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PhreeZone

New Tandem BSR's (March 2015)

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I agree & welcome the new addition to BSR's regarding tdm skydives.
My next question would be; how do I get a DZO/DZM to accept, I'm messing up my Hand-cam video? to there standards and attitude...because they don't give a f**k about safety first and will fire you!"
A list of these DZO/DZM is available upon request to the regulatory body.

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kaiser

I agree & welcome the new addition to BSR's regarding tdm skydives.
My next question would be; how do I get a DZO/DZM to accept, I'm messing up my Hand-cam video? to there standards and attitude...because they don't give a f**k about safety first and will fire you!"
A list of these DZO/DZM is available upon request to the regulatory body.



Don't work for those DZO's.

I am just a weekend warrior, but I am thankful that my local DZO's care about safety, and listen to the concerns of their instructors. If they weren't I wouldn't jump there as an instructor.

Your job is to do everything in your power to keep your customers safe. One of those responsibilities is standing down when someone else (DZO/other instructor/Pilot) is impacting the safety of you and your customers.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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Its been a while since I was in the saddle (though I'm trying to get back in this year), but during my Strong TI training, I was taught to check before boarding, after hookup, after drogue and again after canopy check.

One of the DZ TI mentors put the freefall check into perspective when he told me of a... VERY well endowed student who, upon his freefall checks, was covering both cutaway and reserve handle. He cleared the obstruction and proceeded. Had he needed to go straight for reserve, it would have cost him time/altitude.

Agreed, they should be done after opening, but I feel that the freefall checks right after dropping the drogue is also important.

As to those who work in unsafe/supportive environments... those DZ's will never change their ways if people keep working for them that way. I know standing for your principles can be hard (expensive), but the bottom line is that its your safety and your responsibility. If you can't keep it safe for you and your student, walk away.

Just my $.02 for what its worth,
JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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My Handle Checks are on all my hand-cam vdeo.. Funny, my landing footage looks just like the area BEHIND Us right before we land.. I don't get the student's face back on camera until the flare.. I just let them know I Fly/Land FIRST and take video Second...:D

Once the plane takes off, you're gonna have to land - Might as well jump out!!

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I will say that a handles check after deployment is more important that freefall. My first tandem cutaway it took some searching before I found that thing - I was starting to get dizzy, for sure!
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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TomNoonan

Quote

Now, back to the topic at hand. What's the base reasoning behind the freefall handle checks? Nobody has yet to tread those waters. And is "Because the manufacturers require it." Then, what's the base reasoning to why the manufacturers require a freefall handle check?

It seems like it should be such a simple question to answer, there seems to be no debate that we should be doing these "system handle checks". Are we all simply lemmings, or is there a real honest modern gear reason????



The answer Martin is because instructors involved in tandem free fall incidents are still saying: "I couldn't find the handle" as the root cause of their incidents.

Despite your claim that floating handles are a thing of the past, there continues to be a number or low pulls, AAD activations, and two-out tandem incidents where the tandem instructor either could not find their main handle, even after thousands of tandems, or worse, could not find their reserve handle, even after thousands of jumps. It still happens, more often then you think.

As for HandCams, that adds an even greater risk, as multiple times we have heard: I could see the handle, but I couldn't get my hand in there with the hand cam.

So despite your (accurate assessment) that post deployment handles checks are also important and instructors should be doing that too, the free fall handles checks remain a high speed critical step in the process so that at the bottom end of your tandem jump, where every second counts, your not fumbling around looking for a main handle (some model tandems they can still dislodge) or struggling to either find or pull your reserve handle because you have never reached back in free fall to see if you could touch it.

I have been told that there are actually drop zones out there that tell their instructors to actually NOT do handles checks with hand cam video, because it messes up the video. This BSR will ensure that there is a mechanism of consequence now for ignoring such a critical safety check.

Ted Strong once told me (paraphrased) regarding Tandem SOPs: "When your asked to do something procedurally that you don't necessarily understand, it's because it's not for a reason you can think of, its for a reason you haven't thought of yet, but for a reason someone else already learned from."



I'm going to sit with Tom on this one, for sure. I've vehemently pushed handle checks at my current DZ for years for several reasons. The main one is that it is extremely important to make sure that your handles are where they should be (and that YOU know where they are) during droguefall. They are in a different spot than they are while on the ground, and a different spot than they are while under canopy. Should there be a mis-rigged drogue attachment (that presumably wasn't caught on the preflight inspection) or other high-speed issue, the last thing you want to do is spend precious time fumbling for the appropriate handles. That goes for the secondary drogue release as well. Most instructors use the same primary handle (either the instructor or student release) for every jump. If you go hundreds or thousands of jumps pulling the same handle each time, then are forced to go for the second due to an issue.. that muscle memory counts and can save valuable time. You may "know" where they are.. but how quickly can you seamlessly snap to the secondary release when a student with an oversized t-shirt or hoodie has their attire cover your primary release?

It should be fluid, and automatic. The only way to ensure that is making sure that the muscle memory is there. And the only way to do THAT, is through handle checks. There are examiners out there who will pull ratings if they see videos of instructors sans handle checks. While I feel this is a bit extreme for a single infraction, the addition of a BSR gives a clear focus that both the USPA and manufacturers take this issue seriously. There is really no case to be made AGAINST them... and since it can only increase safety, I can't see why any current instructor wouldn't want to do them.
Tan-I, AFF-I, S&TA, Freefall Photographer, Skydive University Coach

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luckysideburns



I'm going to sit with Tom on this one, for sure. I've vehemently pushed handle checks at my current DZ for years for several reasons. The main one is that it is extremely important to make sure that your handles are where they should be (and that YOU know where they are) during droguefall. They are in a different spot than they are while on the ground, and a different spot than they are while under canopy. Should there be a mis-rigged drogue attachment (that presumably wasn't caught on the preflight inspection) or other high-speed issue, the last thing you want to do is spend precious time fumbling for the appropriate handles. That goes for the secondary drogue release as well. Most instructors use the same primary handle (either the instructor or student release) for every jump. If you go hundreds or thousands of jumps pulling the same handle each time, then are forced to go for the second due to an issue.. that muscle memory counts and can save valuable time. You may "know" where they are.. but how quickly can you seamlessly snap to the secondary release when a student with an oversized t-shirt or hoodie has their attire cover your primary release?

