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Skwrl

USPA consdering proposal re: camera use?

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The board is remarkably quiet about item #8 on the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the Safety and Training Committee of the USPA Board of Directors:

"8. Camera jump recommendations: USPA currently recommends at least 200 jumps before using any video camera on a skydive. USPA has received requests to look at lowering the jump number, as well as keep the number at 200 but actually make the recommendation for 200 jumps a Basic Safety Requirement, instead."

See full agenda here: http://www.uspa.org/Portals/0/Downloads/Agenda_ST_2012_02.pdf
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If I was on the BOD I would vote for it to be a BSR for all formats of Photography and videoagraphy.

The trends are showing a recommendation is not working. The trends show too many think they are with "madd skillz" and can handle it. I have put a few "madd skillz" holders on stretchers, which negated their argument.

Caveat- I have not flown camera actively in 9 years.
But have been flown into by many "madd skillz" camera owners in the last nine years.

Matt
An Instructors first concern is student safety.
So, start being safe, first!!!

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What is there to say about it? Res ipsa loquitur, no?

The small format incidents thread (I'm sadly behind on that one) is pretty solid evidence that the recommendation isn't working.

BSR seems strong but at the same time, the small cameras are proving to be problematic.

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I was more concerned about the "USPA received requests to LOWER the number" as being a problem.



What do you want to bet this in response to the gap between the requirements for a Coach rating and the reccomendation for camera flying? If you can be a coach with 100 jumps, but are not supposed to jump a camera until you have 200, there are a bunch of coaches out there who aren't able to video the jumps they do.

Many DZs like to offer POV video on coach dives, and the GoPros have made it fairly inexpensive, but then you have the problem of coaches who lack the experience to meet the USPA reccomendation. If I am correct, the worst part about it is that DZOs are lobbying to have the reccomedation reduced for the purpose of putting jumpers with less than 200 jumps in the sly with unlicensed jumpers while wearing a camera.

As if the idea that a jumper with 100 jumps should be coaching anyone isn't bad enough, now they want them to fly video too.

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I was more concerned about the "USPA received requests to LOWER the number" as being a problem.



What do you want to bet this in response to the gap between the requirements for a Coach rating and the reccomendation for camera flying? If you can be a coach with 100 jumps, but are not supposed to jump a camera until you have 200, there are a bunch of coaches out there who aren't able to video the jumps they do.

Many DZs like to offer POV video on coach dives, and the GoPros have made it fairly inexpensive, but then you have the problem of coaches who lack the experience to meet the USPA reccomendation. If I am correct, the worst part about it is that DZOs are lobbying to have the reccomedation reduced for the purpose of putting jumpers with less than 200 jumps in the sly with unlicensed jumpers while wearing a camera.

As if the idea that a jumper with 100 jumps should be coaching anyone isn't bad enough, now they want them to fly video too.



What would your answer to the problem be, Dave?

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I was more concerned about the "USPA received requests to LOWER the number" as being a problem.



What do you want to bet this in response to the gap between the requirements for a Coach rating and the reccomendation for camera flying? If you can be a coach with 100 jumps, but are not supposed to jump a camera until you have 200, there are a bunch of coaches out there who aren't able to video the jumps they do.

Many DZs like to offer POV video on coach dives, and the GoPros have made it fairly inexpensive, but then you have the problem of coaches who lack the experience to meet the USPA reccomendation. If I am correct, the worst part about it is that DZOs are lobbying to have the reccomedation reduced for the purpose of putting jumpers with less than 200 jumps in the sly with unlicensed jumpers while wearing a camera.

As if the idea that a jumper with 100 jumps should be coaching anyone isn't bad enough, now they want them to fly video too.



What would your answer to the problem be, Dave?



I know I'm not Dave, however how about hiring a *real* cameraflyer to do outside video. :S

Much better view as well . . . :P

Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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to raise it for coach jumps!
how many jumpers have really developed enough awareness at 100 jumps to handle three separate tasks (keeping themselves safe and in the proper position, keeping track of what the student is doing and operating a camera)? at 200 jumps? at 500?
my opinion is the recommendation should be at jump number where 70% of the jumpers have probably developed the awareness necessary to handle all three tasks simultaneously.

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I'm on the other side of that conversation.
Keep coaching requirements at 100 jumps, but prevent them from wearing cameras, and using outside video.

