Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Bowling DZOs/managers please read

 

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All

JoeBobJumper

May 30, 2012, 4:13 AM
Post #1 of 97 (3879 views)
Shortcut
Bowling DZOs/managers please read Can't Post

I arrived at the DZ before they were open, ready for my C1 AFF jump. It had been an early start for me and a 4 hour drive, but I always like to be early. The instructors showed up and I started to study the dive plan. Shortly, the head instructor (whom I had never met) asked me to take a walk with him. We talked about my previous jump and then what he said to me left me stunned. “You need to be looking for another sport”, was what he said. What did he say? Is this a joke? I am looking him dead in the eye trying to figure out what to say, or what to do. Hmm, he is serious. My response was, “I don’t want to look for another sport, I want to skydive”.

At first I could not tell if he was making a suggestion or telling me I could not jump there. But over the next 30 minutes or so, I was introduced to the operations manager and one of the owners. It became clear I was “out”. I asked for one more jump, but to no avail.

The point of this post is not to say I was right, someone else was wrong. The point of the post is to create some benefit for skydiving and maybe help some future jumper(s). If a person is determined to be a jumper, they will continue somewhere else. They will blame the DZ that would not work with them and always have something bad to say about that DZ. Or they may just need some extra help but instead of getting the help they need, they quit and never come back. If that happens, we just lost a jumper.

Since that day, I have jumped at 3 other DZs as a student. In more than 20 jumps at these others DZs, there was no problem at all. What happened at the first DZ was a mistake. It was a mistake that could have been avoided. I have spent about $6000 on jumps and equipment in the past 6 months. The first DZ could have had part of that money and could have a better reputation IF they had a plan to allow someone an appeal process.

I am sure there are people that really don’t need to be skydiving. I have spoken with a lot of jumpers that say they had a rough start. Do you know for sure that you can tell one from the other? I worry about the next guy like me that comes along at a similar DZ. The DZ thought they were doing the right thing. But I think they needed to do more than just say, “Bye”.

I would encourage DZOs to put some policy or program in place to allow some sort of appeal. Share your policy/process with students that you think should not be jumping. Find a way to spend time with them and see what they really want, why, and see if you can help them. Maybe they will agree they don’t need to jump and leave thinking you did them a favor. Or, maybe they will get the help they need and be part of the community. I know a lot of DZs do go out of their way to help troubled students. But even when it looks hopeless, until the student is ready to give it up, please don’t cut them off. Maybe they can’t jump right now, but engage them somehow until the matter is settled in an acceptable way for the student. If they really should not be jumping, educate them as to why so they stop of their own free will.

On the waiver of one of the DZs where I have jumped there is a very simple question. It was something like, “Why is it that you think you want to jump from an airplane?” When I saw that a big smile came on my face as I wrote, “A lifelong dream”. Somehow I knew this DZO was my kind of guy.


davelepka  (D 21448)

May 30, 2012, 4:28 AM
Post #2 of 97 (3823 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I would encourage DZOs to put some policy or program in place to allow some sort of appeal

There was an appeal, it just didn't involve you. Before a student is given the 'bowling speech', their performance is discussed among the staff, and that's the appeal. It's not one instructor who jumps with you and then unilaterally decides that you're out, it's a group desicion made by the staff as a whole. When nobody steps forward and says they're willing to jump with you, you're done at that DZ.

Nobody wants to boot anyone from the sport or DZ, but when you reach a point that none of the staff are comfortable jumping with you, it's time for you to move on. If that means to another sport, or another DZ, that's the best thing for you. The last thing you want to do is force an instructor to jump with you when they don't think it's going to end well, that's not a good position for you or the instructor to be in.

It's great that things worked out for you, and you found a DZ where you could be successful in your training. Maybe you found better instructors, or maybe you were really ready to 'turn the corner' just before the other DZ gave you the boot, but if it didn't look 'good' to the staff of that first DZ, not letting you jump there was the right move.


obelixtim  (D 84)

May 30, 2012, 5:05 AM
Post #3 of 97 (3796 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

 Interesting post. I'm assuming this was somewhere in the US.

If it was the UK it would not be surprising to me, as they are not very good at what they do....they always find reasons why something can't be done rather than why it can....

Did they outline any reason why they thought you were no good?. Did they have any video of your jumps?. How many jumps had you already done with them, and had they given you any indication previously that your performance was below par?.

Or did you steal one of the girls the rest of them fancied?.

