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Tigerfly

A license jumping camera....

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Di0

I'd try a different approach, just explain to him how, if he does, most likely everybody will think he's an idiot and he'll be outcast pretty soon. He's not going to get any "cool-points" except maybe from people even less experienced than him, all the "cool people", the load organizers etc., if somehow he manages to sneak one on a load a few times, will not want to have anything to do with him and that kind of reputation is hard to shake off in skydiving. Take it from one who knows. ;)
Tell him that kind of people most often end up jumping solo or with another couple of friends, it's always them, no one invites them on their jumps, and every time they make a mistake that usually would cause only a friendly laugh, when done by these people gets much more nastier comments and reactions, and again, this sort of reputation lasts hundreds for jumps.

Wow, great approach. I can think of too many people who fit this profile, who want to advance so quickly but end up being outcasts.

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When I started to skydive, I was thinking the same thing as this guy.
"Cool I passed my AFF, time to put a camera on my helmet and start making awesome footage (of nothing but blue skies and clouds). What could possibly go wrong!"

Hell, right now, two years later I finally (barely) meet the requirements to actually bring a camera. I got my B license, enough jumps, an (as much as possible)snag-proof roller mount, chin-cup quick-release, etc etc. But every day closer and closer to the weekend where I'm thinking about asking my instructor for official permission, I get more uncomfortable and scared that I screw something up.

I've seen enough videos, and read enough stories where it goes wrong. And I want to be absolutely sure that the camera is not going to be a distraction for me.
So if I ever end up using the camera, I'm going to only use it for SOLO jumps until I'm absolutely 100% guaranteed that the whole ordeal has become muscle memory where I can keep my full attention to the actual jump, and not the damn camera.

And most importantly: Ask your local instructors for advice. It'll save your life.

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This is going to sound old and farty, but for me one of the best reasons to deny new jumpers the opportunity to wear a camera is the fact that they are so very keen to do it.

The instinct to film everything one does (and post about it) is, to me, one of the sicknesses of modern society in general, but particularly in relation to skydiving it betrays a lack of perspective - and that lack of perspective would be encouraged by relaxing the rules. For a percentage of newbies, skydiving is just something cool to be seen to be doing. I think many of those people may not be jumping for very long, but for those who do stick it out they discover that, hey, this is actually a sport - something that you can learn more and more about, excel at, compete in, and find hugely rewarding for its own sake.

This reminds me of those occasional threads in which newbies post about listening to music while skydiving - why on earth would you want to do that? You learned to skydive so that you could experience a phemonenal new world - every aspect of it. If your first impulse is to video yourself doing it while listening to your favourite playlist, then you're kind of missing the point. It becomes just like everything else you do. :|

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But every day closer and closer to the weekend where I'm thinking about asking my instructor for official permission, I get more uncomfortable and scared that I screw something up. I've seen enough videos, and read enough stories where it goes wrong. And I want to be absolutely sure that the camera is not going to be a distraction for me.



One of the things I have experienced over and over as an instructor and S+TA are people who try to do stupid stuff too soon because they have simply not thought it through. It's not that they are determined to take dumb risks, it's that they don't even know enough yet to think "hey, that's a risk." And (especially as an S+TA) I have to be all over them.

Then a day will come that they say "hey, you know, this is really hard. I saw XXX and I heard YYY and . . . it's not really so easy to do. And ZZZ can happen!" And at that point I know they're going to be OK.

This often is something you can't tell people. (There are hundreds of examples on this forum.) So to me, something like the 200 jump minimum for camera is an attempt to simply get them to that point - the point where they start to realize what the real risks are, and take them seriously.

Good on you for realizing the risks _without_ having to learn the hard way.

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Thanks for the message Bill,

Last weekend I decided to just take the step and make my first camera jump. And I have to say, it was pretty good. Even though it was a solo jump, I trained my mind good enough to not make the camera a distraction, and it worked just fine.

For now, I'll be making lots and lots of solo camera jumps before I take the next step into taking it along in groups. I guess I can see it as taking the student route all over again. One step at a time, and as few risks as possible at a time.

For those interested, you can view my first camera jump here.
https://nicknero1405.stackstorage.com/s/Hi794pM6AfZLvGH

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It's starting to sound like an echo chamber in here (though I've enjoyed the debates), but I figured I should add my voice.

I started jumping camera about 150 jumps ago, and I do enjoy watching the footage and picking apart the skydives for training. I'll admit I also enjoy putting together fun edits, as well as doing outside camera for other jumpers. It helps a lot with students or younger jumpers--a lot of times, you really think your legs are symmetrical or you're still flying after you take a grip, until you see the footage.

