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Tigerfly

A license jumping camera....

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jclalor

I think the destraction argument concerning new jumpers may be out dated. Youngsters today have grown up constantly videoing and being videotaped, I don't think they are nearly as distracting as some people think.



It's probaply even worse nowadays, everyone just wants to bring their camera with them from jump 1...

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You're right, cameras are so much more a part of life now. Not that long ago they were more trouble than they were worth, even for stills. It wasn't too hard to convince someone to not bring a bulky pos camera along on many activities then, but now it's different. Like it or not, people expect pics and videos of everything now, so I expect more cams in skydiving in the future.
Heck, what are we going to do with the rules when everyone has a lens mounted in their forehead?
They have stuff now that can easily be hidden in eyeglasses or shirt buttons.
This argument is getting obsolete.
But what do I know?

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fasted3

You're right, cameras are so much more a part of life now. Not that long ago they were more trouble than they were worth, even for stills. It wasn't too hard to convince someone to not bring a bulky pos camera along on many activities then, but now it's different. Like it or not, people expect pics and videos of everything now, so I expect more cams in skydiving in the future.
Heck, what are we going to do with the rules when everyone has a lens mounted in their forehead?
They have stuff now that can easily be hidden in eyeglasses or shirt buttons.
This argument is getting obsolete.



Not really.

Stupid people want to video everything.

Just because they whip out their phone at the drop of a hat doesn't mean that they don't get distracted by it.

Kinda like the idiot I saw the other day.

So busy videoing the accident scene he was going by that he rear-ended the car in front of him.
"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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billvon

>Youngsters today have grown up constantly videoing and being videotaped, I
>don't think they are nearly as distracting as some people think.

Yet the video distraction incidents keep occurring.



And I think that's precisely because "youngsters" have grown up with it. Everyone today wants to film and share what they do and get as many likes as possible. That pushes some people not level headed to push their limits. Older people don't care so much about sharing their cool videos, so they don't try to get them before they are ready.

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>And I think that's precisely because "youngsters" have grown up with it.

Agreed. They are growing up in a different environment. It's going to be a problem for instructors/S+TA's/DZO's to deal with this new risk for newer jumpers.

The video course is a great idea; several people have been pushing for this over the years. Set up a course with goals that you can pass or fail (and that are primarily safety oriented.) If you pass it at 50 jumps, then you can do camera. If you fail, then you have to wait. This, of course, would come with its own problems - "I have 300 jumps! What do you MEAN I can't do camera!" - but might also serve as a better standard than an arbitrary number.

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billvon

>Youngsters today have grown up constantly videoing and being videotaped, I
>don't think they are nearly as distracting as some people think.

Yet the video distraction incidents keep occurring.




Yes of course. Youngsters know how to handle their cameras and devices. That's why they never crash their cars fiddling with their damned cell phones. They are MUCH too high tech savvy to ever have an accident from being distracted!
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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billvon

>And I think that's precisely because "youngsters" have grown up with it.

Agreed. They are growing up in a different environment. It's going to be a problem for instructors/S+TA's/DZO's to deal with this new risk for newer jumpers.

The video course is a great idea; several people have been pushing for this over the years. Set up a course with goals that you can pass or fail (and that are primarily safety oriented.) If you pass it at 50 jumps, then you can do camera. If you fail, then you have to wait. This, of course, would come with its own problems - "I have 300 jumps! What do you MEAN I can't do camera!" - but might also serve as a better standard than an arbitrary number.



I also support the course, but there is one variable that it can't mitigate. You can't get rid of the "this is going to look so badass on video" factor with it.

From the psychology point of view it is probably related to quick downsizing. Essentially a lack of good judgement about your own skills and limits. If everyone was more aware of their limits nobody would be distracted by a camera or make a mistake because they are trying to get the shot. Of course everyone is susceptible to these kind of mistakes, not just novice jumpers, and everyone can have a momentary lapse of judgement. Maybe it makes sense to introduce that topic for a B license for instance, with tips about how to keep your own ego at bay, the Dunning–Kruger effect, etc.

