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ph8068

Z-Flock 4.0

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I love the structured setup in your pdf, though SEVERELY disagree with anyone doing anything over 90 degrees directly at breakoff..

One stray flyer behind the formation is all it takes to severely ruin the day for more then one person.
Keeping funnels/incomplete formations in mind, the odds at people still being stuck behind when the formation is building are quite big.

Having someone 180 and fly straight into those stray flyers could potentialy kill...and near misses HAVE occured..

We cover much more distance on wingsuit jumps then we do on normal freefalls, so we should have no trouble finding open airspace if groups just seperate at reasonable altitudes.

If possible..try and not do 180 degree turns at breakoff..limit it to (SLOW CARVING) 90 degree turns, while keeping an eye for people coming from the side...
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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Jarno,

On unstructured flocks we normally ask that anyone who hasn't joined the flock by 6000' should turn 180 degrees and depart the busy area. I will add that caution to the list.

I don't think that asking the outside folks to turn 180 degrees is more hazardous than 90 degrees, unless, like you mentioned, that there are stragglers hanging out there.

Thanks!

Scott

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Having someone 180 and fly straight into those stray flyers could potentialy kill...and near misses HAVE occured..
------------------------------------
I think a slow 180 produces such a steep turn that the altitude loss would clear them of any stragglers, if anyone is flying on the same line as the group that far below the group they are flying blind, its impossible to see the group from that position, they should track off when there that low,
if one must "straggle" :)
Life is a series of wonderful opportunities,
brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

tonysuits.com

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If there is more people in 6000 feet who hasn´t reached the formation, You won´t know if there is somebody behind you still trying to dive to the formation or somebody who spinned down from the exit. Then turning 180 makes things tricky.

I agree with Jarno that slow turn of maximum 90 degrees is enough.

The organisation and plans looks great. I am looking for to join you. I Shall arrive there in the 6.th of march.

Tero

(Edited to correct typingrorrors...:S
- No mercy in the flock! Straighten your legs!!! -

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Jarno,

On unstructured flocks we normally ask that anyone who hasn't joined the flock by 6000' should turn 180 degrees and depart the busy area. I will add that caution to the list.

I don't think that asking the outside folks to turn 180 degrees is more hazardous than 90 degrees, unless, like you mentioned, that there are stragglers hanging out there.

Thanks!

Scott



Track-off teams are the current fashion for RW big ways; keeps people in sight of each other until the worst of the congestion is over.

Dealing with stragglers is always an issue - by definition they are not where you expect them to be.
...

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

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Track-off teams are the current fashion for RW big ways



Exactly what I was thinking. It would take alot more discipline though.
These days at at breakoff, most in the formation try to out float everyone else next to them at this point in the skydive. With the larger formations, more discipline will have to take place for safety, and good group breakoffs will be a plus.


Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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Well if you dont mind a Brit joining you with a couple of wingsuit jumps I shall be out from about 12th for 2 weeks.

Cheers

Fraser

1. Scott Bland (notsane)
2. Scott Gray (The Brothers Gray)
3. Chris Gray (The Brothers Gray)
4. Todd Statdfield (DaMan)
5. Michelle Statdfield (EmLo)
6. Justin Shorb ( Flock U)
7. Jeff Nebelkopf (heffro1)
8. Chuck Blue (Z-Flock Wingsuit School)
9. Mike Masheff (Grey Mike)
10. Phil Peggs (boring uncreative name)
11. Nick Rugai (#1 gay guy)
12. LoudDan
13. Tyler Smith(jumpinfly)
14. Scotty Burns (Scottygofast & Z-flock)
15. Tero Paukku (Aerodynamite)
16. Matt Hoover
17. Rick Hough (Flock U)
18. Bob Futrell (FlyinBob)
19 Frank Boluk (FrancoR)
20 Rand Mahoney (rmahoney)
21.Lurch (Flock U)
22. Robert Kelley (ROK)
23. Marion Mobley (fmmobley)
24. Fraser Corsan (Verticalflyer)
Dont just talk about it, Do it!

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Track-off teams are the current fashion for RW big ways



Exactly what I was thinking. It would take alot more discipline though.



Ed



I assume that those teams have a key or lead tracker they follow out on the initial?



That's correct.

If the size reaches 80 (or even 50) I wonder whether a staged breakoff would work better, too. Having everyone track away from 5500 to 3500 means you have a circle about 2 miles across with all the jumpers around the circumference and a lot of (wasted) open space in the middle.

You may also have an issue if the formation is badly placed at breakoff - there's always someone who won't want to be flying even farther away from the landing area so they'll track in the "wrong" direction.

Ed is quite correct - without a lot of discipline a big way of any sort can quickly become a very dangerous place.
...

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

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Though you could come up with a lot of variables to try and prevent stray flyers behind the group, you never know who gets lost or caught up in trying to make it to a slot just before breakoff..

