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Tunnel to AFF training BSR change

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I'm placing this in the Instructors forum because I think more people will see it here.

At the USPA BOD meeting this weekend, a BSR change was made to allow tunnel training to be used so that initial AFF jumps can be made using only one instructor.

I put information about this on a web site that I maintain (mainly
for USPA Central Region members, who are my constituents). http://www.skydivestlouisarea.com/USPACentralRegion/TunneltoAFFBSRchange.htm

It will be interesting to see how many tunnels and dropzones take advantage of this change.

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No, it won't be interesting to experiment by "seeing" what the results may be. This was a shortsighted and thinly veiled attempt to promote more risk to students under the guise of enhanced learning. You all want to experiment with students by ignoring the vast amount of experience accumulated over the years to promote wind tunnels, IT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT CHANGING THE BSRs'.

There is no upside to this for anyone learning skydiving. Once again a voiceless population is subject to the desires of a few with financial agendas.

Not one shred of evidence safety wise other than opinions. And the opinions and experience, real facts and numbers, of those that have taught just about every skydiver on the planet were ignored.

No Gary this will Not be interesting to see. It will be a liability nightmare. There is no justification for this action, no supporting evidence, in fact you have ignored the AFF fatality numbers over the years in favor of financially motivated opportunities. How any one can say by eliminating one set of eyes, one potential safety side instructor, the support structure to students by having 2 people dedicated to the students safety that this "Improves" results is an unsupported opinion of the worst magnitude.

The fact that this little experiment is even being discussed is insane. AND the fact that the skydiving community as a whole was ignored by the fact of the secretiveness of these "private" meetings once again illustrates the closed door approach the BOD takes when select agendas are rushed thru without the membership's knowledge or ability to comment is just wrong.

Why isn't items like this available for public comment before the USPA BOD takes action?

Why isn't anyone on the BOD supporting the safety of students learning with actual statistics? O'h ya I forgot you turned to those with vested interests and their thinly veiled opinions and tried to turn them into facts.


Any DZ that would take an established method of training, WITH A REDUNDANT SAFETY PROCEDURE IN PLACE, and choose to increase risk to a population of students least able to defend themselves in a vacuum of quantifiable incident statistics exposes every skydiver and DZ to increased liability. Waivers will not protect any DZ which choose or allow this method of instruction due to the established history currently in place.

This is a step backwards, increases risk to students due to the unpredictable nature of the first jump environment, and is financially motivated at the expense of safety. You can not compare the environment's of a moving aircraft, the noise, the wind, the heightened and frequently insane actions for the first time jump experience, the years of watching the incidents of the first time jumper and in the same sentence, without any statistical evidence whatsoever to the opinions of a few that have conflicting financial interests. Even to equate the two environments of a wind tunnel on the ground to flight operations is an insane comparison.

No Gary, this will NOT be interesting,.....
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

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ChrisD2.0

No, it won't be interesting to experiment by "seeing" what the results may be. This was a shortsighted and thinly veiled attempt to promote more risk to students under the guise of enhanced learning. You all want to experiment with students by ignoring the vast amount of experience accumulated over the years to promote wind tunnels, IT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT CHANGING THE BSRs'.

There is no upside to this for anyone learning skydiving. Once again a voiceless population is subject to the desires of a few with financial agendas.

Not one shred of evidence safety wise other than opinions. And the opinions and experience, real facts and numbers, of those that have taught just about every skydiver on the planet were ignored.

No Gary this will Not be interesting to see. It will be a liability nightmare. There is no justification for this action, no supporting evidence, in fact you have ignored the AFF fatality numbers over the years in favor of financially motivated opportunities. How any one can say by eliminating one set of eyes, one potential safety side instructor, the support structure to students by having 2 people dedicated to the students safety that this "Improves" results is an unsupported opinion of the worst magnitude.

The fact that this little experiment is even being discussed is insane. AND the fact that the skydiving community as a whole was ignored by the fact of the secretiveness of these "private" meetings once again illustrates the closed door approach the BOD takes when select agendas are rushed thru without the membership's knowledge or ability to comment is just wrong.

Why isn't items like this available for public comment before the USPA BOD takes action?

Why isn't anyone on the BOD supporting the safety of students learning with actual statistics? O'h ya I forgot you turned to those with vested interests and their thinly veiled opinions and tried to turn them into facts.


Any DZ that would take an established method of training, WITH A REDUNDANT SAFETY PROCEDURE IN PLACE, and choose to increase risk to a population of students least able to defend themselves in a vacuum of quantifiable incident statistics exposes every skydiver and DZ to increased liability. Waivers will not protect any DZ which choose or allow this method of instruction due to the established history currently in place.