That said, there are times when cameras are banned, like big-ways or CRW jumps, that I breathe a little sigh of relief. It's one less thing I have to stress about on the ride up, one less piece of gear to worry about, and one less thing to check before exit. Sure, once it's on, I don't really think about it, but I won't deny that I think about it in the plane, when I should be thinking about a successful skydive.

The best shots of me doing cool things is really from outside camera flyers, anyway.
I'm not a lady, I'm a skydiver.

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The 200 jump value isn't a god given number.

Other jurisdictions have tried different things. Canada had a 200 jump & C licence limit held over from before GoPro days, then changed it to 50 jumps minimum for half a dozen years -- although technically a jumper needed B license which one doesn't typically get right at 50 jumps, and one was supposed to have an audible, and (more vaguely) seek advice from experienced photographers and only use a camera in a type of jump that one is competent in.

They changed things a couple years ago, bumping it back to 200 jumps but still a B license.

The lower limit had been really handy for new coaches and instructors with fewer jumps to be able to video their students, when other instructors already were able to do so.

Whether the limit was 50 or 200, both had some arbitrary element and neither was perfect.

(Off topic: FlyLikeARaven: Hmm, I don't recall you previously having a profile picture showing a 2-out. Living an interesting life lately? :P)

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Nicknero1405

Instructors with less than 200 jumps. Sorry, but what!?!



In Canada a Coach 1 can start with 75 jumps, a Jumpmaster with 125, Coach 2 with 200, TI 500, PFF (like AFF) 600.

So at a DZ not doing AFF style jumps, a Coach 1 might go out with a student (who has gotten past static line or IAD jumps) to observe (but not to contact or interact with) a student doing turns and loops, to critique their performance.

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That's a picture worth its own thread, and plenty of lessons learned from that jump...

And, semi on-topic, that was a CRW jump. Had we not been lucky enough to have outside camera, this would've been just another "no shit there I was" campfire story, rather than a series of great and terrifying photos.

Your post just exemplifies the trickiness of assigning jump numbers to new gear. Sure, there may be a 100-jump wonder out there who can fly camera like a pro, or there may be someone with 500 jumps who doesn't yet feel comfortable jumping a camera. But the 200 jump number isn't totally arbitrary. It's there because it's a decent average of the kind of experience you need to have the awareness and presence of mind to handle additional equipment.
I'm not a lady, I'm a skydiver.

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Nicknero1405

Thanks for the message Bill,

Last weekend I decided to just take the step and make my first camera jump. And I have to say, it was pretty good. Even though it was a solo jump, I trained my mind good enough to not make the camera a distraction, and it worked just fine.

For now, I'll be making lots and lots of solo camera jumps before I take the next step into taking it along in groups. I guess I can see it as taking the student route all over again. One step at a time, and as few risks as possible at a time.

For those interested, you can view my first camera jump here.
https://nicknero1405.stackstorage.com/s/Hi794pM6AfZLvGH



Doing solos and training yourself to not think of the camera is actually the opposite direction you want to go. I know you're saying that because it seems like the safe thing to do but once you have a camera on your head you should train to use the camera and get the right frame. The safety issue is what you should have been tackling on the previous 200 jumps and now you're clear to be a safe skydiver while using a camera.

Go get some good video. If it's just stuck on your head while you do some RW then fine but also go practice framing and planning the camera shoot.

Many times we get people who want to shoot Tandem/AFF/Team video and their camera abilities are shit because they got used to ignoring the camera. You'll see good camera people flying to frame the shot, you'll see bad camera people looking all over the place and the footage makes you queasy.
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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DJL


Doing solos and training yourself to not think of the camera is actually the opposite direction you want to go. I know you're saying that because it seems like the safe thing to do but once you have a camera on your head you should train to use the camera and get the right frame. The safety issue is what you should have been tackling on the previous 200 jumps and now you're clear to be a safe skydiver while using a camera.

Go get some good video. If it's just stuck on your head while you do some RW then fine but also go practice framing and planning the camera shoot.

Many times we get people who want to shoot Tandem/AFF/Team video and their camera abilities are shit because they got used to ignoring the camera. You'll see good camera people flying to frame the shot, you'll see bad camera people looking all over the place and the footage makes you queasy.



Getting a good frame is step 2 of camera flying. I've barely begun step 1.
How are you supposed to get a frame when you jump solo? You see nothing but blue skies, so that's not going to work.

Step 1 is to get used to having something on your head while still keeping your mind to the jump and not to the camera. I don't have enough FS jumps to take the camera with FS yet anyway, so I'll take this chance to jump camera solo, and get my FS number to 200+ without camera before I'm taking it with me in FS jumps.

