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fizzbuzz99

With how many jumps is it ok to follow out tandems?

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(Yes it is correct that it is 500 RW or AFF / Tandem.)



Maybe Bill Booth really does believe his limits are reasonable.

But then I'd expect him to be out talking about the issue a lot more, how the camera flyers in the industry must be at a higher level than often found at smaller DZ's.

Also, other rig manufacturers (and indeed UPT) for don't put limitations on solo rigs (duh, other than weight & speed). You never read about someone saying, "Hey, I didn't realize that the manual says that I'm not allowed to do head down with my new Vector 3 until I've got 300 jumps!". These sorts of limitations are more about the activity of skydiving rather than inherent limitations of the gear... and thus can be seen as being more about protecting the manufacturer than the user, even if they do both.

=========

By the way, for all that stuff in the manual about '500 RW jumps or AFF or tandem rating' (which has been in the manual since Vector 2 tandem days), what exactly is the "User Agreement under which Tandem Jumping is operated" that is mentioned?

Is that something one signs when buying a tandem rig? It isn't something I recall signing as a tandem instructor.

Or does it relate to the no longer in force US FAA 'experimental' status of tandems?

That would affect how we interpret the RW & tandem rules.

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> "Hey, I didn't realize that the manual says that I'm not allowed to do
> head down with my new Vector 3 until I've got 300 jumps!".

Agreed - but they DO put limitations like that on tandem rigs, and recently someone did indeed do just that (i.e. did head down tandems until they got caught.) So I think there is some value to them.

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These sorts of limitations are more about the activity of skydiving rather than inherent limitations of the gear... and thus can be seen as being more about protecting the manufacturer than the user, even if they do both.



Which is UPT's prerogative. Want to be certified to use his gear? Follow his rules. Don't like it? Use other gear.

This isn't really directed at you, but I'm getting a little tired of the whining about UPT's guidelines in this thread. (And I have no dog in this hunt, at all.) So here's the deal: UPT is a private, for-profit business. It's not a benevolent society; it's not a social service organization. Everybody in the skydiving industry - hell, any industry - does things to protect themselves from liability claims. It's part of the due diligence in running a business, and it's part of the due diligence in giving legal advice to a business. If a business, especially an equipment manufacturer in a high-risk activity, fails to adequately protect itself, it doesn't stay in business for very long.

DZs have waivers; aircraft and parachute manufacturers put warnings and guidelines on their products and in their manuals, and Bill puts guidelines into his tandem manuals. He does that because he and his lawyers realize that there is an enhanced chance of getting sued by a jumper if the jumper is a tandem student, so they do it (a) to try to reduce the risk of tandem collision with a relative worker, and (b) to try to protect UPT from being successfully sued if there is an accident on a lurked/filmed tandem that has nothing to do with the gear. UPT is using its due diligence to be responsible for itself, and each other participant needs to be responsible for himself, too.

(Hey, Spence - you don't like that? Come & kick me in the nuts. Ya gotta find me first. ;))

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I can't believe I missed the word "OR" on that page. That is one HUGE two letter word that changes things dramatically, regarding what I was talking about. So, UPT does NOT require a videographer to be a TI/AFFI to fly relative to tandems. 500 RW jumps is not unreasonable, as long as they aren't telling people to go get ratings just to fly with tandems. Thanks for clarifying that.
You think you understand the situation, but what you don't understand, is that the situation just changed.

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> Are the UPT rules in their own manual just being openly ignored ?

In some cases, yes.

>Can we safely say that there are more dz's that have videographers that
>don't fit into the UPT requirements ?

Most do, in my experience. Tandem video gets you a lot of experience quickly.

>Is there a way around this, for instance I read on here that Bill Booth does
>not want to be on the regulation side of the sport and that USPA should
>handle that, yet there is still strong wording in the UPT manual that dictates
>minimums that MUST be followed?

Get around what? I'm glad UPT has published guidelines that discourage less-capable people who want to jump with tandems. It's not just another skydive.



