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CoolBeans

How experienced fun jumper needs to be to jump around tandem?

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56 minutes ago, CoolBeans said:

If a friend of mine wants to do the tandem - what criteria would I have to fulfill as a fun jumper to be around and jump together? Just curious, don't judge.

It can be either with another video jumper or without them. Either way. 

Copied from page 115 of the most current Sigma manual I have,

CHAPTER 2: OTHER ACTIVITIES
These guidelines are not optional. They must be followed, or the Tandem Instructor and Tandem rig owner will
be in violation of the User Agreement under which Tandem jumping is operated and will consequently no longer
be allowed to legally perform Tandem Jumps.
PARTICIPANTS QUALIFICATIONS
For any relative work (RW) skydiver to accompany a Tandem pair, one of these three criteria must be met:
• RW skydiver must have a minimum of 500 relative work skydives
• RW skydiver must be either a current Tandem Instructor or a current AFF jumpmaster
• Have 300 relative work skydives and pass the skills set of the USPA coach rating
In addition to the above, the following must be met
• RW skydiver must have made at least 100 RW jumps in the last year.
• Cameramen must have at least 100 camera jumps.
 

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In Canada I've seen us respect the concept of the UPT rules -- only EXPERIENCED RW folks need apply!! -- while ignoring some of the details. Eg, if someone has plenty of experience, and is generally current, we don't worry about having to have a tandem or AFF style rating 100 RW jumps in the last year. That totally shuts out a lot of jumpers, even super current ones, if they are jumping in different disciplines.

The UPT rules are so dumb that many who do tandem videos on weekends wouldn't be allowed to follow a tandem out the door... if they were not wearing a video camera. So screw you UPT.

Which calls the whole list into question, even though the concept is very important, as tandem students are held to a higher safety standard. (Plenty of cases out there where tandem RW went wrong, including stuff like where the RW jumper's mom gets killed as a tandem passenger, due to bad RW.)

But up across the border we can be more dismissive of USPA / UPT rules and any associated lawyers.

 

 

 

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I your profile is correct and you're in the 40 jump range, don't even consider trying to jump with them (you won't be allowed to). Even if you wouldn't blatantly threaten their safety, the TI would have to keep track of you, and would be less able to give your friend a quality first jump experience. Be on the load with them, have fun with your friend on the ride up (but defer to the TI when he needs his student's attention), give them a good geek before you exit, then be ready to congratulate them after they land. That works just fine.

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Nothing wrong with being curious and asking.

Jumping with a friend who's doing their first tandem is something a lot of newer jumpers want to do ('a lot' meaning virtually all of them).

 

But it's not something you have enough experience to do yet.

As an old friend of mine put it:

A tandem jump is a very complicated and specialized jump. It's NOT "just another jump". 
The tandem pair is very vulnerable in the air. They can't maneuver, they can't avoid anyone. 
The tandem student doesn't really understand what can happen (as a different friend, a TI puts it to the student: "You're scared because you don't know what's going to happen, I'm scared because I know what can happen). 

There have been a few incidents where a video flyer or 'lurker' (a regular jumper in the air with the tandem pair) has collided or entangled with them. Not all of them survived. 

I agree with Peter that the UPT requirements are a bit on the excessive side. 
But they're there for a reason. 
And the people that wrote them also pretty much 'wrote the book' on tandems.

You can't (or at least shouldn't) jump with your friend. 

You can be on the plane with them (probably, depending on the DZ). 
You can be in the loading area, be on the plane ride up, have them watch you go out the door ahead of them.

It's not quite the same as being with them in the air, but it's not bad. I've done that a bunch of times. 

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(edited)
20 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

Nothing wrong with being curious and asking.


A tandem jump is a very complicated and specialized jump. It's NOT "just another jump". 
 

HAHAHA dude, I am going to need to up my life insurance policy if you keep posting stuff like this. I fell over laughing and couldn't get up. Tandem jumps are not that complicated. Your adverage everyday solo wingsuit is more complicated and dangerous than a tandem jump, and that's not even that bad once you know what you're doing. You seriously overestimate how much (or more correctly how little) skill is required to be a TI. The only portion of a tandem jump that is even slightly challenging is you need to be accurate with your canopy so you can make it to the catchers on a windy day. beyond that's it's a glorified solo belly jump. And YES I do hold a TI rating so I speak from experience. A video flier needs to be way more skilled than a TI does because the drouge can put their lights out if they mess up the exit.

