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Physical Test For Tandem Students

 

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skydived19006  (D 19006)

Aug 14, 2012, 10:09 AM
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Physical Test For Tandem Students Can't Post

I'm curious if anyone uses any type of physical test for tandem students. For instance our IAD students are required to have the physical strength to hang from the strut. I don't really know what a good simple test for tandem students may be.

I have a fairly steep staircase leading to the loft. I could require questionable students to climb it, if they don't come tumbling back down they pass?!

That's obviously a joke. But something that could be put in the FAQs, such as "Should be physically able to easily climb a flight of stairs without assistance."

Anyone know of such a requirement?


jimjumper  (D 11137)

Aug 14, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess that means we won't be taking anymore handicapped students?


stratostar  (Student)

Aug 14, 2012, 10:43 AM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Anyone know of such a requirement?

Nope, because in today's world, your an asshole for not taking someone with most dzo's.

I'm like you on the health and ability of some people, for example, I've done a few really fat obese people, mostly ladies. I will no longer take anyone who I have to stuff into a pax HC.

I'm a strong believer in the fact that not everyone should jump, this sport is not for every person who walks in off the street, even though USPA has tried to market it as mainstream. Older sr. citizen are easy to break and or hurt for the rest of their life if your not careful.

With all the hotshots around willing to take any meat they stuff into a pax HC, I'll keep passing up and letting them have all that fun.

Like you though, I'm down with making sure those I take are able to handle the mental and physical aspects of what we are doing here.

I was rushed a few weeks ago at a boogie to take a 70yr old lady. While in a rush to meet our load, and training her, she was not responding to trying to squat and set up for exit. The manifest person walked by and I said, I think a 15 min call is pushing it with us, we need more time for training.

Guess what the reply was I got back.....


If you don't want to do the jump just say so and I'll find someone else!Crazy

So in today's real world (unless your the dzo) your fucked if you speak up and or rock the boat, everyone talks all this bullshit about safety, yet if you try cover your ass and do the job your hired to do, then all you get is flack and talked down too like your some kind of pussy who can't handle it.

I'm all for a test of old and over weight people as well as handicap persons.


(This post was edited by stratostar on Aug 14, 2012, 10:43 AM)


DougH  (D License)

Aug 14, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Re: [jimjumper] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I guess that means we won't be taking anymore handicapped students?

Should we consider fat out of shape tandem students handicapped if they can't lift their legs?

I don't have the experience right now to take handicapped passengers. And I would rather I not the take very elderly but fit which I consider to also be special care packages.

I think both should be able to jump with the right TI.

In my mind there is a big difference with a student that is going to be a lot of trouble not because they have a disability, or because they lived a long life, but instead they haven't done any exercise in the past decade. If given the choice I would rather students in this category go exercise and come back when they have achieved a better level of fitness.

If I was the DZO the weight limit would be 200 for men, and lower for women. I would then only allow over that on a individual basis. 230 because your tall and fit fine, 230 shaped like a bowling ball and ready to ooze out the harness, not fine.

I think the reduced liability from broken ankles and other injures would well offset the lost revenue.


(This post was edited by DougH on Aug 14, 2012, 11:02 AM)


sbb  (F License)

Aug 14, 2012, 2:25 PM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

I have one or two practical tests for questionable tandem students:
1. They should be able to sit on a chair and lift their knees and stick their feet out.
2. they need to flexible enough to kneel and sit back on their heels, as we do a kneeling exit.

Usually elderly and overweight (aka too fat for your height) usually don't pass this smell test and we turn them down. If we question in advance during scheduling, we encourage them to stop by before continuing to schedule, to chat with instructors. Its easier to turn someone down in advance, than to show up on your jump day and go home disappointed.


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Aug 15, 2012, 8:00 AM
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Re: [sbb] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I have one or two practical tests for questionable tandem students:
1. They should be able to sit on a chair and lift their knees and stick their feet out.
2. they need to flexible enough to kneel and sit back on their heels, as we do a kneeling exit.

Usually elderly and overweight (aka too fat for your height) usually don't pass this smell test and we turn them down. If we question in advance during scheduling, we encourage them to stop by before continuing to schedule, to chat with instructors. Its easier to turn someone down in advance, than to show up on your jump day and go home disappointed.

I may look at employing your physical tests.

I totally agree on weeding them out in the scheduling process! It makes life a lot easier on all involved.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Aug 15, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

"
In reply to:
...

