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Disciplines

    Annexure B – ARW2 Advanced

    Both competitors participate exclusively in the orientation of "Frontmonaut" and "Backmonaut".
    Make-up of the 5 manches:
    Manche 1 : 3 [Free]

    Manche 2 : 2 [Free] + 1 [Block]

    Manche 3 : 3 [Free] + 2 [Block]

    Manche 4 : 3 [Free]

    Manche 5 : 3 [Free] + 1 [Block]
    For every manches there will be a draw of the individual moves for the respective and eventual sequence.
    Moves for the category Advanced

















    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Annexure C – ARW2 Super Advanced

    Both competitors participate exclusively in the orientation of 'Fronmonaut" and "Backmonaut".
    Make-up of the 5 manches:
    Manche 1 : 3 [Free]

    Manche 2 : 2 [Free] + 1 [Block]

    Manche 3 : 1 [Free] + 2 [Block]

    Manche 4 : 3 [Free]

    Manche 5 : 2 [Free] + 1 [Block]
    For every manches there will be a draw of the individual moves for the respective and eventual sequence.












    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Competition Rules for Atmonauti Skydiving

    1. AUTHORITY
    The competition will be conducted under the authority granted by the Atmonauti
    Committee of the Sports Skydivers Association. All participants accept these rules and
    regulations as binding by registering as a competitor for the competition.
    2. DEFINITIONS
    2.1 Atmonauti Body Position
    Atmonauti is the term given to the technique that intentionally utilises the torso (as
    an aerofoil) to generate lift, while ‘diving’ at an angle of between 30deg – 75deg to
    generate relative wind required for lift.
    Use of the torso to achieve lift allows freedom of limbs to achieve a range of
    handgrips and foot docks, essential for the ARW2 and SFIDA competition formats.
    2.2 Atmonauti Relative Work
    2.2.1 Sequences and Blocks, including transitions and inters, to include
    Frontmonauti, Backmonauti and Footmonauti positions.
    2.2.1.1 Frontmonauti: Head first into relative wind, torso to earth
    2.2.1.2 Backmonauti: Head first into relative wind, back to earth
    2.2.1.3 Footmonauti: Feet first into relative wind, back to earth
    2.3 SFIDA “Challenge”
    Neutral Navigator sets direction, angle and speed, Competitors compete side by
    side of the Navigator and aim to score highest points for that jump by virtue of
    preset docks and grips, to include transitions.
    2.4 Team
    An Atmonauti Relative Work Team will consist of two (2) competitors and a
    videographer. For SFIDA no team will exist and two (2) competitors will compete
    against each other navigated by an appointed qualified navigator. The
    Videographer will be independent from the competitors.
    Grip and docks
    2.4.1 Grip: a recognisable stationary contact of the hand or hands of one
    competitor on a specified part of the body or harness of the other
    competitor, executed in a controlled manner.
    2.4.2 Dock: A recognisable stationary contact of the foot or feet of the one
    competitor on a specified part of the body or harness of the other
    competitor, executed in a controlled manner.
    2.5 Heading
    The direction in which the “leading edge” of the performer faces. further defined in
    terms of Backmonauti and Frontmonauti positions
    2.6 Leading edge
    A specific body part of the performer (either head or feet) which is the first point of
    contact with the relative wind generated from the angle of attack
    2.6.1 Frontmonauti: Head first into relative wind, torso to earth
    2.6.2 Backmonauti: Head first into relative wind, back to earth
    2.6.3 Footmonauti: Feet first into relative wind, back to earth
    2.7 Axis
    2.7.1 3 axis – F (flight direction), P (Perpendicular to F) & H (Horizontal)
    2.8 Atmonauti position
    Objective is to achieve head-on relative wind (or a custom “tube”) at an angle of
    between 30deg – 75deg to the ground, with horizontal movement in relation to the
    ground, whilst searching for lift with the torso - freeing up the limbs to achieve hand
    grips and foot docks.
    2.9 Move
    A change in body position, and/or a rotation around one or more of the three body
    axes or a static pose.
    2.10 Navigator
    Neutral Navigator responsible for setting direction, angle and speed. No eye contact
    or assistance should be present.
    2.11 No Fly Zone Frontmonauti<.p>
    Behind, below, and not on head level during the approach (i.e. must be above,
    ahead and on head level).
    2.12 No Fly Zone Backmonauti
    Ahead, above, and not on head level during the approach (i.e. must be below,
    behind and on head level).
    2.13 Head level
    The level of the approaches - utilising the head as reference in relation to the angle
    of attack set by Navigator.
    2.14 Total Separation
    Is when all competitors show at one point in time that they have released all their
    grips and no part of their arms or body have contact with another body.
    2.15 Inter
    Is an intermediate requirement within a block sequence which must be performed
    as depicted in the dive pool.
    2.16 Sequence
    Is a series of random formations/free moves and block sequences which are
    designated to be performed on a specific jump.
    2.17 Scoring move/formation
    Is a move which is correctly completed and clearly presented either as a free move
    or within a block sequence as depicted in the dive pool, and which, apart from the
    first move after exit, must be preceded by a correctly completed and clearly
    presented total separation or inter, as appropriate
    2.18 Infringement
    2.18.1 An incorrect or incomplete formation which is followed within working time
    by either
    2.18.1.1 Total separation or,

    2.18.1.2 An inter, whether correct or not.
    2.18.2 A correctly completed formation preceded by an incorrect inter or incorrect
    total separation
    2.18.3 A formation, inter, or total separation not clearly presented
    2.18.4 In SFIDA, where one or both competitors cause instability to the navigator,
    adversely affecting the other competitor on the same jump.
    2.19 Omission
    2.19.1 A formation or inter missing from the draw sequence
    2.19.2 No clear intent to build the correct formation or inter is seen and another
    formation or inter is presented and there is an advantage to the team
    resulting from the substitution.
    2.20 Working Time
    Is the period of time during which teams are scored on a jump which starts the first
    moment and competitor (other than the videographer) separates from the aircraft,
    as determined by the Judges and terminates a number of seconds later as specified
    in chapter 3.
    2.21 NV
    Moves, inters, or total separations not visible on screen due to meteorological
    conditions, or factors relating to the videographer's freefall video equipment that
    cannot be controlled.
    2.22 Rounds
    Minimum 1 round to call the meet.
    2.23 Backmonauti
    The performer will be on heading flying on his back with his back towards the earth.
    2.24 Frontmonauti
    The performer will be on heading flying at the defined angle as per atmonauti
    definition with his back towards the sky.
    2.25 Footmonauti
    The performer will be on heading feet-first flying at the defined angle as per
    atmonauti definition with his back towards the ground.
    2.26 Formation
    A record attempt formation is considered as built when two or more competitors fly
    on heading with a predefined dock or grip held for minimum 3 seconds, and is the
    basis for the Atmonauti Linked National/World Records. A free move formation,
    however, is merely a recognisable stationary contact of the hand/hands or foot/feet
    – and does not require to be held for 3 seconds as per record attempts.
    3. ROUTINES
    3.1 The discipline is comprised of SFIDA and Atmonauti Relative Work.
    3.2 Number of rounds:
    a. SFIDA: a total of 4 competition rounds will be completed with a minimum of one
    round to be completed before a meet can be called.

    b. ARW: a total of 5 competition rounds will be completed with a minimum of one
    round to be completed before a meet can be called.
    3.3 All SFIDA competitions will be judged by an elimination process where the two
    highest scoring competitors in any given round will compete against each other in the following round and the second and third ranking competitors will compete
    against each other and so forth.
    3.4 In the case of a tie for a specific round, the previous total points are added to
    identify the highest total average per competitor.
    3.5 Should a tie persist, a one jump tie breaker will be performed with the highest
    scoring competitor moving to the next round.
    3.6 A tie breaker may also be required for placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
    4. THE EVENTS
    4.1 The discipline will be comprised of the following events:
    4.1.1 ARW Events: Exit altitude is 11 000 feet AGL; working time is 40 seconds.
    4.1.2 SFIDA Events: Exit altitude is 11 000 feet AGL; working time is 40
    seconds.
    4.1.3 For meteorological reasons only, and with the consent of both the Event and Chief Judge, the Meet Director might change the exit altitude and/or working time and continue the competition. In this case the following
    conditions will apply:
    4.1.3.1 The working time will be:

    a. 20 or 40 seconds for the ARW Events

    b. 20 or 40 seconds for the SFIDA Events.

    The reduced working time must be used if the exit altitude is lowered (ref 4.1.1 and 4.1.2). The next round must commence if working time is changed and all competitors will be scored on
    the same working time for a specific round.
    4.1.3.2 The minimum exit altitude will be:

    a. 7 000 feet AGL for the ARW Events

    b. 7 000 feet AGL for the SFIDA Events.

    The maximum exit altitude will be 13 000 feet AGL for all
    events.
    4.2 Objective of the Event
    4.2.1 The objective of the event is for the a team (ARW) or single competitor
    (SFIDA) to complete as many scoring moves as possible within the given
    working time, while correctly following the sequence for the specific round.
    4.2.2 The accumulated total of all rounds completed is used to determine the
    placing of teams for ARW and the process of elimination as defined in chapter 3 is applied to determine the placing of individual SFIDA
    competitors.
    4.2.2.1 For ARW if two or more teams have equal scores the following order of procedures will be applied:
    4.2.2.1.1 For determining final standings:

    a. the highest score in any completed round;

    b. the highest score starting with the last completed
    round and continuing in reverse order, round by
    round until the tie is broken,

    c. the fastest time (measured to hundredths of a
    second) to the last common scoring move in the
    last completed round.

    d. one tie break round if possible (for the first three
    placings only).
    4.3 Performance Requirements
    4.3.1 Each round consists of a sequence of formations depicted in the dive pools
    of the appropriate annexes, as determined by the draw.

