Preparing for Spring and Summer Flying


You may have noticed that I am a bit of an addict and pretty much fly year round. Yes, I take my 10 minute winter sled rides with pride.  Unfortunately, I have developed a few bad habits in these lean months when there are few other free-flight addicts in the air.  Specifically, I have been landing my HG on the PG cone and I haven't really paid much attention to where I break down my glider or how long I leave it set up in the LZ.  It was especially noticeable today because we had a light but pretty much dominate E-SE wind that required a few HGs to use the West-to-East approach.  In these conditions, parking a hang glider in the North corner of the LZ or parking anything in that approach lane is not the most considerate thing to do. In my defense, I did notice my blunder and moved my glider to a better spot pretty quickly.  

There are two things we should all remember. First, if these obstacles really hamper your landings then maybe you should consider a few turns on the Big-O Loop because we should all be able to negotiate static obstacles. Second, just because we have the skills to avoid them doesn't mean we should park obstacles in someone else's approach. Spring and summer can get pretty busy so let's keep an eye out for each other.


Well said Gary.

As I was overflying the field and saw the light 5 mph E wind my concern was that I really wanted to be sure to not land at the same time as anyone else. I was on the tandem with ability and intent to land facing uphill (SW) regardless of the wind. It would really mess with a foot landing pilot if we came in at the same time and the foot lander was appropriately landing into the wind and negotiating the tight slot and low turn by the power lines and then had to also deal with another glider landing 90 degrees cross direction to his final. So I scanned around when descending through 1000' agl to make sure I didn't have traffic on landing. But if the other pilots above me saw my direction and ignored the wind streamers and also came in 90 cross or even tailwind just because I did, well, that's something I can't control. So please, if you see a tandem landing below you on the wheels... don't assume it is landing into the wind. We don't have to.

I came out to land high, looked at the wind sock it showed a nice SW wind. After losing a few hundred feet getting ready to commit to landing I noticed that the wind had changed to a light ENE wind. I went back to the hill and gained some altitude until the wind changed back to SW. Then I dove for the LZ before the wind changed agian.

Moral of the story. Get out over the LZ with enough altitude to determine what the wind is doing...



Seemed a busy LZ yesterday. Some gliders squeezing the east approach slot, some dogs running out into the field.

At one point I was standing in front (north of) of my glider and the passenger, the crocodile dragon lady, was north of me a few feet. We were at the edge of the approach corridor but back enough to give a clean approach. I looked up and saw a pilot coming in and was about 5 seconds from passing by heading ESE and his right wingtip was going to come close to us and in the next 5 seconds I had to evaluate whether we, and most importantly the crocodile lady, were in danger of being clipped by that right wingtip. I knew the pilot and he would surely be able to be in control and the conditions were smooth. But it was going to be perhaps 6' or 8' between lady and wing as it went by. With a couple seconds left I stepped toward the lady from behind her and started raising my arms thinking, I might have to grab her and pull her away from the glider. But as hoped, I didn't need to grab her. She stayed where she was and didn't step unknowingly into the path of the glider and the glider continued, as the pilot intended, on a path that was relatively close but not a danger to anyone.

Everyone keep an eye on the wind direction and if it switches E or SE, please look around and help keep the approach clear of obstacles so we don't injure the public or make the approach unnecessarily difficult for the pilots.