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skydived19006

IAD/SL Training DZs, When do your Coaches start working with students?

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Talking the other day with an IERC Director (the guy who runs the Instructor Examiner Rating Course). She mentioned to me that many SL and IAD DZs are not aware that their coaches are allowed to start supervising students as early as their first 10 second delay in Cat C. They don't understand the difference in the an IAD/SL program as compared to the AFF paradigm.

I was curious how prevalent this misconception is, and also trying to do a little education in the process.

Here's the relevant SIM reference:

2-1 (Basis Safety Requirements)
F. Student skydivers
Note: All references to USPA instructional rating holders apply to higher
rating holders in that training discipline.
1. General [E]
a. All student training programs must be conducted
under the direction and oversight of an appropriately
rated USPA Instructor until the student is
issued a USPA A license.
b. A person conducting, training, or supervising
student jumps must hold a USPA instructional
rating according to the requirements that follow.
2. First-jump course [E]
a. All first-jump non-method-specific training must
be conducted by a USPA Instructor or a USPA
Coach under the supervision of a USPA
Instructor.
b. All method-specific training must be conducted
by a USPA Instructor rated in the method for
which the student is being trained.
3. All students must receive training in the following
areas, sufficient to jump safely [E]:
a. equipment
b. aircraft and exit procedures
c. freefall procedures (except IAD and
static-line jumps)
d. deployment procedures and parachute
emergencies
e. canopy flight procedures
f. landing procedures and emergencies
4. Advancement criteria
a. IAD and static line [E]
(1) All jumps must be conducted by a USPA
Instructor in that student’s training method.
(2) Before being cleared for freefall, all students
must perform three successive jumps with
practice deployments while demonstrating the
ability to maintain stability and control from
exit to opening.

(3) All students must be under the direct supervision
of an appropriately rated instructor until
completing one successful clear-and-pull.

(4) Following a successful clear-and-pull, each
student must be supervised in the aircraft and
in freefall by a USPA Coach or Instructor
until demonstrating stability and heading
control prior to and within five seconds after
initiating two intentional disorienting maneuvers
involving a back-to-earth presentation.


(5) All ground training must be conducted by an
instructor in that student’s training method,
until demonstrating stability and heading
control prior to and within five seconds after
initiating two intentional disorienting maneuvers
involving a back-to-earth presentation

b. Harness-hold program [NW]...
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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skydived19006

Talking the other day with an IERC Director (the guy who runs the Instructor Examiner Rating Course). She mentioned to me that many SL and IAD DZs are not aware that their coaches are allowed to start supervising students as early as their first 10 second delay in Cat C. They don't understand the difference in the an IAD/SL program as compared to the AFF paradigm.

I was curious how prevalent this misconception is, and also trying to do a little education in the process.

Here's the relevant SIM reference:

(3) All students must be under the direct supervision
of an appropriately rated instructor until
completing one successful clear-and-pull.

(4) Following a successful clear-and-pull, each
student must be supervised in the aircraft and
in freefall by a USPA Coach or Instructor
until demonstrating stability and heading
control prior to and within five seconds after
initiating two intentional disorienting maneuvers
involving a back-to-earth presentation.


(5) All ground training must be conducted by an
instructor in that student’s training method,
until demonstrating stability and heading
control prior to and within five seconds after
initiating two intentional disorienting maneuvers
involving a back-to-earth presentation

b. Harness-hold program [NW]...



I'm no rocket surgeon, but that sounds like a coach can get in the act anytime beyond the first hop n pop. Do 10 second delays come after a single clear n pull?
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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There is a chart in the IRM titled "Student Skill and Knowledge Sets"(mine is the 2012-2013 version. I do not know if that is the most current or if the chart has changed since then.)

The left hand column on the chart indicates the jump numbers and supervision requirements.

Coach is not listed as a supervision option until 45 second delays. And at this is clarifies "S/L I until 45-sec. delays, then Coach" for the jump numbers says that this is between jumps 13-15.

I attached the chart
I am fucking your mom right now

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angle228

There is a chart in the IRM titled "Student Skill and Knowledge Sets"(mine is the 2012-2013 version. I do not know if that is the most current or if the chart has changed since then.) The left hand column on the chart indicates the jump numbers and supervision requirements. Coach is not listed as a supervision option until 45 second delays. And at this is clarifies "S/L I until 45-sec. delays, then Coach" for the jump numbers says that this is between jumps 13-15.



