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megamalfunction

Would anyone be interested in an app that tracks skydivers and monitors off-dropzone landings?

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I'm working on building an app to track skydivers and monitor off-dropzone landings and would like to know if this is something people would be interested in? I myself am a horrible canopy pilot, and land off all the time, so I thought this might be something people would be interested in. Users would either have to use their own phone, or a phone provided by the DZ, and attach it to their arms with a Velcro arm band. Anyway, if there's any interest in something like this, please let me know!

My contact info:

Christopher Pedersen
(469) 261-0727
chrispedatx@gmail.com

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Interesting idea. Smart phones are close to universal now a days. There's already soft wear out there for parents to track their kids. It wouldn't take a lot to extend it so the DZ could watch a map at manifest with little dots for those landed off.

I had a friend die when he landed off away from the boogie where no one could hear him. We never knew how long he lay there before he died but he had taken part of his rig off and tried to crawl out of it. No one missed him, they just thought he'd landed some where else, it was a big boogie. It wasn't until later that day that some one found the body.

A way to take a head count after a load is not a bad thing. There are apps that sign you in and out of work when you enter or leave a facility. Even just the ability to see a dot setting out in a field and be able to click on it and see that it's Bob, maybe call him and ask if he's hurt.

There was another case where a guy laid out in a field with a back injury for an hour while we looked for him. We could not find him. He wound up paralyzed. Often with a spinal injury the spine is not actually severed but just the swelling around the injury can put pressure on the spinal cord. That pressure can cause permanent injury. If you get to them early enough there are medicines that can help with the swelling. I always wondered how it would have turned out for him if we hadn't spent all that time driving all over the country looking for his ass.

It might not be a bad thing to sign into your local DZ app at the beginning of the day so they could see where you land out. If you're injured and can't call for help they could still find you.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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I bouhgt this:
https://www.amazon.com/Smallest-Smartphone-UNLOCKED-SMARTPHONE-warranty/dp/B013788QGG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1492694020&sr=8-3&keywords=posh+mobile+micro+x+s240
and carry it with me on every jump.
I had a rigger make me a belly band with a small pocket, where the phone is in.

Already came in handy on one off-site landing.

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megamalfunction

I myself am a horrible canopy pilot, and land off all the time



Seems like the above issue should be solved with some effort and education before relying on technology.

The app sounds cool, but knowing how to read the winds, spot for your pattern and fly your canopy is much cooler.
diamonds are a dawgs best friend

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My idea was actually to supply the dropzones with phones where the app runs all the time, and jumpers wouldn't have to use the app at all. The jumpers would just wear the phone in an armband and the DZ would be able to monitor where everyone is at all times. That way if someone is badly hurt, or doesn't know how to use the app, it doesn't matter.

I know that this would greatly improve skydiving. I'm not the only person that lands off. I've seen 6,000 jump wonders land way the @#$% out as well. My biggest worry is that if I build this thing, nobody is going to care or want to use it.

For example, my idea would ensure that we never have another dead skydiver missing for a month while their body rots in a field waiting to be discovered. But sadly, I don't think dropzones necessarily care whether or not dead skydivers' bodies go missing for days.

So I don't know, maybe I'll go work on something else.

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I don't think it's a bad idea. But I think you may need to rethink how you go about it. I don't think you're going to sell a bunch of phones to a drop zone. But what you might be able to do is write an app that would report marker position and identity back to a map on their computer. Even I have a smart phone. All the drop zone would have to buy is the app for their computer. Have a small sign at manifest with the name of the app, how to down load it and sign in on their own phone. From then on when ever they show up at the DZ they just pull up the app along with turning on their cyperes and the DZ can see where they are. No need for any hard wear.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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I wouldn't carry an additional device just because of this. I already have my phone with me when I jump, and so I am left with two problems:
1. How to quickly and easily provide my location to the DZ if I land off (I believe Burble already solves this).
2. How to do the same if I am incapacitated.

I don't think there is currently a solution for the second problem (correct me if I'm wrong), but I think it is solvable. Here is one suggestion: the event of "landing" can probably be detected based on GPS. If the landing is found to be outside some defined landing area, alert the user and schedule an alarm. If the user does not respond and stop the alarm in, say, 30 seconds, notify the DZ (or someone else) with the location.

