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Skwrl

Elsinore 71 - They Got It!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccpJassp5wg

In the mean time check out the video from Tuesday :)
The part around 9 minutes is interesting, it shows how they were judging the formation - as DSE mentioned a grid they superimposed over the photos to immediately check the formation spacing / slots.

Give the guys chance to get home and catch their breath before they post photos!

The hardcore are going straight on to Eloy!!
BASEstore.it

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Congratulations guys on completing the formation.

I rode right seat in the Otter with Jim for the first 2 jumps on Wednesday. What a great place to view from. We just kept orbiting above the formation as it was building. All the while descending the Otter at better than 4000 fpm. We broke off the orbit as the formation broke and descended at the far end of the lake.

We were at the ramp in the Otter before the formation had all landed.

I can't think of a better viewing platform unless you were high camera.

Again congratulations guys and have fun in Eloy.
Working to be the last flyer on a birdman suit. ;-)
...
Who also flies a tony suit.

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Well.
After a bit of confusion about which airport to hit and a fast taxi ride with this awesome Mexican guy who talked exactly like Tommy Chong, I made it home alive.
I gotta say that was the most glorious, epic event I'm ever likely to be a part of. I ran into most of the best top gun pilots I've flown with over 4 years on the wingsuit boogie circuit plus a bunch of friends I didn't even know I had till they recognized me from somewhere and introduced themselves. About the only thing that sucked about it was that there are a number of others I wish could have been there and weren't, Perry, Chuck B, Scott Bland, Rick Hough and Dave Godin come to mind, but there were more.
My gear took an unbelievable beating from being packed hard and fast and landed in rough ground. My main picked up dozens of small holes from the pricky things living where our group was landing plus a couple small tears, my suit is half-blackened from smoke and dust, torn in one or two new spots and missing a legwing cable that got torn out during a particularly tight exit leaving my suit unusually well ventilated for that flight. Thanks to Ed P for the loaner of a spare cable, I thought I was gonna have to hack it together with spectra or baling wire or carbonfuckingfiber or something.
Like everyone else I had my screwups and triumphs, spooked a friend by being a dumbshit and overdoing my approach, and was in turn spooked by another when he did the same. Later, when given the job of exiting last and catching that formation, I had to do some of the most focused, intense, demanding flying I've ever done.
Breakoffs were breathtakingly well executed, all of us turning as one and hauling ass away from the core. Now I think I truly know what a flock of birds feels like when they do that. I kept meeting up with friends during those breakoffs...Spot, Soby, Scott Gray, Jeff Donohue and more. Those brief "Hey, whatup bro?" moments in the instant before gunning away to clear sky were priceless. Its amazing how much you can communicate with a quick glance, a nod, and a grin in the one second's worth of your attention you can spare for stuff like that in flocks like these.
The canopy and landing locations were particularly well thought out. Not once did I feel even remotely crowded in the pattern or while landing. Weird winds and an offset spot made my area somewhat difficult to reach once or twice, but nothing a little rear riser crabbing, brake work and altitude conservation couldn't handle. I never came close to being forced to land anywhere I hadn't planned to.
Flight number 5 of the last day was the defining one for me. I was exiting last in the last plane. The exit got strung out a bit and when I got out and turned, the formation looked impossibly far away. I was expecting a sense of resignation, like thats it, its blown, theres just no way, even IF I can get there in time. Instead I just got that wonderful lit up sense of insane inspiration and just flew so hard I thought my camera was going to blow off my helmet. When I got there, there was a lot of vertical compensation going on and a massive amount of bumpy air, I could see my lead guy Costyn was having to use some radical control inputs just to stay still in his slot. He was succeeding, but the kind of flying he was having to do to pull it off, maxed out one second, half folded the next, I thought this attempt was a washout, if its this bumpy here, no way did we hold it together on the big scale. Being way too busy flying the same way I had no idea what was going on in the rest of the formation, just flew my slot, landed, packed and got ready for the last try, feeling discouraged because I'd put out the most intense effort of my life and I figured it still hadn't been enough, not even close. When they called us all up to the deck unexpectedly and told us "Thats it, we got it" I'll admit I totally lost it for a minute there. I hadn't known I cared that much about the outcome till it happened and I found out that I'd cared very much about it, indeed.
I'd put up a special thanks list but it'd be way too long.
What a ride.
-B
Live and learn... or die, and teach by example.

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...and another in Daily Star:

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/58560/The-day-the-world-went-record-crazy/

Underneath the picture of the "Largest Gathering Of People Wearing Underpants" there is this little gem:

DIVE BUMS

SKY divers carried out the largest V-formation jump ever over Lake Elsinore in California.

Seventy-one daredevils jumped from four different planes and took just seven seconds to get into position. Highly impressive.


....damn, it sure seemed like it took us longer than 7 secs to build the formation! We must have kicked ass!

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Waaaaait...

I gave up the chance to be in the largest gathering of people only wearing underpants to be part of the whole Elsinore thing?

Man, do I have poor judgment.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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What a great event, I was part of Mark Harris's group.

Thanks to everybody involved in organising the event.

Hopefully we do this again next year. See you all at Skydive arizona tomorrow.

Cheers
Riaan
_______________________________________
You are unique, just like everybody else ...

