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popsjumper

Do we need AFFIC improvement at this time?

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DSE

***Two courses
1 Training
1 Testing

I'd like to see the training to include much more than simple air skills which is all we have now.

Hey! AFFI-1, AFFI-2
(senior, master, newbie, old fart...whatever)



We have that now. It's called "Pre-course" and "Course."
You're not happy with it.
Separating the two by a week, month, whatever...makes it financially impractical for anyone who is a "traveling examiner" and for those that would be candidates for the course.
The few brick/mortar examiners out there are terrific. But, a lot of people don't want to travel to those brick/mortars. DJ has a great school at Spaceland. Tom runs a terrific program at Eloy. Bram has a great place in Zhills. We have a great program at Elsinore.
Four out of 273 DZs doesn't work for the majority of the membership. USPA especially makes it clear that if any movement has a negative impact on a small Cessna DZ, then they're absolutely not going for it.
Wanting to improve things is terrific, and there probably are much better answers out there, particularly with technology.
However.....

You're also one of those that argued against a wingsuit instructional program, and IIRC, part of your argument was that it was just "one jump."
Well...AFF is only 5-7 jumps at a lot of DZ's. Applied logic says that if skydivers are the product of their instruction, then regardless of how much the program could possibly be changed, people will continue to do stupid things, because there will always be stupid instructors.
Perfect example of stupid advanced instruction; the vast majority of wingsuit "instructors" don't teach instability recovery. Nor do their "examiners."
I've had AFF students come to our DZ who have never actually touched a hackey as part of their emergency procedures training, even though this is an integral part of the training.

You cannot weed out 'poor' from the process. All you can do is make the best standard that is attainable within the pool of candidates, their fiscal ability, and their geographic availability.

That's a tremendously negative view.

In my view the standards need to be set and if only a few people can attain them then the rest need to get better or they don't get a rating.

Nobody has a right to have an AFFI rating. However, students have a right to have competent, knowledgeable instructors. It doesn't seem like they are always getting them right now.
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

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Can you explain how "touching a hackey" is an integral part of your emergency procedures training? Thank you.



I can see how that reads awkwardly.

Students at some DZ's are never put into a training harness, rig, or other simulation tool during their training. In other words, they're being taught with hand motions vs having pulled a hackey, main release handle, or reserve ripcord during their training.
I find this unconscionable in a world where training harnesses can be built for a few bucks and an hour of time.

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Can you explain how "touching a hackey" is an integral part of your emergency procedures training?



I can't be built into some practice training for various mals. You can bring the simulation with the pull sequence, where they would certainly touch the hackey, and then talk them through returning to a neutral body position, counting down the deployment, and then checking the canopy at which point you can call out a bag lock or streamer, and have them proceed to their EPs.

With the exception of a lost main handle, every mal begins with touching the hackey, so that becomes a part of the training.

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We have that now. It's called "Pre-course" and "Course."


Had you read the thread you'd have seen that was said more than once.

And don't think that separating them in time is the only idea.
There's a lot of other things that could go towards improving.

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You're not happy with it.


Dude. There you go with your presumptions...never learn, eh?
It's about the students, not you, not me. STUDENTS.

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Separating the two by a week, month, whatever...makes it financially impractical for anyone who is a "traveling examiner" and for those that would be candidates for the course.


Finally an opinion about the topic.
So you are of the opinion that taking the pre-course and the course back-to-back is OK? Keep the status quo? No improvement needed, is that your opinion?
Cool...that's a couple or so.

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Wanting to improve things is terrific, and there probably are much better answers out there, particularly with technology.
However....

.
In your haste to again be the denigrating, condescending tool, you have missed the obvious...this IS a thread for getting input, putting it up for discussion and possibly coming up with some ideas on how to improve things with the most positive impact.

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You cannot weed out 'poor' from the process. All you can do is make the best standard that is attainable within the pool of candidates, their fiscal ability, and their geographic availability.