It should be fluid, and automatic. The only way to ensure that is making sure that the muscle memory is there. And the only way to do THAT, is through handle checks. There are examiners out there who will pull ratings if they see videos of instructors sans handle checks. While I feel this is a bit extreme for a single infraction, the addition of a BSR gives a clear focus that both the USPA and manufacturers take this issue seriously. There is really no case to be made AGAINST them... and since it can only increase safety, I can't see why any current instructor wouldn't want to do them.



I won't argue your logic. But it does beg to reason that a handle check after deployment is at a minimum as important as the freefall check. So now please explain to me why no manufacturer, nor USPA has ever required a handle check once under a main canopy? "There is really no case to be made AGAINST them... and since it can only increase safety, I can't see why any current instructor wouldn't want to do them." Not to imply that you would argue against these additional checks, or that you even do them on every tandem.

I do a drogue check within the last second of leaving the airplane. Why not mandate that check as well. We should all be doing a handle check in the airplane immediately after connecting the student, that one should be mandated as well. "There is really no case to be made AGAINST them... and since it can only increase safety, I can't see why any current instructor wouldn't want to do them."

I've witnessed instructors pick up a tandem rig and throw it on without a gear check. I personally believe that it should be a requirement that we do a gear check, handles, three ring/closing loop, etc. This too should be mandated in the BSRs. "There is really no case to be made AGAINST them... and since it can only increase safety, I can't see why any current instructor wouldn't want to do them."

I'll admit to being a bit of a Devils Advocate/Troll/Asshole if you will, but the logic does follow.

Have a nice day.
Martin
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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I won't argue your logic. But it does beg to reason that a handle check after deployment is at a minimum as important as the freefall check.



I do not disagree with you either Martin. Tandem instructors should be doing this on every jump as part of their post deployment canopy check. To date however, there is not (statistically) a recurrence of tandem instructors failing to break away from malfunctions because they can't find their handles after opening.

And as far as I am aware, every manufacturer trains (requires) a post canopy deployment inspection.

Handles check before exiting are also required by the manufacturers. Again, statistically, we don't have the reports showing this post exit drogue setting incidents are a recurrent incident these days.

That all may be for not, that we are simply not getting the info from the field.

Instructors that put on rigs without a gear check should be grounded, period. You say you witness it. I (thankfully) haven't. If its out there, let me know who and where and I'll get on it.

I agree with you 100% on your statements of all the things that should be BSRs. I pursued the most recurring/relevant from my data and requested a BSR change.

If you think that these other items are of equal importance, and they very well are I would say, why don't you take the time you take here on the forums to write a BSR proposal and send it to the S&T committee.

safetytrainingcommittee@uspa.org

And then contact your RD and ask him to advocate on your behalf with the same commitment to safety that I did this time around. If you really care about the safety of the tandem universe, thats your next move. If your just as you said:
Quote

being a bit of a Devils Advocate/Troll/Asshole if you will

Then leave it all here in the forum and watch it go nowhere.
Namaste,
Tom Noonan

www.everest-skydive.com

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TomNoonan

And then contact your RD and ask him to advocate on your behalf with the same commitment to safety that I did this time around.



Tom, although I'm sure you did not mean to imply that we have different "commitments to safety", someone might take that away from what you said. I have a significant history with safety and training issues. I have dealt with local safety issues that "other people" do not even know about.

Quote

Then leave it all here in the forum and watch it go nowhere.



I am puzzled. Why would you be a dropzone.com Moderator unless you thought that dropzone.com forums were a good place to discuss safety? I learn a lot here.

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Hi Gary,

Didn't know you were Martin's RD. I was giving him a generic process. If he wanted to see a change in the BSRs, submitting his proposal to the S&T committee and then asking his RD to advocate for it would be the linear process unless he wanted to go to the meeting himself.

As for it "going no where", my point is Martin, or anyone can say something should change in here, but unless it goes to USPA for discussion and vote, nothing proactive will happen. My point was simply if he wanted something he believed in to get beyond the discussion stage and into the implementation stage, it needed to be sent to the USPA S&T committee for a vote and not just debated in here. If it stays in here, his ideas will not become a BSR.
Namaste,
Tom Noonan

www.everest-skydive.com

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Tom,

The likelihood of me pursuing a new BSR are remote. I do understand the process, have moved through a couple of [FB] waivers, one of which was written into the SIM as a permanent change.

I witnessed an instructor turning back to back Otter loads at a boogie some time ago, can't even remember which guy it was. Someone was meeting him with a rig and geared student. If ever I witness that again, I'll take it upon myself to approach the instructor for a chat regarding manufacturer expectations. I'll also relate my understanding that this gear check is mandatory with the manufacturer/USPA potentially grounding the TI, etc. As I understand, that's the extent of my authority, but if that conversation is not taken to heart, I'll not hesitate to pass the information up the food chain.

I check the drogue immediately before exit to see that the handle is available but more so to see that it hasn't been dislodged and is fully set in the BOC. I've seen a drogue "self deploy", not ideal at all.

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

AC DZ

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