Without a bit more detail its hard to know how to respond, although if you have continued elsewhere without problems, it indicates that perhaps the problem was not yours.


DiverMike  (C 40024)

May 30, 2012, 5:45 AM
Post #4 of 97 (3760 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Without a bit more detail its hard to know how to respond, although if you have continued elsewhere without problems, it indicates that perhaps the problem was not yours.

Whichever DZ gave you the bowling speach has the highest degree of respect from me. They put your safety in front of their desire to make money.

Just because you were successful at a different DZ certainly does not mean you weren't part of the problem. You were given a pretty serious 'time-out'. It is possible you approached the training at the second DZ with a more attentive attitude.

Based on what they saw, you had the potential to seriously injure or kill yourself or others.

It sounds like everything worked out for you. Congratulations on sticking with it and making whatever adjustments were necessary to be in this sport safely.


fcajump  (D 15598)

May 30, 2012, 5:52 AM
Post #5 of 97 (3752 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

These are ONLY my speculation -

From the DZ point of view - they saw a student that they felt was not able, under their instruction, to progress safely. They did not feel that either you (or their instructors) would be able to maintain the level of safety they need. And, when it comes down to it, a fatality (expecially of a student) is much more damaging than turning away someone who just doesn't have the right stuff.

From YOUR point of view - they were not able to provide you the specific instruction, techniques, methods, etc... that enabled you to progress safely. Admittedly this level of safety is based on _their_ judgement. But their suggestion, combined with your determination, lead you to instructors with different skills, techniques, abilities and judgement.

Assuming that you are now actually progressing safely and learning (rather than being alowed to continue unsafely) the first DZ may have done you two favors:

1 - removed you from a learning environment in which you were not progressing to be a competent/safe jumper... where you were (in their judgement) endangering both yourself, their instructors and their reputation.

2 - provided you with motivation to find instructors and environments in which you can progress safely.

Even great mentors and great students must be compatible to be effective.

Just a thought.
JW


hcsvader  (E 2952)

May 30, 2012, 6:14 AM
Post #6 of 97 (3723 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

So Greg, where ya jumping now?


obelixtim  (D 84)

May 30, 2012, 6:20 AM
Post #7 of 97 (3713 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DiverMike] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Without a bit more detail its hard to know how to respond, although if you have continued elsewhere without problems, it indicates that perhaps the problem was not yours.

Whichever DZ gave you the bowling speach has the highest degree of respect from me. They put your safety in front of their desire to make money.

Just because you were successful at a different DZ certainly does not mean you weren't part of the problem. You were given a pretty serious 'time-out'. It is possible you approached the training at the second DZ with a more attentive attitude.

Based on what they saw, you had the potential to seriously injure or kill yourself or others.

It sounds like everything worked out for you. Congratulations on sticking with it and making whatever adjustments were necessary to be in this sport safely.

Maybe you are correct, but I have personally witnessed DZ's where their own incompetance led to them rejecting people who were perfectly capable of making a safe skydive.

Of course, in their own arrogant eyes they were faultless.

Seen from the viewpoint of someone who has a lot of experience in training both students and Instructors, "incompetant" is perhaps too kind a term to use.

I have also seen students rejected from a DZ for no good reason, only to find they were fine. Some of them turned into world class skydivers and instructors.

Don't believe the hype that everyone who has a rating is an expert in the field of instruction....because that is far from the case.

In this instance there is really too little information to make an accurate judgement whether the student was the one at fault.

I would like to see the OP answer my questions about his jumps up to the point he was rejected, and what steps had been taken (if any) in his previous training to correct any faults. It sounds like the bowling speech came as a complete surprise to him, and if that was in fact the case, it sounds to me that the DZ was less than perfect.


(This post was edited by obelixtim on May 30, 2012, 6:30 AM)


beowulf  (C License)

May 30, 2012, 6:35 AM
Post #8 of 97 (3698 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Maybe you are correct, but I have personally witnessed DZ's where their own incompetance led to them rejecting people who were perfectly capable of making a safe skydive.

If the DZ staff were that incompetent then it's better for the student that they rejected him and the student find a different dropzone.


obelixtim  (D 84)

May 30, 2012, 6:46 AM
Post #9 of 97 (3679 views)
Shortcut
Re: [beowulf] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If the DZ staff were that incompetent then it's better for the student that they rejected him and the student find a different dropzone.

