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shveddy

Holy Motherhucking Shitake (Luke Aikens no parachute project)

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None of the conspiracy theorists have managed to come up with a real reason for why he might actually have worn one.




If there had been a pattern of practice jumps / approaches to the net that were often fouled by sudden, unexpected changes in winds aloft, it might inspire a hidden rig.

But it's my understanding that wasn't the case, and the last 81 of 82 practice jumps he was dead center on the net. And as we know, jump 83 went very well!

I don't think he had a hidden rig. But would not blame him if he did. He is a father.




He did not have one.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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Michael, I read over Part 105 several times and it looks like you are right. It doesn’t say anywhere that a jumper MUST wear a rig. It says that if a single-harness, dual-parachute system is used it must conform. It sounds to me you could use a single canopy base rig and be legal. I am surprised the feds didn’t catch this on the last re-write.
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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grue

***I'm trying to determine how difficult this stunt is. We know it's brave (or stupid), but how hard is it? Assuming the spot is good, could any competent skydiver guide into a spot 100'x100' on the ground, or does it require much more skill than that? How would we test/practice if we could do it, without killing ourselves?



It'd be about the same as flying through a 90-way round formation on their belly when you're in a head-down dive, in theory.

Responding to this post very late in the game...

Your assessment leaves out one critical component: wind. Another poster mentioned aiming at a cloud in freefall, and that poster also makes the same mistake. (Incidentally, confusing airspeed with groundspeed is probably one of the most common mixups I see even experienced jumpers make... this confusion is to blame for the misguided "45 degree" exit rule and also for many misconceptions about swooping in high winds). Both a cloud, and a group of other jumpers, are in the same air mass as you. But the ground is not. I would imagine one of Luke's biggest concerns was wind. A lot of posts have commented on how wind could be a concern in terms of spot, i.e. getting to the target from exit altitude. But none that I've seen have mentioned the considerations of wind while on final approach to the target. Ask yourself: can you side slide at X mph? Backslide? Track? Obviously, you are most powerful, and therefore most likely to be able to negate any wind effects, while in a forward slide, i.e. track. Which explains why many people commented about noticing Luke doing some small tracking maneuvers in the last moments of his freefall. My guess: he wasn't tracking because he was off center. He was tracking to maintain center. Probably, a big part of the planning was knowing what direction the wind would be, and making sure that his intended approach had him headfirst into that wind, so while on final approach the only corrections he would need to make would be small track inputs to cancel out whatever wind was trying to push him backwards.

The larger point I'm making though, is thinking about it in those terms makes the entire stunt seem less trivial. Sure, any experienced jumper could probably freefall through a 100x100ft window in the airmass that they're already in. But, when you think about the fact that if you're aiming at a target on the ground, any wind (even a small one) is your mortal enemy, constantly trying to push you off target... it sounds a LOT scarier.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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mjosparky

There was a PARACHUTE JUMP happening during Luke’s jump. There were at least three other jumpers wearing rigs with the intent of using them. Not sure what this means.....any thoughts?



Yes, there was a parachute jump happening. He was not part of that jump, since he did not have a parachute. His proximity to it is of no regard. If I walk through a basketball court while a game is happening, it does not mean I was playing basketball. If the basketball players were drinking beer, and I was also drinking beer while walking through, I was a part of the beer drinking event.

There was also a skydive happening. He was a part of the skydive.

It's not really that complicated, I am not sure how there is any confusion:
4 jumpers made a skydive together
3 of them made a parachute jump
1 of them did some shit so badass it's not even accounted for by the FAA books yet

If it's still not clear, there is a Venn diagram attached. :)
[inline venn.png]
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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JerryBaumchen

Hi 111,

Quote

a Venn diagram attached



I would change that as follows:

1. Change 'Luke' to 'Luke jumped without a parachute'

2. Change 'made a parachute jumo' to '3 guys jumped using parachutes'

3. Change the center overlap from '3 other dudes' to '4 people made a skydive'

Jerry Baumchen



That's not how Venn diagrams work at all. In a Venn diagram, a circle represents set membership. If two circles intersect, it implies that something is a member of both sets. You are suggesting that I make the left circle "people who jumped without parachutes" and the right circle "people who jumped with parachutes." If I do that, then (a) the circles won't overlap at all, since it is logically impossible to be a member of both of those sets simultaneously (i.e. to both jump with and without a parachute) and (b) it would not illustrate the point I was trying to make, which was that everybody made a skydive, despite not everybody making a parachute jump. My diagram does make your final point: all 4 people made a skydive (this is why all 4 people are inside the left circle).
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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JerryBaumchen

You are correct. My mistake, I made a wrong assumption on this: the circles won't overlap at all

Thanks for the clarification.



