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FAI, Wingsuits, and the Grid

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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.

I think you will find that local analysis leads naturally to cumulative error. Guy A is 1/2 meter off, guy B references off him and is another 1/4m off. Guy C etc., etc. Soon you have accumulated a huge error.

Flying where your slot is in the formation, regardless of what the guy in front of you may be doing wrong, is the way to build large formations - that has been proven over and over again in large RW and head down formations. Just ask any experienced RW big way organizer. Kate Cooper-Jensen (World Team organizer) is liable to axe you if you are seen to fly the "local analysis" way. In RW we are told over and over "fly to your slot and not to your grip". The "local analysis" in a WS jump corresponds to flying to your grip in RW or VRW. A grid or lattice (not necessarily "THE grid") encourages you fly to your slot, which is where you should be anyway.
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Thats exactly the same in the other grid/lattice system as well.
Cummulative error quickly (within two or three rows) 'breaks' the formation, not allowing skewed formations beyond what compareable in fs/ff.

Flying a slot/grip in RW is the same.
If a wedge is skewed, only an idiot flies to a position 20 meters to the left (because thats where he expects his slot to be).
If you want to compare flying a slot/grip to FS bigways...simple..start flying grips!

The grip is a virtual 'dock' in your position relative to another flyer. In FS, your arms and legs allow for some movement in/out, relative to another person.
When that goes out max. or min. possible distance, it breaks the grips/docks a few rows further/back.

Exactly the same as in the lattice grid we use.
People fly a slot, as if it was linked/docked. Minor movement in/out (min and max! Also not getting to close) is possible, yet only to a few %, as to not break/tear the virtual docks a few rows up/back.
JC
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Flying a slot/grip in RW is the same.
If a wedge is skewed, only an idiot flies to a position 20 meters to the left (because thats where he expects his slot to be).
If you want to compare flying a slot/grip to FS bigways...simple..start flying grips!

The grip is a virtual 'dock' in your position relative to another flyer. In FS, your arms and legs allow for some movement in/out, relative to another person.
When that goes out max. or min. possible distance, it breaks the grips/docks a few rows further/back.

What is the current record of flying a docked horizontal formation?

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I think its still 5, done in Spa (Belgium), and repeated a week later in the USA.
AFAIK nobody has done bigger so far (though not completely impossible to)
JC
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Your system encourages flying only with reference to the two people in front of you. That is a recipe for bad formation flying, regardless of the discipline.

Andreea said that is the natural way to fly. It is on a 3 way. Having been on something over 300 bigway jumps with 100+ people, I've seen that it is a very poor way to fly a bigway. That is why it should not be encouraged.
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Your system encourages flying only with reference to the two people in front of you.

No it doesnt. If you fly only to the two people in front of you, the people behind you, and besides you WILL push the formation out of whack, and break the chains.
You fly relative to a person next to you, but ALSO have to keep an eye on overal spacing, distances and line orientation.

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Having been on something over 300 bigway jumps with 100+ people

Where you didnt fly a slot relative to to the person, but only kept the same distance to the base, down to the cm.

Would love to see if the outisde wackers stayed in their 3x3 box, or if they decided to stick to the grips presented in front of them, with each flyer doing their best to keep overal integrity in terms of distance.

Something I expected someone of your experience to understand, but I guess it takes actual seeing/playing with the software, (judging formations on the overal shape, and not just distances between flyers) to see that.

Several flyers who played with the software initialy had the same question, and all of them revised that oppinion.
But disagreeing for the sake of not agreeing is fun as well
JC
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AND ANOTHER THING!

How is a wingsuit formation defined?

Do we even want to define what we do by the clothes we wear? We don't have RW suit formations or freefly suit formations. VFS records are defined by what they do, not by the clothes they wear.

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.

I think this is an excellent observation as to why many in the overall skydiving community don't take wingsuiting as a serious discipline. No offense if you do! To each their own.

What if everybody agrees to wear a "defined" wingsuit, and make a no-contact formation with none of the wings zipped up? It still counts! We're all wearing wingsuits! Next we'll do it on our backs!

