curmudgeon

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  1. I've worked with a system that incorporated wind tunnel training (6 minutes) with the traditional A through E system with two jumpmasters and at a drop zone that used a 15 minute tunnel training session in the FJC followed by single JM jumps. I probably made about a thousand AFF jumps in the two systems and much preferred the two jumpmaster jumps. Tunnel training is a poor indicator of skydiving performance as it is impossible to replicate the trepidation that a student feels in the door of the aircraft. With the extended tunnel training when things went well it was an easy and almost boring skydive, when things when sideways, it was fucking terrifying. The DZ allowed us to do 2 JM jumps when someone was a poor performer in the tunnel but the occasional rockstar in the tunnel was occasionally the most trying AFF student. I am concerned that there seems to be no objective criteria for judging what is acceptable performance in the tunnel and who makes that judgement. I was lucky enough to work with two systems which allowed the AFFI to do the tunnel training and have the final say in what happened on the skydive. I think that the BSR change is reasonable, but there needs to be a mechanism in place to evaluate the efficaciousness of the change and the ability to revoke these changes. I see no such mechanism in place and that is my greatest concern.
  2. yeah skippy, and you just keep posting inane comments...I realize advocating self responsibility is an unpopular notion (Chuck you heartless, hard ass bastard :p ) but the guy took someone elses property and lost it....and now disavows any responsiblity and bemoans the fact that he had a bad spot...and a bad pack job....who is at fault for that? btw...I expected my Cat A student to be capable of landing off field if events warranted it yesterday....I find it amusing that some seem to believe (more likely 'feel') that it would be tantamount to a death sentence.
  3. Let me see if I understand the situation....you're upset because you might be expected to pay for a main canopy that you lost....and because you might have to pay for it, this could lead to a bad decision to not cutaway because of the the expense....so the solution is to buy your own gear, which you certainly will have to pay to replace, if it's ever lost. You just keep thinkin', Butch. That's what you're good at
  4. You say that the IRM quotes some studies...is it really that hard to do a google search and find this information....I doubt it is classified....again, it seems that unless we spoon-feed people this information, they won't take the initiative to find it. I'm betting it's really not that hard. If your dz forbids coaches from teaching a FJC...how do they renew their rating? I seem to recall that teaching the generic part of the FJC is needed for renewal....are the instructors/S&TAs just signing off on these things? That really doesn't make me want to jump on the 'interactive online learning and have the local jumpers do my testing' bandwagon. And, yeah, I am an old school instructor, I do nothing but teach skydiving, and never once have advocated maintaining the status quo, but I also reject change simply for the sake of change. You have a strange notion of what raising the bar is...putting a document online and crowing about the use of technology is not very impressive to me. I can understand how USPA would like to have some notion about who is obtaining a rating by monitoring the purchases of the IRM....it's not like they are knee deep in cash over there anyways. Do you plan to teach AFF and Coach rating courses for free?
  5. You’re evading the questions….how would having more material online have helped you obtain this rating….when by your own admission you only read certain sections to take the pretest? Even if they don’t offer this type of training at your current DZ, as an instructor, aren’t you curious as to what those students were taught? How do you deal with them if they show up at your DZ? What material would you place online that you did not have access to? Do you rise in support of an online rating system as was proposed by the OP. I certainly did not misquote you regarding the nature of your IERC….unless you edited your previous post it said ‘his course, his rules’ now it’s a ‘uspa course run by uspa rules’ While I’m certainly not a hardcore supporter of USPA rating system, I find it interesting that you find it ‘telling’ that they don’t offer the IRM online….telling of what? Why is it a bad idea that everyone who to become an instructor of some sort is required to have a current hard copy of the IRM and SIM? You should have to ‘bust your ass’ to become rated, it shouldn’t be easy….I’ve worked hard to become a S/L JM and I….TI….and AFF I and never once have I believed that I did not have access to the material that I needed to succeed, and this was all in the days before the internet may have been invented. These days I usually find when someone tells me they busted their ass it usually means that they did only what was necessary to complete the card, rarely do I find anyone going above and beyond the minimal requirements. After getting your coach rating, how many FJC did you teach? How many students did you coach? Before the AFFIRC how many practice jumps did you make? This isn’t meant to pick on you, but I see you as representative of the ‘new school’ type of instructor. I’ve spent more time alone with a student these last 5 years, watching my partner flail about the sky, than I did in the 15 years prior to that. As you can probably tell, I have absolutely no interest in making it easier , or more convenient for people to get a rating. I want to have to bust your ass. What we do, what we say can save…or take a life, or cause lifelong immeasurable suffering for one of our students. Typing on this phone is tedious, I’m out….
