Aug 25, 2011, 2:58 AM
Post #1 of 1
Feedback on training
I thought I would pass on some general observations on AFF training that people may find useful. I am certainly not out to criticize any individual instructors so would appreciate it if anybody who recognises an individual doesn't "out" them.
I had the pleasure of observing a first time jumper from FJC training through to AFF graduation recently. The student had no background in aviation or jumping prior to the course. The person running the FJC spent a considerable amount of time ensuring that they had a solid foundation and clear understanding of emergency procedures and the basics of how the equipment worked. Student was continually referred to the SIM ensuring common terminology and a good reading reference.
Other positive points where detailed drills prior to levels ensuring that the student had absolute clarify on what was expected of them. A significant amount of time was dedicated to PLF training. The student told me afterwards that the PLF training took away their fear of landing, as it did not hurt to land once they nailed it.
A few minor negatives. Instructors who are taking on a student from some-one else need to make sure that they don't contradict the previous instructor. If they are going to do so make certain that it is presented in the manner of "more ways to skin a cat", not "no he was wrong and I am right". As an instructor make absolutely certain that you don't show your own fears and uncertainties to your student. This was probably the most damaging event that occurred, and nearly caused the student to stop jumping. I do realise that this particular instructor was fairly new to being an AFF-I and while I sympathise it was not good.
Over-all it was a fantastic opportunity to see training up close and personal. I also saw just how damaging "helpful" skydivers with no instructor ratings can be to the learning process. Don't assume that a student will connect all the dots when you try and be helpful to the instructors. One example was someone trying to explain not flying up jump run. They told student to fly to(wards) landmark x and then to the playground. Luckily this was clarified, as student was concerned that they would not be able to fly all the way to said landmark and back again.