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A good story about student radio not working

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OK, here is a good story that we can learn from.

First jump IAD student, and I was out in the landing area when the instructor was doing some of the canopy control training.

This student sounded nervous about his ability to control the parachute, so he received some extra attention.

PLFs are taught and physically practiced, canopy control training is done well, students do not jump unless winds are low, and the student radios are reliable. (Edited in response to comment: Radios are considered backups and students are off radio in just a few jumps.)

So I volunteered to do the radio, and we of course did a radio check, followed by the student radio being turned off until close to exit time.

The instructor turned on the radio before exit, but somehow it got turned off. The student said something about not remembering if the instructor turned on the radio, so he turned it on, but instead turned it off. (The possibility exists that the student deliberately turned it off, because he was whooping it up under canopy, and that sounds odd for someone claiming to be nervous about canopy control. I don't recall his explanation for why he did not check the radio after not hearing any commands.)

The good news is that with good instruction, the student flew around in the "holding area", did a good pattern and landed within a couple hundred feet of me. He flared a bit high, right before I was going to yell "flair". A decent landing anyway.

Ideas for discussion:

1. Good canopy control training can compensate for problems in other areas.

2. Perhaps student radios should be left on after being tested, but many DZs seem to be concerned about battery charge. New batteries that are charged well should work for many hours, but unless someone takes the time to make a plan for rotating the radios to have the best charged one marked, you never really know.

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When I work with students, after the radio is checked/tested with the ground person, the radio is not touched/turned off until the student has landed. Batteries are so cheap that I don't see the point of turning them on/off after doing the radio check.
Your rights end where my feelings begin.

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stratostar

A FJ student should never hear about a radio until it strapped on them as the radio is checked. That is how I train a FJC, you will learn how to do this solo, period.



I prefer to tell them about the radio - but lay down the ground rules, including that it may not work, and they should not talk back unless they are on the ground and we ask them to, etc... And, "if your instructor tells you to turn into a tree, don't. If you wait until you strap the radio on, do you do all that education then?

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BACKUP to be sure;teaching a FJC I mention the backup radio as late in the course as I can,fearing the student will shut out the training to be self reliant and hope to rely on the radios. At our DZ the radios remain on untill landing.
" 90 right, five miles then cut."---Pukin Buzzards

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Glad he made it don safely!

From this student's perspective I've been happy to have a radio (one way) during the first few landings. But they make it clear it is a backup device. At our DZ the instructor only talks to you if they think they need to after a few landings.

Radio checks are done when the radio is strapped on and it's left on.

One thing I will say is that the instrucor's tone of voice makes a big difference for me. I've had a couple where their voice has gone up quite a bit saying Flare or PLF. Certainly helpful and helped me land safely. But a little unnerving. I prefer a calm voice :).
Chance favors the prepared mind.

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They still get all that info but not while I'm teaching canopy control and off landings and the like. I want them focused and learning WTF to do on their own up there and not blowing it off because in the back of their mind Joe is going to be talking them down. They get the speech while it's getting put on and checked along with a review of landing off as well as landing pattern on dz.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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As a student with 15 jumps. I have 12 landings(i did 3 tandems). 7 of the landings were complete boffos, all with radio support. 5 have been on my feet and close to the target(no radio or with very little radio help). Learn how your students learn and adapt. Over the top coaching(during the event) negatively affects me. Good coaching (prior to the event) is perfect. It's all about the method of learning.
SCR 15113
USPA Coach-C
Hellfish 1004

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I vote for no radios....

Skydiving is non power, so you cannot abort a landing, and try again. From jump 1, the student should be able to manage. The canopies are slow enough, and generally, the landing areas big enough too.
You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to tell you how Fu***** stupid it is.
Davelepka - "This isn't an x-box, or a Chevy truck forum"
Whatever you do, don't listen to ChrisD.

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Unlike the one we had many years ago.

Taught all control, not told about radio until end of training, DZO didn't use radios for some years. Radio didn't work and the woman didn't make a single turn from opening until crashing into the wires and getting burned.[:/]
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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potatoman

I vote for no radios....

Skydiving is non power, so you cannot abort a landing, and try again. From jump 1, the student should be able to manage. The canopies are slow enough, and generally, the landing areas big enough too.

Back in 1961 at Zephyrhills, still in high school, I remember being told to face the wind after opening and check for drift. The T-slot had no drive, so I drifted backwards out over a golf course and yelled at a couple of golfers to look out, but they never looked up. Things went well with a sorry plf, but they gave me a ride back to the packing area with their golf cart.
Do your part for global warming: ban beans and hold all popcorn farts.

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Sounds like me, also still in school, just that I landed in a graveyard on a sunday morning....B|
You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to tell you how Fu***** stupid it is.
Davelepka - "This isn't an x-box, or a Chevy truck forum"
Whatever you do, don't listen to ChrisD.

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Quote

Skydiving is non power, so you cannot abort a landing, and try again. From jump 1, the student should be able to manage. The canopies are slow enough, and generally, the landing areas big enough too.



'Should' is a big word in that sentence. A lot things should work one way or the other, but we both know that skydives don't always go to plan. We also know that people react differently to the environment and stress of making a skydive, and sometimes it's not by making rational, good decisions.

For these reasons, you put a radio on your students. You plan for the radio to fail, and you train them as if the radio did not exist, but you still use the radio and treat it like the valuable tool it is.

Being able to have real-time contact with a student under canopy, and able to add your knowledge, experience and perspective on their situation can easily make the difference between a 'good' canopy ride with some learning points you can make in the debrief, and a 'bad' canopy ride with some learning points the student learns the hard way.

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Agreed, but sometimes it is only the hard way that works.

(and breaks)
You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to tell you how Fu***** stupid it is.
Davelepka - "This isn't an x-box, or a Chevy truck forum"
Whatever you do, don't listen to ChrisD.

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