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    Flik 265 / Mojo 260 / Ace 260

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    Spaceland Houston
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    BASE Jumping
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    Wing Suit Flying
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  1. I read the proposal withdrawal. It saddens me to see that the constructive arguments I have seen before have now given way to hurtful statments. GR Talk is cheap.
  2. I have seen overregulation taking over many activities (scuba diving, general aviation). Each time regulation is promoted by people who hope to grandfather themselves in as instructor, to make more money by forcing mandatory training to everybody else. The argument are always the same: safety, safety, people will die without the mandatory training. Eventually the training tax is imposed on everybody. As it increases the cost and hassle it decreases the number of participants and kills the sport. But the percentage of accident is unchanged (because the activity is inherently risky and saying all risk is related to improper training is a lie). People start older as they need more money. After running the cost of formation so high, instructors eventually run out of students, and have to promote even more regulation to maintain their income. The number of participants decreases each year and the sport dies. Even instructors and manufacturers eventually cannot live on it. Then they turn back and speak of the good old time, before the sport was “mature” (ie, dead). This is were we are at with general aviation today. Let’s avoid this fate for skydiving. Guillaume Talk is cheap.
  3. I hardly ever post, but in the light of what is brewing now I make an exception. For the record I have over 1000 WS jumps, 10 years in the sport, in both Europe and the US. The USPA agenda is frightening. Each time regulators put one foot in the door, for the good and safety a the sport they genuinely want to make safer, they end up over regulating and eventually destroying the sport. This is how general aviation was shrunk in the US (with less and less pilots each year), and this is what happened in Europe with skydiving in general and WS in particular. Let me elaborate. But first, lets back track 2 months ago: the Wing Suit tandem buzzing topic in the US Parachutist magazine did not happen in a vacuum. It was the first of a coordinate set of attacks against WS freedom. It aimed at frightening the skydiving public and prepare minds for tough regulation againt WS punks. We now see this regulation coming in the USAP safety agenda. For those who do not read the magazine, it was a group of experts and readers, sometime buzzing offender themselves, implying that DZO, wingsuiters and tandem master were not able to self regulate, and freedom killing regulation needed to be enacted to avoid an accident of WS buzzing tandems. The new USPA coach rating proposal then becomes a very natural thing to do, but make no mistakes, it means just one thing: more regulation, less freedom. The French already made the mistake of following this approach and of let the wolf in. A bunch of rules was enacted. So called experts made tons of money training the WS coaches and wannabe wingsuiters, then passed more regulation to force WingSuiters to use the sucky gear the regulator himself was manufacturing (in an obscene conflict of interest) and that nobody would have used otherwise. More regulation then flourished to make the regulator's competitors illegal, all in the good name of better safety. Example: leg pouch is forbidden there for enhanced safety, with the (unintended!) consequence of impeding a competitor's penetration of the French market. Bottom line: all those rules resulted in an almost total annihilation of the sport there. The safety gain is negative, because people then go base jumping with gear they did not try from a plane before, and kill themselves in avoidable accidents. The US approach of relying on self regulation, trusting DZOs and the responsible people of the community works well. The attempt to change this is an insult to us all. Please do not make the US look French. For those have a problem with true facts in general and this post in particular, my name is Guillaume Richard, I live and jump in Texas. Blue sky. Talk is cheap.
  4. Yes. I personally used an "old" Garmin Foretrex 201. Talk is cheap.
  5. Well, the 2 softwares do different things: -Time Machine X allows you to connect to your GPS (which gps2srt does not do), edit your data, and eventually save it in a complete choice of different formats, including GPX. -GPX2SRT start from a GPX file (coming from Time Machine X or other), calculate WS relevant information, and save to the video subtitle (SRT) format, to be used subsequently with the video of the jump. The .csv output for MS Excel is a sub-products of GPS2SRT. It also contains the velocity and glide ratio information which original data or the GPX format do not have. The idea behind gpx2srt is not to do what commercial software already do better (ie download from your GPS), but provide a specific tool for Wingsuiters jumping with a video and wanting to overlay their GPS flight information on the video. I agree this is a very specific niche, but I am not aware of any other software doing it, and I hope people find it useful. Gee Talk is cheap.
