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Cocowheats

Camera Glasses for Newer Skydivers.

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So a topic came up amongst some new jumpers that I didn't have a good answer for. One person mentioned getting some semi-cheap glasses with a camera in the temple to record their jumps up till they were at the USPA recommendation of 200+ jumps to mount a helmet camera of good quality.

They were wondering since the glasses would not necessarily affect the helmets safety rating, like a mount can/will, and eliminates the USPA's worry about a snag or turbulence issue, that it may be permitted. This is obviously in part the decision of the DZ to allow or not...

But it's an interesting thought because these jumpers are allowed to wear sunglasses under a helmet as A & B license holders. From what I saw, these camera glasses are slightly bulky glasses with mediocre camera quality. Just enough to see how the jump went.

Obviously awareness, or lack of, is another concern addressed by the USPA, as they don't want the jumper sucked into getting "the shot".

Thoughts on skirting the USPA camera recommendation via glasses cam under a helmet? I could see it being useful to jumper with good discipline perhaps on a B license with say 75+ jumps to help record and critique progress.

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18 hours ago, Cocowheats said:

Obviously awareness, or lack of, is another concern addressed by the USPA, as they don't want the jumper sucked into getting "the shot".

This is the main consideration when people talk about requiring 200 jumps for a camera. Over the years, mounting and snagging has become far less of a problem than it once was, sure, but distraction and other human factors have stayed. Just so you know, I am all for cameras which go inside a helmet or something like that.

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Seems I'm on a roll with posting FF videos, but I really find this one as an important part of the literature and an instant response to "why can't I wear camera". The lack of skills (while wearing cameras) is fairly obvious and is probably indicative of their jump counts. It's a bit hypocritical of me since I started wearing camera at around #80 (a bit different laws here), but without a fair number of jumps, you just don't have the CPU to process everything, you're still wasting brain power to check if your legs are bent and if you're rotating. Adding camera can easily turn it into a zoo dive. Not everyone will think about the camera and the shots during the jump, but it's just easier to put a big enough number and play on the safe side.

 

 

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On 6/15/2021 at 2:11 PM, Binary93 said:

Seems I'm on a roll with posting FF videos, but I really find this one as an important part of the literature and an instant response to "why can't I wear camera". The lack of skills (while wearing cameras) is fairly obvious and is probably indicative of their jump counts. It's a bit hypocritical of me since I started wearing camera at around #80 (a bit different laws here), but without a fair number of jumps, you just don't have the CPU to process everything, you're still wasting brain power to check if your legs are bent and if you're rotating. Adding camera can easily turn it into a zoo dive. Not everyone will think about the camera and the shots during the jump, but it's just easier to put a big enough number and play on the safe side.

 

 

I've seen this video many times and it scares me each time.

I like to do math so let's do some math.

Let's say AAD activation is at 750 ft.

Exit was at 0:06

AAD activation was at 1:05

So 59 seconds

Math will show the first 1000 feet takes 11 seconds (V0 = 0 MPH / V11 = 120 MPH)

Terminal velocity is 120 MPH = 176 ft/s / Which equals 5.7 s/1000ft

(59-11)/5.7 = 8.421 1000ft segments

Exit Altitude = 750ft + 8.421*1000 + 1000ft = 10,171 ft (typical Cessna exit)

Therefore: Normal jump run

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15 hours ago, TampaPete said:

I've seen this video many times and it scares me each time...

 

Exit Altitude = 750ft + 8.421*1000 + 1000ft = 10,171 ft (typical Cessna exit)

Therefore: Normal jump run

Yup. This was discussed quite thoroughly when it first came out. 

Very normal jump in most respects. 
Except for the simple fact that they got so involved in geeking the camera that they NEVER checked their altitude. 

Until after they were on the ground. 
In this case "better late than never" doesn't apply.

There's a whole sub forum devoted to photog & vid.
There's a couple of sticky threads in it that address the question 'why can't I jump a camera when I don't have the experience I am supposed to have?'

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There is no better learning option than analyzing camera footage after the jump, as I find that jump detail recollection of even very experienced jumpers is usually rather poor. These things can help enable people with jump video without presenting a snag hazard on the exterior of the helmet, making weak spots on helmet surface caused by drilling, and without endangering people on the ground by falling externally mounted cameras. Therefore, I would absolutely recommend these as a good learning tool to licensed jumpers. Image quality will not be the greatest  (especially with a full face camera visor over them), but going back to the situation OP described, very few people under 200 jumps are on a high enough flying level to be concerned with jump video quality.