This is a step backwards, increases risk to students due to the unpredictable nature of the first jump environment, and is financially motivated at the expense of safety. You can not compare the environment's of a moving aircraft, the noise, the wind, the heightened and frequently insane actions for the first time jump experience, the years of watching the incidents of the first time jumper and in the same sentence, without any statistical evidence whatsoever to the opinions of a few that have conflicting financial interests. Even to equate the two environments of a wind tunnel on the ground to flight operations is an insane comparison.

No Gary, this will NOT be interesting,.....



Well, you know, you could always just still require two AFF-Is in cat A and B regardless... I am not aware of any BSR that says DZs cannot require more instructors than the minimal if they dont feel the jump can be safely accomplished with just one instructor.

I agree though, I dont think wind tunnel time is an appropriate substitution. Getting in a wind tunnel will help with body position, but I dont know it will do much to prepare the student for the mental aspect of the skydive.

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DBCOOPER

Yea, what were they thinking? Cessna static line is the tried and true method.




Exactly, IAD and as you point out the obvious static line are available to any certified instructor. The point is the BSR change promotes wind tunnels and the agenda's of a few AT THE expense of students.

There's also the statistics of AFF having the safety of 2 instructors. THAT is being ignored.

Statistics can be a bitch when they are ignored. What we have is a situation where for years, decades, we have a system that has worked because of the initial regulations and requirements' actually work. AND this is the problem with these dolts. When we have something that works for so long,...these dolt's NOW SAY the requirements , rules, regulations are now no longer needed. Shortsighted and short memories IMO.

How about we change other BSRs'? If we all raise the wind limits for example? I mean for years the 10 mph for rounds ,... IS it really necessary anymore (ya I know it's 14 for squares, same point) THAT way we can get a little more revenue out of students if we move the wind limit to let's say 18 because it works and with the new equipment 18 would be fine for students, esp those places that need the student revenue? ETC, etc, etc,.... is their enough financial motivation to start changing everything?

Point being laws and regulations work. TILL those with agendas forget that those same rules and regulations came at a price, which is why there there in the first place,...they work. They work so well that now they can be changed. Of course this in increased risk. Again, to the defenseless student population. Because these same self professing sky gods can predict how and what each and every student is going to react don't cha know.
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

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Westerly

Well, you know, you could always just still require two AFF-Is in cat A and B regardless... I am not aware of any BSR that says DZs cannot require more instructors than the minimal if they dont feel the jump can be safely accomplished with just one instructor.



This is one of the most important aspects of all skydiving training (as well as other sports and activities.) DZs and instructors can set their own trainings standards, as long as they at a minimum follow the BSRs.

Instructors must always be confident that a student has the minimum skill, knowledge, and attitude for a safe jump. (Some solo students might even need to be told that a tandem jump is their only option after some evaluation by an AFF instructor.)

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ChrisD2.0


...There's also the statistics of AFF having the safety of 2 instructors. THAT is being ignored...



What statistics are those?

Can you show some stats that show a 2 instructor AFF jump being safer than a one instructor (all other things being equivalent)?

I know my DZ does a 'tandem progression'. 2 tandems and 10 minutes in the tunnel (with one of the DZ's instructors).
If all goes well, then the 1st AFF jump is with one instructor.

If it doesn't go well, the instructors have the option of:

Another tandem.

More tunnel time.

2 instructors on the AFF jump.

If it is different instructors on each jump (and it often is), the communication between them is pretty solid.

Making sure the student gets the instruction they need to make a safe jump is paramount.

Keep in mind, having a good student safety record is not just good for the students. It's really good for the DZ too.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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>What statistics are those?

>Can you show some stats that show a 2 instructor AFF jump being safer than a one
>instructor (all other things being equivalent)?

I can't show any stats, nor do I think they would be easy to get since you can't quantify most of this. How would you quantify "difficult AFF that really needed two people?"

Some anecdotal examples -

A very small Japanese woman/gymnast who came close to falling out of her harness on a level 1. Fortunately we both saw this happening at the same time, grabbed her leg straps and MLW and kept her in the harness until opening. She pulled on her own (fortunately) and we rotated her upright. Once the canopy opened she was OK, although she had a chest strap in her mouth. That might have had a different outcome with just one JM - and would not have been caught in a tunnel.

