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USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs

 

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dorbie

May 21, 2012, 2:50 PM
Post #1 of 136 (5106 views)
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USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs Can't Post

I just got an email notice of a poll asking about this. It seems like a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. It just makes no sense.

Are there really wunderkind waiting to become AFFIs who don't have enough freefall time to qualify? 6 hours is not a lot, that's less than 500 jumps.

If so, may I humbly suggest that you just jump more instead of trying to count your tunnel hours.

Is this in pursuit of a hidden agenda like laying the groundwork to get tunnel rats graduated to AFFIs that little bit earlier?

The more I think about it the less suitable tunnels seem considering you never dive to catch anyone low in the tunnel or try to close more than a few feet. There' s no high speed backsliding or whip-lashing formations.


Maksimsf  (B 37743)

May 21, 2012, 2:59 PM
Post #2 of 136 (5043 views)
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Re: [dorbie] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

yup, got that 1 too. I remember another thread discussing that particular subject. I voted "Leave the requirement as-is: six hours of freefall time".


normiss  (D 28356)

May 21, 2012, 3:11 PM
Post #3 of 136 (5033 views)
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Re: [dorbie] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

There is also a lack of a wind speed control god in the sky.

FREEFALL time, not tunnel time.


dorbie

May 21, 2012, 3:25 PM
Post #4 of 136 (5016 views)
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Re: [Maksimsf] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
yup, got that 1 too. I remember another thread discussing that particular subject. I voted "Leave the requirement as-is: six hours of freefall time".

Me too, not that I have a dog in the hunt. The most bizarre thing is that anyone is floating this for a mere 2 hours of freefall time. Where are the skydivers with 4 hours freefall time who are pushing to be AFFIs? The whole thing is kinda strange?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

May 21, 2012, 5:11 PM
Post #5 of 136 (4963 views)
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Re: [dorbie] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Me too, not that I have a dog in the hunt. The most bizarre thing is that anyone is floating this for a mere 2 hours of freefall time. Where are the skydivers with 4 hours freefall time who are pushing to be AFFIs? The whole thing is kinda strange?

Apparently enough of them that they lobbied USPA to consider replacing FF time with Tunnel time.
I watched the experimental jumps here; the tunnel guys were pretty impressive with their flying ability. The argument that they can't fly/manage the air skills is a very weak one.
If I were to make an argument, it's that canopy time (especially since AFF students are to learn canopy skills) and related decision-processing are the missing components when you cut out roughly 200 skydives from the experience bucket.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
May 21, 2012, 5:21 PM
Post #6 of 136 (4959 views)
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Re: [dorbie] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

>Where are the skydivers with 4 hours freefall time who are pushing to be AFFIs?

Many of them are working in wind tunnels across the country, calculating the minimum number of jumps they have to make to get an AFF rating and make money skydiving.


danielcroft  (D 31103)

May 21, 2012, 6:48 PM
Post #7 of 136 (4925 views)
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Re: USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's my comment:
Quote:
I think this comes down to how it's implemented. I can see that smaller dropzones could really benefit from this allowance but you absolutely CAN NOT replace airtime with tunnel time, it's just not the same thing. I feel like this should be a per dropzone annual waiver to allow dropzones to fill staff slots where there aren't enough jumps being made to get staff but honestly, at a larger DZ, this should not be allowed. I know from my own experience, in a lot of ways, the tunnel makes things way easier and there's never going to be a way to teach anyone about their mental state in freefall in the tunnel. You guys need to be really careful with this one, it's potentially really dangerous.
I voted for one hour with specific coaching with the comment above but I was definitely conflicted over that. My initial reaction was outright no but what happens to smaller DZs that just don't have AFF/Is? Do they just stop making students? Send people elsewhere? It'd be good to see the reasoning behind this (I mean directly from the USPA).


crazydiver  (D 28022)

May 21, 2012, 7:53 PM
Post #8 of 136 (4894 views)
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Re: [dorbie] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

I voted to keep the same. Partially for the same reasons that I support a three years in the sport rule for the tandem rating. I wish that were a requirement for AFF. It's always boggled me that someone could get an AFF rating with less than 500 jumps and less than three years in the sport and teach brand new skydivers the ins and outs of surviving. This combined with the fact that its never been easier to get an AFF rating than it is right now. AFF courses used to have a high failure rate. I rarely see someone repeat a course or the jumps in the courses I've seen in the last few years.


