.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

May 9, 2011, 9:16 AM
Post #19 of 25 (2166 views)
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Re: [AdD] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
let them fly the canopy but don't let them help you flare

......................................................................

Why worry?
Most students run out of muscle halfway through the flare. As long as you are expecting them to wimp out ... no big deal.
As for them flaring too early, just repeat - in a clam voice - "Wait ... feet out in front ... wait ... hands up ... wait ... feet out in front ... wait ... pull ... pull ... pull."


riggerrob  (D 14840)

May 9, 2011, 9:23 AM
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Re: [angryelf] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

If students lack the muscle to raise their feet, I tell them to let go of the toggles and grab their jumpsuits near their knees (bumper suits help a lot) to help lift their feet out of the way.

The worst thing you can do is leave their hands free for landing.


feuergnom  (D License)

May 9, 2011, 12:41 PM
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Re: [jimjumper] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

probably the best advice any new minted TM can get stuffed in one post Smile


Greig474  (D 1031)

May 11, 2011, 2:47 PM
Post #22 of 25 (2003 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If students lack the muscle to raise their feet, I tell them to let go of the toggles and grab their jumpsuits near their knees (bumper suits help a lot) to help lift their feet out of the way.

The worst thing you can do is leave their hands free for landing.

+1

I learned this lesson on one of my first tandems, we were coming in to land and i told the guy in front to bring his legs up, next thing i know he reaches back to grab something to hang on so he can lift his legs easier, left hand was on the webbing, right hand was on the cutaway handle. I now make sure the customer knows to use their hands to lift their legs, even if they can lift their legs easily without grabbing them, it keeps their hands occupied.

Worse thing about this jump was it was a consolidation tandem, so the guy on front was a licensed skydiver!


riggerrob  (D 14840)

May 12, 2011, 12:27 PM
Post #23 of 25 (1944 views)
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

Learn to exit - Cessnas - from the sitting position much sooner.
That might have saved me one herniated spinal disc.


Abedy  (D 10153)

May 15, 2011, 9:28 AM
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Re: [jimjumper] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Also spinning canopies in the heat is a sure way to wear their lunch.
If they want to spin the canopy tell them to look into the direction they are about to turn and make sure they really look into that direction, especially if they want to do a second 360. 'Member that even if they tell you they wanna have a roller coaster ride and wanna spin the whole party ... they might not know what's awaiting them and eventually you. Works fine again and again until... you know Crazy Learned it the hard way yesterday. Cool


skydiver30960  (D License)

May 15, 2011, 3:04 PM
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Re: [loltron] If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about doing Tandems just after you got your rating? [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't do it too much. By that I mean don't do it every day you're at the DZ, and don't do it the entire day you're at the DZ (if you can pull the second one off, I know that doesn't jive with some student operations).

I thoroughly enjoyed being a TM at my first two DZs. In hindsight it was because the workload was manageable and there was always time for funjumping. When I went to my most recent DZ, the student operation was MUCH bigger than the first, and I burned out in about two years.

It was nobody's fault but my own: the money was great, the jump ship was great, the gear was great, the staff was great. It was just too much work and I somehow forgot that this thing we do is supposed to be fun. Ten or more jumps a day, two days a weekend, followed by a full work and school week just to do it again the following weekend: it was all too much and I lost the taste.

Again, I only blame myself. Just make sure you don't end up blaming yourself for the same thing.

Elvisio "fond memories, always" Rodriguez



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