tombuch

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  • Main Canopy Size
    120
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  • Home DZ
    Vermont Skydiving Adventures
  • License
    D
  • License Number
    8514
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    USPA
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    4800
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    30
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    Formation Skydiving
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  1. tombuch

    Covet bonus days

    After I survived a nasty wrap jumping off the New River Gorge Bridge, a skydiving friend at the local bar offered this toast: The nasty Grim Reaper Got lost in the haze So welcome my friend To Bonus Days. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  2. tombuch

    Medical Question

    This probably isn't a great place to get medical advice. It could be as simple as a torn muscle, or it could be much more serious with internal bleeding or weaknesses that could be further aggravated by another jump. Visit a doctor. Simply explain you were skydiving and had a hard opening. Explain you were descending at about 120mph and suddenly decelerated to almost zero while being shifted from a flat belly to earth position to a standing position. Deceleration injuries are common, and are often associated with a car crash. A reasonable doctor should be able to understand that. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  3. tombuch

    Acampo Otter

    It's already posted in General. Find it here: http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=3972072;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  4. It is a technical manual, and it shouldn't read like a book. Some of our students may have difficulty with the format of a technical manual, and that's to be expected. It's your job as an instructor to help them understand skydiving, and understand all the resources available. Part of that is helping the student to understand how the information in the SIM is organized, and how to find the information they need. In some cases part of you job may be helping non-technical students learn to read a technical document. A good instructor will encourage students (and non-students) to ask questions and seek help when needed. When jumpers comes to you with a question that is in the SIM, don't just answer the question, pull out the book and show them how to research the topic so they can find the answer themselves. You can also conduct topic specific seminars, or write additional material for students that brings many information sources together. When I was S&TA at The Ranch I used the SIM as the basis for many of my web articles that were published on our web site. Then, those articles became the basis for impromptu clinics or discussion on rainy days. http://theblueskyranch.com/STA.php Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  5. I've seen similar things before with students. One of the great failures of the current USPA system is that we move instructors through the ranks too quickly, especially into the tandem program, and they don't get the experience I think they need prior to taking charge of complex systems. An experienced instructor has seen students screw-up, and should know how to simplify and manage tasks based on that added experience. An instructor with a couple of years of teaching ground school and managing students in the SL/AFF programs will be far better able to teach and manage a tandem event, which I still think is the toughest and most complex teaching assignment in the sport. Our instructional programs should be focused on placing our best and most experienced instructors in the tandem program, and in making sure every single instructor is fully trained and adequately experienced before being assigned to teach at an appropriate level. We are not doing that, as an industry institution, or as individuals. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  6. tombuch

    Question About BASE Jumping

    The key thing for you to think about is canopy control. That will help in skydiving, and will be especially helpful in BASE jumping. Don't be in a rush. Target about 200 jumps as your starting point, but discuss that with local jumpers who know your actual skill level, and who ideally have BASE experience. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  7. Nope. Never. Over 25 years of teaching in all programs recognized by USPA, with well over a thousand students and not a single one ever asked to see a certification card. Nor has a DZ ever asked to see my rating card. These days a USPA affiliated DZ can look it up on the web, but before that technology became available every DZO just took my word for it. I was at a DZ once wen we learned an experienced instructor had fabricated his tandem rating. He departed and wasn't seen again, so fake instructors do happen. It's weird (and troubling) that students are so accepting. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  8. Talk it out with your skydiving friends. No need to lay blame, but try to learn from the incident and really express your emotions. Keeping it bottled up inside works for a while, but over time it leaves you with too many fragments of unmanaged emotion. If you stay in the sport for a while you will see more, and the hurt may pile up. If your company has an employee wellness plan available with free counseling, give it a try if the incident is really bothering you. Emergency responders have critical incident stress debriefings available, and that process usually helps. If you know professional responders ask how they deal with the onslaught of emotions, and how they have handled the cumulative effect over time. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  9. tombuch