Edited by Westerly

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49 minutes ago, Westerly said:

Tandem jumps are not that complicated.

...

The only portion of a tandem jump that is even slightly challenging is you need to be accurate with your canopy so you can make it to the catchers on a windy day.

You're just your usual fountain of shit opinions and bad advice, aren't you.

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(edited)
3 hours ago, lyosha said:

You're just your usual fountain of shit opinions and bad advice, aren't you.

I tell it like it is. The fact that you're disappointed that you're not in fact a total rock star filled with nothing but exemplary talent because you're a TI is irrelevant. The facts are as they are. All things considered, tandem jumps are not complicated compared to even your everyday average 4-way belly, FF, CRW or WS jump.

Edited by Westerly

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59 minutes ago, Westerly said:

All things considered, tandem jumps are not complicated compared to even your everyday average 4-way belly, FF, CRW or WS jump.

But that is not relevant to the subject here. The question is about a new lower time jumper lurking a tandem. Several things can and have gone bad in that situation. A normal tandem is not complicated. The decision tree and potential for things to go wrong make the possible EPs on a tandem jump extremely complicated.

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I think Westerly's been drinking again. Usually his comments are very safety minded and conservative, and oft i agree with them. The two things that make a tandem lurk inherently more dangerous than a four way rw is the long drogue bridle and the possible actions of a panicky passenger. That being said, I don't think it's terribly dangerous if the ti trusts the skill of the lurker and the lurker has plenty of belly experience with group jumps. If I did convince a ti to let me lurk a friend, I'd definitely flip them a 20 for the extra work. They now have one more thing to be aware of and take into account.  

 

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I am not saying there are not risks involved with chasing tandems. The numbers in place exist for a reason and they should remain such. I was disputing the comment that tandem jumps are 'extremely complicated'. They arnt.

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(edited)
9 hours ago, Westerly said:

I tell it like it is. The fact that you're disappointed that you're not in fact a total rock star filled with nothing but exemplary talent because you're a TI is irrelevant. The facts are as they are. All things considered, tandem jumps are not complicated compared to even your everyday average 4-way belly, FF, CRW or WS jump.

You are so full of shit that I am surprised that it doesn't come flowing out your ears. It is definitely coming out of your fingers.

Tandems instructors don't need to be Skygods and many aren't because they get stuck hucking drogues all day, but they are complicated jumps due to the equipment and the unpredictable cargo strapped on the front, and TI's need be consistent and reliable.

You claim you have a tandem rating, so you should be familiar enough with some of the tandem fatality reports. Things can go really bad on tandems when procedures aren't followed. All of those fatalities prove the point that they aren't just another jump.

Your average 4-way belly doesn't normally lead to a drogue entanglement if someone fucks ups. The jumpers on your average FF jump don't have a malfunction decision tree nearly as long or as complicated. 

I am trying to figure out your angle on all these asinine posts about tandems. I think I am settling on the fact that you were a shitty instructor, which is ironic considering how "simple" you make it out to be. 

 

Edited by DougH
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I strongly disagree with westerly .... but I made 1,000 tandem jumps before modern wing-suits were invented (circa 2000).

UPY wrote those guidelines to discourage recreational jumpers from chasing tandems after a few collisions killed TIs.

Most of the recreational skydivers who ask permission to chase tandems do not understand the extra risks involved.

For example, the last time I gave a wing-suiter permission to fly past us under canopy, he passed at a safe and predictable distance. When I pointed out the wing-suit, the student did not seem to care. Shortly after that, the DZO banned wing-suits from "buzzing" tandems.

Basic tandems are complicated enough without junior jumpers cluttering up their airspace.

I would much rather double my TI work-load by strapping a camera to my hand than trust some unknown skydiver to freefall close to me. This comes from the first hand-cam TI in Canada. I taught myself how to do hand-cam after reading one article in SKYDIVING Magazine. The article described how Australians invented hand-cam. I even sewed my own hand-mount months before I ever saw a hand-mount.

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