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FAI, Wingsuits, and the Grid

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did you wanna judge, too? you're welcome to join in...



Oh no ... I was just dreaming you measuring me... :P



well, first you have to come up with an interesting wingsuit judging measure, write a proposal, test it, prove that it's really good... all that good stuff ;)


(apologies for the brief thread hijack. boys, you may now resume the wingsuit judging shitfest)

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Forgive me the harsh sounding answer, but like you also state, adressing tge topic is what matters.
And in trying to get people to comment or give feedback/ideas, 'all wrong' without specific descriptions as to why (and how it may be done different) is something way to common for a lot of people.

I also hope we can get everyone to assist in destiling the various options into a viable system for judging.
And aiming for that one to be an easy, free and workable solution thats understandable and objective in the results it produces.

So all constructive (positive and negative) feedback is appreachiated and needed. For this and any system.
Though the answers may sometimes not be what anyone likes hearing, its the only way forward.
JC
FlyLikeBrick
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What is to stop a bunch of good belly fliers putting tiny, functionless wings under their arms and claiming a wingsuit formation while falling straight down.

Surely there should be some reference to the type of flight.




HAHA. This made me smile as I know this is what Yuri must think of when he talks about flocking. Thanks for the laugh. But you do make a valid point.



HAHA mee too. My earlier post was deleted for some reason but again:

I think Kallends question about defenition of wingsuitformation and the suits used in it is a good question.

In Elsinore, in both records, 71 and 68 -way it could have been possible to fly in the formation with a trackingsuit....Impact or Prodigy... There has to be a defenition how fast or slow the formation is falling to be a FLYING formation.
- No mercy in the flock! Straighten your legs!!! -

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That aside, why ask this question like a few bucks would be an evil thing for our proposal, when the USPA accepted method demands a $699,- dollar piece of software (photoshop).
Unless illegal use of software is what you want to advocate (everyone is using photoshop so far).



Factually untrue Jarno, and you know it.

There are numerous FREE open source alternatives to photoshop, and all it takes is a simple GOOGLE search to find it.

Allow me to help you out...
www.gimp.org
A free open source cross platform image manipulation platform that works on PC, OSX, and Linux.

If thats not your cup of tea, there are numerous cheaper than photoshop alternatives that still work with layers and PSDs...
For example - Photoshop Elements (google search - $53)

For a "How to set a USPA record" FAQ, please go to http://raisethesky.org/wingsuit/ and also visit the USPA (to read the rules - not 2nd hand accounts), don't listen to the misinformation being spread here.

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Photoshop was the word used in all initial communications phil..thats all Im commenting on.
'open source image editing' might have been a better choice of words, if thats what you want to complain about.

But rather than fighting over the most pointless aspect of the USPA grid, Id rather (finaly) see some open minded discussion on the actual system/method itself. As that one never got a serious reply. And sadly also now actual discussion is skipped/skimmed.
I know this whole thing is now probably setting me up as a**hole number one, and the biggest god knows what in wingsuit history according to some, but I honestly dont care.
A good definition/standard should be the aim.

Why are there USPA standard state records, bigger than current records, that have not been submitted?
Why use a system, if in the end 'does it look nice' is your true judging method. And all the other definitions mentioned? Suit definitions, minimum glide?
And what happens if a 'hypothetical' messy formation by someone else surpasses your perfect looking one? How does that feel for the 'record holders' if their act of brilliance is triumphed by a clusterf*ck thats a record according to 'the standard'.
Amd what does the term 'record' mean at that point.

Why try for 2011 FAI acceptance (which you called me a liar for implying earlier this year), instead of finaly going for a more in depth look at how the system can be changed, improved or abandoned for a better standard?
Its a shame it first needs to be a standoff, to get the train to slow down a bit..

I couldnt care less if the thing we are working on makes it to a final judging tool or not, as long as its a nudge towards everyone seeing there is so
much stuff to further think about and refine..

Make it FOR the community, BY the community (or at least, agreed to by most)
JC
FlyLikeBrick
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In Elsinore, in both records, 71 and 68 -way it could have been possible to fly in the formation with a trackingsuit....Impact or Prodigy... There has to be a definition how fast or slow the formation is falling to be a FLYING formation.

The 2008 71-way was doing about 70 mph down. I have no data on forward speed, but it definitely felt like flying to me. If a tall, light person can do that in a Prodigy, good for them, but I was glad to have my trusty S3S. So I do not agree with your specific comment on the 71-way. I was not on the 68-way, so I can't comment on that.