If we push coaching to 200 jumps, we lose some of the enthusiasm, and a big part of the coaching program/process is to instill safe practices while jumpers are 'young.'
At 200 jumps, they're also going to be off doing other things.
Yet, if they're flying with Cat G/H students for say...30 or more jumps during their initial tenure as coaches, then they do learn a lot more about flying their body, stable flying, and safe practices. Someone who has been truly following the program *should* be ready for a camera by 200 jumps.

Holding the coach requirement up to 200 jumps is (by far) a better idea in theory, but in practice, I think it'll hurt more than it would help.

Therefore, I'm more in support of precluding cameras from being on coaches with sub-200 jumps, and encouraging outside video.

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Holding the coach requirement up to 200 jumps is (by far) a better idea in theory, but in practice, I think it'll hurt more than it would help



I disagree. Even if you make the coach rating requirement 200 jumps, that's still less then half the jumps needed for the next closest rating, that being 500 jumps for a tandem rating. An AFF rating is even further down the road.

The idea is that anyone looking to get into instruction of any sort have to realize that this is a long term goal, and they should also realize the benefit of experience to an instructor. Thinking that if you can't hook a jumper into the 'fold' at 100 jumps you've missed the mark just doesn't make sense. Anyone serious about the sport and about instruction in the sport has to accept that 100 jumps is a drop in the bucket, and not a 'deal breaker'.

My solution? OK, the ground portion of the coach course can be completed with 100 jumps, and that clears the coach to teach (or assist) the FJC, do reviews with returning students, and help in gearing up students, but no jumping. Those coaches then take an air skills course/test once they have 200 jumps, and they are cleared for the 'normal' privledges of a coach. Jumpers content to wait for 200 jumps can take the existing course as-is, and be immediately cleared to full coach privledges.

Guess what, you'll see a SHARP decline in the number of sub-200 jump coach course candidates. I'll come right out and say it, at least half of the coach course candidates care more about the money (or free jumps) and the prestige of being an 'instrucotr', then they care about actual instruction. Take away the idea of being paid to jump, and being able to walk out to the plane with 'their own' student, and you'll see who's really in it to 'teach', and who's not.

In reality, because the USPA is never going to go back and admit they were wrong, is to simply make coaches with under 200 jumps fly without video. Beyond that, it wouldn't be a bad idea to require, say, 20 jumps with a camera and licensed jumpers before using one on a coach jump. Up to that point, the DZ either needs to accpet that those coaches cannot provide video, pay or outside video, or simply use a more qualified coach.

Isn't this discussion a little absurd anyway? We all seem to agree that 200 jumps is a good benchmark for jumping with a camera, but somehow it's OK for a guy with half that experience to jump with an unlicensed jumper? Let's keep in mind that while you and I may know the limits of the coaches responsibilites and abilities, most students to not. There is no time, that I am aware of, when a student switches to working with coaches that it's explained to them the differences between coaches and instructors, and what they can expect (and not expect) when jumping with a coach. They see coaches as instructors, and have the same expectations from them as they had from their instructors. They expect them to the 'experts', when in reality the coach is far from that.

I'm just not sure how a guy we won't trust with a camera is the same guy we trust with a student with 9 jumps to their name.

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I disagree. Even if you make the coach rating requirement 200 jumps, that's still less then half the jumps needed for the next closest rating, that being 500 jumps for a tandem rating. An AFF rating is even further down the road.



This is not so. There are many, many AFFI candidates with fewer than 500 skydives. :S

We're in agreement in theory. USPA isn't likely going to back off the 100 jump requirement. If every coach candidate were trained to the Skydive University standard (as they're supposed to be), then we don't have a problem with the coach being a 100 jump coach, IMO. I don't believe it's bad to raise the requirement to 200, but I don't believe it'll happen. Therefore, the next-best thing is what I suppose I'm looking for.

I don't accept that the problem is related to being paid to jump. On the greater whole, I'd wager *most* coaches aren't paid, not even their slot. Larger DZ's don't use low-number coaches for jumps; they are used to train up tandems, assist with FJC's, and that's about it. For the most part, I feel this conversation is semantic, as we're not seeing COACHES have camera/student problems. It's a theoretical thing more than an actual thing. But we are seeing problems with small format cameras on the whole, in skydiving, so it's difficult to have the camera conversation without having the coach "numbers" conversation.

I feel the first part of the problem lies with Coach Examiners. FWIW, as a C/E, I don't allow the candidate to fly a camera with me. Either they use outside video (highly recommended) or I fly a camera on my helmet to be used for debrief.

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>If you can be a coach with 100 jumps, but are not supposed to jump a camera until
>you have 200, there are a bunch of coaches out there who aren't able to video the
>jumps they do.

