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Tigerfly

A license jumping camera....

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First of all, all of the examples I saw given were jumpers who far exceeded the 200 jump minimum for a camera, making that minimum irrelevant.


Yep. Which is why it's a minimum and not a "start now" point. 200 jumps does not mean you are qualified to do camera. It means "don't start before this point." It does not mean "you are good to go after 200 jumps."

I had problems with cameras at the 2000 jump point. Around jump 4000 I decided to learn how to do it well; built a camera helmet, ordered a suit, got advice on snag mitigation and video safety, and started filming good 4-ways. After about 30 jumps with good 4-ways I worked on bad 4-ways, which are much more challenging. Then good 8-ways. Then bad 8-ways. Then bigways. It took a while. It would have been foolish of me to say "well, I have way more than 200 jumps - I am good to go!" But many skydivers do just that.

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My beef with 200 jump edicts on cameras and wingsuits is because they are arbitrary. Wanna tally up camera and WS injuries and fatalities based on jump number?, almost all are people who exceed those numbers


Let's try this again, because you seem to keep missing the point.

200 JUMPS DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE QUALIFIED TO DO CAMERA. It is simply a good point at which you might be able to START training to do camera.

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I do have one skill that I would say is abnormally keen, partly due to dumb luck I suppose, and partly due to a very specialized experience training scuba divers, for years I was the guy who got sent all the "problem" students, and I learned a tremendous amount about how people behave and learn.


Yep.

And the next guy will be able to swoop a Katana at 100 jumps because he's a motocross rider, so he has excellent depth perception and fast reactions.

And the next guy is totally OK on bigways at 50 jumps because his best friend was on the 400 way and he says he is good.

Yes, lots of people are exceptional. But they're not "like that" - they're not going around telling everyone they have mad skillz. They just have these abnormally keen skills that let them do things sooner/faster/smaller than everyone else. At least until their luck runs out.

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My beef with 200 jump edicts on cameras and wingsuits is because they are arbitrary.


So is every other number in skydiving.

Why do PRO jumpers have to be able to land reliably in a 32 foot circle? Because 32 seems to work. (Unless, of course, you are only one foot out on your last pre-declared jump. Then you're unhappy with how arbitrary and unfair it is. Why not 33 feet? 32 is a stupid number!)

Why can you get your A license at 25 jumps? Why not 27 or 13? 25 is a totally arbitrary number! And they changed it! So it's completely meaningless. But it seems to work.

Why do A license holders have to pull by 3000 feet? Why not 2750 feet? That is totally safe and no one would be harmed by it. And they changed that too! So why the slavish attention to round numbers? Because it's easier to read than 2750 feet. And it seems to work. (Again, unless the S+TA is getting on your case about pulling low. Then you think that 3000 feet is a stupid number.)

The number 200 works. Before that there are generally going to be so many other new distractions that jumping with a camera is going to be, in general, overwhelming. At 200 jumps some skydivers are just starting to be able to deal with all that input, and are starting to be able to pay attention to things other than the safety aspects of the dive and still be adequately safe. So SOME skydivers may be ready to start training to use a camera. Most won't be.

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I get what you are saying but I think you are missing a different point. Small format cameras are here to stay, and casually using one is not the same as trying to do real camera flying like you described. But they are being treated like "real cameras and real camera flying." They just aren't the same. As for large format cameras on significant mounts on dedicated special helmets (much less with special gear like camera wings) 200 probably isn't enough. I would agree on that point that it is a bare minimum.

I've never jumped wings, and if I was interested in it I'm gonna do a bunch of solos with them, sans camera, then 2 ways, and so on, just like you described. That does make sense. Small format cameras and no other equipment is just not the same thing.

As for my mad skillz, I'm not talking about athleticism, I'm not talking about reflexes or depth perception. I'm talking about teaching people, and I have over a decade in a MUCH more developed sport with all the support that it offers from multiple training agencies, all significantly larger and more organized than the USPA (and with much harsher consequences for not upholding standards for their professional members), and hundreds of students that I've taught from children to ParaRescue to back it up. I wasn't born with it, I developed it.

By comparison the USPA is a backyard drinking buddy organization.

I'm telling you, as a training professional, that I refuse to participate in skydiving training because it is so bad. I'm not selling anything, and I have nothing to gain from it. So the "well you ain't been in it since the 60's and you ain't never jumped a round so your opinion is crap" is exactly the toxic skydiving mentality that permeates every level of it's management that is holding it back.