That's not correct.

The "poor" are here because of the low expectations to be met. We do not have "best standard that is attainable". We are here to serve the needs of the students. Not, the candidates, not USPA, and not the DZs (although, yes, many, many would argue that from several angles.)

What this is all. about is to get closer to that "best standard that is attainable". You've provided nothing except negativity.

Got any positive/new ideas?
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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We've touched on it but not discussed in any depth yet:
General skydiving knowledge.

So far it seems that most agree that this is an area that could be improved, is that right?

We know all about the open book tests for the courses...pretty meaningless, IMO, would you agree?

- Make it a pre-req to know the SIM (you could specify sections, I guess)
- Dump the open book test.
- Write a general knowledge test to be taken 1st day of the course.

You could do this for both courses with the level of expertise expected in line with what is applicable to that particular rating.

- What does a Coach need to know to perform all Coach duties?
Test for it.

- What does an AFFI need to know to perform all AFFI duties?
Test for it.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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I disagree with the entire concept of showing up already trained. If you want to learn something, you go to school. Where exactly is AFFI school? There should be somewhere that individuals can go to receive proper training and education. Why is that no disagreeable in this sport? Seems to be the standard everywhere else. And without standard training the result is multiple interpretations of what the standard should be. Kind of how it is right now.
The brave may not live forever, but the timid never live at all.

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Finally an opinion about the topic.
So you are of the opinion that taking the pre-course and the course back-to-back is OK? Keep the status quo? No improvement needed, is that your opinion?
Cool...that's a couple or so.




And you call me a "condescending tool?"
Yes. I have ideas. And brought them up at the AFF Standards meeting(s) that I've paid to attend. And discussed them with people that actually *can* make a difference vs constantly whining about how no one meets "my" standard. Strange, I didn't see you at those meetings. I haven't seen you at any of the USPA S&T meetings either.

Technology can be used for much of the pre-course.
Examiners can provide candidates with better/more concise information prior to a course. Some examiners already do this.

However, I stand by my point. The best training methods and programs in the world cannot weed out "weaker/poorer." It doesn't matter if you're training firefighters, policemen, lawyers, or Walmart clerks. There will always be people that can momentarily meet a standard. Should the AFF standard be raised? That's really the point of your debate, isn't it?
I feel it has room for improvement, of course.
Is it acceptable for the precourse and course to be held back to back? It certainly is. In general, the course program works. What candidates do or don't do with the information, how they implement the techniques, is entirely up to the candidate afterwards. It's entirely up to how the DZ manages the candidate afterwards. And it's entirely out of the examiner's hands once the candidate is out of the course. Some examiners take personal responsibility for how their candidate manages themselves following the course. Some don't.
Whether you like it or not, financial feasibility _must_ be a part of the conversation. If you want a stellar, significantly-improve-the-candidate course, then it adds length to the course, which in turn tremendously increases cost.

If you don't pay your money to attend standards meetings or USPA S&T meetings, would you spend the money for a better rating program for yourself? How many USPA AFFIC have you attended that has inspired your negative view of the program?
Are you willing to pay 8-10K$ for a rating that won't provide a whole lot more than a minimum wage return?

I don't think so.
Any idiot can sit behind a keyboard and spew how much better they are than anyone else, Andy. People who actually do teach and have passion to make a change get up off their asses, attend meetings, make attempts to understand the process, and actually do make differences. They are the "tools" used to make change. If that makes me a "tool", so be it.

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Deisel

I disagree with the entire concept of showing up already trained. If you want to learn something, you go to school. Where exactly is AFFI school? There should be somewhere that individuals can go to receive proper training and education. .



Currently, the training is the AFFI Pre-course.
Yes, you should be already prepared when you take the AFFIC.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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DSE

Should the AFF standard be raised? That's really the point of your debate, isn't it?


Yes. Exactly.

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I feel it has room for improvement, of course.


