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Ok, now lets put this scenario to the test, oh, and thanks for all your responses to my previous post.

Lets say Freefly guy with 600-700 jumps shows up with girlfriend. He wants to help her learn but never taught any students before. To be fair, he has fair skills as a freeflyer and has done some video. Would it be right for the DZO to let him take your student(the girlfriend) and turn freefly guy loose with her at around 15 jumps (IAD) without your knowledge? You are S&TA and DZO holds S&TA as well and we now can see that the supervision is waiverable when filed or written. Is this the right thing to do? Again, I know what the SIM and the coach manual say. It makes instructors and coaches who work for the rating feel useless and they wonder why they even got the rating. Your opinions please.
"It's very important at this point that you don't simply become a passenger." Flight instructor Dennis Anderson speaking about life and crosswind landings.

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Simple answer: NO. Unless "freefly boy" has at least a Coach rating, and at that point why wouldn't he unless is is skeeeered:D, he doesn't have any business working with his GF. Now if he were so keen on working with students, he ought to have gotten off his butt and taken the bare-minimum qualification course to do so. Sounds like the guy is trying to get over.

Now, my reason for saying that is I personally know more than a couple of people with 600-700 jumps who can not skydive to save their ass. I even know them in more than one category. I know pretty competent freeflyers who cannot launch stable out of a plane on their belly, much less maintain levelidity and proximity on "flat" dives. I also know flat flyers with that many jumps who still zoo solo and basic linked exits and cannot fly to a stable-flying formation to save their ass. The point is, the coach course makes you prove at least rudimentary belly flying skills. One of the skydives proves you can exit stable, get within arms reach of someone and then fall straight down. The other skydive proves you can move around in proximity to someone and give corrective hand and arm signals while maintaining proximity. You would be surprised how many "experienced" skydivers can do neither. Case in point, after exiting late on a milestone skyive for a person on our dropzone, I literally had to fly down and un-fuck the person of honor. He was on his back and spinning uncontrollably on his 1000th skydive.

The bottom line here is a STUDENT (anyone with under 25 jumps and without an A-license) has two choices: jump with an instructor or coach and get something checked off on their A-card; or jump solo, assuming they are cleared for self-supervision.

(edited for hurried typos)

Chuck Blue

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Would it be right for the DZO to let him take your student(the girlfriend) and turn freefly guy loose with her at around 15 jumps (IAD) without your knowledge? You are S&TA and DZO holds S&TA as well

Legal, yes. Right, no.

Keep in mind the DZO is the owner of the operation and can make any decision he likes regardless of what another S&TA or instructor might think. The student doesn't "belong" to the instructor, and the DZO does not "owe" the instructor an opportunity to object to the plan. The other S&TA (instructor) represents USPA, and has no specific authority over the drop zone, beyond that granted by the owner. In a perfect world we would all get along and respect each other. The DZO would be willing to listen to, and respect the decision of the other S&TA who is (I assume) more familiar with the student and prospective coach.

If the original instructor doesn't like the decision he could try and talk to the DZO, live with the uncomfortable situation, or stop working for that DZ. If the instructor sees a continuing problem he could contact his USPA Regional Director or the USPA Director of Safety and Training, but it's unlikely the DZO would change his approach.

My suggestion would be to express the concern, document that conversation at least in a note to yourself, then let the DZO run his own business. If it is a one time issue, then continue working for the DZ. If it's a continuing problem, stop teaching there, go to another DZ, or find something else to do with your life.

Sadly, as an S&TA I see this kind of issue all the time. I've come to understand that there are some things I can fix, and some things I have no control over. I try to put my efforts into things I can improve, and I try to assist those who are interested in my suggestions.

I try not to sweat the things I can't control, but it's a really tough challenge, and probably the worst part about being an S&TA.
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

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Ok since I am the "freefly guy" I figure I can fill in for the uneducated words. First of all I didnt just show up with the girlfriend. Not that it helps in training but she has been around the dz every weekend for a year and a half, not just "shown up". Second of all I have 350 jumps on my belly as well as freeflying. And I was jumpmastering before wsinsel was even jumping. (Lyons) I chose not to learn IAD and do not put out students until they are self supervised. And the reason you didnt know is because you were not there, not trying to hide it. And my girlfriend the student did not need any more than a camera man which is what I was doing. I personally see little difference in a student going by them self or a camera man with.

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