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Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF

 

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troyg321

Jun 4, 2012, 5:12 PM
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Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF Can't Post

I've been an AFF instructor for only 3 years but have more than 600 AFF jumps. In those few years I've noticed that 100% of students 50 or older, have failed multiple levels. I have a reputation of being very thourough when training students, but the fact remains that they have difficulty applying the skills in the air, not to mention at flare time. I'm tired of this fact being overlooked. These "Bucket List" skydivers are being a danger to themselves and to the the reputation of skydiving and the DZ's they visit. Now Let Me Be Clear, I Am Not Against 50+ year olds learning to skydive! They just need to get additional training before they try it for real. You don't have to do anything on a tandem, AFF or AFP is a whole different story. I've watched numbers of older jumpers break bones, sprains and road rash from poor ability to apply what they've been taught. This has got to stop. I recently got taken for a nasty ride with a 50+, the worse one in my career, coupled with a no flare landing. I could here myself on the radio as I landed him 30 feet away from myself. That's when I decided enough is enough! I feel and have started at my DZ( at least for me) a policy that 50+ AFF,AFP student must show that they have had at least 20 min of wind tunnel training before starting in air training. I hope this starts a trend of safety first. Thanks for reading. Troy AFFI


excaza  (C License)

Jun 4, 2012, 5:21 PM
Post #2 of 28 (1825 views)
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Re: [troyg321] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the tunnel and I'm not doubting that tunnel time is helpful, but given that the majority of your examples deal with poor canopy skills, what exactly is a wind tunnel going to do? Is there a tunnel near your DZ, and are your students going to get a good rate now that you're mandating time?


(This post was edited by excaza on Jun 4, 2012, 5:23 PM)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jun 4, 2012, 6:04 PM
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Re: [troyg321] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

On the freefall side of things, what problems are you seeing? Just a lot of instability and stiffness, or is it a matter of following through all the tasks for the jump, or what?

[Edit: Hmm, I see we're in the tunnel forum. Not sure how to match that up with the issues brought up in your post that deal with freefall, canopy, and tunnel...]


(This post was edited by pchapman on Jun 4, 2012, 6:11 PM)


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Jun 4, 2012, 7:52 PM
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Re: [troyg321] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

I trained thousands of students in my days as an AFF Instructor and DZO and never experienced the 50+ connection you speak of.

Might want to look for a different common denominator.


Rickendiver  (A 62842)

Jun 4, 2012, 11:06 PM
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Re: [troyg321] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

55 year old data point here, for what it's worth. I just went through the AFF training & got the A license this year. I had 1 do-over level for not sticking my legs out far enough (backsliding was my issue). For me, landing the canopy was much easier to learn than basic freefall.
Of course, I had the advantage of already knowing the beer rulesCool

Sometimes old age and treachery trump youth and ambitionWink


Scrumpot  (D License)

Jun 4, 2012, 11:35 PM
Post #6 of 28 (1771 views)
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Re: [troyg321] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I've noticed that 100% of students 50 or older, have failed multiple levels.

Maybe the "problem" is not with the students, if that truly is 100% of YOUR personal observation(s), over (presumably) a MULTITUDE (as you seem to indicate) of separate, individuals.

I have not had the same observation(s) or experience, - at all. The worst "ride(s)" I have ever been on in my career, btw, was with a 20-something'er. FWIW.

In reply to:
I've watched numbers of older jumpers break bones, sprains and road rash from poor ability to apply what they've been taught.
In reply to:
...coupled with a no flare landing. I could here myself on the radio as I landed him 30 feet away from myself. That's when I decided enough is enough!

And this is what triggered your rant/assertion that pre-jump tunnel time must be mandated specifically for this group? ...Oh yeah, mandatory pre-jump tunnel time will really help out with them (or anyone for that matter) road-rashing, biffing-in and (apparently) pissing you off that they are not responding the way you like to radio, under canopy. Crazy


(This post was edited by Scrumpot on Jun 4, 2012, 11:37 PM)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jun 5, 2012, 5:57 AM
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Re: Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

How about asking for 20 minutes of piloting an Airbus 380 if over 50? That'll really weed 'em out. Wink


(This post was edited by pchapman on Jun 5, 2012, 5:58 AM)


excaza  (C License)

Jun 5, 2012, 6:15 AM
Post #8 of 28 (1734 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, it could help with landing patterns.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Jun 5, 2012, 7:17 AM
Post #9 of 28 (1724 views)
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Re: [chuckakers] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I trained thousands of students in my days as an AFF Instructor and DZO and never experienced the 50+ connection you speak of.

