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FlyLikeARaven

Hook knife discussion - was Fitzgerald GA fatality

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The claim made was farcical as is your attack on me.



My attack was on the general trend I often see of resistance to new ideas. Which I found evidence of in your simple and very trite comment of.....

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..until it's a problem.



Which of course says nothing at all, except to indicate your opposition to the idea. Very little to no data exists to support your assertion that it's a bad idea, or that it's a good idea. You have only your gut feeling based on past practices to go on. This kind of thinking is very common in our sport.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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gowlerk

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The claim made was farcical as is your attack on me.



My attack was on the general trend I often see of resistance to new ideas. Which I found evidence of in your simple and very trite comment of.....

***..until it's a problem.



Which of course says nothing at all, except to indicate your opposition to the idea. Very little to no data exists to support your assertion that it's a bad idea, or that it's a good idea. You have only your gut feeling based on past practices to go on. This kind of thinking is very common in our sport.

You're a post too late to pretend I did not explain my remark. It wasn't intended to be trite, but might have come off that way, it was intended to be thought provoking, in your case I failed.

Some of the discussions I mentioned are available in these forums.

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dorbie

*********... it's not a problem.



..until it's a problem.

I find it amazing how close minded people can be in this sport. So many people just reflexively oppose any training method that they do not use or have used themselves. Probably for another thread though.

I've considered many discussions where experienced jumpers are humble enough to admit that mid air rigging might cause more problems than it solves including a few who mention trying and failing to cut the right line during a line over even after several attempts. The one exception being Tom Aiello's epic BASE line over video where he didn't have a plan B. I'd be rather closed minded to reject that evidence.

My remark in response to "it's not a problem" was to highlight that you cannot possibly have the data to draw this conclusion without a body of students trying to use a hook knife to clear some kind of mal.

There's nothing closed minded about accepting what limited data there is to reject a bad and potentially deadly idea when wishful thinking is offered instead of data or clear reasoning. The claim made was farcical as is your attack on me. Sometimes foolish and deadly ideas are rejected because the risk that they might get an overloaded new jumper killed exceeds the benefit based on limited available evidence.

That might change if training consisted of more than a one day FJC to include better simulation.


So why is your 'data' that it can be a problem higher valued than our data of true grounds?
As I understand some/most people do not have a knife, and therefor you do not know what it would mean having one?
Will it really be a problem as you seem to believe or maybe it works just as good as it does here?

We do have this rule. All skydivers have knifes.
And during the past 8 years I have not heard of any incidents where someone cut the wrong line or it beeing any issue at all with having knifes while jumping.
And I have never heard of any 'old stories' of it either.

In what way did Tom not have a plan B?
Do you mean he didn't have a reserve?
Well... the knife is supposed to only be used on the reserve so how does that make it different?

I do agree that mid air rigging is not a good thing if you have an option.
But what if you don't have that option?
Would you rather spiral to the ground under your reserve that cuting a line on the reserve?
Good for you, have fun!

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JWest

The main reasoning I hear for a knife is incase of a line over on the reserve.



And even then I'd try to compensate for it, unless it's fucking hopeless, thén I'd try to find the right line to cut...

The only real scenario that makes me carry hook knives is a premature reserve deployment in the door B| Identify if it's the reserve, if it is, I'm cutting the risers.

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DvK

***The main reasoning I hear for a knife is incase of a line over on the reserve.



And even then I'd try to compensate for it, unless it's fucking hopeless, thén I'd try to find the right line to cut...

The only real scenario that makes me carry hook knives is a premature reserve deployment in the door B| Identify if it's the reserve, if it is, I'm cutting the risers.

I wouldn't.
It may behave stable when you are calm and in control.
Closer to the ground you may do something stupid without knowing it that causes it to not be stable.

I know of one incident involving a friend when everything seemed to be OK but the last 30 feet went pearshaped.
Weelchair and a year and a half of recovery.

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I was trained in Sweden and we all had hook knives. But we have 4 days of 8h++/day theory before we get to do out first jump. I was shocked when I went to Spain with around 15 jumps and noticed that the rental rigs for students had no hook knives. When I asked why the answer I got was something in a line of that it gives "to much to think about".
I really can't see a reason why any dropzone wouldn't give a hook knive to students, is it just to save time on training them when to use it? :/

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Poland requires hook a hook knife for all jumpers, period. You will *not* be allowed to jump without one (so if you ever plan to jump in PL, make sure you have a knife). That is not where I was trained though. Denmark doesn't require (aside from CRW) or even mention hook knives at any point during education. Anecdotally, most jumpers seem to have a knife on their rig, but it's far from 100%, and I've never seen a student rig with one. Personally, I'm uneasy about not having a knife; it weighs nothing, it doesn't require any of my attention, and it'd be stupid to learn when one is needed by not having it then. The fact it's never mentioned also means that far too many people never even know it's a choice they're making.
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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DvK

***The main reasoning I hear for a knife is incase of a line over on the reserve.



And even then I'd try to compensate for it, unless it's fucking hopeless, thén I'd try to find the right line to cut...