I have a fairly steep staircase leading to the loft. I could require questionable students to climb it, if they don't come tumbling back down they pass?!

That's obviously a joke. But something that could be put in the FAQs, such as "Should be physically able to easily climb a flight of stairs without assistance." ...
"

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

Good point!
Back when I worked at Snohomish, manifest called me over to talk with a (20 something) student. She came with a big group and was keen to do tandems with her friends, however, she had recently sprained her ankle.
I tried to explain to her that a good landing was like running down a flight of stairs. As we strolled outside, I suggested that she run up and down the stairs to the (upstairs) classroom.
When she protested that she could not limp up the stairs, I suggested that she heal for a month before returning to skydive.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Aug 15, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Re: [jimjumper] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I guess that means we won't be taking anymore handicapped students?

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

The Australian Parachute Federation published a report about doing tandem jumps with handicapped students.
One MAJOR observation is that people tend to lose a lot of (leg) bone mass after three years in a wheel-chair, which vastly increases the risk of re-injury.

Since I HATE injuring students ... I refuse to take those who have been confined to wheel chairs for more than three years.

When I say that I HATE injuring students, it goes beyond a mere distaste for ambulances, lawyers and paperwork and points toward a deep, core value that as an instructor, my first priority is keeping students alive.
At the end of the day, I measure my success in how many students dance towards the parking lot.


skytribe  (D 9403)

Aug 15, 2012, 11:53 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a lot of experience doing tandems and really don't like taking Old people and people clearly out of shape because its hard work and the risks involved are greater with it being easier for them to get hurt. Ie. you can't pick you feet up for landing or can't arch at all. People coming to do tandems despite signing all the waivers and watching training video are all to often still of a mentality that this is a fairground ride with no risks.

Many of the DZ operators do little to weed these out and just because one instructor will take them keeps scheduling them. Its similar to the weight limits he
sets that people clearly lie on there declarations because they want to jump. Perhaps telling people up front when they schedule they will be weighed on the day (or required to do a basic fitness test) to ensure they meet the requirements is one way of weeding people out, but that is income the DZO's see disappearing and don't want to offend customers. In the UK older jumpers require a doctors note. Again this may weed a few out as it takes a bit more effort and only more determined older jumpers would go through the efforts. There have been thousands of older people who have made successful skydives but each jump presents a unique set of circumstances.

At another dropzone I worked at we would have them stand on a chair and jump off. Obviously this is minimal but for those that couldn't even manage this then skydiving may not be for them.

Skydiving is not an activity that is available for everyone - some people really shouldn't be doing it. As with most thing there are always exceptions. People that are obviously in great shape that are slightly over weight or people with disabilities can be identified up front and special provisions made but these are not your everyday tandems and are treated on an as-is basis.


airsport  (D 12544)

Aug 16, 2012, 8:14 AM
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Re: [skytribe] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

The first thing I have the students do is get on their knees and demonstrate their ability to arch. I tell them its required for "our" safety and is mandatory. I keep them kneeling for a few minutes as I explain the finner points of the body position and let them know they will spend 4 or 5 minutes kneeling in the airplane.....


livendive  (D 21415)

Aug 22, 2012, 3:25 PM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

My most rewarding tandems have been the elderly, the disabled, the terminally ill, and the terrified. I'd prefer those young and fit enough to do so take a first jump course instead (note: my checking account disagrees with me on this matter).

Three weeks ago I took a 91 year old lady who could barely walk with a cane in one hand and an assistant on the other. I lifted her into the plane and carried in from the landing area. She flirted, she flaunted, she ruled.

Two weeks ago I took a 78 year old man who had 15 jumps under his belt...the last in 1955. It turned out he'd been petrified on that last jump and had spent the last 57 years embarassed by that. He privately explained to me that with death approaching, he wanted to rid himself of that shame and die knowing he wasn't a coward. I tried to talk him out of it (his perception of cowardice) regardless, but it was far too well developed to be relieved by the words of a stranger. He had a poorly reconstructed knee with limited ROM, a frozen shoulder, and was partially deaf. We opened the door of the 182 a mile and a half early to have time to get out (our Caravan was off supporting another DZ for the weekend). Our converstation under canopy was of liberation and he had tears in his eyes when he thanked and hugged me on the ground.

