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Current TMs, any advice?

 

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AggieDave  (D License)

Jun 7, 2003, 10:14 PM
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Current TMs, any advice? Can't Post

Tomorrow (sunday June 8th), I do the last tandem jump for my TM course (RWS).

I would appreciate any advice or insite any current TMs could impart that might help me as I step into the relm of the TM and the first jump student.

More specifically, I'm jumping Sigma tandems with the 370 main (well, we still have one laying around with an EZ 384 too), any personal experiences on that gear or similar gear that might help me would be very appreciated, too.

Thanks.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Jun 7, 2003, 10:17 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

What type of loading will you be at on someone thats 200 pounds?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Jun 7, 2003, 11:09 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Best advice I can give - never think of it as 'just another skydive.' Every additional handle, every additional connection point doubles the number of things that can go wrong. It can be done safely, but it requires a different way of thinking about the skydive.


Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

Jun 8, 2003, 12:05 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Dave,

The best thing you could ever have done for yourself as a Tandem Instructor is ask for help from those who are more experienced. I resigned myself to the fact that there will always be someone out there who I can learn from regardless of experience level, so I am constantly improving myself as a result.

First, I suggest that you set some personal limits. Limits will keep you and your students safe. I am speaking of personal limits regarding the TM/Student size mismatch, minimum exit altitude, and choices of landing type and area. Expand your personal limits slowly, as you get more experience, using the "crawl, walk, run" theory. Trying really new and different things may best be done with an experienced jumper or another Tandem Master acting as student.

Next, develop a routine that works for you, from checking the rig before you put it on, to recovering the gear after landing. When you get your routine established, don't compromise it for any reason. If a part of your routine should get interrupted (e.g. the cameraman talking to you during your hookup procedure), start over again. Be methodical.

Next, with regard to the Sigma canopy, it opens, flies and lands great. The one piece of advice I have for you there is if you are overshooting your intended landing area, use controlled s-turns/sashays to lose altitude rather than brakes. Getting in brakes on that canopy will make you float, possibly making you longer than you were to begin with.

Lastly, I always have my harness and my student's adjusted as "ready to exit" before we get on the plane (with the exception of hooking up). I can make an emergency exit without a helmet or goggles, but tightening my student's harness and/or my own leg straps before hooking the student up during a low altiitude emergency will waste a lot of valuable time.

My experience of you without having met you is that you have a professional nature. Apply that professionalism, don't get complacent, and have a blast.

Other people trusting you as a safe place for them to confront their fears and expand their personal boundaries is a great feeling. Enjoy it, and feel free to PM me with any more questions. If I can't answer them, I can surely pass your question to someone who can.


iowa  (D 16855)

Jun 8, 2003, 5:20 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

What John said about "routine". Set one and stick to it.

Don't ever let them rush you through your hookup, handle checks routine. Be anal/obsessive/compulsive about routine and handles checks.

Follow manufacturers procedures.

Have a blast but be ready for anything.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jun 8, 2003, 5:23 AM
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Re: [PhreeZone] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've lost a little weight over the past little while, so with a 200lbs passenger, I'll be under the weight limit of the gear (with a good margin), so its all goodie in the hoodie. Cool


(This post was edited by AggieDave on Jun 8, 2003, 6:42 AM)


AggieDave  (D License)

Jun 8, 2003, 5:26 AM
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Re: [slotperfect] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, kickass post! Thankyou!

Questions about using the S-turns instead of a breaked approach...have you noticed how much oversteer there is on a Sigma? (I'm sure you have). So I've been very cautious of doing S-turns low.


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jun 8, 2003, 6:49 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Lastly, I always have my harness and my student's adjusted as "ready to exit" before we get on the plane (with the exception of hooking up). I can make an emergency exit without a helmet or goggles, but tightening my student's harness and/or my own leg straps before hooking the student up during a low altiitude emergency will waste a lot of valuable time.

