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Falling at a Football Game


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#1 Tom Szklarski

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 08:12 AM

It happened to me yesterday at a highschool football game. The game didn't even start yet. They were introducing the players. The players were in a huddle in the end zone waiting for their names to be announced and then they would run to the 50 yard line. I stayed back and was just shooting the huddle as every player left. That was some good footage.
Well, on the last player I was going to run with him as he ran down the line of players. It was supposed to be this cool shot. Well, he was just standing around for awhile, then he just went. So I tried to follow, and that is when I lost it. I started off okay, then I tried to run faster to keep up. Well, then my foot didn't hit the ground right, I slid, the rig got out in front of me, and I ran for a few more steps trying to get the rig in control, then the rig took me for a ride down to the ground.
As I was falling I know I was thinking three things. 1. Oh S***, I am falling. 2. Throw the arm and sled out to the side. 3. The camera is going to be broken now.
So I hit the ground with the arm and sled off to the right side. Which is a good thing becuase I would have landed right on the rig. They say I was on the ground for awhile with my eyes closed not moving. I must have been knocked out. All I remember was hitting the ground and then opening my eyes. The black out was that short for me. The first thing I heard was "let's get him up." After talking with trainers and other people, I guess I was out for awhile. I think I heard like 20 seconds.
So they lift me up by the handles on the back of my vest. I can't really stand to well, I am wobbling all over the place trying to get my bearings. Meanwhile I am also looking at everything I own to make sure it's still in one piece. It's kind of sad, I was more worried about my rig then me trying to walk straight. After they get me to the side lines, they are still asking if I am okay, I am saying, "yeah, I think I am okay."
The fall didn't do that much damage to the system. The camera's eyepiece clip on the viewfinder to lock the eyepiece in place broke because that was the first part of the rig to hit, it took the major blow I think. The DC in on the camera bent a little bit. That was the only major damage to the camera. The lens was fine and it was still recording and showing a picture when they picked it up and brought me to the sidelines. That was a big relief for me.
My rig is Howard's MK-V lite. I have Walter's vest and an EFP arm. Howard's sled survived the impact, which is amazing and I am thankfull. Everything on the sled was where it shoud have been, nothing bent, nothing falling off. It must have had some force to deal with, even though I don't think it was the first to hit. Thank you Howard for making such a good sled.
The arm was fine, nothing bent, the post was still in the gimbal when I got up. The only thing that broke was on Walter's vest. The little clip that clips the shoulder straps to the rest of the vest broke. Of all things to break, I am glad it was only that, that was an easy repair. I was surprised the arm on walter's vest didn't get bent or anything, the socket block was fine and functioning just like it would always. It amazes me how much didn't break during the fall. Thank's Walter for making a strong vest that can survive an impact.
Damage to me was a rug burn on my elbow. I really don't know how else to explain the injury. The have the new astro turf at the highschool. It's very soft and nice to land on. I was wearing knee pads and I don't know if I landed on them, but my knees are okay. That is the only injury I know of, unless you count the being knocked out part. Nothing broke, nothing hurts besides my little rug burn this morning and I am thankfull for that.
All and all, I am surprised at how everything survived. I know one of the things I was thinking when they got me up was, "I don't have a rig anymore." Everything survived and I kept shooting after making the repair and resting to get my bearings and watch the footage to see the fall from the camera's prespective. Which I might add is actually pretty cool looking (probally only to me though).
I just wanted to share my falling down story with you all becuase I think it's so wierd how it all happened and how it turned out. Also becuase I fell down in front of some 1000 fans, alot of whom know who I am. Great time to fall, isn't it? I do want to ask, how many of you guys and girls out there have ever been knocked out while operating?

Always fly safe
-Tom
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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 08:32 AM

From what I've been told, 9 out of 10 accidents while operating are caused by trying to run.

Did you have a spotter?
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#3 Tom Szklarski

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:15 AM

I did have a spotter, from what he told me, he was right behind me but then some players got inbetween him and me. The players make a "tunnel" that the player runs down to the 50 yard line. Well these players I guess turned and got in front of my spotter. So he was blocked off from me and I was running/falling away from him. He took his eyes of me for a second, because he was going to run into the players and when he looked back up I was horizontal.

I don't know how much he would have helped either though, I might have brought him down with me and then he might have landed on me and that could have caused more problems. I don't know.


-Tom
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#4 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 02:52 PM

I am very glad you are Ok.
Sounds like a a lucky escape from a potentially very bad situation.