I've taken two different terminally ill students. One was one of our jumpers who developed some disease that I can't remember now. He traded his gear to our DZO for some tandems for himself and his friends in the twilight. The other had been one of my "professors" at a local community college, teaching phys.ed. of all things. He had late stage diabetes or something was missing one leg just below the hip and the other was likely to be chopped off within the next 2 months. Both of these guys died less than 6 months later. But thru those tandems, they still got some nice kicks in at the end.

Special tandems are a LOT more work, but only because they're worth it. If we were going to institute a physical fitness test (besides fatties), i'd go the other way with it. "You can run those stairs, do chin-ups and a PLF. Welcome to first jump course."

Blues,
Dave


(This post was edited by livendive on Aug 22, 2012, 3:31 PM)
Attachments: tandem2006.jpg (118 KB)


Abedy  (D 10153)

Aug 23, 2012, 2:25 AM
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Re: [livendive] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

I had some "special" tandems last weekend. First one was a 19-year-old boy who was mentally disabled (attends school for students with special needs) and also had some problems with his feet which were bent inwards. Turned out he could lift his legs pretty well and could follow what I told him (actually knew a lot of things, had dealt with tandem jumping via TV reports and on the Internet etc before) and I trained the most important facts on the ground several times with him. He did pretty well, good arch on exit, in freefall with arms out, legs up on landing. Parents (mom going through chemo...) & boy were soooo grateful.

Then I got a 78-year-old man. Checked if he could lift his legs, he could. Checked if he had health problems - "Nah, just been to my GP for a checkup". Only had to talk looouuud to him because he didn't want to wear his hearing aid Wink Focused on the main aspects, arching, legs up etc, trained several times and out we go with the old man in a good arch, was awake and got his legs up really well for the landing. He was soooo grateful, hugged me and the eyes were a little watery.

Both tandems took more time and effort for preparation and training but now I think it was worth it.

The really demanding jump was with a 190-pound-lady. Hard work to get her to lift her legs on the ground, but could hold them for 2-3 secs) Surprise mid-air: I can't lift my legs - You gotta do and could do so on the ground! - I can't - Hey, give it a hard try, you need to lift 'em! - I'm trying... can't - Try harder, you can do it! Well, I helped her slide her leg straps towards her knees etc, but all she was able to do was lift her knees up for 1-2 secs. But on final approach she just didn't even attempt to grab her knees, just moaned "I can't". I stabbed the toggles really hard, produced enough lift so we sort of stopped and went down so we didn't topple over.
I was upset: The old guy and the disabled boy tried really hard, wanted to do it, they were fighters. The plumpy - with no disabilities - just gave up, didn't even try - let the tandem guy take care of it. Mad

Lesson: If plumpies can't lift their legs for at least several seconds by grabbing their knees I won't take them for the ride. Period.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Aug 23, 2012, 9:12 PM
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Re: [Abedy] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

At our DZ this rule applies:

If you got the money,
You weigh 220.


Abedy  (D 10153)

Aug 24, 2012, 2:09 AM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

The German Parachute Association (DVF) strongly recommends a limit of 95 kg (~ 210 lbs) They can't really make a a legal limit (the federal aviation authority could, I suppose) but if things go wrong any judge will ask you why you deliberately took a student weighing more then the limit your organisation sets/recommends not to go over. Thus I do not take any students heavier than 90 kg (200 lbs) and - as an exception only - if they are athletic, I go up to 95 kg but not beyond it, not even if I am given a "fat surcharge". Having my own rig I can afford this "snobbish" behaviour - being a member of the chain^T tandem instructor gang jumping DZ gear things might be different... Crazy


psychoswooper  (D License)

Aug 27, 2012, 9:58 AM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

Used to work at a DZ in Locarno Switzerland. All Tandems had to walk down to the control tower and back in a certain amount of time. I can't remember the time but it required a fast-ish pace. Solo students had to do that in a much shorter time, plus a fast sprint, standing broad jump further than their height, and shimmy up a 3 meter pole. Instructors had to do it with them :) Some females lacked the upper body strength for the pole climb-initially-but we would see them about 3-4 weeks later flying up the pole!


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Aug 27, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Re: [psychoswooper] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Used to work at a DZ in Locarno Switzerland. All Tandems had to walk down to the control tower and back in a certain amount of time. I can't remember the time but it required a fast-ish pace. Solo students had to do that in a much shorter time, plus a fast sprint, standing broad jump further than their height, and shimmy up a 3 meter pole. Instructors had to do it with them :) Some females lacked the upper body strength for the pole climb-initially-but we would see them about 3-4 weeks later flying up the pole!