I do this as well and for the same reasons. It also looks very sloppy having people walking around the dropzone with their passenger harness hanging off their ass. While the people who regularly practice the "tighten it later" plan (Like the Golden Knights Tandem Section) have a method to their madness, I just don't buy it.

Sigma 370s are awesome canopies; quite low toggle pressure and a fantastic flare. I have landed people nearly twice my size without their assistance on the toggles.

Chuck


tspillers  (D 21601)

Jun 8, 2003, 7:07 AM
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Re: [slotperfect] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

John,

Very nice post.

I am the TCD for Dave. He is doing very well. Still learning the approaches and the canopy flight, but making some nice landings on a no wind day.

I agree with the braked approach point you made. He sees me use this many times, but still has some practice for how high you have to start them to make it an effective skill for sinking. Especially sinking enough to compensate for the added "swoop" it will yeild.

As you say, he will have to set his own personal limits, but he has experienced a non-cooperative stundent (myself) at close to the system limits. He shouldn't have a size issue. He is a big dude. For someone to be bigger than him, they would most likely be over the weight limits.

I know many instructors have exceeded the manufacturer's limitations, but the thing to remember is not only could that cost a lawsuit and licensce revocation, but you don't know how many times in the past that rig has had the limits exceed or by how much. The next time could be catastrophic failure.

Overall, I think Dave will be an excellent Tandem Instructor. I have seen him come a long way in the past year. He has worked with many students and is professional, conservative, and very safety minded with them.

Thanks for contibuting. I think your post will help Dave. I also foung the post useful.

Blue Skies,

Todd


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jun 8, 2003, 7:20 AM
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Re: [tspillers] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

"routine."
Yes, "routine" follow what the other guy said about "routine."
Secondly keep it simple. In the BIC, USPa used to preach that any student could absorb 5. maybe 7 new pieces of information during any lesson. If you are doing well, you can impart maybe 4 pieces of new information during a typical 2-20 minute tandem ground school. And those 4 points have to be reinforced during the airplane ride and under canopy.

Finally, what type of exit are you using?
A simple exit can make life easier for everyone involved in a tandem skydive.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jun 8, 2003, 7:28 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Finally, what type of exit are you using?

We currently use 182s at Skydive Aggieland, so I(we) move the student up almost to the firewall, turn them to put their feet on the step and dive out the door with them. That exit makes it relatively easy to do a nice stable diving exit or to toss a single flip if they would like to do that.

Also, with the size of the door and the size of the plane, I really like how this exit helps get out the door.

We went over a good variety of exits in the course, having thought about them and through discussion with my instructor (Todd Spillers), I've seemed to find this one the most agreeable with me.

Alrighty, now all of you that have done tandems out of 182s, what do you do for exits?


Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

Jun 8, 2003, 7:31 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Questions about using the S-turns instead of a breaked approach...have you noticed how much oversteer there is on a Sigma? (I'm sure you have). So I've been very cautious of doing S-turns low.

"Oversteer," huh . . . that's a new one (applied to skydiving, anyway). Taking the meaning from context (a fancy way of saying I'm taking a wild-ass guess), I will say that the Sigma 370 recovers VERY quickly from s-turns, putting you completely back under the canopy. The key word to my original comment was "controlled." I don't "stab" s-turns or sashays close on final approach. They are quite deliberate.

Change your name to Hugh D. Mahan Wink


Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

Jun 8, 2003, 7:43 AM
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Re: [tspillers] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, Todd!

Quote:
I agree with the braked approach point you made. He sees me use this many times, but still has some practice for how high you have to start them to make it an effective skill for sinking. Especially sinking enough to compensate for the added "swoop" it will yeild.

OK - just to make sure I was clear, the "double flare" or "bump-and-run" landing approach, done conservatively, is very useful to me. By that altitude, though, I have the landing area nailed. What I was referring to is using the "accuracy" technique with brakes to keep from overshooting.