Im a firm believer in nobody...no exeptions...doing anything over a 180 degree turn..

What if a whole group is left behind and the make a preventive 180 and fly into other stray birds?

Setting up a clean, staged breakoff and defining tracking leaders for those sub-groups (that make a 45 to 90 degree breakoff at 6k and then have their own secondairy breakoff later on) is much safer...where some groups could fly lazy/steep..and others fly for more distance..

With the distances we fly, we dont need anything over 90 degrees...we need more dicipline in what we do...and (as you mentioned) definitely not turn it into distance/ff time contests in bigways...
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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With respect to limiting the break-off to 90 degree or less turns, you have to bear in mind that you're trading off the possibility of a collision with a straggler (which can be mitigated by them leaving the area early) against doubling the congestion each and every break-off. Selecting between a possibility and a certainty ... I'll pick the possibility.

I control the location of the break-off since I spot the load and fly base everytime. I'm not immune from making a mistake, but my track record is pretty good.

My idea for staging the breakoff is the following. I key the breakoff, but everyone's audible is set for the same altitude. At that time, everyone should turn their heads and look towards the outside of the formation. Using the left side as an example, the lead chevron flyer on the far outside turns 180 degrees. The rear chevron person follows him, flying a few degrees right. The next lead chevron flyer follows the turning rear flyer, again flying a few degrees right. Everyone peels off like a flight of F-15's turning for landing. We may start this a little higher the first few times to make sure everyone has the idea.

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At that time, everyone should turn their heads and look towards the outside of the formation. Using the left side as an example, the lead chevron flyer on the far outside turns 180 degrees. The rear chevron person follows him, flying a few degrees right. The next lead chevron flyer follows the turning rear flyer, again flying a few degrees right. Everyone peels off like a flight of F-15's turning for landing. We may start this a little higher the first few times to make sure everyone has the idea.



Sounds good in theory, Scott, but we know what happens when someone takes their eyes off of the person they are flying next to, "drift", leading to funnel, and thats not good at the break off. This will even be worst when they have to look behind them and try to stay in the slot if the flery to their left isn't up far enough in his slot. How about at breakoff, before they assume the end flyer has done a 180, the end flyer (tracking leader) of the chevron moves forward enough for the line to see them, and then do a slow carve leading the team away, eventually around to the 180, giving the rest of the group he is leading, a chance to follow and peel off into clear airspace. This will mean as the chevron builds to a double chevron, the back chevron will have to follow the person in front of them and not just peel off a 180, but instaed move forward and let the line follow into a nice controlled carve ending in a 180. Does that make sense?

Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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I tend to agree that turns greater than 90 degrees aren't a good thing.

Take one look at any photo of a Z-Flock bigway, and compare that to how it should have looked. If we can't all fly our static slots like it appears on paper, how much worse are dynamic things like breakoff going to be, compared to theory? In theory turns could go all the way up to 180, but we are not even close to that level of discipline in reality.

I have video from past Z-Flock events where somebody in the front would turn ~40 degrees to the right, while another guy about 50 feet to his right would turn only ~30 degrees to the right. As their paths cross, even at only 10 degrees offset, they have very high closing speeds. When you are in the sky with 50 other people it is impossible to get all of them in your peripheral to safely make a 180, and it is impossible for all of them to have you in their peripheral as well. And it's also impossible to assume everyone is where they should be, because that has never happened once. At 3.5 or 3.0 (can't remember) I had a pilot chute in my face more than once despite my best efforts to find a clear piece of the pie to fly into. I would never consider doing a full 180 on a bigway.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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How about at breakoff, before they assume the end flyer has done a 180, the end flyer (tracking leader) of the chevron moves forward enough for the line to see them, and then do a slow carve leading the team away, eventually around to the 180, giving the rest of the group he is leading, a chance to follow and peel off into clear airspace. This will mean as the chevron builds to a double chevron, the back chevron will have to follow the person in front of them and not just peel off a 180, but instaed move forward and let the line follow into a nice controlled carve ending in a 180. Does that make sense?



Yes it makes sense Ed, and it's another nice plan which works perfect on paper.

But try to imagine this "double chevron" executing such a serial breakoff maneuver. Not to mention that even if they were all flying tight enough to do that, it would take time to exectue a breakoff in that method.

I'm not trying to insult the flying ability of these bigway flockers, I'm just trying to be realistic about where we are as a group right now, and why 180's wouldn't be safe for anybody under those conditions.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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I'm not trying to insult the flying ability of these bigway flockers, I'm just trying to be realistic about where we are as a group right now, and why 180's wouldn't be safe for anybody under those conditions.