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Anachronist

...casually using one is not the same as trying to do real camera flying like you described. But they are being treated like "real cameras and real camera flying." They just aren't the same. As for large format cameras on significant mounts on dedicated special helmets (much less with special gear like camera wings) 200 probably isn't enough. I would agree on that point that it is a bare minimum.



Why would a "real camera jump" be more dangerous than a casual "let me just turn on the gopro and forget about it" jump?

"Real camera jumps" require real planning and really thinking about what you want to do and what could go wrong. Focussing on this task and planning for all possible situations does not seem so bad to me.

Lots of people have experienced the fact that the "flightrecorder/blackbox" approach has not worked for them. Lots of them (me included!) found themselves in a situation where they made dangerous choices during a jump that they wouldn't have made if it wasn't for the camera. By the way this never happened to me during any "real" camera jump, only during casual jumps.

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At 30 jumps you have a skydiver who is not very good at skydiving. Add a camera and you a skydiverwho can't skydive very well shootings pissing poor pictures. There is a reason for the recommendation of 200. _
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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mjosparky

There is a reason for the recommendation of 200.



The recommendation is a C license, please stop repeating the 200 jump thing. There is a difference, and no, it's not a BSR.

I did my wingsuit first flight course on jump 201 with an A license (skipped B altogether). There, 200 jumps is all that is required. To jump a camera according to USPA recommendations, you need to meet all the requirements for a B and C license, which include two written exams, canopy course, accuracy, and freefall maneuvers.

The other recommendations are "enough general jump experience to be able to handle any skydiving emergency or minor problem easily and without stress," "freefall flying skills well above average," and "at least 50 recent jumps on the same parachute equipment to be used for camera flying." Arguing about the arbitrariness of 200 jumps is missing the bigger picture.

Personally, I started using a camera after 380 jumps, and that was only because I finally found a snag-resistant mount for my helmet. My prior experience with a GoPro included many aerobatic flights in a Citabria and Pitts with the camera on my head, so I was quite comfortable with it there. Even so, on my second or third camera jump (solo), I forgot to unfasten my seat belt until about 8k ft because I was thinking about how to best record my exit.

As others in this thread have said, I would not jump with someone who has 30 jumps and a camera. I don't care about their skill level. I care about their attitude to learning and their willingness to ignore best practices in a sport where even following those can still result in a bad outcome.

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>Small format cameras are here to stay

So are tiny ellipticals. Doesn't make them any safer for lowtimers.

>and casually using one is not the same as trying to do real camera flying like you
>described.

Agreed. "Casual use" is much more dangerous - because you are adding complication to a skydive that already has a lot going on. When doing "real" camera flying you are concentrating on one thing, which is a lot easier.

>I'm telling you, as a training professional, that I refuse to participate in skydiving
>training because it is so bad.

That's certainly your right.

Where are you jumping if you're not a member of USPA?

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So the "well you ain't been in it since the 60's and you ain't never jumped a round so your opinion is crap" is exactly the toxic skydiving mentality that permeates every level of it's management that is holding it back.




Ah...I get it....some old fart has put you in your place some time.

So...If Jaques Cousteau (you know who he was, right?) came along and gave some newbie scuba diver advice that he was not ready for deep dives, then his opinion should be ignored?

You realise, of course, that the reason you don't jump roundies any more, is maybe because the guys who did jump them way back then, realised that there might be a better way to do things, and adapted accordingly?

That the KAP 3 and Sentinal 2000 could be improved? (You know what they are, I take it)

Or shot and a half, and two shots could be retired?
(You know what all those are too....Right? )

Some of who are still around, "holding things back" Those guys?

You can dismiss the experience of those who have been there, done that, yet you yourself, are not prepared to put yourself in the firing line to change things for the better.

But its OK sit on the side lines and take pot shots at those that do.

Just because they're old dinosaurs.

Thanks for clearing that up. You've been most helpful.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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we try to follow the BSRs and FARs, as we should. I know that there are lots of people on airplanes with cameras that should not be there, and we will intervene when we see it.

We really ask that people respect the most basic of rules that exist, and I have every reason to do that, since that I am not asking any more of you than I am asking of anyone else

And making an exception for you means I have to make exceptions for someone else or come up with shitty excuses as to why I favor one person over another.

