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NorrinRadd

Tandem in progression

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Yesterday I finally did my second jump after a year hiatus (due to a back injury). The DZ I went to, where I intend to do my whole progression, has us do three tandems, one ground class, one jump with two instructors, 6 jumps with one instructor, and a 'graduation' jump.
Unlike the first tandem, where I was essentially a joy-seeking passenger, this time they had me work and learn.
I was given my own altimeter, to learn altitude awareness. After exit/arch, I did two 360 turns, 5 seconds of delta (slow with the drogue). At 6k, I did a wave off and opened the chute (he has his own handle, of course, as back up). He had me check the canopy, to make sure it was a good opening, then taught me how to locate the DZ, pick my approach, learn to locate an emergency landing spot in case one day I can't make it all the way to the DZ (dark green field here means corn, so... bad), eke out a bit of distance if needed, do flat turns, judge speed and distance. He had me check the windsock, taught me the upwind, cross wind and down wind legs, and how to land. All in all it was very fun, though I was focusing on learning and doing so much I didn't get a lot of chance to enjoy the scenery. Which I am fine with... I will have plenty of opportunity to do that once I know what the heck I am doing!

My question is: is this sort of thing relatively common with other DZ's?
Why drive myself crazy trying to be normal, when I am already at crazy?

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DcloudZ

Hey! You there! Wait a minute, before you start your solo progression which gives us relatively low profit, please complete 3 tandems:)


lol I had that feeling too. But I still had fun, and the reduced number of jumps with 2 instructors takes up the cost.
Why drive myself crazy trying to be normal, when I am already at crazy?

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At our dropzone, after you've done a tandem and decided you want to jump solo you do the following:

4 hour theory course
20 minutes training in a wind tunnel
1x Jump with 2 instructors
4x Jumps with 1 instructor
3x Solo jumps
1x 5,000 foot jump
1x Exam jump with 1 instructor

All for ~1,600 CAD + tax

:)
"Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way." -Alan Watts

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My question is: is this sort of thing relatively common with other DZ's?



Yes, tandem progression is a relatively common way to instruct. Not all tandem progressions are structured like yours, but they do exist at many DZs.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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DcloudZ

Hey! You there! Wait a minute, before you start your solo progression which gives us relatively low profit, please complete 3 tandems:)



Before you look down your nose at a DZ's method, you might want to get some experience as an instructor. I have taught virtually every freefall progression out there, and been a wind tunnel instructor, and there in no doubt that a tandem progression is safer for the DZ, instructor, and student, than a traditional AFF.

Many DZ's that use one discount heavily the second/third tandems.
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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Many DZ's that use one discount heavily the second/third tandems.


Yep. That is definitely the case for my DZ. I am almost at half price for my final tandem. And the tandems here are the second least expensive in the province.
Why drive myself crazy trying to be normal, when I am already at crazy?

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DcloudZ


4 hour theory course
20 minutes training in a wind tunnel
1x Jump with 2 instructors
4x Jumps with 1 instructor
3x Solo jumps
1x 5,000 foot jump
1x Exam jump with 1 instructor



Yes, well, you're lucky.
Not all DZ's have a tunnel nearby that's part owned by the owners of the local DZ.

The PFF program can be reduced from 1 pre-PFF jump plus 7 PFF's, down to just 5 PFF's (and fewer with 2 instructors) when 20 minutes of tunnel are included at the start.

Conveniently, what's done at your DZ neatly matches what's in the new PFF manual. Probably because the guy who wrote the manual is also a chief instructor & owner at a DZ in your area, perhaps at your DZ....

Most jumpers have to do that 1 pre-PFF jump (tandem, IAD, SL) before being allowed to take the 7 jump PFF program. To skip the pre-PFF jump one can get a waiver from the CSPA. Probably not hard to get, but it shows that first jump PFF is not considered standard, unlike I think first jump AFF in the US.

From what you say, it sounds like your DZ, even with its very good PFF program, still likes to see one tandem added on to the minimum number of jumps required.

Tandem progression is also seen around at some DZs, with a number of working tandems before 1:1 PFF jumps. It requires a well organized system at the DZ. (i.e., not what I've sometimes seen, where the instructor is told while he's gearing up to catch the load, "by the way, your student is on level 3".)

So don't look down on other systems just because you happen to be lucky to be at a very large DZ, with very professional owners, in a type of market that allows for a lot of tandems to help finance the DZ.

[Edit: again, I'm making some assumptions about where you might jump as you don't specify exactly in your profile. There are other Montreal area DZ's too.]

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I don't look down upon other methods, my first post was pointing out the possibility of ulterior motives.

And my second was to inform the OP of how we do things at our DZ to give him an idea of other possible progression programs!

Furthermore, I have never been to the DZ in which you think that I jump at nor will I ever go there:P

I indicated in my profile that I jump at Adrenaline St-Jerome :)

All your points are valid though:)
"Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way." -Alan Watts

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