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popsjumper

Rate the AFFI Course Directors

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Yes. That's what I'm seeing here...most.
With some exceptions in PM.

One person asked me face-to-face...would YOU admit that the CD that passed you was not up to snuff?
Good question.
Hmmmmmm...probably not but I sure wouldn't recommend him to anyone else.
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 got my rating from Glenn Bangs. I thought his course was fair and I myself was very impressed with his verbal resume. I felt like I was being taught by the best of the best. I learned a TON from Glenn and he was a no bullshit kind of guy.

Someone offered him 10K once for a rating and he refused it. That is the kind of guy I want to get my rating from. He is going to give you the tools and if you do what he says, and you can fly, you will earn your rating. He set an example for me that I try to emulate to my students. He will challenge you fairly. At least that was my experience and I think everyone in my course felt the same way.

He will teach you what you need to know to save your life while doing AFF and others. The rest of course is up to you as you do real life AFF. Glenn will tell you himself that no course director or evaluator can replicate a student but he sure picked some evaluators to do his course who sure did a pretty good job!!!! :o
Roy Bacon: "Elvises, light your fires."

Sting: "Be yourself no matter what they say."

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I went through with Jay Stokes. I picked him because I had been around for one of his courses and two other Directors' courses. He is above and beyond the best teacher of any of the three. His eval jumps were the most challenging jumps I've ever done, but completly fair. The other evaluator was DJ from Spaceland, and he was great as well.

They fly, exit, and act like students, not tunnel rats or skydivers. The course is well laid out, low stress, and run professionally. It was one of the best continuing education class I've attended ever, not just in skydiving.

Jay can be summed up in one word: Professional.

The other two were good and do a decent course, but Jay is the man.

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I only have personal expirience with one CD and I would reccomend him to anyone, that is Kip...

He is very hard but fair, but works closly with each studient to focus on thier strengths. He teaches very well during the precourse and is entirely approachable throughout the entire course. He certainly makes you earn your rating during the eval however and several people did not pass the course. this proves that he does not give ratings away and sets the bar very high for AFF-I's

Kip Lohmiller has my reccomendation as a fantastic course director.
"This is better than sex, and cheaper too!"

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As stated in my earlier post I went through Kip, which is why I recommended him to my Friend and Team Mates.

At my course was also Jay Stokes (doing some other skydive related stuff) and he said I was doing now wrong by going to Kip and that he liked and agreed with Kip on his point of view and teaching technique.
Jay was so spot on in some of his assessment as was Kip that he could tell who my TUNNEL training came from!:o
An Instructors first concern is student safety.
So, start being safe, first!!!

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I went though Billy’s evaluation course and thought he is fair but firm he lectured exactly what he wanted to see in the ground reviews and if you can do that you’ll pass that portion of the evaluation. The in air evaluation again were fair, and if you got an unsat, you were told why. In retrospect the AFFI course is the time for evaluating the candidate ability and not the time to teach or coddle the candidate.

The pre course on the other hand is something all together different which I know nothing about because I did not go though one, but I have heard that Jay and Bram have a good pre course.
Memento Mori

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Most people will tend to rate their own examiners or buddies highest and I'm no exception in that regard.



Not always true. I know people who were evaluators for one Director, and students of that Director, who were very unhappy.



It would be good to know who that Director was and why those evaluators and students were unhappy.

??
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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It would be good to know who that Director was and why those evaluators and students were unhappy.

??



Being it would be political suicide for me to say why I (evaluator) was unhappy with this person by name... In the immortal words of George Bush Senior: "not gonna' do it."

However, I will say that the personal insults and threats of physical abuse, even if just being threatening figures of speech that implied death if carried out, caused the candidate to demand his money back. I took him out of the room and we completed the evaluation dives in a fun way, and he got his rating that he earned.

You know what surprised me... This candidate, who was a young person who also was the type to take things personally and get emotional, did not complain of the personal insults as being the primary complaint - but that he "wasted his money to be mentally abused and learn nothing."

And... as an evaluator, I was not paid a dime from the director, and delivered candidates who had 4 hours of ground school and NONE of the required "automatic unsats" covered. I had to retrain them from scratch on the bureaucratic procedures of the rating, even though they were good teachers already.

This director added NO value to the students, and the students said so.

In the director's defense, the course happened at a busy time when he was distracted a bit, however someone who demands a good chunk of money, expects his evaluators to work for free for TWO DAYS to complete all the training, and gives his students 4 hours of unproductive classroom time - is just a waste of everyone's time.