    4.3.2 It is the responsibility of the team or individual competitor to clearly present
    the start of working time, correct scoring moves, inters and total separation to the judges.
    4.3.3 Scoring moves need not to be perfectly symmetrical, but they must be
    performed in a controlled manner. Mirror images of moves and whole
    block sequences are not permitted.
    4.3.4 In sequences, total separation is required between block sequences,
    between free or random moves, and between block sequences and free
    moves.
    4.3.5 Where degrees are shown (180, 270, 360, 540) this indicates the approximate degrees and direction of turn required to complete the inter as intended. The degrees shown are approximately that amount of the circumference of the subgroup's centre point to be presented to the centre point(s) of the other subgroup(s). For judging purposes, the approximate degrees and direction of turn of subgroups centrepoints will be assessed using only the two dimensional video evidence as presented.
    4.3.6 Contact or grips are allowed between subgroups during execution of the
    inter.
    4.3.7 Where subgroups are shown, they must remain intact as a subgroup with
    only the depicted grips.
    4.3.8 Assisting handholds on other jumpers or their equipment within a
    subgroup/competitor or a scoring formation are permitted.
    5. GENERAL RULES
    5.1 Teams may consist of competitors of either or both sexes, except in the female
    event where (except for the videographer) all competitors must be female.
    5.2 The Draw
    5.2.1 The draw of the sequences will be supervised by the Chief Judge. Teams
    will be given not less than two hours knowledge of the results of the draw
    before the competition starts.
    5.2.2 Event Draws: All the «Block sequences» (numerically numbered) and the
    «Free moves» (alphabetically marked) shown in the appropriate annex will be singularly placed in one container. Individual withdrawal from the
    container, (without replacement) will determine the sequences to be jumped in each round. Each round will be drawn so as to consist of three
    or four scoring formations, whichever number is reached first. Alternatively this draw can be done on a Recognised electronic scoring/judging system as approved by the Meet Director and Chief Judge.
    5.2.3 Use of Dive Pool: Each block or formation will be drawn only once for the scheduled rounds of each competition. In the event that additional rounds are necessary, due to the tie-breaking jump-off, the dive pool for this round will consist of the blocks and free moves which were not drawn for the scheduled rounds. In the event that all of the remaining blocks and formations do not complete the tie breaking round, the draw will continue from an entire original dive pool in that event, excluding any blocks or formations which have already been drawn for that round.
    5.3 Competitors are not allowed to use a wind tunnel (freefall simulator) after the draw
    has been made.
    5.4 Jump Order
    5.4.1 Determined by a draw.
    5.4.2 Should conditions or availability not allow for Jump Order to be executed
    as per draw, Competitors ready and present shall be given first option to
    continue with the rounds.
    5.5 Video Transmission and Recording
    5.5.1 Each team shall provide the video evidence required to judge each round.
    Each freefall Videographer must use the video transmission system if
    provided by the Organiser.
    5.5.2 For the purpose of these rules, «freefall video equipment» shall consist of the complete video system(s) used to record the video evidence of the team’s freefall performance, including the camera(s), video media, tape recorder(s), and battery(ies). All freefall video equipment must be able to deliver a PAL digital signal through an IEEE 1395 compatible connection (Firewire) or composite video compatible connection.
    5.5.3 As soon as possible after each jump is completed, the freefall videographer must deliver the freefall video equipment (including the tape(s) used to record that jump) for dubbing at the designated dubbing station.
    5.5.4 Only one video recording will be dubbed and judged. Secondary video recordings may only be used in NV situations.
    5.5.5 The dubbing station will be as close to the landing area as possible.
    5.5.6 A Video Controller will be appointed by the Chief Judge prior to the start of the Judges’ Conference. The Video Controller may inspect a team’s freefall video equipment to verify that it meets the performance requirements as determined by him/her. Inspections may be made at any time during the competition which do not interfere with a team’s performance, as determined by the Event Judge. If any freefall video equipment does not meet the performance requirements as determined by the Video Controller, this equipment will be deemed to be unusable for the competition.
    5.5.7 A Video Review Panel will be established prior to the start of the official training jumps, consisting of the Chief Judge, the President of the Jury, and the Chairman, or acting Chairman, of the Atmonauti SSA Committee.
    Decisions rendered by the Video Review Panel shall be final and shall not be subject to protest or review by the Jury.
    5.5.8 If the Video Review Panel determines that the freefall video equipment has been deliberately tampered with, the team will receive no points for all competition rounds involved with this tampering.
    5.6 Exit Procedure
    5.6.1 Exit first (prior to FS, AE, Wingsuiting on the same jump run) at altitude.
    There are no limitations on the exit other than those imposed by the JM for
    safety reasons.
    5.6.2 The exit will be controlled by the Navigator in SFIDA and Team Principle in ARW2. Exit commands will be made using an appropriate signal system, and should be discussed prior to boarding with the pilot.
    5.6.3 Atmo groups will be required to fly minimum 45 degrees off jump run in order to create horizontal separation to freefall groups exiting after atmonauti group.
    5.7 Scoring
    5.7.1 A team will score one point for each scoring move performed in the sequence within the allotted Working Time of each round. Teams may continue scoring by continually repeating the sequence.
    5.7.2 For each omission two points will be deducted. If both the inter and the second move in a block sequence are omitted, this will be considered as only one omission.
    5.7.3 If an infringement in the scoring move of a block sequence is carried into the inter (ref. 2.8), this will be considered as one infringement only, provided that the intent of the inter requirements for the next formation is clearly presented and no other infringement occurs in the inter.
    5.7.4 The minimum score for any round is zero points, except where zero points have been awarded and penalty/ies imposed.
    5.8 Rejumps
    5.8.1 In a NV situation, the video evidence will be considered insufficient for judging purposes, and the Video Review Panel will assess the conditions and circumstances surrounding that occurrence. In this case a rejump will be given unless the Video Review Panel determines that there has been an intentional abuse of the rules by the team, in which case no rejump will
    be granted and the team’s score for that jump will be zero.
    5.8.2 Contact or other means of interference between competitors in a team and/or their Videographer shall not be grounds for the team to request a rejump with regards to ARW. In the case of the SFIDA category adverse whether conditions such as bad visibility (in cloud), any contact or other means of interference between the navigator and competitiors and/or between the Videographer shall be grounds for the individual competitors
    to request a rejump – granted at the sole discretion of the Atmonauti Event Judge.
    5.8.3 Adverse weather conditions during a jump are no grounds for protest. However, a rejump may be granted due to adverse weather conditions, at
    the discretion of the Chief Judge.
    5.8.4 Problems with a competitor’s equipment (excluding freefall video
    equipment) shall not be grounds for the team to request a rejump.
    5.9 Training Jumps
    5.9.1 Each team in each event will be given the option of one official training jump before the draw is made.
    5.9.2 The aircraft type and configuration, plus the judging and scoring systems to
    be used in the competition will be used for the official training jump.
    5.9.3 Two sequences will be created by the Chief Judge. Only teams performing
    one of these sequences will receive an evaluation and posted score.

    6. JUDGING
    6.1 The official training jump and competition jumps will be judged as the Videographer
    provides the video evidence. The Chief Judge may modify this procedure with the
    consent of the FAI Controller.
    6.2 The judging will, as far as practical circumstances allow (landings out, rejumps etc),
    be judged in the reverse order of placing.
    6.3 Three Judges must evaluate each team’s performance.
    6.4 The Judges will watch the video evidence of each jump to a maximum of three times at normal speed. If, after the viewings are completed, and within fifteen seconds of the knowledge of the result, the Chief Judge, Event Judge or any Judge on the panel considers that an absolutely incorrect assessment has occurred, the Chief Judge or Event Judge will direct that only that part(s) of the jump in question be reviewed. If the review results in a unanimous decision by the Judges on the part(s) of the performance in question, the score for the jump will be adjusted accordingly. Only one review is permitted for each jump.
    6.5 The Judges will use the electronic scoring system to record their evaluation of the performance. At the end of working time, freeze frame will be applied on each viewing, based on the timing taken from the first viewing only. The Judges may correct their evaluation record after the jump has been judged. Corrections to the
    evaluation record can only be made before the Chief Judge signs the score sheet. All individual Judge’s evaluation will be published.
    6.6 A majority of Judges must agree in the evaluation in order to;


    • credit the scoring move, or

    • assign an omission, or

    • determine an NV situation.

    6.7 The chronometer will be operated by the Judges or by a person(s) appointed by the
    Chief Judge, and will be started as determined in 2.13. If Judges cannot determine
    the start of the working time, the following procedure will be followed. Working time
    will start as the videographer separates from the aircraft and a penalty equal to 20%
    (rounded down) of the score for that jump will be deducted from the score for that
    jump.

    7. RULES SPECIFIC TO THE COMPETITION
    7.1 Title of the Competition: Atmonauti National/World/Continental Championships
    7.2 Aims of Atmonauti National/World/Continental Championships
    7.2.1 To determine National/World/Continental Champions of Atmonauti in the:



    • ARW (Atmo Relative Work),

    • SFIDA “Challenge”

    7.2.2 and


    • To determine the world standings of the competing teams,

    • To establish Atmonauti formation/distance/other world records,

    • To promote and develop Atmonauti,

    • To present a visually attractive image of the competition jumps and
    standings (scores) for competitors, spectators and media,

    • To exchange ideas, experience, knowledge and information, and
    strengthen friendly relations between the sport parachutists, judges, and
    support personnel of all nations,

    • To improve judging methods and practices.
    7.3 Composition of Delegations:
    7.3.1 Each delegation may be comprised of:

    • One (1) Head of Delegation,

    • One (1) Team Manager,

    • Freefall videographers as.7.3.4 and
    7.3.2 At a World/Continental Championship:

    • Two (2) ARW2 teams consisting of up to:
    Six (6) ARW2 Competitors

    • One (1) female ARW2 team consisting of up to:
    Three (3) female ARW2 Competitors

    • SFIDA contestants consisting of up to:
    Three (3) Individual Competitors
    7.3.3 At a World Cup:

    • Any number of teams per event (composed as for a World
    Championship) to be decided by the Organiser and announced in the
    bulletins.
    7.3.4 Videographers must be entered for each team as part of the delegation and must be a member of the Delegation’s NAC. A Videographer may be replaced at any time during the competition, (with the agreement of the FAI Controller). The evaluation process for the video evidence will be the same for any Videographer. Videographers may be one of the following:

    a. One person in addition to the team composition in 7.3.2. This competitor
    is to be considered as a team member for the purposes of awards and
    medals.

    b. Any other person (ref 7.3.6). This Videographer is eligible to receive
    awards and medals. This Videographer may jump as a ‘pool’ Videographer and is subject to the same regulations as other competitors on the team.
    7.3.5 If any ARW team consists of competitors from the SFIDA, they should be
    listed separately on the entry form.
    7.3.6 Any ARW competitor can only enter in one ARW team as ‘performer’ but may enter as a ‘pool’ Videographer. A competitor in the ARW event cannot also enter in the Female ARW event.
    7.4 Program of Events for SFIDA:
    7.4.1 The World Championships is comprised of:

    • Up to 8 rounds considered as selection rounds, and

    • Final rounds, consisting of 4 quarter finals, two semi finals, one runners
    up and one finals round.
    7.4.2 Time must be reserved before the end of competition to allow for the
    completion of the semi-final, final and runners up round.
    7.4.2.1. The quarter-final rounds will consist of the individuals with the 8
    highest scores from the selection rounds.
    7.4.2.2. The semi final rounds will consist of the individuals with the 4
    highest scores from the quarter-finals.
    7.4.2.3. The finals round will consist of the individuals with the 2 highest
    scores from the semi final rounds.
    7.4.2.4. The runners up round will consist of the lowest scores of each
    of the 2 semi finals rounds.
    7.4.3 A selection round left incomplete must be completed as soon as possible,
    but after the round in progress has been completed.
    7.4.4 If all the selection rounds are not completed at the starting time of the
    quarter-finals, the round in progress will become the semi final or final
    round as appropriate. Where this is the semi final, the next drawn round
    will be used for the final round. The following procedures will apply
    i) The round in progress will be completed if ten or less (in the case of
    semi finals) or six or less (in the case of finals) teams remain to jump.
    All scores for this round will count.
    ii) The round in progress will be performed by only the ten (in the case of
    semi finals) or six (in the case of finals) highest placed teams if more
    than ten (in the case of semi finals) or six (in the case of finals) teams
    remain to jump. The scores of any other teams in this round will be
    discarded.
    7.4.5 The competition will be organised during a maximum time frame of 5 competition days. Exceptions may be made where a bid is received for
    multiple FCE competitions at one time.
    7.5 Medals and Diplomas are awarded as follows:

    • All team members (ARW) and individuals (SFIDA) in the events will be awarded
    medals if placed First, Second or Third.

    • Certificates are awarded to all competitors that are placed First to Tenth.

    8. DEFINITIONS OF SYMBOLS
    8.1 Coding in the Dive Pool annexes is as follows:
    8.1.1 Indicates Move by the competitor:
    See image 1 top right.
    8.1.2 Indicates transition on “defined’ axis by competitor in either direction:
    See image 2 top right.
    8.2 Visualisation for dock/grip positions, (Ref: 2.5)
    See image 3 top right.

    See image 4 top right.

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Atmonauti MOPs and PASA

    CONTENTS 1. GENERAL



    1.1 THE CATEGORY TESTS ARE DESIGNED FOR

    1.2 ATMONAUTI COACHES

    1.3 TEACHING FORMAT

    1.4 COACHING CRITERIA & LAYOUT OF INSTRUCTIONAL COURSE

    >2. EQUIPMENT



    2.1 CONTAINER

    2.2 DEPLOYMENT SYSTEM

    2.3 ALTIMETERS

    2.4 CLOTHING

    2.5 AAD (AUTOMATIC ACTIVATION DEVICE)

    2.6 RESERVE HANDLES

    2.7 GOGGLES

    2.8 HELMET

    3. PROCEDURES & RULES OF THE SKY



    3.1 DEFINITIONS

    3.2 GROUP LOADS

    3.3 FLIGHT PATTERNS

    4. CATEGORY TESTS AND REQUIREMENTS



    4.1.a FRONTMONAUTI

    4.1.b CATEGORY II

    4.2.a BACKMONAUTI

    4.2.b CATEGORY III

    4.3 FLIGHT NAVIGATOR

    4.4.a FOOTMONAUTI

    4.4.b CAT IV

    5. LICENCE REQUIREMENTS
    6. COACHES

    1. GENERAL
    Atmonauti, unlike traditional freefall - including tracking and flocking - (that utilises the relative gravitational wind from “below” to achieve a multitude of stable body positions at terminal velocity) is the term given to the technique that intentionally utilises lift to compensate for the effect of gravity, in order to achieve relative wind (or a custom “tube”) at an angle of between 30deg - 75deg, where after the atmonaut (atmosphere navigator) introduces a multitude of three dimensional body positions, transitions, and docks, while “falling” at greatly reduced speeds (70mph – 110mph), resulting in extended free-fall time and increased safety.
    Atmonauti, due to the reduced air speeds, is a social discipline, which is accessible to the masses.
    Atmonauti incorporates Frontmonauti, Backmonauti, Footmonauti, and Inverted Footmonauti.
    The Atmonauti coach is the navigator in the group jumps, is capable of coaching single jumpers and/or groups of jumpers at ground-school level specific to safety, technique, navigation, slot positioning and break-off etc. and is furthermore responsible to fly as base navigator in the formation, while communicating body position improvements and general flight path direction and break-off.
    It will be necessary that the coaches are involved in the management of the activity at the centres and be responsible for all activities different from vertical fall, specific to flight planning.
    The logical progression of skills is:

    1. understanding the concept of flight vs. fall,

    2. understanding the concept of no-fly zones and flying on “level”,

    3. “flying” the tube (frontmonauti and backmonauti),

    4. adjusting speeds,

    5. adjusting levels,

    6. rotating around two of the three axes,

    7. transitions into the various body positions,

    8. break-off direction and altitudes.
    As soon as a student has successfully completed ISP progression, such a student can choose to progress to Atmonauti.
    An Atmo ISP programme is designed to assist ISP Students who wish to progress to Atmonauti CAT II and CAT III.
    Jump 1 - one on one with coach

    Jump 2 - one on one with coach

    Jump 3 - one on one with coach

    Jump 4 - one on one with coach

    Jump 5 - group jumps, with maximum 2 Cat I students

    Jump 6 - group jumps, with maximum 2 Cat I students

    Jump 7 - group jumps, with maximum 2 Cat I students
    B licence and above may join coaching groups without the Cat II requirement.
    1.1 THE CATEGORY TEST JUMPS ARE DESIGNED FOR
    The student who has obtained Category I status through the successful completion of the Intermediate Skills Programme.
    1.2 ATMONAUTI COACHES
    The Atmonauti category system is instruction based. In order for students to progress safely and without learning bad habits, it is essential that coaches actively participate. Current and competent PASA rated Atmonauti Coaches, who need not be PASA instructors, can teach it. Provided that the teaching is standardised (taken directly from the manual) the student should be able to visit any drop zone in the country and receive the same coaching and information. The holder of a current coach rating must sign off Category II, Category III and Category IV tests.
    CATEGORY SYSTEM COACH’S OBJECTIVES
    • To provide information before, during and after the skydive

    • To teach basic Atmonauti and further discipline skills, as laid down in this section

    • To teach SAFE Atmonauti flying in any one of the disciplines in a way that both the coach and student never loose sight of having fun

    • To communicate in the air by using “in air” signals

    • To teach and remedy mistakes as they happen in order that the student may carry on learning throughout the skydive

    • To give the student a good deal



    NOTE: Acknowledge if you have made a mistake – the student will appreciate an honest coach.
    1.3 TEACHING FORMAT
    Before the jump:


    • Check student’s logbook - look for indication of a student’s ability.

    • Talk through student’s objectives - applicable to the skydive.

    • Talk through the jump sequence and show a video if possible.

    • Teach each new skill in turn - applicable to the skydive.

    • Discuss importance of flying minimum 45 degrees off jump run, and following the Coach/Navigator at all times.

    • Dirt dive the jump sequence as best as possible from exit to pull (talking the student through).

    • Dirt dive the jump sequence as best as possible from exit to pull (the student talking you through).

    • Confirm in air signals (practice these with student).

    • Confirm break off altitudes and direction of break-off.

    • Confirm emergency procedures.

    • Check equipment and dirt dive more.
    In the Aircraft:


    • During the climb (approximately 5000ft) ask the student to talk you through the skydive from exit to pull.

    • Suggest that the student mentally dirt dives periodically until run-in.

    • On run-in and before exit check pins and puffs.

    • Take student to the door and observe the spot.
    After the Jump:


    • Debrief – first the student’s version then the coach’s (dirt dive exactly what happened from exit to pull)

    • Corrective training – establish the student’s weak points and give corrective training. Advise the student what to practice on the next jump.

    • Logbook – student to fill in the logbook making comments on each part of the jump sequence. Coach must write in their recommendation for a repeat or pass on the skydive.
    NOTE: It is recommended that the coach jump with a camera. Video is one of the best training tools.
    NOTE: The next coach can obtain valuable information if the logbook has been filled in correctly.
    1.4 COACHING CRITERIA & LAYOUT OF INSTRUCTIONAL COURSE
    1.4.1 Introduction
    Atmonauti is the term given to the technique that intentionally utilises the torso (as an aerofoil) to generate lift, while ‘diving’ at an angle of between 30deg – 75deg to generate relative wind required for lift.
    1.4.2 Comparison Freefall vs Atmonauti/Flight (including tracking)
    Freefall = no lift attempted. Tracking = spilling air. ATMO = lift generated with angle + torso.
    1.4.3 Concept of lift, how to use the torso as an aerofoil, including angle
    Discuss aerofoil, relative wind striking leading edge travelling over torso, importance of angle.
    1.4.4 Round vs Square canopies (drag vs flight)



    • Round = Drag, no lift, freefall

    • Square = angle of attack to generate air speed, use of aerofoil to create lift, front/rear risers
    1.4.5 Body Positions – Frontmonauti only, Backmonauti as reference



    • General Body Position - Chin Down, Arms Forward, hips back, retaining curvature

    • Control surfaces – Arms and legs to speed up and down, use of hips to change angle

    • Backmonauti position discussed briefly for reference only.
    1.4.6 Fly Zones, flying on head level



    • General set up above and ahead, seeking opposite horizon

    • Discuss head level at angle in relation to the ground

    • Discuss no fly zones and reasons
    1.4.7 Exit – placing in door, count, exit order, correct body position on exit
    1.4.8 Flight path – 45 min deg to jump run (safety 1st)
    Discuss importance of flying off jump run and staying with group to avoid risk of collision, move to centre on opening i.e. after break-off return to common centre away from jump run until other canopies open.
    1.4.9 Break-off and varying altitudes of break-off for groups
    Maintaining position in group, breaking off with angle of 45 deg between jumpers “fanning out”
    1.4.10 Signals
    Turn left/right, speed up, increase angle, break off, other
    1.4.11 Equipment including audible altimeters
    1.4.12 Log book and reference to Manual of Procedures, briefing and debriefing of jump, signing of logbook, informing NSTO of category qualifications, etc.

