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flyinhi79

What alititude do you require your students to lock-on and pull at?

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I have been reading a thread in safety and training called "White Out" and there has been much talk about students choosing different pull altitudes. When I was an AFF student, I was told to lock on at 6500ft and wave off than pull at 5500ft. When I was getting coach jumps, I was told to be under canopy by 3500ft!

However, I have heard of guys going as low as :o2000ft:o to pull. This seems absolutely CRAZY to me. Especially, a low jump number skydiver or student.

So, my questions are as follows...

1. How low do you let your students go before you require them to lock-on?

2. How low do you let your students go before you require them to pull?

3. How low do you let your students go before you pull for them?

4. What altitude do you feel is the best all around pull altitude for new/newer skydivers?

5. What is your hard-deck for students/newbie’s?

I appreciate any answers you can provide!

Kind Regards,

Daniel

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Questions 2 and 3 - I never tell the AFF student what I am going to do (pull at a certain altitude) as I don't want them to think that I am going to do anything for them, or know the altitudes where they can "give up". I do tell them that if they don't pull, and if I can for them, I will for them, however there could be a case where I am unable to do so, so they need to be the responsible adult on the skydive and be the one to pull. If they don't agree to these terms, I am unwilling to jump with them.

Likewise, my pull altitude for the student depends GREATLY based upon the student's actions prior to pull time, and why they are not "pulling". Imagine a student who needs just an extra second to find the hackey vs one completely "out to lunch."

Question 1 - I don't teach "lock on". Why? Once you finish AFF, you NEVER lock on. You should be instead looking for other traffic, tracking, and getting ready to pull. So I teach them instead, "when you see 6K, you are about 2.5 seconds away from pulling. Take a deep breath, arch, check your alti again, and wave and pull." I think the lock on is only, maybe, acceptable for level 1... But it is bad habit past that. My personal opinion.

Questions 4 and 5 - the altitudes in which a student should pull on level 1 and their 24th skydive can be different, and both be "safe". The proper altitude should be above the SIM recommended minimum pull where the student is comfortable.

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Questions 2 and 3 - I never tell the AFF student what I am going to do (pull at a certain altitude) as I don't want them to think that I am going to do anything for them, or know the altitudes where they can "give up". I do tell them that if they don't pull, and if I can for them, I will for them, however there could be a case where I am unable to do so, so they need to be the responsible adult on the skydive and be the one to pull. If they don't agree to these terms, I am unwilling to jump with them.

Likewise, my pull altitude for the student depends GREATLY based upon the student's actions prior to pull time, and why they are not "pulling". Imagine a student who needs just an extra second to find the hackey vs one completely "out to lunch."

Question 1 - I don't teach "lock on". Why? Once you finish AFF, you NEVER lock on. You should be instead looking for other traffic, tracking, and getting ready to pull. So I teach them instead, "when you see 6K, you are about 2.5 seconds away from pulling. Take a deep breath, arch, check your alti again, and wave and pull." I think the lock on is only, maybe, acceptable for level 1... But it is bad habit past that. My personal opinion.

Questions 4 and 5 - the altitudes in which a student should pull on level 1 and their 24th skydive can be different, and both be "safe". The proper altitude should be above the SIM recommended minimum pull where the student is comfortable.



Light bulb B|
It actually sounds safer and more realistic to teach "when you see 6K, you are about 2.5 seconds away from pulling. Take a deep breath, arch, check your alti again, and wave and pull." and you already put it into quotes for me :ph34r: Now that I think about it, looking at the alti for 1k and ignoring everything around you seems really stupid!

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G. Minimum opening altitudes [E]

Back to Section 2-1 Contents


Minimum container opening altitudes above the ground for skydivers are:

1. Tandem jumps--4,500 feet AGL

2. All students and A-license holders--3,000 feet AGL

3. B-license holders--2,500 feet AGL

4. C- and D-license holders--2,000 feet AGL



http://www.uspa.org/publications/SIM/2008SIM/section2.htm#21g

I personally pull at about 3k to 2800 pretty consistantly.

