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skybytch

Is it time for me to STFU?

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Serious question that has been bugging me for awhile now. 

I'm a dinosaur.  In the past I worked in skydiving equipment sales and I gained a lot of knowledge.  Lots of it is still relevant, but there is a shit ton I don't know about gear items that have been introduced since about 2012.  I did some instructing in the past and am now married to an AFF I/E, so I have a bit of knowledge there.  Lots of it is still relevant and most of it is current.

But.  I did two jumps last year after almost 6 years off.  I'm not an "active" skydiver anymore and it's likely I never will be again (the one or two jumps per year I am likely to do in the future don't really count). 

So I've been wondering.  Is it time for me (and maybe some of the rest of us dinosaurs) to accept that what I know is ancient history and that it would be for the best if I STFU?  Or is at least some of what I know still valuable even though I am no longer very active in the sport?  Am I being helpful or am I just being arrogant?  

 

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it depends.  if you are commenting on your experiences that are still relevant, then no, don't stop spreading that knowledge around as it is still relevant.  most of your knowledge will be like that, as 2012 is only 8 years ago, and you are married to a current instructor, so you have access to current training methods and can also pass that knowledge around. 

so to answer the original question, no, you shouldn't stfu, your knowledge is valuable and should be shared.

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(edited)

I don't think so, but I also think that many newer jumpers don't bother to get much knowledge beyond what is needed to get them their license, so if you should stfu, they should too!

When I started jumping 15 years ago I viewed it as centered around the persuit of knowledge, and maybe I am getting crusty, but I don't see that same approach as frequently.

Edited by DougH

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Do you mean giving advice on this site? or in real life? or some other way?

The fact you are asking the question is a good sign, you know you don't know everything, and if someone asks a gear and rigging question like "what brand of X should I get" you know to stay out of that one. But plenty of questions are timeless. "I'm scared, is that ok", "how do I handle situation X with person Y" "Is it ok my reserve is smaller than my main"

so advise away when you think you can. 

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(edited)
23 minutes ago, riggerrob said:

If skybytch shuts up, then I also have to shut up.

I did not jump in 2019, because of a disagreement with the local DZO about seat-belts.

The CARS require use of parachutist restraints on aircraft in Canada. What kind of disagreement could you possibly have had?

General Use of Safety Belts and Restraint Systems
  • 605.25 (1) The pilot-in-command of an aircraft shall direct all of the persons on board the aircraft to fasten safety belts

    • (a) during movement of the aircraft on the surface;

    • (b) during take-off and landing; and

    • (c) at any time during flight that the pilot-in-command considers it necessary that safety belts be fastened.

  • (2) The directions referred to in subsection (1) also apply to the use of the following restraint systems:

    • (a) a child restraint system;

    • (b) a restraint system used by a person who is engaged in parachute descents; and

    • (c) a restraint system used by a person when working in the vicinity of an opening in the aircraft structure.

Edited by gowlerk

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Happy New Year dear Gowlerk,

You, Transport Canada, CSPA, USPA, FAA and I all agree on the wisdom of wearing seat-belts/restraints in jump-planes. I refine Hooker belts to be the most useful. Since 2008, skydiving instructors have invented 3 or 4 more ways to anchor tandem students inside jump-planes.

However, this Canadian DZO got tired of power-tripping CSPA Board members telling him how to run his business, so he affiliated with USPA a long time ago. He also is not interested in senior, licensed jumpers telling him how to run his business.

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1 minute ago, riggerrob said:

Happy New Year dear Gowlerk,

You, Transport Canada, CSPA, USPA, FAA and I all agree on the wisdom of wearing seat-belts/restraints in jump-planes. I refine Hooker belts to be the most useful. Since 2008, skydiving instructors have invented 3 or 4 more ways to anchor tandem students inside jump-planes.

However, this Canadian DZO got tired of power-tripping CSPA Board members telling him how to run his business, so he affiliated with USPA a long time ago. He also is not interested in senior, licensed jumpers telling him how to run his business.

The fact that USPA is allowed to offer affiliation to Canadian DZs as a fig leaf cover is something that should be taken up with the FAI and the Canadian Aero Club in my opinion.

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23 hours ago, SethInMI said:

Do you mean giving advice on this site?

Yup. 

23 hours ago, SethInMI said:

The fact you are asking the question is a good sign, you know you don't know everything

I think it's a question that all long term jumpers should ask themselves.  It can be hard to realize and accept that at least some of the knowledge you have amassed over your career isn't as valuable as it used to be (other than for historical purposes, bonfire stories and dead horse arguments, each of which I believe has some value). 

18 hours ago, riggerrob said:

If skybytch shuts up, then I also have to shut up.