By the way, even though OP said that these looked like somewhat bulkier sunglasses (and I remember them looking like that some years back when they first appeared on the market), a quick google search reveals that todays models look like ordinary sport sunglasses, or even like ordinary thicker framed eyeglasses. Even though there are still some recommendations that say your safe camera flying abilities miraculously appear on jump #201, the reality is that in the 21st century, people who want to mount a hidden camera will go out and do it, as the camera technology is sufficiently advanced to allow it. I would much rather have low experience people wear a snag free camera, show their videos to more experienced people, and having an option of someone telling them what they are doing wrong than forcing them to wear the camera in secret and teach themselves from the footage. 

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2 hours ago, Kenzdik96 said:

There is no better learning option than analyzing camera footage after the jump, as I find that jump detail recollection of even very experienced jumpers is usually rather poor.These things can help enable people with jump video without presenting a snag hazard on the exterior of the helmet, making weak spots on helmet surface caused by drilling, and without endangering people on the ground by falling externally mounted cameras. Therefore, I would absolutely recommend these as a good learning tool to licensed jumpers. Image quality will not be the greatest  (especially with a full face camera visor over them), but going back to the situation OP described, very few people under 200 jumps are on a high enough flying level to be concerned with jump video quality.

How is reviewing POV footage captured from a camera inside a 25-100ish jump novice's helmet going to help said novice improve their flying?   

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7 minutes ago, skybytch said:

How is reviewing POV footage captured from a camera inside a 25-100ish jump novice's helmet going to help said novice improve their flying?

Put a few of these jumpers in the same formation jump and you can see if someone is flying backwards because they're touching their head with their feet and correct it in the next jump. These things might not be obvious or noticed without a video. I have definitely had a lot of solved problems by reviewing the videos.

Camera is an extremely good tool for learning, the ideal would be that you are always jumping with someone experienced who can help you learn, but that's not always the case (and in my example, it was very rare).

Not everyone will wear the camera for the same reason. I know folks with 100ish jumps who wore hand-mounted camera to record themselves for social media. These folks focus on the camera and not on the jump and it's where the problems can arise. Those who can put on a camera and forget about it until the ground can learn a lot faster with it.

2 hours ago, Kenzdik96 said:

there are still some recommendations that say your safe camera flying abilities miraculously appear on jump #201

The rules are made with a margin on the safe side. 200 jumps is not some scientifically correct number, you're not unsafe on #200 and then safe on #201, but there needs to be some criteria, right? How would you define it?

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40 minutes ago, Binary93 said:

Put a few of these jumpers in the same formation jump and you can see if someone is flying backwards because they're touching their head with their feet and correct it in the next jump. These things might not be obvious or noticed without a video. I have definitely had a lot of solved problems by reviewing the videos.

Backsliding, going low, floating... shouldn't these be obvious and noticed without video?  Even at 50 jumps you could tell someone they were backsliding and why without having to review a video after the jump, right?  

 

50 minutes ago, Binary93 said:

Those who can put on a camera and forget about it until the ground can learn a lot faster with it.

The problem is predicting who those people are.  While you and your friends won't ever be distracted by a camera,  others have been or will be in the future.  Maybe you guys are lucky, maybe those other people aren't as good as you are (not meant snarkily). 

Since there's no way to know who can handle it, isnt it better to err on the side of safety by advising people not to fly a camera until they have what the industry considers a reasonable amount of experience?  

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17 minutes ago, skybytch said:

Backsliding, going low, floating... shouldn't these be obvious and noticed without video?  Even at 50 jumps you could tell someone they were backsliding and why without having to review a video after the jump, right? 

I'm pretty new to the sport (May 2018. first jump, ~380 jumps now) so I remember the beginning pretty well. Put 3x 50-100 jump folks in the same jump, we were all sliding and rotating, and without someone who can hold a position steadily, we couldn't tell who was doing what (everyone thought others were sliding/rotating). Even on the video, it's not always obvious.