What "skydived19006" (Martin) quoted is from the BSR's, which are requirements. The chart is not, and is a "guide" to using the ISP. This illustrates having a program that is complicated to the extent that it requires additional charts and guides to understand the program. Sometimes they aren't kept in synch in a manner that makes things easier to understand.

The FAA has Advisory Circulars to explain some FARs, so I guess it is no worse than that, but it is still frustrating.

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angle228

There is a chart in the IRM titled "Student Skill and Knowledge Sets"(mine is the 2012-2013 version. I do not know if that is the most current or if the chart has changed since then.)

The left hand column on the chart indicates the jump numbers and supervision requirements.

Coach is not listed as a supervision option until 45 second delays. And at this is clarifies "S/L I until 45-sec. delays, then Coach" for the jump numbers says that this is between jumps 13-15.

I attached the chart



The point of my post was two fold. One, get a feel for what percentage of IAD/SL DZs don't understand that they can use Coaches in Cat C. Second, to educate as such.

This issue is near and dear to me as I was involved in getting it moved to Cat-C. I filed the original waiver, and chose the first 10 second delay simply because that's the point that I thought would meat with the least resistance, yet still fairly early.

Another Northern DZO was pushing to have "young skydivers" deploy static line students. His thinking is/was that it only would require training and observation skills to deploy static line and/or IAD students. I think that this one had met with considerable resistance on the BOD.

Martin
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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That is how we operate, coaches supervise students beyond their first hop n pop.

May be a little off topic but each month I notice what seems like hundreds of A licenses issued listed in Parachutist. It seems to me many of these people (especially from small iad /sl dropzones) don't make it to the 100 or 200 jump number in which they can earn a coach or instructor rating. USPA is always pushing for dzs to work on student retention but given the nearly 600 A licenses listed in this month's Parachutist, I think this past season student retention overall was a non issue. USPA needs to do research on why sub 200 jumpers quit the sport hence reducing the pool of people who can earn instructional ratings.

Perhaps research is a waste of time, basically other aspects of life: work, family, lack of money, competing activities, fear of an accident drives the exodus from the sport.

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ksjumper

That is how we operate, coaches supervise students beyond their first hop n pop.

May be a little off topic but each month I notice what seems like hundreds of A licenses issued listed in Parachutist. It seems to me many of these people (especially from small iad /sl dropzones) don't make it to the 100 or 200 jump number in which they can earn a coach or instructor rating. USPA is always pushing for dzs to work on student retention but given the nearly 600 A licenses listed in this month's Parachutist, I think this past season student retention overall was a non issue. USPA needs to do research on why sub 200 jumpers quit the sport hence reducing the pool of people who can earn instructional ratings.

Perhaps research is a waste of time, basically other aspects of life: work, family, lack of money, competing activities, fear of an accident drives the exodus from the sport.



I've thought the exact same thing Jesse. "We" should look at "A license retention" more. I believe that once many skydivers get to their A license, they're somewhat pushed aside. Instructors no longer need to jump with them, and more experienced skydivers often shun them due to their low jump numbers and skill level. I actually believe though that new A licensed skydivers are nurtured more at the small DZ, but I'm sure that varies from DZ to DZ.

I look at the A license numbers. I got my A license in 1994 A19518, and D license in 1996, D19006. In that time the USPA has minted over 50,000 A licensed skydivers, but only about 13,000 D skydivers. We lost 40,000 folks between A and D, or in the neighborhood of 2000 a year.

I'd guess that the "Sisters" thing helps quite a bit with new women in the sport. Maybe we need a "Brothers" program as well?

Martin
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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First of all, thanks to you, Martin, for pioneering getting coaches allowed to do this.
At both the DZ I currently jump at and my previous DZ, coaches are working with students after a successful C-1 dive.
Neither DZ uses coaches to teach the FJC.
It's something I always ask my candidates about prior to my coach courses, as my coach course for anyone from a S/L DZ that has adopted this is very different than one for an AFF DZ.
A lot less time spent on the FJC, a lot more time spent on C-2 on up.
Also, a lot more time spent on biomechanics and diagnosing stability/spin control issues.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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ksjumper

... basically other aspects of life: work, family, lack of money, competing activities, fear of an accident drives the exodus from the sport.



I think you described it accurately. There are just so many things to do now, and skydiving is actually somewhat expensive, and often takes a lot of time.

We need to admit that we, and many of the people that post here, are simply hooked! Nothing can keep us away from this sport that we love.