Quote:
As you say, he will have to set his own personal limits, but he has experienced a non-cooperative stundent (myself) at close to the system limits. He shouldn't have a size issue. He is a big dude. For someone to be bigger than him, they would most likely be over the weight limits.


Speaking personally, the weight is not as much of an issue as the surface area. I jumped a dude in Eloy last Summer who was 6'6", weighed 220, and had Shaquille O'Neal sized feet. I am 6'2" and 220. I used a Sigma 395 for that lad, and briefed him quite clearly about his role for exit and landing, and he was awesome.

The other factor for the 12-sammich eating variety of the species is what kind of shape they are in. Jumping a 6'6" athlete who is in great shape is a piece of cake. It's the 5'9" 220lb couch potatoes that I'm careful with. I make sure I don't wear them out at altitude so they have the strength to keep their legs up on landing.

Nuff said, now we can go back to bashing Martha Stewart (I kid; I am a kidder).


Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

Jun 8, 2003, 7:54 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Dave,

Check out this thread

I managed to be prolific (again) about my fave tandem Cessna exit. Like you, I tried some different ones and like this one the best. Again, I took ideas from several other TMs and came up with a way that works for me and made it mine.

I don't have a lot of Cessna tandem exits, but I am comfortable with them.

There are lots of other great TMs that chimed in on that one too.


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Jun 8, 2003, 10:50 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

  A 182 exit I am personally happy with is having my right foot out on the step with the passegers right foot right next to mine. They are holding their harness with their head back on my left shoulder. I ease throught the door so the pax's left shoulder is just outside the door and ready set go. Tell the passenger to kick me in the butt with their heels as soon as they feel us go off the plane to complete the arch. I like this exit since I can chose to flip or not. Either way I make a positive downward move with my right shoulder to get into the relative wind and usually can get the drogue out almost immediatly, a very stable exit!

You will find what works best for you and when you do do it again and again. You want to have a pattren or a routine so you can take out as many variables out of the jump as possible. I like the breifly described exit above espically since it works with big and little passengers. The pic kinda shows the exit but I usually have to help their head back up on my shoulder. The students head dosent stay on my shoulder sometimes. I have always expected that anything might come from the students body position wise and I feel like Ican control a lot with this type of exit. Because of the strange things I have had passengers do I dont ever treat any Tandem jump as a "normal" jump!

Scott C.


(This post was edited by sdctlc on Jun 8, 2003, 11:02 AM)
Attachments: tandem Exit.jpg (54.4 KB)


tphilpin  (D 24815)

Jun 8, 2003, 2:28 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Some suggestions endorsed which have already been mentioned:
Don't let anybody rush you during your student preparation or your own. There will be pressure to make the next load or handle one more student.

Set some personal minimums regarding the student and minimum exit altitude. You will face pressure to get out lower than normal due to an overcast or impending weather.

No jump is so important that it can't be postponed for another day (unless your already in the plane and its going down!).

Have fun, I found it to be as much fun for me as the tandem student.


wrightskyguy  (D 19665)

Jun 8, 2003, 3:38 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Alrighty, now all of you that have done tandems out of 182s, what do you do for exits?

I get them up on thier feet and duck-walk them to at least the center of the door, then I have them pivot on thier right foot and swing thier left foot out on the step followed by my left foot then thier right foot goes out, I put my right foot in the door crotch and push off. This climbout helps to ensure that you don't snag your right hand drogue release as you pivot out the door (I've had this happen, long canopy ride), this won't be an issue for you though since your jumping a Sigma. It's a good clean climbout however and good if you ever get cross trained on another system. Take your time, do things right and make sure that your students know that what they are about to do is a skydive not a ride.

Pull high
John Wright


indyz  (D 28525)

Jun 8, 2003, 4:45 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not a TM, so I won't offer advice, but if I may make a request: If your student gets video, please, please, pretty please don't spend the entire dive geeking the camera. I've seen plenty of videos where the TM literally doesn't stop until pull time. The student spent a lot of money to get a cool video of himself and I personally think that the instructor should sorta fade into background and let the student get his face time.