19 minutes ago, skybytch said:

Since there's no way to know who can handle it, isnt it better to err on the side of safety by advising people not to fly a camera until they have what the industry considers a reasonable amount of experience?

Fully agree. I was allowed to jump a camera at #80 and went for it as I guess most would. If it was luck or skill or something third is irrelevant, we survived somehow I guess, but it's the opposite examples that we should optimize for. It's the instructors/DZO/S&TA who need to implement boundries, and as we can't tell the future, it's better to err on the safe side.

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10 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

Yup. This was discussed quite thoroughly when it first came out. 

Very normal jump in most respects. 
Except for the simple fact that they got so involved in geeking the camera that they NEVER checked their altitude. 
 

That's just not true. Nobody was geeking the camera on that jump. They spent over a minute trying to link up, and both were focused on that task. And THAT'S what was distracting them from checking their altitude!

Once they did link up, their AAD's fired in less than 3 seconds! The camera had nothing to do with it.

 

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18 hours ago, Binary93 said:

The rules are made with a margin on the safe side. 200 jumps is not some scientifically correct number, you're not unsafe on #200 and then safe on #201, but there needs to be some criteria, right? How would you define it?

I wouldn't bother with creating a "one size fits all people and all cameras" kind of rule, as neither people nor cameras are one size fits all. The primary consideration for me would be the type of camera setup and the likelihood of such setups causing issues with any of the phases of flight. While I would be comfortable giving the integrated camera glasses to any licensed jumper, I would expect someone to demonstrate adequate body stability during opening in all circumstances (opening in track, in a turn, and similar) before having a foot or a helmet mounted camera. There are trainings and examinations for many aspects of our life, you don't just get to drive a forklift after 50 hours of driving your car. Why can't we start teaching people stuff and making skill based decisions instead of limiting people from doing things based on arbitrary experience conditions just to cover our own asses? 

13 hours ago, Divalent said:

That's just not true. Nobody was geeking the camera on that jump. They spent over a minute trying to link up, and both were focused on that task. And THAT'S what was distracting them from checking their altitude!

Once they did link up, their AAD's fired in less than 3 seconds! The camera had nothing to do with it.

Exactly this! The video many are using to advocate against flying camera is just an example of people trying to link up without sufficient skill to do so, getting too invested in the process, and loosing altitude awareness. The only difference the camera makes in this particular example is that we know about it because they were wearing cameras. Otherwise this would have been covered up, as for some weird reason we still have a stigma against AAD fires compared to other malfunctions. I am fairly confident that examples like these happen somewhat often but we just don't know about it. While the benefits of AAD are numerous and they are one of the greatest skydiving inventions since the 3-ring, the drawback is that many things that would have been over in the incidents forum remain unknown. 

12 hours ago, gowlerk said:

The Lord said 200 jumps for camera. Keep the faith. Don't be an apostate.

And this is exactly the kind of thinking that holds back progress. We have been doing it like this since forever so just keep doing it like this regardless of it being bullshit or not. Many years back, there was a requirement of having 100 jumps on a round before being permitted to jump a square. Some Lord might have kept that regulations under the same logic "we've been doing it like that". 

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1 minute ago, Kenzdik96 said:

And this is exactly the kind of thinking that holds back progress. Many years back, there was a requirement of having 100 jumps on a round before being permitted to jump a square. Some Lord might have kept that regulations under the same logic "we've been doing it like that". 

Flying with a camera does not actually represent progress. Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters

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(edited)

Some areas I thought it could serve purpose.

-Exits with multiple newer jumpers - Can maybe see what went right or wrong amongst the group and evaluate what it took to get stable.

-Landings - Would have a POV of your entire landing pattern and landing. Might help if you're wondering why a landing was hot/rocky/hard/etc. Might help with precision landings as you'd have visual references of where you were throughout the pattern.

-Malfunctions - You typically look up at your canopy to check that it's there and square. If it's not, your glasses cam would likely pick up what you saw so you can evaluate what options you might have had to fix it for future instances. Maybe you chopped at 3.5k and really you should have pumped the brakes first. Easy too see and learn from it you have the video.

Edited by Cocowheats
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(edited)
9 hours ago, Kenzdik96 said:

There are trainings and examinations for many aspects of our life, you don't just get to drive a forklift after 50 hours of driving your car. Why can't we start teaching people stuff and making skill based decisions instead of limiting people from doing things based on arbitrary experience conditions just to cover our own asses? 

