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kallend

Collisions - two in a week

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Not necessarily related to all of these incidents but I have noticed a bad habit amongst newer wingsuiters where they are not turning out of the door.

It is my belief that a turn of at least 45 degrees and ideally 90 degrees solves 2 problems for a group:

1) Gets the group off jump run so that if an exit goes bad the group is not underneath the plane.

2) Sets the divers up for success so that they can actually dive instead of having to put brakes on to kill altitude and speed getting back and down to the base.

I also think that we have a growing number of 3D formations that could be a factor but if planned correctly shouldn't be.

In general we also have more wingsuiters, so therefore there will be more wingsuit incidents too.
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I've definitely seen some close calls from people flying up jump run after exiting and the next person out flying (or tumbling) past them.

Also, big suits may fall slow enough to not fire an AAD even with an unconscious jumper (has already happened at least once with a recorded vertical speed of like 30 or 40 mph until impact, there is a thread on here somewhere).

What probably contributed to the last one and what I've seen a lot of myself are people who rocket up the wingsuit progression and don't learn to control big suits or appreciate how fast they can accelerate or change direction with very little input.

"Just hucking it" will always eventually get people killed. There's this whole three dimensional appreciation and awareness that has to be built up with wingsuiting and angle flying, and a lot of it is not intuitive. I'd also argue time in sport helps develop judgement more than raw jump numbers, but you get these kids that have been jumping 3 years and pound out 1,000 jumps who may have developed considerable skill but lack the judgement to go along with it. Seeing and hearing about close calls and having friends get killed or injured are generally sobering experiences, but you don't get much of that in your first couple years jumping.

I happen to know one of the people involved in one of the collisions and would not jump with him due to attitude and sketchiness.

EDIT: I'm a terrible speller...

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+1

Having been jumping for about 7 years I've definitely noticed there does seem to be a long-term safety awareness cycle.
It takes a couple of deaths for people to really focus on basic safety again, but then after a couple of years you have newer jumpers in the sport racking up 500-1000 jumps and reckon they're on top of it, and it starts all over again.
Just recently one such jumper was asking me whether he should purchase one of the new big-surface area wingsuits as he's interested in XRW - then told me he had around 30 wingsuit jumps.

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Yep, rapid wingsuit upsizing is starting to have a lot of the same problems as rapid canopy downsizing, but there is more air up there so injuries are less common.

I've seen a few uncontrollable flat spins that required the wingsuiter to pitch their main to stop it, generally they had no business jumping the suit they were on. The swooping equivalent would be a femur. But they walk away from it unhurt and think "I got this." In a bizarre way, escaping a failure without injury emboldens them.

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kallend

The incidents forum reports two fatal wingsuit collision accidents in the past week.

Just coincidence, or is there something to learn here?



I don't know what to think of it, but I'll definitely second the wicked wingsuit post about turning off the damn line of flight immediately. I've been doing this since the very beginning and have taken some pretty hard hits as an organizer over the years, but this is sad. People need to get their heads out of their asses.

Chuck

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SkymonkeyONE

***The incidents forum reports two fatal wingsuit collision accidents in the past week.

Just coincidence, or is there something to learn here?



I don't know what to think of it, but I'll definitely second the wicked wingsuit post about turning off the damn line of flight immediately. I've been doing this since the very beginning and have taken some pretty hard hits as an organizer over the years, but this is sad. People need to get their heads out of their asses.

Chuck

The collision at Chester *apparently* involved diving after a failed rodeo. I'm not at all sure that many wingsuiters who haven't done a lot of big ways (RW or VRW) have a whole lot of experience at diving after a freefalling target. That's a whole different skill set.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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normiss

I've seen riders fall off and get scooped right back up, so I know some can do it easily.

Two at the same time shouldn't happen.
Somebody is following the rodeo, not actively participating.



I can't imagine why you use the word "easily" in this context. It is hard enough to stay with a rodeo let alone swoop down and pickup a non-wingsuiter.

Maybe we are thinking of something different by "fallen" and maybe different suit choices, like almost no suit at all?

Can you describe the scenario where you have seen this happen?
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Not that odd.