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Need to be careful with that.

In NZ, an off landing now has to be recorded and an incident report filed (yes its ridiculous), so data could be used by CAA/FAA/CQS or any anti skydiving movement as a stick to beat skydiving with.

Dead skydivers being left to rot is pretty rare.

Good spotting and a good check in system works OK.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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megamalfunction

I myself am a horrible canopy pilot, and land off all the time



Something is wrong there. If you have more than a handful of jumps and can't reliably make the DZ when others do, you need more or better training. Seriously, someone needs to objectively evaluate your skills and get you up to speed.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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countzero

*** I myself am a horrible canopy pilot, and land off all the time



Seems like the above issue should be solved with some effort and education before relying on technology.

The app sounds cool, but knowing how to read the winds, spot for your pattern and fly your canopy is much cooler.

I eluded to the same thing in my reply to him here - http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=4844201#4844201, and received two replies as follows....

"You know what Chuck Akers, people do land off. Take Rex Williams a student at your home dropzone, Skydive Spaceland. When he burned in, someone had to call your dropzone to tell them where his body was. So this obviously isn't a problem at Skydive Spaceland."

and

"And furthermore, you know how may bones I've broken skydiving? ZERO. So that means I'm a pretty good canopy pilot. So if you have anything to say about my app that's relevant, I'd love to hear it. But commenting on my perceived level of skydiving skill, has nothing to do with this thread."

Apparently megamalfunction is more interested in hearing what people have to say about his gadget ideas than he is about improving his skills.

I am truly sorry that he (she?) took offense to a crusty old fucker trying to help. It's possible that my mistake was not writing my reply in snowflake mode.

To megamalfuntion - I'm sure countzero and me are not the only people who read your post that thought the real problem is a skill issue. Our replies were not intended to insult you. They were intended to help you. Unless you jump at a backwards ass DZ I'm pretty sure there are people who can help you - that is if you will change your attitude and accept the expertise that is likely all around you.

And one more thing. Your definition of acceptable skill - "you know how may bones I've broken skydiving? ZERO. So that means I'm a pretty good canopy pilot" - should serve as a warning to everyone else on every load you are on.

5 left and cut...
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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I'm a little confused. How did this become a conversation about canopy skills? I'm a pretty good canopy pilot by any reasonable standard. Flew the outer wing on some CRW world record attempts. All of the unsuccessful ones but I don't think that relevant. I've landed off. Sooner or later every one lands off. When you have a long spot, a perfectly good spot, but you wind up losing thousands of feet under a radically spinning main from a hard cutaway... you land off. Some times in a fucking subdivision in a back yard. Landing off is a good way to get hurt some times badly. Being able to find a missing jumper or student or just being able to know where to pick him up. When you're at a strange drop zone you don't know the area. Calling and saying that you're in a field with a cow and a tree by some road is not good directions. That's if you can call at all. I don't see this as a bad or silly idea.

He does come off as kind of a tool wanting us all to jump on board and tell him that he will make millions of dollars selling thousands of phones to dropzones across the world. I'm being honest when I say that I just don't see that happening. I think it's an interesting idea but that it might take a slightly different form. There are almost off the shelf products that would do this. If nothing else that implies that this could be done. If he has the skills I don't see why he couldn't make this work. And I see no reason to discourage him, even if he is a bit of a tool. If he can build a better mouse trap, even incrementally, more power to him.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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obelixtim

Need to be careful with that.

In NZ, an off landing now has to be recorded and an incident report filed (yes its ridiculous), so data could be used by CAA/FAA/CQS or any anti skydiving movement as a stick to beat skydiving with.

Dead skydivers being left to rot is pretty rare.

Good spotting and a good check in system works OK.



Why am I not surprised?


To OP.
If you do make this app, make it smart and it's probably easier to get people to like it.
For example, tracking people all the time will drain people's batteries and feel quite awkward.
So my advice is set up a perimeter around the DZ. If you are outside this line below 1000 ft then it should show up on manifest computer.
Also make the manifest app alarm when it happens.