 

that would be a benefit from the litigious society we have evolved into.

9 hours ago, Kenzdik96 said:

And this is exactly the kind of thinking that holds back progress. We have been doing it like this since forever so just keep doing it like this regardless of it being bullshit or not. Many years back, there was a requirement of having 100 jumps on a round before being permitted to jump a square. Some Lord might have kept that regulations under the same logic "we've been doing it like that". 

it is also the type of thinking that sets limits towards the bottom of the curve in order to save as many lives as possible.  sure some can jump a camera at under 100 jumps, i have seen it.  some may not be able to until 210.  i just noticed last weekend that my jump numbers are inflated in reference to my skill.  it took me 22 years and 61 jumps to get my a, and when i took the course for my coach rating, i had a 1306 from the military and got 19 static line jumps under a round added to make 100.  now, at 130 jumps, i have way less skill than someone who has 130 jumps in a normal progression in a few years.  i have great canopy control and awareness, and have actually done night and water jumps, along with jumps of more than 500 people at a time, so that aspect is safe, but my flying skills pale in comparison to some.

 

i'm not one to stifle progress, just one that advocates doing it safely.  if that means that you can jump a camera safely at 120 jumps (or whatever number) and demonstrate that to an s&ta and get a stamp on your license, so be it.  actually, having endorsements on license has been done with driving for a while.  maybe we can come into the times and start doing it with skydiving.

Edited by sfzombie13
clarification

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20 hours ago, Cocowheats said:

Some areas I thought it could serve purpose.

-Exits with multiple newer jumpers - Can maybe see what went right or wrong amongst the group and evaluate what it took to get stable.

-Landings - Would have a POV of your entire landing pattern and landing. Might help if you're wondering why a landing was hot/rocky/hard/etc. Might help with precision landings as you'd have visual references of where you were throughout the pattern.

-Malfunctions - You typically look up at your canopy to check that it's there and square. If it's not, your glasses cam would likely pick up what you saw so you can evaluate what options you might have had to fix it for future instances. Maybe you chopped at 3.5k and really you should have pumped the brakes first. Easy too see and learn from it you have the video.

Something that's important in skydiving is actually being aware of what's going on at the time, really. A video debrief afterwards can be nice, but mainly if it's with people who actually know the answer, rather than similarly-experienced people guessing. The video above wouldn't have been real helpful in diagnosing issues with performance in ways that actual awareness wouldn't have improved on. Because remembering what it actually felt like up there really helps with planning what to change (or not change) on the next jump.

POV landings I can sort of see -- not as a regular thing, but to compare with a timed ground video, so that the jumper (particularly one who's having issues) can be coached on what they're looking at when it's time to flare. As someone who has issues with that, well, yeah.

Malfunctions -- I can also sort of see, BUT: I can also see the downside of someone making darn good and sure they get a good picture of the malfunction for later analysis (and taking time for photography when it can't be afforded), and that's a bigger downside than a potential future conversation of "see! I was RIGHT (I/you should have/shouldn't have chopped)" So on balance, it's less useful than potentially problematic.

So I'm still down with the consider a camera as a specific tool if you're a newbie person. It's generally best wielded by someone who has enough brain cells left over from sensory overload to use it as a tool, rather than as a focal point.

Wendy P.

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On 6/18/2021 at 6:56 AM, Kenzdik96 said:

I wouldn't bother with creating a "one size fits all people and all cameras" kind of rule, as neither people nor cameras are one size fits all. The primary consideration for me would be the type of camera setup and the likelihood of such setups causing issues with any of the phases of flight.

Nope.  The primary issue is distraction.  Any camera does that.

Quote

Why can't we start teaching people stuff and making skill based decisions instead of limiting people from doing things based on arbitrary experience conditions just to cover our own asses?

Because after decades of experience skydivers have realized that the progression is this:

1) There is something that someone wants to do (teach, fly video, jump an HP canopy.)
2) Experienced people make a list of skills required before skydivers can do those things.
3) Skydivers with a high opinion of themselves say "hey, I can do all that" and do it without the required skills/experience/training/feedback.