In general, I do agree it needs to be a flown formation, not a falling formation. My gut says the Elsinore formations qualify (at least the 71-way). But how do you quantify that? Glide ratio? Dress code? No bent legs? Yuri's Seal of Approval?

What I'm missing in both current systems is allowing for angular distortion. The USPA system requires squares, the other system also has something with defined 90° or 45° angles. (I can't be bothered to look up exact references, sorry.) What's wrong with other angles? The "Judging a WRW formation" thread (again, can't be bothered to find a link, sorry) led me (not speaking for anybody else here, besides possibly Kallend, who I remember agreeing with this) to the conclusion that any shape of regular diamond would do. That would allow for easier judging of photos taken from slightly off to one side as well.
Johan.
I am. I think.

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Angular distortion/perspective is stuff that could be setup in software form. Just like barrel/lens distortion. But at this point in time, not important.

Its practical application issues, of rules (we as a community) still havent finalized into a workable standard. Which should be the first aim..
JC
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Photoshop was the word used in all initial communications phil..thats all Im commenting on.
'open source image editing' might have been a better choice of words, if thats what you want to complain about.



Yeah, sure..."commenting" on it while it conveniently makes the USPA system sound ludicrous in costs...

misinformation

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Why are there USPA standard state records, bigger than current records, that have not been submitted?
Why use a system, if in the end 'does it look nice' is your true judging method. And all the other definitions mentioned? Suit definitions, minimum glide?
And what happens if a 'hypothetical' messy formation by someone else surpasses your perfect looking one? How does that feel for the 'record holders' if their act of brilliance is triumphed by a clusterf*ck thats a record according to 'the standard'.
Amd what does the term 'record' mean at that point.



From the FAQ

Q: What if a terrible looking formation that technically fits the grid is submitted as a record? http://raisethesky.org/wingsuit/#terrible

This is certainly possible, but has not yet happened. The rules initially left a large margin of error to allow wingsuit flyers to demonstrate their skill level with this new record category. The large margin was adopted at the suggestion of the USPA Competition Committee (not wingsuit organizers, who initially proposed a much more strict standard). Committee members are: Bill Wenger (chair), BJ Worth, Kirk Verner, Marylou Laughlin, Larry Hill, Lee Schlichtemeier, Scott Smith, and Vic Johnson. All are highly experienced skydiving competitors, record holders, and/or judges. In six months under the current rules, organizers have proven their intentions to meet a higher standard.

The USPA Committee will revisit the rules in February 2010 at the winter Board Meeting and are likely to tighten the requirements so that all fliers will be required to be completely within their grid square. Fliers would be able to touch a line, but not have any part of their body or wing across the line. This is the standard that was, in fact, met by the US National 68-way Record and is advocated by its organizers. It is also an example of how the adoption of one standard, rather than “locking in” the rules, can serve as a platform for improvement and change.

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Why try for 2011 FAI acceptance (which you called me a liar for implying earlier this year), instead of finaly going for a more in depth look at how the system can be changed, improved or abandoned for a better standard?
Its a shame it first needs to be a standoff, to get the train to slow down a bit..



From the FAQ

Q: If the FAI recognizes wingsuit formation flying based on records that have been achieved so far, does that stop development or changes to the current judging system? http://raisethesky.org/wingsuit/#beginning

No. It simply recognizes current achievements as a basis for the future. All disciplines in skydiving have seen their record and competition criteria change over the years. The FAI exists to recognize individual and group achievements in air sports, and to promote safe parameters within which records can be set. Changes to the current judging procedures will undoubtedly be adopted as they become viable and necessary. FAI recognition, which happens by a vote of the International Parachuting Commission (the subset of the FAI devoted to parachuting), is the beginning, not the end, of the growth process for wingsuit flying.

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Again asking, at what point will judging standards actually be open for community input, improvements or complete revision/changes.

All the nice copy/paste work aside, its still a shame to see 'lets do something quickly and later try and fix it' is seemingly favoured over refinement within the community before outside acceptance.

Once certain basics are established as judging groundwork, its often hard to impossible to make radical changes. And again, just a shame the many, many comments and suggestions by the actual community cant be the first step in the timeline...rather than a last and unsure 'maybe'.
JC
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Again asking, at what point will judging standards actually be open for community input, improvements or complete revision/changes.