That's a good thing! Instead of screwing around with a camera, perhaps the coaches will look at their students.

Saw a jumper last week who could not remember the dive they had just done until they looked at their own video. Much better, IMO, for a coach to learn to watch someone in freefall and give them advice about how to skydive better.

>Many DZs like to offer POV video on coach dives

Many DZ's would like to use skydivers with 50 jumps to do tandems and videos as well. Doesn't mean that's a good argument for doing it.

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I'd wager *most* coaches aren't paid, not even their slot. Larger DZ's don't use low-number coaches for jumps



I'd take that wager based on the idea that 'most' DZs aren't large DZs overflowing with staff. Most DZs are smaller, with less resources to work with, and as such are willing to take anyone they can find who is 'legal', and a rating is a rating. In terms of being paid, I would be very surprised to find a 'majority' of coaches go so far as to pay their own slot. Even if there's not a 'profit' in the deal, their slot will covered and that's a free jump.

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the next-best thing is what I suppose I'm looking for.



I addressed that. It's simple, no cameras under 200 jumps, and no cameras with students without 20 camera jumps to your name.

Again, I feel that the 100 jump coach is a turd, and you can polish a turd.

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I addressed that. It's simple, no cameras under 200 jumps, and no cameras with students without 20 camera jumps to your name.



20 camera jumps to fly camera on a student? How many camera jumps are recommended to fly with a Tandem student? Use that number and I'd be aboard.

FWIW... I'd say 200 jumps to fly camera, and 100 camera jumps to fly camera with students.
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>>Anyone serious about the sport and about instruction in the sport has to accept that 100 jumps is a drop in the bucket<<

There is a well founded historical reference for the "coach" rating. When the USPA jumpmaster rating disappeared so did the training ground for new instructors. To remedy that problem USPA first tried the BIC course which later morphed into the coach rating. The original jumpmaster rating allowed for assisting in the FJC, gearing up and pin checking students, and facilitating student static line exits. Jumpmasters could indeed actually jump with students. This occurred (in the S/L program) after a student demonstrated they could do stable 20-decond delays. On their next series of jumps, 30 second delays, a jumpmaster could follow them out and dock on them for the student’s first RW jump. These were known as cherry dives. The important distinction between then and now however is these basic two-way jumps were conducted when the student was ready not when the jumpmaster was ready. So in a way, we are thinking about all this backwards.

What’s worrying about the coach rating is the slop in the program. A coach with just a hundred jumps is normally held to a more limited role while coaches with more jumps are allowed to do more. But who’s making those decisions? Is it DZOs with a monetary stake in the answer?

As for jump numbers for camera, that’s a tough one. Back when only a relatively few people jumped with cameras at all, our parachute gear was clunky and way more complicated then it is now. Cameras were also bulky, heavy, had wires to deal with it, and you had to be smart and handy enough to go out into your garage and actually build yourself a camera helmet. I know Norm Kent jumped with a camera for the very first time on his 80-something jump. I myself started at just over a hundred jumps. When the first consumer video cameras appeared in the early 1980s they required a whole separate video recorder you strapped to your chest.

The point is the difficulty of early camera jumping just naturally weeded out people who couldn’t handle it no matter how many jumps they had. Today’s video cameras have taken the “handle it” out of the equation. But not the dangers of distractions, snags, and whatnot that goes along with it. Other than instituting a “camera rating” I’m not sure what do that about that. As an aside its always bothered me that an AFF rating is required to simply follow out a tandem or AFF dive, but the person flying outside camera for you can be just about anybody.

NickD :)

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I'm on the other side of that conversation.
Keep coaching requirements at 100 jumps, but prevent them from wearing cameras, and using outside video.

Therefore, I'm more in support of precluding cameras from being on coaches with sub-200 jumps, and encouraging outside video.




Here's another reason why I support this line of thought.

Coaches as well as instructors should not rely on video to debrief their students. While its true that many don't, it's also true that many DO.
the idea of a coach is to build the skills of the student (as well as the coach) by briefing, flying with and debriefing students.
If a coach can not do this without the aide of a camera they do not deserve to be a coach. That gives them 100 jumps to gain and be as proficient at the "recall" skills as they can.

I also know that if a coach/instructor is doing a bunch of coaching jumps in a row they will get them all mashed together and video can help jog the memory. but IMO, Debrief should be done during the walk and talk. and video should be used to show the student what their body is ACTUALLY doing when they think they are doing something else.


I am a complete videot and support video to aide student training. But, I fear the trend wlll lead to weaker coaches and result in a slower progression for students.
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