So right now, the rule is 200 jumps - completely arbitrary, but that is the rule. I would like to see a videographer 'course' or videographer 'rating' of some kind, at least to cover the basics, then i would actually be Ok with lowering the jump numbers, assuming you have completed a program of some kind. Yet to be invented.

I had a camera on my head with far less than 200 jumps back in the 80's. And the number of times I ended up under canopy below 1500' BECAUSE I was wearing a camera.

This clearly demonstrates the distractions that exist BECAUSE you put yourself into a new environment long before you are comfortable/competent in the current environment. Same things we discuss with downsizing canopies or wingsuiting, or weird tracking dives.

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Right now we have an arbitrary jump number limit for doing something that, as far as I can tell, won't become substantially less risky as you accumulate jump numbers. Jumping without a camera does not inform you, or force you to consider, the risks of jumping with one.

There are all sorts of far riskier things we allow licensed skydivers to do regardless of jump number that, year in and year out, continue to cause much much much more injury and fatalities; speed-inducing turns on final, higher wing loading, Mr Bills, no limit on size of groups and intending dive plan in free fall, etc. Things where prior jumps probably would be giving the jumper skills and experience that would minimize their risk. Yet other than the individual decisions of a particular DZO, any licensed jumper is able to do all of these without the rule book saying they can't.

IMO, the proper way to do this is education about the risks. A one hour course (~$25; a small amount relative to cost of camera setup) taught by an AFFI that educates the jumper about the various risks of jumping with a camera. (Maybe even make it part of the B-license.) Cameras are no longer rare, specialized things: probably more than 50% of all fun jumpers jump with one (and the % is higher in the younger groups). Whatever the risk you think cameras have, it does not substantially diminish with jump number (as even the hardliners here admit), but arguably would diminish by a course that made the jumper aware of those risks and gave them guidelines for minimizing them.

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mxk

To jump a camera according to USPA recommendations, you need to meet all the requirements for a B and C license, which include two written exams, canopy course, accuracy, and freefall maneuvers...



Point of information. The holder of a C license has met all the requirements of the A, B, and C licenses, which includes passing written exams for each, even if the person chooses not to apply for the lower licenses.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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won't become substantially less risky as you accumulate jump numbers. Jumping without a camera does not inform you, or force you to consider, the risks of jumping with one.



Maybe not, but at least you have more experience in the air, and may possibly have witnessed/experienced tricky situations already. You learn more the longer you are involved.

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speed-inducing turns on final,



How do you mitigate against a last second error of judgement?

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IMO, the proper way to do this is education about the risks.... arguably would diminish by a course that made the jumper aware of those risks and gave them guidelines for minimizing them.



Not a bad suggestion.

IMO, in skydiving "proceed with caution" is a much better mantra than "damn the torpedoes".

That's what most of the rules and regs are based on, and always have been. If said rules and regs become irrelevant over time, they are usually discarded.

People are always going to get hurt or die skydiving. That is the reality. Reducing the odds of that, is the name of the game.

I really struggle to see why some people have a problem with that. Usually its because they haven't been around long enough to witness the horrible side of skydiving.

Its not always fun and games.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Right now we have an arbitrary jump number limit for doing something that, as far as I can tell, won't become substantially less risky as you accumulate jump numbers.



I disagree. Jump numbers add experience. Experience helps you analyze situations with a clearer head for a variety of reasons, mostly because you have seen and done 'it' more often and your reactions will likely be more timed, precise and deliberate, with all that 'experience' going into your decision making process when there is a 'problem' or situation.

Experience helps you decide on the choice of equipment for a jump. Experience tells you what is and is not an emergency in an airplane or what the pilot is saying when he is talking about the weather
Experience helps you decide if the spot is good or not
Experience tells you when the dive is going badly and likely how to deal with skydivers everywhere in freefall
Experience tells you where to track off and how high to open to make it home (or to not pull to alleviate a risky situation at opening time)
Experience tells you how to fly your canopy for best performance, glide and helps you pick your 'out' landing sooner.

Experience absolutely gives (the vast majority of) people the ability to make better decisions and see things that inexperienced people do not see.

It may very well be an arbitrary number but no more arbitrary than stating that a student should NOT be under a Velo, which we all accept as a sensible decision. That also would still be sensible if we actually wrote it down as a BSR.

There ARE far riskier things we do as licensed jumpers but not before we add that 'experience'. Wing loading, Mr Bill's, group sizes are in many cases self-regulating when others speak up based on that person's ability to be in that group or jumping that canopy. That happens through peer pressure, observation, DZ rules, and is 'regulated' through a great deal of 'experience', namely everyone else on the dropzone.