It looks like these UPT suggestions were deleted from the current Sigma manual. Apparently they were in Section 5, Chapter 3 in the 2005 manual, however the 2007 manual has no chapter 3. I can find no suggestions in the current manual or on USPA's page. Is it a free-for-all with tandems now if the TI gives a thumbs-up?

Chris

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> Are the UPT rules in their own manual just being openly ignored ?

In some cases, yes.

>Can we safely say that there are more dz's that have videographers that
>don't fit into the UPT requirements ?

Most do, in my experience. Tandem video gets you a lot of experience quickly.

>Is there a way around this, for instance I read on here that Bill Booth does
>not want to be on the regulation side of the sport and that USPA should
>handle that, yet there is still strong wording in the UPT manual that dictates
>minimums that MUST be followed?

Get around what? I'm glad UPT has published guidelines that discourage less-capable people who want to jump with tandems. It's not just another skydive.



It looks like these UPT suggestions were deleted from the current Sigma manual. Apparently they were in Section 5, Chapter 3 in the 2005 manual, however the 2007 manual has no chapter 3. I can find no suggestions in the current manual or on USPA's page. Is it a free-for-all with tandems now if the TI gives a thumbs-up?

Chris



Read Sec 5, Chap 2.

Matt
An Instructors first concern is student safety.
So, start being safe, first!!!

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I normally do not let people lurk my tandems if there is video.... Why? Most times THEY try to get on video and the whole jump is not about them.

I made the mistake of letting some guys come out and lurk my tandem... They both claimed to have 1000+ jumps. I only ever saw one of them in freefall, and I spent most of my time trying to avoid getting hit by him. That ended my letting people I don't know lurk anything.

So if I know you, I might let you... If I don't know you you can either not go, or have someone else be the TI
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I jump with my tandem student and the dz assigns me a video guy that has 502 jumps, and no tandem or AFF rating, and somewhere in freefall we collide and the student gets a kick in the nose (OR WORSE), am I in the wrong?



According to the FAA you are the one in command and responsible.

Sparky


105.3____ Definitions.

For the purposes of this part—

Parachutist in command means the person responsible for the operation and safety of a tandem parachute operation.



My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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> Are the UPT rules in their own manual just being openly ignored ?

In some cases, yes.

>Can we safely say that there are more dz's that have videographers that
>don't fit into the UPT requirements ?

Most do, in my experience. Tandem video gets you a lot of experience quickly.

>Is there a way around this, for instance I read on here that Bill Booth does
>not want to be on the regulation side of the sport and that USPA should
>handle that, yet there is still strong wording in the UPT manual that dictates
>minimums that MUST be followed?

Get around what? I'm glad UPT has published guidelines that discourage less-capable people who want to jump with tandems. It's not just another skydive.



It looks like these UPT suggestions were deleted from the current Sigma manual. Apparently they were in Section 5, Chapter 3 in the 2005 manual, however the 2007 manual has no chapter 3. I can find no suggestions in the current manual or on USPA's page. Is it a free-for-all with tandems now if the TI gives a thumbs-up?

Chris



Read Sec 5, Chap 2.

Matt



Awesome... thanks, Matt!

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DZ-chick-syndrome......[:/]
Sounds like the girls who go out and pick up an R1 for their first bike becuase their BF said so and either end up dead or worse....

Dumb question, why risk your life? I'm sure she is "cute" but well...why risk it?

But maybe that's just me.

Life through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep chaos at bay.

The only thing that falls from the sky is birdshit and fools!

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I normally do not let people lurk my tandems if there is video.... Why? Most times THEY try to get on video and the whole jump is not about them.



I've chased tandems for over 20 years, and every TM is different. So I always do a few things:

1 - agree it's ok with the passenger

2 - Talk to TM, if he's ok with it. Then, if the TM cares, I ask specifics - what direction does he want me to approach from, which side to close on (if ok to dock), does he prefer I take his arm, he takes my arm, or if I take the passenger, or just lurk real close - anything he wants me to do for the dive for the fun of the passenger; break off signal/altitude need. Some TMs are very detailed, some are pretty casual about it.

