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# AFF Student Loses both instructors

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Now stay on the east side of the airport."

I have 2500 dives at my current DZ. I have no idea what the east side is.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

We covered east versus west in ground school.

First of all, the students were soldiers - who should understand east versus west long before they got to the DZ.

Secondly, we started morning refresher training with a walk around the landing field.

JM "Which direction is the wind coming from?"
Student "East."
JM "Which side of the airfield can you expect to open on?"
Student "East."
JM "Where is the play ground."
Student "Over those grain silos on the east side of the airfield."
JM "Which side of the DZ will you fly your downwind leg?"
etc.

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Now stay on the east side of the airport."

I have 2500 dives at my current DZ. I have no idea what the east side is. I could work it out thinking of where the sun sets, but that's cos I've watched the sun set there for 10 years.

I call my students by their names. I make around a dollar a second out of them. The very least I can do is remember their names.

After all, I just said "Hey {Students name}! Are you ready to skydive? Come to the door with me." about 50 seconds before their canopy opens.

(And I have a CRAP memory.)

t

Wow. 2500 skydives, you're an instructor and you don't know east west north south at your home dropzone. Thats scary.

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Thats scary.

Would you like to explain why that is scary?

t
It's the year of the Pig.

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Thats scary.

Would you like to explain why that is scary?

t

How does he calculate the exit point with a winds aloft forecast, or teach his students to do the same? If he identifies a storm cell moving in while on jump run, how does he convey that information (with direction) to the other jumpers on the ground? How does he share information with the pilot(s)...I know he could say "to the left side of the airport by the park," or "near Farmer McNasty's house," but it is plenty easier and more professional to speak with other aviators in terms they understand, and it well worth teaching our students to do the same as they progress through the program. Heck, if I was a student one of the first things I'd ask is what are the runway headings (I'm a pilot), and I would have no faith in my instructor if he couldn't answer such a basic question.

Not knowing directions isn't scary as in "OMG we're going to die," but it's such a basic element of navigation and organization in the aviation world that it is sort of scary to think an instructor has missed that basic information and is not at all ashamed to say so out load.
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

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Ah well.

Must be the hemisphere divide again. As I said, I know which is North, South, East and West. I'd have to think about it each time, but our DZ does 16000 decents a year, weekends only, and somehow, I've managed to get by without EVER having to work with students using N, S, E or W.

Maybe I've just been really, really lucky, or maybe there are other methods that can be used equally effectively. Do you think birds know how to use a compass?

t
It's the year of the Pig.

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Ah well.

Must be the hemisphere divide again. As I said, I know which is North, South, East and West. I'd have to think about it each time, but our DZ does 16000 decents a year, weekends only, and somehow, I've managed to get by without EVER having to work with students using N, S, E or W.

Maybe I've just been really, really lucky, or maybe there are other methods that can be used equally effectively. Do you think birds know how to use a compass?

t

This somewhat fascinates me. I just can't see operating w/o this stuff. I mean, I can't say I have gone a weekend w/o using them. Between jumpers on the plane asking what direction jumprun is, correcting the spot, explaining things to students, choosing landing direction.

I guess there are other ways you could do all that stuff, it just doesn't seem like there could be easier ways.
~D
Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me.
Swooping is taking one last poke at the bear before escaping it's cave - davelepka

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I guess there are other ways you could do all that stuff, it just doesn't seem like there could be easier ways.

He knows which way is North, etc. He was really just emphasizing that he doesn't use it religiously in his training. Tonto sounds like an excellent instructor, etc.

(Wind's coming in from over the railroad tracks. I want you to find a play area on the other side of the tracks, then at 1000 ft, start your downwind leg, you should be at 500 over the hanger for your base leg, turn into the wind at about 200 ft and try to land in the student area....... example)

...
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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That's pretty much the way it's done. Substitute "mine dumps" for railway tracks, and "dirt road to boarding point" for hangar and you're spot on.

When I 1st visited the US in 1992, I noticed that people even gave directions to their houses using N,S, E and W. Some people's cars (admittedly cars like Chev Suburbans) even had compasses in them.

