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JWest

POV cameras and Jump number.

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I posted this on another site. Wanted to share it here as well.

'There are a couple people who have less than 200 jumps who wear POV cameras at my DZ. That being said as someone with less than the 200 jumps I want people to know what I personally think. I have read the POV incident report on DZ and it is obvious that the real issue is becoming distracted, not the camera becoming tangled. While incidents do occur where things get entangled with the camera it happens far less often. When it does happen it tends to be due to an unstable opening. That is just what I gathered from reading the Incident reports.

Now I do think the 200 jump guideline is a good thing. It gives a general number and also sets goals for some people. Newer jumpers -myself include- have a higher risk of having an unstable opening. Thus more likely for it to snag something. The camera or helmet should have a cut away. I think we can agree on that regardless of jump number. We have to remember though that it is just a guideline. There are people with fewer than 200 jumps who are mentally capable to handle a camera and there are people with more than 200 jumps who are not capable. This decision should be left up to the DZO,or DZ safety person. If they think the jumper is ready to jump with a camera then let them. If they don't think they are ready then don't let them.

The mentality I see towards jumpers with less than 200 jumps using a camera is part of the problem. Educate new jumpers on how the camera can distract them from more important things such as altitude and landings and that "getting the shot" can get them hurt or killed. Don't just say it's unsafe.

I will probably wear a camera before 200 jumps and I will do it safely. I will do it by recognizing that the camera is a distraction and by focusing on the dive. I am not a camera flyer. My job is not to get the shot. The camera is just there to record what ever it records. If it doesn't record anything than who gives a shit. You had a successful skydive. If the camera gets snagged I'll pull my helmet cutaway and execute the emergency I practiced on the ground.

Edit: I typed this on mobile so I'm sure the spelling is jacked."

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JWest

I will probably wear a camera before 200 jumps and I will do it safely. I will do it by recognizing that the camera is a distraction and by focusing on the dive. I am not a camera flyer. My job is not to get the shot. The camera is just there to record what ever it records. If it doesn't record anything than who gives a shit. You had a successful skydive. If the camera gets snagged I'll pull my helmet cutaway and execute the emergency I practiced on the ground.



Do you honestly think you're the first person with less than 200 jumps to think that they have "the right stuff" to jump a camera safely?

Simply turning the camera on and off is a distraction. The argument for the 200 jump minimum is that for the first 200 jumps, you shouldn't have anything non-essential distracting you before, during or after your jump. On jump run, you should be checking your handles, not fiddling with your GoPro to make sure the red light is on. Same goes following deployment, you should be checking your airspace, not trying to turn your camera off. On the way to the plane, you should be checking your gear and rehearsing the dive, not thinking about whether your camera has enough battery or storage space left on it.

In Australia, the minimum requirement to jump camera is a C license, which can be obtained after 100 jumps. It's not my place to decide whether this is appropriate or not, but I do have an opinion on people who are so sure they can do something safely and therefore should be exempt from rules or regulations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

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Suggestion - add two new options to the poll, namely..

a) Oh no! Not another kid with mad skilz!
b) Monday morning, new profile. Must be a bored troll.

***********************************************
I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example

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Of course I am not the first person to think this, and I won't be the first person to do it safely either. There are people with over 200 jumps who thought "they had the right stuff" and it turned out they didn't.

I cannot disagree with anything you said in your second paragraph. You are completely correct. On the walk to the plane you should be checking your gear and going over the dive in your head. During jump run you should be checking your handles, straps, and give your fellow jumpers a glance over. Under canopy you should be checking your airspace and entering the landing pattern correctly. These are things every jumper should do.

My point is we can remedy all of your situation by simply being responsible. Make sure your camera is charged the night before. Make sure your memory card has space on it the night before. When you are in the plane turn your camera on 500-1000 feet before exit altitude. So what you might have to edit out a few "boring" minutes of footage. You still have plenty of time to preform gear checks. Don't turn of your camera off until you are on the ground. Again you might have to edit a couple more minutes or "boring" footage but you are not disrupting procedures you need to do to be safe.

The camera is a distraction but the risks of it can be minimized by being responsible. People should be emphasizing this more than anything else. Final discretion should be left up the the DZO/DZSO.