I agree....


pchapman  (D 1014)

May 30, 2012, 6:55 AM
Post #10 of 97 (3672 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

If it was an instructor, ops mgr and a DZO with the same opinion, it does look like they had some strong opinions.

Threads here on dz about students with problems do suggest cutting a student some slack and giving it time, before any bowling speech, if it is mainly a performance issue. And switch instructors if there's a personality conflict. A DZ shouldn't string a student along and just take their money, but if the student is willing to keep working on things and are still safe, there's no arbitrary limit on how many jumps it should take to get AFF or a license done.

Wonder what got the DZ so bothered. Presumably it didn't take 20 jumps to get to C1. Did you blow a couple AAD cutters, do something they saw as grossly unsafe, have an attitude they didn't like, have no clue during the debrief what was happening in the air??

Unless there was one stunningly dangerous or incompetent act, one would expect a "think about it carefully and shape up" speech (& discussion!) before ever escalating to the bowling speech.

In any case it sounds like things are going smoother elsewhere.


(This post was edited by pchapman on May 30, 2012, 6:59 AM)


5.samadhi

May 30, 2012, 7:23 AM
Post #11 of 97 (3632 views)
Shortcut
Re: [pchapman] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

you're not telling the whole story. Something in your behavior indicated to them that you were a serious risk. That you went to another DZ and havent burned in (yet or ever) doesnt change the fact that they could have been right in their assessment that you were a risk to them that outweighed the benefit of you being on their DZ.

Let's hear your criticism you got on your previous jumps and how you responded/changed your behavior.

I wouldn't worry so much about other DZOs/DZs or other instructors at different dropzones or future jumpers...I would think about yourself...you're the one plummeting to the ground at 120mph Laugh


Ron

May 30, 2012, 8:33 AM
Post #12 of 97 (3557 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The point of this post is not to say I was right, someone else was wrong. The point of the post is to create some benefit for skydiving and maybe help some future jumper(s).

If they did think you were safe, then they have a duty to not let you continue. They have my respect for making that call.... It is not an easy call to make and none of us want to turn a person away. It is a step never taken easily.

Quote:
They will blame the DZ that would not work with them and always have something bad to say about that DZ.

Blaming others is a sure sign of their failure. Who do you think I am going to put my faith in... A disgruntled student or an entire DZ?

Quote:
What happened at the first DZ was a mistake


Without you giving details.... No one can properly respond to your claims.

Quote:
The first DZ could have had part of that money and could have a better reputation IF they had a plan to allow someone an appeal process.

1. That DZ HAS a good reputation (I don't know the DZ) since they took the hard path and grounded you over the easy path and letting you ay them to continue to fail.

2. There IS an appeal process. The head instructor, manager and owner all were involved in it.

Quote:
Do you know for sure that you can tell one from the other?

Yes, I am better qualified than the student to tell if they are able to continue. The number one reason is I have no ego involved in the decision.

Quote:
The DZ thought they were doing the right thing. But I think they needed to do more than just say, “Bye”.

What makes your opinion more valid than the head instructor, DZM and DZO????

Quote:
I would encourage DZOs to put some policy or program in place to allow some sort of appeal.


There is a process. At the DZ in question, you failed that process. At the other three you claim to have jumped at you seem to not have failed.

Quote:
until the student is ready to give it up, please don’t cut them off.

Fuck that. When it has become clear that a person is a danger to themselves or others I am not going to let them continue to be a danger till they come to that conclusion for themselves.

Quote:
educate them as to why so they stop of their own free will.

From your own statement... This DZ tried to explain it to you, "Shortly, the head instructor (whom I had never met) asked me to take a walk with him. We talked about my previous jump and then what he said to me left me stunned. “You need to be looking for another sport”
At first I could not tell if he was making a suggestion or telling me I could not jump there. But over the next 30 minutes or so, I was introduced to the operations manager and one of the owners. It became clear I was “out”. I asked for one more jump, but to no avail. "

And it seems you didn't want to listen. "What did he say? Is this a joke? I am looking him dead in the eye trying to figure out what to say, or what to do. Hmm, he is serious. My response was, “I don’t want to look for another sport, I want to skydive”.

Again without specifics it is impossible to tell if you were treated badly at the first DZ. But when given the blind choice of listening to a disgruntled student or the head instructor, GM, and DZO.... I will side with them. So unless you can provide details..... I think they did the right thing.