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pchapman

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.



Denmark has 150 jumps, but makes video jumps an actual stamp that you get on your licence card (technically, you get it separately for each discipline for which you're otherwise cleared, which are also stamped in), and the requirements are attending a course by a qualified video coach (that's a rating with its own requirements and stamps), and at least 5 supervised jumps with said coach during which you demonstrate to their satisfaction the ability to handle yourself and shoot acceptable video while so doing.

It seems to work very well in practice, gives you a specific goal to hit while also allowing instructors to keep in check people not qualified despite hitting the numbers, and personally I'm immensely happy I went through the qualification jumps, because man, the ruthless critique of my freefall skills I received has improved my flying greatly.
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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As the most fervent detractor in this thread (as far as I can tell), I too would agree with having a "camera course." Keep it simple, focused on safety only, not how to make a good video, and forget about qualification jumps, let any S&TA teach it. B license/50 jump minimum is acceptable. I say that because a 50 jump minimum is acceptable for about anything, e.g. no jumps greater than a 4 way, no night jumps, no tracking jumps, etc etc, whatever. If you want to put a 50 jump restriction on anything I probably wouldn't have a problem with it. 200 is just too high for anything but serious crew and instructional stuff in my mind, (I think the 100 jump coach thing is monumentally retarded/insufficient), and I only say crew because it scares me and I don't have any experience, a crew dog might very well say otherwise, and I would defer to them.

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evh

***50 jump minimum is acceptable.



How can you not see the irony in your totally random number of 50 jumps?
It's not fair!! I'm used to using camera's!! hahaha

I have a fundamental suspicion of any criterion that ends up requiring a number of experiences corresponding to an integer multiple of the number of digits on our hands. 50, 100, 200, 500 are all arbitrarily chosen for convenience rather than demonstrated utility.
...

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

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Anachronist

As the most fervent detractor in this thread (as far as I can tell), I too would agree with having a "camera course." Keep it simple, focused on safety only, not how to make a good video, and forget about qualification jumps, let any S&TA teach it.



Except the whole point of flying a camera is, y'know, flying a camera. There isn't some abstract "camera safety" that's independent of actually filming. The whole point of the qualification jumps is to show that:
  1. you can handle yourself prior and during jump and aren't at an obvious and immediate risk of doing something like forgetting your chest strap or picking gear that will snag instantly
  2. you can do the above while shooting minimally useful and premeditated footage
If you don't care at all what's in the frame, you have no business flying camera. If you do, and if the stamp is to mean anything, it needs to include jumps and be organised by people who are experienced videographers. Canopy courses include jumps, FS camps include jumps, tracking camps include jumps, why on earth would camera courses not include jumps? One day someone, somewhere will ask you to film them based on the fact that you have an official stamp saying you're qualified to do so, and it should not then cause you to funnel through the formation, then go low trying to frame a shot because you've never actually done it before.

tl;dr: nobody needs to be allowed to fly camera. If they want to, they'd better put in the work and get the skills required.

PS. And no, 50 jumps is not enough to start, your position is insane and I hope I never get taught by you nor meet anyone subjected to your mad teaching skillz
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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kallend

******50 jump minimum is acceptable.



How can you not see the irony in your totally random number of 50 jumps?
It's not fair!! I'm used to using camera's!! hahaha

I have a fundamental suspicion of any criterion that ends up requiring a number of experiences corresponding to an integer multiple of the number of digits on our hands. 50, 100, 200, 500 are all arbitrarily chosen for convenience rather than demonstrated utility.

So would you prefer 201? Or maybe 197?

You know perfectly well that those numbers are chosen because we humans have a fascination with zeros. And more of one when there is a '1' in front of those zeros.

200 is the old requirement for a D license. It's also the minimum for wingsuit and camera.

It's a good place for that too, IMO. Enough jumps that some stuff has become relatively habitual. Gear checks, exit protocols, various other stuff.

