Aug 27, 2012, 5:12 PM
Post #1 of 8
Deaf - radio assistance
I am looking forward to start my AFF course, but I've heard that there will be radio assistance but I am 100% deaf!
At my DZ, I've spoken to them, they said it is not a problem, they will use hand signal, but I am still nervous if that goes wrong as well. I am not sure if he meant hand signal at dropzone, because I wouldn't be able to see that far and I am worried if I couldn't find the dropzone. I know I worry too much.
I am hoping that someone done this before and could explain me how this works, or any better ways to do this? Please.
I'm deaf and have been jumping since 1993. My instructor used brightly painted orange paddles for directional turns and flares. I never used a radio. What he did is make sure I knew the layout of the area using a photo of the ground from way up, either taken from a plane or from satellite photos, so that from where I was, I could recognize landmarks and ground features to determine where the DZ is. And from there, I could pinpoint where he was supposed to be holding his paddles from 4500 feet.
So there is no problem with that? everything goes perfectly well?
We taught a few people 3 years ago (a whole class of 4 that were deaf) using the same system. Hand signals with paddles from the ground. It's what they used to use for everyone back in the day before radios were small enough and dropzones could afford fancy electronics.
You just need to be sure to study the map of the area very well.
Years ago early 80's we had some deaf jumpers and did really intense canopy training along with the colored paddles to guide them and they all landed fine. Also knew a dz that never used radios for students and only had 1 miss the lz over a 4-5 year period. Also our DZO rigged up a servo from a remote control plane that controlled a indicator that mounted like a chest altimeter. It would move left or right to signal a turn then go back to center to stop. When they got close to landing we used the paddles to signal the flare. Hope this helps! Good luck
On my drop zone we didn't get radio assistance on our AFF jumps, most people still landed ok even on their first jumps :) With good ground training I don't think radios are really necessary, unless the landing area where you want to do your Aff is small or there are no safe places for landing out. Have fun!
While I'm not deaf, I have hearing loss. Going up in the plane increases the pressure on my ears enough that sometimes the radio assistance (x2) is useless to me. While the drop zone has not used the colored paddles with me... I can tell you that being unable to hear the radio has forced me to learn canopy control/ landing sequence much quicker than other students. I'm forced to rely more on what I've learned on the ground... My first AFF jump I couldn't hear the radio what-so-ever. Take the time to go over ground instruction as much as you need to. It does make sense... My biggest difficulty from the hearing stand point is judging the appropriate time to flare... Anyway, being deaf shouldn't hinder you too much in this sport. In fact, you'll probably advance quicker because you won't rely on the ground crew to give directions. :) As for hand signals, everyone gets those during free fall. Blue skies!