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jclalor

Does this sound right?

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What do you think of a couple of AFFI’s who never watched any aspect of their student under canopy ( they were too busy packing)They just loaded on the the transport bus and split back to the airport. I watched him come down and crash about 3,000 ft away from DZ and did not get up. I went out to help him and found him pretty banged up with a broken arm. The AFFI’s didn’t really seem to care. I managed to get him to an ER. And this was after one of them chewed our ass about how to exit a sky van, he was a straight up dick.

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An AFF-I job is not done until the student is back safely in the Hanger and debriefed. it is the AFFI Responsibility to watch the Student under Canopy and follow their descent. how else would they be able to give feedback for the Student to learn?

If this happened on my DZ those guys be heading out the gate and never coming back!

did the DZO operator or CCI know about this incident? i would certainly have a word with them. given the way things are legal wise in the US there might be legislation to follow.

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At a minimum, 1 AFFI should stay at the landing field, watch the student land and debrief them.
Some busy DZs assign a specific instructor to steer students back by radio. They are also responsible for accounting for all jumpers and ensuring that they return to the packing area.

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Certainly the AFFI behaviour in the OP's case sounds strange and uncaring. Behaviour will also depend on DZ culture and standards.

E.g.,

One DZ I was at decided a few years ago to make a rule about staying with an injured student, where staff accompanying a student in the air had to stay with their student even after help had arrived. So if a tandem student is unlucky and breaks an ankle, the instructor and camera flyer would have to stay with them for some extended time instead of running off to their next student as soon as help arrived.

Instructors and especially cam flyers could otherwise say their job was done; "Not my problem now, as unfortunate as it is. I have an obligation to other students now too! Gotta run for the next load."

I've also seen it where AFF instructors (or PFF where I am) are not expected to hang around watching the student floating around 'forever'. They're back inside the hangar packing furiously or prepping the next AFF or tandem student. Yes they'll debrief the student on his canopy flight and landing. And if there are concerns go talk to the ground based radio instructor. An AFF might even run back outside to watch the student's final turns and landing. But the standard isn't to stand around waiting for the student to float on down.

I'm not saying what's right; just that standards vary even when making sure the student is supervised and debriefed.

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jclalor

What do you think of a couple of AFFI’s who never watched any aspect of their student under canopy ( they were too busy packing)They just loaded on the the transport bus and split back to the airport. I watched him come down and crash about 3,000 ft away from DZ and did not get up. I went out to help him and found him pretty banged up with a broken arm. The AFFI’s didn’t really seem to care. I managed to get him to an ER. And this was after one of them chewed our ass about how to exit a sky van, he was a straight up dick.



Was this an AFF jump or a coached jump? What level jump was it? It sounds like AFF1 or 2? (Cat A/B depending on your nomenclature)?

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irishrigger

An AFF-I job is not done until the student is back safely in the Hanger and debriefed. it is the AFFI Responsibility to watch the Student under Canopy and follow their descent. how else would they be able to give feedback for the Student to learn?

If this happened on my DZ those guys be heading out the gate and never coming back!

did the DZO operator or CCI know about this incident? i would certainly have a word with them. given the way things are legal wise in the US there might be legislation to follow.



I never said anything to the DZO, I did let the instructors know what happened.

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shadeland

***What do you think of a couple of AFFI’s who never watched any aspect of their student under canopy ( they were too busy packing)They just loaded on the the transport bus and split back to the airport. I watched him come down and crash about 3,000 ft away from DZ and did not get up. I went out to help him and found him pretty banged up with a broken arm. The AFFI’s didn’t really seem to care. I managed to get him to an ER. And this was after one of them chewed our ass about how to exit a sky van, he was a straight up dick.



Was this an AFF jump or a coached jump? What level jump was it? It sounds like AFF1 or 2? (Cat A/B depending on your nomenclature)?