From the FAQ

Q: I have an idea for a different formation judging system. How can I get it recognized? http://raisethesky.org/wingsuit/#idea

Each country will have a different process for considering proposals. The USPA Competition Committee is the starting point in the United States. Member contact information is available on the USPA website. The future of wingsuit formation skydiving may extend to three-dimensional and sequential formations, so innovation in these areas will be welcomed. Before making a proposal, test the system by organizing events and watching the results. Without proven results, it is difficult for any sport governing body to adopt rules. The current system grew from the 71-way event at Lake Elsinore in November 2008, and has been proven by multiple state records and a 68-way national record. No other system has been tested at as many attempted records of sizes ranging from 4 to 73 participants.

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lets do something quickly and later try and fix it' is seemingly favoured over refinement within the community before outside acceptance



You are being misleading...again....

nothing has been "quick" and there is no "within the community" vs. "outsiders"

There are many different aspects of community in skydiving. Nowhere is there a written definition of "wingsuiting community" that defines what that consensus would mean, which leaves the term "community" open for interpretation and occasionally...abuse

Remember in 2008, when a bunch of wingsuit skydivers achieved something great? They flew a safe, slot-specific 71-way wingsuit formation while testing a system that had been under development by multiple people for a year (since 2007). They refined it...tested methods...organized multiple events...and achieved something measurably great the next time. A 68-way slot specific wingsuit formation that became the US National Record in 2009.

Those same skydivers also used the record recognition to raise $5000 for charity...which would not have been possible at a "testing" event.

The organizers and participants who were part of those achievements...and who worked on those achievements for two years, have a right to ask for them to be recognized.

The recognition of these accomplishments does not in any way prevent others from organizing their own events...and pursuing other records in the future.

They have support from dropzones, sport governing bodies, participants who sign up and show up. Asking them to STOP and basically abandon two years of progress is hard to understand, let alone agree with.

It's not the development aspect of judging that is controversial...it's the part where you ask for others' achievements not to be recognized in the meantime.

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The grid presented a needed starting point.

Does everyone recall the closing words of the 2008 record event? "Fuck the grid" is what is on my videotape. Yet the USPA were told that "all wingsuiters support it."

Is the software the complete answer? Nope. No one said it is. At least it's being put out there for a year as a discussion point, with the current effort in place to avoid gridlock. It can be improved. And no one who suggests an improvement will be told to "fuck off" by those that began what is eventually going to become a community property.

An attempt was made to share the software with the general skydiving community during the bigway, but the organizers had different ideas. I'm sorry the opportunity for everyone to see the software (as it was then) was taken away.

There are precedents to proprietary software being used for competition in skydiving. What is different here, is the software was written to comply with existing rules, rules that don't require skydivers to fly in a means that satisfies the software, but rather applying the software to the skydive and existing standards, ie; "skydiver rules" vs what the software requires.

Software isn't subjective. It's objective. Shouldn't records be objective? Shouldn't the playing field be fair for everyone?

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Those same skydivers also used the record recognition to raise $5000 for charity...which would not have been possible at a "testing" event.



Why not?

As for the rest, I'm really confused. I thought we were talking about creating, improving, and determining a wingsuit judging system vis the FAI.

Seems like it's all about Raise The Sky.[:/]

I'm not a member nor supporter of Raise The Sky. I _am_ however, a member of USPA. Therefore, I'm more interested in discussing what USPA and FAI are doing, rather than discussing what Raise The Sky has done.

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An attempt was made to share the software with the general skydiving community during the bigway, but the organizers had different ideas. I'm sorry the opportunity for everyone to see the software (as it was then) was taken away.



Again, untrue....

Jarno and I spoke about this program at the end of Oct. He asked me to keep it quiet from the public, which I did out of respect for your project. After seeing a screen grab, and hearing a description, I replied to him in an email -

"Jarno,

I would love to give your program a test drive. It looks really interesting, and I think this next week would be a great time to try it!

I will keep it quiet of course... And I appreciate you forwarding it to me. I approached Taya on it (telling her to keep quiet too) and she said she would love to try it as well and give you all the feedback we can! [...] just point me to the download!

Thanks man
Phil"


- I never received the program from Jarno

I was in your trailer 2 nights before the event began, after my cut-away. You showed me the program, I said I would like to give it a tryout during the event

- You never gave me the program

I was in the same room as Scotty Burns, another member of this group, for the entire event. He never said a word about it.