CRW for example, sets their world records in docked formations. Many canopy pilots have played around with formation HP canopy flocking, yet nobody seems to try and make 'records' doing so. The whole idea of using grids, bubbles, dots, etc can be applied to them as well if they did.

There have been videos posted online of people wearing wingsuits and flying head down. If a group of WS flyers made a big no-contact formation flying their wingsuits head down, would that be a wingsuit record? A head down no-contact formation record? Both? Something in between?

A few years ago in Zhills, we did 30+ and 40+ way tracking dive formations. Many were wearing freefly suits. Could we have used the grid/bubbles/dots to try and claim a record of formation tracking? Could we have called it a wingsuit record at the time with no real difference in where the line is drawn between a WS, tracking suit, freefly suit, camera suits, and the many suits that fit in grey areas in betwen? What about the BM Hybrid Impact tracking suit here https://store.bird-man.com/webshop/flight/products/WINGSUITS/Impact? What the hell is that?

Just a few weeks ago in Sebastian, a group of jumpers did a formation backsliding jump (they called it backslipping to emphasize the control). The same grid/bubble/dots system could be used for them to claim a backslipping record.

Then there are the Atmo people. To them, it's not tracking and it's not head down flying (and let's not get started on that one again). Yet they could argue for the use of the grid/bubble/dot systems for Atmo formation records. But Atmo covers a range of angles, would there be separate records for steep atmo formations and shallow atmo formations? Or would that be a tracking formation? Ooh then we can have a record of formation back trackers, steep and shallow (or atmo)!

Hell we could have sitfly world records easy if nobody had to touch! All we have to do is sitfly near each other, have a photo fit a grid/bubble/dot thing and it's a record? Or would we all have to be driving forward in a sit? Or would there be different records for being in the grid/bubble/dot driving forward in a sit, going straight down in a sit, backsliding in a sit, side sliding in a sit?

I say we take a bunch of unpacked rigs, lay them out in a giant field in formation, have everybody start packing them in unison, photo it, place it in a grid/bubble/dot picture, then claim a USPA formation packing record.
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Your system encourages flying only with reference to the two people in front of you.

No it doesnt. If you fly only to the two people in front of you, the people behind you, and besides you WILL push the formation out of whack, and break the chains.

Of course it does. You wrote: "The average distance flown by the two parachutists next to the base sets the
distance people should fly throughout the formation. These are denoted as BLUE
lines.
· This distance is used to judge distance between all parachutist in the formation. Each
parachutist is measured referencing the parachutist(s) in front of him as their point of
reference/origin.
"
Your diagrams make it clear that you are judging by local reference only.

If you are going to be judged only by the one or two parachutist(s) in front of you, you WILL fly referenced to them and not to the formation as a whole. People are very good at optimizing the things they are being evaluated on.
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I think this is an excellent observation as to why many in the overall skydiving community don't take wingsuiting as a serious discipline. No offense if you do!

No offense taken, but your observation begs more fundamental questions.

What is the definition of a serious discipline? One where records (of contact-formations) can be made? Because there are plenty of serious disciplines that don't fall under that definition (freestyle, skysurfing, swooping).

To me it seems the common denominator or "serious" disciplines is a numeric metric that can be achieved to provide the competitors with a constant ongoing challenge. RW formation? Biggest, or most points turned. Swoop? Longest, or fastest.

Although, some artistic disciplines still fall outside of this definition. As a photographer, I am lucky, because my discipline is entirely artistic... the challenge which I am constantly facing is this: take better pictures. Nobody can define that with numbers, so I have only myself to please. As it should be.

What can be done to make wingsuiting "serious?" And does this matter to us?

But perhaps the most important question of all: what is the value of a "serious" discipline vs one that is... not serious? Did we start skydiving to:

a) be serious
b) impress our peers
c) have fun?