The only real scenario that makes me carry hook knives is a premature reserve deployment in the door B| Identify if it's the reserve, if it is, I'm cutting the risers.

I know a guy who deployed unstable on his 2nd wingsuit jump and ended up with a main line knotted around one ankle. He used his hook knife to cut it free.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Lukasz_Se

I was trained in Sweden and we all had hook knives. But we have 4 days of 8h++/day theory before we get to do out first jump.



But if, as seems to be normal in the US, you only have 4-6 hours on one day before your first AFF/SL jump, there is only so much a student can be expected to absorb during the class.

Each approach has its advantages, but with the choice on class length comes choices as to what the student can be expected to remember.

JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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DvK

***The main reasoning I hear for a knife is incase of a line over on the reserve.



And even then I'd try to compensate for it, unless it's fucking hopeless, thén I'd try to find the right line to cut...

The only real scenario that makes me carry hook knives is a premature reserve deployment in the door B| Identify if it's the reserve, if it is, I'm cutting the risers.

Good luck with that. I hope you've already practised hacking thru a piece of webbing on the ground. And doing it all in .00010 seconds if your reserve has already gone out the door.

Most people don't carry a knife because of ignorance, and the lack of reported incidents where a line has to be cut on a reserve. Its the old "what are the odds" story.

First, what are the odds of a reserve ride?, then, what are the odds of having a problem with a line on the reserve? Most people would answer those questions:"very small, it won't happen to me".

I guess its something most people haven't really thought about.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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fcajump

*** I was trained in Sweden and we all had hook knives. But we have 4 days of 8h++/day theory before we get to do out first jump.



But if, as seems to be normal in the US, you only have 4-6 hours on one day before your first AFF/SL jump, there is only so much a student can be expected to absorb during the class.

Each approach has its advantages, but with the choice on class length comes choices as to what the student can be expected to remember.

JW

There is a great variation in the ability of individuals to assimilate new information. It always bothers me when we standardize training to suit the lowest common denominator.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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kallend

****** I was trained in Sweden and we all had hook knives. But we have 4 days of 8h++/day theory before we get to do out first jump.



But if, as seems to be normal in the US, you only have 4-6 hours on one day before your first AFF/SL jump, there is only so much a student can be expected to absorb during the class.

Each approach has its advantages, but with the choice on class length comes choices as to what the student can be expected to remember.

JW

There is a great variation in the ability of individuals to assimilate new information. It always bothers me when we standardize training to suit the lowest common denominator.

It has to be that way for several reasons.

A. The ability of the student to assimilate vital information and respond correctly to it under extreme stress, no matter what their capacity for learning is, or their ability to simply understand the language.

And.

B. The quality of the individual giving instruction. Most Instructors have no formal qualifications when it comes to education. So the quality of instruction can vary enormously. Sad to say I have witnessed many examples of "instruction" where the individual concerned should be nowhere near a class of students.

Couldn't teach Granny how to suck eggs.

The KISS principle must always apply.

It surprises me that there are not many more incidents with low timers. Good gear masks a lot of instructional deficiencies IMO.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Obelixtim brings up a good point, given the time and investment commitments considered "adequate" for any training program, the material has to be presented in a way that accommodates all qualified students.

If you want to increase the investments or make qualifying as a student more rigorous then you can increase the rigor of the training program. But given the current USPA standards and expectations for students, hook knives fall pretty well outside of the necessary regime, there are simply higher priorities given the limitations of the program.

If a training program is flexible enough to allow higher performing students to acquire additional training and information, that is great.

Coming from SCUBA as an instructor trainer, NAUI and MSDT, PADI; I can safely say that skydiving training is in its infancy (at best adolescence). SCUBA also went through a period of much higher standards/requirements but those requirements were deemed unnecessary/excessive for virtually all students. With some programs though, high-functioning students are able to get a lot more out of their training than is "normal" or expected. The monetary investment is also considerably smaller which allows for more training without significant cost.