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skydived19006


Another Northern DZO was pushing to have "young skydivers" deploy static line students. His thinking is/was that it only would require training and observation skills to deploy static line and/or IAD students. I think that this one had met with considerable resistance on the BOD.

Martin

That was me but, no, not a DZO, just an C-E S/L I-E.
Lots of resistance, and unfortunately I was not able to attend the meeting and explain things.
For the first decades of this sport, "young jumpers" (100 jumps) could and did act as jumpmasters, safely putting out thousands of S/L students, but unlike today, were not allowed to do the training. That was ONLY done by an instructor.
I now realize that in this day and age, anything pertaining to S/L operations needs a lot of explaining, as most skydivers (and board members) have no experience with this aspect of skydive training.
I had a discussion a couple of years ago with my "then" regional director who was questioning me about AFF vs SL, as she knew I had both ratings. What she wanted to hear was that AFF was much more difficult for the instructor. What I tried to explain was that although AFF required more flying skills, S/L or IAD required better TEACHING skills. When I'm doing AFF, worst case I can always grab the student, get them stable and even deploy for them.
With S/L or IAD, if I haven't taught it well or right before the student leaves the plane, there's nothing more I can do to help them out.
Not a popular answer nowdays, but it's the truth.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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ksjumper

That is how we operate, coaches supervise students beyond their first hop n pop.

May be a little off topic but each month I notice what seems like hundreds of A licenses issued listed in Parachutist. It seems to me many of these people (especially from small iad /sl dropzones) don't make it to the 100 or 200 jump number in which they can earn a coach or instructor rating. USPA is always pushing for dzs to work on student retention but given the nearly 600 A licenses listed in this month's Parachutist, I think this past season student retention overall was a non issue. USPA needs to do research on why sub 200 jumpers quit the sport hence reducing the pool of people who can earn instructional ratings.

Perhaps research is a waste of time, basically other aspects of life: work, family, lack of money, competing activities, fear of an accident drives the exodus from the sport.



I don't think the number of new A license holders listed in Parachutist is a good barometer for your statement. First, I think the mag sometimes limits listings when necessary for space and then lists more new license holders in a month than actually got the license when they have space to catch up.

Second, you don't know what that 600 number represents relative to the number of people who started jumping and didn't graduate, so saying student retention isn't an issue seems to be made from a position of incomplete knowledge of the real stats.

The raw number of new A license holders doesn't tell the story. Whether we have 6, 60, 600, or 6,000 new A's in a month, the truth of success would be in stating the percentage of new starts vs new A holders.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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chuckakers

***That is how we operate, coaches supervise students beyond their first hop n pop.

May be a little off topic but each month I notice what seems like hundreds of A licenses issued listed in Parachutist. It seems to me many of these people (especially from small iad /sl dropzones) don't make it to the 100 or 200 jump number in which they can earn a coach or instructor rating. USPA is always pushing for dzs to work on student retention but given the nearly 600 A licenses listed in this month's Parachutist, I think this past season student retention overall was a non issue. USPA needs to do research on why sub 200 jumpers quit the sport hence reducing the pool of people who can earn instructional ratings.

Perhaps research is a waste of time, basically other aspects of life: work, family, lack of money, competing activities, fear of an accident drives the exodus from the sport.



I don't think the number of new A license holders listed in Parachutist is a good barometer for your statement. First, I think the mag sometimes limits listings when necessary for space and then lists more new license holders in a month than actually got the license when they have space to catch up.

Second, you don't know what that 600 number represents relative to the number of people who started jumping and didn't graduate, so saying student retention isn't an issue seems to be made from a position of incomplete knowledge of the real stats.

The raw number of new A license holders doesn't tell the story. Whether we have 6, 60, 600, or 6,000 new A's in a month, the truth of success would be in stating the percentage of new starts vs new A holders.

I agree that we could do a lot better retaining students. I also believe that there's room for improvement in retaining licensed skydivers in the sport. Since 1994 when I got my A license there have been well over 50,000 new A licensed skydivers.

As Gary pointed out, there are a whole lot of issues with retention that "we" can't do anything about, mostly external pressures. The "Sisters" program is geared to overcome some of the things that we can do to maintain female skydivers as students and as new A licensed jumpers.
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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ufk22

***
Another Northern DZO was pushing to have "young skydivers" deploy static line students. His thinking is/was that it only would require training and observation skills to deploy static line and/or IAD students. I think that this one had met with considerable resistance on the BOD.