To me, being arty is more fun than being serious. I'd be bored off my ass turning points all day long. Do I think the guys who do are serious? Sure. But I also think trees are tall and water is wet. Neither fact is really relevant to my purpose.
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What you're doing now is talking about the direction of two completely separate disciplines. If photography is the primary discipline, then it will allow expression and growth in many different directions. For example, a skydiving photographer needs different skill sets and experience to photograph wingsuiting, freefly, skysurfing, CRW, etc. I believe this is the major difference between photographers like Joe Jennings and Norman Kent who have a diverse portfolio of mastering photography of all the above disciplines, and everyone else. The ability to work towards and achieve a certain mastery, that is what makes a serious discipline. You can have the camera and know how to use it, but if you can't get there to make the shot, then you're not a master skydiving photographer yet. Norman Kent can shoot the wingsuit 'record' and the 108 way head down record. Joe Jennings has shot RW, freefly, skysurfing, and a large variety of unusual objects/furniture/cars in freefall.

Discussing wingsuiting separately from photography as a skydiving 'discipline', can one achieve mastery? This is what makes a 'serious' discipline. What can you work toward to objectively measure your performance and progressing skill level? Am I constantly improving? Am I getting better at this? Can one be a master at horny gorillas? Tube exits? Mr Bills? So far many seem to think that the way to achieve mastery in wingsuiting is the ability to fly within 9 feet of someone else with a "slop factor of 26.5ft" in a loosely defined formation where someone tries to draw boxes around later on a computer. Funny how this leads to people on world 'records' with only a couple hundred skydives and less than 50 WS jumps. Make sure to pay lots of money to the organizer though for your 'world record'. No mastery in anything required. Makes you wonder why only 55 people register for a 100 way.

This whole grid/bubble/dots nonsense is taking the 'discipline' in the wrong direction which IMHO, will only result in a decline in growth in wingsuiting as a "serious" discipline. Don't we remember what was so appealing about wingsuits in the first place? The whole reason I bought one and wanted to fly it? It's a tool to fly really fast with a much longer airtime. Mastery can come from airspeed over your wings, ground distance covered, hangtime, races, etc. Why don't we have a form of wingsuit pylon races? That shit would be sooo bad ass! I'd love to see that and take part in it! This is why swooping is a serious competitive discipline and HP canopy flocking is not. You use your tool for what it was meant for in the first place! Doesn't anyone just like to chase clouds anymore and fly the living shit out of their wing?

Some serious disciplines out there involve bigger, faster, more points, longer distance, etc and numerical values. Other artistic ones involve the ability to flawlessly perform extremely difficult maneuvers that may take you years of practice to achieve (3 way artistic freefly as an example I'm intimately familiar with). Working towards achieving something very physically difficult for you is a road towards mastery. I remember the first time I was able to pull off a reverse eagle. I was very proud of myself that day.

Wingsuits aren't meant for bigways, just like HP canopies aren't. It's taking this "discipline" further away from being a serious discipline and more in the direction of being cliquey and political with a pinch of ostentation and pretension.

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Fallacious argument.

Jet fighters aren't designed for formation flying either, but millions of people like to watch the Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, Snowbirds, Red Arrows, etc. doing it and I gather there's a high demand from pilots to get on those teams.
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Let's see a screen shot of the ugliest formation that would still be acceptable as a record with this program. That was a good way to illustrate the problems with the grid.

That would require the program to be made available to us. Also the "acceptable % tolerance" in both angle and distance does not seem to be defined in the proposal.

Finally, it assumes the existence of a base. What if there is, say, a straight line of 4 at the front of the formation (we flew such a formation in Elsinore after the 68-way)?

The presentation seems to present only positives, and glosses over some of these issues.
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The presentation seems to present only positives, and glosses over some of these issues.

At the risk of sounding absurd, I for one, am abso-f**king-lutely amazed at how much you profess to know about a presentation that no one (including myself) has seen, about a software application of which you saw two of roughly 25 features spread out over about three minutes.

I'm impressed.

What makes you think the software assumes or requires a single base unit? Cuz that's how I drew it for you? As much as you would have liked, I didn't lift my skirts.... You just saw my ankles.

The grid presentation to the USPA sorta glossed over a "few" problems as well, evidenced by this thread and several others.

Fallacious argument; your comparisons to the Blue Angels, Red Arrows, Snowbirds, etc. To be a member of those teams requires tremendous skill and experience whereas the current grid system doesn't.

Simon, you'd best be careful talking about having fun, flying sloppy slots, and what brought most of us to wingsuiting....you sound like Lurch. All you need are to toss in a salad of "clowns in a blender" and "it's a catastrophic success" and next thing you know, you'll be touring the comedy clubs with him!