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When I had 100 jumps I thought for sure that I was going to get a GoPro as soon as I passed 200 jumps. I even bought a nice Tonfly Speed and everything. Passing 200 though, I've realized that shit can be dangerous. The rule is there for a reason. We are all different, some are better than other, the rest should maybe wait even longer or never get a camera for that matter.

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Every year there's a new crop of first-graders who've never heard our "there I was" stories.

To the OP, yes, there are people with over 200 jumps who shouldn't be jumping camera. That's why it's considered to be a minimum, because by then one should have the judgment to know, and the experience not to die from it if wrong.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Have you ever heard the phrase "You don't know what you don't know"?

Did you stop to think that most (if not all) the people in the "Small Camera Incidents" thread thought the exact same thing that you did?

There's reasons for the rules and recommendations that are in place. The phrase "Written in Blood" is commonly used.

But I'm sure you can come up with dozens of reasons why you are "Special", and that you shouldn't have to follow the rules and recommendations.

The cliche "100 jump wonder" comes to mind.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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JWest



I will probably wear a camera before 200 jumps and I will do it safely.



Good for you, just make sure you're not on the same load as me or same DZ, because if I know, you wouldn't be jumping with it.

C'mon, guys, it's 200 jumps: it takes two seasons without even jumping your asses off to reach them.
200 jumps on which you can focus on other skills and on improving your situation awareness. 200 jumps in which you can work on your post-deployment routine, for example, which a lot of people with hundreds of jumps still don't have.
200 jumps in which you can learn to actually have a dive that is worth filming, rather than 3 or 4 people waving at each other from 200 feet because they take 7 grand to get to a round and the only shots you can get is a bunch of crotches, legs and arms on exit and then maybe a good aerial view of your DZ. Over and over again.

When you say you'll jump a camera before 200 jumps, it makes me think you want to do it just do go against the rules because "fuck the system!". How many jumps? 150? 170? You mean you really want to have an argument instead of waiting an extra month that it would take you to do the 30-40 jumps?

Also, when you say that a DZO/STA should be in charge of making these decisions, let's say that in Ideal world it might be true but realistically it's impossible, because people travel, because DZO/STA often don't jump with many fun jumpers and are busy either being DZO/STAs or doing working jumps. They would need to take a decision based on pretty much what you and other people tell about yourself on the ground? To make it short, it would be no, with maybe some rare exceptions. Hence, the general rule/guideline, which by the way is NOT 200 jumps, but a C-license (which requires 200 jumps minimum, but also a couple of other things).
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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Well gee there whippersnapper just how many fucking dead skydivers have you had to go out and clean up? That's what I fucking thought... none!

Oh BTW, the cops do enjoy watching the POV cams of skydivers going in, so be sure to speak loudly your last words if you go in.... that last guy only took 58 seconds from exit to impact.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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The longer I'm in the sport, the more I want to tell people to just keep your POV camera off your head because for the love of all things good in the world, your footage sucks. Fuck safety, 99% of POV footage is boring, repetitive, derivative, and just flat out lame.

Now, you kids get off my lawn.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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bucketlistpilot

I've only been around for 5 years and these regurgitated threads piss me off. Don't know how you old-timers stomach it >:(


Now you know why we're grumpy.

What really used to make me mad was one student who used to bring out copies of rec.skydiving to support his arguments with me. Oh, he was one of the early downsizing cripples before swooping was even around much. Actually only partly his fault.

What I used to.tell people was that advice on the internet was like used chewing gum on the sidewalk. You didn't know.where it came from, where it had been, was of little.use, and made a mess.

We still have too many people spitting there gum.out!>:(
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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Quagmirian

]OP has raised some interesting ideas, and he's just got the 'usual' for it.




What?


please, identify the new and interesting ideas the OP has raised.

The only ideas I see are:

1) 'educate jumpers who have less than 200 jumps'
2) 'most camera accidents do not relate to snags but distraction'
and
3) 'you can educate me all you want but I'm going to do it anyway'

All of these have been discussed ad nauseum.

1) Education isn't accepted by people who have already dismissed the lessons. As evidenced in the guys first post here. People who will listen to the education are generally getting it. People who won't listen, won't listen to ANY level of education.

