Date: June 3, 2021
Cummulative flights to date: 37
Site: Dog Mtn
Conditions: 9-15mph WSW – W, high 70’s with obvious thermal cycles
Harness configuration: full loaded glider (parachute, hammock)
Assistance: launch attempt 1 was solo. Lauch attempt 2 assist on right wing. Final launch attempt assist on both wings.
Launch: grnd cntrl had me having to really stay on it to maintain control.
Number of Flights: 1
Landing: failed landing, broke left strut, bent right lower leading edge bracket and both upper trailing edge brackets.
Narrative: This felt like a day in July. Thermic conditions both at launch and LZ. Cycles were regular and switchy starting out SW around noon and turned west around 3:30 but still thermal cycles. Wind was not predictable and my first solo attempt had to be aborted because I could not maintain control. The next attempt with assist on my right wing was a complete blow over when I lost it and the right wing went up and over. The final attempt I made had assist on each wing. I caught a decent lull and punched off. I immediately started angling off to the left and tried to straighten it out by swinging my body weight right while attempting to get into the cage. A close view of the video footage shows the left rudder deployed (unconciously) that resulted in the severe left roll. Besides trying to correct this by swinging my body weight I also believe I applied right rudder which just wasn’t enough to counteract the left rudder. I must have finally let the left rudder control go back to neutral as the rest of the flight was normal relative to neutral tracking. Had some trouble getting into the cage even with the step. I decided against locking the hammock and rode out the flight by my armpits which was definitely tiring and distracting. I did one clockwise 360 over the SW end of the LZ and then proceeded to enter a right hand pattern. The entire flight I had a tendency to maintain an airspeed of about 25 to 30 as read off the Hall meter I have mounted on the front root strut. There was enough turbulence I had trouble controlling airspeed as I rounded onto final and had a fairly short final leg which didn’t help get the airspeed dialed in. I was flying too fast and moving through the gradient at probably 25 ft up at maybe 20-30 mph. Then I continued making adjustments using my feet and dropping a leg, then both and using my hands on the control tubes to keep the airspeed up (not sure what was going through my head at that point) and basically flew it right into the ground at probably 20mph. Broke the left root strut, bent the right root LE bracket and probably more.
Launch attempt #2
Launch attempt #3
Use 3 stakes to tie down this glider whenever there is even a slight chance of it blowing over. I think I was very lucky at Dog Mtn the last time I flew there when I hurt my back. Never tied it down but remember thinking about it maybe blowing over as I waited for it to die down that evening.
If you’re needing help controlling the glider on the ramp, don’t fly, it’s too strong for your current skill level.
Really need to focus on both rudder controls to avoid unintentional deployment. This has occurred in the past and I have evidently not yet got this down. Might help to deploy both controls together since there is a stop at neutral on both so if I am trying to correct a roll to the left (as was the case here) I should rotate both controls clockwise (right roll) which will cause the left rudder to hit the neutral stop position.