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Hi Raven. Just want to respond to your comment about cameras being banned on big ways or CRW jumps. I have shot video for CRW since 2006, and also wear my camera for big-ish ways on the inside. But it can be a distraction for some, but I have made it part of routine.

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***
Step 1 is to get used to having something on your head while still keeping your mind to the jump and not to the camera.

I think what people are trying to say, is that training to ignore the camera is not neccecarily the best way to go.
This will work for some time, but there will come a situation where you get mentally sucked into focussing on the frame or on whatever.

So maybe do this for just one or two jumps, and then take another approach and do almost the opposite: consider the camera as an extra task, which you plan for, and are fully aware of. This assumes that you are somewhat compentent in freefall and are able to handle the added workload. In this case you could start with filming two-ways or even solo's. Make a plan, and discuss it with everyone involved and at least an experienced camera jumper.

Not all intructors will agree with this approach and it does not apply for all kinds of jumps; alway discuss with your instuctor before doing anything stupid :-)

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Good natured ribbing:

Quote

Even though it was a solo jump, I trained my mind good enough to not make the camera a distraction, and it worked just fine.



So did you try to think about baseball instead? It usually works for me.
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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Nope no camera for you. You can only partake in less dangerous skydiving endeavors, like jumping out of a plane at night in as little as 50 jumps.

Obviously that's sarcasm. I jumped with a camera when I had less than 200 jump and I honestly think it helped me out. Did a few flight 1 courses and got valuable feedback from that footage. Helped me find the sweet spot for my flare too (I could see the spot I was flaring when the sun was at back and casted a shadow over the ground).

I get the intent of the recommendation...skydiver gets A license, skydiver wants to impress friends on FB, skydiver whips a 270 < 300 feet and faceplants into ground. USPA doesn't want to see that (among other things).

But I think there is a bona fide benefit to jumping with a camera in certain situations, be it coaching, canopy course, etc. I think USPA should revisit this.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it

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I agree, video is an extremely powerful learing tool, both for freefall skills and for landings.
This does not mean that the person that needs or wants feedback (the "student") needs to be the one handling the camera.
In other words: ask one of your friends to film your landings from the ground. Then ask a canopy piloting guru to have a look and give you the feedback you want.

Outside video gives a much better perspective. If you doubt this; why do you think my FS4 teammates pay for my jumps during training, so that I can film their jump as an outside camera flyer?

Being a camera guy means I have a lot of my own landings on video. Frankly this is nearly useless and I still hire a canopy coach now and then for video and feedback.

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evh

I agree, video is an extremely powerful learing tool, both for freefall skills and for landings.
This does not mean that the person that needs or wants feedback (the "student") needs to be the one handling the camera.
In other words: ask one of your friends to film your landings from the ground. Then ask a canopy piloting guru to have a look and give you the feedback you want.

Outside video gives a much better perspective. If you doubt this; why do you think my FS4 teammates pay for my jumps during training, so that I can film their jump as an outside camera flyer?

Being a camera guy means I have a lot of my own landings on video. Frankly this is nearly useless and I still hire a canopy coach now and then for video and feedback.



Well said, I've never taken a canopy course or gotten coaching when the instructor wanted to see the footage from my perspective. It's useless.

Video overall from a new jumper is basically garbage and I think everyone here can point to to at least one video of new jumpers not paying attention because they're geeking each other in freefall.
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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skiNEwhere

Nope no camera for you. You can only partake in less dangerous skydiving endeavors, like jumping out of a plane at night in as little as 50 jumps.

Obviously that's sarcasm. I jumped with a camera when I had less than 200 jump and I honestly think it helped me out. Did a few flight 1 courses and got valuable feedback from that footage. Helped me find the sweet spot for my flare too (I could see the spot I was flaring when the sun was at back and casted a shadow over the ground).

I get the intent of the recommendation...skydiver gets A license, skydiver wants to impress friends on FB, skydiver whips a 270 < 300 feet and faceplants into ground. USPA doesn't want to see that (among other things).

But I think there is a bona fide benefit to jumping with a camera in certain situations, be it coaching, canopy course, etc. I think USPA should revisit this.



Flight one has an outside camera debrief...so I'm wondering, did they let you use your camera with less than 200 jumps and did they use your footage in the debrief?

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Trafficdiver

***Nope no camera for you. You can only partake in less dangerous skydiving endeavors, like jumping out of a plane at night in as little as 50 jumps.

Obviously that's sarcasm. I jumped with a camera when I had less than 200 jump and I honestly think it helped me out. Did a few flight 1 courses and got valuable feedback from that footage. Helped me find the sweet spot for my flare too (I could see the spot I was flaring when the sun was at back and casted a shadow over the ground).

