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Everything posted by azureriders

  2. Southern_Man A most excellent explanation of Instrutor vs Coach seeing that you hold neither rating. I would like to add one point to your Coach description: Coaches are working under the constant supervision of an Instructor. Every Coach jump or Coach taught FJC is to have an Instructor in charge. and one to the Instructor description: Instructors are responsible for assureing that all Coaching under their supervision is being handled properly.
  3. Sorry for the long post I do strongly agree that this is a not-so-ideal situation. Yes I have lurked deployments on coach jumps, but only as an AFF-I rating holder. IMO, a coach only should never do this. So to answer your question "what you, the Coach, would do to help, if anything." I, the Coach, would be long gone by the time my student had trouble finding a handle. Through my experience, which is not as much as many here, this proper coach jump bottom end has proven to work very well. Conversely, I have seen the coach sticking around cause bad results including a low student pull / two out (AAD fire) of the coach. I should add that I only lurk coach jump deployments with reason. Without reason I am gone just like any other coach. Again IMO a student at this level is ready for that and perhaps even needs to see it when it is just he and his coach, which will allow him to pull in place and be properly debriefed on what happened. As a Coach, you are correct as I would not be close enough to do anything. As an AFF-I with reason to lurk yes I have stepped in to help. (Digging in my log book now for the details.) We had a guy with 34 jumps, A license, hadn't jumped in 62 days, never been to our DZ, show up one morning and want to make a jump. He is now an un-current license holder who needs a jump supervised by an instructional rating holder which would include someone with only a coach rating. Manifest rightfully pairs him with one of our coaches. (This may not be an exact match to the OP's situation but I feel relevant none the less) After working with the guy for a while the coach was not feeling warm and fuzzy and requested that an Instructor take the jump. During practice pulls in the air I observed the guy grabbing his hip ring (not his hacky) and placing his counter hand flat on top of his head. This is not what he demonstrated on the ground. Signaling for more practice pulls only showed me more of the same. Attempting to dock and assist with practice pulls proved fruitless as this was a former static line student and had never experienced such. Finally I decided to move on with the rest of the dive flow, but now have "Reason" to be there at pull time. At pull time, after much effort on my part and fighting on his part to get him on the hacky, I pulled for him. We discuss this jump in every coach course that I teach. The main lesson being how the original coach (baring any AAD or moving on to reserve discussion) may have very well saved this guys life by knowing when to request Instructor input. so in closing my opinion: -If an AFF-I is observing problems at pull time then he/she should do what they can to help, regardless of student level, but not regardless of other factors such as altitude, or student atempt to pull reserve. -A coach should follow procedure and therefore not be in place to 'help' -A student should be properly trained to find his hacky, and handle any other deployment related problems, before being cleared for self supervision and coach jumps. Admittedly there are a lot of 'shoulds' in my above statements. IMO the current system, baring the occasional 'shit happens' situation, handles these well. My biggest reason for posting to this thread in the first place was in reply to the OP Don't get me wrong, I have my own ideas about coach rating improvement, but I would argue that there is not a need for as great or as many changes as most seem to insist exist. At 300 jumps, at a DZ with no coaches or official coaching program, I was asked by the DZO to help with some coaching. Under his tutelage and a brand new coach rating I set out to do just that. At first I thought I saw holes all in this program and there were so many things I disagreed with. Now after 500+ coach jumps, 1500+ AFF jumps, a C/E rating and training 50+ coaches I feel a little different. I think the biggest point that is overlooked is that all Coaches are to be under the supervision of Instructors. I feel that most of the griping about coaches is done by Instructors, and furthermore by Instructors who are not doing their part to properly supervise the coaches in the first place. This is in NO WAY pointed at anyone in particular. I offer this more as a food for thought for instructors, that before we complain that the system is not working, we make sure we are doing OUR part in that system. Although I feel strongly about this, I do enjoy the academic discussion
  4. My apologies for posting without reading the entire thread, but to the OP. This should be a moot question. A coach should be nowhere near a student at the time he is pulling. Coach bottom end should have the coach parked (or back sliding) while observing the students break off without being reminded. If the student still has not left after one reminder then the coach leaves, achieves separation, and pulls no lower than 3500'. In any of these events, baring a student suddenly pulling in place and prematurely, the coach should be well away from the student before pull time. This promotes several safety aspects but as a side advantage it also removes the overwhelming desire of a coach to help a student at pull time, as he is not in position to do so. This bottom end sequence works great and is not something that needs to be changed. I am not saying that as an AFF-I I have not on occasion lurked a coach students pull, however on all normal circumstances I approach a coach jump bottom end as any other coach should. As such if the student has trouble at pull time, even though I have training to help, I am nowhere near him to do so. Yet I am teaching him what is to be expected after the A, for if I am not evaluating his ability to break off and achieve separating then I AM NOT preparing him for the things that I should be. After all, he has been cleared by an instructor to handle the situations before be passed to the coaches in the first place. It has been argued before that a coach should not have to just stand by and give the pull signal when he should be helping. I agree that he should not; instead he should be going the other way and pulling at a safe distance. History has proven that this practice will normally cause the student to check his altitude as soon as he sees you leaving, and if not the sight of the coach pulling should get his attention. This fixes most all student bottom end issues, even if not the hard to find handle in this question, but again, the student is qualified to handle this by this time, or should be.