Martin

That was me but, no, not a DZO, just an C-E S/L I-E.
Lots of resistance, and unfortunately I was not able to attend the meeting and explain things.
For the first decades of this sport, "young jumpers" (100 jumps) could and did act as jumpmasters, safely putting out thousands of S/L students, but unlike today, were not allowed to do the training. That was ONLY done by an instructor.
I now realize that in this day and age, anything pertaining to S/L operations needs a lot of explaining, as most skydivers (and board members) have no experience with this aspect of skydive training.
I had a discussion a couple of years ago with my "then" regional director who was questioning me about AFF vs SL, as she knew I had both ratings. What she wanted to hear was that AFF was much more difficult for the instructor. What I tried to explain was that although AFF required more flying skills, S/L or IAD required better TEACHING skills. When I'm doing AFF, worst case I can always grab the student, get them stable and even deploy for them.
With S/L or IAD, if I haven't taught it well or right before the student leaves the plane, there's nothing more I can do to help them out.
Not a popular answer nowdays, but it's the truth.

Bill,
I'm curious. Did you enter a Waiver request for a specific DZ for "hardship" or "research". It seems quite silly to think that you'd need to request a waiver for research purposes in order to demonstrate that the way it was done for the first 40 or so years is still safe and practical.
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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My understanding from the SIM is that coaches can supervise the in air portion of all skydives after the clear and pull, but an instructor must conduct the ground training until students are cleared for self supervision (I believe this is the language used in the SIM).

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sammielu

My understanding from the SIM is that coaches can supervise the in air portion of all skydives after the clear and pull, but an instructor must conduct the ground training until students are cleared for self supervision (I believe this is the language used in the SIM).



(5) All ground training must be conducted by an
instructor in that student’s training method,
until demonstrating stability and heading
control prior to and within five seconds after
initiating two intentional disorienting maneuvers
involving a back-to-earth presentation.

You're correct sammielu. Though when this rule was first changed, the Coaches were to be given instruction on a couple of things covered earlier in the progression, then they were to ground train as well, at least that's what I recall. That additional training was a condition required of me while operating under the waiver. In practicality, I'd guess that the vast majority of the ground training is also being conducted by the Coach.

I see it as ironic that Coaches have the authority to run an FJC, save the exit, but can't run the ground training for the jumps that they'll supervise. This rule has an "E" waiverability, I wonder if anyone has bothered to submit the paperwork. Gary Peek might know, and if not could sure find out.

Jen Sharp generally runs the Coach Courses for our people. I'd just bet that she would be willing to cover some of the earlier category stuff for the IAD/SL guys round these parts in her courses. Originally, the Coaches were to be given additional training once they'd completed their rating.

It would be nice for the rule to more aligned with practicality and reality in this instance.

Here's a thread regarding the waiver from 2006. I should have spent a little more time editing and spell checking, but typical of me.
http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2088205;search_string=coach%20waiver;#2088205

Martin
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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skydived19006

I see it as ironic that Coaches have the authority to [teach] an FJC, [except the method specific exit], but can't [teach] the ground training for the jumps that they'll supervise. This rule has an "E" waiverability, I wonder if anyone has bothered to submit the paperwork.



I don't recall if anyone has requested a waiver to this.

In general, if enough people contact the USPA Safety and Training committee about ironies, inconsistencies, and other issues with the way things are specified in the SIM, they might change it, or clarify it.

Of course all instruction that a Coach does is supposed to be under some kind of supervision of an Instructor, but that supervision varies a lot.

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peek

***I see it as ironic that Coaches have the authority to [teach] an FJC, [except the method specific exit], but can't [teach] the ground training for the jumps that they'll supervise. This rule has an "E" waiverability, I wonder if anyone has bothered to submit the paperwork.



I don't recall if anyone has requested a waiver to this.

In general, if enough people contact the USPA Safety and Training committee about ironies, inconsistencies, and other issues with the way things are specified in the SIM, they might change it, or clarify it.

Of course all instruction that a Coach does is supposed to be under some kind of supervision of an Instructor, but that supervision varies a lot.

This rule states specifically "All ground training must be conducted by an instructor in that student’s training method,..." I would think that changing "must be conducted by" to "must be conducted under the supervision of an instructor..." would be a realistic and workable solution. I do agree that the level of supervision varies a whole lot. In reality I'd guess that most of the supervision that Coaches get amounts to answering any questions the Coach may have. Otherwise, at least once he's proven to be competent, he's pretty much doing his thing with casual oversight.

