Can I wear my one POV camera?

We are being constantly asked at the moment if people can use their own POV “Go Pro” cameras on their tandem skydive.  Yes, they are being used for all kinds of sports, activities and in all kinds of places. Yes they have revolutionised extreme sports, safety, accountability etc. However they are dangerous in the wrong hands!!!

So the short answer is: “No – due to safety reasons.”

If “this could effect your safety – meaning your life” is not a good enough answer for you and you want the long answer:

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‘NO’ due to safety reasons!!
For a tandem student to carry a POV/Go-Pro camera it would go against the British Parachute Association’s basic safety recommendations; which would devalue any licenses, insurance etc. that the parachute centres, tandem instructor, student and team hold.
However if you still need more of an explanation so you can understand the WHY:

To put it into perspective if a tandem student had “hooks” on shoes/boots due to the potential for parachute lines to ‘catch’ and prevent the parachute from opening these hooks would be taped up before they footwear could be use for a parachute jump.

Now imagine the difference between the size of a boot hook and a sticking out “box shaped camera” and realise the potential for that sticking out box strapped to someone who is inexperienced and does not have the ability to ensure it is fully out of the way when that life saving parachute is deployed.  The parachute lines are very thin – effectively they are pieces of string attached to a parachute and those thin strings will keep you alive!  Stop the parachute opening and……
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We are being asked this question again and again and so we asked the Red Devils for their response to the question, it is a pretty blunt and harsh answer, however death/injury to one of their team members and potentially a tandem student is pretty harsh and serious. To breach a basic British Parachute Association Safety recommendation would be the the end of the Red Devils, possibly the parachute centre and certainly the loss of licence to the individual instructor.

From the OC of the Red Devils Parachute Regiment Free Fall Team:

Can I wear my own POV Camera?

The short answer is no. The British Parachute Association has a Basic Safety Recommendation which does not allow for any students or qualified jumpers with under 200 jumps to wear POV/action cameras. There has been a direct correlation of both accidents and fatalities in extreme sports due to the desire for people to capture their experience on video and become internet superstars. The camera becomes, to some degree, a weapon. When the ‘lines’ open up as the parachute is deployed, the camera can become a snag point. For further information, please visit this article as it explains this in further detail.

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What do I get if I pay for a camera flyer to film my jump?

The parachute centres and The Red Devils take great pride in the skills and professional camera products that they offer.
You are paying for an experienced camera flyer to join you for your jump, they film you before, during your flight, during your skydive, your landing and your response to your jump.
Each Parachuter centre does it slightly differently according to the equipment they use but in most cases you will be given digital photos to take away with you on your jump day- the numbers of these range from x75- x250 digital photos of the whole experience.  You will then be sent a full professionally edited movie of your skydive, some centres have dedicated view editors so you can take your move away with you, at other centres and in the Red Devils’ case the camera flyer take the footage away and lovingly edits the skydive they filmed, you will then be posted your movie within 3-8 weeks of your jump.  An awaited surprise to remind you of an amazing experience.
You are paying for a professional product captured by a professional camera flyer -who has built up remarkable skills in order to take on that title.