No worries, I had to sit down and rethink it all again to make sure I was not mistaken either. ;)
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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The111

I would imagine one of Luke's biggest concerns was wind. A lot of posts have commented on how wind could be a concern in terms of spot,



While it all should be obvious, it's good you pointed it out about the maneuvering relative the ground.

If he does have a light system that points straight up, he wants to maneuver straight above and stay there. Which might mean, for example tracking 25 kt into a 25 kt wind from 270 at 9000', changing to 15 kt from 300 at 3000', changing to 5 kt at 000 in the last thousand feet.

You just wouldn't want some messy day with 50kt uppers, 25 kts at 1500', dying off somewhere in between to zero at the ground (or a shear layer with 10 kts with a 180 degree dog leg at the ground). At least a freefaller has a high wing loading so to speak so won't instantly drift fully with a wind change.

So there's some nicely graduated tracking there, backsliding aggressively if overshooting, maybe some hard sideslide adjustment, and hopefully only a little gradual heading change.

(I haven't the historical winds aloft forecast for that day, time, and place to see what he really had to deal with.)

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>But none that I've seen have mentioned the considerations of wind while on final approach to the target.

I have been wondering about this. I noticed in the video that at what would have been ~ 3000 ft AGL he goes into a pretty aggressive track for about 5 or 6 seconds. I wonder if he was compensating for some pretty good wind shear or was he simply getting back on target? I suspect the former. And, your point about him needing to be faced into the forecasted wind direction is spot-on. Ha! pun intended. I also wonder why he didn't wear booties.

I agree that this was a pretty bad-ass stunt but Maaann....was it risky. His instinctive double roll back towards the center of the net indicates to me that he realized how thin the margin was. Still, kudos to him for having pulled it off. Not sure he would ever want to try it again though. I'm looking forward to hearing the Skydive Radio interview.

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I promise you I did not wear a rig.
The first handle check in the plane when I got on my knees was 100% legit. Jon DeVore started laughing and shook his head saying no you don't.
The handle check in free fall was an inside joke to the skydivers of the world. (I had no idea it would start a conspiracy theory which I love by the way)
I had a mountain bike back protector on under my suit.
The rig drama was real but I had my mind made up before I got in the plane and never got any info that the union had backed off. It would have been unsafe to land on the rig.(Notice the rig was off way before the show caught on)
Thanks for having my back.
I never check in here but wanted to see what fellow skydivers thought.

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I never doubted you. I was trying to make some money off the jump but couldn’t get anyone to take the bet.

The naysayers before the jump really started to piss me off. After the jump “wearing a rig” crap started. I kept thinking can’t they just be happy for the guy and STFU.

The bottom line is you did it. Good on you.
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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LukeAikins

I promise you I did not wear a rig.
The first handle check in the plane when I got on my knees was 100% legit. Jon DeVore started laughing and shook his head saying no you don't.
The handle check in free fall was an inside joke to the skydivers of the world. (I had no idea it would start a conspiracy theory which I love by the way)
I had a mountain bike back protector on under my suit.
The rig drama was real but I had my mind made up before I got in the plane and never got any info that the union had backed off. It would have been unsafe to land on the rig.(Notice the rig was off way before the show caught on)
Thanks for having my back.
I never check in here but wanted to see what fellow skydivers thought.



Did you have a harness under your suit (like a climbing harness) to hook up to one of the other skydivers (in case of really bad spot, or sudden strong upper winds)?

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Thanks for setting the record straight.

Absolutely amazing stunt.

I do have one question, though.

Rook asked it during the film fest at SDC Summerfest:

How in the world did you convince your wife?
"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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wolfriverjoe


How in the world did you convince your wife?

It hasn't been mentioned much, but his wife, whom Vskydiver and I have had the pleasure of knowing for years, is a very experienced skydiver herself, including AFF ratings, video work, etc. She and Luke are familiar with stunt work, and she's seen, more than anyone, all the research, preparation and practice that went into this project. She knew, like the rest of us, that if Luke says he can do it, he can. B|

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This all reminds me of an anecdote an older skydiving friend told me.

The Burt Lancaster film "Gypsy Moths" had just come out, and my friend and a bunch of skydivers went to see it at the theater.

When the guy in the wingsuit bounces at an airshow --thumps-in dead-center in front of the spectators -- the theater audience got quiet. Then out of the silence a fellow skydiver in the theater shouted out "great spot!"

:o

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Well done on pulling it off!
I must admit, the practice pull made me question if there was a rig under there just-in-case.
But anyone who watched the post-jump footage could clearly see you didn't have a rig on.
When you hugged your misses is when i knew you definitely weren't wearing a rig and realised it was a nod and a wink to the skydivers who were paying attention.
I was wondering also, was there much wind around that day?
Was the timing of the jump planned around the presence/lack-of thermal activity?
And, sorry, someon'es got to ask, would you do it again? (not that your misses will let you anyway!)

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