It was his first AFF jump. I knew one of the AFFI’s, actually a good guy, the other was a fucking asshole who was new at the DZ. Asshole gave a pre jump “Safety briefing” and talked down to us like we were all idiots, it was the first time we had a sky van.

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jclalor

******What do you think of a couple of AFFI’s who never watched any aspect of their student under canopy ( they were too busy packing)They just loaded on the the transport bus and split back to the airport. I watched him come down and crash about 3,000 ft away from DZ and did not get up. I went out to help him and found him pretty banged up with a broken arm. The AFFI’s didn’t really seem to care. I managed to get him to an ER. And this was after one of them chewed our ass about how to exit a sky van, he was a straight up dick.



Was this an AFF jump or a coached jump? What level jump was it? It sounds like AFF1 or 2? (Cat A/B depending on your nomenclature)?

It was his first AFF jump. I knew one of the AFFI’s, actually a good guy, the other was a fucking asshole who was new at the DZ. Asshole gave a pre jump “Safety briefing” and talked down to us like we were all idiots, it was the first time we had a sky van.

To deliberately not watch an first time jumper land a parachute is... not something that has ever occurred to me. So, no, that doesn't sound right at all. Every DZ I know put the student on a radio and try to give them help (calling out turns, flare, etc.). Radios sometimes fail (or the instructor forgets to turn them on) but at least one watches the student land (unless they land off).

I only know one instructor that has ever sounded like that. He was out of the east coast, and he was a total dick to new night jumpers.

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jclalor

What do you think of a couple of AFFI’s who never watched any aspect of their student under canopy ( they were too busy packing)They just loaded on the the transport bus and split back to the airport. I watched him come down and crash about 3,000 ft away from DZ and did not get up. I went out to help him and found him pretty banged up with a broken arm. The AFFI’s didn’t really seem to care. I managed to get him to an ER. And this was after one of them chewed our ass about how to exit a sky van, he was a straight up dick.



Throw them under the bus, what DZ???

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billvon

>What do you think of a couple of AFFI’s who never watched any aspect of their student
> under canopy . . .

Was someone watching them land/talking to them under canopy?



Not in the least, no radios at this DZ’s. He landed over a gentle roll in the horizon, where I knew were some pretty good size rocks and boulders. I started walking out about 10 minutes with not seeing any sign from him. I found him sitting down and smarting over a broken humerous. I called the DZ and asked for a car that made its way out a bout an hour later.

The AFFI gave a very demeaning speech to all of us before the jump on Sky Van procedures, the fact that we had been jumping it for the three previous days didn’t seem to matter much. This was the first and last time I saw him, a short, cocky, dark haired Australian. Later, when I asked him why he didn’t follow thru with his student, he was all apologies and had his hat in his hands.

Knowing then what I know now, I would have made more of an issue.

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jclalor

***>What do you think of a couple of AFFI’s who never watched any aspect of their student
> under canopy . . .

Was someone watching them land/talking to them under canopy?



Not in the least, no radios at this DZ’s. He landed over a gentle roll in the horizon, where I knew were some pretty good size rocks and boulders. I started walking out about 10 minutes with not seeing any sign from him. I found him sitting down and smarting over a broken humerous. I called the DZ and asked for a car that made its way out a bout an hour later.

The AFFI gave a very demeaning speech to all of us before the jump on Sky Van procedures, the fact that we had been jumping it for the three previous days didn’t seem to matter much. This was the first and last time I saw him, a short, cocky, dark haired Australian. Later, when I asked him why he didn’t follow thru with his student, he was all apologies and had his hat in his hands.

Knowing then what I know now, I would have made more of an issue.

I can go to Walmart right now and buy a few sets of handheld radios for under $100. Sure the radio could die, batteries could die, the instructor holding the radio could have a heart attack and die but it gives the students whose never seen the dropzone from that angle before the best chance of making it back uninjured. With the amount of adrenaline they have after their first skydive they may be directly above the dropzone and not see it because they forgot what it looked like when they saw the map in class. Seasonal changes can make it look completely different as well. I've only been to a few dropzones so far but each one had students on radio whether they were aff or iad student so this to me seems odd.