And then to make sure you don't get false alarms (because too many of them, then nobody will care) do not track if the phone has been on ground more than 10 minutes or so.
That way people can leave the DZ for lunch without closing the app and not creating an alarm.

An automatic on function of the app would also be good but that is probably harder to get working.

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Hellis

*** Need to be careful with that.

In NZ, an off landing now has to be recorded and an incident report filed (yes its ridiculous), so data could be used by CAA/FAA/CQS or any anti skydiving movement as a stick to beat skydiving with.

Dead skydivers being left to rot is pretty rare.

Good spotting and a good check in system works OK.



Why am I not surprised?


To OP.
If you do make this app, make it smart and it's probably easier to get people to like it.
For example, tracking people all the time will drain people's batteries and feel quite awkward.
So my advice is set up a perimeter around the DZ. If you are outside this line below 1000 ft then it should show up on manifest computer.
Also make the manifest app alarm when it happens.

And then to make sure you don't get false alarms (because too many of them, then nobody will care) do not track if the phone has been on ground more than 10 minutes or so.
That way people can leave the DZ for lunch without closing the app and not creating an alarm.

An automatic on function of the app would also be good but that is probably harder to get working.

Quote

Why am I not surprised?



I take it this is a dig at dinosaur thinking......

I'm not opposed to the idea.

I'm just pointing out that any data/records need to be protected, so it couldn't be accessed by a third party who might use it in a way which was not anticipated when the idea became a reality.

Statistics/data showing off landings would be gold to those who don't have our interests at heart, for example, when lawyers get involved in legal action against a DZ.

Like it or not, there are third parties out there who would willingly use such information against a DZ.....I've been around long enough to have seen attempts to discredit or even ban skydiving, usually by governing authorities like CAA/FAA.

I've fought many battles with officials over the years who have tried to limit our activities.

These days, in NZ, there are a lot of places we used to use as alternate landing areas/designated DZs with no problem, which are now off limits....CAA have successfully managed to isolate/limit skydiving to a few areas, and have removed DZ status from many airfields.

It wouldn't be the first time someone has come up with a bright idea without fully anticipating all the potential consequences. It doesn't hurt to point these out before putting something into use.....then protection can be built in.

That is all.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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RiggerLee

I'm a little confused. How did this become a conversation about canopy skills?



To answer your question, this thread took a turn for me when I read "I myself am a horrible canopy pilot, and land off all the time".

It's much like when someone asks for performance opinions on a canopy they plan to buy but are not qualified to fly. The conversation quickly turns from opinions on the canopy to the OP's lack of qualifications to fly it at all.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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megamalfunction

My gadget idea is the whole point of the thread. Your comments have nothing to do with what I'm working on, and hopefully the moderators will delete your irrelevant comments from my thread.



Don't expect your gadget to take off with a jackass attitude like that!:S
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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DougH

***My gadget idea is the whole point of the thread. Your comments have nothing to do with what I'm working on, and hopefully the moderators will delete your irrelevant comments from my thread.



Don't expect your gadget to take off with a jackass attitude like that!:S

Yeah, that's not what I'd call a good pitch to your target audience.

Mega, just to chime in with my own bit, this would need to tack onto existing technology and require nearly zero effort from any participants. All you need is something that manifest could log into and ping the person's location, there's no need to track the entire load of jumpers, just the one that doesn't check back in. I don't see anyone using on a regular weekend but at bigger boogies where shit gets a little more haywire you'll see more people willing to take their phone on jumps just in case.
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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When writing software you have to talk to your potential users. So that's why I posted my idea here on dropzone.com. I just wanted to gauge whether there was any interest in my idea before I go and waste 3 months of my life writing an Android app that no one wants. So thanks for all of the feedback. But Riggerlee, you didn't need to call me a "tool", and Chuckakers, you didn't need criticize my "canopy piloting skills."

Pretty much everyone uses software, but relatively few people know how to write it. So that's what puts people like me in this situation. We have to go out into the world and figure out what people want so we can make it. It looks like no one wants what I'm working on, so I'll just have to go find something else to work. Well thats it for me, enough arguing with people on the internet.

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