  6. Hi Flying a GPS on a Wing Suit is now kind of main stream, but dealing efficiently with the recorded track data can be tricky. I though it would be good for us to have a program that could run independently on a laptop (under Windows or Mac Os X) and that would deal with GPX data, with the following features: -import gpx tracks of any format -calculate the horizontal and vertical speed -calculate glide ratio, bearing, etc... -export to Microsoft Excel -export to .srt to overlay the flight information on a video -everything accessible through a graphical interface Costyn had already written most of the functions in Perl. I added the user interface and cross-compiled to Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS X universal Binary, and Linux. The source code is also available for the geeks. The program can be downloaded here on Source Forge . Costyn posted a related link here . Some additional resources, including the source and examples are here . (BTW I do live in America) I hope to see some of those in future videos. Cheers Gee Talk is cheap.
  7. Hey Yeah the weather was sucky Sunday, but Tyler and Tom knew better and managed to adapt (see pic attached) BTW, thanks everybody that was great time! It was really cool to meet you all again, and have great flocking. Thanks! Gee Talk is cheap.
  8. Hi I use a Sony HC3, mounted on top of a Bonehead optik. I have about 60 bases on it (SU and SD) and around 200 skydives. I use no box, the setting is heavy and expensive enough without a box. I have had no skips on base so far, even when using the low grade (cheapest) DV tapes. Using the 2 lens wide angle (like the Liquid or the Red-eye) gave me very poor results (smearing on the edge, chromatic aberrations), I use a more heavy (300g) HD specific wide angle (x0.3 Raynox, sometimes x0.5 Raynox). I think the colors are excellent. I really like the features that enables to get good quality stills out of the HD footage. My two cents: I think this camera is great for base, and HD is the way to go. Cheers Gee PS: Attached is a pic of "Double D" on his favorite object that I pulled out of the DV frames from a HC3 record, and then reduced to fit on the net. Talk is cheap.
  9. I'll be there. I am definitively not the kind of dude who would trade WS Big Ways in Spaceland (particularly if organized by Voodoo) for base Peace Guillaume Talk is cheap.
  10. Good stuff, cool people, great time. Big ways were much safer than what I expected. Was impressed by the quality of the flying. Gee Talk is cheap.
  11. Hi As many people, we have been using GPS on base (both for WS and regular track) for a while on the crew. As GPS data manipulation is kind of tricky, I wrote some small scripts in perl, to recalibrate GPS tracks and make 3d models of antennas, to be displayed in a 3 d viewer like Google Earth. Maybe the attached pics explain better. The idea is to view the actual trajectories in 3d with a representation of the tower and wire guys. As the scripts work smooth, I give them here in the hope in may be useful to someone. Peace Gee PS1: for the attached pics, the track data is real, but as the purpose of this post is NOT to burn an object, the whole data is shifted (and rotated) far away from the original location in another country, to make it impossible to recognize the original object. PS2: I use a Garmin Foretrex 201 (without pressure sensor), usually helmet mounted (sometimes on the wrist), and enable WAAS correction. The quality of the GPS fix, prior exit, proved very important (at least 10mn). I download the data on the computer using GPS utility, and save it in GPX format, since this format is easy to edit manually, and can be directly imported in the free version of Google Earth 4 (you just need to change the altitude as absolute, to avoid having the data clamped to the ground). Talk is cheap.
  12. Hi I'll be road-tripping in New Mexico and Colorado between Xmas and New Year’s Eve. If someone wants to jump or just grab a beer, feel free to PM me. Thanks, have fun! Gee Talk is cheap.