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Posts posted by Taz

  1. The rules at the USPA Board Meeting were not changed. All wingsuit formation rules remain the same. I was at the meeting. For any further questions or confirmation, please contact Scott Smith, the chair of the Competition Committee.
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  2. Hi all,
    The following was posted on the sticky/locked thread for the IPC Working Group, and on the IPC discussion forum. I thought I'd re-post it here for discussion and questions. Please share your well thought out proposals and comments on the IPC site (link below) for the voting members of the Working Group to consider. Thanks, -Taya

    Objective 2 of the FAI IPC Terms of Reference for the Wingsuit Working Group is:

    b) To investigate ways to define and judge no-contact wingsuit large formation records.

    The Working Group would like input from the Wingsuit Community as to what they think the basic parameters for large no contact big formations are?

    The Wingsuit Working Group came up with the following parameters as a starting point:

    1. Two dimensional
    Formation designs will be two-dimensional for this record category. How can/should we limit vertical deviation, and should we require evidence of flatness for judging (i.e. a side camera angle)?

    2. Slot Definition
    A slot is a target in the air for each flyer in the formation (some examples: a single point on the head, a shape such as a circle, box, or any other shape around the entire body). How should the rules define slot?

    3. Margin of Error
    Margin of error is a standard for how far a flyer is allowed to deviate from his/her slot (however defined) to still be considered “in” the formation. How should the rules define Margin of Error?

    4. Flight Angle
    Based on the slot position, Flight Angle is the angle at which the flyer is located relative to the next flyer. To which degree, if at all, will we limit the relative angles at which slots within a formation can be flown?

    5. Short Range and Long Range Order
    Depending on the method used, flyers can be judged on their relative position on an individual basis (short range order), or the formation can be judged as a whole by its shape and form (long range order), or both. How should the rules address this?

    6. Glide Ratio/Flight Performance
    Should there be a minimum required glide ratio or overall flight performance of the formation?
    How would that be measured?

    Let the discussions begin!!!!!

    To comment, please go to the following link and engage in discussion on the IPC forum, which is moderated and monitored by the voting members of the IPC Wingsuit Working Group:

    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  3. Quote

    3 weeks to go. Any more info yet?

    There was a change of plans: Summerfest wingsuit organizers are Jeff Nebelkopf and Justin Shorb. I won't be there this year, but hope you guys have a great time!
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  4. The press release is here.

    The June issue of Parachutist will have a full feature article on the weekend and some very sweet photos. I will post the pdf of the article to the Raise the Sky site once I get it from USPA (it goes to print this week).

    Skydive TV is doing a segment with some of our video footage, and Phil got to show off his rough cut edited to Angels and Airwaves' "Soul Survivor" to the band yesterday backstage at their concert. They are now Phil Peggs fans, and the final short video will be on our website in the next few days.

    Thanks, -T
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  5. More updates on the Raise the Sky blog are up now with a few photos. Tagle and Nebelkopf wrote their own entries. It was an amazing weekend, and we are grateful to Skydive Moab, Sunpath and TonySuits, and our Raise the Sky charity partner, Operation Freefall.

    Everyone is safe and happy, and we're looking forward to a next round of Project XRW! In the meantime, look for photos in an upcoming Parachutist magazine, and once they're published we'll put more online.

    One of us will post here when there is some video online very soon. :)

    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  6. I'm also talking to Erin about organizing there, so looks I'll be there too! Yippee.

    Edited to add: I think the POPS record is a great idea! Happy to help in any way I can, Kallend. :)

    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  7. They are massively kicking ass again today. They've really dialed in the wingsuit surfing, and they did a jump into Mineral Bottom for very pretty photos. We will post to the Raise the Sky blog again tonight, but we're definitely also hoping a few of the stills will make it into print! B|

    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  8. Quote

    two highly loaded canopies doing crew while "surfing" on some wingsuiters.

    That would be awesome !

    Today's footage will be on the Raise the Sky blog tonight, once they're done jumping and back at the house with internet access. Today was a warm-up day, Day 1 of a weekend that we hope to turn into a longer running project.
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  9. Jonathan Tagle, Jeff Nebelkopf, and Phil Peggs (video) have started jumping today for Project XRW. Tagle and Nebelkopf have been docking this morning, and are starting to dial in their relative speeds. This just in: "Tagle surfed my back for about 20 seconds" -Jeff. B|

    Updates, etc. will be posted on the Raise the Sky blog throughout the weekend and next week.