The Lutz incident, where two JM's increased the odds that one could get back in time to pull him. Turns out they couldn't, but one got close enough to signal him to pull his reserve, which prevented an almost certain fatality. Tunnel training would, again, not likely have helped because it was such an odd incident.

Woman who just plain freaked when she got out of the plane; it took both of us to keep her stable until pull time. She was grabbing at us and contorting her body. A tunnel may have helped here by giving her a sense of what it would be like and better training on how to maintain an arch.

A large number of "severe feet on butt" jumps. With one JM they tend to spin like a top; it can be hard to hold on once the rotation gets going. With two JM's, of course, they just backslide. Tunnel training would very likely help here.

Perhaps a compromise solution would be to always require one two-JM AFF to weed out the extreme cases (panic, size issues) but allow the second to be single JM if tunnel time is used during training.

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billvon

>What statistics are those?

>Can you show some stats that show a 2 instructor AFF jump being safer than a one
>instructor (all other things being equivalent)?

I can't show any stats, nor do I think they would be easy to get since you can't quantify most of this. How would you quantify "difficult AFF that really needed two people?"

..Perhaps a compromise solution would be to always require one two-JM AFF to weed out the extreme cases (panic, size issues) but allow the second to be single JM if tunnel time is used during training.



I don't disagree that there have been some jumps where 2 instructors were a factor. I don't disagree that, in general, 2 instructors provides a safety margin.

But ChrisD claims that the stats show that 2 instructors is safer.

He claims a lot of stuff that simply isn't true.

So I wanted to see if he had any data to back up his claims.

Apparently, typically, he has nothing.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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billvon



Perhaps a compromise solution would be to always require one two-JM AFF to weed out the extreme cases (panic, size issues) but allow the second to be single JM if tunnel time is used during training.



This is what our dz does. They want everyone to make one tandem jump first, to give them a taste of freefall; then they have ground school and 10 minutes in the tunnel (tunnel is on site). After that, the Cat A is a 2-instructor jump but all the others have just one instructor.

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We had 2 tunnel wufoos this week. Both from s as me tunnel and trained by skydivers. Both did well in freefall to a point then both put their feet on their ass and arched excessively at pull time both
Put their feet on their ass and rolled their right shoulder at deployment despite extensive ground training to counter. Both also chucked an instructor mid skydive by arching extremely hard and extending the instructors armed suddenly. Weird exact 2 jumps 4 different instructors. My point is had these been one instructor jumps the students both most likely would have been alone and on their back while deploying.. student safety is first priority and evaluating them with 2 instructors seems prudent..

Uncle/GrandPapa Whit
Unico Rodriguez # 245
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douwanto

We had 2 tunnel wufoos this week. Both from s as me tunnel and trained by skydivers. Both did well in freefall to a point then both put their feet on their ass and arched excessively at pull time both
Put their feet on their ass and rolled their right shoulder at deployment despite extensive ground training to counter. Both also chucked an instructor mid skydive by arching extremely hard and extending the instructors armed suddenly. Weird exact 2 jumps 4 different instructors. My point is had these been one instructor jumps the students both most likely would have been alone and on their back while deploying.. student safety is first priority and evaluating them with 2 instructors seems prudent..



The important question is exactly what training they received in the tunnel. As we see utilization of this BSR change increase over time, I think we will see the tunnel training items evolve.

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peek

***We had 2 tunnel wufoos this week. Both from s as me tunnel and trained by skydivers. Both did well in freefall to a point then both put their feet on their ass and arched excessively at pull time both
Put their feet on their ass and rolled their right shoulder at deployment despite extensive ground training to counter. Both also chucked an instructor mid skydive by arching extremely hard and extending the instructors armed suddenly. Weird exact 2 jumps 4 different instructors. We My point is had these been one instructor jumps the students both most likely would have been alone and on their back while deploying.. student safety is first priority and evaluating them with 2 instructors seems prudent..



The important question is exactly what training they received in the tunnel. As we see utilization of this BSR change increase over time, I think we will see the tunnel training items evolve.
Exactly. Evaluating any training based on certain worst cases doesn’t work.
Unusual for tunnel students to over arch. Basic tunnel training usually has students flying too flat. They probably weren’t trained adequately or whoever taught them was overcompensating for expectations of them flying too flat. Every program has some instructors that don’t train well and every program has dramatically changed training as the sport has progressed.
Look at how tracking or turns used to be taught and remember how many more students did poorly when starting out back in the day.
I spent a season as the lone AFFI at our DZ, a small S/L operation. Never took a student that hadn’t completed C-2 (1st clear and pull with S/L, 6th jump). Some were really boring and some were a shit show but this didn’t mean the program was dangerous, just variations in students and differences in advancement standards with different instructors.
I agree that having two instructors for the first jump has advantages but disagree that only one is not safe.
And, if any student managed to “chuck me” by arching hard I’d be re-evaluating my own methods, not the program that trained them.
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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I was skeptical when originally hearing about the wind tunnel as a substitute for AFF stages however after assisting at a DZ where the majority of students had undertaken a wind tunnel progression in Australia (20 minutes of tunnel, 1x tandem, 4x single JM stages followed by a solo Hop & Pop) I was surprised at the competence level of these students.

They had been trained in the wind tunnel by the same instructors conducting their AFF training jumps so the emphasis whilst in the tunnel was on hover and heading control along with practise deployments. The students were also required to conduct 'alti checks' whilst in the tunnel. When taught correctly this method proved extremely effective as the students were more focussed on the safety aspects of the jump (exiting, height awareness, deployment and canopy control), rather than their freefall skills as this came as 'second nature' to them.

I believe the danger would be if students were in the tunnel with a non-skydiver instructor as the 'first flight' wind tunnel students are generally taught a flat body position (for wind tunnel safety) which isn't the most effective position in the sky.

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I've worked with a system that incorporated wind tunnel training (6 minutes) with the traditional A through E system with two jumpmasters and at a drop zone that used a 15 minute tunnel training session in the FJC followed by single JM jumps. I probably made about a thousand AFF jumps in the two systems and much preferred the two jumpmaster jumps. Tunnel training is a poor indicator of skydiving performance as it is impossible to replicate the trepidation that a student feels in the door of the aircraft. With the extended tunnel training when things went well it was an easy and almost boring skydive, when things when sideways, it was fucking terrifying. The DZ allowed us to do 2 JM jumps when someone was a poor performer in the tunnel but the occasional rockstar in the tunnel was occasionally the most trying AFF student. I am concerned that there seems to be no objective criteria for judging what is acceptable performance in the tunnel and who makes that judgement. I was lucky enough to work with two systems which allowed the AFFI to do the tunnel training and have the final say in what happened on the skydive. I think that the BSR change is reasonable, but there needs to be a mechanism in place to evaluate the efficaciousness of the change and the ability to revoke these changes. I see no such mechanism in place and that is my greatest concern.

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Quote

There is no justification for this action, no supporting evidence



I have put 100+ students through a tunnel/AFFL4 program. It is better than standard AFF IMO.

I dislike the BOD maybe more than anyone. I think the USPA does whatever the hell it wants without a single care what the average member thinks.... But this is not the hill I am willing to fight on.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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mbailey465

.......as the 'first flight' wind tunnel students are generally taught a flat body position (for wind tunnel safety) which isn't the most effective position in the sky.



Hi [mbailey465], can you explain more please? I am a tunnel flier, not really planning to skydiving per say, but I find it super curious to read about how skills can be translated from sky to tunnel or from tunnel to sky. What do you mean by "flat body position", I arch when belly flying in the tunnel quite a bit, isn't it the same in the sky?

thanks!

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dolphinka

***.......as the 'first flight' wind tunnel students are generally taught a flat body position (for wind tunnel safety) which isn't the most effective position in the sky.



Hi [mbailey465], can you explain more please? I am a tunnel flier, not really planning to skydiving per say, but I find it super curious to read about how skills can be translated from sky to tunnel or from tunnel to sky. What do you mean by "flat body position", I arch when belly flying in the tunnel quite a bit, isn't it the same in the sky?

thanks!

Tunnel coaches will quite often encourage a flatter (arms and legs extended) position in order to keep wind speed down and therefore reduce risk. This is contrary to “arch like a mofo” that you typically hear from AFF-Is.

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Thanks! Makes sense now, my first few times I remember the tunnel instructor will always point that I needed to extend my legs. As I was progressing, I was told quite the opposite, that I need to bend my legs more (had to relearn)... Bending the legs ensured that I can fly at higher speeds, I think I started with 90mph and now I am at 120mph (due to back flying that requires more speed). Very interesting!

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>Tunnel coaches will quite often encourage a flatter (arms and legs extended) position in order to
>keep wind speed down and therefore reduce risk. This is contrary to “arch like a mofo” that you
>typically hear from AFF-Is.

When we used the Perris tunnel for level 1 AFF's we'd have them get into a hard an arch as we could manage, then have them increase airspeed until they lifted off the net. Tunnel guy wasn't really involved (although he was there just in case.)

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