    2. EQUIPMENT
    Every skydiver’s nightmare is a premature opening. Firstly, the jumper may be transitioning and become entangled; secondly, they will be going faster than the recommended canopy opening speed; potentially fast enough to hurt, seriously injure or even blow up the reserve.
    2.1 CONTAINER
    Containers must be tight fitting and should never allow for exposure of risers, pins and most importantly the bridle and pilot chute. Exposed risers are not recommended. Ensure that all pin protection flaps and riser covers are secure as with AE container requirements.
    2.2 DEPLOYMENT SYSTEM
    Bottom of container (BOC) throwaway or a pullout deployment are vital as the pilot chute and bridle must be stowed tightly away from the airflow. NO leg strap throwaway’s allowed. Keep your closure loop tight and in good condition, inspect it for wear on a regular basis (every pack job) and check Velcro for wear.
    2.3 ALTIMETERS
    It is advisable for every participant to wear not only visual, but audible altimeters on all Atmonauti flights.
    However, it is a compulsory requirement that a minimum of 50% of the atmonauts on the same formation wear audible altimeters.
    2.4 CLOTHING
    It is important that clothing does not restrict movement and that it does not cover cut-away / reserve handles
    2.5 AAD (AUTOMATIC ACTIVATION DEVICE)
    An AAD is recommended to all those who can afford it. The potential for collisions exists.
    2.6 RESERVE HANDLES
    Ensure that Velcro is in a good condition. One can also decide to change the metal D – handle to a puff the same as the cutaway puff. However if you prefer to jump with your alti on your palm the D – handle is the preferred option.
    2.7 GOGGLES
    Should not limit visibility and should be securely tightened, as the varying body positions and higher speeds easily dislodge them.

    2.8 HELMET
    A hard shell helmet (and goggles – for open face helmets) is compulsory for all Atmo skydivers excluding “D” licence holders.

    3. PROCEDURES AND RULES OF THE SKY
    3.1 DEFINITIONS
    Student refers to the person performing the test
    Coach refers to the coach of the test, as well as the reference point or Navigator for the student. It is the responsibility of the student to appoint a capable coach / cameraperson and confirm it with the CI.

    Navigator refers to the person in the sky toward whom the student or the rest of the formation is working towards, who sets angle and speed, and who’s responsibility it is to fly minimum 45 degrees off of jump run.

    Atmonauti Relative Work (ARW) refers to Sequences and Blocks, including transitions and inters, to include Frontmonauti, Backmonauti and Footmonauti positions.

    Backmonauti refers to the performer flying on heading on his back with his back towards the earth.

    Frontmonauti refers to the performer flying on heading on his belly with his back towards the sky.

    Footmonauti refers to the performer flying on heading feet-first with his back towards the ground.

    Break Off refers to separation in the sky prior to opening altitude. Minimum break off altitude is 4500ft AGL to allow for good separation and time to slow down. Please see 3.2 Group Loads for additional information specific to Group break off minimum requirements.

    Grip is a recognisable stationary contact of the hand(s) of one competitor on a specified part of the body or harness of the other competitor, executed in a controlled manner.

    Dock is a recognisable stationary contact of the foot (feet) of the one competitor on a specified part of the body or harness of the other competitor, executed in a controlled manner.

    Atmonauti position: objective is to achieve head-on relative wind (or a custom “tube”) at an angle of between 30deg – 75deg to the ground, with horizontal movement in relation to the ground, whilst searching for lift with the torso - freeing up the limbs to achieve hand grips and foot docks.

    Heading refers to the direction in which the “leading edge” of the performer faces.
    Leading edge refers to a specific body part of the performer (either head or feet) which is the first point of contact with the relative wind generated from the angle of attack.

    No Fly Zone Frontmonauti: Behind, below, and not on head level during the approach

    No Fly Zone Backmonauti: Ahead, above, and not on head level during the approach
    Head level: The level of the approaches - utilising the head as reference in relation to the angel of attack set by Navigator.
    3.2 GROUP LOADS
    Groups from 2 – 3 jumpers will break off at an altitude of 4500 feet AGL, in accordance with the break-off pattern as briefed by the coach/navigator.
    Groups from 4 – 7 jumpers will break off in two phases, with 4 jumpers breaking off at 5000 feet AGL and the remaining jumpers breaking off at 4500 feet AGL, in accordance with the break-off pattern as briefed by the coach/navigator.
    Groups from 8 – 11 jumpers will break off in three phases, with 4 jumpers breaking off at 5500 feet AGL, 4 jumpers breaking off at 5000 feet AGL, and the remaining jumpers breaking off at 4500 feet AGL, in accordance with the break-off pattern as briefed by the coach/navigator.
    Groups from 12 – 15 jumpers will break off in four phases, with 4 jumpers breaking off at 6000 feet AGL, 4 jumpers breaking off at 5500 feet AGL, 4 jumpers breaking off at 5000 feet AGL, and the remaining jumpers breaking off at 4500 feet AGL, in accordance with the break-off pattern as briefed by the coach/navigator.
    Minimum exit altitude for Atmonauti jumps is 7000 feet AGL.
    3.3 FLIGHT PATTERNS
    Flight patterns are in accordance with aircraft exit patterns as briefed by the coach or navigator, but whereby in general it is important to note that experienced navigator groups exit first and whereby inexperienced solo jumpers/groups will exit last (excluding wingsuit jumpers), and should be discussed prior to boarding with the pilot.
    In general the Atmonauti groups fly at minimum 45 deg to run-in so as to fly away from, and create separation to, freefall jumpers exiting closer to the dz.
    In the event that more than one Atmonauti group is present on the aircraft, the first group will exit at 45 deg to right and the second group 45 deg to the left and third group 45 deg to right (as with first group) and so on.
    Inexperienced groups exiting last should be aware that a flight pattern of 130 deg might be required in order to avoid flying away from the recommended landing area. Attention should be paid to the direction of the preceding Atmonauti loads to avoid opening close to such preceding groups.

    4 CATEGORY TESTS AND REQUIREMENTS
    Cat I and B, C & D licence jumpers may commence a Cat II and Cat III Atmonauti progression course.
    One-on-one instructionals are not obligatory but highly recommended.
    4.1.a Frontmonauti



    • have passed a theory exam on the basic Frontmonauti rules and techniques.

    • have passed a test that consists of performing a flight with the instructor who, during the flight, will perform changes of speed, of angle and of trajectory.

    • the candidate will have to demonstrate the ability to always remain at a constant distance in relation to the coach, and never be in the “no fly zones”.

    • have passed practice jumps that consists of being able to synchronize with the formation and remain at a constant distance, and on level with it, for the duration of the flight, while never going into the “no-fly zone”.

    • have shown the ability to correctly separate in frontmonauti at break off.

    • to execute the above test correctly on three consecutive flights.
    4.1.b CAT II



    • have successfully passed Frontmonauti brevet/license requirements (see above).

    • have passed a test of exiting the aircraft 1 second after the coach, taking a stable dock from the fly-zone within 10 seconds, holding the dock for 5 seconds, releasing and crossing over the coach to the opposite side, taking a stable dock and holding the dock for 5 seconds.
    Once the Atmonauti CAT II is obtained, the candidate will be free to participate in large Atmonauti groups utilising the Frontmonauti body position exclusively without a recognised coach present.
    4.2.a Backmonauti



    • have passed a theory exam on the basic Backmonauti rules and techniques.

    • have passed a test that consists of performing a flight with the coach who, during the flight, will perform changes of speed, of angle and of trajectory.

    • the candidate will have to demonstrate the ability to always remain at a constant distance in relation to the coach, and never be in the “no fly zones”.

    • have passed practice jumps that consists of being able to synchronize with the formation and remain at a constant distance, and on level with it, for the duration of the flight, while never going into the “no-fly zone”.

    • have shown the ability to correctly separate in backmonauti at break off.

    • to execute the above test correctly on three consecutive flights.
    4.2.b CAT III



    • have successfully passed Backmonauti brevet/license requirements (see above).

    • have passed a test of exiting the aircraft 1 second prior to the coach, taking a stable dock from the fly-zone within 10 seconds, holding the dock for 5 seconds, releasing and sliding under the instructor to the opposite side, taking a stable dock and holding the dock for 5 seconds.
    Once the Atmonauti CAT III is obtained, the candidate will be free to participate in large Atmonauti groups utilising the Frontmonauti and Backmonauti body positions, including transitions, without a recognised coach present.
    4.3 Flight Navigator
    The navigator qualification allows the navigator to navigate group Atmonauti loads of recognised Cat II and Cat III atmonauts. This qualification is not a coach qualification.



    • Must have a JM rating

    • Must pass a theory exam on Atmonauti Navigation rules and techniques.

    • Must exit the aircraft stable, and maintain a stable and consistent frontmonauti body position.

    • the candidate will have to demonstrate the ability to fly and maintain a safe and correct flight path.
    4.4.a Footmonauti



    • have passed a theory exam on the basic Footmonauti rules and techniques.

    • have passed a test that consists of performing a flight with the coach who, during the flight, will perform changes of speed, angle and trajectory.

    • the candidate will have to demonstrate the ability to always remain at a constant distance in relation to the coach, and never be in the “no fly zones”.

    • have passed practice jumps that consists of being able to synchronize with the formation and remain at a constant distance, and on level with it, for the duration of the flight, while never going into the “no-fly zone”.

    • have shown the ability to correctly separate in footmonauti at break off.

    • to execute the above test correctly on three consecutive flights.
    4.4.b CAT IV



    • have successfully passed Footmonauti brevet/license requirements (see above).

    • have passed a test of exiting the aircraft 1 second prior/after the coach, taking a stable footmonauti position from the fly-zone within 10 seconds, holding the position for 5 seconds.

    • Demonstrate the ability to transition safely (180 side transition) into backmonauti.

    • Demonstrate the ability to transition safely (180 side transition) from backmonauti to footmonauti
    Once the Atmonauti CAT IV is obtained, the candidate will be free to participate in large Atmonauti groups utilising the Frontmonauti, Backmonauti and Footmonauti body positions, including transitions.

    5. LICENCE REQUIREMENTS
    A-Licence:

    As per section 2 of the MOPs.
    B-Licence:

    As per section 2 of the MOPs.
    CAT II & CATIII qualification in Atmonauti - signed off by a recognised Atmonauti Coach.
    C-Licence:

    As per section 2 of the MOPs.
    Flight Navigator and Coach qualification in Atmonauti - signed off by a recognised Atmonauti Coach.
    D-Licence:

    As per section 2 of the MOPs.
    CAT IV qualification in Atmonauti - signed off by a recognised Atmonauti Coach.