    Project Brief:

    Project Extreme RW (XRW), hosted by Raise the Sky, Operation Freefall, and Skydive Moab, will explore the possibilities of how skydiving’s two fastest growing disciplines can interact in the air. A wingsuit flyer in freefall and a high-performance canopy pilot will come together for every type of interaction made possible by gravity and the skill of the athletes. Performance Designs Canopy Pilot Jonathan Tagle and Tonysuit Wingsuit Pilot Jeff Nebelkopf will work on body surfing, upside-down links, and other never-before-seen configurations.

    The XRW launch will take place on the weekend of April 24th at Skydive Moab and will raise awareness of the incredible work of Operation Freefall. Practice jumps at the dropzone will be followed by exclusive footage shot against the backdrop of a red rock canyon. Miss Nevada will do a tandem jump Saturday, April 24th as part of the Operation Freefall event.

    Sponsors include Sunpath, Skydive Moab, TonySuits, and Raise the Sky.
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  10. Quote

    there is no deed to define what is wingsuit or not. What should be defined is the flight angle of the flying formation. Wingsuit formation should fly properly. Falling in a group is not flying. There is another discipline for that.


    Indeed, all other skydiving disciplines define themselves by what the jumpers DO rather than by what they wear.

    Vertical Relative Work (VRW) and head-down formation records are defined by flight angle, but skydivers do not require an additional piece of equipment to fly in a head-down orientation. Same for belly-to-earth formations. What we do (and our flight angle) requires equipment.

    Even putting aside the complexities of taking reliable, comparable measurements of glide angle for any given flight, the definition of a wingsuit seems critical to the future of competition and individual performance records. Artistic comps, some potential future version of 4-way Horizontal RW, and even individual distance records, etc. can be more simply differentiated by the equipment we use.

    CRW is defined by the use of equipment, and there are frequent comparisons (some more convincing than others).
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  11. September 5th-11th at Prostejov, Czech Republic:

    The PROSTEJOV BIGWAY PROJECT will have Wingsuit and FS Bigway camps going on side by side for learning and fun. This will be a camp geared to intermediate and advanced wingsuit flyers.

    Organizers are Mark Harris and me (Taya) on the wingsuit side. Joining us are awesome and very experienced plane captains and coaches: Rolf Brombach, Jari Kuosma, Duncan Wright, and Phil Peggs. We are working closely with World Team FS organizers Kate Cooper-Jensen, Lesley Gale, and Herman Landsman to take advantage of the big-way knowledge they have that crosses over into our discipline. Seminars and knowledge sharing will go on all week as we jump.

    Each plane will have a dedicated videographer, plane captain, AND coach - plenty of individual attention to each person's skills.

    One helicopter Mi-8 and minimum 2 Turbolets L-410

    The Prostejov dropzone website is still a little bit in progress, but here is the link with available info, and registration will all be online:

    Prostejov Bigway Project

    The website will be updated in the coming few weeks, so if there's anything missing now hopefully it will be filled in soon!

    Thanks, -T
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  12. Quote

    A piece of equipment that spans material between a skydiver's arms, torso, and legs, designed for the ability to sustain forward movement through the air using only gravity as propulsion. The skydiver's body forms the majority of the frame for the wings of the suit.

    This makes sense to me. I'm guessing that wingsuit manufacturers will agree with the "intent" mod. The working definition I posted earlier (that this is based on) had input from S-Fly, TonySuits, Birdman, and Phoenix Fly (did I miss anyone?). It wasn't written by any one person, but rather as a collaboration between manufacturers. For what it's worth, I think the IPC should keep the definition to what manufacturers are happy with since they make our toys.

    The definition of a wingsuit is a discreet thing, and a starting point. Performance can be determined as part of record or competition rules.
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  13. You're absolutely right that salient points here should get discussed and then posted to the IPC side. Anyone can do this. Anyone can sign up for the IPC forum. It's for everyone. It's just not meant to duplicate what dropzone.com does - i.e., what we are doing right now :)
    Jarno and I are trying to find out whether we can get a confirmed schedule for when moderation will happen (hopefully with a fairly quick or a least regular turnaround) on the IPC site. There's a pretty big difference between moderation and censorship. No one is censoring anything on the IPC site.