BobMoore  (D 13136)

May 21, 2012, 8:02 PM
Post #9 of 136 (4887 views)
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Re: [crazydiver] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I voted to keep the same. Partially for the same reasons that I support a three years in the sport rule for the tandem rating. I wish that were a requirement for AFF. It's always boggled me that someone could get an AFF rating with less than 500 jumps and less than three years in the sport and teach brand new skydivers the ins and outs of surviving. This combined with the fact that its never been easier to get an AFF rating than it is right now. AFF courses used to have a high failure rate. I rarely see someone repeat a course or the jumps in the courses I've seen in the last few years.

Where's Don Yahrling and Paul Sitter when you need them?


topdocker  (D 12018)

May 21, 2012, 8:59 PM
Post #10 of 136 (4865 views)
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Re: [BobMoore] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

We already have a severe problem with up jumpers showing a lack of skill and decision-making with regard to canopy control, and we want to make it easier for potential AFFI's to SKIP actual skydives!!??

How about: do the six hours and STFU about your awesome backflying skills because you can barely fly a canopy to save your own life, let alone teach someone else how to do it. Skydiving is not just about how well you can bore a hole in space in freefall, there are aircraft procedures, emergency aircraft procedures, spotting, exits, opening, canopy control, landing, field stowing gear, packing, debriefing, gearing up, gear check, buddy gear check..... none of that is covered with "tunnel time."

I wonder if all my freefall time will allow me to automatically become a tunnel coach?

top

Disclaimer: not an official USPA opinion, just my own.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

May 21, 2012, 9:05 PM
Post #11 of 136 (4862 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If I were to make an argument, it's that canopy time (especially since AFF students are to learn canopy skills) and related decision-processing are the missing components when you cut out roughly 200 skydives from the experience bucket.
I'd back you up to say that extra experience of being time constrained by the ground rushing up at you 70 seconds after your flight begins. That's definitely an element missing in the tunnel.


Maksimsf  (B 37743)

May 21, 2012, 9:15 PM
Post #12 of 136 (4857 views)
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Re: [dorbie] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

I will excuse myself from discussing this subject. I dont even have a coach rating.....


Edit. I thing they should not count WS dives towards rating - just to make it fair. WS'ing is not a freefall. just my 2cents, but what I know about skydiving....


(This post was edited by Maksimsf on May 21, 2012, 9:34 PM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
May 21, 2012, 10:42 PM
Post #13 of 136 (4819 views)
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Re: [Maksimsf] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

>Edit. I thing they should not count WS dives towards rating

I think they should. You have to gear check yourself (even more so than on a regular skydive) check the spot, exit stable, open your canopy, deal with potential malfunctions, find the DZ, navigate back and land safely. That gives you experience doing all those things. (Flying in a tunnel, of course, does not.)


bodypilot1  (D 16037)

May 21, 2012, 11:20 PM
Post #14 of 136 (4809 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
We already have a severe problem with up jumpers showing a lack of skill and decision-making with regard to canopy control, and we want to make it easier for potential AFFI's to SKIP actual skydives!!??

How about: do the six hours and STFU about your awesome backflying skills because you can barely fly a canopy to save your own life, let alone teach someone else how to do it. Skydiving is not just about how well you can bore a hole in space in freefall, there are aircraft procedures, emergency aircraft procedures, spotting, exits, opening, canopy control, landing, field stowing gear, packing, debriefing, gearing up, gear check, buddy gear check..... none of that is covered with "tunnel time."