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The fact remains software will be sold and someone is going to make money from it within the skydiving community(motive to fight hard for there system).

Photoshop doesn't care what system is used so no finger in the pie besides, I might have bought photoshop for different reasons not necessarily for judging formations.

Alot of people who bought canon's and nikon's get a copy of photoshop elements anyway.

Thus judging system doesn't affect photoshop sales thus no conflict of interest. New head-dot system software sales is solely depend on the exceptance of the judging system... conflict of interest.

Then again do I really care which system is used, will I buy software to judge formations nope sorry. I am only interested in seeing Wingsuiting grow and progress.
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The fact remains software will be sold and someone is going to make money from it within the skydiving community(motive to fight hard for there system).

We are investing a lot of time and money into this, but not to get ritch and pay for a new car. I have an actual job for that.
The little cost there will be, is one we are trying to cover as far as possible by sponsoring or other means (if and when that time comes).
Money isnt ANY objective here.
And that aside, even when used as a judging application, only the judges would need the software. Not every single participant. Though making it available to everyone is our aim in the long run, money is not any part of that goal.

It absolutely amazes me what conclusions people are drawing, and how much critique there is as to the workings of the system (which is presented as a work in progres), while the USPA grid got accepted with worse errors and flaws, without a single negative comment at that point on time.

We are working on something that also enables people to plan their (multipoint) dives, breakoff, suit colours, and the ability to mail eachoter (animated) formation files before a boogie or record event.

In what shape or for this will finaly see actual use, and to what purpoise, I dont know.
But it would be a good one if people could think about the actual development of a judging method more refined than current available options.

Scott Campos made an exelent observation.
Why rush to let other judge a formation dicipline, we as a communitu cant even figure out among ourselves yet.

We ask your time and brainpower to further work out a solution.

As to Kallend, the measuring of adjenct flyers to set distance and angle tollerances creates a overal mesh that ensures a good formation, as lines/connections 'break' otherwise rows away from the dock monitored.

After the FAI presentation, we will place all info online.
And people wanting to testdrive the software, drop by Spot or Andreea to give it a go.
They'll gladly show you how it works, and whats possible.
JC
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Fallacious argument.

Jet fighters aren't designed for formation flying either, but millions of people like to watch the Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, Snowbirds, Red Arrows, etc. doing it and I gather there's a high demand from pilots to get on those teams.

Not fallacious argument.

Currently there are world records for aircraft speed, highest flying, distance, time through obstacle courses, etc. Are there attempted world 'records' for how many aircraft have gone flocking together? How many airplanes have been in the air together?

Show me record attempts of a aircraft breaking 5,000mph and I'll be damn impressed. Show me record attempts of flying a bunch of airplanes flying together in a giant grid, golf clap.... yay you did it, that was sooo hard .
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World Record 35 ship formation
Johan.
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I take it you didn't read the .pdf file from the FAI site, then.

"The average distance flown by the two parachutists next to the base sets the
distance people should fly throughout the formation. These are denoted as BLUE
lines.
· This distance is used to judge distance between all parachutist in the formation. Each
parachutist is measured referencing the parachutist(s) in front of him as their point of
reference/origin."

Are we not supposed to believe what they have written about their own system?
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Fallacious argument.

Jet fighters aren't designed for formation flying either, but millions of people like to watch the Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, Snowbirds, Red Arrows, etc. doing it and I gather there's a high demand from pilots to get on those teams.

Not fallacious argument.

Currently there are world records for aircraft speed, highest flying, distance, time through obstacle courses, etc. Are there attempted world 'records' for how many aircraft have gone flocking together? How many airplanes have been in the air together?

www.b2osh.org/Magazine_Articles/06%20August%20ABS%20collins.pdf

"1995 — B2Osh set a world record for a
civilian formation flight of 134 airplanes!"

Also

www1.oshkoshusa.com/Oshkosh-Stories/News/EAA-Airventure-News/RV-Formation-Flight-at-AirVenture-2007-Was-a-World-Record!
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I take it you didn't read the .pdf file from the FAI site, then.