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Is it acceptable for the precourse and course to be held back to back? It certainly is. In general, the course program works. What candidates do or don't do with the information, how they implement the techniques, is entirely up to the candidate afterwards.


OK..that's how you feel.

I'll ask: How many pre-course jumps do you want?
Which do you think is the better idea:
- turning them out on the students with only a limited number of AAF-related jumps.
- turning them out on the students with a defined time for additional practice and experience?

You're right, there is not a lot right now that can be done about how the techniques are implemented in the field.

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Whether you like it or not, financial feasibility _must_ be a part of the conversation. If you want a stellar, significantly-improve-the-candidate course, then it adds length to the course, which in turn tremendously increases cost.


OK, I get you...considering costs and back-to-back, what suggestions do you have to improve the training?

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How many USPA AFFIC have you attended that has inspired your negative view of the program?



Yes, this kind of stuff is what I meant about the tool". You sound like nobody but you has any right to question anything. Knock off the arrogant, holier-than-thou BS.

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Are you willing to pay 8-10K$ for a rating that won't provide a whole lot more than a minimum wage return?


???????
You must be talking about I/E. Not the topic here.

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Any idiot can sit behind a keyboard and spew how much better they are than anyone else, Andy.


Do you even see the irony here?
Can you show us where anyone in this thread has done that besides you?

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People who actually do teach and have passion to make a change get up off their asses, attend meetings, make attempts to understand the process, and actually do make differences.


They also do research - poll, gather facts and opinions, review and finalize and draw up proposals which is what is going on here by people who believe a change is needed.

If you have done some groundwork in this area, why don't you share it with us instead of complaining that others don't yet have it? We are trying to get something done here. If you have help, please input, otherwise, please quit wasting bandwidth with the negativity.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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Can things be improved?
Always.
BUT....
What you seem to be missing is that an AFFI rating does not mean you are now the perfect teacher (or ever will be by some people's standards).
The rating means you have the basic tools to start teaching.
I've been a coach-E and a S/L I-E for a lot of years, and I fully expect any and all new rating holders to make mistakes (hopefully not as many as I've made over the years) but not to make the same one twice. That's all I can ask of them.
I got an AFF rating about a little over a year ago.
Was I appalled by the level of readiness most of the candidates showed?
Nope. I see it all the time in the courses I teach. I even make my candidates submit lesson plans prior to the course, not just for the required topics but for a broader range from the ISP.
Even with this, I expect them to learn a lot of what they need during the course.
I also expect them to be a lot better after a year or two or five of teaching.
The strange part of all this is that if they aren't, an S&TA can suspend their rating but I can't.
That might be something worth changing.
Otherwise, setting the bar so high that is a lot more expensive isn't the answer.
Setting the bar so high that no one qualifies isn't the answer.
Holding the world to a standard that that I won't/don't hold myself to isn't either.
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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???????
You must be talking about I/E. Not the topic here.



Not at all talking about I/E.
Talking about AFFI.
Currently the average cost for someone to travel and achieve the AFF rating, is around 2500-3K$.
Avg 800.00-1000.00 for course, plus around 16-20 jump tickets, and usually plus share of outside video cost. Add travel/lodging to that. Then toss any unpaid leave days on top of that, if you're not a full-time skydiver, and most people at small DZ's certainly aren't.
Now you can double that cost, because the course will have to cost more because it uses more Examiner time.
More practice jumps would likely be required.

Perhaps because you're genuinely unaware of what's being done out there, you're clueless to the costs involved, too?
What else have you missed from the toolbox, Andy?

Of *course* things can be improved. People who actually do this as their sole job, people who have attended and participated in meetings, standardization, and examine candidates are actively working to improve the standard and system.
Just to ask the question again; HOW MANY AFFIC have you attended? It's a valid question, to identify how much you understand about the very course you're complaining about.
Or perhaps you're too (your words) holier than thou to answer the very easy question?

