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San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia

 

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chrisg700

Oct 31, 2013, 1:48 PM
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San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia Can't Post

I did a tandem jump with Skydive San Diego when I turned 18 a few years ago and loved it. Now I would like to do an AFF 1 jump and probably continue through the AFF series. The problem however is that I have Photophobia, which is an extreme sensitivity to light. All I have to do is wear sunglasses or tinted goggles and everything is fine - I can see without them but it is incredibly uncomfortable and causes me to squint aggressively. When I mentioned it to Skydive San Diego they told me the instructor has to be able to see my eyes for AFF jumps so I couldn't wear tinted goggles. Are there any other school within a reasonable distance of San Diego that might be able to accommodate me? Or are any hopes of getting certified completely gone?


ChrisD  (No License)

Oct 31, 2013, 1:54 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

chrisg700 wrote:
I did a tandem jump with Skydive San Diego when I turned 18 a few years ago and loved it. Now I would like to do an AFF 1 jump and probably continue through the AFF series. The problem however is that I have Photophobia, which is an extreme sensitivity to light. All I have to do is wear sunglasses or tinted goggles and everything is fine - I can see without them but it is incredibly uncomfortable and causes me to squint aggressively. When I mentioned it to Skydive San Diego they told me the instructor has to be able to see my eyes for AFF jumps so I couldn't wear tinted goggles. Are there any other school within a reasonable distance of San Diego that might be able to accommodate me? Or are any hopes of getting certified completely gone?


We don't need to see your eyes. WE do need to see you follow instructions in the air in response to our hand signals.

If you can see everything you need to see and have to wear shades to do it then there isn't an issue.....

Find another instructor or start driving somewhere else. Elsanore and Perris are nice Angelic

C

Good luck and be persistant if that's your goal....


CoolCoolCoolCoolCoolCoolCoolCoolCoolCoolCoolCoolCoolCool


I also would be interested in hearing a response from SAn D. , I suspect there has been some sort of miscommunication....


(This post was edited by ChrisD on Oct 31, 2013, 1:56 PM)


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Oct 31, 2013, 2:14 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

Now that you're ready to get started, it's worth a sit-down conversation with instructors at your local DZs that have student programs - I wouldn't eliminate San Diego based on a casual conversation a few years ago.

Skydive San Diego, Skydive Perris, and Skydive Elsinore are all with reasonable distance and have well-regarded student programs. This is probably the kind of conversation to have in person, where you can talk about your situation and see if the school would be willing to work with you to find a workable solution. Eye contact is important, but it may not be a deal-breaker, and it's worth a conversation for sure.


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Oct 31, 2013, 2:26 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

When you visit to check out the DZs, make sure you are talking with the instructional staff...not the front desk staff. That can make a huge difference in situations like this.


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Oct 31, 2013, 6:48 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

chrisg700 wrote:
I did a tandem jump with Skydive San Diego when I turned 18 a few years ago and loved it. Now I would like to do an AFF 1 jump and probably continue through the AFF series. The problem however is that I have Photophobia, which is an extreme sensitivity to light. All I have to do is wear sunglasses or tinted goggles and everything is fine - I can see without them but it is incredibly uncomfortable and causes me to squint aggressively. When I mentioned it to Skydive San Diego they told me the instructor has to be able to see my eyes for AFF jumps so I couldn't wear tinted goggles. Are there any other school within a reasonable distance of San Diego that might be able to accommodate me? Or are any hopes of getting certified completely gone?

I have Photophobia and I feel for ya.

Seeing a student's eyes is great but I think exceptions should be made when warranted.


Boomerdog  (A 66054)

Nov 1, 2013, 4:45 AM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

I would be curious to see if a letter from your opthamologists (assuming you are under the care of an opthamologist) would support your position. While there is more than adequate time to perform the various manuevers required in each training category, it would also intuitively seem that squinting would have a noticeable and negative impact on time management/usage during free fall. I agree with others here. This is a sit down private conversation with the instructors at the DZ you choose. Good luck!


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 1, 2013, 5:36 AM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

 
While there are definitely downsides to wearing tinted goggles or sunglasses while skydiving, none of them should be 'deal breakers'.

Truth be told, your instructors will only be able to 'look you in the eyes' before you leave the plane. Once in freefall, they'll be on either side of you, and eye contact becomes less of an issue. There are times that students never look away from 'straight ahead', and you don't see their face at all once you leave the plane.