I am glad you learned to jump... I have to wonder what if anything you told the other three DZ's and why there were three other DZ's.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

May 30, 2012, 9:26 AM
Post #13 of 97 (3511 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

I've said in many other threads... "Skydiving is an extreme sport and is not for everyone"! What I find alarming here is that you seem to have (at least from what I've read) danced around the specifics of your previous jump. Provide me with more details if you want to change my opinion, but for now I'd have to side with the DZ.

As for an appeals process... If the DZO said you're not jumping there any more, there is no appeal necessary! The DZO has the last say!!! Period! And, most experienced jumpers are going to applaud the DZO for taking the path less traveled. All this being said, I’m glad you found a path to success.

I’d really like to hear the other side of this story?
Smile


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

May 30, 2012, 9:35 AM
Post #14 of 97 (3493 views)
Shortcut
Re: [obelixtim] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Maybe you are correct, but I have personally witnessed DZ's where their own incompetance led to them rejecting people who were perfectly capable of making a safe skydive.

Of course, in their own arrogant eyes they were faultless.
In reply to:
All too true. You'd never get them to admit it but there it is.


In reply to:
I have also seen students rejected from a DZ for no good reason, only to find they were fine. Some of them turned into world class skydivers and instructors.
I always point these people to Wendy Faulkner's student logbook. Smile

In reply to:
Don't believe the hype that everyone who has a rating is an expert in the field of instruction....because that is far from the case.
Aw shit...don't get me started....
Mad


In reply to:
...it sounds to me that the DZ was less than perfect.
Well to be fair. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is the DZO and how he wants to run his business. Right, wrong or indifferent, it's his business to run as he sees fit.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

May 30, 2012, 9:40 AM
Post #15 of 97 (3485 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

JoeBob...scan your logbook and post the jpegs. Show the validity of your position.


janz

May 30, 2012, 9:55 AM
Post #16 of 97 (3471 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popsjumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a tough one. There are tandem factories who claim they will progress you to aff but really don't want to be bothered with true student instruction. Did you meet any non tandem students on this dz? I don't believe you stated if your first jump was a tandem. If it was and you met no other non tandem students it most likely was a tandem factory and they don't want to do anything else.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

May 30, 2012, 1:01 PM
Post #17 of 97 (3373 views)
Shortcut
Re: [janz] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
This is a tough one. There are tandem factories who claim they will progress you to aff but really don't want to be bothered with true student instruction. Did you meet any non tandem students on this dz? I don't believe you stated if your first jump was a tandem. If it was and you met no other non tandem students it most likely was a tandem factory and they don't want to do anything else.

I don't know about that. Most of those (tandem factory) types will tell you to your face and reccommend another DZ. This DZO Sent him packing with the Bowling Speech. Again, I'd like to hear the other side of this story. As stated above, show us your log book?


bucketlistpilot  (C 1204)

May 30, 2012, 1:34 PM
Post #18 of 97 (3330 views)
Shortcut
Re: [hcsvader] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So Greg, where ya jumping now?

Fuck! Coffee spat all over keyboard Laugh


kelpdiver  (B 7)

May 30, 2012, 2:14 PM
Post #19 of 97 (3284 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I arrived at the DZ before they were open, ready for my C1 AFF jump. It had been an early start for me and a 4 hour drive, but I always like to be early. The instructors showed up and I started to study the dive plan. Shortly, the head instructor (whom I had never met) asked me to take a walk with him. We talked about my previous jump and then what he said to me left me stunned. “You need to be looking for another sport”, was what he said.

Did you schedule this C1 jump, or just arrive at the DZ? If they knew you were coming, they could have, should have done this over the phone. If they didn't, perhaps they presumed from the last jump that you would self select yourself out and save everyone the unpleasant experience of 'the talk.' No one at the DZ wants to boot a newcomer.

Hopefully the prior jump had a proper debrief...busy DZs like the one I did much of my AFF at had a tendency to schedule instructors for back to backs and occasionally B2B2Bs and debriefs suffered as a result. If it went badly enough to lead to a TUB speech, there should have been something said that day.

In reply to:
Since that day, I have jumped at 3 other DZs as a student. In more than 20 jumps at these others DZs, there was no problem at all.

hopefully one other DZ for AFF, and then the other two after you were cleared for self supervised jumps? Did the wind tunnel come into use as well? I'm one of many that the tunnel was a good fix for - allowed 'flying time' to first fix body positioning issues and then let me get back to the other essential skills in the air.