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ufk22

Can things be improved?
Always.
BUT....
What you seem to be missing is that an AFFI rating does not mean you are now the perfect teacher (or ever will be by some people's standards).


No, not missing that at all.

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...and I fully expect any and all new rating holders to make mistakes (hopefully not as many as I've made over the years) but not to make the same one twice. That's all I can ask of them.


Agreed

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Otherwise, setting the bar so high that is a lot more expensive isn't the answer.
Setting the bar so high that no one qualifies isn't the answer.
Holding the world to a standard that that I won't/don't hold myself to isn't either.


Setting the bar higher is the goal and that has nothing to do with expense.
Holding the "world" to a standard is best...and that has nothing to do with what your standards are.

Got anything besides the S&TA bit that will help improve?
Thanks in advance.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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What in the hell is wrong with you? Are you mentally unstable?

Take your crap somewhere else. You stalk me and are trying to kill another thread. It's childish. You have no business being a greenie.

WTF do you have to do with AFF anyway. Stick to your self-designated "wingsuit instuctor" business.

You obviously have nothing to add for AFF. You just want to tear down.
Go away.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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Obviously
popsjumper

***

Otherwise, setting the bar so high that is a lot more expensive isn't the answer.
Setting the bar so high that no one qualifies isn't the answer.
Holding the world to a standard that that I won't/don't hold myself to isn't either.



Holding the "world" to a standard is best...and that has nothing to do with what your standards .
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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popsjumper

What in the hell is wrong with you? Are you mentally unstable?

Take your crap somewhere else. You stalk me and are trying to kill another thread. It's childish. You have no business being a greenie.

WTF do you have to do with AFF anyway. Stick to your self-designated "wingsuit instuctor" business.

You obviously have nothing to add for AFF. You just want to tear down.
Go away.



Just to ask the question again; HOW MANY AFFIC have you attended? It's a valid question, to identify how much you understand about the very course you're complaining about.

I sense that the answer is 'none.'

I stalk you? ROFLMAO. You aren't quite my type, although the long grey hair is kinda sexy. Have you been drinking again?:D:D:D
You're right...I know nothing about AFF or Coach programs;)

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popsjumper


If you think it doesn't need improvement, clarify your reasoning why not?



I find the AFFIC to be fine as-is. The big problem that I see isn't an easy one to solve.

In my experience it works like this in the real world: Somebody wants to be an AFFI. That candidate goes through an AFF course and usually graduates, usually feeling like they got put through the wringer. They probably learned a lot. This new AFFI goes back to the home DZ and tries to put all this new learning into the AFF classes at their home DZ. Realization sets in: AFF or AFP students get trained differently from the way this AFFI was trained to teach. He/she blends in with the way of the home DZ and the AFFIC training fades into the back of their mind.

The new AFFIs all get faced with the same freefall difficulties that their predecessors encountered years ago, and over time they learn to anticipate the students' reactions better, learn to stay with the student better, etc. Just like always. It's practice and experience.

The package that's missing in many DZ environments is comprehensive ground training. The FJC is now really short in many DZs, teaching only the bare necessary components, so as to avoid overwhelming the student (as prescribed by the SIM). In order for this short-FJC idea to work, however, the next several AFF levels need to be accompanied by some lengthy ground training. I think these training sessions are being skipped over or glazed over. "Go to USPA.org and use the online class". That online class is quite useful, but I think it's being abused and not followed up by discussions and thorough testing.

So IMO the problem is not figuring out how to improve training that AFFI candidates are getting. The difficulty is figuring out how to standardize quality of training in DZ programs everywhere. I think those newly trained AFFIs will flourish if they go home to a robust AFF program.

Chris

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parachutist


The difficulty is figuring out how to standardize quality of training in DZ programs everywhere.



Bingo! We have a winner! While I don't agree with everything you said, I do agree with the base solution you cite. The standardization of continuing education would be the single biggest improvement to our student programs that can be made.
The brave may not live forever, but the timid never live at all.

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