Might want to look for a different common denominator.

perhaps he can move the stereotype or bias to a particular race, gender, or culture while we are at it Crazy

I guess if I see an INDIVIDUAL with problems that the tunnel might help, I'd recommend that, in addition to trying to spend more time with that INDIVIDUAL working on whatever we need to find to make their experience more successful and fun


my absolute worst AFF student was kid right out of high school (funnest most challenging AFF jump I've ever done - he violently fought freefall for the first 5000 feet and very glitchy the last 2000 - total panic), my 2nd worst was a young and very athletic man from India who just froze up the entire freefall portion and was nearly too strong for me to put his hand on the ripcord. Stable, but pretty much a stone statue (in the end both met the objectives, and it was up to the instructors to do what it took to get it done and give a productive debrief so the next one was better)

I had one little old lady ever, that fits his description - both in freefall performance, and under canopy (great body position, great practice touches, but couldn't grip the handle for some reason (assisted pull and she didn't lose the ripcord) and she didn't follow the radio instruction at all from the radio person). I saw zero reason to ASSUME she'd perform that way on that day based on her ground preps - she was sharp and aware, further there were three others in the same group and they were all perfect performers (for a Cat A).


My personal cynicism and reaction to the OP's post aside - I think having a published bias to any specific group is tricky business practice that one needs to scrutinize very carefully for potential problems. I'd recommend revising that to a decision the instructor can make for individuals only based on performance in the class or on the first jump only. I'd say that's a true move to safety, not the original proposal.

That said - if it's Troy's DZ, it's Troy's rules. I hope it works out for him. But that post really rubbed me the wrong way. Particularly in today's Play Station generation where I'm finding 50 year olds to be in better shape than most teenagers (how's that for an unreasonable generalization?)


(This post was edited by rehmwa on Jun 5, 2012, 7:37 AM)


JohnRich  (D License)

Jun 5, 2012, 7:55 AM
Post #10 of 28 (1702 views)
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Re: [troyg321] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

Very first post.
Anonymous profile.
Bashing old farts.

I smell a troll!

> 100% of students 50 or older, have failed multiple levels.

Don't buy it. Over 600 jumps you don't get 100% of anything.

> I've watched numbers of older jumpers break bones, sprains and road rash from
> poor ability to apply what they've been taught. This has got to stop.

Have you seen the same with students under 50?

> I could here (sic) myself on the radio as I landed him 30 feet away from myself.

That's pretty good accuracy - he must have been following your instructions very well.

> I feel and have started at my DZ( at least for me) a policy that 50+ AFF,AFP student
> must show that they have had at least 20 min of wind tunnel training before starting
> in air training.


What DZ is that? Since I'm over 50 myself, I want to make sure I don't show up there some day and give you any of my money. But if you really believe in this idea, then you shouldn't be afraid to identify your DZ, as that would make a leader for safety, and you would be proud of that, right?

Would you happen to have a financial interest in a nearby wind tunnel?


(This post was edited by JohnRich on Jun 5, 2012, 8:19 AM)


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Jun 5, 2012, 8:58 AM
Post #11 of 28 (1679 views)
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Re: [JohnRich] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Very first post.
Anonymous profile.
Bashing old farts.

I smell a troll!

agreed, but it's still not uncommon to hear these kinds of comments. even today. So worth the discussion.


theplummeter  (C License)

Jun 5, 2012, 1:53 PM
Post #12 of 28 (1647 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
How about asking for 20 minutes of piloting an Airbus 380 if over 50? That'll really weed 'em out. Wink

There are seven major problems with your theory:

1. No one under 50 ever gets to bid a 380.

2. No one who flies a 380 still has any real piloting skill, or FMS programming skill for that matter. We're all just gambling that judgement is more critical at that stage, and so far it's paying off.