How about one of these!?
"must be conducted under the casual supervision..."
"must be conducted under the perfunctory supervision..."
"must be conducted under the cursory supervision..."
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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skydived19006

This rule states specifically...



Perhaps we don't need that part of the BSR at all. Perhaps this alone takes care of it:

"1. General [E]
a. All student training programs must be conducted
under the direction and oversight of an appropriately
rated USPA Instructor until the student is
issued a USPA A license."

"direction and oversight" is a powerful phrase, and means a lot. It means the Instructor is going to tell them how to do it, and is going to check to make sure that it is done.

We may currently be relying too much on the historical interpretations of Instructor (teacher) and Jumpmaster (supervisor on jump), (which effectively is now a Coach).

All we really need to do is to insure that students are trained well, and that can be done in a wide variety of situations.

I hope we get comments from some other people.

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You guys make me want to chuck my gear in the truck this Summer and finish my Jumpmaster rating that I started in 1988. AFF may have taken hold in most places, but I still feel SL offers a better all-around program for students.

I'm glad to see people care about it enough to not only keep it around, but improve it.

Thanks!
top
Jump more, post less!

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topdocker

You guys make me want to chuck my gear in the truck this Summer and finish my Jumpmaster rating that I started in 1988. AFF may have taken hold in most places, but I still feel SL offers a better all-around program for students.

I'm glad to see people care about it enough to not only keep it around, but improve it.

Thanks!
top



Craig,
If you'd take a trip out here to Fly Over Land, you'd see that static line and IAD are alive and well!

My opinion is that these decisions, like most decisions, are driven by economics. I don't believe that it's economical or good use or resources to send up 182 loads with one student. As it's not economical to loiter a Twin Otter over the DZ for multiple passes 4 minutes apart putting out static line students.

On top of that, many small DZs would be very hard pressed to maintain enough AFF staff to make it workable.

In the meantime Top, you could just have one of your buddies hang onto your PC (IAD) as you leave the airplane just for the fun of it!
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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peek

***This rule states specifically...



Perhaps we don't need that part of the BSR at all. Perhaps this alone takes care of it:

"1. General [E]
a. All student training programs must be conducted
under the direction and oversight of an appropriately
rated USPA Instructor until the student is
issued a USPA A license."

"direction and oversight" is a powerful phrase, and means a lot. It means the Instructor is going to tell them how to do it, and is going to check to make sure that it is done.

We may currently be relying too much on the historical interpretations of Instructor (teacher) and Jumpmaster (supervisor on jump), (which effectively is now a Coach).

All we really need to do is to insure that students are trained well, and that can be done in a wide variety of situations.

I hope we get comments from some other people.

I'll take a little time tomorrow and send a proposal to the S&T committee for exactly that change Gary. Good idea!
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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skydived19006

******That is how we operate, coaches supervise students beyond their first hop n pop.

May be a little off topic but each month I notice what seems like hundreds of A licenses issued listed in Parachutist. It seems to me many of these people (especially from small iad /sl dropzones) don't make it to the 100 or 200 jump number in which they can earn a coach or instructor rating. USPA is always pushing for dzs to work on student retention but given the nearly 600 A licenses listed in this month's Parachutist, I think this past season student retention overall was a non issue. USPA needs to do research on why sub 200 jumpers quit the sport hence reducing the pool of people who can earn instructional ratings.

Perhaps research is a waste of time, basically other aspects of life: work, family, lack of money, competing activities, fear of an accident drives the exodus from the sport.



I don't think the number of new A license holders listed in Parachutist is a good barometer for your statement. First, I think the mag sometimes limits listings when necessary for space and then lists more new license holders in a month than actually got the license when they have space to catch up.

Second, you don't know what that 600 number represents relative to the number of people who started jumping and didn't graduate, so saying student retention isn't an issue seems to be made from a position of incomplete knowledge of the real stats.

The raw number of new A license holders doesn't tell the story. Whether we have 6, 60, 600, or 6,000 new A's in a month, the truth of success would be in stating the percentage of new starts vs new A holders.

I agree that we could do a lot better retaining students. I also believe that there's room for improvement in retaining licensed skydivers in the sport. Since 1994 when I got my A license there have been well over 50,000 new A licensed skydivers.

As Gary pointed out, there are a whole lot of issues with retention that "we" can't do anything about, mostly external pressures. The "Sisters" program is geared to overcome some of the things that we can do to maintain female skydivers as students and as new A licensed jumpers.