- Scotty never gave me the program

I was in the company of Scott Callantine, another member of this group, for the entire event. He never mentioned the program.

- Scott C never gave me the program.



**********EDIT ONLY TO ADD MY ATTACHMENT********

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OK, I am gonna be brutally honest with everyone here, so this is not directed at any one individual but if the shoe fits, you know to put in on, in other words, you know who you are. Some of you will balk and rationalize and do what ever it is you typically do when presented with words you do not like to hear. I am merely the messenger of the reality of the situation. Take what I say and process it however you want. I am not here to defend it but I am here to share it, as I do not like the direction that the wingsuiting community has been going lately due to the actions of small groups/individuals and the way "we" have come to be perceived by the people who do matter in regards to this topic with in skydiving.

This bickering and infighting that we have witnessed in this thread(and all the others) is just the tip of the iceberg. MOST of you have not been in skydiving and or in wingsuiting long enough to have a first hand knowledge of where we have been to understand why we are where we are or more importantly how we have arrived at this juncture, not only in wingsuiting but also in skydiving. The simple fact of the matter is that "we", wingsuiters , and everything that has transpired are not taken seriously by those who have a say in the skydiving community in part due to bickering and opposing camps/cliques/agendas/in fighting and what is clearly seen and or perceived as self serving agendas that have been pushed in front of those people as of late.

How do I know this? I have it in the purest form possible.....from the source(s), as in multiple. Does that conflict with what you have been told via e-mail or face to face? Probably/maybe/ most definitely is what I am guessing. They may tell you what you want to hear to your face but it is not what is being said by those same people when in different unbiased company. I am here to tell you that due to those individuals, "we" as a community are seen as out of control/poorly organized/represented by the powers that be.

Am I saying that we don't need to try and move forward or have the discipline recognized? No, absolutely not. Those of you that have been around for more than a few years know this in not where I personally stand.

What I am saying is that all this agenda ridden hoopla has created camps of people who claim to represent the "community" when they only represent a small fraction of the portion of the community. To the unbiased eye of those who matter, all of these conflicting camps and opinions/ideas/agendas has had a counter productive effect on movement forward IN SPITE of what may have been done/achieved be it positive or negative.

People, "we" are not being taken seriously by the people who do matter and that have a say. The simple fact that some of those who have claimed to represent the community cannot even do it correctly or have attempted knowingly/unknowingly to circumvent the system of things, is further evidence that there is a fundamental lack of understanding of the general way of establishing and meeting these milestones that need to be checked off to become recognized.

Recognition will come but if done hastily as it has been done lately, it will be to the detriment of the community as a whole. There is a correct way to approach this issue and like everything else, there is also the timing. If you do not understand the operational environment you are working in, you are doomed to fail no matter how good your intentions may be.

So instead of rushing forward anymore and trying to hash out a "solution" so that we can claim a record or a system, "we" need to come to a agreed upon method within our own community and THEN approach those people that matter. All that has been done to this point has been seen as negative in that all the "plans" that have been presented have been perceived as half baked and or ill thought out. That is the Gods honest truth of the matter.

I expect what I have said will strike a cord with some and some will wonder what I am talking about and not have a clue, some will fall into both categories. I am not here to try and explain how to do it online , even though I have attempted and have told several people the "hows" and "whys" on several occasions in the past. If "we" want to see some progress and be taken seriously within the sport, "we" need to come together as a community as we are clearly divided. Until then, "we" are simply wasting time and digging our own grave.

I fly a wingsuit because its fun and I enjoy teaching and having fun with others in wingsuits. Some of you may claim to feel the same way but some of you have lost sight of that in spite of what you might be telling yourself and are doing it for other reasons.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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An attempt was made to share the software with the general skydiving community during the bigway, but the organizers had different ideas. I'm sorry the opportunity for everyone to see the software (as it was then) was taken away.



Again, untrue....



You don't know what was said to me by whom (which included a threat to have me thrown off the DZ), so I'd recommend you rethink what you think to be true or "untrue."
You weren't present, plain and simple. Anything you'd have to say beyond that is hearsay at best.

You weren't given the program because I was not given permission to give you the program. You said you'd like to try it, but think back; I did not offer, nor make any suggestion it would be given to you.