Hey, if you are going to go down, you might as well go down big infront of a lot of people!
Be sure to save that footage ;-)


I haven't been kocked out, but I've taken one fall that woudl have done it if I wasn't wearing a helmet.
It was a shot out of a bike trailer of other bikers on a hardpack trail in the woods. I was soft mounted, and as we went around a coner we hit a stump with teh inside wheel which flipped me out onto my back, I caught the rig (only a Flyer) and fel my helmet (with my head in it) hit teh ground jsut hard enoguh to remind me that I was very glad I was waring it.
I still have the shot in my archive.. and actually up untill the fall in is my reel :P

Amazing how quickly this stuff happens, but how many things you still have time to think about.

Fly safe everyone!


- Mikko
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#5 Tom Szklarski

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 06:25 PM

So I finally was able to get a hold of the footage of the fall from my camera and the what the truck cameras recorded.

The Truck cameras got the ending where I am hitting the ground. So I made the clips in three different speeds. The video following the fall is from another truck camera after they noiticed I fell. There is probally 4 or 5 seconds inbetween the two shots.

25 % percent
http://www.tliquest......ent speed.mov

50 % percent
http://www.tliquest......ent speed.mov

Normal speed
http://www.tliquest......mal speed.mov

Here is the view from the camera I was recording with
http://www.tliquest......icam View.mov

So I don't know if it's interesting to anybody but me, but I'd thought I'd share since there was at least something of it.

-Tom
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#6 Tom Wills

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 06:38 PM

I have to say, that is one of the more incredible things I've ever seen. I really think it's quite, dare I say it, brave of you to post this here. I'm so glad you came out okay from the ordeal.

Now I just have to remind myself to wear my old football cleets when I film my high school's varsity games. :P
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#7 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 02:20 AM

Thanks for sharing that with us, Tom - that really is quite incredible, and something that we all hope won't happen to us at any stage in our working lives. It's evident how the rig pulled you down with it after you stumbled, you can see it hit the floor and sort of take you along with it. It's a reminder of the forces that we work with!

I bet you were glad of the kneepads though - I also have a set of those!

Glad that you are OK and the damage was minimal, and thanks again for the clips.
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#8 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 02:34 AM

Very impressive, and scary, footage Tom.

Glad you came out safe.

- Mikko
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#9 chris fawcett

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 03:44 AM

Tom!

Surprised you (and your rig) are in one piece after that. Glad it didn't dent your enthusiasm either.

Chris
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#10 JobScholtze

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 05:05 AM

Pffff, horror
I am also glad you'r ok.
I think your one lucky operator that still is able to work. Makes me thinking about running
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#11 Tom Szklarski

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 05:34 AM

Thanks guys for caring!

I do feel lukcy to have gotten out of that with as little damage as I did. I also do feel lucky to still be able to move and function properly. I know it could/should have been worse. I am also glad I wasn't out for 20 seconds like they said I was. I think I was only out for at the most 10 seconds, probally only like 5 or 6 seconds, not good either way. Definitly better to be out for less time than more.

This accident definitly makes me think more now about percautions when flying. Not that I didn't think of them before, but even more so now. I know for a little while at least, I won't be so quick to say, "Yeah, I can run." :)

-Tom
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#12 Christopher T. Paul- SOC

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 07:45 PM

Hey Tom,

Glad you came out of that one ok. In your camera's playback there is an interesting anomoly- I scrolled through it and there is clearly a shot of an inerior window in the clip at your point of impact, (about 1/100th of a second after you said to yourself, "Oh Shiiiiittt!!!". The only thing that I could think of is that perhaps you weren't using virgin tape stock, and that this was a previously recorded image that crept though. I know that this is wholly off of the point, and once again I'm really glad your ok- but the image had a kind of X Files twist to it with that window image underneath it. Did you notice this when you posted it, or perhaps it's another of my wicked acid flashbacks???

Way to shake it off,

Chris
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#13 Tom Szklarski

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 08:41 AM

Hey Chris,


Your right, the tape wasn't virgin, it was a window, I noticed that too when I was watching it. I don't know where that window is from, but the tape was a used one. Sorry, no Acid flashbacks this time.
:)

-Tom
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#14 Christopher T. Paul- SOC

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 10:47 AM

nuts!

Glad you are well.

Chris
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#15 Erwin Landau

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 02:07 PM

Welcome...

Thank you for joining our Albatros club.
Very exclusive... and almost all flyers are members.


My application was... running backwards preceding an actress with two Guns shooting into the Lens emptied 2 clips at me. A couple of empty shells ended up under one of my feet. The Grip caught me the rig hit the ground... hey nothing what a couple of grands couldn't fix... right?

Good to hear that you are alright.

Fly safe.
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