    Back to our on-topic discussion!

    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  14. Quote

    I like this in theory, basically saying if you and your friends can fly your RW/Tracking suits at 2:1, then you can get a WS record. But the problem I see is measuring glide is too hard.

    There's been some discussion about what happens if you get Loic flying in a wingsuit formation wearing nothing but shorts and keeping up with people flying X-Birds. :D Is it still a wingsuit record?

    Just as an added point, there will later be the opportunity to talk about parameters of what makes a no-contact wingsuit formation record. One of the parameters we can discuss is a minimum glide ratio. I don't know if I favor this, since as you pointed out, measurement is tough, but just for reference, we can talk about it even after a wingsuit has been defined.
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  15. Thanks for posting this. Although the IPC forum may be a bit clunky, it is inaccurate to say that the IPC discussion group is "dominated by two people". Anyone can sign up and post. Yes, the posts are moderated, but that is because the IPC forum is not meant to duplicate the function of dropzone.com; it is meant to provide a public place where more "finished" ideas/proposals can be posted for everyone to see. Please have patience with the three working group members who are tasked with moderating there. Here is the link to the wingsuit definition thread on the IPC forum.

    The current working definition is:


    A piece of equipment that spans material between a skydiver's arms and torso, and between their legs, creating the possibility for sustained forward movement through the air using only gravity as propulsion. The skydiver's body forms the majority of the frame for the wings of the suit.

    This is a hybrid of language from S-Fly, TonySuits, Birdman, James Boole's 2008 presentation to the IPC, myself, and Jarno.

    All of the wingsuit manufacturers have been united in wanting a minimal definition that allows for flexibility in future design.

    The use of "material" is less specific than "fabric" because we don't want to exclude suits with stiffeners using foam, mylar, etc. The word "majority" of the frame allows for the rigid gripper extensions that many suits now have.

    The reason for defining a wingsuit is, essentially, to define our discipline. A wingsuit record of any kind (time, distance, linked formations, unlinked formations) as well as competition formats (artistic, etc.) requires that we know what a wingsuit is.
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  16. Dropzone.com is better suited technically than the IPC forum for discussion, throwing around ideas, etc. That volume of posting is probably too much for working group folks to read and sort through.

    The IPC forum is moderated so that new posts are seen and approved by at least one of the voting members of the Working Group (so if you post, it doesn't appear immediately).

    But I gather that the hope is for dropzone.com/real dropzone/offline discussion/thinking/jumping to lead to well-thought-out posts and proposals on the IPC forum, which is public so everyone can see what the Working Group sees.

    As far as changing the order of comments as they appear, and making the RSS more useful - good points! I will ask and see if we can change the settings, but I'm not sure.

    Thanks, -T
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  17. Quote

    something that gets a lot more than 2 wingsuiters and 3 non-wingsuiters involved in a defining a few standards...
    You feel free to continue to do your thing, but, please, also let everyone else do theirs.

    This is a misunderstanding about the nature, structure, and goals of the International Parachuting Commission and its Wingsuit Working Group.

    For clarity:

    The IPC Working Group is open and relevant for everyone. The only thing required to participate is effort and time. Here, again, is the link to that forum.

    Many good people at the IPC and other National associations are working hard to create opportunities for wingsuiting this year. Many of them have some wingsuit jumps and want to do more. Some don't, but that doesn't make their long experience in the sport irrelevant.

    I certainly don't own any of these opportunities or processes, so it's not accurate to refer to them as being "mine" vs. anyone else's. For example, although we don't always agree, Jarno and I are both working hard on the IPC group goals. I admire him hugely for his contributions. Same goes for all the manufacturers who have taken their time to construct a working definition of a wingsuit, which has turned out to be a more interesting exercise than any of us probably imagined.

    WS definition is still in progress, by the way, so please check out the thread in the IPC forum if you want to weigh in.

    So to recap: It's OURS. Whatever else you have going on this year - whatever else - please also support and contribute to the IPC efforts, as the opportunity, and its outcomes, belong to all of us.

    Thanks, -Taya
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  18. This is a friendly neighborhood post to remind everyone that we have an extraordinary opportunity for "a place of our own" this year with the Wingsuit Working Group at the IPC (International Parachuting Commission).

    The Working Group was set up specifically to help the IPC define a wingsuit and recognize wingsuit no-contact formation records this year, 2010. The group's successful presentation to the IPC for voting in January 2011 can be a gateway to more competition and record formats in the coming years.