Depending on the agency, the standard "mastery of one's craft" is also much higher for instructors than in skydiving. But the knowledge is less diverse and arguably less complicated than what skydiving requires.

To bring skydiving up to the "quality" or thoroughness of SCUBA for both students and instructors, the investment of time and money would have to be significantly higher than it is now, at least in the US. The other limiting factor for cost is the instructor to student ratio, in the sky it is very small, one on one or two instructors to one student (i.e. expensive).

For the sake of examples, if you asked me to bring AFF up to SCUBA "quality" it would consist of several tandems focused on altitude awareness and canopy patterns with active student participation as well as tunnel time and every student would have to be a competent packer and have basic rigging skills before making a jump with their own rig. They would also have to thoroughly understand aircraft procedures and exit orders. All of that before AFF lvl 1. But this would add thousands to the cost and scores of hours to ground school. But damn, it would make some fine students. You could even throw hook knife training in there ;)

As nice as that would be, I think most jumpers (including myself) would find it excessive/impractical, and it would reduce the number of students to extremely low levels due to cost alone.

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Oh please! My 19yo scuba instructor would probably have failed the teaching portion of AFF-I course, and maybe even the coach course.

And a mass group getting almost no attention outside of specific drills is better than 2-on-1 training how? When I was doing my first dive, I witnessed an Advanced course where 2 people couldn't put their 1st stage on right.

How many stories do we hear of folks with a dozen jumps all of a sudden teaching new guys how to do it in the old days? Were they going in in droves?

Maybe the instructors YOU taught were better than that, but the instructors I see at my DZ are far better instructors than my scuba instructor.

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I'm sure I saw a spoof video of a gameshow years ago where a jumper was getting wrong answers and was having to cut random lines on his canopy while he was under it as a result.

The video was made as a laugh, but the lesson I took was how stable the canopy was even though one, two or even three lines were cut. Far more-so than I would have thought.
Cutting the wrong line isn't insta-death and a lineover on a reserve can be super unpredictable.

All things to consider.

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grantunderland

Oh please! My 19yo scuba instructor would probably have failed the teaching portion of AFF-I course, and maybe even the coach course.

And a mass group getting almost no attention outside of specific drills is better than 2-on-1 training how? When I was doing my first dive, I witnessed an Advanced course where 2 people couldn't put their 1st stage on right.

How many stories do we hear of folks with a dozen jumps all of a sudden teaching new guys how to do it in the old days? Were they going in in droves?

Maybe the instructors YOU taught were better than that, but the instructors I see at my DZ are far better instructors than my scuba instructor.



Oh yes, your singular experience is so compelling compared to the hundreds of students and dozens of instructors I taught. Please tell me more about how the world works based on your singular experiences.

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Anachronist

***Oh please! My 19yo scuba instructor would probably have failed the teaching portion of AFF-I course, and maybe even the coach course.

And a mass group getting almost no attention outside of specific drills is better than 2-on-1 training how? When I was doing my first dive, I witnessed an Advanced course where 2 people couldn't put their 1st stage on right.

How many stories do we hear of folks with a dozen jumps all of a sudden teaching new guys how to do it in the old days? Were they going in in droves?

Maybe the instructors YOU taught were better than that, but the instructors I see at my DZ are far better instructors than my scuba instructor.



Oh yes, your singular experience is so compelling compared to the hundreds of students and dozens of instructors I taught. Please tell me more about how the world works based on your singular experiences.And your singular experience with skydiving instruction is?????
From your earlier post . "SCUBA also went through a period of much higher standards/requirements but those requirements were deemed unnecessary/excessive for virtually all students." So, the scuba training program has been simplified for practical reasons? The skydiving program has been made more intensive and much more structured than it was 10-15 years ago through the ISP. The rating program has also gained more structure and more focus on effective teaching methods.
The suggestion that the USPA instructional program is in it's infancy compared to scuba shows a bias on your part. What skydive rating do you currently hold that would allow you to make these judgements?
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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Way to miss the forest. I included anecdotes as examples. I've removed them for you.

A mass group getting almost no attention outside of specific drills is better than 2-on-1 training how?

How many stories do we hear of folks with a dozen jumps all of a sudden teaching new guys how to do it in the old days? Were they going in in droves?

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I'm convinced you guys are retarded and illiterate.

I never said 1 on 1 was bad, only that it is expensive. One on one is great (and necessary for freefall). And yes, a lot of SCUBA instructors suck and are undertrained, thanks PADI. Not to say there aren't excellent PADI instructors, but that is where most of the crappy ones come from.

