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NMERider
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject: Please Take Your Landings Seriously! Reply with quote #1   
Both of the following broken arms happened very recently to some very likeable pilots who I know and fly with. I will miss their company in the air and LZ until they recover and rehabilitate.

http://www.shga.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3275
http://www.shga.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3293

Each pilot was flying a Sport 2 155 (an easy glider to land) and yet they broke bones. Please don't let this happen to you! (of course this means fresh X/C drivers for the club! Razz )



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relate2
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #2   
Also don't think it is just a broken arm. A mate of mine years go broke his arm flying BUT also damaged a major nerve. This left him without the ability to lift his wrist for nearly a year till the nerve grew back.
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NMERider
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #3   
relate2 wrote:
Also don't think it is just a broken arm. A mate of mine years go broke his arm flying BUT also damaged a major nerve. This left him without the ability to lift his wrist for nearly a year till the nerve grew back.
Crikey! ahh faint
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mrcc
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #4   
Not good news. Does he have a video clip or a background story to this accident. Maybe something we can learn from it ? Sad Sad
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Manta_Dreaming
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #5   
relate2 wrote:
Also don't think it is just a broken arm. A mate of mine years go broke his arm flying BUT also damaged a major nerve. This left him without the ability to lift his wrist for nearly a year till the nerve grew back.


That's actually common - it's called radial palsy because the radial nerve gets damaged and controls the lifting of many of your fingers. I'm told it's 80-90% of the time what happens.

I'm guessing the person in the xray will be spending the next 4-6 months dealing with constant pain and be restricted to light (under 5 pounds) usage of the arm during that time.

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NMERider
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #6   
mrcc wrote:
Not good news. Does he have a video clip or a background story to this accident. Maybe something we can learn from it ? Sad Sad
There are videos for both landing accidents. They haven't been posted yet. I'll add them here when they're up.
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Manta_Dreaming
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #7   
NMERider wrote:
mrcc wrote:
Not good news. Does he have a video clip or a background story to this accident. Maybe something we can learn from it ? Sad Sad
There are videos for both landing accidents. They haven't been posted yet. I'll add them here when they're up.


Wild guess - downwind landing with a whack. The xray shows a spiral commuted fracture, what you get if your hand is up (i.e. to flare) but it gets back behind your shoulder.

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AIRTHUG
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #8   
mrcc wrote:
Maybe something we can learn from it ? Sad Sad


The topic of the thread says it all.

If you spend enough time in this sport, you realize that even a light whack can result in an injury like this. Then you realize even light whacks, even once in a while, is more risk than most of us are willing to accept. If it's unacceptable- That's when people either get it together and practice practice practice, step back on equipment or conditions, or quit Rolling Eyes

This is a topic that is dear to me and I'm trying to limit my response to be very to-the-point... I hope the above refined message can get through to some people BEFORE they or their friends have to learn the hard way...

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Davedebogusone
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #9   
Isnt that picture of a the pilot that "lightly whacked" into a pole ?
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NMERider
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #10   
Davedebogusone wrote:
Isnt that picture of a the pilot that "lightly whacked" into a pole ?
Yes. The two X-rays of the spiral fracture are from the pole dance. Food for thought, huh?
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Manta_Dreaming
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #11   
NMERider wrote:
Davedebogusone wrote:
Isnt that picture of a the pilot that "lightly whacked" into a pole ?
Yes. The two X-rays of the spiral fracture are from the pole dance. Food for thought, huh?


The pilot is a pendulum. If the pilot is hanging on to the downtubes, they only need to swing forward enough through the control frame to do the job. So all you need is enough forward momentum stopped suddenly.

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NMERider
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #12   
Manta_Dreaming wrote:
NMERider wrote:
Davedebogusone wrote:
Isnt that picture of a the pilot that "lightly whacked" into a pole ?
Yes. The two X-rays of the spiral fracture are from the pole dance. Food for thought, huh?


The pilot is a pendulum. If the pilot is hanging on to the downtubes, they only need to swing forward enough through the control frame to do the job. So all you need is enough forward momentum stopped suddenly.
The first pilot didn't even break his down tube. His humerus hit high up near the apex bracket. I hope I can see the video of the second pilot. The photographer says you can see if break in the video.

I have to reiterate the value of investing time and effort to master good landing skills and developing consistency in all flying conditions and terrain. I really do need to be a good model of proper technique for myself as well as to others who may be observing.

I would prefer to hear younger pilots tell me were inspired by my skill at executing clean landings than by my pluck at walking away from poor ones.
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AIRTHUG
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #13   
Don't know the circumstances of these two... but when an arm does get broken in hang gliding, in my experience it's one of two things...

-Pilot puts arm straight out to brace for impact. With weight/momentum coming down on the arm, and the joint locked straight, the upper arm seems to spiral fracture.

-Pilot gets "karate chopped" by the down tube. Same as above, but when they let go their arm stays on the outside of the down tube, and their body on the other. The down tube effectively slams through their arm.

With hands on the downtubes, I haven't seen many broken arms... more shoulders or elbows as the body swings through the control frame and either the elbow or shoulder is rotated beyond it's limit. Or the hand goes through the downtube and usually they're fine.

I have heard from people having success with either grabbing ONE downtube with both arms, or letting go of everything and going limp (bring arms + legs in, almost like fetal position). I suspect there might also be some tuck-and-roll in there during impact?

Regardless... the lesson I learned was that- in a bad landing (this includes a simple whack) there's no sure way to get out safely. Rather than spend time worrying about that, it's much more productive to worry about (and avoid) poor landings. Glider, conditions, currency, skill, technique... we all know some people that consistently land well- too consistent to be luck... and some people that don't... also too consistent to be luck...