2) You can't convince someone that jumping camera is a distraction if they think it won't be. Even if you can show that's the biggest cause of accidents out there.

3) why should I waste my time with either 1 or 2 when he's already decided, based on his extensive experience that he's only going to listen to someone saying 'hey. Great idea. Go for it.'?


That's why he gets 'the usual' for it. The 'I know better' attitude and the instant dismissal of anything which doesn't conform to his conclusions.


Hell, I knew exactly what this thread was going to be when I saw the title on the main forum page.

Quote


I will do it by recognizing that the camera is a distraction and by focusing on the dive. I am not a camera flyer. My job is not to get the shot.
//If the camera gets snagged I'll pull my helmet cutaway and execute the emergency I practiced on the ground.



and so spaketh a thousand other low time jumpers. History has taught us that despite best intentions, the camera remains a distraction, and complicates EPs and is best left to when you have the basics of skydiving sorted out.


The 200 jump recommendation isn't a perfect solution, I'll admit that. Sometimes I think I'd prefer to see a Camera Flying 1 qualification which can be coached, in the same way FS / FF is, complete with lessons on flying, proximity, breakoff / deployment plans, gear selection etc. Until you prove you've got the skills, and have been shown how to do it safely, you don't get to strap a camera on period. If that takes you 500 jumps to get round to it, then so be it.

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If you're a new jumper and you want to wear a camera do us all a favor and don't post about it here. The only thing you'll accomplish is starting up yet another identical GoPro thread where everyone says the same things over and over, OP included.

Please and thank you.
Apex BASE
#1816

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>I will probably wear a camera before 200 jumps and I will do it safely. I will do it by
>recognizing that the camera is a distraction and by focusing on the dive. I am not
>a camera flyer. My job is not to get the shot. The camera is just there to record
>what ever it records.

Everybody says that. Most are wrong. I got myself in trouble when I had well over 1000 jumps on a state record because I figured I could just "turn it on, ignore it and focus on the dive." The organizer recognized that right away and told me to take it off - she could see how it affected my flying.

Now, maybe at 100 jumps you have more skill/awareness/focus than I did at 1000. But keep in mind that I was not ready then, even though I rationalized it ten different ways (i.e. "I am an AFF instructor! I can handle a little distraction. Even though it won't distract me.") It's unlikely you are.

> Educate new jumpers on how the camera can distract them from more important
>things such as altitude and landings and that "getting the shot" can get them hurt
>or killed. Don't just say it's unsafe.

I've tried that. They hear "blah blah blah OK blah blah blah."

If you are an outstanding flyer, have started to master whatever discipline you have chosen (freeflying, 4 way, whatever) then you're probably OK to start doing camera at 200 jumps. If not, there is no drawback to waiting a while longer, and potentially a lot of benefit both to yourself and the people you are jumping with.

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I'd love to have all my jumps recorded on my GoPro; but unless I could find the perfect way to secure it so as not to introduce a snag hazard or a distraction when jumping; I can't see myself ever mounting it. Far better that I leave it to the professionals - that way I can see myself on camera and try to work on my mad skills instead - I sure as heck need the coaching above my own footage!

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There are actually a few productive comments in this thread. From which raised a couple questions.

1. How can someone deny that strapping a camera to their helmet is not a distraction? When it clearly is.

2. 200 is just a number, wouldn't it be better if there was a class and your first jump had to be with a couch? They could then sign you off.

A few statements.

1. Skydiving is not the most accident prone sport some people do. But you do not hear the arguments against cameras in those sports.

2. I have had 100s of hours of POV camera footage. Turning it on and forgetting it isn't something you consciously do. You can die if you lose focus. Experienced camera wearers know this. Im not just talking about skydiving.

3. I really did want to wear just the camera housing to say "fuck the system" but thats childish and adding risk with no benefit.

4. It doesn't matter what I say or how much logic I use. I'm a kindergartner compared to most of you and don't know anything in your opinion.

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JWest


4. It doesn't matter what I say or how much logic I use. I'm a kindergartner compared to most of you and don't know anything in your opinion.