  5. when our smaller TI gets called to the office for that not so small customer, he harnesses them up and then hangs them from our hanging harness stand. If they can't properly hold up their legs for a reasonable time, they don't jump. Also removes all guess work from how they are going to look in that harness once suspended. If any adjustmets need to be made, well you have a chance to do so.
  6. I've made a couple. The wife loves hers, custom color, size, and style. No realy safety reason not to if you are capable, but it is a lot of work.
  7. rear riser flare, then release with one hand while holding the other and grab the now lower slider with your free hand, release the other rear riser and stow the slider. Works for me anyway. You can also have the studen flare the canopy with toggles, the slider then becomes very easy to reach
  8. I find that my level 4 students do much better when I train them to concentrate on holding a heading during and after the release and then begin the post release maneuvers. In my case I have them do a COA and once they get the thumbs up from me they pick a heading and try to hold it. I then release and fly around to the front and give a double thumbs up before they start their turns. This helps minimize the drifting you are experiencing as well as slowing down the over amped student who tries to whip out a turn as soon as you release and winds up on his back.
  9. We normally teach on F111 or hybrids, however sometimes on full ZP. The one thing that our DZ does and has been doing since before my time is to teach flat packing. This eliminates the problem of size and it allows the student to SEE what is going on rather than digging around over his shoulder not understanding anything. Normally by a student's third pack job they are packing jumpable packs on their own, ready to be signed off. After some practice at this, when they understand where every thing should wind up and have become pretty comfortable with bagging, stowing and closing, transition over to pro packing is a breeze.
  10. The above quote was pulled from a PM. This is exactly why I think a DZ in a forrest area should consider putting together a tree rescue team. On one of our rescues the girl was hanging by twigs, which were poping and cracking and occasionaly letting her move down the tree six inches are so at a time. As JC was getting to her he was calling down to me to get set up quickly because he could see her moving. In our case she may have been ok as she was no more than 20 feet up and drapped down the side of a tree that may very well have keep snagging and releasing all the way until she was on the gound, or.....
  11. I would never 'plan' to run the rope under both shoulder harnesses because of rope burn damage to the rig. Now in a pinch it would get the victim down safely and they could deal with the possible rig damage later. A large carbineer around the shoulder harness would work. A split tail would also be easy enough to rig to both shoulder harnesses. I still do not see the need here, but nothing wrong with being extra careful. When rigging for shock loads, such as dropping pieces of a tree and catching them before they go through a roof, the working load of any equipment is ~10% of its breaking strength. In other words, if I am dropping a 2.000# piece of tree trunk, all my ropes and pulleys etc would be rated to a breaking strength of 20,000# or more. The same applies to me, all my climbing gear is rated to 2,500# pounds are more and therefore ready to catch me any time my big ass falls out of the tree with a climbing weight of ~250#. When there is no shock load, and only a static force will be applied, a 50% rule is actually fairly conservative. A 50% work load / breaking strength is still required in such cases as hoisting material up a job site that may have people working indirectly underneath, or in rescue situations. The adjustor on the chest strap seems to be weakest link and is rated at 500#. That is more than double the suspended weight of 'most' skydivers. In the case of a suspended anvil I would definitely consider a stronger rigging point. A rope rescue should NEVER be made where the rigging required shock load considerations. Obviously the applied shock would only make any injuries worse. If I could not accomplish the rigging without the risk of shock loading (or perhaps more likely, a high angle of swing under the belay point) then I would complete the rigging anyway, as a safety incase the situation became dynamic, and then wait for additional help. I honestly don't see such a situation happening to an experienced climber and rigger (the type of rigger that does mid air rigging that is). However I still included it here because not ALL rescue situations have to be simple. Everyone should know their limits and know when to request more help.
  12. what you have describe is no doubt the easiest way to rig back to the leg straps, however it still takes some moving around compared to just clipping into a cheststrap when you consider that the victim may be a nervous reck and hanging by twigs. A fix to a problem that does not exist. The chest strap holds just fine with no damage to the rg.