Enough skills and experience to start adding extra stuff, stuff that has the potential to be a distraction.

But, as seen in this thread, others have differing opinions.
"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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Hahaha, yes the ability to reason seems rather scarce these days.

Jump numbers mean a lot very early on in a pass/fail sort of way, but their usefulness quickly diminishes. Do I think 50 is good, no I do not, but abandoning jumps numbers isn't going to happen any time soon, so it is a compromise.

(Basically what I'm saying is that if you go with 50, very few people are going to complain, it is advice, not a stamp of approval).

What would make the most sense would be "it's up to the instructor."

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mathrick


Except the whole point of flying a camera is, y'know, flying a camera. There isn't some abstract "camera safety" that's independent of actually filming. The whole point of the qualification jumps is to show that:

  1. you can handle yourself prior and during jump and aren't at an obvious and immediate risk of doing something like forgetting your chest strap or picking gear that will snag instantly
  2. you can do the above while shooting minimally useful and premeditated footage
If you don't care at all what's in the frame, you have no business flying camera.



So the complaint is all about safety, so quality is irrelevant, plenty of folks jump cameras for incidental captures, kinda like having a dash cam. The other problem, try and define in a meaningful way the abilities to "shoot useful video" and "handle yourself." Good luck with that one.

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wolfriverjoe



So would you prefer 201? Or maybe 197?

You know perfectly well that those numbers are chosen because we humans have a fascination with zeros. And more of one when there is a '1' in front of those zeros.

200 is the old requirement for a D license. It's also the minimum for wingsuit and camera.

It's a good place for that too, IMO. Enough jumps that some stuff has become relatively habitual. Gear checks, exit protocols, various other stuff.

Enough skills and experience to start adding extra stuff, stuff that has the potential to be a distraction.

But, as seen in this thread, others have differing opinions.



I don't think camera's need a number. The biggest problem is disparity in application, which indicates a lack of legitimate reason.

As previously mentioned by mr crew dog (that I do not object to) they are willing to take 50 jump folks to do crew. B license can jump at night, A license can intentionally jump into water, but god forbid someone without a C puts a gopro on their helmet. If I need to argue that night jumps, crew, and intentional water landings are more dangerous than a gopro then we are so divergent in our risk assessment that I don't see a logical conclusion.

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I'll leave it with the following, you can take it for what you want. I am also going to be away from my computer for a while so I won't be able to trade jabs and respond to comments for a little while.

Also, I feel it necessary to clarify, we're talking about training and newer jumpers. Once you've been in for 10 years and have 1,000+ jumps, you're on your own as far as decision making goes. So I'm intentionally not talking about that demographic. Adjust your definitions of "experienced" and "new jumper" accordingly. We all know 5 years and 500 jumps is a newbie compared to a large number of other jumpers, riggers, and professionals. But at that point, the jumper's decisions are pretty much left up to them, the USPA makes no substantial recommendations or restrictions beyond that. I'm also talking about "experience" as a whole, not any individual discipline.

There are some things I think we can agree on. First is that you can't fix stupid. I'm sure we've all seen 500+ jump wonders that are as dangerous (perhaps more so) than they were when they were newbies. I think we can also probably agree that "time in sport" is an important metric that is rarely measured. e.g. everything else equal, I think it is at least arguable that someone with 1,000 jumps and 10 years is going to be better equipped to make risk assessment decisions than someone who cranked out 1,000 their first 2 years. We learn a lot because of the people we are around and time spent processing information as opposed to personal experience alone.

I think we can also probably agree that however you want to define "experience" as measured by jumps numbers alone, it diminishes the higher you go for any individual. e.g. the difference between 50 jumps and 100 is much greater than 500 and 550. I would argue that the relationship is not linear, and not simply represented by a percentage. i.e. the difference between 100 and 200 is more than the difference between 1000 and 2000, even though they both doubled (as an extreme example).

So there are some important questions we have to ask about that "diminishing return." I'll leave that to be considered by whoever cares to read this rant.

