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TM: Student training time spent

 


AggieDave  (D License)

Jan 26, 2004, 6:13 AM
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TM: Student training time spent Can't Post

TM's, I've got a question for you.

Not a working tandem, but a "fun" tandem. How much time do you spend "training" them for jump?

With me, I spend roughly the amount of time it takes me to put them in the harness and have the harness loosely tightened down (minor adjustments once I hook up in the plane). Basically I tell them about arching, their hands, smiling for the camera, if I move their legs or arms go with it, that we'll talk about landing under canopy and that's about it.

Out of my short time of having been a TM (a bit over 200 tandem jumps and about 6 months with the rating) the only problem I've had with training is a guy that was training for about 45 minutes for a working dive. He apparently was missing a few bricks in his load and the training didn't really stick very well when we exited.


nightjumps  (No License)

Jan 26, 2004, 6:25 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been accused of being "overthorough" in my training (spending too much time).

To me, there is no difference between a "fun" tandem and a "working" tandem; they are all working tandems.

Usually about 60-90 minutes of training. Part of my reasoning is two-fold. 1) to be thorough in the event of an emergency, and 2) I think training & professionalism breeds confidence and confidence breeds either a repeat skydive or an interest in pursuing skydiving which breeds repeat business.

I've had folks who've made a tandem somewhere else on the planet and after the dive say, "Man, you trained me a lot more than that other place." That's usually followed with an "I'll be back" or "I'm sending my friends here."

Yep... I'm "overthorough" and proud of it.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jan 26, 2004, 6:48 AM
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Re: [nightjumps] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

Training for first time tandem students at Pitt Meadows varies between two minutes and twenty minutes.
The two minute lecture only covers must-knows: crouch in doorway, banana and feet out in front for landing.
The 20 minute lecture covers gear, aircraft mockup, rehearsing dive flow and the finer points.

Bright students do well with either lecture, while dense students never get it.


jdthomas  (D License)

Jan 26, 2004, 7:55 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

 Well on a busy day and we are cranking them out, we of course spend les time with them (fun jumps) and usally just cover exit and arch.. I will avoid at all cost talking about landing until after the canopy is flying.. I am not a very large guy so I want the arch to be good, and if I train them for landing I have found that some of them think only about landing.
My DZ staff work well with each other, we all have an understanding what training level is the same across to board so we know what to expect if we just get tossed a "student".
If we have time we cover exits and arch in more detail.. but usally we just harness, arch them and go to the plane!
I do not like to give the passenger an alti either, I have found and have video of students just looking at the thing the entire dive!
Oh we really don't train with tandem either, just IAD and AFF.
Little Joe


Nightingale  (B 26984)

Jan 26, 2004, 8:11 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

My TM spent about 15 minutes with me, which was perfect. Any more, and I'd have had time to get nervous.

The lecture consisted of "If you forget everything else I've told you, just remember to arch. oh, and breathe. Breathing is good too."

I had enough info, but not too much.


peek  (D 8884)

Jan 26, 2004, 8:48 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll try to make this brief, but I may not be able to.

The people we strap onto the front of ourselves are "students", and deserve every bit of instruction we can give them considering how much time we are allowed (by various constraints) to give them.

I continually have to fight for adequate time to train my Tandem students, because some of the other instructors do not care to train as much.

Where I do Tandem instruction the students are shown the John Bonham video, which isn't too bad, and at least efficient for giving them the basics.

They are then briefed by one of the Tandem instructors on aircraft and video specific procedures, which is about 10-20 more minutes depending on how efficient the instructor is.

I am known for wanting to spend additional time with my students so management usually tells me long enough in advance so that I have time to do this.

The reason I do this is so that the students spend enough time with me to feel comfortable with me. The more I teach them, the more they realize I care. I putthem at ease, something that is supposed to be the first step of all instruction.

Reduced nervousness in a student means better performance on their part, and this means a _safer_ skydive because their permormance is more assured and predictable.

I teach then turns, how to pull and what I will do if they don't recognize pull time, what I will do if they never look at their altimeter,

I put them on the creeper and rotate them around in response to their turning body positions. (Their friends with cameras love this part too!)

I teach them the _specifics_ of the exit, meaning relative wind and why it may seem like we are flipping over. When I tell them that because of the way the wind is coming, that we will be skydiving "sideways" for the first few seconds, their eyes just light up, because they understand that, and it reassures them that everything will be OK even if it feels odd.