We're running a program at Skydive Spaceland that is doing great things in retention. We call it the "Transitions" program and it is available to any licensed jumpers from any DZ with 100 or fewer jumps.

Each weekend we offer our noobs mentors that they can jump with 1 on 1 or in small groups at no extra cost. The mentors are all coach rated or better and jump with a camera for more effective bebriefs. Also, one weekend each month we host a "Transitions" event, with mentored jumps focusing on a specific skill area like flying the hill, launching exits, tracking improvement, etc. These events are also offered at no extra charge. The DZ picks up the tab for the mentors jumps and the mentors volunteer their efforts.

The program has been a supreme success. Spaceland graduates an enormous amount of students and we saw too many folks fading away after graduation. The Transitions program has done a great job keeping the noobs engaged and excited about each visit to the DZ and the formal training is producing terrific skill improvement for them. These jumps are augmented with fun jumps with load organizers or with others to help the young folks feel like they are part of the experience jumper base.

I know many DZ's aren't able to offer slots for such a program, but there's also a fantastic retention method I've been using for years - our time. I have found that young jumpers have a million questions that they don't ask or maybe don't know to ask. I try to spend as much time with our young jumpers as I can, and host impromptu seminars on every topic imaginable. Just last weekend I missed jumping with the Mayor of Houston because I was tucked away in the snack bar discussing aircraft weight and balance and the role of the fun jumper in aircraft emergencies and didn't hear the calls. As it turned out I had more fun anyway.

By far the best retention method I've ever seen in skydiving is making people feel included and safe. We try to get and keep our newly licensed jumpers engaged and draw them into the social side of our community as quickly as possible after graduation. I have found that new jumpers are nervous about jumping in what they perceive as an unsupervised environment, and socially many of them feel intimidated interacting with the more experienced jumpers. We figure it's up to us to break that ice and help them get over the "noobie" hump.

When a guy with 5,000 jumps approaches a noob and invites them on a skydive it makes their day. They just don't realize it makes our day too.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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chuckakers



We're running a program at Skydive Spaceland that is doing great things in retention. We call it the "Transitions" program and it is available to any licensed jumpers from any DZ with 100 or fewer jumps.

Each weekend we offer our noobs mentors that they can jump with 1 on 1 or in small groups at no extra cost. The mentors are all coach rated or better and jump with a camera for more effective bebriefs. Also, one weekend each month we host a "Transitions" event, with mentored jumps focusing on a specific skill area like flying the hill, launching exits, tracking improvement, etc. These events are also offered at no extra charge. The DZ picks up the tab for the mentors jumps and the mentors volunteer their efforts.

The program has been a supreme success. Spaceland graduates an enormous amount of students and we saw too many folks fading away after graduation. The Transitions program has done a great job keeping the noobs engaged and excited about each visit to the DZ and the formal training is producing terrific skill improvement for them. These jumps are augmented with fun jumps with load organizers or with others to help the young folks feel like they are part of the experience jumper base.

I know many DZ's aren't able to offer slots for such a program, but there's also a fantastic retention method I've been using for years - our time. I have found that young jumpers have a million questions that they don't ask or maybe don't know to ask. I try to spend as much time with our young jumpers as I can, and host impromptu seminars on every topic imaginable. Just last weekend I missed jumping with the Mayor of Houston because I was tucked away in the snack bar discussing aircraft weight and balance and the role of the fun jumper in aircraft emergencies and didn't hear the calls. As it turned out I had more fun anyway.

By far the best retention method I've ever seen in skydiving is making people feel included and safe. We try to get and keep our newly licensed jumpers engaged and draw them into the social side of our community as quickly as possible after graduation. I have found that new jumpers are nervous about jumping in what they perceive as an unsupervised environment, and socially many of them feel intimidated interacting with the more experienced jumpers. We figure it's up to us to break that ice and help them get over the "noobie" hump.

When a guy with 5,000 jumps approaches a noob and invites them on a skydive it makes their day. They just don't realize it makes our day too.



That's awesome!
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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I'll take a little time tomorrow and send a proposal to the S&T committee for exactly that change Gary. Good idea!



Bump

I did write that Waiver Request, it was approved, and we didn't kill anyone, so successful in implementation!

To my knowledge, the USPA has not altered this BSR, so another Waiver will be requested for 2016.

I have a few folks attending a Coach Course at this very moment, so hopefully I can add a few more named individuals to the list this year!!

Martin
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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