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Darren Dix
General Member

Well, I’m amazed at how much I learn every day flying. Today, I did not fly, but I probably learned more today about flying by not flying. What I did today was a retrieval of a hang glider that made and emergency “landing” out in the bushes on top of Pine mountain due to the effects of a venturi.
At first, I didn’t really want to do it, not knowing how rugged the dirt road is. It was rugged, but doable for my truck, but only with 4×4. Anyway, there is a larger story that happened today by far, but I will stick to the point that I learned today that stuck out as even more important than to not fuck up and land in the bushes or the trees. I myself, before today, seemed to adopt the common attitude that I seriously doubt it will be me that winds up in the bushes or a tree. That attitude is only relevant until it isn’t. What I just saw happen was a hang glider pilot make an emergency crash landing into bushes, luck the hell out, and then face a 4 hour hike down a luckily groomed dirt road, another huge luck out and blessing. An hour was wasted going on the wrong road that appeared to be a “short cut”, then back up to the real route.

In the course of the rest of the fortunately lucky escape route on the nicely groomed dirt road, our brother became dehydrated for not carrying emergency drinking water with him while flying, something that I as a rookie have tried to warn people about that fly. What IF you wind up suck in a tree all day (or all the rest of the night as it might be and into the next day, etc..) You may wind up scott free and without a scratch landing/crashing only to die of dehydration because you didn’t pack any water and there’s no cell reception as there was not in this area. Our brother was toward the bottom of the road where there is an obvious large spring, BUT… are you packing a U.V. pen to sterilize this water, or iodine? You can become fatally ill from this, especially combined with being exhausted from escaping such an ordeal.

I am an experienced backcountry snowboarder and lover of hiking and backpacking. If you are not, you will find these things out the day you wind up in a tree.

My current adjusted attitude is this: It’s not that I doubt I will wind up in a tree, I will prepare in full for the day I wind up in a tree!