I wonder if all my freefall time will allow me to automatically become a tunnel coach?

top

Disclaimer: not an official USPA opinion, just my own.

+1

"Can't we just get some type of vacuum thingy to get us up to altitude? And pilot's are over rated! Crazy


toolbox  (D 18778)

May 21, 2012, 11:49 PM
Post #15 of 136 (4803 views)
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Re: [dorbie] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree very,very much.
To be honest,if I had not seen the e-mail from USPA,I would think this poll on a proposal was a joke.CrazyCrazyCrazy


(This post was edited by toolbox on May 22, 2012, 12:10 AM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

May 22, 2012, 1:01 AM
Post #16 of 136 (4783 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
We already have a severe problem with up jumpers showing a lack of skill and decision-making with regard to canopy control, and we want to make it easier for potential AFFI's to SKIP actual skydives!!??

How about: do the six hours and STFU about your awesome backflying skills because you can barely fly a canopy to save your own life, let alone teach someone else how to do it. Skydiving is not just about how well you can bore a hole in space in freefall, there are aircraft procedures, emergency aircraft procedures, spotting, exits, opening, canopy control, landing, field stowing gear, packing, debriefing, gearing up, gear check, buddy gear check..... none of that is covered with "tunnel time."

I wonder if all my freefall time will allow me to automatically become a tunnel coach?

+1

People who vote for anything other than no change are not seeing the big picture.

Hell, one step farther....they should be making it tougher to get the rating.

Guys. We already have AFFI ratings being handed out like candy. We already have too many AFFIs that have little skydiving book knowledge. We already have too many AFFIs who have little to no teaching abilities.
Do NOT make the AFFI rating easier to achieve. If you really cared about the safety of our youngsters, you would make the rating even harder to achieve. We have long since satisfied the debated "need" for AFFI quantity. Now let's start focusing on quality.

This poll is a very good demonstration that you guys are foolishly considering tunnel time to be relevant to the concept of teaching students to skydive. This push only pertains to freefall at best and completely disregards the safety, canopy skills and book knowledge skills that only experience in the air can provide.


DougH  (D License)

May 22, 2012, 6:17 AM
Post #17 of 136 (4730 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

Terrible idea. Which elected USPA officials are in support of this? If there are any on board I suggest they resign because they are seriously short on good judgment.


Ron

May 22, 2012, 6:27 AM
Post #18 of 136 (4723 views)
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Re: [DSE] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I watched the experimental jumps here; the tunnel guys were pretty impressive with their flying ability. The argument that they can't fly/manage the air skills is a very weak one.

I am willing to bet that the guys doing those jumps had more than two hours of tunnel time.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

May 22, 2012, 6:37 AM
Post #19 of 136 (4718 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I watched the experimental jumps here; the tunnel guys were pretty impressive with their flying ability. The argument that they can't fly/manage the air skills is a very weak one.

I am willing to bet that the guys doing those jumps had more than two hours of tunnel time.

This. I honestly don't recall if that specific detail was brought up in the meeting itself, but I know we chatted about it after the meeting. Taking a full-time tunnel instructor and putting them through an AFFI course does not in any way indicate that a jumper with 4 hours of freefall and 2 hours of tunnel time is likely to have the in-air skills to pass the course.

And then there's the rest of what you don't get by substituting tunnel for actual skydives and time on the dropzone... Unsure Not a fan of this proposal. I'm surprised it even got more than a "thank you for your presentation but no" response from the committee.


livendive  (D 21415)

May 22, 2012, 7:38 AM
Post #20 of 136 (4681 views)
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Re: [dorbie] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

I answered this poll last night. I spent 2-3 seconds considering the 1 hour of tunnel time with specific coaching on spin stops, rollovers, etc, then I remembered that what we're teaching is skydiving, not rollovers, and voted to keep the requirement the same. Tunnels don't impart the same level of stress, attention to gear, tracking, canopy control, consequences of failure, or randomness of an open sky. Allowing tunnel time to count as freefall would be like allowing a culinary student to count microwave TV dinners as meal preparations. It's a convenient substitute that only requires a small fraction of the total skill set. The AFF requirement may only be 6 hours of freefall time, but there's an understood "and all the extra stuff those hours will entail" that should not be ignored.

