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cphelan

Diploma in Commercial Skydiving, NZ

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I am interested in doing this school http://www.skydivingnz.com and I was looking through the forums and couldn't find a forum about this school that isn't a year or more older so I decided to start a new one. There are a couple of questions I have with the program. First off being the most important, How is the training? I would also like to know things such as places to stay while your there, transportation, facility, typical day to day schedule, is it worth the cost? Also was wondering what the culture was like in new zealand. (Probably meant for a different forum but a quick thought wont kill anyone.) Any updated information or thoughts on this program would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Every experience is worth something. Will the diploma be worth anything once you have it? I can't see how it would be worth much here in the US. It's better to have an AFF rating and a Tandem Instructor rating. Then you could afford to buy a tent.:P

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this course is really the only formal course of skydiving instruction that is out there...


in my opinion its something you do for the experience of being a student somewhere else :D

if they had a skydiving "school" in the USA i would consider goin there..but they don't..

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I have jumped with grads of the Christchurch school. It produces good cameraflyers. You will be a skilled but underqualified video guy when you come out. I say underqualified because manufacturers of tandem equipment recommed 500 jumps as a baseline for doing tandem video. New Zealand's requirement is only 200 but you will have trouble finding a job with those numbers. The cost is also quite high if you aren't from NZ where the gov't pays for half of it... you would be better off financially going to a large US dropzone and bargaining for 200 coached jumps and some tunnel time in my opinion. That said if you aren't on a budget go for it.
Life is ez
On the dz
Every jumper's dream
3 rigs and an airstream

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in my opinion its something you do for the experience of being a student somewhere else :D



I'm still on the edge on wether I want to go or not. I agree with most of you that there are definitely more cost effect ways that get you the same qualifications but I'm more look for the "experience of being a student somewhere else." I also don't have the opportunity here Living in colorado to get 170 skydives in such a short period. I also would love to learn the ins and outs of a drop zone... manifest packing etc... Living 2 hours away from my drop zone right now (not really a good excuse) Limits me to helping out a hole lot and learning the nitty gritty. I have heard from allot of people that the school does produce really good flyers. Thats always a plus. I'm just wondering what life will be like in New Zealand. Never been there so not up to date on the culture. Thanks for all your opinions. Greatly appreciated!

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I was there in the early 90s and still have a lot of kiwi friends. They are a great people. Friendly, outgoing, and fun loving. When I was there the crime rate was so low there was a rape case that stayed on the front pages of the newspapers for weeks because that sort of thing was so rare.

It's also a beautiful county with every kind of topography there is. Mountains, some desert, beaches and everything in between. It's really two large islands (North and South) and each is unique. And driving down the coasts is like the California coast but 40 years ago before it was all developed.

Since the US dollar has tanked you won't do that well now but when I was there it was about two New Zealand dollars to one U.S. dollar. Also they loved "Yanks" back then but since our worldwide reps have also tanked the one place you probably won't get personally tagged for our governments idiocy will be New Zealand.

There's a kind of funny story about young people there. They are so remote in relationship to the rest of the world the young ones like to travel to see what the rest of the world looks like. When they return they always say they never realized what a beautiful place they lived in as they always took New Zealand for granted. And they call those folks "born again" Kiwis!

And once you go, you'll always be a little bit Kiwi in your heart . . .

NickD :)

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I thought id give you all an update and let you know I decided to do the course. It starts Jan 19th 2009 so wish me luck. Thanks for everyones opinions. They were all greatly appreciated. Ill keep this thread updated to let you all know about my experience with the school. Hopefully it will help the next person considering the course. Thanks again for the help :ph34r:

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I did the course october 2006 and i loved it and would recommend it to anyone.

There is no denying that the diploma itsself is not really worth anything to anyone but the skills that the diploma represents are priceless. If you work hard and have a good attitude then getting work after the course is not too hard. Most people are offered work by there work placement DZ.

Personally i had a full time camera job straight off the course and had a tandem rating after about 10months of camera work. Im not saying everybody is as lucky as i was but it goes to show that you can certainly go a long way if you work at it.

The staff at the school have changed since i was there so i cant comment on them but if they are even half as good as my instructors you will walk away with the skills to work, fun jump and most importanmtly stay safe.

I hope you enjoy it as much as i did

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Were you already a skydiver? Don't they have some sort of time in sport requirement (like 3 years in the US) before you can become a tandem instructor?



2 years in the sport and 1000 jumps to be a tandem instructor in New Zealand.

I did the course in 2002, I was jumping for a living within a year of my first jump and had a tandem rating a year and a half after that with 2200 jumps.

It is intersting to see people mocking the diploma corse when they have no clue of what it is about and seem to think it is impossible to make a good living as a professional skydiver.

I earned Over $1000 this week doing bugger all work and having 3 days off!, I earn over AUS$60k a year and my fiancee earns similar money doing a similar role (camera and rigging)
The diploma course is a really good start to a commercial skydiving career and anyone that really wants to be a commercial skydiver will not find a faster way to do so.

the diploma itself is worth nothing but the skills and attitude learned is worth everything.

To the original poster, I'll see you there in April when Leigh and I come to visit.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will see peace." - 'Jimi' Hendrix

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:(I am from April '09 course, I have not finished my training yet, am in work placement and let me tell you a story that happened to the 18 of us :
Basically we applied the course because it was NZPIA certificate and licence. In the middle of the course, without any advise, the managment changed from NZPIA (the federation from which most of the NZ DZ are affiliated to) to a weird ParaNZ one (created on political matters, with only 5 affiliated NZ DZ!!!!!!!!) claiming that was the same.
They took our money of course, never gave us the advertised licence.... How is that: professional skydiving or professional rip-off?
They change course director so often that you don't know what is going on really : Is it safe for students jumping then?