    6. COACHES
    The coach rating is designed to give a formal qualification to those who teach Atmonauti jumpers up to Cat IV level. All applicants for coach ratings must be recommended by a CI and endorsed by the Atmonauti sub committee of the SSA (see Form 19).
    The Atmonauti coach is the navigator on the coaching group jumps, and is capable of coaching single jumpers and/or groups of jumpers at ground-school level specific to safety, technique, navigation, slot positioning and break-off etc.
    The coach is qualified to fly as base navigator in Instructional Formations, while communicating body position improvements and general flight path direction.
    The candidate should know perfectly all the rules specific to Atmonauti, as well as general club rules, and general knowledge of the MOPs and above all he should be able to explain them in an easy and correct manner.
    An applicant for an Atmonauti Coach Rating must:



    • Have a minimum of 200 jumps?

    • Hold a PASA B, C or D licence?

    • Have successfully completed a PASA-ADZO approved Jumpmaster, Static Line Instructor, or AFF Instructor Course.

    • Have matured his/her experience in Atmonauti, and holds a valid Cat II and Cat III in Atmonauti.

    • Hold a valid Navigator qualification.

    • Have acquired the technique and philosophy of the Atmonauti discipline and is capable of communicating such information in a simple and understandable fashion.

    • Have passed an Atmonauti Coach Evaluation Test that consists of:

    - exiting the plane a second after the coach

    - performing a frontmonauti hand grip on his right within 10 seconds from the exit

    - flying the grip perfectly for 5 seconds

    - leaving the grip and passing above the coach at not more than a meter, passing to his left and performing a hand grip on the left hand of the coach

    - flying the grip perfectly for 5 seconds

    - leaving the grip and performing a transition to backmonauti

    - performing a grip in backmonauti on the left hand of the coach

    - flying it perfectly for 5 seconds

    - leaving the grip, while remaining in backmonauti and passing under the coach to the right side of the coach, and performing a grip on the right hand of the coach

    - flying the grip perfectly for 5 seconds

    • Have passed an oral exam on the Atmonauti technique, and have the necessary knowledge required for the instructor rating, specific to organising large formations (coaching, planning the formations, break-off etc)

    • Have passed an evaluation practice test that consists in organizing an Atmonauti group jump including verbal instructionals, preparation on the ground (analysis of the conditions and parameters), flight planning, briefing, and debriefing all the phases of the flight.
    Once having passed these tests, the candidate will receive an Atmonauti Coach Rating and can start the activity of Coach and organizer of instructional flight groups.
    It will be necessary that the Coaches are involved in the management of the activity at the DZ’s and be responsible for all activities different from vertical fall, specific to flight planning (flight patterns).
    To remain current as an Atmonauti Coach the rating holder must:



    • Have performed at least 50 jumps in the previous 12 months of which 25 must be Atmonauti coaching jumps.

    • Have performed the Atmonauti coach evaluation jump with a current Atmonauti coach, respectively changing roles to prove ability as a coach and flying skill accordingly.

    • Attendance of an Atmonauti sanctioned coaching seminar in the previous 12 months is highly recommended.

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Is Speed Skydiving Boring

    The Sensations
    Speed skydiving in principle sounds like a high-octane, extreme discipline in skydiving. However, when you hear it’s a solo sport, you then think it “sounds boring”. But it is anything but boring and it’s for one simple reason; speed skydiving has a unique adrenaline-filled freefall sensation. It feels like those first few seconds of normal freefall where you accelerate rapidly, but throughout the entire speed skydive.
    Speed skydiving is measured as an average over the vertical kilometer (from 8,858 to 5,577ft). That means if you do it well, you can expect to reach your peak speed at the bottom end of the measuring gate. Some skydivers say it is hard to quantify what normal terminal velocity is, however in speed skydiving it’s definitely more tangible. The sensation is of freefalling seriously fast and that’s slightly scary whilst giving you a big adrenaline rush!
    Who Am I?
    I jump regularly at Skydive Hibaldstow primarily doing FS team camera work and wingsuiting. Although I have never been on the International Speed Skydiving circuit or a speed skydiving training camp, I always try to attend the UK Speed Skydiving Nationals and seminars. I’m not a freeflyer and I’m not even the best speed skydiver, but I have been enjoying it for 9 years.
    Doing It Well
    Doing it well is another matter of course. I have never done an average of over 270mph, whereas Mark Calland (UK jumper) has been over 300mph unbelievably. Speed skydiving requires you to strike a 3-way balance between feeling the airflow on your body, making fine corrections and relaxing. Putting too much input in or being too ridged and it’s all going to go pear-shaped.
    What to wear plays big part of getting a good average. Some speed skydivers like to wear bright red all-PVC spray on gimp-suits. Sorry but that is too kinky for me! If you can handle them, you can get some good speeds. Many more however prefer to wear a surfers rash vest and some jeans. The jeans help to smooth the airflow, provide some good stability and grip.
    A Typical Speed Skydive
    So let me describe a typical speed skydive. I get out of the aircraft between 12,000 to 13,000ft (the same altitude as the 8-way jumpers at nationals) and for the first 15 seconds, I slowly start to build up my speed by going into a progressively steeper and steeper track. After what feels like a long time, I begin to feel the air on the back of my calves. This is when I know I am now in the vertical airflow phase of the jump.
    Around this point, I feel a sudden acceleration and I know I am passing the 200mph mark. It’s almost like I’m passing through a pressure wave and this is common amongst other speed skydivers. For extra speed, I try to flatten my arms by my hips and bring my ankles together.
    Not long after, I pass through the opening gate of the measured kilometer. By then, I am already doing over 230mph. At this measuring phase of the jump, I’m concentrating on stability with every nerve cell in my body. Ideally, I’m trying not to make any inputs in at all. In fact, I’m trying to relax whilst balancing on what feels like a pinhead. Another sensation is like falling through an invisible narrow tube barely wide enough for my shoulders. I’m talking a lot about sensations in this article, but that is one of the big attractions to the discipline.
    Being symmetrical is also very important. A slight hip twist, one leg in front of the other and I can expect radical oscillations. Simply relaxing often cures the problem and I can continue to job of accelerating away.
    The final and most important part of the speed skydive is the deceleration to 120mph! I do this when I hear my two L&B; audibles beeping away inside my Oxygn fullface helmet. For those that don’t know, I’m completely deaf in one ear. So I pack them next to each other. You wouldn’t want to miss your beeps at those speeds.
    Pulling out of a 250mph swoop is not as gruesome as it sounds. You simply arch your body slightly and you begin to peel out into a swoop. As the speed decreases, you then bring your arms in front of you to a normal flat body position. All this takes less than 4 seconds and this makes you realise how fast you were actually going.
    Measurement
    Once you land, you unclip the two L&B; Pro-Tracks (not the ones from your helmet) from you harness lateral straps and plug them into the Jump Track software, which produces neat and tidy graphs showing your performance. In competition, each competitor does 6 rounds and the average of their best 3 go forwards.
    It’s exciting watching the scores come in and seeing your own progression. You would be surprised that being a fatty has little to do with going fast. I’m on the slim side and 2 out of the 5 worlds fastest recorded times have been by other slim built skydivers.
    Safety
    Having a premature opening of your parachute over 200mph is extremely dangerous. In preparation for a speed skydive, I take a fresh closing loop and shorten it to the point where I can only just get the closing pin in. In addition, I make sure I have two audibles in my helmet and I put gaffer tape on the edges of the visor of my full face.
    There should be no more than three speed skydivers on a load to prevent traffic problems. The first and last part of the jump involve tracking and it’s possible to cover large distances quickly. Being able to keep a heading is vital.
    The last thing is that your BOC spandex must be in good condition.
    Summary
    There are very few disciplines where you can feel how fast you are going and that makes it a real adrenaline buzz. Whilst it is a solo discipline, there is a lot of excited interaction and camaraderie between the jumpers at competitions as they evaluate each other’s jumps and acceleration graphs. You can take part without having to do lots of coached training camps. It’s definitely not boring!
    Doesn’t covering a vertical kilometer in less than 10 seconds sound like fun?
    More information:

    1. Speed skydiving seminar at Hibaldstow

    2. ISSA

    3. Larsen & Brusgaard – Kind sponsors of the discipline

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    Getting Wet: Wingsuits In The Water

    An unplanned water landing is a frightening scenario for many skydivers; it’s
    one of the reasons that live water training is required for a USPA B License (If
    you didn’t truly get wet when working on your USPA B license, your instructors
    weren’t doing you or anyone else any favors). Add a wingsuit to the mix and it’s
    enough to give pause to even the most experienced skydiver. In 2010 alone, we’ve
    had three known unintentional wingsuit water entries in the USA. Wingsuits can
    fly further than skydivers can, and water is an attractive hazard to fly-over.
    Toss in a low deployment, restricted movement, and some adrenaline and a normal
    skydive can get really exciting really fast.
    OK, so it’s not quite the same as Houdini and his locks, and skydiving in a
    “prom dress” or freefall in a straight jacket isn’t nearly as difficult as some
    make it out to be. However, emergency situations do require a different
    approach. Wingsuit skydivers should pre-plan for an unintentional water landing
    even if flight over water isn’t an issue at their home DZ. A boogie or other
    special event may put wingsuit pilots into unfamiliar situations where water is
    present. Flotation devices should be a part of that pre-planning process if
    over-water flights are a common occurrence. TSA allows for up to four Co2 cartridges to be carried as part of a "life-vest unit."
    USPA Training And Recommendarions
    Section 6.2 of the USPA Skydiver Instruction Manual (SIM) guidance for
    unintentional water landings tells us to:

    a. Continue to steer to avoid
    the water hazard.
    b. Activate the flotation device, if available.
    c. Disconnect the chest strap to facilitate getting out of the harness after
    landing in the water.
    d. Disconnect the reserve static line (if applicable)
    to reduce complications in case the main needs to be cut away after splashing
    down.
    e. Steer into the wind.
    f. Loosen the leg straps slightly to facilitate getting out of the harness after splashing down.
    (1) If you
    loosen the leg straps too much, you may not be able to reach the toggles.

