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Amyr

What is required to jump a tandem rig solo.

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I am nearing the 500 mark, and i have entertained the idea of attempting to get a tandem rating. . ( actually obsessed about it for 4 years since my first tandem) I am not a large female nor am I tiny, and have handled the tandem rigs some (packing them and hanging them on the shelf. They certainty are not light. > I would like to see if this is something even possible before I go and spend the money on a course. I have gotten my class 3 pilots physical, and trained and learned to pack a tandem rig How many jumps are required to just jump a tandem rig solo. Rent the gear and jump it without a passenger attached.

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Part of the 5 jump factory tandem rating is jumping the tandem rig solo.. What I am asking, is it possible to jump a tandem rig before the course. Just rent a rig at any DZ? I am not trying to make a big announcement about my attempts at a rating, I would prefer to go and do it in another state at a ratings school, and therefore I am asking anonymously through this very fine sight called DZ. COM for information, at what I could do before the course.

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No idea if a DZ will consider renting you a tandem but you should be aware that the malfunction tree as well as the number and location of handles are very different to that on a sport rig and indeed differ from model to model. You probably don't want to just throw a tandem rig on and go make a skydive without full ground tuition.

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chemist

you'll need to at least attach a keg of beer in place of a human.

You can't jump a tandem rig solo



Have you been drinking a leg of beer and posting? Shouldn't do that solo.

Thank you for the wrong input lol!


Amyr, why are you trying to be clandestine? Part of the hurdle of being an instructor is having a dropzone that wants you on board. Before I invested the $$$ I would want to know that my home DZ has the need so I can use the rating. Granted you can travel, but unless you intend on doing this fulltime it helps if your regular dz is going to give you jumps.

Just do the course, you will get stronger and more efficient each jump.

You may convince yourself that you can't hack it when the reality is that your course director can get you up to speed.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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Thank you for your reply, Doug .. Basically the need for secrecy is, it all boils down to fear of failure. Deep down, and I don't know if this comes off as egotistical or not is. I think I am good enough, I think I am strong enough, I think I am smart enough, and although not exactly young I don't think 43 years old is out of the realm of making this possible. BUT I have been packing those tandems, and I can't help but wonder Is this tougher than I think it is, and what if..maybe I am not good enough. I rather fail and find out at a far away place and never mention it to anyone at the dz than quit and fail in front of them. So I want to jump at least once with that rig on my back to feel it to experience it.. Somewhere anywhere but there and then go through with getting my rating for me . And Andy my avatar believe it or not is my twin not me so they will never know my true identity.

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SO I want to jump a tandem rig, I understand the handles are different, I understand i need to be briefed before i can do this and i understand tandem ratings cost a lot of money to get. So in order to save myself from making a error in finances, and i know it will be different with a passenger than without. I want to jump a tandem rig and will a dz allow this before I hit the 500 jump mark, or even after i hit 500 jumps ?? I am willing to pay for the extra time from a tandem instructor to do this. . I am 29 jumps away from my 500.

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Amyr

Part of the 5 jump factory tandem rating is jumping the tandem rig solo.. What I am asking, is it possible to jump a tandem rig before the course. Just rent a rig at any DZ?



I highly doubt that, given the very different nature of the beast. As others have mentioned, the malfunction and EP tree is vastly different to a sports rig, and a major part of the course is preparing you for that difference. I don't believe any DZ would take the risk of letting you jump unprepared, and I don't believe any manufacturer would even let them have the option of taking such a risk either. It would be a bit like saying "I don't want to take a first jump course, just give me a rig and tell me what to do and I'll try jumping to see if I want to commit to a full course". Making sure you can handle everything the rig can throw at you essentially would be the course.

However, I don't think "I think I have what it takes but I can never be sure without trying" is a sign of failure, quite the opposite. Raising your doubts with a trusted TI or TE would only show that you're serious about the responsibility. I can't imagine any TI or TE worth learning from would ever mock that or disclose the fact to anyone else if you wanted to keep it private, so the best course of action I can see is find a TI you trust (you've packed tandems, so obviously you will know some), and talk with them. Consider also APF's tandem manual, which has a lot of general tips to prepare you for being a TI outside of the purely technical aspects, including confidence and self-esteem management, gender disparity and more. It's an interesting read even without enrolling in a course.
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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I don't want to take a first jump course, just give me a rig and tell me what to do and I'll try jumping to see if I want to commit to a full course"

>> Mathrick you hit the nail on the head basically and simply with your answer to my question. Thank you for your reply. I was hoping it would be that simple .Learn to jump rig (without anyone in the harness) Jump rig without anyone in the harness.. Like it or not than decide to take course ... Before I committed to a course.