3 - Talk to the camera guy, if he's ok with it. Then, lighting, approach, how long to stay away at first so the passenger gets solo shots, does he want anything from me in the background for the opening shot (layouts, just get away), etc.

if any 1 of the 3 don't want a chaser, then I go away. If all are fine, then I follow the TM's directions first. Then whatever the camera guy thinks is good to make a nice production for the customer is next priority.

It only takes a couple seconds of discussion really, and I deliver whatever they require.

If you can't fly good enough to do whatever the TM and camera guy need, then I don't care if you have 30,000 jumps. Stay away.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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DZ-chick-syndrome......[:/]
Sounds like the girls who go out and pick up an R1 for their first bike and either end up dead or worse....

Dumb question, why risk your life? I'm sure she is "cute" but well...why risk it?

But maybe that's just me.



I just read feuergnom's responses and can't get what either of them have to do with that? Are you just looking for opportunities to make everything into a gender issue?
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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I just read feuergnom's responses and can't get what either of them have to do with that? Are you just looking for opportunities to make everything into a gender issue?


Nope! Just saying that safety should never take a back seat to anything. Even if she is cute or "If it looks cool".

But that's just me. :)
ps
I forgot to include but went back and added that the girls got hurt because their boyfriends thought that it was a good idea. So well.....it's the dudes fault. Not the girl. She was just lied to with regard to her abilities. [:/]
Life through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep chaos at bay.

The only thing that falls from the sky is birdshit and fools!

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DZ-chick-syndrome......[:/]
Sounds like the girls who go out and pick up an R1 for their first bike becuase their BF said so and either end up dead or worse....

Dumb question, why risk your life? I'm sure she is "cute" but well...why risk it?

But maybe that's just me.



I have knows plenty of stupid guys to go out and get an R1 too, one of them killed himself.

by the way whats worse than death?
Moriuntur omnes, sed non omnes vixerunt.

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I have knows plenty of stupid guys to go out and get an R1 too, one of them killed himself.

by the way whats worse than death?


Same here.
And some girls who's guy friend was kissing her ass in hopes of getting some and convinced her she was good enough to go from a 500 to a 1L. Dumb guy should be put away for life for that.

What's worse than death? Killing an innocent person who did nothing other than be out that day. [:/]

Be safe, no matter if it's a dude or a chick, and you care about them as a human being judge on the safe side. But that's just me.

That's why I said "DZ-chick-syndrome...... [:/]" Safety should be gender neutral.
Life through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep chaos at bay.

The only thing that falls from the sky is birdshit and fools!

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I've not put an option for <100 jumps, as I have never heard anyone say that it is a good idea to have someone with such little experience follow a tandem, but please if you disagree (or have any view on this)post below.

A couple weeks ago I was witness to DZ-chick-syndrome, where the "special friend" of those way higher up the food chain was accorded special permissions regardless of her experience level. It worries me that someone with well under 200 jumps, IRRESPECTIVE of currency, or the experience level of the TI, was allowed to follow out her buddy on his first ever tandem.

I'm a relatively low-time jumper though, and I don't know the first thing about tandems/filming tandems/following tandems/any hard and fast rules surrounding this scenario.
Thoughts?



I'll always remember this one. I had between 63 and 69 jumps at the time...

A jumper with 66 jumps was allowed to follow a Tandem out. It was just a mate of his, no "DZ Girl Syndrome".

The jumper had a British Qualification called "FS1" (competency/safety in formation skydiving), was "well known" around the DZ, and had received lots of briefs on how to be safe when jumping with a tandem, and in addition was warned to stay firmly in sight of the TI, and quite a distance away.

The entire jump went as expected. All jumpers knew the risks, and were aware of the situation/course of action if any jumper (Tandem Student, 66 jumper, TI or other influence) did "screw things up".

Is that really such a bad thing?

Sure, I get what people are saying. If the shit hit the fan, you could be looking at three fatalities, but is that so different from chasing a first tandem with 300, 400, 500 skydives.