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Great job to everyone! Looks absolutely stunning!

Imagine though how kickass it would have been if you all had smoke? 71 smoke trails, seeing that from the ground and sky that would be simply unreal.

Anyways, super! ;)
"Dream as you'll live forever, live as you'll die today." James Dean

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I exchanged PMs with the 111 about photos of the record formation. He is away for a wedding at the moment and hasn't had time to review the photos to select the best ones.

From what he describes it gives me doubts whether all the flyers were in their 3m box. (the definition for the complete formation stated before the attempt)

Regardless the formations built over 'snore were the best ever flown and larger than I thought possible at the moment (40-50).

I'm interested to see what Scott and co. are up to in Eloy :)
BASEstore.it

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From what he describes it gives me doubts whether all the flyers were in their 3m box. (the definition for the complete formation stated before the attempt)



I have my doubts that any overhead shot can demonstrate all flyers in their boxes as well.
After listening to team captains going on and on for a while about how the formation was flying too tight in width, I asked to see the photo in question and grid. Took all of about .5 seconds for myself and one other person there to attempt to explain lens compression, aspheric, and spatial distortion. Coupled with an APSC sensor, you're going to find a challenge putting it all together without using *some* kind of lens compensation/measurement/repair tool, algorithm, or math. I don't know if it's possible to do from the air, frankly. Matt, Scotty, Norman, Craig were all shooting either ultrawides, wides, and/or wideangle lens adaptors. I was told that "We shot the grid on the ground from about 10' away, and used that as an overlay." Well....shooting the grid from 10' away and then applying that to an image shot 100' away isn't going to make the job of comparing easy nor accurate.

We did have a full-frame camera on the ground with a 400mm lens shooting the formation from as near directly below as possible. A tele at full zoom compresses foreground/background, so levels in the formation cannot be determined, but positioning within the formation can be. If it needs any correction for angle compensation at all, it can be angled without affecting the spatial positioning of any wingsuiter in the photo, something that can't readily be done with lens correction plugins/software.

Compare this ground to air for width vs air to air shots. Which are more accurate? Could the leading edges truly be that perfectly curved as the air-to-air shot shows?
In other words, I don't know how Jeff and Co. measured this into the box, and it's true that Photoshop has accurate and accepted lens distortion removal tools, but will that leave some folks satisfied? Probably not.
Here is a very good paper and solution for this problem.
FWIW, Jeff and Co. still haven't received copies of the ground to air photos, as I have all of them in my possession. He'll receive all 800+ of them prior to me leaving Eloy later today.
I don't envy anyone the task of going through them all. B|

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I don't need no stinkin' math to see that rear part of one side is way too far out of the formation. :P


Still very impressive stuff though :)


None of the above images are intended to be any kind of evidence of anything excepting demonstrating different pupil distortions from the various lenses. I grabbed the photos at random. The shot from Scotty, for example, was the first jump as a group on Monday. Not bad for a bunch of people whom have never been that close to each other before.:P

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Spot thank you for commenting on the distortion issue. I, myself, had brought up the same exact thing, and was not believed by many involved parties. But what do I know, I'm only a broadcast engineer :P

To couple with that, the excellent ground shots that Linda was taking, were also not being properly overlayed with the grid IMHO. X and Y were being scaled, but Z was not taken into account at all...

Purple Mike, actually came up with a more sensible idea mid way through the event. (Guess we should have asked the math genius) I'll paraphrase (and I'm sure get it wrong)...but, his thought was...rather than use X and Y, we should use Central angle: theta (in radians), alpha (in degrees) and distance. I'll email him for a illustration. But think angles taken off of the base, coupled with increasing radius's from that point...

my brain hurts :P:P

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So how long until we hear from Yuri on this topic??? Anyone want to start a pool??

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the excellent ground shots that Linda was taking, were also not being properly overlayed with the grid IMHO. X and Y were being scaled, but Z was not taken into account at all...


Unfortunately, it is really hard (like impossible) to get a 3-dimensional model of the flock from a single photograph, especially one that is set up to minimize distortions in X & Y... And trying to patch together a 3-d model from a bunch of photographs that were taken from unknown locations at unspecified times will be equally difficult.

I think this is the first time we have tried to measure a flock, and attempt an objective, rather than subjective evaluation of whether the flock was "good enough". While the basic idea is great, this type of measurement is very challenging - probably nearly as difficult as flying a large flock!!! We will need to put a bunch of thought into the whole measurement concept if we plan to use this as the acceptance criteria for record attempts. The other challenge here is that video/stills that are good for judging purposes are really kind of boring for artistic, engaging post-event videos - so we may need to have more videots in the air to get the "cool" shots as well as the judging/measurement shots...

I do want to congratulate Jeff (or whomever came up with the grid concept) on moving us towards measurable goals, rather than having "Dang, that flock looked cool!!!" as the primary judging criteria of our big formations!

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As Zeemax pointed out, I don't think lens distortion is that big of an issue in judging the photos seen to date where there are obvious gaps in the formation.

For future attempts this should be addressed though.


I agree that for subjective evaluation, lens distortion isn't a huge issue, although it might make "good" formations appear a little warped. As we try to actually measure people's positions in the flock, however, lens distortion, as well as simple perspective issues become critical in getting an accurate model of what really happened in the sky.

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