So... Go back to all my previous posts in this thread. I recommend Bram to my worst enemy and my best friend because I know he will treat them fairly. I hear good things about Jay too.

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I recently had the opportunity to watch Jay Stokes in action on a tandem rating course and I liked his style.

On-time, thorough, calm, fair and on-topic.
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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dont know about the other coarse directors because i had billy rhodes. but i will say this' other than getting my rating, my aff coarse with billy was a collasal waste of time! it sucked and i feel like i had to listen more about his retarded veiws of glenn bangs and the uspa, and why he was the best director and everyone else is a hack, than learn about aff!

dont take his coarse if you can avoid it. although i did well and stayed off his radar i really dont have anything good to say other than i got my rating. it was the most boring and frustrating 8 days of my jumping carrer!!!! id rather go through 3 months of marine corp basic training again than sit in a room and listen to that jack off rant and rave for i more min! that guy is a lunatic and gets off on his little tiny bit of power. the canidates and EVALUATORS where treated like shit and the coarse went on and on for 8 days. there were ony 4 of us for chist sakes! i really cant believe that guy still has a job!

did anyone else have a bad experirence with billy rhodes ?
>

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did anyone else have a bad experirence with billy rhodes ?



:)

Look up a few posts. I just might have expressed my thoughts on the subject already.

Knowing that the USPA is a good olde boys club, all we can do is recommend to our friends who we like and who does a good job.

I hear good things about Jay, however Bram is my favorite. Two of my friends just earned their AFFI too, and went to Bram on my recommendation, and loved the course and respected the man!

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That's because Billy and those other old school AFF CD's think that acting like pricks and play acting in those stupid made up "students' they like to play is teaching you to not be a retard. If you think it's bad with just B.R. alone you should have seen it when there was Billy & Don Yarling teaching the same course.

You haven't even started to seen game playing.

IMHO
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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That's because Billy and those other old school AFF CD's think that acting like pricks and play acting in those stupid made up "students' they like to play is teaching you to not be a retard. If you think it's bad with just B.R. alone you should have seen it when there was Billy & Don Yarling teaching the same course.

You haven't even started to seen game playing.

IMHO



Don Yarling was one of my evaluators for my coach rating. I respected the shit out of him. He was an awesome hard working man who cared about my success. When I screwed up, he, playing the student, asked a question in the way that told me how I screwed up and how I could have better taught it. I can tell you exactly what character he pulled out of his hat, and it was perfect because he found the most opposite personality as me to see how I operated out of my comfort zone. He pushed me without insulting me. I felt small, but at the end I felt confident.

I asked Don to coach me for my AFF rating. He said he was considering moving out here, even looked at real estate. Then he passed away two weeks later.

I understand game playing. I don't understand making rude, offensive, unprofessional, threatening comments outside of the evaluations.

My issues are: 1) Value out of the course, 2)Professionalism, 3) How much fun can be had, 4) How to become a better instructor.

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Well I know a lot of people who find both of those guys to great CD's. My impression of both of them for two courses being held @ a dz I was manger at was less then impressive and reminded me of a couple ego tripped high school punks and it was more about who was a "team player" meaning ass kisser then about how well you could fly your slot. I wasn't in those two courses, I got to sit on the side line and watch the whole show & yes I have an AFF rating.

Keep in mind this like 12 to 15 years ago, I think the newer guys like Bram (who I've watched run 3 courses) that don't play all that high school game play'n bullshit run a top notch class and teach you not only how to fly your slots and fly it well, you can learn a little about how to teach as well.

On a side note a good friend on mine went and spent two weeks in Hawaii with B.R. and got stiffed on his eval pay and B.R. don't return phone calls or email.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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i really should have wrote a letter to the uspa after my coarse but i didnt. i just wanted to put it out of my mind and start doing real world aff. i feel a little guilty now because i think of all the other jumpers taking his crappy coarse beacuse nobody takes the time to let the uspa know how he hold his coarses.
heres something ive always wondered. before i took the coarse i figured we would learn alot about flying during an aff jump. things like tips to get the student to respond, staying on them like glue, what to do when your student goes ballistic near pull time ext...
i was blown away when i took the coarse and there wasnt one second of in air instruction. the whole damn coarse was about those f---ing tlo blocks!!!
how come we spent countless hours on tlo's and not one min on the most crucial and life threatning part of aff, the flying!? its taken me years to learn all those goodies i listed whe they could have been taught in the coarse making me a safer and better affi right out of the gate. i think this is a major flaw in the coarse. they expect you to show up knowing it all in regards to the flying part.
i really feel the aff coarse is rediculous. i wont say its easy by any means, it was haard as hell, but not having any flying instruction is freakin retarded!
was it just my coarse or are they all; this way?
thank you my fellow instructors, although i no longer do aff, (for personal reasons, pm me if your curios) my rating is one of the things i am most proud of achieving in my lifetime. i just think the coarse needs a major over haul.
>

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For the reasons you stated that is why I like Kips Course.
He will work with you during the pre-course and get your flying checked out. He will work out tips and experience issues too.
In other words in the pre-course he TEACHES, it is the Certification Course that he INSTRUCTS and EVALUATES. (I hear this is the same way Bram works too.)

