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Posts Tagged ‘camera’

GoPro: Realization of a Snag Hazard

When it comes to skydivers wanting to slap a small format camera (GoPro) onto their body there are two statements that I hear far too often, either of which could have resulted in this incident being an injury or fatality.

But it will just break off
I’ll just forget it’s there

Do you jump a GoPro? Have you ever said one of these lines? I invite you to pause for a moment and watch this video.

This is an excellent learning aid on many fronts. I want to highlight and reinforce what this video can teach us about two very important realities of small format cameras in skydiving. (these are not the only lessons to learn from this video, just two that I want to point out)

1) The GoPro mount did not break.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Small Format Camera Incident

It is with a sad tone I make this post. Kylie “Buffy” Tanti died in a BASE jump in Malaysia off the Alor Setar tower Sept 28th, 2010. BSBD :(

Reports are saying that it was related to a bridle entanglement on her GoPro camera mounted on her helmet that she was unable to clear in time.

World News Australia, Source: AAP (no longer valid link)

An excerpt from a first hand report posted on BaseJumper.com

her exit was a little head low. she hold her pilot tight and totally closed in her hand. she pitched after half a second. The pitch was firm, but a little low.
Her bridle entangled (about 60 cm below the pilot) her gopro, what was attached on her helmet. she tried to fight it off, but was too late. her canopy was inflating on the moment of impact.
the combination of the low height (for incidents as this), the head low, the pitch, wind and the gopro became fatal.

Please take a moment everyone to reflect on your camera flying gear and usage. There have been a lot of discussions surrounding small format cameras and how they should be treated. I hope this incident at the very least is a wake up call to anyone who is in a state of delusion that these small format cameras pose any less of a snag hazard than their bigger rivals.

How many times have you heard “…the GoPro mount will snap if snagged…”, it didn’t for Kylie.

Let’s not even get into the whole “I’ve got less than 200 jumps but I can fly a GoPro because x, y, z…” On second thought, maybe I will get into it a little. I’m not saying this had anything to do with Kylie’s incident at all, I’m just referring to the mentality in general. I don’t want to single anyone or any place out specifically, and I certainly don’t want to sound like a broken record….. BUT I see far too many people strapping on these small format cameras either before they really should, or onto non-camera helmets.

What does “before they should” mean?

Just Go Skydiving

The sun is shining, the water is receding… the 2010 skydiving season is upon us!

I was asked recently what my goals were for this skydiving season, and I honestly found myself saying “I’m not sure”. Last season was a straight line goal to get into a wingsuit, it was a goal up front and always on my mind. I found myself having to really think about this season.

I want to vastly improve my wingsuit skills obviously, but do I want to bring to the burner other objectives that I past on last season? The biggest one that comes to mind is working towards getting my coach rating. It was nearing the end of the season when I was putting serious thought into enrolling in a coach course, and if it wouldn’t have been postponed I probably would have gone through with it :) But as the time grew closer I had to make the decision to pull back from the coach course. I subscribe to the philosophy in skydiving of KISS (keep it simple stupid). In short I didn’t want to be learning a whole new dicipline (wingsuiting) at the same time I would be going through the coach course.

Darin introduced me to a simple test coach dive and it made me realize I had work to do if for no other reason that to be satisfied with my own level of coaching ability. It was a fun jump and I smiled and laughed as he demonstrated a comet-trail track as a simulated student at the end of the dive. I found the hardest part for me was recognizing and providing feedback on the student’s body position that attributed to their performance on the dive. What body part was doing what to induce an unwanted behavior?

After a few hundred jumps I don’t find myself having to think about how to get my body to do what I need it to do in freefall, if I need to side slide into position, I just do it. Having to witness a manuever of a student and analyze it wasn’t as second nature as “just do it”.  Do I think I could grow that skill enough to be an effective coach for a student? Yes, but at a cost. Mainly being that I would have to seriously split my time in the air instead of keeping that wingsuit attached to my rig 100% of the time. I was very current at the end of the season, whereas now I need time to build up my freefall skills back to what they were.