Also, these are Basic Safety "Requirements" meaning should be followed. Not General Recommendations which sometimes you have a choice weather to follow or not. But I'm no instructor so take what I say with a grain of salt.
Muff #5048

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I have been reading a thread in safety and training called "White Out" and there has been much talk about students choosing different pull altitudes. When I was an AFF student, I was told to lock on at 6500ft and wave off than pull at 5500ft. When I was getting coach jumps, I was told to be under canopy by 3500ft!

However, I have heard of guys going as low as :o2000ft:o to pull. This seems absolutely CRAZY to me. Especially, a low jump number skydiver or student.

So, my questions are as follows...

1. How low do you let your students go before you require them to lock-on?

2. How low do you let your students go before you require them to pull?

3. How low do you let your students go before you pull for them?

4. What altitude do you feel is the best all around pull altitude for new/newer skydivers?

5. What is your hard-deck for students/newbie’s?

I appreciate any answers you can provide!

Kind Regards,

Daniel



Most of your questions may be dispensed with an understanding that a student's pull altitude varies along the progression from FJS to an A license holder. At early cats or levels, pull altitudes are higher (~5500 ft agl). At later levels the pull altitude is lowered to ~3500 ft agl.

Most JMs will not tell their students they will pull for them. But a common JM practice is that if the student does not pull within 500-1000 feet of assigned pull altitude the JM can reach in and pull the student.

As to the 'lock-on' technique - I think that is a totally inappropriate and incompatible lesson to teach a student.
The technique was developed and implemented by JMs that had a hard time reacting to a student that might have been behind the pull at xyz altitude power curve. The technique is contrarian to what jumpers need to do once off student status. It leads to new jumpers not tracking all the way to pull altitude, new jumpers suddenly focusing 100% attention upon a gizmo and new jumpers not watching for traffic.

I was an AFF-I from the mid 80's to early 90's. Student, including FJS, pull altitudes were typically 3500 or 4000. There was none of this 'lock-on' crap. The student did a wave off 500 feet above pull altitude. That's how a JM knew the student was altitude aware.

Personally, I think the inflated pull altitudes and 'lock on' techniques are a manifestation of JMs out there working that do not perform adequate ground training, cannot respond to students' action in real time on a jump and inferior flying skills of AFF-Is.

.
.
Make It Happen
Parachute History
DiveMaker

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Question 1 - I don't teach "lock on". Why? Once you finish AFF, you NEVER lock on.



Same here. This "lock-on" technique is one of the goofiest things I have ever heard of someone inventing.



Of course now that everyone explains it in the above ways I feel like a total F-ing idiot for even doing it.

Once I finished AFF I did not do it anymore.

Basically, I am understanding the following...
Pull alti for AFF is 5500-3500 and every A lic. skydiver should pull by 3k. If a TM feels the student has lost alti awareness, they "might" pull for them. The lock-on practice is stupid and everyone should be shot for even thinking about teaching it B|

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Of course now that everyone explains it [lock-on] in the above ways I feel like a total F-ing idiot for even doing it.



No, no, not at all! You want to do what your instructors teach you. Some of us were just commenting on an instructor even teaching it. I'm sure it was just passed on to them by someone else, and they adopted it.

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>This "lock-on" technique is one of the goofiest things I have ever heard of
>someone inventing.

To me, it's the first step towards teaching a "the skydive is over by X feet but you don't have to pull yet." During the later AFF levels, it goes from "lock on" to "no-more below 6000 feet" to "turn and track." Once the jumper graduates, of course, it becomes breakoff altitude.

It's just to give the student something unique to do at an altitude above pull altitude, so they get used to the concept of no-more and breakoff. We could teach "look at the horizon at 6000 feet until you get to 5000 feet" but they do that anyway, so it's not much different.

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>1. How low do you let your students go before you require them to lock-on?

On the ground? Right at 6000.

In the air? Any time before 5000.

>2. How low do you let your students go before you require them to pull?