Next we have to ask what purpose does skydiving training serve. Is it practically enforced. And is it equitable. Do we make it more exclusive and more difficult to participate in non-belly camera wearing jumps, or do we try and make it more inclusive to grow the sport (because the attrition rate is extremely high) and allow people to get more out if it sooner. All of these things are a compromise. Ideally you could argue, that you need 100 jumps, with multiple canopy courses, hours of tunnel time, a rigger course, and a minimum of several years in the sport to get an A license and the privileges it currently allows. Would that make skydiving safer? Yes, I don't see how it possibly couldn't, but it would cripple the sport and I think we can all also agree is extreme overkill. But I am using extreme examples to make a point, the same principals apply to all regulations and practices.

The most important question perhaps, is once we've answered all of those other questions; are regulations a "ok you did it, here is your card," or are they a "this is the bare minimum required to start x activity, and meeting the USPA regulations requirements is not a guarantee that you are or well be "qualified" to participate in x activity." I think this is one of the issues with the haphazard nature of the regulations now, in some cases they are indeed a rubber stamp, and in others they are a starting point. There is no consistent application.

My personal training (inside and outside of skydiving) has been the latter of the two philosophies. As we like to say in scuba when someone gets a new certification (basic or advanced) "this is your license to learn."

Picking one of the two philosophies will go a long way toward making the regulations make more sense. And talking from the two different perspectives (while assuming the person you disagree with has the same perspective that you do) is likely the crux of a lot of the disagreement in this thread.

We also have to ask what is required to support either philosophy. With the rubber stamp, not much. Just the instructional outline, test, and a check off list. It is quick, easy, and economical (which is why the military uses it extensively). For the "license to learn" perspective you need continuing education. And right now that is in its infancy in our sport in the US anyway (idk about anywhere else, sorry everyone else, this isn't for you). The canopy folks are the leaders of the pack with their progressive courses, but even still they are very "complete an objective" rather than "have an enriching experience" based. On the other hand, angle camps, tunnel camps, and things like the NSL are very "enriching experience based" but lack the same sort of structure that the canopy courses that Flight-1 (and others) offer for instance. Both are good things for sure. But we lack an abundance of any of them that are easily accessible without traveling to a distant DZ or waiting months for one to come to yours. These courses basically don't exist for anything else (or are very rare) Camera, RW, Crew, Wingsuit, etc. In the meantime, I have a sweet new gopro and I want to have a video of me and my buddy holding hands in freefall, because that excites me and makes me want to jump more so that one day I can make a video that someone else who wasn't on the jump might actually want to watch. And I can show my crappy video to my girlfriend and my family so they have at least some concept of what I'm doing, etc, etc.

So making this sort of "license to learn" environment is hard, and will require a change in the way a lot of skydiving operates, it will be slow, and it will have it's share of "incidents." But ultimately I think would be a positive development. Now, you are 100% allowed to say "hey hippie, that will never happen and is stupid to even talk about." And I won't fault you for that. You just have to make it clear that you are talking about a "rubber stamp" type of training and certification when you advocate for certain rules and regulations. I can produce a litany of arguments against it, but I'll leave that for another day and another thread. And ultimately, if the majority of jumpers are in favor the "rubber stamp," my rambling is pointless, and I will be happy that I got to have the experience I did before there was a camera regulation and a wingsuit regulation and when all you had to do for a D license was make 2 night jumps (a whole other can of worms that has already been beaten to death). Oh, and when paid tandem camera fliers sometimes had only 200 jumps.

So, in my personal and inescapable bias, I look at camera regulations as arbitrary, as they stand now, because there is no training, there is only an arbitrary jump number, and it applies equally to gopros as it does full camera setups with multiple cameras, visual indicators, ring sights, and other specialized equipment like wings. Ironically, you can jump that same equipment as long as you don't have a camera attached, which is part of my litany of arguments against "rubber stamp" regulations.