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Yea, well when the student decides to sue the DZ for deliberately, knowingly and intentionally violating USPA regulations, both from the SIM and ISM, then I bet the attitude of the AFFI and the DZ will change. Here is a news flash for those who dont know. Those paper waivers you sign dont mean much of anything in court. They protect against inherent risks involved in skydiving. They do not protect against misconduct and negligence on behalf of the DZ (even if they say they do). Negligence cannot be excused by a waiver. Considering many DZs 1099 their employees, the AFFIs will be thrilled when the student sues and the DZ throws them under the bus using the whole "they are independent contractors not affiliated with the DZ" thing that is guaranteed to come once the paperwork starts flying.

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jclalor

***>What do you think of a couple of AFFI’s who never watched any aspect of their student
> under canopy . . .

Was someone watching them land/talking to them under canopy?



Not in the least, no radios at this DZ’s. He landed over a gentle roll in the horizon, where I knew were some pretty good size rocks and boulders. I started walking out about 10 minutes with not seeing any sign from him. I found him sitting down and smarting over a broken humerous. I called the DZ and asked for a car that made its way out a bout an hour later.

The AFFI gave a very demeaning speech to all of us before the jump on Sky Van procedures, the fact that we had been jumping it for the three previous days didn’t seem to matter much. This was the first and last time I saw him, a short, cocky, dark haired Australian. Later, when I asked him why he didn’t follow thru with his student, he was all apologies and had his hat in his hands.

Knowing then what I know now, I would have made more of an issue.

No first jump (or early jump) student should ever be without a radio. Period.

I found that out the first and only time I ever put out a student on a ram air canopy when I first introduced squares to students, and that was back in 1987.

I do train them to fly without the radio though, in case it doesn't work....the first ones I used were a bit unreliable. For that reason an altimeter became an essential part of student equipment, because I gave them waypoints to follow when they got to certain altitudes, plus an altitude to turn in on final approach.

That worked well on the occasional time the radio didn't work. And it meant in most cases, they didn't need a radio after 3 or 4 jumps.

It sounds like this DZO and his minions need a swift kick in the nuts.....
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Radios have plenty of downsides as well, so it's not something that no student should be without. In fact, I know of no DZ here in The Netherlands that still uses radios for their student training.

Rather, I think no student should be without an instructor watching out for them either from ground or from air, up to and including until they are properly debriefed and back in the hangar. My home club has a club rule that there always needs to be an instructor or assistent instructor at the DZ when students are jumping, since the DZ is off-site from the airfield.

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IJskonijn

Radios have plenty of downsides as well, so it's not something that no student should be without. In fact, I know of no DZ here in The Netherlands that still uses radios for their student training.

Rather, I think no student should be without an instructor watching out for them either from ground or from air, up to and including until they are properly debriefed and back in the hangar. My home club has a club rule that there always needs to be an instructor or assistent instructor at the DZ when students are jumping, since the DZ is off-site from the airfield.



Are you saying radios are not used AT ALL? I assume then there must be moveable pointers on the ground as there used to be back in the roundie days pre radio.

So, how does the instructor watching stop a confused first jumper flying off into the sunset? A student can go a hell of a long way under a ramair. Its no fun watching them disappear over the horizon.....
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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I can't speak for the other clubs, but at my home club only the pilot uses a radio. There is a big-ass T indicator (bright orange, 8 meters long) on the landing field, and there are good landing fields all around for a LONG LONG way.

Before the jump, students get a thorough briefing on the supposed pattern, wind direction, exit point and the land marks around them and where they are in relation to the landing field.

And yes, we occasionally have a first-jump student take a cross-country jump because they forgot to look down between their legs, but those instances are few and far between. I don't think you solve that with radios, given the amount of stories I heard where the ground instructor heard the student radio just fine, but the student claimed he didn't hear anything! Some levels of stupidity are just unsolvable.

