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bamber

Virtual Reality Jump Training

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However did we manage before...? :S As for where, Google will probably help you but my guess is that it'd be a military thing.

VR is fantastic for particular applications. For general skydiving training it's probably not worth the time or effort.

The emergency drills we us aren't complicated - In fact they're as simple as decades of training can make them.

1) Is it a malfunction? (The type doesn't matter).
2) If YES then carry out your procedures.

No simulation necessary.



You're really overthinking this. Are you actually going to make a jump at some point? That's probably the best thing you can do.

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The military have some - the ones I have exposure to are very expensive and designed for quite specific applications, not really relevant to sport jumping. I've spent time on one, and landed on an aircraft carrier amongst other things after every malfunction the guy running it could throw at me :D.
Never try to eat more than you can lift

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bamber

What are your opinions of the virtual reality skydiving trainers?
The manufacturer said students can practice all malfunctions.
Where are they available to use?

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxBInFHmNWY

[.image]http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/02/28/article-1361500-0D68EF32000005DC-367_634x406.jpg[/image]
[.image]http://www.interactiveparty.com/sites/interactiveparty.com/files/styles/watermark2x/public/products/vrskydive.jpg?itok=IP8j0nLS[/image]



Highly overtechnical. Waaaaaay too complicated. Since it's military/government, then it's almost certainly waaaaaaaaaaaay overpriced.

There's a couple of really, really simple training devices.

One is the "Practice harness." It's a harness (with or without container attached) that has the main pull, cutaway handle and reserve ripcord. The student puts it on and practices pulling.

The other is the "hanging harness". There are a couple variations. One is an old, retired rig, hung from the ceiling. The student gets in it and practices pulling the various handles. Another is a setup that has a real three ring setup, with a "stop strap." When the cutaway is pulled, it actually drops a few inches to the end of the stop straps.

Seeing as:

A - EPs are really, really simple (see above - is it there, square and landable? If not, chop it and dump the reserve).

B - It doesn't take high tech virtual reality stuff to simulate a harness or emergencies.

This is stupid.

Stop overthinking it.

If you are going to jump, go jump.
"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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All valid points.

Although I would say virtual reality would allow a student to work on their 3D flying ability, to learn how to set up a pattern and land where they want despite the vagaries of winds.

VR is especially nice for skydiving flight simulators as compared to airplane simulators, because the angles tend to be greater for skydiving. You can practice landing a plane with computer screens that show a view down 10 degrees from the horizon, but for a parachute you really need screens going down say 90 degrees -- hence VR goggles being handy.

More than one canopy flight simulator for one's computer has been built for people to play with, but I don't think they ever got a lot of use, especially outside of the home. Is anyone using them any more?

(Ref: A thread in 2014 by a designer of one that is online
http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=4592750#4592750)

Anyway, I haven't heard of any civilian DZ using VR & suspended harness simulators, or even just PC based simulation. If anyone did, that would be interesting to hear.

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yoink

However did we manage before...? :S As for where, Google will probably help you but my guess is that it'd be a military thing.

VR is fantastic for particular applications. For general skydiving training it's probably not worth the time or effort.

The emergency drills we us aren't complicated - In fact they're as simple as decades of training can make them.

1) Is it a malfunction? (The type doesn't matter).
2) If YES then carry out your procedures.

No simulation necessary.



You're really overthinking this. Are you actually going to make a jump at some point? That's probably the best thing you can do.



I bet the air-busdrivers said the same when flight simulator training became available.
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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pchapman

All valid points.

Although I would say virtual reality would allow a student to work on their 3D flying ability, to learn how to set up a pattern and land where they want despite the vagaries of winds.

VR is especially nice for skydiving flight simulators as compared to airplane simulators, because the angles tend to be greater for skydiving. You can practice landing a plane with computer screens that show a view down 10 degrees from the horizon, but for a parachute you really need screens going down say 90 degrees -- hence VR goggles being handy.

More than one canopy flight simulator for one's computer has been built for people to play with, but I don't think they ever got a lot of use, especially outside of the home. Is anyone using them any more?

(Ref: A thread in 2014 by a designer of one that is online
http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=4592750#4592750)

Anyway, I haven't heard of any civilian DZ using VR & suspended harness simulators, or even just PC based simulation. If anyone did, that would be interesting to hear.



I won't disagree that it would be nice for simulating canopy flight.

But that wasn't the OP's question. He was asking about Emergency Procedures. Different situation altogether.

And
Baksteen

I bet the air-busdrivers said the same when flight simulator training became available.



Not really.

Part of it wasn't their choice.
Part of it is what those simulators train.
Most of it is cost.

