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Camera wing excercises?

 


GalFisk  (D 23239)

Jun 12, 2013, 2:08 AM
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Camera wing excercises? Can't Post

I recently bought a camera suit used, after I "fell off" a lightweight tandem pair. And I love it. I've done a few training jumps with it, and filmed around 15-20 tandems.
I'm used to jumping RW gear with booties (200+ RW jumps in >500 jumps total), and I've found that I had to relearn some things with the camera wings.

I'd like to know what tips and tricks you experienced camera wing flyers have - what should I learn to do, and what exercises would be good to try - either in solo freefall, or while filming a friend or RW group? I'm using the suit mainly for tandem photography, and I want to do it as well as possible for the paying customer.

Problems I've noticed:
1. Sidesliding - doesn't work the same as in the RW suit. I'm starting to get a hang of it though
2. Hanging outside at the rear of the door, and letting go immediately before the tandem pair - I tend to fly into them. I've started exiting earlier, but then their exit gets pretty small int he video. Is this just a matter of getting the timing right, or could I do something special to keep pace with them - while maintaining good control? Should I be big, or small? Where's the best place to be before they throw the drogue - below them, straight to the side, or above and to the side?
I've also exited after and filmed the drogue deployment from a safe distance above - but filming the AC and exiting pair from below looks much more dramatic, so I'd like to keep doing that, but closer up, without getting in the way.
3. Stopping forward motion without popping up.
4. I've seen camera flyers sit-flying or backflying just below the tandem pair. I have very little experience sit flying (or freeflying in general). Will it help to learn to sit fly competently in "normal" clothes, or is it too different from the camera suit? I'm sure it's better to do it in the suit, but then I can't exercise with other sitflyers.
Any other tips or tricks when it comes to camera wings are of course also welcome, bot flying, maintenance, modifications and in general.
My exit weight is about 95 kg (210 lb), in case that helps.
One modification I've made is to replace the standard wing hooks with RSL hooks, so I can release each wing by pulling a tab. I also shortened the thumb loops, so they stay on the thumbs by friction.


(This post was edited by GalFisk on Jun 12, 2013, 2:09 AM)


theonlyski  (D License)

Jun 12, 2013, 5:08 AM
Post #2 of 8 (5654 views)
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Re: [GalFisk] Camera wing excercises? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've only got a few hundred camera jumps, but I'll give it a shot, I'm sure that the more experienced people will chime in where I'm wrong. Laugh

GalFisk wrote:
1. Sidesliding - doesn't work the same as in the RW suit. I'm starting to get a hang of it though
I honestly haven't got the slightest clue how I sideslide in a camera jacket. I think that I do it about the same way as in RW, but with much more power from the wings, you have to be careful.

Quote:
2. Hanging outside at the rear of the door, and letting go immediately before the tandem pair - I tend to fly into them. I've started exiting earlier, but then their exit gets pretty small int he video. Is this just a matter of getting the timing right, or could I do something special to keep pace with them - while maintaining good control? Should I be big, or small? Where's the best place to be before they throw the drogue - below them, straight to the side, or above and to the side?
I've also exited after and filmed the drogue deployment from a safe distance above - but filming the AC and exiting pair from below looks much more dramatic, so I'd like to keep doing that, but closer up, without getting in the way.

It depends a lot on how the instructor is exiting. I try to talk to instructors that I haven't jumped with before to see how they're going to do it, so I can figure the best shot out. Sometimes its below, sometimes it's right in their face.

For side door: I generally stay right on their ass for the exit, sometimes to the point that I'm in their burble for just a second. Keep the wings small and get a touch below them for the drogue toss. Those things tend to hurt and/or really take up the entire frame. Blush




For 182's, it's a timing art, keep your wings closed and track up to the tandem pair.


Once they toss the drogue, be ready to get slow. I've seen far too many people blow right past the tandem pair because they weren't on the ball with being ahead of the skydive. The TI is much more likely than not to throw the drogue, so be ready for it.


Quote:
3. Stopping forward motion without popping up.
I worked in the tunnel on the very fast stop and go's for forward movement. It works the same on a camera jump, but you have to be QUICK!

When you're approaching with a bunch of speed, you need to reverse (think a big backslide) for just a second, then back to a normal freefall position. The only times I had issues with this were when the tandem pair was screaming and I had to keep the wings basically closed. For those, I generally would bring my knees together at about the same time I brought my arms forward so that my fall rate didn't get effected much. Like earlier, gotta be quick about it though.

