Most skydivers once they get their ‘A’ look at this big wide world of skydiving possibility that has been opened to them with enthusiastic glee and immediately do a brilliant impression of skydivers in a bottle store with no adult supervision.
Well slow down there my happy possums, things may not be as simple as you think. Firstly, you are left to your own devices to a much larger degree and with that freedom comes responsibility. As a student a new skydiver is pretty much limited to a curriculum and the prescribed gear. As a licence holder there is far more freedom to express yourself, explore and learn but there are many more rules for you to understand and follow. The rules are not there to provide amusement for the fun police. They are there to keep you alive. The rules are also not hidden away. They are in the MOPs, freely available from the PASA website or in manifest. (Some of them may even be inside my head. All of them are in Mr Norris’s)
A lot of confusion arises with respect to the various categories within FS and AE for example, or camera jumps and their do’s and don’ts.
Things like how many Cat 1 and Cat 2 FS skydivers are allowed on any one formation….and that the rules and requirements are different for AE.
What are the requirements for camera jumps and what is the difference between Basic, Third eye and Specialised camera for example. The requirements for each is different and very important as there are varying levels of risk for each one. What added equipment must I have if I am using a camera? Or are there club rules over and above the MOP’s. The list is long and distinguished my friends and the onus is on you to know it. Before trying something new go and read the book. You will be surprised at what you will learn by paging through the MOPs doing your own research rather than going to a JM or instructor and asking them….. and you will avoid the possible evil glare that results when a JM is asked the same question for the fourth time that day. Please give the poor guy/gal a break and do your homework.
As I stated earlier, the less you are babysat the greater your own responsibility. This is not a sport where the old saying ‘It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission’ holds much water. So, when you come to me, ask a question and the reply is “What do the MOPs say?” I’m not being a wise ass, I’m being an Instructor and I’m busy instructing.
Have fun folks, and DFU.