    Pilot flies under skydivers on final

    You won't find such a specific regulation, but 105.5 applies: I think Bill probably nailed the issue when he said many airplanes have poor forward visibility on the takeoff roll, and that's especially true when looking into the sun, or when the windscreen is pitted. Parachutes don't always show up very well at the far end of a runway, and at that point the pilot is just entering a high workload phase of flight. That's not an excuse, obviously pilots should be well trained and vigilant for parachutes especially at a dual use airport. I think working with the FBO to identify the pilot in question and then provide better overall training to the broader pilot population is the answer. Also consider that the pilot in question may have been a transient who didn't know about local jumpers. I've also encountered pilots at airports with large jump planes who said they saw the jumpers and turned to avoid them, but then they are surprised to learn there could be as many as 40 jumpers, and seeing a few doesn't mean you have seen them all. Pilots understand that, and if we respect their rights to the airspace and understand they are usually trying to do the right thing, they will usually respect our efforts to coordinate and educate. When I was S&TA at The Ranch I developed a handout that we distributed to all the area FBO's that helped pilots know who and where we were, how active our operation was, and how to locate us. I've put a copy in my Dropbox available at: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4033049/Ranch%20Pilot%20Caution%20Updated%202007.pdf. The original had a second page with scans of the sectional and enroute charts with our location clearly marked. I also did some pilot outreach with presentations at pilot seminars and fly-in events. Pilots are really focused on safety, just as skydivers are, and they genuinely appreciate training efforts. DZO's are welcome to steal the handout idea and customize the language for their own operation. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  10. tombuch

    I have a bad spot... now what?

    It's pretty easy for each jumper to check the spot most of the time. Almost all of the airplanes we jump from have windows (with a few exceptions). We should be looking out the windows as the airplane is turning to and flying on jumprun. That way we always know where we are, and we know if the jumprun is too long or short before ever getting to the door. Plus it gives us a chance to check for traffic and assure the airspace is clear. So, you don't need to wait until you are at the door to check for traffic or check the spot. When I was S&TA at The Ranch I posted a series of articles about safety topics. One of those was "Article 16, Survival Strategies, Off Airport Landings" It's still available at http://theblueskyranch.com/STA.php. Article 1 is about checking the spot, and it specifically talks about using that time on jumprun to clear the airspace on both sides of the airplane. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  11. tombuch

    How did YOU afford it?

    My first three jumps were free, so that helped. I paid for a few jumps (static line was the only way to learn back in the late 70's and early 80's), and then started packing student rigs for jump credits. When I had enough jumps I earned my SL jumpmaster rating, and that paid a bit more plus I got to jump free. Then I added the SL Instructor rating, a couple of tandem ratings, the AFF-I rating, and finally a third tandem rating. From there, the dollars I earned teaching paid for my flight training. I bought my first rig (used) with a student loan that I paid off within a couple of years. Where there is a will, there is a way. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  12. tombuch

    Exit Seperation

    You've probably just opened the hornets nest again. This issue has been hashed out so many times here, and it always becomes clear that time is the way, and angles ruin the day. Do a search for the topic and you will be impressed by how much bandwidth has been used to say the same thing over and over and over and over again. It's become repetitively redundant. In answer to that always lingering question, I wrote about exit separation when I was S&TA at The Ranch a few years ago. The article is still on the Ranch web site, listed as Article 15 at: http://theblueskyranch.com/STA.php Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  13. tombuch

    Questions about AFF with no experience

    Yes, most drop zones will let you start right off in AFF. If you are an accomplished pilot, I'd give it a go, but if you have just "been around" aviation, I'd suggest a single learning tandem. Make sure the DZ knows you are serious, and spend time on body position and especially canopy control/navigation. It can really help, but it's not essential. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  14. I originally heard that from the oft references Scott Miller. Not for his canopy piloting, but what others blamed for their actions. I think Lance "Swoop" Kerwin gets the original credit for uttering the phrase at the Ranch just after an amazing tandem surf 'back in the day. It was caught on tape and then quickly shared the world over. Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
  15. tombuch

    Dirty Laundry aired in z-hills

    First, the single engine airplane isn't a "lesser class" than a multi-engine. It's a different class. Consider a military pilot who has been flying C-5's and then tries to fly a Cessna 152. It's a very different animal, and requires a different certificate for good reason. The FAA requires the commercial check ride to be taken in category and class (airplane, single engine, land) to exercise the privileges of that certificate. See 61.5 as follows: As an example, I have a commercial with instruments in single and multi-engine airplanes (two check rides, both with instrument performance examined), and a private in gliders (I tested to the private standards without instruments, and then didn't upgrade with a second check ride when I got my commercial in single-engine airplanes). The front of my certificate says "Commercial Pilot." The back says: Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane Private Privileges Glider Tom Buchanan Instructor Emeritus Comm Pilot MSEL,G Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy