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About the thread Flying without all the rigging

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by dvsDave, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    Sorry folks,

    Had to close and hid the topic for liability reasons. Basically, the topic broached the subject of how to fly people in the air "on the cheap" (i.e. without proper equipment) The techniques discussed were interesting and innovative, but ultimately unsafe. I've copied below wolf's response to the topic. It's informative and the only safe advice that will be presented on this site when it comes to flying people.

     
    cprted, mstaylor, Studio and 5 others like this.
  2. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    I cannot agree with Dave more! After 17 years in the business, and three years of doing nothing but flying fx, I can tell you this: Try to do it yourself and it's not a matter of IF someone will die, but WHEN someone will die. Personally, I have "liberated" harnesses purchased by organizations building home-made flying systems simply to remove the chance of injury/death. You tell me, what is the point of buying a harness from Amspec if you're going to build a janky "I think it's safe" flying system.

    If you can't pay for us, the pro's, who know the physics behind it- DON'T DO IT!
     
  3. jgarrett1967

    jgarrett1967 Member

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    I was a ballerina for years 8 of which were professional. I was dropped not by a fly rig but by a male dancer. It pulled every ACL, ligament, etc. from around the knee and I have reconstruction. I also performed as Peter in Peter Pan in 9th grade and we used a pro company.
    Here's my question, I'm now a theatre teacher/director for a middle school and I want to do Peter Pan in the upcoming year. Not sure how much money we are talking about, I'd love to know a ball park considering we'd be working in a gym.
    The other scenario is suggestions for how to have people appear as if they are flying when they are not. Any ideas?
    Thanks for the Great Advice...
    Lack of proper procedures and a relentless pursuit of safety - you are looking a a career ender...
     
  4. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I believe that there have been several discussions on this, including flying carpets, that may still be active. Biggest thing is, as you can attest, it doesn't take much of a fall for serious damage to occur. So if you run across threads talking about lifting besides rigging, you easily run into similar safety situations to avoid.

    The most common responses will involve: hire the professionals (don't know what your budget is, but this is probably the reason many schools foolishly decide that they can do it themselves), use projections, put them on a prop and flood the floor with low lying fog.

    The question is, what is your audience expecting? Since you are performing in a gym, you are already expecting your audience to have a greater suspension of disbelief. They will not be expecting Broadway the moment they walk in, so creating the effect in ways other than spending money on an actual flying rig will be acceptable to them. If you have access to projections, motion loops can be affordable.

    Remember, your audience will be forgiving, your budget may not.
     
  5. cprted

    cprted Active Member

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    Just to throw my 2 cents in: Having recertified my Industrial First Aid last week, the topic of fall protection harnesses was brought up in conversation with the instructor over the lunch break (everyone else on the course had real jobs like oil rigs and logging and such). Since fall harnesses were mentioned here, I'll share an interesting little tidbit I learned. Depending on the type, some harnesses when they are supporting the weight of a body, cut off blood flow in several major arteries. So while the harness may save your life from the fall, they'll turn around and kill you if somebody doesn't come get you down within 14 minutes.

    But one example of why things should only be used for their intended purpose.
     
  6. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    cprted, you are speaking about what is known as "suspension trauma" and it is a doozy. Folks, that's NOT hype when he says you can be dead in 14 minutes. You can.

    Most common scenario, in terms of fall protection is when you are knocked out/immobilized as a result of a fall. You can't move your legs and their muscles. Gravity takes over, your blood can't leave your legs to be cleaned of waste/toxins by your circulatory system and that now toxic blood slowly permeates your system and you die. The scary thing is that many FD's/EMT's/Paramedics DON'T know how to get you down, and DON'T know the proper procedure for handling suspension trauma- so even the lifesavers may not always be able to save your life in this instance. This is one of the reasons I'm so glad that : 1. I have a riggers harness. 2. I work with guys who are trained to rescue me, and I them.

    With regards to flying harnesses: THE SAME RULES APPLY! As I once told a high school teacher in Indiana when I rigged their JC Superstar flying system: NO! You can't have Jesus (Hay-soos) up in the air for 15 minutes BEFORE you descend him to the stage. NOOOO!

    Generally speaking, any type of harness is built for speed, no comfort. But it sure beats "Concrete toxicity" (aka: Going SPLAT!)
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I've been told that a show starts around $5k. The best thing to do would be to contact Flying by Foy, ZFX, and Hall Associates and get a price quote. They do Peter Pan ALL THE TIME and know exactly what they are doing. They should be able to give you a ball park quote fairly quickly.

    Not to long ago there was a good thread titled something like flying without really flying. Do some searching and you'll find a pretty interesting discussion of someone doing Charlie in the Chocolate factory who wanted to create the look of flying without actually doing it.

    :) Nice one Dude!
     
  8. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    This is why every fall arrest and flying system needs to plan for rescue! Like "What Rigger?", I work in a venue where we don't work in areas where fall protection is required unless there is someone present who can rescue us in case of a fall, but I have worked in venues where the rescue plan was "dial 911" (I was real careful working there).

    Things that the professional companies already have in place: How to rescue the performer in the event of a power failure (winch driven system). How to quickly and safely get a performer down in case of emergency (i.e. fire). Backup system in case main system fails. Many more things that we who don't do it haven't even thought about.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    In the rigging class I took last year. The Prof. talked about planning for rescue at the University. He went down to the local fire station and asked them to come visit the theater to discuss how they would rescue someone in the theater (fall related or not). After the meeting, the fire department was so excited they decided to come back and do some practice rescue missions pulling "injured" people from the FOH catwalk and grid.

    This sounds like a really good idea to me for anyone working in a crazy old theater with less than easy/safe access.

    Or to be more precise... YOU are not allowed to work in an area where fall protection is required, while "What Rigger?" is on a break. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  10. CrisCole

    CrisCole Member

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    Personally, I like ZFX better then Foy.
     
  11. MPowers

    MPowers Well-Known Member

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    As Long as we're mentioning flying companies, take a look at D2 Flying Effects D2 Flying Effects - Welcome! Owner/founder/pres. Dr. Delbert Hall has been flying people professionally for about 30 years and was the original founder of Hall Associates, another flying company.

    FWIW. I worked for Foy in the late 60's, so I "know how" to fly people. Would I try to do it today without using one of the companies out there? Not on your life. Because I have a pretty good background in rigging doesn't mean I have the ongoing experience in that particular area. I've been driving for 50 years, does that make me a race car driver???

    Can a person or organization fly someone without killing them, well yes, maybe 75% of the time. Can they fly someone with out serious injury, maybe 50% of the time, can they do it with out some injury, accident or mishap, maybe 5% of the time (look at all the you tube videos of stage flying mishaps). So, are you willing to risk you child on those percentages? I'm not.
     
  12. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    As we are creeping up on the "holiday season", I would keep an eye out to see if we have any deaths this year resulting from amateur flying affects in pageant plays.
     
  13. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member Departed Member

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    As one of my jobs in my arena, I had to devise the rescue plan for my building. I have trained all my lead guys in the system in case I am the guy needing rescue or I am not in the air. I have been in the situation where we needed to pull a guy off the steel on an outdoor event. He was not hanging or in a life threatening situation but unable to climb down. Fire Dept gets there and the first question was how did I want to bring him down. Don't expect the FD to automaticly to know how to rescue a person.
     
  14. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Legally, you can not use any type of fall arrest without a rescue plan. So, you might be safe being clipped off, double lanyards, 5000# points, all that fun stuff. However, if you get an OSHA inspection and your answer to get someone down is "call the fire dept.", your going to get fined. Sitting in a harness for an extended period of time can be fatal.
     
  15. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member Departed Member

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    Oh, I agree 100%. In the case of the outdoor event I could have brought him down myself but since it wasn't life threatening and he wasn't hanging I was going to let the FD do what they were trained to do. At my direction they brought in a ladder truck, placed the guy in a Stokes basket and belayed him in using the ladder truck as a pick point. I had everything I needed except a basket and I could have done it without it.
     
  16. CrisCole

    CrisCole Member

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    Yeah, I really HATE that. Five years ago, a 'Jesus' at a local church was killed. They thought it'd be a neat effect if he 'flew', so they used steel cable and a pulley. 'Jesus' on one end, two guys on the other.

    It was a neat effect, until he fell, and you heard an audible crack and the angles started running, screaming, and crying.

    Grrr....
     

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