Which is exactly why inexperienced and unqualified pilots should not be on formations of this size. Having a bigway free for all, anybody is invited type of event is dangerous and silly anyway you look at it. Good luck ;)


Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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Which is exactly why inexperienced and unqualified pilots should not be on formations of this size. Having a bigway free for all, anybody is invited type of event is dangerous and silly anyway you look at it. Good luck ;)



The thing is, we're breaking new ground here... things like the "4th row effect" we've been talking about may prove that no matter how qualified the flyers are, the formation will still get straggled at the back. Burbles will happen, domino effect style. Before you know it even a really good flyer is out of his slot due to chain burbles, and now he's in a position to get seriously fucked if somebody else does a 180.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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With respect to limiting the break-off to 90 degree or less turns, you have to bear in mind that you're trading off the possibility of a collision with a straggler (which can be mitigated by them leaving the area early) against doubling the congestion each and every break-off.



As mentioned by others...straglers will always happen.
If its not people left behind that didnt make it to the formation, it could also be chaos at breakoff due to a partial collapse of the formation.

Congestion is a complete non issue..
The (RW) 399 ways have 200 people heading the same direction, and they fly at less then 1:1 and have half the time to look for a safe opening spot that we have.

If we need to do dangerous things such as heading into a direction where people can (and will!) definitely be coming from, then maybe we should scale down the formation, instead of coming up with 'and then/and then/and if' plans that will only work in a perfect world..which it never is.

An72 was a scary boogie. Ive seen way too many people shoot past formations, left behind etc.
And that involved a lot of near hits/misses with peope only offset a few degrees in their flight path.

We had one nearly fractured leg, and an arm that just snapped due to two flyers meeting. Mostly do to the exit on that jump, causing all jumpers to pass eachother in different directions during the build (something Im working on in animated examples for a new series of FLB flight manuals on formation flying)

We should look at RW bigways, and take a note on how they built those.
Both in terms of size and the time it took them to get up to those numbers, and in terms of how they stage breakoff, with trackingleaders etc.

We dont need anything over 90 degrees...and if numbers/safety indicate we do need to start doing dangerous things such as 180s, then scale down the formation, untill the skills of the group match the intended goal/target formation.

I still dont see why we are aiming for 50 to 80 ways, when there still are only a dozen or so photos online of anything bigger then a slotperfect 9 way with less then 5 meters in between each flyer.

Baby steps....
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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1. Scott Bland (notsane)
2. Scott Gray (The Brothers Gray)
3. Chris Gray (The Brothers Gray)
4. Todd Statdfield (DaMan)
5. Michelle Statdfield (EmLo)
6. Justin Shorb ( Flock U)
7. Jeff Nebelkopf (heffro1)
8. Chuck Blue (Z-Flock Wingsuit School)
9. Mike Masheff (Grey Mike)
10. Phil Peggs (boring uncreative name)
11. Nick Rugai (#1 gay guy)
12. LoudDan
13. Tyler Smith(jumpinfly)
14. Scotty Burns (Scottygofast & Z-flock)
15. Tero Paukku (Aerodynamite)
16. Matt Hoover
17. Rick Hough (Flock U)
18. Bob Futrell (FlyinBob)
19 Frank Boluk (FrancoR)
20 Rand Mahoney (rmahoney)
21.Lurch (Flock U)
22. Robert Kelley (ROK)
23. Marion Mobley (fmmobley)
24. Fraser Corsan (Verticalflyer)
25. Gus Marinho


Gus Marinho

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I think it is a bit much to be shooting for an 80 way within two months from now we have not had a chance to properly train for this.
Flock n dock is an open event so aside from qualifying people at the event (which will cut the size of the group nearly in half) it is just to dangerous.
As far as bigway breakoffs go it needs to be a multi stage breakoff, outside flyers peel off first at 7000 ft then the group that is next in line at 6000 and so on.
the only way this will safely work is if everyone does what they are suposed to do without fail, this is something that does not happen at open events.
people go home alot happier when they have had some degree of success and no injurees.
lets focus on training people to qualify for larger events in the future.
Remember the motto for flock n dock "no flyer left behind" the only way to safely do this is to rate everyones skill level then put them on the appropriate dive.
I have been hit on many dives by beginers and experts so far luck has saved me and im not sure how full my luck hand still is.
So lets shelf the get as big as possible idea and work on identifying what safety issues we have and where everybody is at in terms of skill level.
As far as straglers go you dont see them on bigways because they get cut and are told to work on their skills and try again next time. Nothing personal its just the way it has to be.
;)
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Tony Suits
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As far as straglers go you dont see them on bigways



On every bigway event...RW and FF, there are people making it to their slot late, or just not making it..

And when a formation collapesses (which happens at all experience levels) there WILL be people everywhere..

straglers will ALWAYS be there...maybe not every dive...but there are to many scenarios that have a few people there..

"Say no to a 180" should be a bumper sticker on everyones tailwing...
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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