I get the intent of the recommendation...skydiver gets A license, skydiver wants to impress friends on FB, skydiver whips a 270 < 300 feet and faceplants into ground. USPA doesn't want to see that (among other things).

But I think there is a bona fide benefit to jumping with a camera in certain situations, be it coaching, canopy course, etc. I think USPA should revisit this.



Flight one has an outside camera debrief...so I'm wondering, did they let you use your camera with less than 200 jumps and did they use your footage in the debrief?

Yes they did. The outside camera is useful for landings, not so useful when I'm wanting to know if I performed drills correctly up high, or got the intended effect out of it.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it

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DJL


Video overall from a new jumper is basically garbage and I think everyone here can point to to at least one video of new jumpers not paying attention because they're geeking each other in freefall.



Garbage is relative, video from 99% of jumps is garbage. Also, if we abstained from doing things because a couple idiots messed it up, well there wouldn't be much left to do, inside or outside of skydiving.

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Divalent

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.



^^^ I vote for this guy as USPA director.

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For consumption. I welcome other non-cherry picked samples.

Random sample of 10 fatalities from USPA from Aug-ish 2014 to April-ish 2015 (didn’t see more recent data). 10 in a row with only a tandem and their student removed from the sample. The immediate jumpers on both sides of the sample were 500+ jumps (low cutaway) and 6,000+ jumps (canopy collision w/low cutaway).

Jump number / reason / age

2,500+ Main/Reserve entanglement Age 61
5,500 Impact under slowly spinning main (possibly unconscious, unknown) Age 73
165 Outside video of really bad Mr Bill canopy/freefall collision Age 28 (this guy is the problem). I bet his buddies doing the Mr. Bill were low timers too.
380 Malfunctioning main, no emergency procedures Age 50
1,500 AFF instructor tried to save his student (see next fatality) Age 41
8 AFF Student AAD fired too late (instructor died too trying to pull for him, same reason) Age 25
280 Low turn (not a swoop) 1.2 WL Age 36.
589 Low reserve deployment Age 54
900+ Swoop pond impact Age 50
684 Malfunctioning main, tried to land it Age 37

Average age 45.5. Average jump number 1,250.

Those low time jumpers with cameras sure are the problem huh? Well, that one guy was anyway, with his two friends, doing a Mr. Bill. Did the camera contribute, sure, but I’d blame the Mr. Bill though. (They waited 7 seconds to deploy the Mr. Bill, our deceased camera flyer was above them).

Looks to me like being over 40 and having 1,000+ jumps is the real problem. Should probably ban those things.... :S

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obelixtim

Quote

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.



1 - Nope, I'm not an idiot, so never had a "talkin to." Rather I've been encouraged to do some stupid stuff by old timers.

2 - I'd ask for his autograph, then tell him to f-off because he has been out of scuba for 30 years and is not up to date on research, equipment, or industry best practices.

3 - Yeah man, it's called change and all that round experience with belly reserves and capewells is about worthless with today's sport equipment. Like asking a Roman Legionnaire the best way to deploy a M1 Abrams.

4 - No man, had to google them, before I was born, also irrelevant.

5 - No idea wtf you are talking about. 90ft of anchor chain is all I can come up with, and as a 200 ton unlimited commercial captain, we don't use that anymore, the windlesses measure meters electronically. Also I've never been on a ship where you can see the chain from the bridge and the anchor locker has to be clear of personnel before you can drop, basically, using painted chain would be very difficult. We also mostly use the metric system now. Are you like 100 years old? I don't know anything about coal boilers either.

6 - I don't understand the statement? Old guys stuck in their ways slowing progress? Yeah, kinda a societal norm.

7 - I have "been there and done that" for the topic of this discussion.

8 - Yeah man, so you mean never criticize anything, like politicians for example? Like politicians (think USPA) that make laws (think USPA guidelines) that affect our lives (think our lives).

9 - You are welcome.

(I might add, if you want to get all nautical, there is a lot of dumb stuff we have to know for our licensing exams because the USCG is stuck in the 1800's, splicing 3 strand (lol I've never even touched 3 strand on a ship, everything is wire rope, 12 strand, 12 plait, or double braid, ironically you don't even have to know what those last 3 are for your license exams), how to float with our pants, (also lol, let's all pass around a knife to cut the bottoms of our coveralls off so we can make a crappy and short lived floatation device because our work vests we aren't allowed to step on deck without are 100x better) how to grease and (I shit you not) wrap with leather, standing rigging. How to deal with WIGs (only the Russians have those, and only a handful) And some other lifeboat stuff for life boats that haven't been built in 70 years and are not permitted on commercial vessels). I'm sure I've left something out but you get the idea.) Also as a treat, my favorite quote from a commercial mariner old timer. "Before HIV and drug tests this was the best job in the world."

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