This 66 jumper had only done Formation skydiving since qualifying, mostly paying for a coach. No freeflying/other jazz.

Is it not possible that he would be more competent than someone with 400 freefly camera jumps?

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>Is that really such a bad thing?

Yes. The more people get away with stuff like that the more likely others are to push the limits.

I am convinced that you could take a whuffo, put a rig on him, give him 10 minutes of instruction on the plane ride, and push him out the door at 13,500 feet - and have a 90% chance that he will land without serious injury. Is that really such a bad thing? Would doing that five times prove it was an OK thing to do?

>If the shit hit the fan, you could be looking at three fatalities, but is that so different
>from chasing a first tandem with 300, 400, 500 skydives.

Yes, it generally is.

>Is it not possible that he would be more competent than someone with 400 freefly
>camera jumps?

The most dangerous time to be chasing a tandem is during the first few seconds, when their fallrate is dramatically different from yours and they are throwing the drogue. So yes, experience with fast-falling jumpers and ability to maneuver at those speeds does confer competence.

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>Is that really such a bad thing?

Yes. The more people get away with stuff like that the more likely others are to push the limits.



Bear in mind, I only have 300 jumps now, am not a TI, will never be a TI (medical reasons) and have followed "a couple of" tandems.

I don't even pretend to understand all the complexities behind it, am just trying to gain a perspective.

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I am convinced that you could take a whuffo, put a rig on him, give him 10 minutes of instruction on the plane ride, and push him out the door at 13,500 feet - and have a 90% chance that he will land without serious injury. Is that really such a bad thing? Would doing that five times prove it was an OK thing to do?



I'm not convinced this is comparing like for like, but appreciate the point you're making.

I wonder if this is perhaps a culture thing. I believe that if all involved individuals were aware of that "10% risk of serious injury/death" and were happy to take responsibility for it, then that is their decision to make...

I think that "ethos" also applies to the example of this thread.

I choose to skydive. I understand the risks. That is my decision. I take personal responsibility for it. I don't think litigating against that is... well... fair?

Even if jackass X plows himself into me when its entirely his own fault, me having the moral high-ground of being in the right doesn't make me alive, does it?

I suspect 66 jumper here thought/believed something similar.

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>If the shit hit the fan, you could be looking at three fatalities, but is that so different
>from chasing a first tandem with 300, 400, 500 skydives.

Yes, it generally is.

>Is it not possible that he would be more competent than someone with 400 freefly
>camera jumps?

The most dangerous time to be chasing a tandem is during the first few seconds, when their fallrate is dramatically different from yours and they are throwing the drogue. So yes, experience with fast-falling jumpers and ability to maneuver at those speeds does confer competence.



Would you say there could be scope for "following tandems" then, waiting a couple of second delay, then swooping to pin, rather than exiting off the camera step?

Could that mitigate the problem?

I probably come off as a jackass here, but as I say, I'm just trying to gain/build a better perspective.

Thanks for the answer so far!

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Could that mitigate the problem?



The only way to mitigate the problem is for the jumper to poses the skills to deal with the entire jump, and the eventualities that may transpire.

Bill pointed out one area where following tandems is different than other jumps. There are many other situations one might encoutner while following a tandem where their performance could have an effect on the safety of the tandem pair.

Once the drouge has been set, the TI has very little control over the fall rate or proximity of the tandem pair. They are, essentially, a sitting duck. The only sure way to make sure they don't get 'shot', is for the TI to properly screen the people they will allow in freefall with them.

It's like a firing range. You can safely walk down range and change targets or record scores if you trust the shooters to stand down in the mean time. If you have shooters who you don't know, who may not be privy to the rules of the range, then you are taking a chance by walking down range. Of course, in the case of a tandem, the TI would be taking a chance for both themselves and the passenger.

Just because you have seen something happen, or even done something yourself does not make it a good idea. Tandem instructors are not infallable, and sometimes they do things to please their own egos, even if it is not in the best interest of the passenger.

