Rubik goes terminal

By George Creecy
on September 16, 2015

You’re kidding me? Chris Walker has conjured up another thing to do whilst in freefall. A few days ago, Chris completed Rubik’s cube in under 60 seconds whilst freefalling at 120 mph …so, what am I missing here? What’s the point of all this? Well first, I think it’s a ‘hey look at me Mum, aren’t I cool / clever / talented / fearless – insert your own word and you get the picture. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking it. In fact I’m jealous. The fastest I ever got to do a Rubik’s cube was a painfully slow three and a half minutes, which means I would have had to accompany Felix Baumgartner to 128,000 feet… and then there’s the added complication of cold hands and clumsy gloves, not to mention the visor fogging issues.

Well, Chris’ feat has to go down with all the other loony things we try to combine with skydiving. The list just keeps growing: unchaining yourself from a coffin; snapping planks of wood with karate chops; and now, solving Rubik’s cube. I think we’ve all been guilty of one or two of them sometime in our aerial careers. I know I have, and I’ve also filmed a good number of them for friends – anything from wearing snow skis to carrying favourite Teddies. (Full disclosure: when I was wearing the red Power Ranger suit I was actually getting paid at the time for movie work!)

OK then, let’s get really creative. How about consuming a Maccas burger, fries and Coke in 60 seconds (at terminal of course); updating our Facebook page; juggling; frying an egg on a portable camping stove. Anyone for a quick set of yoga poses, lining up a date on Tinder or just a plain old Cosplay costume … It’s all just taking our everyday life on the ground and putting into a wildly different context. And I thought we went up there to escape the mundane, ground-bound world. I wonder whether we learn anything from it or is it just a bit of mindless entertainment. Well it’s certainly newsworthy and makes for a great piece of skydiving publicity for the day. I’m all for that, and as they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity…

So what is the point? I guess there is none. Pushing boundaries and stretching limits are all part of the sport, but are we really thinking far enough outside the cube?

Web site technical issues

By George Creecy
on May 25, 2014

HI everyone,

The new issue of Australian Skydiver Magazine has just come out with our ad. But, we're embarrassed to say that our website is not running properly. We have a few shirts up and you can still order t-shirts through the secure PayPal payment system, but our mobile site is not functioning well.

We are working quickly to fix everything and hope to have all our products and correct pages up in a few days.

Thanks for you patience...

Miley goes skydiving?

By George Creecy
on February 18, 2014

Media rules. OK? There's two types of publicity that results in our sport getting splashed around the media.

1. The first is when Miley Cyrus (insert any celebrity name here) goes skydiving. We trip over each other to be part of this circus, revelling in the fact that we are now mainstream because someone famous became part of it (if only for a day).

2. The second type is when something goes badly wrong. You know, the pear shaped skydive: pulled the wrong handle (or didn’t pull at all); hooked it too low; flew into the crowd at a high profile demo and hit the woman with the pram; landed the tandem 5km out in the ocean, in shark infested waters without floatation gear, shark repellent or your trusty boy scout whistle… The fatality or serious injury is where we try and run away, but as we are doing so, we trip over the line of reporters ready to lap up our official statement - "we don't want to speculate until the results of an official investigation…"

As a result we must suffer in silence whilst we read the reports about people plummeting, 'chutes that failed to open and basically, if you go for a skydive, this is as good as it gets. You know, you've read plenty of them. And guess what, they're all the same. When faced with a reporter's lack of knowledge of the sport, they fall back on what's been written in the past - the same uninformed drivel that's been going on for the last 216 years (since Andre-Jacque Garnerin’s first jump over Paris on 22 October 1797). And who can blame them; after all it's largely our fault.

One reason for this is that most of us don't really believe in the statement "there's no such thing as bad publicity". I know it’s a difficult concept to grasp when you’re surrounded by a hostile bunch of reporters looking for sensationalism. But the statement contains the germ of truth that can change how we are perceived in the media. When there's an accident, we get media coverage and people start talking about the sport. All you have to do now is enter the conversation. Before that, it was a one-way conversation - you doing all the shouting (using expensive advertising) and no one else listening!

So give your official statements, but spend some time educating the reporters telling them about the sport, what it's like to free fall, the equipment, the exhilaration, the fun, the camaraderie, the safety and regulations, accidents and of course the element of risk that is an essential part of life for this special group of people. You may get a more informed story with a different angle to it. Maybe a free tandem jump and you’ll get a feature article on skydiving a couple of weeks later...??

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that when it's time for Miley, Brad or Angelina to do their next skydive you'll be on top of your media game...

Breaking news:

OK, getting back to Miley. Yesterday, as I was waiting in the checkout line at the supermarket I scanned the covers of the weeklies. And there it was: a picture of Miley with the sensational headline – no, not about the recent skydive, the fact that Miley had collapsed after dieting down to 44 kilos! Hey, 44kg tandem passengers – that’s what we need more of.

Contact the blog author about anything ... blogger@cutawaywear.com

 

Devastating plane crash - BASE safer?

By George Creecy
on April 09, 2013

Sadly, a skydiving plane  has crashed in Belgium, killing all 11 jumpers on board. We mourn the loss of our skydiving friends. We feel deeply for our skydiving brothers and sisters in Belgium. Plane crashes come out of no where and are absolutely devastating to the local  skydiving community

We all accept risks in our sport and have a plan in place to deal with most of them or prevent them in the first place. But aircraft problems – it’s always Plan B: get out as quickly as you can and pull your reserve if you’re above 300’  … otherwise pray that the person in the front seat is one of the top test pilots in the world. In our sport we have one advantage over the average aircraft commuter.

When aircraft are in serious trouble it’s usually not the PG-rated Hollywood version with smoking engine and slow, stable downward spiral. All hell breaks loose and panic is the order of the day. I remember our local DZ pilot when he lost pieces of the tailplane due to a snagged pilot chute – he literally dragged himself to the jump door whilst pinned to the aircraft ceiling from the incredible g-forces. He got out at around 500’ and made his first parachute jump! Nice one Dave!

When we lose one, two and then three skydivers in a year, we feel really uncomfortable. When we lose 11 in one accident it stuns us.

Many people expound on the high risks of BASE jumping in comparison to skydiving, yet ignore the issues we just experienced in Belgium. When you add up aircraft related deaths in skydiving, this reality sinks in. Aircraft are an essential to our sport - we trust the aircraft owners, pilots and regulatory bodies to look after us, but of course, sometimes we are at fault.

Skydivers themselves have caused many serious aircraft accidents and we need to be diligent with the usual 20 pilot-chute checks before exit, making sure our loops are not frayed to the point where they will go ‘just one more jump’ and look at everyone else's gear in the plane.

Am I sounding too much like a tired old DSZO… maybe I’ve seen too many preventable accidents overt the years.

Contact the blog author about anything ... blogger@cutawaywear.com

 

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