That simply doesn't happen here. When I meet a new student, if they've never even thought about a compass before, it's simply one more thing they would need to learn, and I prefer to keep the info they manage to absorb as related to the dive as possible. Even pilots respond to left and right. If I'm spotting, I'll give them left or right, not North or South. If I'm flying a wingsuit, I'll ask them if they're decending to the left or right. When I plan a pattern it's left or right.
When I read landing pattern chatter in S & CC, it's left hand pattern, or right hand pattern. These are constants, relative to the aircraft or to our canopies.

t
It's the year of the Pig.

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I guess I'm kind of middle-of-the-road.

Like Tonto, I'd rather KISS it but I do incorporate the cardinal points during ground school.

Talking about landing patterns and using the aerial view, I say something like...

Downwind leg over the single line of trees on the south side of the landing area....Playground over the cabin on the west end of the landing area...over the hangar which is on the east end of the landing area....etc.

During follow-up training, I make it a point to emphasize that they get to know the cardinal points at any new DZ they visit.
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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Like Tonto, I'd rather KISS it but I do incorporate the cardinal points during ground school......
During follow-up training, I make it a point to emphasize that they get to know the cardinal points at any new DZ they visit.

And I think that's the way to do it. When we teach, we should be teaching the student for long term participation. In my book that means that at some point before graduation they should understand direction. They should at least be able to read a winds aloft forecast and relate that to the local DZ. Likewise, if they are in an airplane and the pilot says "the winds at 3,000 are 270 at 30," they should know what that means, and how it relates to their planned jump. If they are jumping in the United States they should know that winds are reported in knots (most of us still think in miles per hour). A good instructor will even be able to discuss true vs. magnetic headings, and help the student to understand that winds are reported true, while our ground references (such as runway headings) are magnetic, and obviously if the instruction does go that deep, the instructor should know roughly what the difference is at the local DZ. The USPA ISP includes a section for 'pilot talk,' and this may be ideal material for a pilot to discuss with the student.

In any event, the first jump should follow the concept of KISSS (Keep it short, simple, and specific), while follow-on training should add depth.
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

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They should at least be able to read a winds aloft forecast and relate that to the local DZ.

You mention this quite a bit. Maybe your weather people there are better than ours here - but I will not allow students to go off a forecast. It's a forecast, and if incorrect, will result in an incorrect exit point. DZ's here are up to 180km from the nearest major city, and that's where the forecast is for.

We do not allow students on the 1st load. Once we see where seniors open, and adjust the spot if nessesary, then student operations commence.

t
It's the year of the Pig.

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I've managed to get by without EVER having to work with students using N, S, E or W.

funny, I use nothing but the compass, it takes a litle more time but once they get it

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there are other methods that can be used equally effectively.

Never has a more true statement ever been made! At least not since I sat down and turned my computer on this morning... I was just talking to my DZO about this, how every one thinks their method is best and how difficult it can be sometimes to get people who are set in their ways to try a different approach sometimes.
Mykel AFF-I10
Skydiving Priorities: 1) Open Canopy. 2) Land Safely. 3) Don’t hurt anyone. 4) Repeat…

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I'm not suggesting a first jump student should be able to read a winds aloft forecast, but a graduate should be able to. Nor am I suggesting that a winds aloft forecast is the only means of determining a spot. But, it's an important resource (at least in the United States), and licensed jumpers should understand how they work.

Heck, maco weather moves in consistent directions, and even low time students should know how "normal" weather patterns relate to the DZ so they can read an internet weather forecast and place movement in relation to the DZ.
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

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If they are jumping in the United States they should know that winds are reported in knots (most of us still think in miles per hour). A good instructor will even be able to discuss true vs. magnetic headings , and help the student to understand that winds are reported true, while our ground references (such as runway headings) are magnetic, and obviously if the instruction does go that deep, the instructor should know roughly what the difference is at the local DZ.

IMO this is WAY to much information. We are teaching a first jump course and not a map reading seminar and many students would find this overwhelming. Many students have a hard time trying to digest all of the important information that we do give them.

If I were to teach how to covert magnetic north to true north using the declination diagram and having to teach them LARS (Left add Right Subrtact) to convert between the two numbers AND then explaining how some times the differences are greater than 45 degrees AND then having them practice this conversion a few times to show they understand it AND............. I am betting we will have some really really confused students.

I do agree that this type of information is helpful but I don't think it should be part of a student program.
Think of how stupid the average person is and realize that statistically half of them are stupider than that.

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I do agree that this type of information is helpful but I don't think it should be part of a student program.