Blues,
Dave


piisfish

May 22, 2012, 8:01 AM
Post #21 of 136 (4668 views)
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Re: [Ron] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am willing to bet that the guys doing those jumps had more than two hours of tunnel time.
maybe tunnel time could be traded for jump numbers. Like 1 jump = 1 hour tunnelAngelic


Scrumpot  (D License)

May 22, 2012, 8:04 AM
Post #22 of 136 (4667 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...but what happens to smaller DZs that just don't have AFF/Is? Do they just stop making students?

No - They have and use / develop either static-line, or IAD programs is all. Absolutely nothing wrong with those either! "Dummying down" the AFF program, or the credentials and skills needed to be under the belt and be EARNED for an (AFF) instructor to get his/her ratings in order to simply accommodate allowing a lesser-qualified instructor to do AFF at a smaller dropzone, just to say that dropzone now has AFF - and using that reasoning to answer this poll the way you have, is clearly flawed thinking!

Why is it that people think AFF is the begin-all, end-all, and/or the ONLY way to effectively teach skydiving? There are several progression methods currently available, and not having AFF at any particular DZ is absolutely no reflection at all, IMHO as to that DZ's QUALITY of skydiver training being provided!! Certainly don't know what the size of the DZ has got to do in any way at all, with assuring top-quality, properly credentialed (and vetted) instructors are the one's doing the teaching there - or rather, what you seem to be saying - or advocating - that it is better to maybe allow or even facilitate having lesser/lowered standards ...just for the sake of saying (only) that they actually have a certain (AFF) program? - That is about the most non-appropriate response to all this, i think I have seen yet.


davelepka  (D 21448)

May 22, 2012, 8:14 AM
Post #23 of 136 (4661 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I voted for one hour with specific coaching with the comment above but I was definitely conflicted over that. My initial reaction was outright no but what happens to smaller DZs that just don't have AFF/Is?

What makes you think that a DZ than can't retain a 'regular' AFF staff is going to be able to retain a 'tunnel AFF' staff? Making the rating easier to get isn't going to change the situation for those DZs.

Additionally, what makes you think that a jumper without the dedication to make spend the time at the DZ, in the sport, making the jumps, is going to be a loyal employee?

If a DZ cannot retain staff, that's a problem with the DZ, not the instructional rating system. Every DZ has locals that are not looking for a 'leg up' to a bigger and better DZ.

Take me for example, I have family and a business here in Cleveland, and no plans to move. If the only DZ was a small Cessna DZ, that's where I would jump. If they wanted me to work there, then it would be up to them to make it worth my time. By that I mean not over-staffing, advertising enough to keep the students coming, and good pay.

Mis-management of a DZ staff and instructional ratings are two seperate things.


topdocker  (D 12018)

May 22, 2012, 8:22 AM
Post #24 of 136 (4648 views)
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Re: [DougH] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Terrible idea. Which elected USPA officials are in support of this? If there are any on board I suggest they resign because they are seriously short on good judgment.

I'm not really sure this has much support at the BOD, but since members brought it up, the responsible thing to due is to gather input from the community. I think it's great to check with those in the field.

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skytribe  (D 9403)

May 22, 2012, 8:38 AM
Post #25 of 136 (4639 views)
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Re: [topdocker] USPA Poll on tunnel time replacing some freefall time for AFFIs [In reply to] Can't Post

I couldnt agree more wholeheartedly. The freefall part is just one part of the skydive.

Instructors are about teaching the whole skydive and 500 jumps in reality is not that much experience. If you look at today's dropzone with aircraft availability it doesnt take that long today to get 500 jumps if you really want to put your mind to it.


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