They have from 5000 to 4000 to pull.

>3. How low do you let your students go before you pull for them?

Hard deck for them is 3000 feet.

>4. What altitude do you feel is the best all around pull altitude for
>new/newer skydivers?

Completely dependent upon situation, equipment, training etc. For someone used to static line, jumping solo with a fast-opening canopy, 3000 feet might well be OK. For an AFF grad with a Spectre doing a 3-way, 4000 might be better.

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>1. How low do you let your students go before you require them to lock-on?

On the ground? Right at 6000.

In the air? Any time before 5000.

>2. How low do you let your students go before you require them to pull?

They have from 5000 to 4000 to pull.

>3. How low do you let your students go before you pull for them?

Hard deck for them is 3000 feet.

>4. What altitude do you feel is the best all around pull altitude for
>new/newer skydivers?

Completely dependent upon situation, equipment, training etc. For someone used to static line, jumping solo with a fast-opening canopy, 3000 feet might well be OK. For an AFF grad with a Spectre doing a 3-way, 4000 might be better.



Thanks Bill. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to each question B|

I like to pull around 3500ft. I do not own gear but the gear I rent is a 230 and I have an exit weight of 200lbs. I have not done anything other than solo jumps and coach jumps. On coach jumps I was taught to turn 180 and track for 5 seconds at 5000' and pull by 3500'.

Is that a good alti to pull at? For the record, I prefer to be on the conservative side.

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WRTO the "lock-on":
That, too. And for me it's simply another technique to help instill altitude awareness right from the get-go. Just as the COA does. Just as Short Circles do. It also gives them something specific to do at a specific altitude. It also helps drive home pull priorities (pull at correct altitude)

You AFFIs have seen it...it's common enough where the student checks altitude, looks away and when he doesn't see the pull signal and checks again it's past pull time...and it then sometimes becomes panic time. A lock-on gives them another focal point to prepare for pull time at the correct altitude.

You'll notice that in the AFF programs that use it, the lock-on is dispensed with at a level where the student is expected to have a sense of altitude awareness on his own.


As to the OPs questions...Bill says it nicely.
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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Question 1 - I don't teach "lock on". Why? Once you finish AFF, you NEVER lock on. You should be instead looking for other traffic, tracking, and getting ready to pull. So I teach them instead, "when you see 6K, you are about 2.5 seconds away from pulling. Take a deep breath, arch, check your alti again, and wave and pull." I think the lock on is only, maybe, acceptable for level 1... But it is bad habit past that. My personal opinion.



Dude, maybe acceptable for level 1? How many level 1 Cat. A jumps have you been on? While I agree with you that 3-2.5 seconds after 6 is about the right altitude for deployment ~55, FJ students have little or no awareness of time. So, yes I do teach them to lock on at 6 on FJ. During the FJC I also mention that from 6 to 5 1/2 will be about 2 to 3 seconds.

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I have been on my fair share of level ones, never taught "lock on" and rarely have altitude awareness problems, and of the ones where I have had to pull or remind, "lock on" would not have helped. In fact, I don't think I have pulled for a level one all season. Knock on wood, I am working tomorrow.

Ps, the lack of "time" is true, however telling them to do a deep breath, relax and arch, with a good dirtdive of that, has worked as I don't expect them to count.

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Ps, the lack of "time" is true, however telling them to do a deep breath, relax and arch, with a good dirtdive of that, has worked as I don't expect them to count.



That's probably a better way of putting it. I introduce that concept on Level 2/Cat. B or to returning students whom have not jumped level 1 but taken FJC earlier. Still, most students will rush/freak out when they see six, dearch and possibly pull without assistance.

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I have been on my fair share of level ones, never taught "lock on" and rarely have altitude awareness problems, and of the ones where I have had to pull or remind, "lock on" would not have helped. In fact, I don't think I have pulled for a level one all season. Knock on wood, I am working tomorrow.



I've done over 300 AFFs YTD and several students have had awareness issues. Then again, maybe I suck as an instructor.

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