Sound like a lot? All of this only takes about 5 minutes!

Much more of the training is done as we go. We go over the freefall sequence in the plane just like most AFF students do. Why not? You've got the time and it reinforces to them that they will perform well, giving them even more confidence and making them more comfortable.

After opening I show them what they would do if they had just opened their own canopy and were steering it by themselves. I teach them complete canopy control, the pattern, running, holding, crabbing, etc.

Why not? We have a 5 minute canopy ride with nothing else to do.

If they have brought their small camera along I show them how to hold it down below so as to get a picture of both of our faces and the canopy.

We do practice flares until I know they will do it right on landing. Do I need to add that we flare and land together?

When we land, and if they are not too involved with distractions like frineds that jumped or in the landing area, I ask questions about how they likes the manuvers they did and what some of the things felt like. "Did it deel like we were flipping over?", I ask.

Without fail they tell me they really enjoyed doing turns themselves and that they could tell it was them doing it.

All of this debriefing can be done while gathering up the canopy.

All of this just doesn't take a lot of time.

We go inside, do the certificate presentation, take off the gear and fill out the logbook.

(All Tandem students get logbooks don't they? They are _students_ after all. S/L and AFF students get them.)


AggieDave  (D License)

Jan 26, 2004, 8:55 AM
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Re: [peek] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, IMHO there are tandem students (working tandems) and "fun" tandems.

The majority of "fun" tandems I take (like 95%) only want to experience a skydive and don't really care about learning anything. Some of them realize after the jump that this is something they want to learn about, so I train them similar to how you said you train. A Cat A tandem takes me 30-60 minutes to train fully.

A "fun" tandem learns about arching and how we're going to exit, then I tell them about landing when we're under a good canopy, but I don't worry them with the rest. We talk about having a good time, smiling and keeping their head up so their video looks better.

I love to train Cat A and Cat B tandem students, but I don't see that it would be worth my time and energy or worth the student's time and energy to learn about altitudes, pulling, waving off, turns, etc.

I've ask my students which they would rather do, be trained how to pull, etc or if they just want to go for a ride. A good majority say "pull? No, I don't want to worry about that."


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jan 26, 2004, 9:07 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

Including waivers and the video, I take about 30 minutes to get someone ready to manifest for a jump.


mfrese  (D 20145)

Jan 26, 2004, 10:29 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

Mainly depends on the DZ. I work at two different DZs, and the training time mainly depends on the workload for the day. (These are all "fun" tandems, as neither does IAF.) I try to train a small group in about 15 minutes, taking that long mainly because they're told to expect 20-30 minutes of training, so I try to give them their money's worth. Exit procedures, arch, what to do in freefall, how we'll steer the canopy, how and when to get their legs up for landing, that's pretty much it unless they're particularly nervous and need some extra attention.

Of course, I've also met my student on the plane, given them the same basic info in about 3 minutes, and had them perform as well or better than people I've spent 40 minutes with...so it mainly comes down to their ability and presence of mind, anyway. Or put another way, you can't polish a turd. Wink


tombuch  (D 8514)

Jan 26, 2004, 2:20 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

We never know which students will be returning, or what they will tell their friends. I like to think of three goals: Safety, Fun, Learning.

Each student should be fully briefed about safety, each should have fun, and each should learn enough to feel a part of the process. That generally takes about fifteen minutes of instructor time, but could be extended for a student who obviously wants more training or expects to return.

Many of our experienced skydivers made their first tandem as a one time thing but were hooked by great instruction that made skydiving seem like something fun that could be accomplished.

Let's always think about our students and try to give them both an experience and skills they will take home and talk about.

As for the minimums, all instructors in the United States should be aware of FAR 105.45(a)(2)(i):
The person acting as parachutist in command...Has briefed the passenger parachutist before boarding the aircraft. The briefing must include the procedures to be used in case of emergency with the aircraft or after exiting the aircraft, while preparing to exit and exiting the aircraft, freefall, operating the parachute after freefall, landing approach, and landing.

Keep in mind that after an accident a good attorney will interview your past students to discover if you are complying with the law. If your students say they were never told about those things required by part 105 your defense may be much more difficult, even if the accident had nothing to do with any of those factors.