On higher level student jumps, you will be face to face with your instructors in freefall, but by then you would have proven yourself to the point that they passed you on the lower levels and trust your skills up to that point.

I'll second what others have said about going to the DZ in person and sitting down with the head instructor to discuss the issue. You will probably have to go at the very beginning or end of the day, as they will probably be jumping during the middle of the day.

Also, you'll probably have to purchase your own tinted goggles, be sure to ask the instructor which brand and style they want you to have. While I would be open to a student using tinted goggles if there was a medical reason, I would not let a student jump in sunglasses or any type of 'hard' goggles.


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Nov 1, 2013, 6:48 AM
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Re: [davelepka] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

I would be very surprised if any DZ would make you wear clear goggles if you have a medical condition. As other people have stated, talk to the right people at the DZ (Instructor, DZO) about your condition. I am almost sure they would accommodate you.


mattjw916  (D License)

Nov 1, 2013, 7:44 AM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

also remember the nice thing about SoCal is if you don't like what one DZ says, you can always go to another one... or drive to Eloy... if amputees and paraplegics can jump out of planes and get licenses, I'm sure you can make it happen if "sunglasses" are your only hurdle FFS Cool


Fast  (D 28237)

Nov 1, 2013, 8:48 AM
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Re: [davelepka] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

davelepka wrote:
Also, you'll probably have to purchase your own tinted goggles, be sure to ask the instructor which brand and style they want you to have. While I would be open to a student using tinted goggles if there was a medical reason, I would not let a student jump in sunglasses or any type of 'hard' goggles.

I am an instructor as well and don't see any reason that they should object to this given your circumstances. Be more clear about the fact that you really will have a hard time without some kind of light protection for your eyes. Bring a doctors note if you have it explaining the condition.

I rarely am able to make clear eye contact with students anyways because they are so spazed out.


rmarshall234  (D 18793)

Nov 1, 2013, 9:06 AM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

This is probably just a matter of talking to the right person. Find out when Tom Riddick is teaching (at Skydive San Diego) and show up and explain your situation to him. He's the best instructor I've seen, and incredibly passionate about his work. Right in your own backyard.


DrDom  (Student)

Nov 1, 2013, 9:12 AM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds like you'll be more of a hazard in the sky if you are NOT wearing tinted lenses in there. Shop around like said, I'm sure someone will be happy to work with you. Can't say I saw my instructors eye-to-eye until level 4... usually just some hand signals (thankfully a lot of thumbs up were mixed in there)

Good luck, and don't give up!


Boogers

Nov 1, 2013, 10:27 AM
Post #13 of 29 (5171 views)
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, if you have a fear of being photographed, then this sport is not for you. Heck, there are people with video cameras everywhere! On the plane, in freefall, under camera and on the ground. You can't sneeze without someone videoing it. And especially after-hours when the partying starts. So if you want an environment where there aren't any people taking photos of you, skydiving isn't it. Good luck!


nigel99  (D 1)

Nov 1, 2013, 8:42 PM
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Re: [ChrisD] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

ChrisD,

I disagree with your post. I'm not an AFF instructor, but I am a coach and it makes a big difference, being able to see if someone is alert and all 'there'. I strongly discourage the novices that jump with me, from wearing tinted goggles for this reason.

Despite this, for someone with a medical condition I think it could and should be accommodated.


chemist  (A License)

Nov 2, 2013, 6:16 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

Disappointed... when I read this thread title I thought it was going to be about fear of being photographed, and I was going to say it'll be really hard for you to keep skydiving with such a fear.


diablopilot  (D License)

Nov 3, 2013, 9:14 AM
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Re: [chuckakers] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

chuckakers wrote:
chrisg700 wrote:
I did a tandem jump with Skydive San Diego when I turned 18 a few years ago and loved it. Now I would like to do an AFF 1 jump and probably continue through the AFF series. The problem however is that I have Photophobia, which is an extreme sensitivity to light. All I have to do is wear sunglasses or tinted goggles and everything is fine - I can see without them but it is incredibly uncomfortable and causes me to squint aggressively. When I mentioned it to Skydive San Diego they told me the instructor has to be able to see my eyes for AFF jumps so I couldn't wear tinted goggles. Are there any other school within a reasonable distance of San Diego that might be able to accommodate me? Or are any hopes of getting certified completely gone?

I have Photophobia and I feel for ya.

Seeing a student's eyes is great but I think exceptions should be made when warranted.