The FAI document includes a large part of reasoning as to WHY there is a need for a working validation/judging system, and whats wrong with the one currently being pushed, which will not be present in that shape or form in the actual presentation.

If you want to present at the FAI, you need to show why they should invite you in the first place. If it had been a pink, perfume-scented document, with flowers drawn in the corners, and didn't in brutally honest way mention the points you criticize, we would have been at home next week, and I wouldn't be buying airline tickets to Swiss to be present.

Im real curious why this same uproar of yours isnt aimed at the other (by your own words) flawed system, their push for worldwide acceptance, and total lack of attention with relation to that systems shortcomings.

You keep bashing a system of which we ALSO say> WE NEED TO DEVELOP THINGS FURTHER WITH THE WHOLE COMMUNITY UNTILL WE HAVE SOMETHING THAT WORKS.

And thats the big reason we will be there. We want to show development, en (regardless of who's rules it will be in the end), have something GOOD to show to the FAI when there finaly is a community developed, tested and approved system.

Instead of a pushed, flawed system that ignores the short-coming by just not mentioning them.
JC
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Jarno, all we know is what you have written. we are not mind readers.

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Im real curious why this same uproar of yours isnt aimed at the other (by your own words) flawed system, their push for worldwide acceptance, and total lack of attention with relation to that systems shortcomings.

.

I did when it was first announced. Have you forgotten?

Right now I don't need to duplicate the effort, you and DSE are doing a fine job of that.
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Jarno, all we know is what you have written. we are not mind readers.

What is written in that PDF is for the FAI.
A more public, in depth informing of the further delopment track, ideas and invitation to comment is sceduled after the FAI presentation.

So keep the tar and feathers in the shed for a few more days if you can
JC
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Fallacious argument.

Jet fighters aren't designed for formation flying either, but millions of people like to watch the Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, Snowbirds, Red Arrows, etc. doing it and I gather there's a high demand from pilots to get on those teams.

Not fallacious argument.

Currently there are world records for aircraft speed, highest flying, distance, time through obstacle courses, etc. Are there attempted world 'records' for how many aircraft have gone flocking together? How many airplanes have been in the air together?

www.b2osh.org/Magazine_Articles/06%20August%20ABS%20collins.pdf

"1995 — B2Osh set a world record for a
civilian formation flight of 134 airplanes!"

Also

www1.oshkoshusa.com/Oshkosh-Stories/News/EAA-Airventure-News/RV-Formation-Flight-at-AirVenture-2007-Was-a-World-Record!

My point exactly! Pretty lame shit! I'm sure that took tremendous amount of skill and only the best most experienced pilots to be able to pull that off! Quite a measurement of master piloting abilities! I'm sure the clock was ticking fast and they were able to pull off the 'record' just in the nick of time.

Kind of like when I said:
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Show me record attempts of a aircraft breaking 5,000mph and I'll be damn impressed. Show me record attempts of flying a bunch of airplanes flying together in a giant grid, golf clap.... yay you did it, that was sooo hard

108 way head down world record!!!
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oh, but wait...

Wah Wah Wah...

(edited to fix a silly tag)

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planes_01 - Just took the picture into the judging ap. Seems like a good formation to me. The one plane is sadly out (according to the distance/angle specs we are using now, but the actual allowed tollerance is one to test/play with the coming time to see which vallues make the difference between good/bad formation/slot flying.
But being strict, I could see the guy moving an inch or so back to be concidered 'in slot' a bit better..
planes_01 - a detailed look at the 'flight zone' of the 'faulty' flyer. The green boxes show the area in which he should have his next flyer (left/right). The boxes behind him are the flight zones for the next row (if there was one).
Each flyer has these 4 boxes. 2 in front (indicating where he should be flying on/to) 2 behind, for the next flyer. If everyone flies the outer (or inner) extremes, it creates a rip/tear in the middle of the formation.
In the end, everyone has an exact place on a grid, thats ever so slightly move-able at the joints. But the overal integrity is always maintained.
planes_01 - wingsuit silhoutes turned on.
planes_01 - wingsuit silhoutes displaying colour/name (dirtdive, and move-able overlay for debrief)
JC
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