Tom Buchanan
Instructor (AFF, SL, Iad, Tandem)
S&TA
Commercial Pilot (IAMSEL,G)
Author JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy


Synapse  (D 30163)

Jan 26, 2004, 4:33 PM
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Re: [peek] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm no TM, but here is my .02. When I made my first tandem it was a lot like what you describe peek. The TM took a lot of time explaining how everything worked, teaching body positioning, and basics of relative wind and how to use it to control your movements. I got on the plane feeling well informed about what was about to happen, how the equipment worked, and what I was expected to do. Also I felt comfortable with my TM and his knowledge of emergency procedures/skydiving in general, which seems pretty important to me!

There were TM's at the DZ that myself and the rest of my friends who went with me tried to avoid getting partnered with simply because they didn't explain as much about the whole process to their "students" and seemed to care less. It becomes a faith issue then, the students (us) didn't have as much confidence in the other TM's abilities since they weren't sharing their knowledge very well. You have to keep in mind that tandems don't know jack about any instructor ratings, everyone is just "some guy at the dz", so the more knowledge you pass on to your students the more faith they have in your abilities. That leads to repeat business.

Also, I would really be surprised if most students wouldn't love to walk away with more knowledge about skydiving gained through training at the DZ for a tandem jump. Then you've got more cool facts to share with your whuffo friends right?

-syn


crzjp20  (A 45548)

Jan 26, 2004, 5:09 PM
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Re: [Synapse] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah another post from a person not even clsoe to being a TM, but anyways i think it goes to show the point. I made my first jump a tandem at Gold Coast in mississippi, and i actualy had 2 instructors, some fresk thing happened and i got passed from one TM to another TM. In the long run i am glad it happened. Both instructed me on proper flying position, saftey things, and procedure in the door, but the guy i jumped with gave me some further instruction explaining the equipment, and what exactly he would do in the case of an emergency. So when we jumped and we got in the air i was totaly and completly comfortable, i felt safe with him.... i sound like a cheasy 16 year old teenage girl talking about her football player of a boyfriend.... but i truly felt safe with him. I knew he knew what he as doing and that he could take care of what every would happen.

So after our jump he debriefed me, explained wo me exacly what we did and all that kind of stuff. so in return i could not wait to get back in the air, i am currently doing AFF at gold coast and i love it, and i was hooked after that jump.

anyways there is my 2 cents


crutch  (D 10182)

Jan 26, 2004, 6:28 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is my two cents worth....Years ago we were required to teach the whole nine yards about the jump. Even had the student wear an altimeter and give them a ripcord to pull. What happened....well easy enough, video of a peson staring at an altimeter with one hand on the ripcord, including several long canopy rides because someone wasn't sure of where they were at. This created some dangerous situations on the high end and some people with very poor videos on the other.

What do I do now? I ask what they expect to experience on the skydive, do you want to flip, do you want to spin, etc. Then taylor the skydive to fit what they are expectations are. Not everyone wants to do flips, so why do one...? The basics are always covered, body position, legs and arms, freefall and landing wise. Exit postion and commands etc., but this can all be covered in ten minutes or less. After that communication is with the passenger is important, but it doesn't have to be about skydiving, it can be about anything.

What kills me is the drop zones where the tandem master meets the student already briefed and dressed, walks to the airplane with them, gets in the plane then begins reading a book. About two minutes before exit, hooks them up, jumps, doesn't let them participate in much of the skydive including the canopy ride. Blames them for a poor landing ("you didn't have your feet up, like I told you"). Then expects a tip because he/she saved their life....c'mon people. This is not rocket science.

Get to know your passengers, give them a chance to feel like they are participating in the jump. But, keep their involvement simple, don't overload them unless they ask the questions, and most of all act confident but not cocky. You just alter someone's view of life as a whole! Be respectful and grateful for the oppurtunity!


boxingrrl  (D 25469)

Jan 26, 2004, 6:45 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

IMHO-- There's some good stuff here. I'm just a baby tandem master, still on "probation". I guess I'm thinking that for me, being a woman, that some extra time spent on freefall body position will be time well-spent. I know that you have people who just forget everything once they're in the door (done enough videos of that...) but I'm not counting on being able to out-muscle all of my passengers. Having learned to skydive via the tandem-transition method, I have to say that there's something to making students feel safe-- enough information to reassure and build confidence, but not so much as to be overwhelming. Everyone seems to find their own style and develop their own script-- but I like the idea of keeping the customer confident and making them feel like they're getting their money's worth. Whether they'll learn to skydive or not, I think each student deserves the same attention and training... although I recognize that this is not always practical.