I think exceptions should be made, a)when thew instructor(s) are comfortable with such an exception, and be when a doctor proves the condition.


chrisg700

Nov 3, 2013, 5:01 PM
Post #17 of 29 (4531 views)
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate all the advice and as recommended I went to talk to an instructor at Skydive San Diego today. I didn't actually get to talk to one though since the front desk person (who was actually very nice) went to ask one in an office for me. Basically though, they won't consider it in any way. I called Perris and they said no way as well. It looks like my last option is Elsinore.


Divalent  (C 40494)

Nov 3, 2013, 5:52 PM
Post #18 of 29 (4509 views)
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

How about contact lens sunglasses? They would block the light, but leave the rest of your eyeballs visible to the instructor flying near you, as it would only be your pupil and iris covered by the lens.

http://www.cosmetic-lens.com/...tuemart&Itemid=1


pchapman  (D 1014)

Nov 3, 2013, 8:00 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

Seeing a student's eyes is nice, but seems hardly essential. (It doesn't seem to be in the USPA Skydiver's Information Manual as far as I can tell, although not everything good is necessarily in that manual.)

When instructing, I'm usually busy watching a student's arms and legs and torso and head. In AFF, it won't be until a few jumps down the road where an instructor is face to face with the student in freefall anyway. I guess Dave Lepka has pretty much pointed this stuff out already, but I'm still surprised at how uncompromising some DZ's are.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Nov 4, 2013, 9:52 PM
Post #20 of 29 (4263 views)
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd be more worried about what would happen if you lost your goggles. It happens sometimes, and if you can't see well without them you might have some trouble. (It also helps to be able to see your eyes.) I'd talk to an instructor there - NOT the person on the phone - and see what they think. Might also be worth talking to your doctor and seeing what he thinks about your ability to see in bright/high wind environments, and whether you'd be at any risk if you have to have your eyes open in bright sunlight for 10 minutes or so.


williammonk

Nov 6, 2013, 5:50 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

chrisg700 wrote:
I appreciate all the advice and as recommended I went to talk to an instructor at Skydive San Diego today. I didn't actually get to talk to one though since the front desk person (who was actually very nice) went to ask one in an office for me. Basically though, they won't consider it in any way. I called Perris and they said no way as well. It looks like my last option is Elsinore.

I would email Dan BC. He runs Perris, and I'm sure he would be happy to talk to you about the situation. He is the one to talk to about this kind of thing.

danbc@skydiveperris.com

William.


peek  (D 8884)

Nov 7, 2013, 8:25 AM
Post #22 of 29 (3877 views)
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Re: [pchapman] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

pchapman wrote:
Seeing a student's eyes is nice, but hardly seems essential. ... When instructing, I'm usually busy watching a student's arms and legs and torso and head. In AFF, it won't be until a few jumps down the road where an instructor is face to face with the student in freefall anyway. ...

Same opinion here. I have been within earshot of several students who have suggested wearing dark googles to their instructor, only to have their instructor practically freak out over the suggestion.

[sarcasm]
You would have thought that the student asked to wear a GoPro.
[/sarcasm]


chrisg700

Nov 8, 2013, 12:32 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

Success!

It looks like I am cleared to jump at both Perris and Elsinore. I emailed Dan as suggested (Thanks William) and he forwarded it to the school manager who said it wouldnt be a problem assuming I did fine during the ground portion as usual. Elsinore asked for a letter from my eye doctor just stating my condition and its limitations as well as the contact info for my flight instructor (at one point it came up that I used to fly and they thought it would be helpful to give him a call and make sure it didnt affect me as a pilot). The AFF director at Elsinore even gave me a call and said if I got them those 2 things he didnt see it being a problem. He asked me to come to the DZ this weekend so he could show me around and even pick out the best goggles/glasses/contacts combo.

I am leaning towards Elsinore so assuming I am cleared I should do be able to do AFF 1 next weekend hopefully.

I appreciate all the advice!


mattjw916  (D License)

Nov 8, 2013, 12:43 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

congrats Smile

either DZ is a good choice


hookitt  (D License)

Nov 13, 2013, 2:36 PM
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Re: [chrisg700] San Diego AFF 1 with Photophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations finding a dropzone to work with you. If you were in my area, I'd have sent you my contact information the day you posted this.

Remember that shaded goggles are not UV protected if that matters to you. Be sure you can tolerate it if for some reason the goggles become removed. It seldom occurs but it does sometimes. For what it's worth, I have never had mine come off completely.

Good luck


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