skyguyscott

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skyguyscott last won the day on July 11

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Jump Profile

  • License
    D
  • License Number
    13458
  • Number of Jumps
    6600
  • Years in Sport
    25

Ratings and Rigging

  • IAD
    Instructor
  • AFF
    Instructor
  • Tandem
    Instructor
  • USPA Coach
    Yes
  • Pro Rating
    Yes

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  1. Just out of curiosity, would you want to ride in an airplane flown by a pilot who had been saving up and planning and got his commercial license in one weekend? Also, you may not know but if the DZ at which you are training follows the United States Parachute Association Integraged Student Program, you will discover that the old 7-level AFF program is actually now Categories A-E, and incorporate much more than just the jumps; there are reading assignments and discussions about topics like wing loading, airport runway headings, spotting, winds aloft, traffic patterns, common airport operations, obstacle avoidance, collision avoidance, in-depth emergency reviews that include hanging-harness exercises, familiarity with rules and basic safety requirements, gear checks and pre-flight, and an introduction to packing parachutes, to name a few other items on the agenda. And that is just to finish the AFF portion to be cleared for self-supervised solo jumping, but not enough to get your A-license, which is accomplished by graduating to coach jumps, Categories F, G, and H, where you learn to track away from other jumpers and safely dive,fly and dock on other jumpers, along with more advanced canopy skills, It's a lot; way more than just about anyone can squeeze into a full week, much less one weekend. But don't be discouraged by this, rather be stoked that you will actually get to master all these topics and be not only skilled, but safer in the air.
  2. We are working on revising our student recurrency requirements. The USPA SIM is rather vague on what exactly should be done and when. What we had in place was based, IIRC, on something an old Instructor Rating Manual, which outlined the following: Students who have not jumped in: 30 days - recurrency training. 60 days - recurrency training and repeat last skydive. >6 months, retake all portions of the FJC and do a Cat B skydive as an evaluation jump. We are having difficulty in finding the above in any industry standard documentation. Does anyone know where the above protocol comes from? Our main concern in revising this policy is to come up with something that is on solid legal grounds, i.e. something based on a documented industry standard that would be persuasive in a civil suit. I am not, frankly, interested in whatever someone thinks is the "best" way to do recurrency training, I am looking for something that works that is "law suit proof", or failing that, something that has the best chance of defense in a law suit in US civil court.
  3. A very old thread, but I'll add what just a few have alluded to. When I started jumping back in the Reagan Administration, we were jumping Mantas and for the longest time, we were taught, for lack of a better term, a one-stage flare, but we were on radio and most of the time we flared all the way when we were instructed to. Later, after I had been instructing FJCs for a while, we taught 2-stage in class, and not because we were trying to teach a perfect flare to first jump students, but simply because of the near-universal student propensity to flare WAY TOO HIGH, WAY TOO SOON. But on their first jumps with radio, to avoid having the students flare too soon, starting at about 80 feet, the radio operator would start to say, "Hands all the way up, all the way up, READY, READY, READY, READY, FLARE FLARE FLARE" The main point here is that the REASON we taught them to do a 2-stage flare was not to teach an optimum performance flare for a first (and, let's be honest, often only) time jump, but to prevent the student from shooting their wad all at once at 50 feet. So we would tell students to flare to their shoulders at 15 feet, then when they realize they are in fact at 50 feet, to hold there until they get down to 12 feet, and then flare all the way. Later, as they transition to different canopies, or in later categories where they are refining their flare in the canopy dive flow, we can start to talk about optimum flares. B-license requirements now include a canopy course which I think is a much more appropriate time and place to get into the finer points of flaring, rather than in the FJC. A first jump student already has a very full plate to digest as it is. They are likely not going to remember very much about flare techniques when they are instead more worried about malfunctions, obstacles, dive flows and so on and on and on.
  4. So now that ppl have routinely been standing shoulder to shoulder in crowded bars, not social distancing at beaches and pools, and resuming tandem skydiving, any reports of TIs contracting COVID? Are TI’s that do tandem jumps being routinely tested?
  5. The reality is wind tunnels, and those working at the wind tunnels are financially incentivized and invested in creating tunnel rats. They are not there to create skydivers just as skydivers aren’t incentivized to create tunnel rats. Tunnels can certainly help skydivers, but skydivers don’t need windtunnels in order to skydive. What did we do before windtunnels were invented? There are many skills like tracking for instance that she will never learn in a wind tunnel. And what about all of the canopy experience? It’s worth noting that very few skydivers die in freefall. You could certainly argue that canopy and traffic skills are far more important than freefall skills.
  6. A complete and total quarantine is not necessary to stop the coronavirus, just look at what other countries have done to successfully bring their infection rates down to near zero. But it is certainly possible to put a moratorium on tandems until we discover and implement a way to do them without risk of transmission. In the meantime, our DZ is having remarkable success in steering people toward the static line or AFF program. This also has the added benefit of introducing more people to the sport itself and has the potential of increasing the number of licensed skydivers in the sport.
