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  1. Shouldn't you be at the DZ instead of sitting in front of a computer? My comments were meant to irritate Dorbie who was taking shots at tunnel flyers. There's bad skydivers and there's plenty of bad "tunnel people." Tunnels don't teach all of the skills you need to skydive and anyone who disagrees is a fool. They teach one set of skills that are applicable to skydiving. And don't worry, Bill, I can figure out what's happening in a video. Thanks for the help. And if this sort of stuff is still happening on dives, is it possible they need a different coach?
  2. Dorbie, After watching these videos, I've decided to offer you free tunnel coaching...and anyone else that's in those videos. I think a lot of the people chiming in here are 100% spot on about the differences and about the need for caution in considering this proposal. That being said, dives like these don't happen when people train in wind tunnels. It's cheaper, safer, and improves your skills faster. Not all of your skills, just the ones you use to, you know, fly your body around in freefall. Your comment on that first youtube video was: Sometimes it's just more fun when there's a screw-up. I disagree...everything is more fun when you're good at it. Thanks for playing.
  3. There'll be a COLLEGIATE COMPETITION CAMP at Skyventure Colorado, June 11-14, 2010. Without turning this into an advertisement, this event is specifically geared towards college skydivers and helping them improve their freefall skills at discounted rates. It'll also be a great place to meet other college skydivers and perhaps form a team. Depending on the number of participants, there will be t-shirts, nightly competitions to help gauge progress and encourage friendly rivalry, and perhaps even a canopy camp to go along with the tunnel time. If anyone has any questions, they can shoot an email to [email protected]
  4. jumpnaked69


    The product is fine but try getting a replacement part or courteous help from their office staff and you'll see what the company is really of. I had one woman actually hang up on me after SHE made an error. Unbelievable.
  5. tdog, i can provide you with a video of number 2...maybe you can freeze frame it. after all, it's from that video position they'd be seeing it. we'd also have to cut out the audio to keep it rated PG.
  6. I agree completely that there is a gap in post-AFF training. This is most likely a product of the system AND the individuals going through it. When I completed my A-license card, most of it was pencil-whipped and I didn't learn what was on there until I was going through the Coach course with DJan Stewart at a different DZ. Different DZs will have different standards for education. Some dropzones will actually include a lot of the material from the ISP when teaching AFF-level skydives. But the bottom line is that instructors want to get in the sky more to make money and students want to get in the sky more because it's COOL. As an AFF instructor I'll tell you that much of the material that should be taught to students often goes untouched and most of the emphasis is on the freefall manuevers. This is where I think doing lots of working tandems or even the old static line program had it right--give the student time and attention to develop canopy skills--this is, after all, where most people in the sport get hurt. Most of the people I've known to get hurt in freefall have over 10,000 skydives. But the problem really goes beyond canopy work. How many AFF instructors really teach students the first thing about spotting the aircraft? How many coaches teach it? How about separation between groups, times to advance to new disciplines, the complexities of the equipment, improving accuracy, the real pros and cons of RSLs and AADs. These are all issues (and just a few issues) that jumpers need to learn about. Most people learn about these things as they go along in the sport, somewhere between 7 and 700 jumps, sometimes more. Every one of those people who hasnt been given an opportunity or been given the requirement to think about and discuss those issues is a liability on your dropzone. I don't necessarily mean in the legal sense but think about the freefly solo jumper exiting after your head-down group. Do they know what they're doing when it comes to spotting, freeflying correctly, freefly-friendly gear, etc.? They are a liability to every other jumper on the dropzone and themselves. Andy9o8 writes, "Continuing education often doesnt continue unless it's mandatory"...that might be true. But I also think that it's a lot more likely to happen if it doesnt get nickel-and-dimed out to every student. "How was I supposed to learn that?" "Get coaching!" That's an easy way to blow it off. But is there a way to improve the system all together? I've considered the idea of doing a First Jump Course Part 2 between being cleared for solo freefall and getting their license. I also know of other programs that simply continue requiring instructors for maybe 20 of the 25 jumps--those five being for a couple of solos and a couple of hop and pops. Could you imagine raising the cost of getting your license by $500 and actually coming out of it a much better skydiver? Or being required to complete a three hour course to watch videos of your landings, discuss a FEW advanced aspects of canopy flight, or the nitty gritty of your equipment? If we want to stop seeing licensed jumpers cut off others in the patten and hook themselves in and if we want to stop seeing students bewildered and afraid of everything, we need to make a change to the system that's letting them move on with such limited knowledge.