<blush>  

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The average skydiver only remains active for 7 years so a lot of times we "reinvent the wheel" because there is no history of what has already been done experimentally. I see and hear novices all the time using and doing things that they were told is the most modern technique without any clue of the actual mechanics involved. It is important to keep that information available. I no longer do any rigging or instructing (beyond a little impromptu coaching) but I when I see a novice struggling with something simply because they are trying to keep up with "what's cool" I am happy to point out any known solution that might already exist.
Sometimes thats amusing, such as the time a fellow instructor asked to use my unpacked rig to demonstrate some things to his FJC class. My SOS, no RSL, bungee pilot chute, B12 snaps, equipped rig didn't quite fit the bill for what he needed to teach and he himself was confused with some of those features. For info this occurred in '99. There is a post on here right now, talking about lubricating the soft loop of the 3 ring to prevent hard cutaways. Ever since mini rings and risers came out, hard cutaways have been a topic of discussion. My last new rig, they called to make sure I actually wanted  standard rings and risers and not the "cool" mini's. For a new gear buyer, I could see them accepting what their gear dealer recommends and not what is best for them in the moment. 
We are seeing it all the time now with jumpers flying canopies that they cannot land and the community response has been mandatory canopy training. Go out and watch a big-way land during no-wind conditions and you'll see from the circus carnage that that hasn't worked! But it keeps the jumpsuit repair people in a job. I recently had an old-time jumper, that was returning to jumping, ask me what happened to the days when you pulled down the toggles and the canopy stopped. He referred to it as the "golden age of parachute landings" and he was referring to the mid to late '80's when grass stained, dirty jumpsuits weren't the norm. 
I see novices with fall rate and tracking problems because they didn't learn the basic body positions before throwing in mega-booties, weight belts, and competition grips. I got my AFF rating without booties and am still one of the few at my DZ that does FS, up to 40 ways, without them. 
Yes! Keep offering your advice and opinions even if some may think they are outdated. If nothing else it will keep the "skygods" grounded in reality and points out the differences of what really works and what is the latest faddish technique.
Sorry, long post. Rant over!

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I don't think this has to be a binary thing: shut up or don't shut up.  I think, instead, you can just qualify your responses.  Someone asking a gear question you think you might know the answer to, but aren't sure?  "I've only jumped twice in the past six years, and haven't worked on gear since _____.  But, from my experience, you might want to think about ________."  Then whoever is asking (and reading the thread) can get the benefit of your knowledge, while at the same time take into account that your knowledge might not be the most current.  At the same time, you've made clear the potential limitations of your advice and have couched your opinion as a suggestion rather than an absolute dictate, so you need not worry that you're misleading some young jumper.  Besides, on this site, if you give advice that is even slightly wrong, I'm sure someone will be along to correct you shortly ;)

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On 1/5/2020 at 9:35 AM, skybytch said:
On 1/4/2020 at 9:21 AM, SethInMI said:

Do you mean giving advice on this site?

Yup. 

Hey lady, not unlike you; I'm getting a little long in the tooth. Couple of major surgeries and a back and knees that has just crumbled into pieces from years of military jumping. Many of us dinosaurs contributed countless articles on safety, training, etc. to this site in its infancy to help the young'uns.  Not unlike you, I don't tread in the skydiving community too often anymore and when I do it's relevant no matter what the timeframe. EP's target fixation, etc. I think the information given here would be more focused from dinosaurs who've been there, done that - than what they'll get from the land of facebook.  

Respect,

Keith

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(edited)
On 1/3/2020 at 10:28 AM, skybytch said:

Serious question that has been bugging me for awhile now. 

I'm a dinosaur.  In the past I worked in skydiving equipment sales and I gained a lot of knowledge.  Lots of it is still relevant, but there is a shit ton I don't know about gear items that have been introduced since about 2012.  I did some instructing in the past and am now married to an AFF I/E, so I have a bit of knowledge there.  Lots of it is still relevant and most of it is current.

But.  I did two jumps last year after almost 6 years off.  I'm not an "active" skydiver anymore and it's likely I never will be again (the one or two jumps per year I am likely to do in the future don't really count). 

So I've been wondering.  Is it time for me (and maybe some of the rest of us dinosaurs) to accept that what I know is ancient history and that it would be for the best if I STFU?  Or is at least some of what I know still valuable even though I am no longer very active in the sport?  Am I being helpful or am I just being arrogant?  

 

Probably, that would be best. 

Your personal sense of right will never let you be quiet if you see a dangerous thing. Obviously, if it's an immediate thing you have to speak up, even at the risk of being wrong. If it's not or if it's being offered more for your ego than anyones benefit and safety then inform staff or the most experienced and current local jumpers you can find. 

The reality is that after a few, or several, thousand skydives and decades in the sport currency is a different thing. But one or two jumps a year shouldn't be emulated. And, really, even if it's at the same DZ you'd be a transient jumper at best.

Sure, just like back in the day, we still have a cutaway handle, a reserve ripcord handle, a reserve and a main and, maybe, an AAD. But it's not all the same, including how we use the things. 

As I see it, it's not about you or me or any other old timer. Pass the torch and the authority to the ones who are current and there every day. It's their turn to be senior now, give them their due and their turn to earn respect.

 

 

Edited by JoeWeber
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On 1/11/2020 at 12:58 PM, JoeWeber said:

Pass the torch and the authority to the ones who are current and there every day. It's their turn to be senior now, give them their due and their turn to earn respect.

I love love love this, BUT...

I think really whether or not you, or I, should STFU depends on context. There will definitely be situations where you are the expert. When that is the case, let fly with it. For me, the best part about growing older, is that I know what I know, I know what I don't know, I know admitting I don't know is perfectly fine, and I know I can still learn a lot of what I don't know, if I care to.

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8 hours ago, betzilla said:

I love love love this, BUT...

I think really whether or not you, or I, should STFU depends on context. There will definitely be situations where you are the expert. When that is the case, let fly with it. For me, the best part about growing older, is that I know what I know, I know what I don't know, I know admitting I don't know is perfectly fine, and I know I can still learn a lot of what I don't know, if I care to.

So true. As I said to skybytch separately: "... giving salutes to the new senior jumpers for doing the right things from people like you could easily be the most sport strengthening things you ever said."

We're not completely F'n useless :)

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