  6. Here’s a couple things that I see as wrong…first, you went into the IERC not having read the all the material in the IRM….how would having more stuff online helped? Second, the Course Director may have very specific requirements, but it should not be outside the organizations rules. I believe that it should be a USPA course, USPA rules….this is a big problem that I see in the ratings programs….IEs doing whatever they want…. Also, you’re changing the argument….this isn’t about student learning online, this started as an discussion about the possibility of obtaining ratings by online education and proctored practical exams. How do you propose that the veracity of the individuals involved be verified? Even with ‘real’ ratings courses USPA seems to have decided on ‘more’ over ‘better’. Last, nobody is stopping anyone from seeking out more information….the internet abounds with material on teaching theory. Perhaps people should loose the entitlement mentality and actually work towards obtaining a rating rather than expect someone to hand it to them just because the attended a course.
  7. It seems to me that USPA already publishes material that is to be read prior to attending ratings courses....I believe it is called the IRM. From what I've seen, most people can't be bothered to do so. I also agree with Diablopilot that the ratings are far too easy to obtain as it is. The last thing we need is a way for IE to sell more ratings faster. This is such a poorly constructed notion that I can't believe USPA hasn't already started to work on it....
  8. I'm not sure that using groundspeed is the best way to calculate seperation...shouldn't we be using the winds at opening altitude as our frame of reference? It seems to me that their speed and direction can either add to, or nullify, the separation based on the plane's ground speed.....
  9. To those who barrel roll....what do you do if you see someone above you? You've already, in most cases, interupted your track and heading....do you resume tracking and barrel roll again? What do you do with this information then if someone is still above you? Learning to track efficiently may not be as 'cool' as barrel rolling on the gopro....but I would argue that it is a better use of your altitude.
  10. I'm curious, and sorry that this is off topic, why do you feel the need to "crank" an AFF exit around? What circumstances prevail that make this desirable or necessary and what is the goal to such a maneuver? Thanks.
  11. With what are you agreeing? That recurrency training is method specfic or that it is outside the privileges of a coach rating? I think both have been demonstrated to be false from the quotes from the SIM and IRM. If the military jumpers were HALO qualified they would only need to be retrained on the deployment system. That is basic gear orientation which is part of the generic section of the FJC and not method specific. Surely you are not prepared to argue that the 25 jump HALO school is not the equivalent of an AFF program and that graduates of MFF are incapable of doing coached civilian skydives? Oh, and to the guy with 100000 skydives, if you run into a military jumper with only s/l jumps....they are going to need more than 'method specific' training...I may be wrong, but I'm unaware of any s/l program that utilizes anything but conventional gear and round canopies. Those jumpers will need a complete FJC....and then the method specific training. I work with these people all the time, just got done training four of them for their first freefall.....so, just sayin'....
  12. anything bigger and you bet your ass i'm doing a barrel roll. which is a better use of that 5 seconds. And what are you going to do with this information? Obviously you have a plan if you see someone above you....what is it....and when does it change again or do you intend to just keep falling?
  13. I'm not sure what the answer is....but swoopers are certainly their own worse enemy....until last week I would have argued that the low performance, standard pattern people were the problem as almost every load I watch them intrude into the HP landing area either by landing in it, or more typically, by flying through it on base or final, but then I got to go see a 'pro' swoop competition....it was pretty impressive until it was over...and then I got to see a group of 'pro' swoopers preceed to break every rule the DZ had about HP landings....including swooping perpendicular to the lane...which was also perpendicular to everybody else on final....one consistently went big through the center of the DZ...and nobody said a damn word to them....I don't know, maybe they were a 'name' but shouldn't one of the other 'pros' set them straight? Maybe swoopers are the problem and unless they mature and become disciplined perhaps curtailing their activities is the appropriate response.
  14. It's mind boggling to think that with seven jumps you have adequate experience to skydive with zero supervision, I'm not sure what DZ you jump at, but where I work, unlicensed people are not allowed to jump with "zero supervision" instead we follow the guidelines in the SIM regarding their supervision. Even so, if you found that to be 'mind boggling' then you probably would have shit yourself to see me leave an a/c on a s/l....solo....without a flippin' radio on the very first jump....
  15. Instructors serve a larger purpose than just training students to skydive,they are also a resource for all skydivers....they along with the S&TA are a repository of skydiving information. One of the very first pages of theIRM lists the qualities of an instructor...they include experience and knowledge...something that I find lacking in too many of the new AFF/Is that I meet. To be sure there are some old instructors that are equally inept, but at the time they were the exception. Regarding the IE and evaluations....at what point do you stop an individual from testing....how many subpar performances should be allowed? Do we allow people to test, and test, and test, and test until they get lucky and pass? Do you want to be on the other side of a student with someone that has shown the ability to safely work as an AFF/I one tenth of the time? There is no need to look at the system....we had a perfectly functional system in place...but then it was decided that we needed more instructors and that the course was too hard so we turned the course into a joke.... Now, we have 'instructors' being given a 'license to learn' and the rest of the instructional staff has to babysit them while they actually learn how to be an AFF/I. If we were to poll the students that we work with....do you suppose that they would be in favor of more or better instructors? Your profile says you're a Marine....how many tries do they give you? If they decided that they needed more Marines....would you be pleased if they lowered the standards to do so?