• Content

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


Article Comments posted by DSE

  1. Several have inquired about the helmet, safety, etc.
    There were actually 18 cameras on the helmet to start with, but one didn't stick so well :) The mount can be seen on the right side, empty.
    I did a similar shootout a year ago and one of the biggest problems was using the manufacturer-supplied mounts. Most of them are terrible and shake badly. So, I designed a number of aluminum tubes that I could stack and offset. I used VHB tape and Allen screws to mount this to the rear portion of my BoneHead Flat-top Pro.My FTP has one of the Terry Schumacher aluminum mount plates on it, so I can mount nearly anything on that helmet.
    The helmet has a cutaway system, plus I added a large piece of nylon to the bone closure in case I needed to eject from the opposite side. I cleaned/lubed the cutaway cable prior to the jumps to be sure the cutaway(s) would properly function.
    I tested several stacks, trying to find the optimal point for every camera so that no camera would have much, if any other camera within it's lens width.
    All cameras are mounted with VHB tape. For the JVC, Polaroid, Midland cameras, I chose to not use their mounts for reasons of safety, and absurdly unstable mount points. This made the camera layout more compact and significantly more stable, allowing me to assess the camera vs assessing its mount system (Again, most of the mountsystems are terrible. Sony and Replay have the most stable/solid mount of all, with Drift close behind. GoPro, Liquid are in the middle, and Polaroid, JVC, Garmin, and Midland all having silly bouncy mounts that severely detract from the actual camera's ability to capture good images.
    I did two test jumps without my wingsuit, without running cameras simply to see how the helmet would affect my body. John Hamilton was part of the conversation, as John jumps with a great deal of strange stuff for film work.
    On the aircraft, Kenn Walker and Roger Yyz acted as Safety Officers, backing up my gear checks and the spot while I spend 4,000' turning on cameras and making sure they were all recording and secure.
    The helmet added significant drag to normal freefall; it was impossible to keep my head down and caused minor neckstrain in freefall. On the first jump, it did cause a hard 180 on exit, easily corrected for. I was confident enough in both jumps that the wingsuit would not be adversely affected, so the next jump added a wingsuit.
    Curiously enough, the helmet flew much more smoothly with the forward drive of the wingsuit. It acted as its own 'plane' and was self-supported so there was zero stress on my neck. The biggest challenge was overcoming the wing stalling due to the lift at the top of my head.
    Deployment was the next concern, of course. The helmet is so tall that the slider is slightly into the upper cameras once down all the way. I'd considered an RDS system, or at the least a split slider, but the weather killed my time options. So, in spite of the availability of additional risk-mitigation systems, I chose to take the risk and posture my head properly for deployment. If my head was back, the slider would pin my head back, so on deployment, I grabbed the chin of the helmet with both hands, held my chin to my chest for deployment, and waited an additional second for the slider to be fully down before releasing the helmet.
    I'd elected to use my PD Storm 150 canopy; it's never opened hard, almost always on-heading, and openings are staged nicely with my semi-stowless bag. A hard opening with that much torque on my head could have been disastrous and even line-twists would likely have proved very problematic. I also took extra care in the one packjob I did, and showed my packer what I wanted for subsequent jumps.
    Landing with the unbalanced weight on my head was interesting, but manageable. I did six total jumps with this system, and I'm grateful that all planning and pre-jump processes were effective; nothing occurred that was unexpected.
    Curiously enough, riding a motorcycle at 65mph was more difficult than skydiving with this rig on my head (I also received a ticket in Arizona for riding with a non-DOT helmet, that was later dismissed by the judge when he saw what I was up to and that I had a regular DOT helmet with me).
    Hopefully this answers most of the questions about the planning and execution of these jumps.

  2. Contour was not included, as they closed their doors over a year ago. An investor/former Contour partner bought the remaining stock, but they've done nothing with product in quite a while. Hopefully that'll change. Now that they're located in Provo, Utah, they're in the heart of techology, but they've only come back into business as of April 1, 2014.
    Looking forward to a Contour product in the next shootout!
    Meanwhile, check out the Contour "clone" that steps it up a bit. Midland's camera is identical to Contour with newer imagers and lenses. They also are a sidemount, one-button operation just like Contour (minus the laser).
    Airpork, some of the manufacturers provided loaner cameras, some of the cameras were purchased off the shelf. The greatest support came from DZ.com. A couple manufacturers didn't want to play at all, but we purchased cameras so that they'd be included.
    I was quite surprised at how the tests played out to a blind panel, and really happy with the concept of doing "blind scoring" this time around. At the end of the day, every camera tested offers some benefits and none of them are what I'd consider "unusable." Any one of them are a fine choice, but some do fit specific applications better than others.
    I hope everyone finds the article useful!