Quote:
4. I've seen camera flyers sit-flying or backflying just below the tandem pair. I have very little experience sit flying (or freeflying in general). Will it help to learn to sit fly competently in "normal" clothes, or is it too different from the camera suit? I'm sure it's better to do it in the suit, but then I can't exercise with other sitflyers.

When it's done right, it looks pretty awesome and doesn't present much danger to any of the group... but do not EVER get directly below a tandem. You never know when one of the parachutes could come out or drogue gets released and ruins everyones day.

That being said, I found it a tad easier to sit fly in the camera jacket, but I also suck at freeflying. LaughLaugh


(This post was edited by theonlyski on Jun 12, 2013, 5:30 AM)
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davelepka  (D 21448)

Jun 12, 2013, 5:17 AM
Post #3 of 8 (5647 views)
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Re: [GalFisk] Camera wing excercises? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Hanging outside at the rear of the door, and letting go immediately before the tandem pair - I tend to fly into them

My advice would be to stop jumping the camera wings with tandems until you have refined your exit technique/timing. Getting hit by the drogue is a big deal, and can pose a real danger to the tandem if it gets snagged on any part of your body. Make sure that your exits and subterminal flying are 100% before taking the wings out with tandems.

Quote:
I've seen camera flyers sit-flying or backflying just below the tandem pair. I have very little experience sit flying (or freeflying in general). Will it help to learn to sit fly competently in "normal" clothes, or is it too different from the camera suit? I'm sure it's better to do it in the suit, but then I can't exercise with other sitflyers.

I would suggest that you become a 'good' sit flyer/back flyer before trying it with a tandem, camera suit or not. Once you feel ready, try it on the bottom end of a jump. Back up somewhat, and transition to a sit/back fly and see what happens. The reason you do it close to pull time is in case you drop out of your slot and cannot stay close, the TI is going to open soon anyway, and the video is not 'ruined' because you're trying something new. Once you can do a clean transition, and hold your slot, try flipping to your back a little higher, and flying it longer.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jun 12, 2013, 8:15 PM
Post #4 of 8 (5545 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Camera wing excercises? [In reply to] Can't Post

davelepka wrote:
Quote:
Hanging outside at the rear of the door, and letting go immediately before the tandem pair - I tend to fly into them

My advice would be to stop jumping the camera wings with tandems until you have refined your exit technique/timing. Getting hit by the drogue is a big deal, and can pose a real danger to the tandem if it gets snagged on any part of your body. Make sure that your exits and subterminal flying are 100% before taking the wings out with tandems.

This.


pope  (D 19947)

Jun 14, 2013, 7:04 AM
Post #5 of 8 (5453 views)
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Re: [GalFisk] Camera wing excercises? [In reply to] Can't Post

GalFisk wrote:
I recently bought a camera suit used, after I "fell off" a lightweight tandem pair. And I love it. I've done a few training jumps with it, and filmed around 15-20 tandems.
I'm used to jumping RW gear with booties (200+ RW jumps in >500 jumps total), and I've found that I had to relearn some things with the camera wings.

I'd like to know what tips and tricks you experienced camera wing flyers have - what should I learn to do, and what exercises would be good to try - either in solo freefall, or while filming a friend or RW group? I'm using the suit mainly for tandem photography, and I want to do it as well as possible for the paying customer.

Problems I've noticed:
1. Sidesliding - doesn't work the same as in the RW suit. I'm starting to get a hang of it though
That's because NOT an RW suit. That's like saying "This helicopter is different to fly than this airplane." Learn the suit, THEN fly with others, THEN fly with real tandems.

GalFisk wrote:
2. Hanging outside at the rear of the door, and letting go immediately before the tandem pair - I tend to fly into them. I've started exiting earlier, but then their exit gets pretty small int he video.

Again, learn how to use the tools first. If you want to stay closer to the tandem on exit, using the wings to get you away from them will often times result in exactly what you described. Try getting small and collapsing the wings completely if your on your side or back underneath the tandem, or if you're doing the old school rear float exit, just try exiting with your palms facing upward, kind of tucked up under the bottom of your rig, and try to track back into the airplane. Also, A good rear-float tip is to exit a bit earlier, but exit pushing FORWARD instead of sliding off of the plane. Think of it as being 4 feet away from the plane but looking straight at the subject at the time they exit. Of course every aircraft is a bit different, and you're going to have to find what works for that aircraft. Don't be afraid to learn how to front float either.

GalFisk wrote:
Is this just a matter of getting the timing right, or could I do something special to keep pace with them - while maintaining good control? Should I be big, or small? Where's the best place to be before they throw the drogue - below them, straight to the side, or above and to the side?
...The best place to be depends on the shot you're trying to get.