JoeBobJumper

May 30, 2012, 3:33 PM
Post #20 of 97 (3207 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kelpdiver] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

After I was sent away, I licked my wounds and largely got over it. But as I feel more a part of the skydiving community it has really bothered me to wonder how many potential licensed jumpers never continue because of some similar situation. New blood licensed jumpers are very important to small DZs.

As I planned to post this I also planned to leave out the details that everyone would like to see. The reason is that some DZO might look at that specific situation and know, “We would never do that” and not think about other similar situations that might happen. My real request in the post is for the operators to look for creative ways to stop from making mistakes in who they send away.

In my case the DZ management acted in good faith but with bad information and without a reasonable plan/process. A rash decision was allowed to dominate the event. If the DZOs and managers reading this think they have a good policy/process in place, fine. If they wonder if similar mistakes can happen at their DZ and want to look at improving their process, that is wonderful.

It took me a long time to decide to post what I did. I knew people would try to turn this into who was right and who was wrong. I am committed to not go there. Sorry for being unresponsive in that area.

In a way the first DZ did do me a favor. They forced me to go somewhere else, and after that, going to a third (weather’s bad at home) and a fourth DZ (tunnel/training trip) was not something I was timid about. In all cases I disclosed from the beginning what I had problems with before.


ManagingPrime

May 30, 2012, 4:40 PM
Post #21 of 97 (3150 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As I planned to post this I also planned to leave out the details that everyone would like to see. The reason is that some DZO might look at that specific situation and know, “We would never do that” and not think about other similar situations that might happen. My real request in the post is for the operators to look for creative ways to stop from making mistakes in who they send away.

As noted by a number of posters, their already are procedures in place to make sure that mistakes are not made in sending people away. However. sometimes mistakes are made.

You use your example as a case where a mistake was made. How can anyone here evaluate if a mistake was indeed made and that procedures should be re-evaluated without case specifics?

You could just be a nut job that's lucky to have not killed yourself or someone else and your are looking to grind your axe on dz.com. I'm personally way more concerned about the nut jobs that are bound to kill themselves or someone else who do not get the bowling speech.

SIUBC


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

May 30, 2012, 6:33 PM
Post #22 of 97 (3069 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ManagingPrime] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
How can anyone here evaluate if a mistake was indeed made and that procedures should be re-evaluated without case specifics?

I'm going to back off on my request to see the logbook. I now better understand what the object of the OP is.

Simply this: A suggestion for DZO and others to re-evaluate whether or not their current procedures and processes for the 'bowling speech' are really realistic and/or can be improved.

Not a bad request at all. We could ALL be striving for continuous improvement. Mistakes are made obviously and there is always room for improvement....unless, of course, you simply think you are perfect.


Andy9o8  (D License)

May 30, 2012, 6:47 PM
Post #23 of 97 (3052 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In my case the DZ management acted in good faith but with bad information and without a reasonable plan/process. A rash decision was allowed to dominate the event.

You expect us to just accept that without specific details? Forget it.

When I was a new student, my first DZO was a real dick, to the point where I switched over to the other local DZs (so I'm not unsympathetic); but if someone asked me for details, I could give them so they could decide for themselves.

Either give us some specifics or stop wasting our time.


kelpdiver  (B 7)

May 30, 2012, 6:48 PM
Post #24 of 97 (3048 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JoeBobJumper] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
New blood licensed jumpers are very important to small DZs.

aye, but accidents are equally devastating to small DZs. In a coin flip situation, they'll certainly take the conservative approach.

A key lesson for the DZs to consider is the timing of that message. I suspect one of the reasons you took it badly (not like one would ever take it well) is that you spent the morning driving out there and getting jacked up in anticipation, only to fall flat. I was pretty angry when a wind hold cancelled my AFF1 jump. They didn't tell us the winds would build...certainly wouldn't want to rush us, but while we sat around trying to suck up the courage, the window closed. I was ticked off for days.


airtwardo  (D License)

May 30, 2012, 7:02 PM
Post #25 of 97 (3028 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andy9o8] Bowling DZOs/managers please read [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Either give us some specifics or stop wasting our time.
IF 'JoeBob' is who I think it is...hats off for stickin' with it when other would have thrown in the towel. Cool

Perseverance often times trumps 'natural' talent! Wink


First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Skydiving : Safety and Training

 


Search for (options)