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  1. Hi Folks I'm sorry to report the death of Ian Aitken in Colorado recently. Ian started jumping at Strathallan (Scotland) in early 1978 and went on to become a club instructor before moving to Headcorn in Kent to work there full time. He was a member of the British 8 way team in the 1980s and was one of the very first UK AFF Instructors A few years later he moved to Canada where he worked for the Alberta Skydiving association and jumped all over the world. He had spent the last year traveling the world and jumping, visiting Strathallan again last summer. His death is not skydiving related.
  2. I've been despatching S/L students on a full time or part time basis in the UK since 1979. Without a doubt one of the facinanting things about it is that you never know what you're going to see next... sometimes the confident, alert student turns into the scariest thing you've ever seen, sometimes the quiet, introverted, slightly unco-ordinated student turns out to be brilliant. One thing is certain, the advent of ram-air static line systems has made a weak exit and position much more likely to cause problems.
  3. If you've been asked specifically to jumpmaster a load then any decision you make in the air is the correct one. You can argue the pros and cons of this on the ground afterwards. The only criteria is to ask yourself 'What is the correct (safe) thing to do in this situation ?' Your decision may be different from the next persons but that should not stop you calling it as you see it. I've been jumpmastering loads for 25 years - got it wrong sometimes, sometimes right, but I still try to approach it in this way.
  4. You did well... It's a good idea to give yourself a mental cut-off point (do this on the ground), where if you find yourself in trouble with a low speed problem, you'll be prepared when that height comes round. Re. RSLs:- It seems to me that we see people killed worldwide every year where an RSL or AAD would have saved them. Very few (although there are some) are in a situation where the RSL/AAD contributes to the problem. So taking the RSL off or swithching off an AAD requires a decision based on a full appreciation of the consequences good or bad. You're only as good as your last malfunction drill... Practice and stay current on the ground - it could be really useful one day. Blue Skies Every Day