It is part of my training, but not all the instructors do that where I teach - but it is a dummed down version because I dont know all that technical mumbo jumbo...
Mykel AFF-I10
Skydiving Priorities: 1) Open Canopy. 2) Land Safely. 3) Don’t hurt anyone. 4) Repeat…

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It is part of my training, but not all the instructors do that where I teach - but it is a dummed down version because I dont know all that technical mumbo jumbo...

Again I go back to it can be important information BUT IMO there is already a lot of information that needs to be digested by our students. Knowing the difference between true north and magnetic north won't be as beneficial IMO as taking the time to practice more basic survival skills. We could cover many more issues in greater detail but ultimately we need new skydivers to know the basics before we introduce more advanced skills.

I think we should concentrate on the following tasks like a wise skydiver used to write in his sig line......Mykel AFF-I07

Skydiving Priorities: 1) Get a parachute over your head. 2) Land it safely. 3) Don’t hurt anyone else. 4) Repeat…
Think of how stupid the average person is and realize that statistically half of them are stupider than that.

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Knowing the difference between true north and magnetic north won't be as beneficial IMO as taking the time to practice more basic survival skills.

I think we should concentrate on the following tasks like a wise skydiver used to write in his sig line......Mykel AFF-I07

Skydiving Priorities: 1) Get a parachute over your head. 2) Land it safely. 3) Don’t hurt anyone else. 4) Repeat…

I agree with all that, except the "wise"crk .

Mag N and Tru N? What the hell is that?

But knowing the fundamentals of how the compass directions sit in relations to the LZ is a basic survival skill, it falls under
2) Land it Safely...

Dontcha think?
Mykel AFF-I10
Skydiving Priorities: 1) Open Canopy. 2) Land Safely. 3) Don’t hurt anyone. 4) Repeat…

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I absolutely agree with you. Students need to know cardinal directions in how they relate to the DZ. This type of basic info can help them land safely. ie winds are coming from the west and so here is what you need to think about on this landing yada yada yada
Think of how stupid the average person is and realize that statistically half of them are stupider than that.

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I appreciate all the great info and input on how everyone teachs their students to land,,, but,,, what does ANY of this have to do with the original post?

I would really like to see this discussion figure out how to not let this piss poor peformance by our AFF "professionals" not get repeated.

I am glad that all turned out for this girl, and it great she went on to become a licensed skydiver, but this could have all turned out much worse.

Ralph

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I hardly ever post on DZ.com cos most of what I read is purely opinion and everyone seems to think they know everything,,,,
How about a pat on the back for whoever taught her the FJC,,,
We teach,as standard practice,,What to do in the case of the loss of both jumpmasters,,
Because this is a very real possibility!
This student was obviously taught well and responded correctly,,,
Anyone out there who believe they are "beyond"losing a student is kidding themselves or don't do much AFF..

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you sir are absolutely right!
How dare I make some flippant remark about "piis poor" airial skills when the best thing about these instructors id that they could actually make a 2 way and face the sun after they lost a level one.

You want to call for me to recind my opinion, show me these professional skydiving instructors actually acting the part.

Search any of my posts and you will see I put the students safety first.

PERIOD.

Do a little researsh before you make such an assinine comment

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Oh ,,,so you were born with a 3000 jumps under your belt and are infallible...
Maybe the jump didnt go by the book but not many jumps do...
Do the best you can,,
As for pulling to 'escort'the student down ,,all sounds good after the fact but rarely happens,,

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The exit didnt look too bad,,,but as all probably know,,,once some inertia builds up it can very different to counter-act,,,,reguardless of your experience..
I'm thinking these guys did the best they could and are better JM's cos of it..
I been doing AFF for 11 years and have plenty of 'stories'to tell...
Some my own fault ,,,some out of my hands and along for the ride,,,
This whole thread re-inforces the need for a tight and thorough FJC...
Kudos for the teacher,,
As for the JM's ,,,shit happens,,,,I'm not perfect ,,are you?

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Between you and Lowpull there's a quarter century experience and 12000+ skydives.

Lets try and get along, shall we?

t
It's the year of the Pig.

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If I were either one of those instructors, I would hope after that jump that I would forfeit my rating. It would be nice if the USPA would institute some kind of program that if this situation were to occur, that the instructors have to take some kind of course to make sure they are requalified before they be allowed to do anymore instructor jumps. How it would be policed, I don't know. Just thinking.....

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