    (2) Do not unfasten the leg straps until your feet are in the water.
    g.
    Prepare for a PLF, in case the water is shallow (it will be nearly impossible to
    determine the depth from above).
    h. Flare to half brakes at ten feet above
    the water (this may be difficult to judge, due to poor depth perception over the
    water).
    i. Enter the water with your lungs filled with air.
    j. After entering the water, throw your arms back and slide forward out of the harness.

    (1) Remain in the harness and attached to the canopy until actually in the
    water.
    (2) If cutting away (known deep water only), do so only after both
    feet contact the water.
    (3) If flotation gear is not used, separation from
    the equipment is essential.
    k. Dive deep and swim out from under the
    collapsed canopy.


    All of these same procedures apply when wearing a wingsuit, yet
    preparations for an unintentional water landing don’t stop there. We still got
    work to do. Prior To Entering The Water
    It goes without saying that the best way to avoid a water landing is to avoid
    being over the water. However, sometimes it cannot be avoided. In addition to
    the previously mentioned, USPA-recommended actions, the wingsuit should be
    unzipped as much as possible prior to landing. This includes armwings, legwings,
    and body zippers if possible. Do not pull the cutaway/release cables on the
    wingsuit (assuming the wingsuit has cutaway cables, not all do) if the arms can
    be unzipped. An armwing that has been cut away will be much more difficult to
    move and unzip once it has filled with water and your arms are still in the
    sleeves (For example, the newest Phoenix-fly wingsuit arms might be cut away, as
    they detach the full wing from the arm, but the arm will still be inside a foam
    sleeve making it difficult to swim). The tailwing may act as a drag point and
    force the upper body forward, putting the skydiver on his belly. Enter the water
    with feet and knees together. Flying at half brakes should allow the canopy to
    continue forward. Do not flare. Take a deep breath prior to entering the water.
    After Entering The Water
    The canopy is a potential point of entanglement. It is recommended that a
    main canopy be cut away once you are fully in the water. If there is a current,
    this will prevent the main from dragging you along with it. A reserve cannot be
    cut away without a hook knife (if you are going to carry a hook knife, carry a
    metal, not plastic hook knife. A $5.00 hook knife will not do the job). Roll
    backward or sideways onto your back. If you have not deployed the reserve, the
    reserve will keep you floating for approximately 30 minutes in fresh water,
    longer in saltwater. With the tail (and perhaps the armwings) potentially being
    still inflated, being on your back will prevent the tail and rig from forcing
    your face into the water. Try to remain calm, breathe deeply and begin the
    process of removing goggles, helmet, and legstraps (chest strap if it was not
    undone in the air). The arm and legwings of a three-wing style wingsuit are
    similar to a ram-air parachute; there is an inlet and air fills the cells. These
    same inlets and cells can fill with water as easily as they fill with air.
    Although water in the cells alone will not cause the wingsuit to sink, movement
    of the wing will cause the suit to be dragged downward. This means that
    attempting to tread water will drag you under. Do not attempt to tread water,
    but rather keep your legs motionless. If there is any current, it is imperative
    that you stay on your back and try to keep your head upstream. Keeping the legs
    apart will help achieve this goal. Even a slow current will move your body very
    fast. Remaining calm is perhaps the most important aspect of clearing the suit
    and surviving.
       
    Jeans, boots, and gloves can make the task of escape a little more
    difficult than expected.
     
    Once you are fully unzipped and your legstraps loose, slide your rig and
    armwings off. After the upper body has been freed, “sit down” in the rig and
    suit to put you head-high. This allows the torso to roll forward so that it’s
    possible to dive deep and away from the rig, allowing the legs to escape from
    the legstraps and tailwing. Although the USPA SIM instructs skydivers to swim
    away from their rig, I have made the personal choice that I
    will not swim away from my rig if the reserve has not been deployed. It
    may be used as a flotation device and might be the difference between life and
    death. I will cut away the main canopy and swim away from the main.
    This is my personal decision and is in opposition to
    USPA recommendations. Follow at your own risk.
    During the various water experiments, there were a total of 49 water entries
    in various conditions and wingsuits, all with a rig or dummy rig in place, many
    with a main canopy attached. Performance Designs Sabre II, Silhouette, and Storm
    canopies were used. We jumped into still water 18’ deep, 6’ deep, current pools
    34” and 24” deep with speeds up to 7 knots. We also jumped into wave pools with
    swells of up to 3’, which are small to moderate compared to coastline
    swells.
     
    Tossing the main canopy into the 7 knot current
    pool.  
     
     
     
    Summary
     
     
     
    During these entries, three things became clear;
    Go into the water with as many zippers undone as possible. Your chest strap
    should also be undone for best possible speed once in the water. while this may
    seem logical, in at least two of the three unintentional water landings, the
    wingsuiter forgot to unzip arms while dealing with other issues.
    Get onto your back as quickly as you can. Stay on your back as legstraps,
    zippers, helmet releases, and goggles are removed. You may want to consider
    leaving the helmet on if in moving water and head protection is needed.
    Take a deep, calming breath. Even though my experiments were intentional
    water landings, they were still nerve-wracking when the suits were fully zipped
    up. Being jittery is entirely likely. Staying calm and keeping heart and
    breathing rates down may easily be the difference in survival, particularly in
    cold water.



        Be sure to stay clear of the canopy and lines. Currents may drag the canopy
    around a bit. Rescuers might have an easier time finding you if they can spot
    the canopy in the water so staying somewhat near but well clear of canopy and
    lines is a good idea. A hook knife should be part of your kit.
    When landing in water that has a current, try to keep your head upstream
    while getting out of the suit. Leave the helmet on to protect your head from
    rocks and other objects. Stay as far away from the canopy as possible. This is
    easier said than done. Note that in the video, the current combined with the
    canopy drag was more than two men could manage even in shallow water. This is
    where a hook knife would be beneficial.
    If the rig has a reserve still packed in it, it will float. It also is very
    easy to escape once the legstraps are undone, as it will remain on top of the
    water as you dive forward away from the container.  
     
    "Exiting" from the 3 meter board, fully zipped  
    In conclusion, if over-water wingsuit flights are planned, seriously consider
    a floatation device. They will not have a significant impact on the comfort of
    the suit, and are not relatively expensive. ParaGear, ChutingStar, and other
    skydiving supply shops sell these devices. Remember that CO2 cartridges may not
    be carried aboard a commercial flight, so you’ll need to source or ship
    cartridges to your final destination.
     


     
    If a flotation device is not part of your gear/kit, have an advance plan in
    the event of a water landing. There have been at least three known unintentional
    water landings in the US this year; only through luck and calm procedures did
    the wingsuiters survive. Read the Incident Report below to see how one survivor
    described his experiences and how multiple errors led him into the water.
     
    Big puffies and blue skies (and calm waters, I suppose)! -d
    Douglas Spotted Eagle is a USPA AFFI, Coach Examiner, PRO, and PFC Senior
    Examiner (North America) on staff at Skydive Elsinore.
    Student’s Incident report:
    #####


    Name [Deleted]
    My
    age: 31
    Years in the sport: 4.5 yrs.
    # of skydives: 287
    # of
    Wingsuit SD’s: 7
    # of BASE: 70+
    I recently purchased a new Phantom2 Pheonix fly wingsuit and was super eager
    to get in the air. I got to the DZ and got on the first available load which was
    a 10 minute call. On any typical skydive, an immediete 10 minute call upon
    arrival isn’t so bad, but setting up a wingsuit system quickly is not a great
    idea, but I did.
    Mistake #1: I forced myself to have to rush to get on a load to do a
    technical jump for no apparent reason. In the end, I don’t think my rushed
    preparation lead to the actual situation, but I guess my mind wasn’t where it
    should have been.
    I was the last to exit from 12,500?. I had a really great (mostly stable)
    flight, flying around some clouds. At pull time, like most jumps, I was out over
    the ocean. I took one last look at my wrist alti at 5K’. Based on my audibles
    4000? warning, I’m guessing I was open between 3500?-3000?.
    Mistake #2: I shouldn’t have pulled that low with a WS on with my low
    experience level.
    Mistake #3: I have made 6 previous WS jumps. All more than 2.5 years
    ago. I did not physically or mentally dirt dive this jump before getting on the
    plane.
    After a stable pull (I felt), I immediatley opended with line twists. I’ve
    had line twist before with this canopy/harness (Sabre 1, 150; 9 cell/Infinity
    dom;1997) and was able to kick out of them in the past. This line twist began to
    accelerate instantly. I made 3-4 attempts to kick out of it, but with the
    restricted movement of my legs in the WS, and spinning horizontally around the
    canopy, it didn’t do much at all.
    Mistake #4: I was under too small of a canopy for a WS jump. My exit
    weight= 240lbs. Wind loading= 1.6. I should have been under a more docile (7
    cell), or larger canopy.
    So, having no luck with my kick attemps, I chopped it. It took me a few
    seconds to locate my handles (one hand on each). In my haste, I did a “T-Rex”
    style cut-away. As soon as I saw my right riser clear, I let go of the handle
    and pulled the reserve (also “T-rex”). Obviously leading to my main still
    dragging off my left shoulder.
    Mistake #5: I was jumping a borrowed rig. Although I’ve had about 20
    uneventful (other than line twist) jumps with this rig. I wasn’t really familiar
    with it.
    Mistake #6: Probably the biggest one. I DID NOT CLEAR MY CUT AWAY
    CABLE/HANDLE COMPLETELY!
    Mistake #7: This goes right along with the above…Pulling my reserve
    WAY TOO SOON!
    I think because of my slightly slower descent rate (caused by my main still
    being attached), and my reserve already fired, I felt the second set of risers
    bouncing around on my head and saw all the lines whipping in-front of my face. As
    the reserve was slowly coming to line stretch, the lines were beginning to
    entangle with my helmet (actually the camera on my helmet)
    Mistake #8: Wearing a camera on a “student” WS jump.
    With the lines still “somewhat” relaxed, I thought of dumping my helmet but
    instead I picked/brushed the lines off the camera, clearing them. A split second
    later, I felt the canopy pressurize and go to complete line stretch. Instantly,
    the reserve risers had forced my head completely forward, making my chin squeeze
    into my neck. I knew I had MAJOR line twists on my reserve now too.
    So now, I’m under one collapsed main still dragging off my left riser, and
    one tightly twisted up reserve to my right side, still fully zipped into my WS,
    and I’m getting choked from behind by the reserve risers and can’t lift my head
    to see any of it. I knew I wasn’t “falling” anymore and that the canopies were
    not entangled. I don’t know, but the reserve must have been “un-spinning” because
    the pressure was slowly coming off the back of my neck and the twist opened up
    enough to squeeze my head back through, behind the risers.
    Mistake #9: Not sure if I could have prevented this one. If my arms
    had been unzipped and out of the wings (which they weren’t) I may have been able
    to reach back during the reserve deployment, and guided the risers in-front of
    my head before pressurization.
    At this point, my first objective was to finally cut the main off so I could
    get completely out of my reserve line twists. The main was still being held on
    by 1cm of ripcord cable still in the three ring release closing loop. In any
    case…I was focused on getting that last tinny bit of rip cord out of the closing
    loop. I had “tunnel” vision on trying to pick at the centimeter of cord. There
    was too much tension on the riser so I couldn’t get it out. I was definitely not
    thinking clearly at that moment. ALL I had to do was find my cut-away handle
    floating behind me and pull it another 1/4 inch. In retrospect, the dragging
    main (acting like an anchor) may have kept my reserve from continuing to twist
    and spin me into the ground/water. I’m not sure if completely cutting away at
    that point would have been any better.
    Mistake #10: Had I been thinking clearly, I would have found my handle
    and finished the job of cutting away.
    At this point I stopped all attempts to correct anything. I saw that I was
    about 300 yards(?) of the beach, over the water at about 500-300?(?) up. I knew
    I was going for a swim. The swell was small (2-3?), but definitely was not flat
    and calm. In preparation for my mid day swim, I started unzipping
    everything…chest, arms, legs, chest strap. I then reached above the reserve line
    twist, grabbed the rear/right line set and did a “rear riser” turn towards the
    visibly shallower water over the reef. I don't know if that helped at all because
    I pretty much felt like I was under a round canopy with no directional control.
    I just knew I was drifting towards the reef now. Not knowing the shallowness
    above the reef gave me a second of pucker factor, but at this point I had not
    much control or time anyway. I then did a “backwards” PLF (obviously with no
    flare, toggles still stowed and twisted). I slammed the water pretty hard.
    Mistake #11: Although this is what saved me from serious impact, I
    landed in the water with a WS on….not good!
    While I was underwater, my wingsuit quickly turned into a tunasuit, but
    before I even had time to deal with the next hurdle……..I stood up.
    I was now standing 300 yards out in the surf, in 3 feet of water with both
    canopies attached and the WS on, all filled with water. I was getting dragged
    in-land with the swell a little bit, but had plenty of time to finally cut-away
    the main and completely step out of the WS. I saw all the scrambling of people
    on the shore. I was soon reached by a couple of skydivers and a rescue kayak. We
    loaded up the rig on to the kayak and swam back to shore.
    Mistake #12: I probably should have made my first priority to un-zip
    my wings. Although, at no point did I feel like they were restraining my movement
    (until I wanted to steer towards the reef). I guess I unzipped them right when I
    had a moment and thought it was totally needed.
    #######
    Massive thanks to:

    Lake Elsinore Casino
    Tooele City Pool

    Raging Waters/SLC
    Skydive Elsinore
    Skydive Utah
    Performance
    Designs
    Rigging Innovations
    Teledyne Instruments
    Joey Allred, Aaron Hutmacher, Jose Calderon, Mannie Frances, Karl Dollmeyer,
    Scotty Burns, Chuck Blue, Jarno Cordia, Bence Pascu, Joe Turner, Frank Hinshaw,
    T.K. Hinshaw, Tom Deacon, Jim Crouch, Jack Guthrie, Scott Callantine, Jeanie
    Curtis, Mike Harlon, Chris Squires, Robert Pecnik, Jeff Donohue, and Andreea
    Olea.

    By admin, in Disciplines,

    An Introduction to Piece Flying on Formation Skydives

    (This article was first published in the August 2004 issue of Parachutist as “One Good Turn Deserves Another”. Since then, the article has been updated and improved.)
    Turning a piece on a formation skydive is not as simple as yanking it around and hoping it will stop where it is supposed to. Jumpers in the piece must help it stay close and level throughout the turn, and they must help their piece partners start and stop the turn without rotating it too far or slamming it into the other piece.
    A piece that is yanked around too fast can rotate too far or even injure somebody. A piece that is not completely turned or turned incorrectly can drift away and actually become harder to control. This article shows the correct (and safe) techniques for turning pieces on recreational RW loads.
    Meet the minimum skill level
    Before jumpers participate in a skydive that involves piece turning, they should meet the requirements for a USPA A license, which means that they can do individual 360-degree turns, dock on another skydiver, maintain eye contact, track, wave off, and pull. In addition, jumpers should be able to dock on small formations such as a 4-way Star.
    Start with partial turns
    Newer jumpers should start with partial turns (180 degrees or less) on small formations. Here is a fun drill. Build a 4-way Open Accordion, break it in the middle, turn the two pieces 180 degrees and re-dock. This puts the jumpers who were on the inside on the outside, and vice versa.
    In this drill, think more about “trading places” with your piece partner than about turning the piece. The piece will automatically rotate if you move to the slot vacated by your piece partner. As you move, try to help place your piece partner in the spot you just vacated, keeping your piece level with the other piece as you do. Repeat the process to place yourselves back in your original slots then repeat the drill until breakoff.

    Move on to 360-degree turns
    Once you can do drills like the one described above, you are ready to move on to 360-degree turns on small formations. A good drill for this is the Zig Zag – Marquis 4-way block.
    A “block” is a two-formation set in which jumpers build the first formation, split into pieces, rotate the pieces then reconnect them to form the second formation. In competition, experienced teams speed up their turns by rotating the end of one piece over the end of the other piece – in essence, reducing a 360-degree turn to 270 degrees or even less. But in this article, we only discuss flat turns because they normally work best on recreational loads where the objective is not speed but smooth level turns.

    In the Zig Zag – Marquis block shown above:
    To start the turn, Jumpers A and B break grips and turn approximately 90 degrees to the right and stop, keeping each other in view over their left shoulder (helps them stay close and level). While this is happening, Jumpers C and D stay put except to extend their arms to let Jumpers A and B move.
    Once Jumpers A and B have moved, Jumpers C and D “trade places”, keeping each other in sight over their left shoulder as they move. When their legs almost touch, they stop, look over the other shoulder (called a “head switch”) and place Jumpers A and B together in the Marquis.
    While Jumpers C and D are finishing their turns, A and B also do a “head switch” and keep each other in view and on level while they are placed together.
    All jumpers should help keep the pieces level throughout the turn.
    Notes:
    To be safe while they trade places, Jumpers C and D do not move directly at each other, but slightly offset so that their legs do not collide.
    Also if they focus on “trading places” rather than spinning their partners around, the pieces are more likely to stay close. The same concepts used for the Zig Zag – Marquis example above can be applied to turning pieces in larger formations. Consider the following example.

    In the 9-way example above:
    Jumper A turns approximately 90 degrees to the right and stops, keeping the other pieces in view over his left shoulder (helps him stay level and close).
    Jumper B moves into the space cleared by Jumper A. At the same time, Jumper C moves into the space vacated by Jumper B.
    As soon as Jumper A feels the piece rotating, he looks over his right shoulder for the other pieces and stays level with them as the turn finishes.
    As the turn finishes, Jumpers B and C place Jumper A back into his original slot.
    All jumpers should help keep the pieces level throughout the turn. Note: Everybody’s initial moves should create enough momentum to keep the piece rotating. If it starts rotating too fast, Jumpers B and C can lower their right knee temporarily to put on the brakes. Similarly, if the piece stops rotating too soon, they can lower their left knee until it starts moving again.
    Rotate pieces on their center points
    To keep the pieces close throughout the turn, each jumper must help the piece rotate on its center point. Jumpers in each piece should watch the other piece over one shoulder as the turn starts, then “head switch” and watch it come back into view over the other shoulder as the turn completes. This helps keep the pieces close and on level and emphasizes the following point: If you keep your target in sight, you will be more likely to fly to it.
    Get the right grips
    In the dirt dive, jumpers should practice the grips they will be taking in the air. This way they won’t be fumbling around for grips when the piece starts turning.
    Also a grip should not hinder a piece partner’s ability to fly. This is especially true of leg grips. Do not grip at or below the knee because this hinders your piece partner’s ability to move his leg. Instead, grip as high as you can on the outside of his thigh so that when he moves his leg your grip doesn’t move much at all.
    Tip! High, outside leg grips also help people with short arm spans to fly when they have Sidebody grips. Sidebody grips consist of an arm and a leg grip on the side of your piece partner. It is much easier to fly if your arms aren’t all stretched out.
    Slow is Fast
    If the pieces drift apart and get on different levels during a turn, jumpers should not try to make up the distance too quickly. They should get the pieces level first then slowly make up the horizontal distance. Slamming the pieces together in a rush can possibly injure somebody or even cause a funnel. At the very least, it creates a wave throughout the formation that must be dealt with before jumpers break for the next point. If jumpers break before the formation settles down, they will more than likely end up on different levels again. It actually takes less time to get the pieces level and fly them smoothly back together than it does to slam them together then have to deal with an unstable formation. As often is the case, slow is fast.
    Give it time
    Like any skydiving technique, learning to turn pieces effectively takes time. Don’t expect to run straight from your A license exam to jumping on the hot RW loads. Practice on small formations first. Do some 4-way; there is no better training tool for learning how to turn pieces.
    With practice, you’ll learn to anticipate your moves and to work with other jumpers in the piece. Piece turning is definitely a group effort and when everybody is working together, it feels like the piece has eyes and a mind of its own as it does a smooth, quick and controlled 360-degree rotation then stops on a dime and makes a perfect re-dock on the other pieces!