  7. Alright everyone...the weather looks like it might give us a chance to jump this Saturday. Just in case it doesn't, we've got Sunday as our backup day. Uncurrent students looking for cheap recurrency training should show up at 8am and fun jumpers can start manifesting at 9am. Please let us know if you have any questions! Alan
  8. No, you're not one to talk. Maybe you could come by and work on some canopy skills.... Alan
  9. Mile Hi Skydiving Center will be hosting it’s annual USPA Safety Day on Saturday, March 8. This year we’ll be giving **extraordinary discounts** for non-licensed jumpers who are not current. Students will cover the cost of gear rental, all slots, and instructor fees ONLY. Get out and start jumping again! In addition, anyone who participates in Safety Day will receive discounted jump tickets for the entire day of jumping. In the evening, Mile Hi will host a number of short seminars for everyone to attend and enjoy. The main topics covered will include Emergency Procedures, Canopy Flight, Rigging and Equipment, and Miscellaneous Safety Concerns including a number of different topics. The dropzone will provide PIZZA that evening for anyone that attends! The new landing area and rules will be announced and discussed. The day is guaranteed to be a great time where everyone can enjoy the company of other skydivers as well as learn how to be safer in the sky. Sunday, March 9 is our reserve Safety Day if there’s bad weather on Saturday. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the dropzone or Alan Martinez at alan.g.martinez AT gmail.com!
  10. While RJ-Bankruptcy has a point...maybe the better way to deal with this is to not fly as hard out of the door. Maybe consider getting the flock to exit in more of a lean lawn-dart body position, wings totally collapsed with a slight arch until well clear of the prop blast. First person out begins flying all-out, second person cuts back a little, third person cuts back a little more, and so on until the last person gets out and should be met by the rest of the flock and then they start flying, too. This means you dont start actually flying hard until that last person is out and totally clear of the prop blast and off the hill but it should cut back on your wait time. This is what we used to do before the big bad otter. Can't wait for it to be fixed. Not sure how we lasted so long without it!
  11. So, diablopilot, the SIM has really improved that much in the last ten years? That's great! but it still has a long way to go to being a single go-to source for skydiving information. Let me make my original suggestion a bit clearer. The student arrives at the DZ for the FJC and they receive a number of items USPA SIM Goggles Logbook DZ Packet (to include...) +DVD/VCD with videos to include ++what to do each time you arrive at the dz (safety brief, etc) ++each level of AFF properly edited to show student position from the exit to the landing with inside and outside video ++a hop and pop ++the dz-specific coaching program ++a packing video ++the a-license check out dive the packet will also include +an explanation of many of the items on the A-license card dealing with knowledge of FARs and equipment information +articles from people like Scott Miller and Brian Germain about canopy safety and ways to improve +a list of the more common gear manufacturers as suggestions broken down by what type of equipment it is +a list of reliable places to learn more (will dropzone.com be on there, diablopilot?) and places to buy gear +information on future disciplines to consider and recommended experience levels +Suggested drills for skydives and tunnel flying Let me try to preempt your responses with the following: No, it is not a substitute for learning from AFF-I or Coach No, it is not a substitute for skydiving No, it is not a substitute for the SIM. No, it is not the end-all, be-all for skydiving. No, it is not going to be universal. No, it will not work for everyone or every dropzone. Yes, it will be a great SUPPLEMENTAL source of information for students. Yes, something similar has been put together at some of the larger dropzones and many people have found it helpful. Yes, it might expedite a student's ability to become a safe and competent skydiver. Yes, it might help people complete levels of AFF sooner. Yes, it will take some work and might even cost the dropzone some money (i will address tdog's earlier comment in a bit). No, diablopilot will not like it and will not approve. so, tdog, you suggest putting it on a website. I like this idea since it eliminates the hassle of putting it together over and over again and since we know that maybe 30% of all FJC students will finish AFF and probably only 15% will get their A-license. What would you give the student then on the day of their FJC? the login info for that part of the website? Then the resources are always available to them for download. Interesting option....
  12. I've been considering putitng together a booklet/package for all FJC students at my DZ. I'd like to include the FJC syllabus, a glossary, some diagrams, and a disc with videos of every level of AFF, hop and pops, coached jumps, and the A-license check out dive. Something to help them progress from their FJC to getting a good feel for the sport. Also in the packet would be some articles about downsizing, canopy drills, etc. Students at my DZ also receive a SIM when they sign up for the FJC. Someone recently mentioned to me that Empuriabrava makes their own type of booklet that really blows away others. I have contacted them and they want thirty euros for the book plus shipping. Does anyone have any suggestions on what else to include or about how EB's book is different?