Not saying good landings every time is easy... but it's something we need to devote ourselves to if we don't want to win scar-contests with our friends...

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Davedebogusone
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #14   
NMERider wrote:
Davedebogusone wrote:
Isnt that picture of a the pilot that "lightly whacked" into a pole ?
Yes. The two X-rays of the spiral fracture are from the pole dance. Food for thought, huh?



So why did he fly into a pole ? Twisted Evil
Thou shall not suddenly decelerate with the help of immovable objects, is my rule
Reminded of the theme song of a childhood cartoon George of the jungle
Remember how it ends.... watch out for that.....Treeeeeee ( thud)
Well pole in this case
Shocked
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J Fritsche
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #15   
I've heard this is why we should not hang on, at all, when slamming in. The downtubes will not absorb the impact, and we end up with spiral fractures of the humerus. I have had to reconcile this information with the instruction that I had in the late 80's, which adamantly preached, "Don't let go of the downtubes; they will break instead of your arms."
So I choose to avoid slamming in at all. How? I fly novice-rated gliders and am paranoid about avoiding any situation that might require me to land in really small or otherwise sketchy LZs, or to land without certainty about wind direction. I guess that means I'll probably never post reports about great XC flights across the desert...

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Manta_Dreaming
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #16   
I've heard that many times after such an accident pilots quit flying. Any thoughts on how often that's the case?
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NMERider
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #17   
J Fritsche wrote:
......"Don't let go of the downtubes; they will break instead of your arms."
....I fly novice-rated gliders...
....I guess that means I'll probably never post reports about great XC flights across the desert...

John,
IMHO - modern down tubes break fairly easily if held in the middle third. If held near the corner brackets or the apex it's a different story. Steve Pearson engineered Wills Wings streamlined down tubes to break in approximately this manner and I have broken ~12 with just the force of my hands in the middle third. The rest were broken without my hands touching. I have never broken a bone from this.

I learned how to crash from mountain biking. It's much better to be a good lander and never crash or even whack for that matter. I know several pilots who have never broken a down tube but did break their arms from bad landings. They were not mountain bikers.

Again, it's better to be really good at landing and let the glider do the work for you by skillfully guiding it. Yes, I know I have been pretty cavalier about this in the past but my philosophy has changed.

As far as the X/C goes--it can be highly over-rated. If you fly for the joy of flying and not for the ego trip of accumulating statistics then your 'state of mind' becomes the tool of choice and not the 'model of glider'.

My last flight was on a Falcon 3 195 and was a 20-mile dogleg to a brewery. After busting my ass in the air, I finally climbed to 7,000' over the brewery and could have gone another 20 or more miles with ease at that point in the day. I didn't have to because I had the 12-point buck in my cross-hairs and my finger bearing down on the trigger of my 30-06. Besides, I didn't have a chase driver and would rather drink with my friends. A 20-mile dogleg on that Falcon was vastly more satisfying than 60 on a T2C.

Case in pint. I mean point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO7tV3kwi98 Note the ease of landing.
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NMERider
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #18   
Manta_Dreaming wrote:
I've heard that many times after such an accident pilots quit flying. Any thoughts on how often that's the case?
I've met a few who broke the same arm a year or so later and then they quit. I think more pilots may quit after their friends get hurt. That may be a good reason to be vigilante with fiends. I may have mentioned that I have a friend who harps on me when I slack off.
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Cal Glider
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #19   
Manta_Dreaming wrote:
I've heard that many times after such an accident pilots quit flying.


I pounded in back in the 70s, while test flying a wing with an experimental modification to the leading edges. I knocked out several teeth, tore my nose half off, (they were able to stich it back on,) stitches in both lower lip and chin, oh...almost forgot about the stick that penetrated into my left knee from the outside, went under the knee cap, where it took out half of a tendon and then punched out the otherside. (You know, kind of like one of those joke arrows that look like they go through the wearers head.) I hobbled around for several months healing up. The doctor released me at 12 noon. and by 1:30 I was at launch, set up and ready to go for it again. I was well past the abort point and committed to launch, the damaged knee gave out, ahh I fell into my harness and dove over the edge, but as they say, all's well that ends well. crazy
I went in to the doctor at the VA last month to get my tri-monthly knee injections (and a fresh supply of oxycontin) he commented as he slipped the needle into the knee joint that my left kneecap is not in the correct position hmmm, I wonder how that happened Shocked
To fly again after escapeing a brush with death all boils down to how badly a pilot wants to fly or how bad his addiction to the sky is. Me, I'm a full blown air junky (and I need a fix real bad right now Exclamation ). I am pushing 60 and my old broke back can’t handle the weight of a blade wing (I so wanted to fly a T-2). I am going to have to step down to a lighter glider...if I have to, I will fly a Falcon.
There was a suggestion (from the wife) that I quit. I explained her options to her…1 - let me go flying, or, 2 - let me go. There is no 3 mosh
Looking for a Sport-2 155, anyone got one for sale???
I have cash money in hand…. drool

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #20   
relate2 wrote:
Also don't think it is just a broken arm. A mate of mine years go broke his arm flying BUT also damaged a major nerve. This left him without the ability to lift his wrist for nearly a year till the nerve grew back.

To add one more to the damages, there's the mental damage that's done also.
I played with the mental game while I was healing back in the 70's also. I only kept it together by taking my time repairing my wing and talking to it.
I apologized to it, we both healed in time, then we went flying once again.

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