  7. I am limiting the scope here to tandem skydiving. I think with the proper precautions and critically, social distancing and barriers such as masks and face shields we can help minimize the risk of transmission doing a lot of the other activities. But even so the virus doesn’t care, until we have a proven safe and effective vaccine, it will continue to find a way to spread as ruthlessly fast as it possibly can. I do think the fastest way and least lethally way to get back to normal is to do a hard stop, but we don’t seem to have the patience or support for that in this country. Evidently we would rather string this along until we or someone we care about is affected, and after the losses reach apocalyptic levels. As of now Canada has 87,000 total confirmed cases, compared to 1,700,000+ in this country. New Zealand and Germany have dealt with their outbreaks much more successfully. We are now averaging over 1000 confirmed Covid deaths a day. FWIW that is the equivalent of two 9/11s every week. In the last three or four months, USA has had more casualties to this pandemic then we have had in all our wars since World War II combined - in just three months! While the trend is declining in some states, it is increasing rapidly in other states and is still on the rise measured nationwide. And those are just the stats on fatalities.
  8. Yes, we monkeys want the sugar so bad, we won’t let go, even to save our lives.
  9. If we are to survive this pandemic in the quickest and least lethal way, we need to stop thinking in terms of YOUR situation and MY situation and realize that it is in fact our situation
  10. I’m not really sure I understand how knowing the statistics on Covid mortality rates would inform a decision to resume Tandem jumping. What number would be acceptable? Or put another way, what odds would convince you that playing Russian roulette was safe or within an acceptable risk range? Besides, the stakes go far beyond mortality. There is also the possibility of a long, protracted illness that may result in lingering, perhaps permanent damage to certain organs and senses. There is also a very real likelihood of spreading a potentially fatal illness to others, including those most close to you, such as your aging parents, grandparents significant others, and close friends, and in turn, their parents, grandparents, friends in an ever growing web. “So I know whatcha thinkin’, and so the question you got t’ask yourself is do you do ya feel lucky? Well do ya, punk?”
  11. One other interesting and relevant factor is the pool of people that choose to buy a tandem jump during the pandemic. After many weeks of answering the DZ phone, I can attest to the cavalier, myopic and rather selfish disregard many of these callers exhibit. Many are wet Egyptians (Dey r deep in de Nile) and some have even expressed their opinion that this is all a hoax. Thus those showing up wanting to spoon with me are highly likely to have already disregarded most if not all of the safety protocols epidemiologists have clearly outlined and come from a much higher risk pool than usual. Also, I am reading reports of people who are symptomatic but do not isolate themselves, and continue to spread the virus without regard to others There is also a report of some who have tested positive, kept the results secret and still didn’t quarantine For me the concern is not for myself as it is for the elderly and already health-compromised I take care of. Any exposure to this coronavirus would be fatal to them.
  12. I would love to hear the reasoning of those tandem instructors who decide to do tandems in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Are they driven by the economics? Do they think they are bulletproof? Do they believe that they will either not get it, or that if they do get it they will be asymptomatic? Do they have others close to them, or are they loners, or do they simply not care. Have they researched what we know about this virus, or are they acting out of ignorance? Are they being pressured into jumping by DZ management or by peer pressure? Do they believe that the protocols they have in place are effective at blocking transmission for the duration and distance required during a tandem jump? If so, how do they know? Please share your rationale and evidence, I would love to resume hauling meat!
  13. It sounds like you are seeking a canopy optimized for aerobatics, as opposed to swooping. If so, try a Stiletto. It's designed to be fast and extremely responsive. Make sure you fly one that isn't tired or with a shrunken line set. Stilettos are great canopies, still a solid design, and you can still order one brand new.
  14. I have never wanted to be a DZO precisely because I could never figure out a way to do it legally and get rich, or even stay a few points above the poverty line. Imagine if this was your sole income.
  15. A review of the situation: Nothing substantial has changed biologically regarding the coronavirus. It still is happy to infect whenever and wherever it finds a host. There is not yet a proven safe & effective vaccine available, although that will eventually change. The only reason numbers currently are down is due to us starving the virus of new victims. As new hosts become available, the numbers will rise, especially the easier we make it for the virus to find a warm, moist host. We do not yet know everything about this virus, but we do know this one is especially contagious. Masks by themselves are proven not sufficient to stop infection. Good masks, goggles/face shields, 6' distance, frequent hand washing, avoiding eyes/mouth/nose contact with infected media, all together help in greatly reducing risk of infection, but may not be totally effective 100%. One can be infected but asymptomatic and spread the virus unaware to family, friends and co-workers. Symptoms vary, and can take a week or more to manifest, if at all. In some cases, hospitalization may follow about a week later, sedated intubation may follow a week after that. In extreme cases, death may follow quickly, or take weeks, or one may recover completely quickly or slowly, or recovery may result in lingering, perhaps permanent damage to certain organs and/or senses. The elderly and health-compromised are most at risk, but victims can come in any age and health status. Recovering survivors of those sick enough to be hospitalized describe an extremely unpleasent experience. As skydivers, we are used to understanding risks and devising technology, methodology and training to mitigate those risks. Good luck is always welcome, but we know better than to rely on it, because we know just how unreliable luck is. With careful and committed mitigation, we may know just enough to safely resume sport jumping, perhaps even student jumps. I am not at all convinced we yet know enough to safely resume Tandem jumping. For those choosing to Tandem jump at this time, please let us know the mitigation protocols you've implemented and how they are working. Any obvious symptoms should start manifesting some 2 weeks following infection.