3. I forgot the third one, but the damn flight attendant needs to bring me my neck pillow so I can rest.

D. My retirement is getting eaten alive by ex wives 1 through 3, and the new one just took up an expensive hobby.

Wink


TangBu  (C 102574)

Jun 5, 2012, 3:25 PM
Post #13 of 28 (1635 views)
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Re: [troyg321] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

My first thought was also "troll", but in case this is real, what was your sample size? Is it possible that your expectations are influencing your results?


JohnRich  (D License)

Jun 6, 2012, 8:34 AM
Post #14 of 28 (1600 views)
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Re: [TangBu] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
My first thought was also "troll", but in case this is real, what was your sample size? Is it possible that your expectations are influencing your results?

His sample size was 600 jumps with AFF students over 3 years. So how many unique students is that? If he does 10 AFF jumps with each student, then that's 60 students. And out of 60 students, how many are going to be over age 50? Maybe 10%, or 6 students. So his sample size could be somewhere around just 6 people. Therefore, all those bigger numbers about 3 years and 600 jumps really don't mean anything. It all boils down to a very small sample size of people, and that certainly is not 100% representative of everyone over 50 years-old.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Jun 6, 2012, 9:05 AM
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Re: [JohnRich] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
and that certainly is not 100% representative of everyone over 50 years-old.

nothing is 100% representative except the full set

alpha and beta errors are never 100% and 0% - that would drive sample size to infinity (realistically not infinity, but just the entire group)

you mean to say "that sample size is not statistically significant (to __ alpha error) for the set of people over 50"


I agree, no test of sample size would show a sample of 6 to be representative to any meaningful definition of prediction error to a group that's as big as the number of all 'over 50 year old skydiving candidates seen over a 3 year period'


likearock  (D 24640)

Jun 6, 2012, 3:48 PM
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Re: [JohnRich] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
My first thought was also "troll", but in case this is real, what was your sample size? Is it possible that your expectations are influencing your results?

His sample size was 600 jumps with AFF students over 3 years. So how many unique students is that? If he does 10 AFF jumps with each student, then that's 60 students. And out of 60 students, how many are going to be over age 50? Maybe 10%, or 6 students. So his sample size could be somewhere around just 6 people. Therefore, all those bigger numbers about 3 years and 600 jumps really don't mean anything. It all boils down to a very small sample size of people, and that certainly is not 100% representative of everyone over 50 years-old.

Regardless of his sample size, the fact that his main concern (questionable canopy ability) is completely unrelated to his recommendation (tunnel time) really exposes his bias.


Dean358  (D 28881)

Jun 7, 2012, 6:24 AM
Post #17 of 28 (1521 views)
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Re: [troyg321] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

As much as I'm offended by sweeping generalizations like this there may be a kernel of truth here. I'm a 55 year old skydiver who started jumping 12 years ago. Even though I was already a licensed glider pilot I found learning to land a canopy very challenging. I had my share of bruises and sprains, including a no-flair landing onto a taxiway. Could I tolerate that much physical abuse today? Probably, but certainly not as well.

Clearly this is primarily about canopy issues. But don't underestimate the amount of mental workload free fall inflicts on students. if 20 minutes of tunnel time gives students more mental "headroom" to think about canopy flight then it might help the canopy learning process.

All of that said, if you're so frustrated teaching 50+ year olds how to skydive that you've "decided enough is enough!" perhaps you're not suited to the task.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Jun 7, 2012, 7:32 AM
Post #18 of 28 (1504 views)
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Re: [Dean358] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
if 20 minutes of tunnel time gives students more mental "headroom" to think about canopy flight then it might help the canopy learning process.

I think that's a great comment


for your first paragraph - your sample size is 1
everyone performs at whatever they perform at


(This post was edited by rehmwa on Jun 7, 2012, 7:32 AM)


JohnRich  (D License)

Jun 7, 2012, 8:47 AM
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Re: [rehmwa] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
and that certainly is not 100% representative of everyone over 50 years-old.

nothing is 100% representative except the full set

alpha and beta errors are never 100% and 0% - that would drive sample size to infinity (realistically not infinity, but just the entire group)

you mean to say "that sample size is not statistically significant (to __ alpha error) for the set of people over 50"

I agree, no test of sample size would show a sample of 6 to be representative to any meaningful definition of prediction error to a group that's as big as the number of all 'over 50 year old skydiving candidates seen over a 3 year period'