My problem with all of this is that there is no consistency. There is nothing to stop me from starting to try and fly head down with my buddy at 30 jumps other than a S&TA or DZO telling us not to, and unless very closely supervised, is impossible to enforce. But "ohhhh, cameras are scary and will get you killed." There was nothing from stopping our aforementioned deceased Mr. Bill participant from attempting it with his 168 jumps (I've seen people do it sub 100). So that inconsistency means that there is no organized train of thought, and no organized philosophy in skydiving training. It is just a hodgepodge of regulations thrown together by different people at different times with different motivations and "rubber stamp" vs "license to learn" philosophies. And that culminates into a basic lack of credibility.

Perhaps the reason that I jumped a camera before I had my A and started wingsuiting with ~130 jumps, and never had any "close calls" or any problems is because I was already ingrained with "this is only a license to learn," and in doing so, I talked at length with my AFFIs about what and how to go about it. I asked the DZO if it was ok and listened to their advice, and didn't do any of it without their oversight and permission. I knew that I could only progress slowly and deliberately. My first dozen gopro jumps and wingsuit jumps were either solos or only with my instructor, and what better way to try something new and learn is there? I didn't get a gopro and try to do a 4 way VFS jump, or take a FFC one weekend and then try and do a big way with all the other wingsuiters or even a two way with someone else who was a newbie. I never jumped with another newbie wingsuiter until I wasn't a newbie anymore myself (>100 WS jumps in case you're wondering what I mean by "newbie").

So the act of letting people get just enough experience to be dangerous (~200 jumps) and think they know what they are doing without knowing what they don't know (Dunning Kruger) and then turning them loose with a gopro and a wingsuit is, I would argue, more dangerous that taking someone who is less experienced, appropriately scared, and letting them learn slowly.

It is certainly not because I have mad skillz, I would say I'm average as a whole. Perhaps above average in risk mitigation (at least for myself and those I jump with; I'm the guy that says "the wind is funky today, see you all tomorrow." Or "this WS jump is a little weird and people are being a little too aggressive so I'm gonna keep my distance") and below average in athleticism. I'm chunky and have a few joint problems. So keep that in mind before throwing me in with the RedBull chugging FaceBook Athlete page having, "I'm gonna teach myself to swoop" crowd.

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We estimate a lot of things logarithmically even on biological level, think bell sound scale. For jump numbers it makes sense: 200 jumps vs 100 is more significant than 1100 vs 1000. Choosing a "round" number close to a desired estimation is just trying to convey information efficiently using given system, with fewer digits.
So the roundness of the numbers shouldn't be there sign of arbitrariness.

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Quote

Yet the video distraction incidents keep occurring.



I am still waiting to see the list of them that makes video such a dangerous thing.

Tom Noonan spoke at PIA about whether or not TI's should be wearing handcams due to the 'increasing number of incidents' related to that. I asked the question "Where are they and let's see them?"

This is a pretty small industry.....if there were large numbers of dangerous things happening due to camera, then we would be seeing them, especially because they are being recorded. I put it to you that we are NOT seeing them, at least not to the extent being put forth and therefore perhaps not a statistical issue.

USPA at the very least should be seeing and reporting on them. I expect the numbers of incidents are no more than any other distraction that we have in the sport.

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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?

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.

Where was this flight one course held? Was it at a USPA DZ? Who was the instructor?

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>I am still waiting to see the list of them that makes video such a dangerous thing.

DSE published a list of about 40 of them to this website about 5 years ago. I don't think he has kept it up though.

>This is a pretty small industry.....if there were large numbers of dangerous things
>happening due to camera, then we would be seeing them, especially because they
>are being recorded.

Some are. In many of them, the video is quickly "lost" if it shows something that might get the person grounded.

>USPA at the very least should be seeing and reporting on them.

USPA is almost never going to see them. How many people do you know go to an S+TA and say "you know, I'm doing something pretty dangerous and you should report me?" DSE saw them because he does a lot of video - and talks to a lot of people who do video. And, of course, he's not USPA.

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