Imagine the last time you were coming in for landing after a satisfying flight on a
challenging day. Those memories of hard fought thermals fresh in your mind. That
low save you were gloating about, and another one that could be, but petered out
just in time forcing you to land.
Now imagine the moment when you thoughts turned from trying to find lift to
setting up to land. As the ground approaches closer, you see the windsock and plan
a nice upwind uphill landing, right next to that cold beer. As you are doing your base
leg you judge your altitude and at the right moment you turn in to do your final. You
are gliding towards your spot for what looks like a well planned landing.
Lets say the site you are flying at is McClure. So LZ aint that big.
Now imagine partways into your final a boomer pops you up by several feet. Oh
my! now you are going to land farther down from your spot. Still no big deal, you can
make some corrections and there is still some uphill part of LZ left to use. But as
you recover from pop no.1, there is pop no. 2.
Oh noooos! with this pop you are bound to reach the the top of the uphill
knob. Overshooting is a very real possibility now. If you do overshoot, your options
are either Bushes, Trees or maybe a Power line. But oh well you think you can pull
it off, if you flare HARDD just before the tip.
As you get closer to your exciting landing, there is pop no. 3. There is no way you
can avoid overshooting now. What would you do?
Jeeze - I hope someone spoke to that pilot about coming in with better speed. The faster you fly through that stuff (within reason, of course) the less time it has to wreak mayhem. Also, a "one up. one down" hand position would've helped keep the bar in for a safer speed - that guy was floating it in, and inches from a ground-loop!
Doing that 360 put you in a dangerous downwind situation that often makes you loose a lot of altitute quickly so it is likely best not to do the 360 so low but rather do S turns. I realize that it is a hard situation when you are runnung out of room but the 360 can put you into a very dangerous position as you must realize after bouncing of the ground as you came around.
Best wishes, Bob _________________ http://skydogsports.com
First let me say that I'm not trying to bash you specifically....
I'm aware that the McClure LZ can be a nasty challenge just to try to stay on course and not get dumped into the trees and/or bushes. If you choose to fly when the LZ is active then you know and assume those risks.
So what would I have done? Not put myself in that situation in the first place. Why not setup to land way short?
I don't understand why McClure pilots feel like they have to land on the upslope or better yet, on the cone at the top of the hill when you know the LZ is active. If its really late in the day or during the "off season" when its much more predictable, then by all means, land close to the beer .... but come on, you know there are real consequences for going long so why even try. There is something like 1500 feet of landable strip (from what I remember) so why not setup to land down there where the dirt road looks like its in the middle of the LZ? Is it just a convienience thing, a beer thing, a shade thing ...... or a CAMERA thing?
Hey look at me ... I'm landing at get your ass kicked McClure so I'm going to show off and land close to the camera then grab my beer before I even get out of my harness so I can look cool for everybody on the .org instead of doing the smarter and safer thing of coming in with good speed and insuring I can't overshoot the hill where everyone is watching.
Saying what's already been said- LANDING IN MID-DAY CONDITIONS AT SITES LIKE THIS IS VERY HIGH RISK, and very demanding of pilot skill. You pulled it off, but just barely. I'd say you were a few inches away from a broken neck on that downwind 360.
If you insist on flying in these conditions.... you have to come in with a LOT more speed than that!!! The pops were only half your problem, boating in at min-sink was the other half... and that half you had complete control over.
Also, recognize when you're in trouble. You continue flying perfectly straight (still at min sink) right up until you're at the crest of the hill before trying to "solve" your problem. That low 360 was a bad move... but your only option... because of the situation YOU created by not acting sooner.
Recognize a few things: YOU have control over when and where you fly. YOU have control over how fast you come in, and how quickly you dive down through any crap and into ground-skim, YOU have control over when and how you react to what is happening around you.
You really need to ignore the acceptable outcome of that landing and recognize the MANY failures in that landing. The tone of this post, making it sound as though you were the victim of circumstance, demonstrates you just don't get it.
Oh, and one tip my dad taught be when landing in thermic conditions...
Get to the LZ higher than usual, and fly around on the UPWIND end of the field. As you get lower, this is the air you will be landing in. If there's a big as thermal coming, you'll find it here, high enough to 360 in the lift and wait until it passes.
I recently used this technique landing at Andy Jackson at 1:00 in the afternoon. I was killing time upwind of the LZ and hit a thermal. Rather than try to fight my way down through it, just to be landing in it, I climbed and drifted with it until it was downwind of the LZ... then I went back to the upwind end of the field to burn off all the altitude I just gained. I was nervous about landing at 1 pm in thermic conditions in my new race harness, but this technique served me quite well
Almost everyone who has not experienced McClure L.Z. in the summer end up saying. " I don't know what happened, I had the speed on." And always the response is, " No you didn't" One up one down, if not stay on the base tube till ground effect. On the uprights in the summer at McClure on approach, you are gonna go for a ride. This has been repeated and repeated and we still see this happen. Yea maybe your instructor says not to do it that way, or it's not how you do it at your site, but. We want visitors to have a good time, not try to teach you how to fly. If your definition of bringing the heat on approach is on the DT's here, yell down at least so we can get some film to show you after the landing/crash landing. As I stated in the other post for visiting pilots, in the summer, McClure is not so friendly. learn to fly with one up and one down on approach, stay on the base tube longer with special attention to the differences in pitch and roll control compared to on the uprights. Glad you got away with it brother that was ugly. And DBF is the only way to land here IMO not that anyone will listen though. _________________ Always a student.
"The mountain doesn't care what that card in your wallet says." - Bruce Stobbe
and one tip my dad taught me when landing in thermic conditions...
Get to the LZ higher than usual, and fly around on the UPWIND end of the field. As you get lower, this is the air you will be landing in. If there's a big ass thermal coming, you'll find it here, high enough to 360 in the lift and wait until it passes.
I can't emphasize how practical and useful a tip this is. I do this all the time and it really, REALLY works. Ryan pointed out the benefits of doing this and I'll add one more.
A lot of pilots worry about coming down and landing when a thermal is drifting through because of the switchy surface wind directions in the LZ. And in particular, the possibility of landing in absolutely no wind... in the middle of the day... when it's really hot. Ie, scary fast ground speeds at the time of the flare.
Well, I avoid all that by doing what Ryan pointed out. Because as the thermal drifts through, guess what's going to happen in the LZ? Air is going to flow into the area after the lift passes through. And this will often give you a nice, steady surface wind for several minutes before the conditions go back to light and thermally.
I can't tell you how many times I've done this and been rewarded with a nice surface wind to land in... even in the middle of the day.