This has happened dozens of times that I have seen myself.  The results have been:
1) Nothing bad due to a LOT of luck
2) A scary near-serious accident that doesn't permanently injure them but teaches them that they are not ready
3) A crippling accident that results in them never skydiving again
4) Death.
5) Someone else's death.

Sadly 1) is not the most common outcome.  And while 2) is something of a good outcome, it turns into 3), 4) and 5) all too often.

All ratings in skydiving have an experience component.  That's not because people are dicks, and it's not because we just want to "cover our own asses."  It's because time and time again, skydivers demonstrate that actual skydiving experience is important.

Quote

We have been doing it like this since forever so just keep doing it like this regardless of it being bullshit or not. 

OK sounds like you haven't been in the sport very long, then.

Tandem is new.  AFF is new.  Video cameras small enough to fit on a helmet are new.  All of these entail risks.  Back in the 1980's, if you wanted to fly camera you had to go out and buy a camera with chest pack tape drive, get the right batteries, design your own helmet and then test jump it a bunch.  You could not get into camera "accidentally."  And while you were doing all of the above, you were skydiving.  People were asking you what you were doing with that helmet.  They were giving you unsolicited advice, giving you safety tips or (more likely) saying "you're gonna kill yourself with that thing!"

Nowadays none of that applies.  You can go to Best Buy, get a Gopro and literally stick it to your helmet and skydive.  You can do it on a whim.  Someone might say "hey, that mount looks sketchy" if you are lucky.  But ten minutes after walking out of that store you could be getting on a plane with the camera on your helmet.

So no, we haven't been "doing it like this since forever."  Maybe ten or fifteen years - which is definitely not forever.

You mention the "100 jumps to jump a square" requirement.  That was in place for about 20 years (as a rule) and another 10 years while some people were doing it and some weren't.  It wasn't great, but it kept a lot of people alive as we learned how to teach fam-air canopy flight.

So perhaps in another 10 years we will have better training programs for video, and we will have better ways to teach it.  I suspect it will always contain an experience component - because awareness is not something you can teach.  It comes with time.

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On 6/18/2021 at 8:06 AM, Cocowheats said:

-Exits with multiple newer jumpers - Can maybe see what went right or wrong amongst the group and evaluate what it took to get stable.

A funneled exit with a POV video shows close to zero useful information.  You see a lot of arms and legs and glimpses of the sky and the plane.

If you want to improve your exits via video debrief you need an outside camera.

Quote

-Landings - Would have a POV of your entire landing pattern and landing. Might help if you're wondering why a landing was hot/rocky/hard/etc. Might help with precision landings as you'd have visual references of where you were throughout the pattern.

A bad landing with a POV video shows the ground rushing up at you, then the audio records a loud thump.  Again, no useful information, other than "don't do that." You can't "get a sense of your pattern" because your depth sense, your field of view, and your perception of the area is completely different when you are there vs when you are looking at a video screen.

Outside video is even better for this, and even easier to get.  Buy a cheap camcorder and give it to someone on the ground, or your whuffo friend.  Or just have them use their phone.  Zero cost.

And I have seen several videos of incident landings where the camera caused the incident.  DSE compiled a list of camera incidents; several bad landings were due to the guy "wanting to get a good shot of my landing."

Quote

-Malfunctions - You typically look up at your canopy to check that it's there and square. If it's not, your glasses cam would likely pick up what you saw so you can evaluate what options you might have had to fix it for future instances.

If you have a mal the ONE AND ONLY thing you should be doing is deciding whether to chop and then chopping (or dealing with it some other way.)  Not getting a good shot of it for later review.  Not getting a good shot to show your friends.  Not getting a good shot to post on Facebook and get a lot of "likes."

"But I won't do that, I will ignore the camera" you say.  Again, I have seen dozens of skydivers say exactly the same thing.  Yet for some reason, they don't ignore it when it comes right down to it.  You know you have that extra set of eyes there, and you can't ignore it.  Nor should you; if you start ignoring the equipment you are using and "forgetting it's there" that's a bad sign as well.  You have to understand your gear.

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Even experienced skydivers can be distracted by a camera. I know of a couple of them -- one was instructed to ditch the chest camera on a bigway, and another thinks it might have contributed to a Cypres fire. Note, by the way, that "contributed to" is definitely not the same as "caused." Loss of awareness caused it, the camera might have contributed to that.

Wendy P.

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