Nope. Just that the experience that you do have is leading you to erroneous conclusions. That isn't the same as knowing nothing (although it does kinda feel like that when we're told we're wrong!)

Thinking about stuff like this is good. It does keep you safe in the long run. But having asked the questions, we also need to be willing to hear the answers we're given.

You correctly identified distraction as a major hazard to jumping camera, but then shrugged it off by saying (essentially) 'that won't happen to me'. Doesn't it make sense that everyone who got hurt said exactly the same thing?

We've all made mistakes in the sport. Someone has a sig line here that is absolutely true: 'Nothing is more dangerous than breaking a BSR and getting away with it'....

In this vehemently anti-regulation sport, those rules that do exist tend to do so for a good reason. Pretty much all of them are written in blood.

And for the coach course, I think it's amusing how you were thinking 1 jump with a coach to get signed off and I was thinking that if I was designing the qualification,the course would be much, much harder than that, and would require a number of different qualification jumps, much like the AFFI course and would be a serious commitment to complete. It wouldn't be something you knock out in a jump. Or even a weekend.

Unless someone had spent serious time in the tunnel to master their in air skills, it's highly unlikely they'd be good enough to pass before a couple of hundred jumps.

I'd get rid of the idea of 'just putting a camera on for me' being different to 'proper videography', and lump it all into a serious 'camera work' qualification. Either you do it right, or you don't fly camera, but when you DO have it, then you should be good to fly with freefall teams, CRW dogs or tandems (other prerequisites not withstanding)

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JWest



2. 200 is just a number, wouldn't it be better if there was a class and your first jump had to be with a couch? They could then sign you off.



I've jumped with a couch before. They don't do shit in freefall except flail around unpredictably. And they really suck at signing you off on anything.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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The biggest issue with cameras and newbies is that in no other activity they(cameras) are an issue. If you, for instance go downhill skiing with your GoPro and get distracted you'll most likely either hit a tree or plow into another skier. Worst case scenario you get a nice scar and a no-shit-there-i-was story to pull some chicks.

So people are used to them(cameras) not being an issue. Then they get into skydiving and suddenly they're supposed to build a set of skills and experience before they're allowed to plop that thing on their helmets. I've had numerous students, this year alone, who don't even have their A-licenses yet, but have a GoPro and are used to using to for everything else but can't use it in skydiving.
Your rights end where my feelings begin.

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JWest

Now I do think the 200 jump guideline is a good thing.

...

I will probably wear a camera before 200 jumps and I will do it safely.



Do you also post on cop forums that you think speed limits are a good thing, but you will probably break them safely? What on earth do you hope to accomplish with this post?
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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I always find the go-pro threads interesting. I don't jump a go-pro...mostly because as has already been said, the footage is boring. I do think the requirement in antiquated considering it was implemented before cameras were so small and when they posed more of a physical hazard. I know, I know...this has all been said before.

I think as the cameras started to pose less of a risk the requirement was justified by calling it a distraction rather than a snag hazard so things wouldn't change. I have read the incident reports regarding the cameras and it seems most of them have nothing to do with the camera but since someone had a go-pro it is considered a contributing factor. This is the first time though I have seen someone mention that in other extreme sports there is no concern about the go-pro causing a distraction. For some reason skydiving is special I guess.

I have worn body mounted and helmet mounted cameras when I served on a swat team and made dynamic entries into houses for a high risk search warrant. I have worn cameras when serving an arrest warrant for a known gang member who was involved in a shooting in a neighboring jurisdiction the day prior. I wore a camera when I was involved in a standoff with a subject that murdered his ex's mother and father and shot her up pretty bad before hiding out in a building in town. Those are all pretty serious situations with deadly consequences if you are distracted yet the camera was given to me with no training or words of caution about wearing it. I don't understand how someone sticking a small camera on their helmet for their hobby should carry as much consideration and regulation as it does in skydiving. We let these people jump out of an airplane for Christ sake. Can we not trust people with a camera?
www.facebook.com/FlintHillsRigging

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>200 is just a number, wouldn't it be better if there was a class and your first
>jump had to be with a couch? They could then sign you off.

That would be great. But even D-licenses, AFF ratings and PRO ratings have experience requirements you have to meet _before_ you get tested.

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