I'll be checking back to see what else folks have to say... Any other female tandem masters? Do you do train any differently than the fellas at your DZ?

Edited just to add-- any other suggestions for baby tandem masters? should I start a thread of pitfalls to avoid when new at tandems?


(This post was edited by boxingrrl on Jan 26, 2004, 6:47 PM)


boxingrrl  (D 25469)

Jan 27, 2004, 4:44 AM
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Re: [boxingrrl] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Edited just to add-- any other suggestions for baby tandem masters? should I start a thread of pitfalls to avoid when new at tandems?

Please see new thread... Thanks!!! Smile


peek  (D 8884)

Jan 27, 2004, 5:43 AM
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Re: [crutch] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Years ago we were required to teach the whole nine yards about the jump. Even had the student wear an altimeter and give them a ripcord to pull. What happened....well easy enough, video of a peson staring at an altimeter with one hand on the ripcord, including several long canopy rides because someone wasn't sure of where they were at. This created some dangerous situations on the high end and some people with very poor videos on the other.

I'm really curious as to the extent of this. Was it nearly everyone that did one of those 2 things, or like, what percentage?

A number of us do all of training you describe, and only have 1 student do that in a whole season.

Could there have been something else the students picked up on that made them do those things?


sducoach  (D License)

Jan 27, 2004, 6:22 AM
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Re: [peek] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

SmileRight on Gary.
As "students" they deserve the best. It depends upon if you are an "Instructor" or not. As students they also should have the required equipment and training as per FAR 105.

Little Joe, you'd better call me.

Blues,

J.E.


(This post was edited by sducoach on Jan 27, 2004, 6:30 AM)


crutch  (D 10182)

Jan 27, 2004, 7:32 AM
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Re: [peek] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm really curious as to the extent of this. Was it nearly everyone that did one of those 2 things, or like, what percentage?

As far as percentages go, I would have to say ten to twenty percent. I remember one TM's student pulling as he threw the drogue, she saw that the altimeter was on 1000' and panicked! I remember an old saying "ignorance is bliss". I am not condoning not doing any training, what I am saying is to apply the appropriate amount of training to the situation. If someone wants to actually pull ("working students") then 30 minutes to an hour needs to be spent with them explaining everything and it's consequences. If someone just wants to experience this wonderful event we call skydiving, then less is sometimes more. Overloading someone with information they don't need, doesn't necessarily make them a better passenger. Making someone feel confident he your ability will do more to improve the jump than any skydiving related information.


peek  (D 8884)

Jan 27, 2004, 8:00 AM
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Re: [crutch] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

peek:
I'm really curious as to the extent of this. Was it nearly everyone that did one of those 2 things, or like, what percentage?

crutch:
As far as percentages go, I would have to say ten to twenty percent.

peek:
I would have never thought that it could be that high. Maybe I just happen to do certain things during the instruction that has prevented that from happening to me much, I don't know.

I do know that it has been a continual learning process for me. It seems like every season I learn one more thing about how to make it better.

Some of these things I learn from other instructors. Just simple little things that work for a number of students.

Oh, well, that's why it's good to discuss this stuff.


tombuch  (D 8514)

Jan 27, 2004, 1:46 PM
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Re: [crutch] TM: Student training time spent [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Here is my two cents worth....Years ago we were required to teach the whole nine yards about the jump. Even had the student wear an altimeter and give them a ripcord to pull. What happened....well easy enough, video of a peson staring at an altimeter with one hand on the ripcord, including several long canopy rides because someone wasn't sure of where they were at. This created some dangerous situations on the high end and some people with very poor videos on the other.

That is astonishing. It should be extremely rare to have a student fixate on the altimeter or ripcord. It does happen on very rare occasions, but it shouldn't be so common that it is a concern even worth discussing. Try modifying your training and actually teaching your students. I suppose to do that you must first recognize yourself as a teacher and not just an operator of a carnival ride. Seriously, your customers need to be respected as intelligent human beings capable of learning.

You may also find a well trained student with access to a ripcord and altimeter might actually save your life some day...they have saved my life about a thousand times!

Oh, and if you are jumping at a USPA dropzone, please remember the BSR's (k)(2)(c) require that each student have an altimeter. That applies to all students including tandems, and it is not waiverable.

Tom Buchanan
Instructor (AFF, SL, IAD, Tandem)
S&TA
Author JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy



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