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I'm no tandem IE or course conductor, so I don't know for sure, but the impression I have always gotten is that you have to do the tandem course to jump a tandem rig. You might not need to finish the course, but you'd have to be in a course and under the proper supervision to at least get to the point of a solo jump with tandem equipment.

It's probably because the tandem companies are anal and fearful and make owners sign agreements about how to use the rigs and enforce standards of ratings. Normally that wouldn't matter with some other equipment -- PD can't stop you from jumping a Velo 79 with 100 jumps, and one can often ignore bullshit fine print in sales contracts. But since there's so much money involved in tandems, it might be tough to get around. A DZ owning rigs doesn't want their authority to conduct tandems pulled because they didn't follow the rules.

It is curious because technically one could separate tandem commercial operations from tandem rigs being used just for fun, so the stricter rules applying to one shouldn't necessarily apply to the other.

I've seen (and benefited from) a DZ renting out their tandem gear on a very limited basis to experienced instructors for fun / silly / stunt stuff by licensed jumpers that totally contravene all those silly tandem rules, but there's no way they would have handed over the gear to a non-tandem-instructor.

(Tandem rigs converted to have regular handles and operate more conventionally as big boy rigs have been used by non-tandem-instructors. Not sure of manufacturers' involvement in that. Also, no cutaway is required to get the tandem rating for UPT rigs. That's just been a Strong thing.)

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Hi Amyr

I'm not sure which tandem system you are considering earning a rating on, but if it's Vector or Sigma, then the answer is unfortunately, no, you cannot jump a tandem rig solo unless your attending and participating in a course. To attend the course, you would need to achieve the 3 years in sport, 500 jumps, 50 jumps within the last year (currency) and have a valid Class III medical.

Hope that helps clarify things. I can't speak for other manufacturers, but I would suggest contacting them directly if you have any questions, I know most of them and they are happy to answer these types of questions.

Also, connect with Jen Sharp at Skydive Kansas, she runs a program called Female Skydiving Instructors and can probably answer your questions better than anyone as she is both a TI and a TE.
Namaste,
Tom Noonan

www.everest-skydive.com

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Thanks pchaman and Tom, It is Sigma rating. that I plan to pursue when I meet the last requirement, which is 29 more jumps. Although walking in the door with 501 jumps to me is a bit scary. I have went ahead and obtained my medical, coaches rating, am current Have 4 years in the sport and have my freefall time. I was hoping, and at the same time trying not to appear totally naive that there was a rental program like with sports rigs that would allow one to "try a tandem rig out". I can see with the mountain of legal issues (now) why that wouldn't be something so simple and easy to do.. Wish I was closer to Texas and your DZ Tom, I have strongly considered going to Kansas (i have family there, I can stay with while taking the course) and taking the amazing Jen Sharps course. Also living on the East coast and with the never predictable weather and the possibility i may need more than one trip to complete the course am considering Florida and Sky Dive Ratings course. THANK YOU GUYS appreciate the help.

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Hi Amyr, I'm a 35yo female waiting to hit the 3 year mark (3 more days) to take my TI course with some of the same fears. One thing I did that has helped a lot was going on a tandem with a trusted instructor who knew I was pursuing my rating and had questions. It was hands-on training from a very experienced TI, without the pressure of a course. I mostly wanted to work on canopy skills and flaring, so we did.

I'm still not sure if I want to be a tandem instructor, but I'm not going to let fear stop me from giving it a go and you shouldn't either. If we were closer, I'd say we should go have a beer and chat!!

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You would learn very little by doing this. It is part of the course, I suppose mostly for familiarization with the handle location. But other than that it won't tell you anything about how suited you are to being a TI.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Amyr

what I could do before the course



Amyr, I am not a TE. But, have been on the front more than once.. And - not to say that I suck, but had to make three trips to the examiners DZ before I finished.. Trip 1) Injured during course, 2) came back "cold" and made some serious mistakes, and 3) came back with some new practiced skills and positive attitude..

Now, I'm about 2,100 tandems later and LOVE to take students up on their First Skydive!!!

So, I'm going to add a couple things with my thoughts of "what" you could do before..