    How can you participate?

    By posting your ideas and proposals to the IPC wingsuit forum as the threads there are updated throughout the year. By contacting me and Jarno (we are advisors to the group) with your questions and ideas. By contacting the three voting members directly, if you prefer. Contact info for all is here.

    It only takes a minute to sign up. The forum is moderated.

    Everyone is encouraged to participate and share ideas. The Flock n Dock video Part 2 (password: wingsuit) has my off the cuff talk about this, about 50 seconds in.

    Why is it only focused on no-contact wingsuit records this year (and not a broader set of topics)? One reason is simply that every group needs focus in order to achieve goals in a set period of time. The definition of a wingsuit is finally coming together after 2 and a half months, with the help of manufacturers and designers.

    Everyone involved in the IPC Working Group hopes that it will lead to much, much more. I hope that this community will embrace the opportunity to participate and have multiple voices heard at the IPC level. It's an honor to be given this opportunity, the same honor and process that every other discipline goes through as it evolves. There is great care being taken by the Group's chairperson (Jacqui Bruwer from South Africa) to ensure openness and fairness in the process.

    Whatever else is taking place simultaneously, the IPC Working Group and its success this year should be something we all care about and contribute to. We have some of the most experienced and dedicated people in skydiving working hard to help wingsuiting take the next steps - Ronald Overdijk, Jacqui Bruwer, and Larry Bagley. Let's help them by participating and showing our support.

    Again, the IPC forum and contact details for the three Working Group members and two advisers is here: http://www.fai.org/parachuting/node/1680

    Anyone who wants more information about this, the process, etc., please consider my door open.

    Thanks, -T
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  19. I'll be there too, and it's going to be a fun event! Eli, Phil and I will be hanging out at the Raise the Sky booth in the Expo hall. You can also find me in the sky, and giving a seminar on wingsuit records. :)

    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  20. Quote

    UNFORTUNATELY the revised rules still require all record-eligible formations to be designed to fit a square lattice (those diamonds are, of course, square). This is a quite unnecessary restriction on formation design.

    This is part of a bigger question that I'm wrestling with: What elements of an unlinked formation need to be held constant so that we can compare different formations under the same record category? One reason for the "lattice restriction" is that it holds the tolerance/margin of error constant on a percentage basis for all formations. If we "squish" the grid, it reduces the margin of error in allowable flying area, thus changing one of the parameters.
    It's the Year of the Dragon.

  21. Good questions.

    I put a little bit of the rationale behind the two rule changes in my presentation to the USPA Comp Committee, which is still online here.

    There were two substantive and clear criticisms of the judging system the way we were using it.

    1. The margin of error is too high
    2. The grid has unlimited scalability

    For #1, this was a simple change of putting into the rulebook what we had tried to practice during our 6 months of implementation; having every flier 100% within their assigned flying space (grid square). The previous rule allowed a flier to have only a part of their body inside the space, which led to a very messy "worst case scenario".

    For #2, we needed to find a way to put a constraint on the ratio of the flier to the grid square. This problem is mostly found in small formations; i.e. you could have a 4-way where the people were tiny dots in relatively huge grid squares.

    Height is being used because it is easily measurable (vs. area). Height is defined as "from head to foot". The percentage is of a corner-to-corner measurement of the allowable flying space (the grid is composed of overlapping squares, each of which comprises an allowable flying space).

    My original proposal was to use 25% as a constraint, which fit the largest record formation (68-way) and was originally suggested by a wingsuit jumper in Georgia. The 27% arose in a negotiation/conversation between Zach Schroedel (Buried), Andreea Olea (SuperGirl), Phil Peggs (Peggs82), and me at the USPA meeting. It tightens up the worst case scenario even more. It is still based on formations we have accomplished in the last year, but also encourages us to get even better.

    We use the base for scaling because the base sets the correct altitude for the formation. So far, no judging system can account for vertical movement within a formation. A person other than the base could, technically, be high or low on the formation, skewing the perspective of their height from the camera's point of view.

    Does this mean that it would be beneficial to get a relatively tall person as base vs. a relatively short person? Sure. It's not a perfect system. But hopefully we will keep getting inspired to develop better ways of doing things.

    Blue Skies, -T
    It's the Year of the Dragon.