  3. Since the time of this article, several applications for mobile devices (phones/tablets) have been developed for Android and IOS platforms, and most DZs seem to accept digital logbooks.
    the Paralog system allows for user to actually sign the e-logbook with their finger or stylus device.

  4. With wingsuiting, it's a tad different; there is no standardized method of evaluating. There is no authority with any background saying "you met XXXX criteria, you're good to go." Wingsuit schools are popping up all over. In many cases, their operators do not hold at the least, a Coach rating (let alone any other instructional ratings). Many of the new schools are wingsuiters with less than 100 WS jumps on the same suit themselves, and have no background in instruction let alone flying skills.
    Hence, the poor flying you see in these videos.
    Just because someone has created a "school" does not mean they are capable of instruction. In every one of these videos, the instructor on the left is an operator of a "big name school" on a "big name dropzone" and have listed themselves as "expert instructors."

  5. Pat, your point is addressed in the first paragraph of the article.
    You commented "While a coach absolutely needs to stay in SIGHT of their student, and close enough to provide in-air feedback, if you are chasing a student, and they are working less than you are, then you are (in my opinion) no longer coaching so much as instructing. " and I absolutely agree. However, I'm not understanding how they're "instructing" if the coach is unable to stay within proximity. Instructor or coach, would you agree the student has a right to expect able-bodied flight from their instructor coach? As a student, I also expect my coach/instructor to train me well on the ground so that the jump itself is merely a confirmation of what I was taught on the ground (regardless of discipline).

  6. RiggerRob, don't expect USPA to address "angle dives" at all. Despite full-time, working in the sport pros like Brian Burke advocating for standardized training, USPA was scared off by a small but very vocal threat. "Doing the right thing" frequently is not on their agenda.
    Brian's article is spot-on, and addresses what many larger DZ's have already implemented regarding horizontal flight group control.
    We had two fatalities this past year, entirely related to poor planning and implementation of horizontal flight groups. Let's hope it ends via greater awareness and practices.

  7. "Instructors who look as if they just got out of bed, ripped or dirty jumpsuits, staff arriving late, foul language within earshot of students, sexual innuendo or inappropriate jokes about death, the list goes on. We've witnessed it, yet we're not surprised by it. The expression "It's skydiving" is the blanket phrase that's thrown over this behavior. Let it be made clear, It's NOT skydiving, it's a mentality."
    Worth repeating. Too bad more DZM's don't 'get' this. Some DZ's accept the poor behavior fun jumpers demonstrate to tandems and AFF students, yet wonder why they aren't seeing the turnover from first time jumpers to regular fun jumpers isn't occurring.
    Provide a class staff, a class experience, and be surprised at how much better business becomes based on word of mouth, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter reviews.

  8. @simonfly; you've missed the entire point of the article. Closing loops and cameras aren't TSO'd. They have no impact on the liability to the dz, the pilot. The "I've never had a problem crowd" are very quick to blame others and seem to think it'll never happen to them. Until it does. At least ten times. Very happy that Tonysuits is building a legal mod. Everyone wins.

  9. Really enjoying this app. It has VFS, and it's easy to read. Navigation took a few minutes to figure out, but once I understood how/why you did the nav this way, it's very fast.
    It's a great tool on an Android tablet as well. Clean graphics, easy to read.

  10. Bluhdow,
    The streams can be split easily in post.
    Seeing this camera as a "competitor" to having two of any other camera is a mistake. Two of any other camera will set one back at least 500.00, and the streams have to be synced in post. Two of any other camera will be a significantly greater snag point compared to this small camera.
    This is a stand-alone camera with no competitors. It's not perfect for any situation; it was mentioned two cameras in one housing offer compromises. However, it's a terrific creative tool, is at a very reasonable price point, and is yet another option for people needing unique views.

  11. I'm confused by your comment about playback from the Sony in "real time." It *only* plays back real time. If you mean you'd like the p120 to play back at 30p, this needs to be done in post. Any post tool can speed it up by x2 or x4, but the flags are correctly set in the Sony camera to playback as what we call "overcrank" in the production world. Some of the other cameras play p60 as p30, but this is not considered "correct."

  12. There is also no audio in the p60mode either. However, there are many mounts available that the reviewer on youtube either conveniently or ignorantly missed. While no other company offers the number of mount options that GP has, that's in great part because no other company needs them. Most everyone else uses a 1/4 thread, and to ignore the literally thousands of mounts using these threads is simply silly.
    There was no sponsorship, payment, incentive involved in this straightforward shootout. No camera tweaks (available to nearly all the cameras) were employed, and only "what's in the box" is a part of the effort to keep things as objective as possible. Sony, Drift, Contour, JVC all use the 1/4 thread. If mount availability for non-threaded mounts is a serious consideration, RePlay has far more mount options than any two manufacturers combined, both in low-cost plastic and high-grade billet aluminum. And can survive a drop from ridiculous heights. But...it isn't the best image of the four main competitors.