Airplane simulators primarily train emergencies. They can do it safely (no chance for a real crash), repeatedly (shutting down and restarting engines is a bit hard on them), in less time (just hit the 'reset' button and start over) and most importantly - cheaply.

While the high-end, full motion, airliner simulators are pretty expensive, both to build and to operate, they are a lot cheaper than actually flying, say, a Boeing 757.

So the accounting department for the airlines can easily justify spending the money on the simulator, because it is so much more cost efficient.

For a skydiver or DZ, $15-$20 for a H&P plus $7 - $10 for the pack job isn't expensive enough to justify the cost of that VR simulator. I'm not arguing that it could do a decent job as a training tool, but would it be cost effective?
"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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yoink

The emergency drills we us aren't complicated - In fact they're as simple as decades of training can make them.

1) Is it a malfunction? (The type doesn't matter).
2) If YES then carry out your procedures.

No simulation necessary.



Bollocks.

From the USPA's 2016 fatality summary report: "In an average year, the failure to quickly and appropriately respond to a parachute malfunction contributes to about a quarter of skydiving fatalities. In 2016, a malfunction of the main parachute system began the chain of events that contributed to 38 percent (eight deaths) of the year’s fatalities."

EP's may be simple, but that doesn't mean they're easy to perform in a high stress, literally life-or-death situation.

Harness training is fine, but there's no way it's going to elevate someone's emotional & physical responses the way a high quality VR sim can. In fact, that's the entire point of VR -- for the individual to be unable to distinguish it from the real thing.

My bet is that 10-15 years from now, once costs have come down, most AFF programs will include some form of VR training. This will help not only with EP's, but with landing pattern & flare training, both areas where students & new jumpers regularly struggle and which have historically led to the high injury rate among newbies relative to more experienced jumpers.

We know the media only pays attention to skydiving when there's an incident. So I'm in favor of anything that can improve the sport's safety -- not necessarily as a requirement, but as just another helpful tool.

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wolfriverjoe


But that wasn't the OP's question. He was asking about Emergency Procedures.



The OP stated:
Quote

What are your opinions of the virtual reality skydiving trainers?
The manufacturer said students can practice all malfunctions.



You ran with part of that (mals), while others ran with another part of that (VR in general). It seems reasonable to discuss both.

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I bet the air-busdrivers said the same when flight simulator training became available.



But you're also talking about a scenario that's many times more complex and expensive and has much more to do with managing instruments and a flight team through various scenarios that you simply can't do in a normal flight. I think there are definitely merits to VR training at a specific point in the student's progress and when weather conditions don't allow for actual jumping. There is a widening gap in canopy training that this could help to fill.
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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I had the opportunity to try one of these simulators at the PIA Symposium in Barcelona about 10 years ago and found it interesting, but the cost of such a machine is not realistic for civilian use.
Some paragliding training with older paragliders (whose flight characteristics are close to student canopies) is a great alternative (in my opinion)
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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One is the "Practice harness." It's a harness (with or without container attached) that has the main pull, cutaway handle and reserve ripcord. The student puts it on and practices pulling.

The other is the "hanging harness". There are a couple variations. One is an old, retired rig, hung from the ceiling. The student gets in it and practices pulling the various handles. Another is a setup that has a real three ring setup, with a "stop strap." When the cutaway is pulled, it actually drops a few inches to the end of the stop straps.


I've trained maybe 1200 students with such systems. I also hold a picture of a mal (or a good canopy) over their heads to make it a little more realistic. Seems to work OK. But being able to put them in an environment that's more real (i.e. that's better than me holding 20 year old pictures over their heads) would work better.

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billvon

Quote

One is the "Practice harness." It's a harness (with or without container attached) that has the main pull, cutaway handle and reserve ripcord. The student puts it on and practices pulling.

The other is the "hanging harness". There are a couple variations. One is an old, retired rig, hung from the ceiling. The student gets in it and practices pulling the various handles. Another is a setup that has a real three ring setup, with a "stop strap." When the cutaway is pulled, it actually drops a few inches to the end of the stop straps.


I've trained maybe 1200 students with such systems. I also hold a picture of a mal (or a good canopy) over their heads to make it a little more realistic. Seems to work OK. But being able to put them in an environment that's more real (i.e. that's better than me holding 20 year old pictures over their heads) would work better.



Ok, but would it be worth the cost?

That sim can't be cheap.

How many DZs could justify the cost?

Is the experience of that sim that much better than the "hold the picture over their head" method.

Short of some sort of "full motion" setup, you can't simulate the G-load, disorientation or urgency of a real mal in that sim any more than an old school hanging harness.