So experience matters, you bet it does. The only difference with camera is that 'we wrote it down' and made it a rule.


And sure, a course is a great idea. I doubt an AFF instructor teaching a course is the right fix, they may very well have no clue about camera jumping.

But yes, a course outline, taught by someone of some level of teaching ability following some standard of a syllabus is always a good idea for everyone. too bad we do not have one.

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tkhayes



I disagree. Jump numbers add experience. Experience helps you analyze situations with a clearer head for a variety of reasons, mostly because you have seen and done 'it' more often and your reactions will likely be more timed, precise and deliberate, with all that 'experience' going into your decision making process when there is a 'problem' or situation.

Experience helps you...



Well, to be a bit pedantic, experience doesn't reduce the risk of a camera jump.

The risks will still be there, no matter what.

What experience does is give the ability to recognize and deal with that risk.

Recognizing it helps with making a decision on whether to do it in the first place (the good old "didn't know how far in over his head he was")

Dealing with it includes reacting to a situation and taking the appropriate measures to get through the situation (the good old "he would have made it if he had just...")
"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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I disagree with you. Experience doesn't eliminate the risk, but it certainly reduces the risk. Snag hazards are not the only risk cameras pose. Lack of altitude awareness because you have one more factor weighing on your mind is a real risk with a newbie jumping a camera. I recall seeing a video a few years back where two newer jumpers with cameras on fought to dock the entire skydive, never checking their altimeters, and had a docked double cypres fire...then checked their altitude Four times on the ground :S. Your first 200 jumps should deal with becoming aware of your surroundings in the sky...not recording it.

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As someone fluent in math, I have to once again point out the large body of evidence from which I can assign a per-jump hazard rating for swooping based on the wingloading and experience.

There is no such body of evidence for small format cameras. The opinion that having a gopro on a jump makes it more dangerous in a statistically significant way has no proof that I can see.

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Alright, just understand this. There is no math needed. The reason a 200 jump minimum became the accepted standard for camera jumping is simple. It was becoming so common for people with low experience to want to jump cameras that something had to be done. The collective wisdom of the Old Guard was brought to bear on something that was obviously wrong. The compromise answer that was agreed on was 200 jumps.

You can choose to disagree all you want. But that is now the standard. Yes it is arbitrary. But like it or not it is the generally enforced number. That is all.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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> Whatever the risk you think cameras have, it does not substantially diminish with
>jump number (as even the hardliners here admit)

Disagree completely. Experience DOES improve your ability to handle distraction - and camera incidents are generally caused by distraction rather than snags.

>but arguably would diminish by a course that made the jumper aware of those risks
>and gave them guidelines for minimizing them.

Definitely true, and such courses are quite valuable.

>There are all sorts of far riskier things we allow licensed skydivers to do regardless of
>jump number that, year in and year out, continue to cause much much much more
>injury and fatalities; speed-inducing turns on final, higher wing loading, Mr Bills, no limit
>on size of groups and intending dive plan in free fall, etc.

DZ's have rules telling swoopers where they can land.
DZ's have rules that limit wing loading of new jumpers.
DZ's have rules that prohibit Mr. Bill jumps.
DZ's have rules on what sort of experience you need before you do bigways.

Etc etc.

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billvon

>Small format cameras are here to stay

So are tiny ellipticals. Doesn't make them any safer for lowtimers.



Apples and oranges.

billvon

>and casually using one is not the same as trying to do real camera flying like you
>described.

Agreed. "Casual use" is much more dangerous - because you are adding complication to a skydive that already has a lot going on. When doing "real" camera flying you are concentrating on one thing, which is a lot easier.



Sure, a dedicated camera flyer filming a belly group is a low risk jump. This is all highly context dependant.

billvon

>I'm telling you, as a training professional, that I refuse to participate in skydiving training because it is so bad.

That's certainly your right.

Where are you jumping if you're not a member of USPA?



I am a USPA member, I meant to say "as an instructor."

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>Apples and oranges.

Macintosh vs Granny Smith. You hear the same arguments. You see the same defensiveness. And time and time again, you have people who say "I can handle it! I'll be careful. I'm not an idiot" getting hurt.

>I am a USPA member, I meant to say "as an instructor."

That's your right. There are plenty of other people who want to teach.

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