  13. a packer with 3000 packjobs and 1 jump? they might know more about what causes malfunctions than someone with 30 jumps, yes. i'd say that's a fair possibility. do i expect them to know much about the rest of jumping? there's a good chance they've picked up on a lot of information from being around the dz that much--probably more than someone who spends all their time posting instead of jumping. you can have that informational background without having the experience in the sky--i think it takes both before i let someone go up with me as a videot on an AFF--and it should probably be stricter for a tandem (which i dont do). a fighter jet pilot would probably make the worst jump student ever--precisely because they wouldnt know how to take instruction! you'd need to give them an even larger canopy to make up for their ego. and you ask how a fighter pilot compares to a 500 jump wonder who thinks he knows everything? i'd say they're about the same--completely dangerous. yes, the pilot knows a lot, too. what the hell does this have to do with a videot? and it seems like you're backpedaling a bit here--now jump numbers hint to background experience when previously they had absolutely nothing to do with quality of skydiver. and then you mention that you would want them to be willing to say no to a task, to know some rigging, have people skills, good attitude, better than a d-license, and attend additional education programs...so basically there would not be any vidiots at your dz. you're asking for way too much here. try finding skydivers like that! now take those skydivers and make those video jumps their means of paying the mortage--how do they feel now about all those courses? i'm just saying it's an extremely tough set of criteria. now you still havent addressed the point i was originally trying to make--people without jump numbers are a danger under canopy and in any situation in which they are not familiar--too great of a danger for me to allow them to fly with me or my student or anyone i care about going on a tandem. any suggestions on what an aerial skills test should include? who would administer it?
  14. Where to start... JP, I'd like to hear your answer to your question. How do YOU think it will affect cameraflyers and TIs? And do you think the policy will have an overall positive or negative impact? tdog, I disagree with you about the irrelevance of jump numbers. I think they are absolutely important--if for no other reason than for seeing odd things happen to you and others around the dz, handling yourself under canopy in a way that saves your life as well as not endangering the lives of others around you. Surely, jump numbers and a few really good or really bad decisions don't make the skydiver--it takes a long time before people will say, yeah, good skydiver, very heads up or--yeah, i wouldnt let him take a family member on a jump or i wouldn't let him film my tandem. Most people just need more time. I'd say that the time needed is going to come from time in the tunnel, time at camps with mentoring and coaching (something we could all use) and simply being around the dz (which I'm guessing is where the requirement for three years in the sport comes from anyway). I've seen some tunnel instructors pound in their landings--they can fly like gods but they know nothing about canopy work! And would a weekend with Scott Miller or the like really make them ready to be a coach or AFF or tandem instructor? Absolutely not. But it's a good start--just like their tunnel time. diablopilot's second post--you mention jumping with wuffos. I'm with you all the way. This is where I think it's the responsibility of the dzo, s&ta, aff-i, ti, whoever to step up and say, no dude, you're not getting on that jump. sometimes people will very few jumps do dumb things--either because they're pushing the envelope or because they simply dont have the skills to control themselves adequately. those people shouldnt be on bigways...or lurking AFFs...and definitely not filming tandems. the big thing with tandems there is that the student-customer has no idea what sort of skill is involved in flying with a tandem and who their tandem vidiot is gonna be. DSE...i dont know if your post really makes sense to me. you mention how important CURRENCY and EXPERIENCE are...but you also stand behind what tdog was saying. to me, truly being current doesnt mean you made a jump earlier in the day. it means you've made a buttload of jumps in the previous month--and you've got a bunch of experience before that. and experience means you've had some great jumps that were very successful and you've got some stories of hairy situations that you learned from (including bad mistakes by others as well as yourself). on your progression you cite student, novice, coach, camera, AFF, TM. I would think that it actually involves "experienced/seasoned jumper" in between novice and coach--otherwise they shouldnt be a coach. and it seems to me (although this is off-topic) that most people get a tandem rating before an AFF rating (unless they're pretty good on their belly and they've focused on belly work for almost all of their jumps. diablopilot, you mention that you protect yourself from liability by doing exactly what's in USPA and the manufacturer recommendations. I would agree with this completely but let me ask you this--what about things that you find contrary to your experience as smart moves? and DSE, i don't know you, but you're right about diablopilot being a smart-ass. that being said, he's probably one hell of a much better source of seasoned information than the two of us combined. i think there should be some sort of mini-rating for flying with AFF or tandems--so much can go so wrong so quickly, why not have a simple test? no, it's not full-proof to develop an aerial skills test, but it's something... Some smaller DZs often let very inexperienced folks fly tandem video way too early because they need the money. i've known some vidiots that cant turn 4way--what's that all about? just my two cents... alan
  15. If my memory serves me correctly, there have been approximately 60 tandem deaths and 16 AFF deaths. But you have to consider how many tandem jumps there have been compared to the number of AFF jumps there have been. If my little brother wanted to start jumping his progression would go something like this--3-5 tandems to learn more about canopy flight, 30 minutes of tunnel, get through a modified AFF program with me and another trusted AFF-I, and then about 2 hours of tunnel before an additional 20+ coached jumps. If money isnt an object, I think something like this will make the safest and most proficient student-to-skydiver transition.