During the course I took with Kip another AFF CD ws ther and observed most of the pre-course, he stated he liked a lot of what he saw from Kip and was adopting it to his course.

I did like (after wards of course) a few of the "students" the Evaluators played, it was some thing I had experienced numerous times and had gotten pretty good at adapting too, but AFF is a new scene and I had to be ready to adapt my tech to it.
An Instructors first concern is student safety.
So, start being safe, first!!!

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I had a problem with Billy too. Just so you don't feel lonely. And his helper. The b*(^% from Wisconsin if you know what I mean.
Games played by them go beyond explanation...
And I would definetly go to Bram if I had to do it now. And I recommend anyone else to too!
Hope my good word for ya doesn't hurt ya Bram;)
lt yo
tom #90 #54 #08 and now #5 with a Bronze :-)

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im glad to know its not just my coarse.
i wonder why he still has a job as a cd. that nasty bastard kept taking his false teeth out, fucking gross!
i hope candidates read this thread so they get their money's worth. its nit cheap and you should be treated with some respect and not humiliated on a daily basis.
F that guy.
>

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i wonder why he still has a job as a cd.



Good olde boy's club.

Granted, after the USPA's attempt to remove a few dropzones in a lawsuit that failed, then a second attempt to remove a Board Member they did not like, both of which failed and backfired... I don't ever see them having the guts to make any changes on something like this.

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I just received my AFF Rating from Michael Wadkins and was very impressed with the way he conducted his course. He was very intense with his training methods and made me earn everything I received. He was very fair and I would recommend Xcelskydiving.com for any rating that he offers.
Facebook.com/SeamlessRigging

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Mike was one of BS Rhodes evaluators when they were here in Nov 06. I hope none of BS Rhodes rubbed off on him.

Mike seemed to be a really nice guy and very interested in helping us learn in the pre-course...the problem was the BS Rhodes limited them on what they could do for us.

Mike went as far as he could without incurring BS Rhodes wrath.

The course itself was evaluation only, no teaching at all...which is OK, I guess. I can understand that the learning should take place in the pre-course and the testing in the course itself. Unfortunately, what little "teaching" there was, and I emphasize little, was focused on ground prep as if that was the only thing important to AFFI skills.

I do NOT recommend BS Rhodes...to anyone..
His attitude towards us and towards USPA and towards some other CDs sucked...and he spent, by far and away, the most time telling us all about that instead of AFFI skills.
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 can understand that the learning should take place in the pre-course and the testing in the course itself.



That is bull-crappy.... As long as the candidate is showing the skills needed to be an AFF instructor, why not use every jump, every exercise, as a way to make them a better AFF instructor. (I am not talking about helping someone without the core skills to pass).

Let me give you a great example of how an evaluator can TEACH you while you are being evaluated.

Don Y. was evaluating me for my coach rating. The "Pull" signal was not engraved yet as something you don't do unless you mean it.

We were on the ground at the mockup. I instructed Don to do something. He repeated back what I instructed him, but added a hint in how I could have done it better.

So I learned... I put out my hand in a relaxed expression in what looked like a sloppy pull signal while saying, "Good point."

He interrupted me and said, "Arch, reach, throw, check? I don't even have my rig on?".

Since then I have only screwed up once and gave a pull-like-hand signal to a student in freefall, but I realized my mistake before the student saw it. Don took that moment to make a lasting impression.... And taught me.

Skip ahead a year... Bram on my AFF rating. I remember clearly asking in the middle of a evaluation, "can we time out for a second." I asked a question, not something fundamental that an AFFI should know, but something complex on how to better teach something. After the evaluations, we had very productive debriefs. I learned so much.

The fact remains - no matter how good of a skydiver you are, when you are getting your AFF rating you have not (legally) ever jumped with a student. If you are not allowed to ask valid questions, and not given information, then you are not taking advantage of the learning opportunity.

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