(This post was edited by indyz on Jun 8, 2003, 4:46 PM)


AggieDave  (D License)

Jun 8, 2003, 6:54 PM
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Re: [indyz] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly, for the next while, I'm not going to be doing much of anything. I don't have the experience yet to do much in freefall with a tandem but smile at the camera and be safe.

Thanks for the concern though, I know what you're talking about.Cool


Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

Jun 9, 2003, 3:29 AM
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Re: [indyz] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'm not a TM, so I won't offer advice, but if I may make a request: If your student gets video, please, please, pretty please don't spend the entire dive geeking the camera. I've seen plenty of videos where the TM literally doesn't stop until pull time. The student spent a lot of money to get a cool video of himself and I personally think that the instructor should sorta fade into background and let the student get his face time.

If I don't have a personal relationship with the student (e.g. family, good friends, etc.) then I keep the geeking to a minimum. I have a smile on my face 100% of the time, and usually throw thumbs-ups in droguefall. At pull time I throw one double peace sign as I'm reaching for my risers.

Another idea I got from another TM (imagine that) to make the video more personal for the student is to put them in clear goggles (without binding is best), and I wear mirrored goggles, which kind of removes my personality from the video/pics. That way it's all about them, know what I mean??

White gloves show up the best in pictures. Cool


kskold  (D 14744)

Jun 9, 2003, 8:24 AM
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Re: [slotperfect] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Great info. Keep in mind it is THEIR skydive. Keep them comfortable, relaxed and happy. As already said the attention should be on them. I try to criticize first tamdem students very little. Most likely it will be their only skydive experience. Make it a good and happy one.


Ron

Jun 9, 2003, 8:37 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

The best piece of advie I can give is don't "hot dog".

There are plenty of stories of guys doing sit and headdown tandems. These are not very wise to do. Ask any equipment maker.

As for flying...The best piece of advice I was ever given was to jump my bootie suit. I have most of my jumps with a bootie suit, and fly with my knees a lot. I wore a normal suit at first until a TM I respect looked at me and told me to use my regular suit.

Much easier for me.

Ron

Oh yeah, don't die.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jun 9, 2003, 8:40 AM
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Re: [kskold] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Good points about making the student the focus of the video (i.e. clear goggles on student and mirrored goggles on instructor).
I try to maintain a confident grin so as not to over shadow the student's emotions.
Even if you barely survived the skydive, tell the student -in front of the camera -: "You were great! You were awesome! I wish all my students were as good as you! Would you mind teaching the next ground school? etc."


AggieDave  (D License)

Jun 9, 2003, 8:43 AM
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Re: [Ron] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you mean a jumpsuit that is an RW jumpsuit with booties? Isn't that exactly the opposite of what is recommended by manufactures and the USPA? In the course what was recommended by RWS, the USPA (in the IRM) and my course director was to wear something with baggy arms and legs and to keep the student in a tighter jumpsuit. I'm not trying to say you're wrong, since I have no place to, I just want to know your reasoning since its something that's kinda seems against the grain, so to speak.

Thus I've been jumping my FF suit which is super baggy in the arms in legs and has worked really well for the very small amount of jumps I've done.


Ron

Jun 9, 2003, 9:04 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Current TMs, any advice? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep, I was wearing a baggy suit till the TM (who is also an examiner for both RWS and Strong) told me to wear my RW comp suit.

I personally have found it so much easier to fly this way.
I fly with my knees, and my arms are free to do as I need.

I went through the RWS Sigma program with Paul Raferty...We both wore RW suits....Its what I am used to flying.

I have had no problem with stability..Booties produce a lot of drag, and an Arch always works wonders.

Just giving you the same advice that I was given, and found very useful.

Ron


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