If you have a wide-eyed newbie looking to you for validation, that they are good enough to jump with you, it's an ego trip. Of course, if you shoot them down, those wide-eyes go narrow with contempt and the once present respect is lost. If you allow them to jump with you, the ego-stroke goes on as you tell them how and when to exit, how to approach, and what to do (or not do), with the newbie hanging off your every word.

Just like the saying on a windy day goes, if you want to know if it's safe to jump, look for the guys with 1000's of jumps, and see what they're doing. The same is true for TIs, but it's not just jumps you're looking for, it's tandem jumps. If a TI with 1000's of tandems thinks something is a good idea, it just might be. If a TI with 1000's of skydives, but only a couple 100 tandems, thinks something is a good idea, get a second opinion.

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I wonder if this is perhaps a culture thing. I believe that if all involved individuals were aware of that "10% risk of serious injury/death" and were happy to take responsibility for it, then that is their decision to make...

I think that "ethos" also applies to the example of this thread.

I choose to skydive. I understand the risks. That is my decision. I take personal responsibility for it. I don't think litigating against that is... well... fair?



Would you say there could be scope for "following tandems" then, waiting a couple of second delay, then swooping to pin, rather than exiting off the camera step?

Could that mitigate the problem?




Realizing that this applies differently in different countries due to the age of majority and other contract law...I'm looking at this from a US perspective. Aside from the moral & ethical implications of hurting or killing others due to your inexperience, there are other issues.

So, let's say you take personal responsibility for chasing a tandem without the manufacturer's required experience. How does that help the TM, video flyer, DZO, or equipment manufacturers who have to protect their personal assets and businesses from the fallout when your accepted risk gets them sued? Does it pay for the legal costs, medical bills, or lost wages? I'm guessing "no".

The idea of "taking personal responsibility" for everything that happens on your skydive is pretty much a farce. When you leave the plane, you're putting the pilot's commercial ticket at risk since the FAA says he's responsible for whatever you do, despite the fact that he has very little actual control over it. Like it or not, everyone gets dragged into the problem if you screw up. Kill or hurt somebody, and how much weight will that line have in any investigation, lawsuit, or FAA enforcement action? I'm guessing "not much".

Be aware of what you're asking people to risk when you make a request like this. It's not trivial.


As far swooping a tandem vs. exiting with them, questioning your own ability to fly a relative exit without grips would be a red flag. Enough so to make me ask you to stay away completely. That said, swooping the tandem does take interfering with the drogue throw out of play for the most part.

Lance

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A few years back, a AFF student quickly became the GF of an AFFI I know. She got real good coaching every step of the way. Then she was allowed to follow him on a tandemjump, having 50+ jumps at the time.

GF was about 120 lbs. Soon after exiting, GF managed to get lower than the tandem, actually she was almost straight below the tandempair. GF couldn't see then tandem anymore. GF OPENED HER CANOPY.

If she had been right below the pair, 3 people could have gotten killed.

You do NOT want anyone on a tandemjump that has even the potential to screw up.

ciel bleu,
Saskia

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RW can be done safely with a tandem. This a picture of a 35 built around a tandem for “Jump for the Cause” to support spinal cord research. The load was handpicked and well practiced. It was built by about 7,500 feet which gave the TI plenty of time for a normal wave off.

Sparky

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5528254711/
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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actually she was almost straight below the tandempair. GF couldn't see then tandem anymore. GF OPENED HER CANOPY.



this goes back to the stupid higher minimum deployment altitude thread

she opened at higher than TANDEM opening altitude!! no reason for a solo or RW jump to do this, especially no reason when jumping with a tandem

I'm thinking that with all the turbine/AFF schools, we should require a dozen 2500-3000 ft hop and pops just so students can get at the end of instruction what they missed by not doing static line. Comfort and confidence near the hard deck.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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I'm thinking that with all the turbine/AFF schools, we should require a dozen 2500-3000 ft hop and pops just so students can get at the end of instruction what they missed by not doing static line. Comfort and confidence near the hard deck.



there is a difference between exiting near the hard deck and reaching it at terminal. Obviously a lot less time with the later.

Im sure you know this, not insulting you in any way.

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