I've seen a RPro and a Sbird pick up a tracker and I can fly with trackers in a Colugo2 (picking them up requires considerably more finesse than I have). Our plan for a botched exit and a lost rider has always been "track the pattern and we'll come fly with you." After that became easier, it was changed to "track really hard and we'll try and pick you back up."

Have seen pickups where the the exit went bad and they flew down and the rider got back on, where the rider got off on purpose and then got back on, and where they exited separately and the rider got on. Worth noting, none of it was happening low.

I wouldn't use the word "easily" either, perhaps "with some practice" is a little more realistic.

Going steep and fast takes a bit more caution than flying level though, more separation, more gradual changes in direction and speed; I could definitely see if one person pulled out of a dive like that, the other wouldn't even have time to react without considerable separation, or they could come at an angle where they wouldn't even see the other wingsuiter (a lot like corking on a head down jump). Whoever is in back has a great deal of responsibility to ensure adequate separation and have full situational awareness. And whoever is "not in back" and can't see everyone has a great deal of responsibility to not start moving in any direction or change velocity too quickly. All of that is pure judgement, like what was discussed earlier.

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Have seen pickups where the the exit went bad and they flew down and the rider got back on, where the rider got off on purpose and then got back on, and where they exited separately and the rider got on. Worth noting, none of it was happening low.



Show video or I call bullshit :o
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To absent friends

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Pobrause

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Have seen pickups where the the exit went bad and they flew down and the rider got back on, where the rider got off on purpose and then got back on, and where they exited separately and the rider got on. Worth noting, none of it was happening low.



Show video or I call bullshit :o



I'm continually amazed by even experienced jumpers failure to comprehend wingsuiting. I had a TI with several thousand jumps once tell me to exit before a solo tandem (TI student) because he (the solo guy) would be falling slower than me under the drogue. I was like "are you kidding me? My vertical speed is less than 40mph." He was skeptical but relented.

Anyway, not here to entertain you brah and I could care less if some anonymous person doesn't believe me anonymously; I'm sure you can dig up vids of it somewhere, it isn't that complicated of a maneuver.

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I'm continually amazed by even experienced jumpers failure to comprehend wingsuiting.


I have no problem to comprehend normal wingsuiting, Picking up a slick jumper is just completely out of their normal flying parameters and I hope you will agree.

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Anyway, not here to entertain you...


I don't want to get entertained by you, thanks. You made a statement about a move I thought to be extremely dangerous and nearly impossible due to my prior experiences with rodeos and I expressed my disbelief. I stand corrected, thank you =)

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brah


I'm not your brah, dude

I've been on a few rodeos myself and still wouldn't have thought this move to be possible in a more or less controlled manner...
Every rodeo I've been on the WS flyer dissappeared in the sky when the rider fell off with no chance of keeping up, even if they tried. Seems to me there really is nothing a good arch can't fix :P
I just wouldn't have thought it to be possible to shut the forward speed off nearly completely in a wingsuit the size of an Aura or basically any wingsuit that inflates while maintaining terminal velocity.
The only way I'd have said it could work is headdown. I made a HD jump with some guys and a fairly competent ws flyer, flower exit, and took a dock on his rig when I got close to the formation. They released the grips and we where ripped appart. That's as close as I had imagined this move to be possible.
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To absent friends

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Man I wish this forum had stronger moderators. Can you two comparing the size of each other's dicks and lets get back to a technical analysis here?

So, is there something to be learned? It seems like these two were both diving to catch a group / another jumper, and both had nothing out.

Is this an issue on training? IIRC all recently injured / deceased parties were experienced jumpers with other experienced jumpers.

Is there a world in which AAD manufacturers begin offering a wingsuit-specific setting?

What can be learned from these two tragedies that can prevent further ones?

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What is the evidence to show that a wingsuit AAD is needed for either of these scenarios? In one case the AAD fired and in the other there was no AAD. I know of wingsuit unconscious saves where the AAD functioned as designed. There was even a guy the other month that went head down on purpose to activate his AAD, can't remember the reason.

If there is evidence of an unconscious wingsuiter still flying a suit outside of AAD firing parameters I would love to hear/see it. I will be happy to be wrong if I can see some facts.

Loss of altitude awareness is where a wingsuit version could be relevant but I know of almost no examples of that being an issue in wingsuiting. The last one I can remember was in Moab and that was almost a decade ago.
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Kristian_AUS

Not the video in question, but Josh Sheppard picked up someone after an exit didn't stick. If I remember correctly he was in an Aura, the rider was slick.