We mostly solve the lack of radios by good thorough briefings before-hand. And even dropping just three students out of a C182, most of our instructors tend to take two passes to put them out.

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obelixtim

So, how does the instructor watching stop a confused first jumper flying off into the sunset? A student can go a hell of a long way under a ramair. Its no fun watching them disappear over the horizon.....



That it certainly isn't...and I'm talking from experience here.

But it happens only very rarely that a student brainlocks that badly. In the ten years that I'm jumping I know of only one instance. I was that (static line) student's JM and tried to follow as best I could instead of making for the DZ. After I landed I could see that the student landed OK on the other side of a corn field. The DZ van left the LZ as soon as the last of the other jumpers had landed and picked both of us up soon after.

Off-landings by one or two fields do occur sometimes. But we're in a flat country in which outs are plentiful, so it is very uncommon indeed that the instructor on the ground cannot see where (and how) the student lands.
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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Baksteen

*** So, how does the instructor watching stop a confused first jumper flying off into the sunset? A student can go a hell of a long way under a ramair. Its no fun watching them disappear over the horizon.....



That it certainly isn't...and I'm talking from experience here.

But it happens only very rarely that a student brainlocks that badly. In the ten years that I'm jumping I know of only one instance. I was that (static line) student's JM and tried to follow as best I could instead of making for the DZ. After I landed I could see that the student landed OK on the other side of a corn field. The DZ van left the LZ as soon as the last of the other jumpers had landed and picked both of us up soon after.

Off-landings by one or two fields do occur sometimes. But we're in a flat country in which outs are plentiful, so it is very uncommon indeed that the instructor on the ground cannot see where (and how) the student lands.

I was in the back of the Cessna as a jump master put a friend of his out for his first jump. The kid flew almost out of sight to find the one tree in that area and nailed the top of it. Way up. It was bizarre and during the last few seconds we were saying things like "no, he wouldn't" "no, why would he" and finally of course "damned if he didn't?" Maybe worded a bit more sharply. I spent most of a very hot day helping get him down and never did find out why he did that.

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obelixtim

Target fixation. Like a moth to a flame.



It got worse. The temperature was in the nineties and miserable out. There were two jumpers at this DZ who didn't get along, mostly because one, Zac, was a responsible sort of guy who didn't like people just taking stuff out of his gear bag and Mike, who was the type who would just take stuff out of your gear bag. We're all down there trying to figure out how to get this guy down when Zac comes up. Roger, the part time jump master who had put the kid out was already there and yelled up something about his chest strap. The next thing you know we hear this whistling sound. It's the sound of the altimeter the kid had just took off and tossed like yesterday's newspaper. It actually whistled. Then thump as it hits the road and bounces into the air. Zac said "if someone did that with my gear I'd be so pissed." And Roger says, and this is a quote "It was, Mike got it out of your gear bag when we needed an altimeter and all of the DZ ones were out." The sorry thing is that Zac was the only person at that DZ who was surprised by Mike doing something like that.
It got even hotter out then. Fortunately it was one of those setups where we jumped at a site a few miles from the airport and Mike was at one and Zac was at the other or it would have got bloody. Right Then. It probably did later on but I got to skip that part.

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I did my AFF with a Dutch company in France and my instructor used a radio. I certainly didn't mind that. It gave me some peace of mind that I wasn't completely alone up there for the first time :) Helped me for the first 3 jumps, especially the flaring part. After 3 jumps we still had the radio but it would only be used if you would totaly fuck up. The intension was that after 3 jumps you could land by yourself without any help.
There was a student in my group who was on his way to the beach instead of the DZ if they wouldn't have told him to turn around :D

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Confused students can go a hell of a long way with a radio. It happens all the time... the essential part is Instructors and coached present and watching the canopy ops to make certain they know the location of every student especially when there is an equipment failure.

Uncle/GrandPapa Whit
Unico Rodriguez # 245
Muff Brother # 2421

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