Wingsuit Formations: Progress & Evolution

USPA Board Meeting February 2010, Phoenix, Arizona Presented by Taya Weiss

Wingsuit Formation Records

PART I: PROGRESS
In July 2009, the USPA began recognizing a new record category: WINGSUIT, LARGEST FORMATION

REVIEW: Technical Definitions

Current Wingsuit Formation Records
1. All record participants wear a wingsuit. 2. A pre-declared, 2-dimensional, un-gripped formation is presented to the judges. 3. The pre-declared dive plan is performed. 4. A standard grid is overlaid on a still photograph. When all participants are flying within their slot according to the rules, judges declare the record a success.

Wingsuit Judging Tool

•The grid is a digital file. It is easy to superimpose over photographs using free photo editing software on both Mac and PC. •The grid is scalable to judge any size and shape of a 2-dimensional formation. •Angles are defined at 90 degrees to allow formations to be compared. •Overlapping lines allow for additional margins of movement for each wingsuit flyer. The lines overlap by 13.5 percent, creating approximately 33 percent more flying area for each participant than a single-line grid. This approximates the movement inherent in all large formations.

USPA took this step forward in order to:
Establish a basis on which wingsuit skydivers can train for and achieve measurable, common goals Begin a process of interaction with USPA as the discipline progresses Create the possibility for record events that bring sponsorship and outside media coverage to the sport of skydiving

Motivation

Wingsuit Record Progress

Within 5 months of USPA recognition:

2 National Records
25-way & 68-way
4 State Records Illinois (25-way) Michigan (4-way) Delaware (5-way) Massachusetts (25-way)

Wingsuit Record Progress

•South Africa and Australia have adopted the same standards for Wingsuit Formation Records

•Wingsuit Formation Records have attracted major sponsorship, including Starbucks Coffee •79 people have received recognition for achieving a USPA State or National Record

The First US National Wingsuit Record July 2009

Wingsuit Judging Tool

The First US National Wingsuit Record July 2009

Wingsuit Judging Tool

Standing US National Record: November 11th 2009

US National Record - 68

US National Record - 68

TV Media Coverage

Print Media Coverage

PART II: EVOLUTION

• What’s Next?
EVOLUTION

• How can we improve upon the rules? • What role can USPA play in moderating new ideas?

What’s Next?
1. We ask that the current system be kept in place, with improvements outlined below.

EVOLUTION

2. We support and encourage the development of new systems for testing. 3. We want open, moderated dialogue with all interested parties. 4. We support and encourage the future recognition of further record categories, such as docked formations; 3-dimensional formations; and individual time and distance. 5. We believe the USPA must play the role of a neutral, objective arbiter of ideas.

5 Characteristics of a Record:

Tools for Evolution

1. Objectively judged: Binary response for performance success (yes or no) 2. Comparable: Records of different sizes can be compared with the same set of rules 3. Repeatable: Same conclusion would be reached by multiple judges 4. Challenging but achievable: Rules reflect some aspect of currently provable performance while encouraging scalable growth to break records 5. Safety Conscious: Rules promote safety with increasing size/performance

Do Formation Records Stand Up?
1. Objectively judged: Binary response for

Tools for Evolution

performance success (yes or no) 2. Comparable: Records of different sizes can be compared with the same set of rules 3. Repeatable: Same conclusion would be reached by multiple judges 4. Challenging but achievable: Rules reflect some aspect of currently provable performance while encouraging scalable growth to break records 5. Safety Conscious: Rules promote safety with increasing size/performance

What defines a judging tool?

4 Properties of a Good Judging Tool:
1. Simplicity of concept: Easy to explain concept for both skydivers and nonskydivers/media 2. Ease of use: Minimal training required, compatible with all commonly used equipment 3. Efficiency: Fast judging process/outcome 4. Adaptability: Capable of evolving easily as rules require

How Does the Grid Score? (1-10)

The Standard Grid

1. Simplicity of concept: Easy to explain concept for both skydivers and nonskydivers/media 10 2. Ease of use: Minimal training required, compatible with all commonly used equipment 8 3. Efficiency: Fast judging process/outcome 8 4. Adaptability: Capable of evolving easily as rules require 9

Improving the Grid: 2 Easy Rule Changes

Tools for Evolution

There are several areas of improvement for the way the rules are applied to the grid currently: 1. The margin of error is too high 2. The grid has unlimited scalability

RULE CHANGE 1: Margin of Error

Proposed Rule Changes

Current rule: 12-3.2.E.e To be judged successfully within their grid space, some part of the wingsuit flyer must be visible inside a line delineating their space New Proposed Rule: To be judged successfully within their grid space, no part of the flyer must be visible outside the line delineating their space

RULE CHANGE 1: Margin of Error

Proposed Rule Changes

Currently Accepted

Ideal Placement

Accepted With New Rule

Not Accepted With New Rule

RULE CHANGE 2: Scalability

Proposed Rule Changes

Current Rule: There is no constraint on the ratio of the wingsuit flyer to the grid square. New Proposed Rule: The height of the base flyer, measured from head to feet, must exceed 25 percent of the height of the designated flying space (as indicated on the standard grid).

Standard Grid with 25% Marks

Proposed Rule Changes

Standard Grid with 25% Marks

Proposed Rule Changes

Base at Minimum Accepted Scale

Base at Maximum Accepted Scale

Scale NOT Accepted

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