As noted in post 12, airplane sims practice emergency situations that are usually identified by instrumentation, and often involve complex and exacting protocols to address. Checklists, crew management, and a variety of stuff is covered. While they move in 3 dimensions, there really isn't that much "seat of the pants" flying in them.
They also do things that are not practical in real aircraft. Shutting down and restarting engines repeatedly isn't the best for them, the risks of flying on one engine are not trivial, and (back to cost), simply hitting the "reset button" allows repeating scenarios rather quickly.

As a side note on sims and their ability to allow a pilot to attempt dangerous things: After the DC-10 crash in Chicago in 1979, where they literally lost an engine (it broke loose and fell off), there was a question as to the possibility of the plane being flyable (could the crew have maintained control or not). The way I heard the story, the sim was programmed with the missing engine and subsequent damage, much of which was to the hydraulic systems.
A Boeing test pilot then tried to duplicate the takeoff, without crashing.

It took several tries, but he was able to do it. The sim gave him the opportunity to learn how to do it. Nobody blamed the pilots who were killed in the crash.
"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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If you have to make sure that your expensively trained specialists have to solve a mission where they never have been before and you don´t want to rely on weather conditions for flight training, also you really want to "train" malfunctions under the most realistic circumstances and you can afford the money, then those VR simulators do a great job (I guess).

For civillian use, if they were the price of a cellphone, they would also be an advantage, why not?
Just imagine not only for students, also downsizing could be simulated more realistic and CP might go to another level in training :P
Or a multi-user CRW training ...
Amazing new world .... B|
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pchapman


Anyway, I haven't heard of any civilian DZ using VR & suspended harness simulators, or even just PC based simulation. If anyone did, that would be interesting to hear.



The Ranch has something - but I didn't get the chance to get much detail on it much less try it. You can fly the pattern in VR I think, as part of a DZ brief.

It would definitely have some practical application to understanding canopy flight, potentially.

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I thought the traditional VR jump training was to hang from a strut while your friends berate you before dropping face first onto the floor, missing the mattress and braking your nose, then hang in a suspended harness until your instructor kicks the stool away, yells at you about the mal you had while your friends stand on laugh and shout until you finally pull your reserve ripcord causing you to dangle upside down?

I'm sure I've seen an 'instructional video' of that somewhere... :)

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mr2mk1g

I thought the traditional VR jump training was to hang from a strut while your friends berate you before dropping face first onto the floor, missing the mattress and braking your nose, then hang in a suspended harness until your instructor kicks the stool away, yells at you about the mal you had while your friends stand on laugh and shout until you finally pull your reserve ripcord causing you to dangle upside down?

I'm sure I've seen an 'instructional video' of that somewhere... :)



Proof....;)

I remember showing it after some public speaking gigs about skydiving I was asked to do many years ago.

Watching the audience reactions as it played cracked me up...they thought it was real, confirming their preconceptions about me being totally crazy....the funny thing, being at the end, I made a pitch to train anyone...and always got a couple of takers.

On the VR training thing, sounds like a great tool, which will be standard in 10 years time. Lots of different applications, not just student training.

Skydiving wouldn't be where it is today, if we didn't evolve, innovate, experiment and introduce new ideas and techniques. This process will never stop.

Embrace it.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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It doesn't necessarily need to be as elaborate and expensive as a truly immersive and interactive simulator. Even just watching videos of malfunctions in a VR headset would help training a lot. I recall reading in Parachutist not too long ago about someone doing just that (Sigma I think?). As one who recently acquired one of those smartphone VR headsets, I'm trying to find those videos just to play around with them, not to mention the real training benefit.
Max Peck
What's the point of having top secret code names, fellas, if we ain't gonna use 'em?

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I've been training students using a VR simulator for over ten years.
We have a unit at the Cleveland Skydiving Center. The owner of the DZ works for Systems Technology who designed the first practical VR simulator.

It works great. I don't bother taking people up for CAT A jumps until they've spent an hour in the sim. There are two big advantages, increased confidence in dealing with malfunctions, which lowers the student's stress level on the actual jump; and the student can be taught to fly a pattern and land the parachute solo prior to having to actually do it. If anyone would like to try it out, you're welcome to. Hit me up.

John

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I have "flown" one at PIA for two and maybe three meetings. Multiple times. It just gets better. They keep improving it.

Oblelixm is correct, The sport evolves and training evolves and get's better. It is such an improvement (80's 90's) holding 11x 14 photos over the student's head while in a hanging harness. then USPA came out with videos-better... VR is just a modern evolution. It is the best way. Give it a chance. See if it can be done economically in some form.

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