I said what I meant, and I chose that because "100%" is what the original poster claimed. The statistical problems with that claim, therefore, are with him, not me.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Jun 7, 2012, 9:22 AM
Post #20 of 28 (1495 views)
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Re: [JohnRich] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
"100%" is what the original poster claimed. The statistical problems with that claim, therefore, are with him, not me.

no issues there, he did say that

still, you mangled it Sly


Here's my cartoon bubble of the OP's 1st jump course - "So, you two OLD guys over there, since you suck and will likely have performance problems, I want you to REALLY arch as hard as you POSSIBLY can to overcome your obvious age-based physical issues, you can't relax about it, it's a big freaking deal.......dudes"

it's possible that his hit rate for bad performers may very well achieve 100% if he sets them up for fail in the training

(this is pretty tongue in cheek, I don't really believe any instructor would do that)


(This post was edited by rehmwa on Jun 7, 2012, 9:27 AM)


Scrumpot  (D License)

Jun 7, 2012, 4:10 PM
Post #21 of 28 (1457 views)
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Re: [rehmwa] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
if 20 minutes of tunnel time gives students more mental "headroom" to think about canopy flight then it might help the canopy learning process.

I think that's a great comment

I think his following comment to that though, as expressed to the OP - was even better/probably even more dead-nuts ON:

Quote:
All of that said, if you're so frustrated teaching 50+ year olds how to skydive that you've "decided enough is enough!" perhaps you're not suited to the task.


(This post was edited by Scrumpot on Jun 7, 2012, 4:10 PM)


crunchycracker

Jun 7, 2012, 4:27 PM
Post #22 of 28 (1450 views)
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Re: [Scrumpot] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel more information is needed. This instructor may live and instruct in an area that is a mostly a retirement community so maybe his proportion of 50 plus is different from someone in an area of different demographics. Just my take since I am seeing some criticism here and he might be rightly justified if his customer base is mostly 50 plus rather than someone whose base is mostly in the 20's.


JohnRich  (D License)

Jun 7, 2012, 8:25 PM
Post #23 of 28 (1428 views)
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Re: [crunchycracker] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I feel more information is needed. This instructor may live and instruct in an area that is a mostly a retirement community so maybe his proportion of 50 plus is different from someone in an area of different demographics. Just my take since I am seeing some criticism here and he might be rightly justified if his customer base is mostly 50 plus rather than someone whose base is mostly in the 20's.

And for what drop zone might that scenario be true? Florida is full of retirees, so would that apply to Deland or Z-hills? Is there something in those areas that prevents young people from traveling to the DZ from outside the retirement community? What would make over-50 people more attracted to skydiving there than in other areas?

According to USPA demographics, 24% of members are over age 50. That's the same number that are below age 30.
Demographics: http://www.uspa.org/...veys/memsurvey10.pdf


(This post was edited by JohnRich on Jun 7, 2012, 8:27 PM)


crunchycracker

Jun 8, 2012, 1:36 AM
Post #24 of 28 (1417 views)
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Re: [JohnRich] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I feel more information is needed. This instructor may live and instruct in an area that is a mostly a retirement community so maybe his proportion of 50 plus is different from someone in an area of different demographics. Just my take since I am seeing some criticism here and he might be rightly justified if his customer base is mostly 50 plus rather than someone whose base is mostly in the 20's.

And for what drop zone might that scenario be true? Florida is full of retirees, so would that apply to Deland or Z-hills? Is there something in those areas that prevents young people from traveling to the DZ from outside the retirement community? What would make over-50 people more attracted to skydiving there than in other areas?/You are absolurely right. I dont know what dz that would be a scenario. Just giving original poster opportunity for more info. Perhaps there is a remote place somewhere. But most likely not.

According to USPA demographics, 24% of members are over age 50. That's the same number that are below age 30.
Demographics: http://www.uspa.org/...veys/memsurvey10.pdf


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Jun 8, 2012, 6:44 AM
Post #25 of 28 (1398 views)
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Re: [crunchycracker] Wind Tunnel training for 50+yr olds before AFF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
According to USPA demographics, 24% of members are over age 50. That's the same number that are below age 30.
Demographics: http://www.uspa.org/...veys/memsurvey10.pdf

Although I waited until I was over 50 to start AFF, I think I am in the minority. The statistic you quoted is for current members, not starting students.


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