    By elightle, in Disciplines,

    Wingsuit Gear Check

    Whether you jump at a large dropzone or a small one, you’ve
    probably shared a ride to altitude with a wingsuiter. Like all skydivers,
    wingsuiters should receive a thorough gear check, but a wingsuit also creates
    unique concerns that a watchful eye can catch.  Regardless of experience level,
    it’s possible to make a mistake while gearing up with a wingsuit – in the same
    way that its possible for any of us to make a mistake while gearing up for a
    traditional skydive. This is a situation where your vigilance can save a fellow
    skydiver’s life. Here are a few recommendations that Flock U has for gear
    checks:
    A wingsuit skydiver is a skydiver first and a wingsuiter
    second – you will need to check his or her rig, chest strap, altimeter,
    goggles, etc. in the same way that you would with any other skydiver.
    Make sure that the jumper’s AAD is on (if he or she is jumping with one). Pay
    particular attention to the jumper’s cutaway and reserve handles. While a
    wingsuiter’s emergency procedures aren’t any different than a traditional
    skydiver’s, in some suits, handles can become pulled into or obstructed by the
    fabric of the suit. That can result in a dangerous surprise if a cutaway or
    reserve pull becomes necessary.
    After inspecting the rig, examine the wingsuiter’s arm
    wings – and in particular, examine the connection between the wing and the
    jumper’s torso. There’s unfortunately no “one size fits all” rule for arm wing
    inspection, as different wingsuit designs have different wing configurations. 
    That being the case, there are several general categories of wing/torso
    connections that each raise their own concerns:
    Cable Thread Systems. Cable Thread Systems consist of a cutaway-style
    cable that runs through alternating torso and wing tabs, which keep the wing
    attached to the torso.  By pulling on the cutaway cables, the wingsuiter can
    release the arms of the suit in an emergency. This design can generally be found
    in BirdMan brand suits, among others. For a Cable Thread Systesm, look to see if
    the cables are threaded correctly through the tabs, all the way up. In some
    cases, they will alternate evenly between wing and torso, but often the cable
    will intentionally be threaded to skip one or more tabs. Don’t hesitate to ask
    the wingsuiter if you’re not sure – even experienced wingsuiters may not know
    the proper configuration for suits that they haven’t flown before, and some
    wingsuiters have preferences for arranging these tabs that differ from the
    standard. Make sure the wing cutaway handles are properly secured in a Velcro
    or tuck-tab housing. Note that there’s often both a front and a rear cable on
    these systems - so check both, on both wings.
    Zipper Attachment Systems. Zipper Attachment Systems are found
    primarily on Tonysuit, Phoenix Fly and S-fly brand suits, though there are many
    different suit designs on the market that use one form or another of the Zipper
    Attachment System. These systems generally come in two types: “over the
    shoulder zippers” and “bottom of wing” zipper attachments.
    “Over the shoulder zippers” are what their name implies – a zipper that runs
    over the wingsuiter’s shoulder, which connects the wing to the torso.
    Generally, in this design, the wing isn’t detached from the torso even in an
    emergency, and the “over the shoulder” zipper is usually only unzipped if the
    wingsuiter is removing the suit from his or her rig while on the ground. In
    these models, there’s generally a Velcro breakaway or other cutaway system or a
    safety sleeve (described below). Look to see if the zipper is attached properly
    and zipped all the way down. Some wingsuiters will intentionally leave several
    inches of the zipper unzipped in the back, so ask before correcting a slightly
    unzipped wing! If the over the shoulder zipper design includes a Velcro
    breakaway system, check to make sure the Velcro “sandwich” is holding the top
    and bottom of the wing together and that the Velcro isn’t bunched or pinched –
    these gaps can widen when the wing encounters the relative wind.
    Newer Tonysuits brand model have a “safety sleeve” – a ZP liner – that allows
    the armwing to silde up the jumper’s arm, permitting the wingsuiter to reach
    canopy controls in an emergency. As a result, there’s no arm wing cutaway
    system to inspect. When looking at these suits, make sure that the arm zipper –
    the zipper that runs from the jumper’s shoulder to his or her wrist – is fully
    zipped. There will generally be a snap or tuck tab on the bottom of the wing;
    check to see if they are properly stowed.
    While inspecting the arm wing, check the wingsuiter’s
    wrist-mount altimeter (if he or she is jumping with one). Make sure that the
    jumper can release his or her wings without undoing the wrist-mount (which
    can happen, for example, if the wrist-mount is put on after the arm wing is
    zipped up in wingsuit designs with a thumb loop). This is a dangerous and
    easily avoidable method of losing a wrist-mount altimeter!
    Check to make sure the wingsuiter’s legstraps are on. Leg
    straps can be missed by wingsuiters while gearing up, as the suits tends to
    restrict motion and prevent the jumper from seeing his or her legstraps. Even
    highly experienced wingsuiters have admitted to momentarily forgetting leg
    straps while gearing up. When using a wingsuit, visual inspection is
    insufficient to make sure that the leg straps are on – the wingsuit can
    deceptively pull the strap against the leg, making it appear that the strap is
    on. Ask the wingsuiter to shrug – the jumper should feel the resistance in the
    harness created by tightly worn leg straps. Alternately, you can lift the
    bottom of the wingsuiter’s rig (in other words, under the pilot chute). If the
    rig moves more than a couple of inches, it’s not secure enough.
    Each leg of a Tonysuits brand wingsuits also has a leg
    zipper pull up system, which is basically a bridle that connects to the leg wing
    zipper. The bridle is stowed against the leg by Velcro or tuck tabs. Also
    incorporated in this design is a pair of magnets that keep the bottom of the
    wing together. These magnets must go over the zip pull ups. If they are under
    the zip pull up, they may jam under canopy.
    Are the wingsuiter’s booties on? Particularly when the wingsuiter is using a
    borrowed or rental suit, booties may be ill-fitting. Badly fitted and poorly
    positioned booties can result in a lost bootie, which can make for an incredibly
    difficult flight and dangerous canopy deployment. Check to make sure the bootie
    is on, and straight.
    Help to make this year a safer year for skydiving by
    looking out for your fellow jumpers. Making it a habit to look at others’ gear
    can only result in positive results. Save someone’s life this year - it could
    be yours!
    A free, downloadable
    wingsuit pincheck file can be found on our site at
    www.flockuniversity.org. This
    pincheck guide is perfect for printing for Safety Day or for putting on the wall
    near manifest.
    Thanks to Jeff Donahue and Andreea Olea for their help in this article. All photos courtesy DSE.

    By Deleted, in Disciplines,

    The Future of Wingsuiting:

    In November 2008, 71 wingsuit pilots flew in a stealth-bomber-shaped formation over Skydive Elsinore.
    It was the largest slot-specific formation in the short history of this emerging
    discipline. But how did the event, which was billed as a “Wingsuit World
    Record,” change the future of wingsuit flying (if at all)? In a discipline still
    unrecognized by the FAI and the Guinness Book of World Records, what does it
    mean to try setting new standards?
    71: Achievement and Frustration
    The idea of a big-way wingsuit record was not new. The most notable previous
    event was in Cochstedt, Germany in July 2006. Organizers there sought Guinness
    recognition for the largest number of wingsuits exiting on a single jump run,
    out of an Antonov 72.
    In contrast, the 2008 71-way at Skydive Elsinore was a purely invitational event
    focused on slot-specific flying in a four-plane formation. A diverse
    international team reflected a worldwide growth in the discipline and a global
    desire to achieve something recognizable within our sport. Hailing from as far
    as South Africa and Russia, participants from 14 countries qualified for a
    chance to fly in the big-way by demonstrating their skills at official camps and
    through a referral system. Five were women (the few, the proud, the only gender
    not to have a single member axed from her slot!).
    The skydiving press (the French

    ParaMag, British

    Skydive The Mag and American

    Parachutist, among others) extensively documented the event.
    The 71-way marked significant achievements as well as frustration. In the
    achievements column, the team flew a new, wider spacing that reduced oscillation
    and movement within the unlinked formation. This led to multiple smooth and
    on-level jumps that looked beautiful from the ground.
    The previous slot-specific record recognized within the wingsuit community was a
    16-way diamond. Like that formation, most small groups had employed a
    “head-to-foot” spacing technique that encouraged proximity but usually resulted
    in trailing flyers at the back and reactive vertical motion within the flock.
    The scope and level of organizing, while it left much room for improvement, was
    also a check in the achievements column. While there was some initial grumbling
    about the level of seriousness and the pushing of safety standards in
    communications to team members prior to the event, most participants expressed
    relief that the 71-way jumps would be a focused record attempt and not “just
    another boogie”.
    Frustration arose when it came time to judge whether the group had succeeded in
    setting a “world record”. The initial goal was to have each wingsuit pilot
    flying within three-square-meter boxes arranged in a grid that would be
    superimposed over still photographs of the formation. The organizers’
    proclamation of success was based on a photograph where all flyers were either
    fully within or touching at least one edge of their three-square-meter grid
    square. However, without an outside judging structure, heated discussions
    escalated the meaning of “success” and the best way of judging unlinked
    formations into a full-throttle debate.
    Beyond R&D;: 100 over Elsinore
    The debate about how to judge large wingsuit formations will continue unabated
    until an outside governing body agrees to recognize one set of objective
    criteria. The 71-way was destined to be a “work in progress” since it had never
    been done before. With the lessons learned from the experience, an expanded
    organizing team is preparing for a 100-way wingsuit event at Skydive Elsinore
    from November 7th to November 13th, 2009.
    While some ask whether trying to set records before there are established
    categories is futile, skydiving is not a sport that waits for mainstream
    approval in order to change and grow. Wingsuiting is an especially
    entrepreneurial and fast-growing subculture. The hope is to continue safely
    demonstrating what is possible. In doing so, organizers strive to create events
    that excite new skydivers and unite those already committed to wingsuit flight.
    Armed with evidence from last year’s judging attempts, big-way organizers are
    prepared to continue lobbying both the FAI and Guinness.
    The 100-way five aircraft formation is invitational. Skills camps are planned
    between now and July, when official qualifying events begin. A specific Skills
    Checklist sets out minimum jump requirements and what exit, flying, and canopy
    skills potential participants need to practice and perfect in order to gain a
    spot on the team. For more specific information about the 2009 Wingsuit 100-way,
    go to www.wingsuitworldrecord.com.
    Numbers and Recognition
    Official recognition of wingsuit flight as a skydiving discipline will bring a
    clear judging regime – and therefore, is ultimately necessary for long-term
    growth. Competition drives our sport, and desire to achieve recognizable goals
    is at the heart of every team. Whether with the versatility and creativity of
    vertical relative work or the sheer size of the formation World Team, standards
    and rules (some made to be broken) compel excellence and progress.
    In the current vacuum, setting new standards and claiming achievements without
    official rules is difficult but necessary. The 71-way, for all its
    imperfections, spurred the wingsuiting community to more seriously consider how
    it wants to be judged. It also demonstrated that such events have the potential
    to recruit serious sponsorship and interest from both new skydivers and
    experienced jumpers in other disciplines. That’s the future.

    By Deleted, in Disciplines,

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