  13. I agree on all points. I have been in the construction business for nearly 20 years now and have worked many jobs at heights as high as 300’. During this time I have completed multiple rope rescue courses specific to structure rescues and also conduct my own training to my employees. I have also always had a fascination with tree climbing which has prompted me to work with multiple different tree companies here and there through the years as well as completing one tree specific rope rescue course. Just as you say rope rescue is specialized, I will go even further and say it is even more so per location. As such I would not claim to know shit about a rock face rescue as I am not a mountaineer. The other climber I have mentioned at our DZ owns his own tree company. I think between the two of us we may know a bit about what we are talking about. For sure to be credited a bit higher than amateur. Now, in respect of Dave’s concerns let me make sure that I am clear to everyone else. I am not suggesting that anyone just go out and buy a rope and a pair of spurs and call themselves a tree rescue expert. What I was suggesting is that DZs in congested tree areas consider buying some good gear and having a couple of guys trained for such instances. Most tree rescues are fairly simple and can be done with basic training, however not without any training. There are going to be some that are far from simple and as with anything else one must know their own limits and when to ask for help, regardless of financial burdens. This gear and training will likely, or at least possibly, pay for itself in cut away retrieval alone. Farmer McFriendly will likely allow you to climb his tree. Famer McNasty is the guy who just found the tree you cut down to get your gear.
  14. nigel There are many many finer points of the procedure that I described that has been left out due to the length of post required to list them all. This is one of them and not at all a stupid question. Once the belay is in play, the free end of the rope is pulled tight, and then tighter, until the weight of the jumper is slowly placed on the chest strap prior to cutting away. If you are lucky enough to get a belay point directly over the victim, then there is never more force placed on the chest strap than that of the victims own weight. I would guess only ten percent more from a bit of a swing under a rope that is already tight. To be honest, the swing angle, not the drop into the swing, is the biggest concern with this type of rescue. If the angle is too great, and additional safeties are not put into place, you can swing the victim back into the trunk of the tree, or other obstacle. Jerry Thanks for the test data. The other climber at the DZ is also a rigger and we have spent a bit of time thinking out the fail points of our procedure. We did not have the test equipment to achieve this data. Now I know a number to toss out the next time this question comes up, as it is not the first time. Thanks again. Niner At first design this was my approach as well as it does more closely follow the design of a parachute harness as for placement of load. The drawback is getting the victim to rig this up. You likely will not be able to reach them and you do not want to do anything to dislodge the parachute from the tree, including swinging/repelling to them and/or having them fidgeting in the harness trying to complete the rig. This could still be accomplished if you set up something like I described as a safety while the more complicated rigging is put into place, but I just don’t see the need. Sometimes a quick and easy line out to the victim, although at a higher angle than desired, can be used as a safety while a better belay point is reached at a lesser angle. Just a side note.
  15. PiLFy, I agree that harness mounted radios suck, but I can assure you that winds aloft have no effect on wind noise under canopy. I have done HAHOs in 60 and 70 mph wind and the noise is no different than on a light and variable day. Your canopy is flying through the air at the same speed no matter what the winds are doing. In other words, your air speed is allways the same, only your ground speed changes with the wind. This air speed is what creates the wind noise you hear under canopy
  16. We use a top mounted two way with speakers wired to both ears on protecs. I have used chest strap mounts but always had trouble there. One thing I like about two ways over pagers is that if a stundent lands off, shouldn't happen but......, you can instruct the student to remove the radio and tell you that they are ok. Two velcro straps and unplug the speakers and you are no longer woried about them.
  17. Being in the construction business and climbing trees all my life I have witnessed more falls than I like to think about. From my experience those that hit the ground direct are going to be hurt. Those that have things to fall into, grab onto, bounce off of, will have a good chance of walking away with some bangs and bruises. Falling through a tree, yes you may get poked, but you also may not. Falling from a tree, you will hit the ground at a high rate of speed, 100%. Just my choice, but if I have to fall, put as many things between me and the ground as possible. I guess if it ever happens none of us will really have this choice, we will just have to make do with what we have
  18. I obviously cannot answer this direct as I was not there, but I can outline the typical. It is pretty simple as long as the victim is conscious and able to help. A climber will climb up past them and get a belay point (fork in a limb works great) as close to directly above the victim as possible. This minimizes the swing angle the victim will encounter once released. With a large carbineer attached to the end of a rope the climber will swing it out to the victim and have them snap it to their chest strap. Once the free end of the rope is prepared for belay, the victim simply cuts away, swings under the belay point, and is lowered to the ground. If there is qualified help on the ground, and the victim is less than 75 feet high, then the ground crew can tend the free end of the rope during the belay process. If there is no ground crew or the victim is higher than 75 feet (assuming the use of a 150 feet climbing rope) then the climber can tend the belay from an elevated position. Normally from this point the climber can use the same belay point which his rope is already passed through to repel down to the parachute and free it from the tree, and then repel himself to the ground. 5 min to gear up 5 min to climb the tree 10 min to rig a belay and very carefully and slowly check all the safety points 5 min to lower the victim 15 min to extract the parachute being careful not to damage it 5 min to repel down and de-gear 45 min max requiring one climber with gear and one conscious victim
  19. Only becuase MOST places seem to think they need a safety officer AND an incident commander, both overseaing twice as many people as need to be on the scene. I do understand what you are saying about having more people than you need is better than being caught with out enough. That does not change the fact that most all government funded aggencies run on nearly four times the needed budget.