Wow! That's interesting. I need to go do a standing long jump to see if I'd qualify to jump solo. That list would danm sure cull the field.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Aug 27, 2012, 6:26 PM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In the good old days, PLF training from a 3 foot platform weeded out many unfit wannabes. They simply could not (or would not) jump from 3 feet because they KNEW" their body could not take it. Kind of a "Go, No Go" gauge. Smile


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Aug 27, 2012, 7:44 PM
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In reply to:
In the good old days, PLF training from a 3 foot platform weeded out many unfit wannabes. They simply could not (or would not) jump from 3 feet because they KNEW" their body could not take it. Kind of a "Go, No Go" gauge. Smile
Ours was 4 feet high into the pea gravel. Yep, it sure weeded out a few. Smile


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Aug 27, 2012, 7:46 PM
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Re: [psychoswooper] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Some females lacked the upper body strength for the pole climb-initially-but we would see them about 3-4 weeks later flying up the pole!
I've seen a lot of women unable to flare the canopy properly due to poor upper body strength. I advise all women wanting to skydive to use proper technique and to do a little strength training.


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Aug 28, 2012, 5:54 AM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In the good old days, PLF training from a 3 foot platform weeded out many unfit wannabes. They simply could not (or would not) jump from 3 feet because they KNEW" their body could not take it. Kind of a "Go, No Go" gauge. Smile
Ours was 4 feet high into the pea gravel. Yep, it sure weeded out a few. Smile

Your profile indicates that you've been jumping since 1974. Since students would have been on a round, the 4' high PLF platform would have been totally appropriate.

At least these days we have the option of refusing someone IAD/SL/AFF but letting them do a tandem if they're just not quite up to the riggers of a solo skydive. My IAD instructors do just that on a somewhat regular basis.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Aug 28, 2012, 8:21 AM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Your profile indicates that you've been jumping since 1974. Since students would have been on a round, the 4' high PLF platform would have been totally appropriate.
Yep, Fall of 74.Smile


In reply to:
At least these days we have the option of refusing someone IAD/SL/AFF but letting them do a tandem if they're just not quite up to the riggers of a solo skydive. My IAD instructors do just that on a somewhat regular basis.
Some AFF-I's don't even attempt to have students practice landings anymore. I have them flare and jump off the 18" high trailer at least a few times, keeping their feet and knees together as they do it. It doesn't re-enforce it much, but at least I see who can follow directions. . . .CrazyLaugh


Krip  (Student)

Sep 17, 2012, 11:13 PM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi 06

Some dz's in the US use the old folks as tandems as part of their marketing plan.

They notify the press in advance and supply the edited FF video to the local news channels for free.Angelic

So what if some of the seniors can't lift their legs or go in a fetal position on exit, the edited video on the local news is a great motivator for the other seniors and BTW it's good for business.Sly

R.


flipper  (D 11524)

Sep 25, 2012, 9:51 AM
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Re: [skydived19006] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep. ... No one over 190 lbs... No exceptions ... they have to demonstrate there ability to lift legs .. If not .. There out ... If they dont look right there out ... No stand up landings ... All are slid in on there butt ... No exceptions ... And No one over 50


(This post was edited by flipper on Sep 25, 2012, 9:56 AM)


-ftp-

Sep 26, 2012, 7:43 AM
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Re: [flipper] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Yep. ... No one over 190 lbs... No exceptions ... they have to demonstrate there ability to lift legs .. If not .. There out ... If they dont look right there out ... No stand up landings ... All are slid in on there butt ... No exceptions ... And No one over 50

Wow, how many people show up and are turned away?

no one over 190? Why is that? and no one over 50? Really? Why?


TaylorC  (D 29769)

Sep 26, 2012, 1:00 PM
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Re: [flipper] Physical Test For Tandem Students [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Yep. ... No one over 190 lbs... No exceptions ... they have to demonstrate there ability to lift legs .. If not .. There out ... If they dont look right there out ... No stand up landings ... All are slid in on there butt ... No exceptions ... And No one over 50

must get next to no business if you are in the states. I know a lot of people over 50 who are in better shape than some 18 year olds who have shown up to jump.


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