Doesn't matter to me whether you were in a room full of a barrel of monkeys that knew about or had access to the software. No one, save it be Tom, Jarno, AND Costyn, have permission to give the application to anyone.
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So instead of rushing forward anymore and trying to hash out a "solution" so that we can claim a record or a system, "we" need to come to a agreed upon method within our own community and THEN approach those people that matter. All that has been done to this point has been seen as negative in that all the "plans" that have been presented have been perceived as half baked and or ill thought out. That is the Gods honest truth of the matter.




I for one, couldn't agree more. Hence my participation in the movement to stop gridlock.
"We" as a community, need to agree on how we'd like to see this accomplished as a "community" vs a limited group meeting in back rooms on a windy day.

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Recognition will come but if done hastily as it has been done lately, it will be to the detriment of the community as a whole.[...]
So instead of rushing forward anymore and trying to hash out a "solution" so that we can claim a record or a system, "we" need to come to a agreed upon method within our own community and THEN approach those people that matter. [...]
If "we" want to see some progress and be taken seriously within the sport, "we" need to come together as a community as we are clearly divided. Until then, "we" are simply wasting time and digging our own grave.



+1
couldn't agree more

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What is different here, is the software was written to comply with existing rules, rules that don't require skydivers to fly in a means that satisfies the software, but rather applying the software to the skydive and existing standards, ie; "skydiver rules" vs what the software requires.



I've no idea what that sentence means. Can you explain please?

As far as I can see, anytime any standard is set, it requires participants to adjust their performance in accordance with those standards. That is true for RW records, head down records, swooping, marathon running, auto racing, Jarno's criterion, "the grid", ski jump, getting colleges accredited, testifying in court, etc. etc.
...

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

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I've no idea what that sentence means. Can you explain please?



I *think* what he means is this:

Flying for the grid requires you to not focus so much on where the adjacent flyers are in the formation, but to look all the way through the entire sightline, all the way to the base, and anticipate where your slot should be based on that, and not so much based on where the flyers in front of you are. While this is cool that we were able to actually fly like that, to the point that you could take someone out of the formation and the rest of it would still be just fine, I am not sure that it scales so well to bigger and bigger designs. You can only look so far ahead of you... hence all the issues with cumulative error.

Since the software method focuses on the local analysis, flying a good slot under these rules means you are looking at the buddies on the row right in front of you (which you can actually see really well!) and ensuring that the distances and angles are as close as possible to what was done on the dirt dive. It seems like a more natural description of how we normally fly in a flock. The rule more accurately describes how we would normally fly, rather than us adjusting our flying specifically to make the rule fit better.

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What is different here, is the software was written to comply with existing rules, rules that don't require skydivers to fly in a means that satisfies the software, but rather applying the software to the skydive and existing standards, ie; "skydiver rules" vs what the software requires.



I've no idea what that sentence means. Can you explain please?

As far as I can see, anytime any standard is set, it requires participants to adjust their performance in accordance with those standards. That is true for RW records, head down records, swooping, marathon running, auto racing, Jarno's criterion, "the grid", ski jump, getting colleges accredited, testifying in court, etc. etc.



Good question, thanks for asking.
I feel the standard should not be a set distance, but rather a predeclared formation that has participant-defined distances. If, for instance, the formation agrees to fly head to toe, fist to fist, or 100' apart, then the judging of that formation should apply to the predeclaration.

Being forced to fly 3 meters apart because "that's how the grid works" forces skydivers to adapt to the software rules, rather than adapting the software to function within the realm of skydiver creativity.
Not to mention that the grid system encourages a lot of "slop."

A significant part of any record event, IMO, needs to be a display of excellence and talent, not a display of "this guy has 8 wingsuit jumps, and we need another body in the formation." It also needs to demonstrate creativity, and difficulty.

As the folks at Honda like to say "Difficult is worth doing." Mediocrity is not.

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For the record,

The program was offered for full use as a briefing, debriefing and/or additional judging tool for the bigway record, with Spot as the operator.
He was present at the record, and eager to help/assist/show and use the software.

You guys declined that offer.
You guys had full knowledge of the accesability, before, during and after, and as I explained to you back then, the software was there and we just didnt want 20 different versions floating around the net, hence asking spot to be the one to assist in being there at the bigway as the operator.
Im sure he has a more detailed story on how that offer was received.

Its nice to try and deflect the subject with selective copy paste actions, but in the end its nothing but misleading people and quite far from what actually happened.
JC
FlyLikeBrick
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