  20. This could have all been avoided with a tree rescue team from the DZ. I guess this may not be practical at all DZs, but we have one. There are two of us at the DZ who climb or have climbed trees for a living. We communicate with each other if one will be missing a weekend so as to make sure the other will have their gear on sight. We have considered putting together a DZ climbing gear set so that we would not have to haul personals back and forth. This would be an option, along with some basic training, for a DZ that did not have climbers on staff. This is really a necessity at our DZ as it is located in the town of lumberton and pine trees are everywhere. Although there are plenty of outs to be found, we still average climbing at least once for each cut away there, either for the canopy or free bag, sometimes both. Keeping the extra gear required to belay a jumper out of a tree is very minimal when you already have what you need to get up the tree. In the 6 years that I have been jumping, my "team mate" and I have performed 4 tree rescues. One was on the edge of the highway where a fresh AFF graduate cleared all but the last tree to get back into the LZ. The police were quick to the scene after local traffic called it in. Upon arrival, the officer in charge quickly assessed that all was being handled. He helped with traffic and within 10 minutes the student and the canopy were safely on the ground. Then the police were happily on their way and no bill was issued. I only read the first page of this thread so forgive me if this was already said. Now about what I did read, this is my $.02 1) Rescue service should be free 2) Those that choose to put themselves at risk should expect to pay for rescue services 3) I don't know where to draw the line between 1 & 2 4) 21 guys for 4 hours at $10.000 works out to ~$120 per hour. This is double the rate the same guys would be charging for the same gear and labor if they would be working in public sector rather than the government. 5) If it takes more than 2 guys for more than 1 hour to get someone out of a tree, there or either some very extenuating circumstances, or there are at least 2 guys there that do not know what the shit they are doing. 6) For the average tree rescue with a conscious rescue-e, start to finish is under 30 min if working by myself. With two people used to working together, one climbing and one on the ground, I would say 10 min. 7) I did not read the article. Extenuating circumstances may have applied, but I doubt 84 man hours worth.
  21. No need going into the longer version for me, I do get it. I also understand that you were struggling to get some others to get it, if I caused a drift from that point I am sorry. I just felt you pushing the FACT of how dangerous skydiving is compared to most thngs a bit far. As your post above reads, I could not agree more.
  22. I am with you Andy on most points that you are trying to make, and I also think the point which people seem to be disagreeing with you on is some what irrelevant in terms of manufacture responsibility, however I do believe I am going to have to give you that rebuttal. I have never considered skydiving to be the most dangerous sport that I have participated in. Nor does it always require the fasting thinking reactions to save my ass than some other things I have done. For sure not in terms of injury, and not even in terms of death. I can say with some certainty, that Tandem skydiving is no more dangerous than bull riding, and yes I am most defiantly speaking in terms of inherent risk of death. I was bull riding at the early age of 14 with parental consent. Both with and with out adult supervision, at different times of course. Bull riding is not the only activity in my past that I could use as an example here. I do realize your point I do agree with you over all. I still think that your beliefs that skydiving is the more dangerous in terms of inherent risk of death than anything else a minor can do, is a bit excessive. I understand that skydiving may be the most dangerous think YOU have ever done. I do not have the references to back this up, but my high school coaching friend tells me that there are on average of two deaths per year in the US from heat exhaustion during high school foot ball practice. That is more than the average tandem skydiving fatality for the whole world of all ages. Just food for thought and even if this is off a bit I think my point still stands and I am sure we could think of other similar activities.
  23. Being that most 2 out situations are caused by a low pull in combination with an AAD fire, and also that this comment was originally made towards a down plane configuration, I would argue that you will likely never have time to disconnect an RSL. I have witnessed 5 cutaways from 2 outs and although I know that is a small test pool, none of the RSLs of those 5 were disconnected nor caused any problems. IMO you could spend the last few seconds of your life jacking with a small shackle that in over 99% of cases would be just fine left alone, or you could spend that time looking for a safe landing area after quickly acessing the situation and pulling the cut away handle that in more than 99% of cases is going to fix the situation completely. In either case trying to decide if you have time to spend or not, is doing just that, spending time. In any 2 out other than a downplane, if you would like to disconnect your RSL I would say that would not be a bad idea. It is very important that before anyone takes my advice here that they know their own gear. As Dragon has already stated, it is a MUST to disconnect the RSL before cutting away any 2 out if using a racer rig with a cross over RSL. However, I do not recommend jumping such a set up for exactly that reason.