Because of their incompetence I was grounded in my work placement for 4weeks : Is it once again what you expect when you applied for a course that is suppose to put you straight in the air?

My advise is definitely not to applied for this course, you'd rather go to a good and recognized DZ and negociate a tailor made training with good safety level and ground training, few coachings, you will certainly pay less and definitely have no headache!!!

Blue sky

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Maybe in the US, but here NZ laws and regulations trump manufacturers rules or recommendations everytime. You can't contract out of the law.
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." -- Albert Einstein

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I don't see the value in this "Diploma". It won't make you more likely to be hired then someone who has their Tandem and AFF rating.



Yes it will and yes it does.

You see, they have dropzones all around the world on their books registered to take work experience at the end of the course and most of these people end up in jobs.

It seriously works very well. its not like you do the course and then thats it, see you later. A place like this has alot of support and alot of networking that goes along with it as any strong business would.


.Karnage Krew Gear Store
.

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I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not?



not at all. Think about it, these guys own 3 very large dropzones.Two of them do 100+ tandems a day in the tourist market.
They produce camera fliers on this course and then send them out for work around dropzones around the world for three months to work for free.
A person with a 'product' like that in the business world is going to have a lot of contacts. Those students that go and work for free for three months as a packing bitch or a van driver, editor, fuel person are going to show they stuck it out and be in line for a camer position.

The people who own the school are known by dropzones owners right around the world.

Either way you look at it the course owners have a product, and it is a very popular product. At the end of the day 100+ new people to the sport do jump number one and three-five months later they are sent to dropzones around the world for three months work placement in exchange for thirty jumps. Those newbies now have a foot in the door of a place for employment.

Considering their education is 50 lectures to do with the commercial aspects of skydiving, 200 skydives and for 90% of the students, half the course is paid by the government student loan, it is a damn good idea.

I can tell you as a fact, I did the course and the first 200 skydives I did have not cost me a single cent. I never graduated, i left with issues with the directors, that are now resolved and for the last nine years I have worked in the skydiving industry in numerous roles.


Love it or hate it but if you are a kiwi, and aussie or from the uk your government will give you a student loan for 50% of the cost of the course and then the NZ government will pay the other 50% of the course if you are a kiwi.
End of the day you have 200 skydives, a damn good knowledge of how the commercial side of skydiving works and a dropzone that will give you a chance to make yourself show them that you are worthy of a job.

The guys who were on my first course, a couple of them have over 8000 tandems, two of them have represented nz at the worlds and been a crucial part of starting dropzones in numerous countries.


The "diploma' means shit, sure.... but the course itself is a great way to get 200 jupms from zero jumps, an affordable way and the course directors make it their business for you to get employeed at the end of it so they can keep getting the government funding they need.

The course was started because nine out of ten Tandem masters in new zealand commercial dropzones were from overseas and NZ needed new zealand native workers.NZ is the tourist adventure capital of the world.
You can go to taupo and every day it is jumpable there is three dropzones sharing one field and they all have 100-200 tandems EACH a day. Down in queenstown the dropzone the course owns has a retail shop in the main town for the selling tandem jumps.


The course is a fantastic business. It just so happen that when there is something like this in such a small country that competition turns political, the one reason i know of for that and nobody will probably admit is cause Kirsty made the course public the year that it was said no more private business's could do something like this and get it subsidised by the government. Brilliant if you ask me.


No, I am not a supporter of the school, I was on the first course, I left on bad terms with them, but I do know that and can admit that what they have on offer is a huge step forward for some people who want to make a living out of it.

Sorry for the long reply, I just dont think it can be said any shorter as I want to help you understand.


.Karnage Krew Gear Store
.

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Hmm... been following this thread with interest. Re: the letter from the Director of CAA New Zealand... means 'jack' really. Classic CYA in my opinion- and a really well written letter. He says that the other part 149 organisations must 'recognise' the ratings etc issued by the said organisations- BUT that does not mean that they have to accept them! IOW- "Hey congrats on receiving your xxx rating" or "well done BUT sorry you can't use that rating here- go get a real one"!!

Obviously if the ratings were issued by a long standing, credible, parachute organisation with a track record and history- like USPA, CSPA,BPA, APF or NZPIA- then certainly most DZO's would be comfortable to allow the holders of those ratings to excercise those ratings on his DZ right? Well in this case- there is no way in hell that I, or any other DZO in his right mind would have any of these ratings holders anywhere near my DZ thanks! For all I know they may have acquired their ratings from a Cheerios box!! One has to question why there was a need in New Zealand to create more than one Part 149 organisation in the first place!! Nowhere else in the world this has happened? Hey- lets all start parachute organisations and start handing out skydive ratings willy nilly!!! Yeah Right!

As a DZO- if one of these new ratings holders came my way- I would do exactly as the New Zealand Director CAA suggests- and undertake you own assessment. IOW make them do the full REAL and accepted rating from the start. Period.

In time- the new Part 149 organisations may prove to be OK, but in my experience you certainly don't start a parachute organisation and automatically expect to receive credibility! On the absolute contrary- credibility need to be earned over a long long time, where you get to show quality, sensibility and a proven track record. Untill then- these new organisations are simply a liability- particulary for any DZO who will have to answer for any issues in court. Have you $$$$$ ready!!!

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