Just found it: https://jointheteem.com/sky/skydiving/skydiving-wingsuit-rodeo-fail-and-win/



That's a bad ass wingsuiter making a very difficult move look easy! Also, there were no other wingsuiters around to "pop" into, which is good.
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I've only heard of one very experienced wingsuiter (that you know) that can do this (or so the rumors go... never seen it in person) - with his own spouse after tons of practice.

So hypothetically I think it's possible, but "easy" it is not. Perhaps "possible with a ton of practice and careful incremental progress but very difficult" is more accurate.

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WickedWingsuits

There was even a guy the other month that went head down on purpose to activate his AAD, can't remember the reason.



... you mean the guy with a Russian made wingsuit that not only swallowed his reserve handle but trapped it inside the wingsuit? I think his problem was he was flying Russian-made skydiving equipment.

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If there is evidence of an unconscious wingsuiter still flying a suit outside of AAD firing parameters I would love to hear/see it.



There was a fatality in Switzerland involving a flat spin last year. I posted a link to it recently. The guy didn't break 50 MPH, which would not fire an AAD in "Pro" mode (that everyone uses...). I started a "should you be switching your vigil to student mode for WS jumps?" thread based on that fatality.

A couple of people have actually done that and switched and haven't had issues thus far.

I haven't, but after recent events jogging my memory think I'm gonna measure my turn speed as well and see if I can join them under my current canopy.

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itsdevlin

Man I wish this forum had stronger moderators. Can you two comparing the size of each other's dicks and lets get back to a technical analysis here?

So, is there something to be learned? It seems like these two were both diving to catch a group / another jumper, and both had nothing out.

Is this an issue on training? IIRC all recently injured / deceased parties were experienced jumpers with other experienced jumpers.

Is there a world in which AAD manufacturers begin offering a wingsuit-specific setting?

What can be learned from these two tragedies that can prevent further ones?



I have an average sized weewee. Anyway yeah we got a little off topic. I can't pick up trackers, I'm nowhere near in control enough when flying like that, just relaying what I've seen other people do.

To clarify, if you are chasing a tracker (or WS) that is well below you, dive; I would guess (and it is only a guess) that is what happened in the case in question.

With big suits anyway, once you are with a tracker it is usually hands basically on your rig and heels basically on your butt, it is really twitchy and relatively unstable, you aren't really "flying" anymore so much as your are "falling with lots of drag." You can even fall vertically that way. The totally head down angle, freefly, and belly chasers (Jarno comes to mind) have a special skill set I haven't even attempted and wouldn't for quite some time.

With a good tracker and a medium suit (Havok/Funk/etc) is actually pretty comfortable, it is like flying with someone in an intro suit.

As for AAD's there have been several threads on this, the big problem is that they can't know what exactly is going on. Are you in a flat spin or did you flare, or did you deploy, or are you just cruising really slow? Measuring altitude and descent rate alone make differentiation between those four things very difficult. Doing slow and floaty stuff I've had an Altitrack and Viso2 not register a speed faster than 40mph for the entire flight (the Altitrack samples every 0.25 seconds).

As wingsuits get bigger, they begin to diminish the effectiveness of AAD's, that's just the way it is. Creating a model that could predict those different things is very difficult, even if you had GPS and Gforce input because the AAD will be close to the axis of rotation.

As for what can be learned (hard to say here because we don't, and may never have all the details) it is the same as when a swooper hooks in (also usually involving experienced and current jumpers). Know your limits, be cautious and give yourself plenty of outs, pushing too hard too fast or putting yourself in a situation you aren't skilled enough to be in will create problems. I've tapped out on many many jumps when the speed got too fast, I or someone else wasn't in enough control to fly safely, or I lost track of jump run and canopies below. Give yourself more distance than you think you need and pull higher than you are comfortable. For instance, I have several hundred WS jumps and I still pull at 4,000, every time. On the rare occasions (I could probably count them on one hand) I've pulled at 3,500, it has been to increase separation.

Also watch this , it is relevant to everyone and coming from someone with more real life experience in the air than almost anyone reading this forum will ever have (myself included).

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