GalFisk wrote:
3. Stopping forward motion without popping up.
Again, please refer to comment #1.

GalFisk wrote:
4. I've seen camera flyers sit-flying or backflying just below the tandem pair. I have very little experience sit flying (or freeflying in general). Will it help to learn to sit fly competently in "normal" clothes, or is it too different from the camera suit? I'm sure it's better to do it in the suit, but then I can't exercise with other sitflyers.

actually, I think learning to sitfly/freefly will only help your situation. Experience will only help you. If you have a tunnel available it's the quickest route to proficiency. But remember that "sitflying" with wings is different than typical sit-flying. One of the main purposes of wings is to give the camera flyer more range...so you will need to adapt your flying according to the speed of your subject.

Be careful, have fun!


Rstanley0312  (D 31900)

Jun 14, 2013, 10:55 AM
Post #6 of 8 (5417 views)
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Re: [GalFisk] Camera wing excercises? [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with what has been said to the OP but he is asking about drills and how he can work on these skills. Any comments on that? To the OP all of these guys are right. Practice, practice, practice but NOT with tandems! With all of that said I think it really is just getting used to your wings. I find that although there are fundamental things that can be passed on about any form of flying.... everyone flies a little different. I would have some fun with your friends and video them. Is there a 4 way team at your dz? I don't know many jumpers that would turn down video. Then you can practice. After that transition in to video without the wings for a bit and get good at position and knowing where you should be... then you can move towards the wings with the tandem. I believe it was DSE that told me something like.... you cannot get a great shot or footage if you don't know where to be and you definitely won't get it if you do not have the skills to get there. paraphrase but you get the point.

Rob


Jon26  (D 1190)

Jun 16, 2013, 5:02 AM
Post #7 of 8 (5294 views)
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Re: [GalFisk] Camera wing excercises? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm much lighter than you (70kg ish), so while wings aren't a necessity for me, i like to use them to expand my speed range, power and to allow me to sit with even really light tandems.
I have thousands of camera jumps with them now, but had maybe a thousand or so without beforehand.
I agree with the others that you should really practice your camera-flying 'til you're spot-on without the wings before using them.
The transition to using them is pretty easy then.
You should be able to fly your body without really using your arms first. ie keeping them out of the airflow, tucked in. Then later on, when you transition to using the wings, they can be kept closed and gradually experimented with, without them flinging you up n down n all over the place unexpectedly.
As for sitflying, again, learn to do it without wings first, then the transition takes minimal effort without loss of control, and you don't end up developing some freaky style that will hinder your regular free-flying.


mircan  (D 32291)

Jun 17, 2013, 9:04 AM
Post #8 of 8 (5205 views)
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Re: [GalFisk] Camera wing excercises? [In reply to] Can't Post

I jump wing jacket + swoop pants these days (no booties). For the most of the time I use wings for fall rate adjustment, and I use legs for steering. With heavy tandems I just fly with hands on my chest, wings closed.

When I jump 182, I`m hanging on the strut before exit. Leaving with tandem pair. After that I sitfly/backfly the exit, bellyfly the middle and back/sit the opening.
Exiting from the strut, you are out of tandem path and out of drogue path.
You have to go small and ball up to keep with drogueless tandem. You must look TI and anticipate drogue throw so you can pop your wings and stop when they throw it (wings are great for stopping). Takes a bit of practice.

Learn how to go from belly to back without popping up.

I got my audible set to 500ft before tandem opening so I would know when to go to sit. If tandem passenger is not so good, I stay on belly for the whole time.

Using RSL shackles for attachment if good idea. I used plastic clips at the beginning, but switched to stainless RSL quick release after the first time one of the wings disconnected after exit (I managed to got that video OK Wink)
So, try to learn how to fly with just one wing. RSL isn`t bulet-proof. Just last weekend, again, I had to fly with just one wing - I somehow managed to disconnect RSL. Still can`t figure out how? Crazy

On the belly, wings can help you get good steep angle in front of and lower than tandem pair. You can hang onto them like hanging on the shelf.

As for other aircraft (floating exit), it`s all about experience. It helps if TI gives good count, but you have to watch for the center of mass. You have to go earlier. If you go at the same time with them, they will steal your air. Unless you push yourself more sideways rather than sliding down the plane.
If you miss the count, wait for them to pass you by, then go after them. Watch out for the drogue.

Also, depending on the wing construction, there is a possibility that you pull your cutaway handle with wing. Watch out for that.

I don`t use thumb loops, mu swoop cords go around palm. I tried the thumb thing, but the loop got of my finger once, so I`m sticking with the palm loops.

And yes, practice everything on somebody else, not on tandem.



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