#1 - Want To Work with students. This is not for glory, getting thrown up on is not glamorous. Truly Want To introduce people to our sport

#2 - Be willing to make mistakes and Learn. We all make plenty, no reason to quit or feel like you "can't" do it because you did not know before. But you have to be able to learn as you go.

#3 - Spend a chunk of your next 29 jumps practicing with your legs. Not just Leg turns; but exit and put your hands on the back of your helmet (until pull time or to check alti - Wear a chest mount). This was one of my mistakes that Your Legs are a HUGE part of controlling the tandem jump. Left and right as you are doing practice touches on all 5 handles (simulated).. You are just like a dancing monkey up there with a passenger hooked on front ;)

I'm pretty sure you can't make a jump on a tandem rig by yourself without going through all the tandem ground course (learning all the new EP's) and passing the written before you can jump the rig solo. But, as others mentioned. Ask some tandem master you trust for help. Go as a passenger and - Wear the rig around for a while before you go, practice throwing the drogue off the student horizontal trainer. Then get geared up as a student and go on the skydive and you pull the drogue release. Fly from the front with your friend coaching you through the canopy flight. Flare and land with him - it is a Lot different look than any personal canopy..

Ok, I talk too much. But, I did want to add my thoughts for you to add into your decision..

Blue Skies.

Feel free to IM with questions or comments...

BTW, having a Tandem Rating and taking my son on his first skydive was F-ing GREAT!!!

Tom

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

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Amyr

Thanks pchaman and Tom, It is Sigma rating. that I plan to pursue when I meet the last requirement, which is 29 more jumps. Although walking in the door with 501 jumps to me is a bit scary. I have went ahead and obtained my medical, coaches rating, am current Have 4 years in the sport and have my freefall time. I was hoping, and at the same time trying not to appear totally naive that there was a rental program like with sports rigs that would allow one to "try a tandem rig out". I can see with the mountain of legal issues (now) why that wouldn't be something so simple and easy to do.. Wish I was closer to Texas and your DZ Tom, I have strongly considered going to Kansas (i have family there, I can stay with while taking the course) and taking the amazing Jen Sharps course. Also living on the East coast and with the never predictable weather and the possibility i may need more than one trip to complete the course am considering Florida and Sky Dive Ratings course. THANK YOU GUYS appreciate the help.



Two thoughts for you;
A-you've indirectly met Tom Noonan; he's about as top-dog in tandem training as there is in this world. If you're considering Florida, find Tom. Failing that, find Jen.

B-the finest tandem instructor I've ever met is 5'3" and 125 lbs. She takes the big guys and ladies, and can pound out 14 jumps in a day with a big grin on her face while making everyone that she takes, like they're part of the best skydive she's ever had.

Have fun!

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I have heard enough about Tom although never met him. ( thought he was in Texas) to know he has a top notch reputation. Thank you glad to get this corrected. And the tiny lady Jen in Kansas. And Teb thank you for sharing your story. I needed to hear from someone who wasn't a stellar student and fly through everything perfectly the first time but kept with it and pursued their rating. I can relate to that with AFF and getting my A license at jump 69 taking 10 canopy courses to perfect my landing but never missing a weekend in between jumps. Thank you all again

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Amyr

How many jumps are required to just jump a tandem rig solo. Rent the gear and jump it without a passenger attached.

I'm saying you can do that anytime you want. There have been extremely large people make their first jump on a tandem rig set up with a static line.

I do recommend weight training, esp. for upper body strength. I've known many female tandem masters. They were all very competent, but one or two had trouble flaring. Work on those lat pull downs. :)

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You still need to go through the course to understand the decision tree on how to deal with the drogue and the unique factors of the tandem rig - even if you are jumping it solo. The first few jumps of the course are solo with out anyone on you anyways. On a typical rig you do not have to deal with a drogue and in most cases when a big boy is using a tandem rig its been modified to remove the drogue releases so that their act of pitching a drogue is the same as a pilot chute and it directly opens the main. With a tandem rig that has not been converted you now get to add in things like the collapsed drogue issue, out of sequence deployments, the order of pulling the handles (2 drogue release) cutaway, reserve, Crystal Ball (if equipped) and a few other issues.

Couple that with needing to learn about the trap door effect if its a Vector/Sigma, how/when to set the drogue, pin checks, RSL disconnecting, etc there is a lot of training needed prior to jumping a tandem rig.

You can't expect to just walk to the DZ pull one off the wall and start jumping it.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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