Home Forums Safety Incident report – Hangglider unplanned landing Regionals Reply To: Incident report – Hangglider unplanned landing Regionals

Bo Frazier
General Member

“Pilot flew behind the ridge due to lack of experience about ridge sites and potential for rotor and sink conditions. ”  If this information was obtained from the pilot, or from the supervising instructor, then this pilot had no business launching from Marshall in 10 to 15 mph south winds, or really is not ready to be flying the mountain in anything but super light sled run conditions.  How can a pilot be qualified to fly in such conditions when they lack a basic understanding of potential rotor and sink conditions when flying on the lee side of a ridge?  I know that I took hg lessons in the days when dinosaurs were roaming the earth (1980) but we were actually required, or strongly advised, to READ books on learning to fly hang gliders.  I’m pretty sure books on that subject still exist although I know that everyone wants to learn everything on their I phone these days.  Dennis Pagen stills sells his books and all it would take is a quick glance inside to learn about rotors and the dangers they create.  How about the advise of staying within a 1 to 1 glide ratio of the front of the ridge as you drift back as a good standard for new pilots?  The above post laid out some criticisms of the instruction but I want to place plenty of blame on the pilot for not doing the homework necessary to fly safely.  When I was a beginner I read Pagen’s book until I pretty much had it memorized and I think that saved my ass on more than one occasion.  Let’s try some self responsibility for being a safe, competent pilot.  It ain’t that hard.  And don’t even get me started on the PG pilots who have absolutely no clue as to how to join another pilot in a thermal, and who don’t seem to think there is anything wrong with just flying straight through the thermal you are circling in.  Flying late day at Marshall has become more dangerous than flying mid day conditions because you have to constantly see and avoid those who have no clue what they are or should be doing.  Come on people, up your game.  There are lives on the line every time you launch.