As for my skydiving I refuse to teach or pursue an instructional rating because I don't want it to become work (like what happened with SCUBA), and I can afford to jump without it, I also don't have any interest.

I have been throughly exposed to the USPA's teaching methods, read the instructor manuals, and have lots of friends who are AFFIs and TIs. I've personally observed dozens of AFF instructions and ground schools. It is sufficient to see the overall level of expertise. Yes, there are phenomenal skydiving instructors (I had two of them for my AFF), and there are bad ones, and everything in between. I'm not saying skydiving instruction is "bad" just rudimentary compared to a sport that I am intimately familiar with.

I would say however I think there is an overall feeling in the skydiving community that canopy training is severely lacking in the USPA course material. (Not to mention the whole night jump D license debate.)

Anecdotes are pointless, we're not trying to tally f**k-ups, I can give plenty from both sports. I'm talking about methods and philosophy. Due to the expense of skydiving it would be impractical to expect the things I mentioned (and also mentioned it would be impractical). The consequences of f**k-ups are also much greater, which would imply the training has to be even more thorough than SCUBA to achieve the same "level of competence." So teaching skydiving is an uphill battle.

So put a tampon in and pretend I'm not a retard and you might just learn something or better appreciate the difficulty involved in teaching skydiving, logistically and financially.

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grantunderland


How many stories do we hear of folks with a dozen jumps all of a sudden teaching new guys how to do it in the old days? Were they going in in droves?



Yes, yes they were, student fatalities have dropped drastically over the last 30 years. The fact that you even want to use deaths as a variable illustrates how rudimentary the training is, when "not dying" is the standard of "doing a good job" or "success," the standards are then as low as they could possibly be.

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Anachronist

I'm convinced you guys are retarded and illiterate.


I have been throughly exposed to the USPA's teaching methods, read the instructor manuals, and have lots of friends who are AFFIs and TIs. I've personally observed dozens of AFF instructions and ground schools.

Anecdotes are pointless.

So put a tampon in and pretend I'm not a retard and you might just learn something or better appreciate the difficulty involved in teaching skydiving, logistically and financially.

Great arguement for your points. Having taught skydiving for over 20 years and run coach and I courses for almost 15, I will work on taking the advise of someone much smarter than myself.
And now days, the proper insult would be "developmentally challenged".
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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Anachronist

***
How many stories do we hear of folks with a dozen jumps all of a sudden teaching new guys how to do it in the old days? Were they going in in droves?



Yes, yes they were, student fatalities have dropped drastically over the last 30 years. The fact that you even want to use deaths as a variable illustrates how rudimentary the training is, when "not dying" is the standard of "doing a good job" or "success," the standards are then as low as they could possibly be.

2 reasons for that.

1: Gear is much better.

2. Fewer solo jumpers being trained.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Just to throw some fuel on the fire:

I have been a full-time professional educator for over 40 years, teaching a highly technical subject (engineering).

I have a nationals medal in RW.

I have been on a bunch of world record attempts (successful and otherwise). I have several national and state RW records and most recently, FAI world record for wingsuit large formation.

My presentation on exit separation is widely used at safety day around the country.

As far as USPA is concerned I am not as qualified to be a coach as someone with 101 jumps who has sat through a weekend of training in educational methods by someone who is himself just a part-time educator.

Now, if I wanted to be a CFI (flying instructor) the FAA would exempt me from the pedagogy part of the requirement on account of being a professional educator.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Yeah, the USPA coach rating is a joke, and if you ask me a liability. It should be completely eliminated. Maybe back in the round days 100 jumps meant you had some idea what was going on but today it isn't even good enough to be trusted with a GoPro, but hey you can teach other folks how to do this stuff that might kill them. 100 jumps is closer to basic minimal competency.

I did sit through a USPA coach course taught by Bram at Skydive Ratings and my impression throughout the whole time was "omg, I can't believe how incredibly useless this is." We even had to stop and explain to one of the new "coaches" what a down-plane was, they were under the impression that down-plane was synonymous with two-out and were unaware that a down-plane configuration could exist.

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That's pretty short sighted of you. I know little of the USPA system, but it sounds similar to the CSPA system. CSPA has an introductory Coach 1 rating. With similar requirements and privileges. And it is also rudimentary. But you need to use a little perspective here. It does not give you the skills to be an instructor. I introduces you to the system and prepares you to begin the journey through the levels of learning to be one.

Where do you think skydive instructors should come from? Do you think they should have minimum B.Ed.?
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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