Home Forums Safety PG Toplanding Crestline Crash

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    Dan DeWeese
    General Member
    CSS Instructor

    Heres the pilot’s first hand account, which sums it up best.  Developing the feel for the glider’s airspeed is another very important skill you must develop, not to mention being able to say no go.

    On December 11th at around 2pm I launched from crestline. Conditions were beautiful and wind speed was around a constant 10mph with your typical gusts. Nothing unusual during preflight or takeoff. There were other pilots(both PG and HG) in the air, but none flying crestline proper. There were a few over on billboard side and some above Marshall.

    Anyways, I was making some passes back and forth in front of launch, and then after a while, I started to set up an approach for a top landing. I’ve done this maneuver at this particular site maybe 50 or so times, just so you can gauge experience. I made a few different approaches, utilizing the ‘flapping’ technique, also known as a butterfly landing. Each time I was either too high, or pushed out after being too far forward to land. Well, after a few attempts, I just got impatient and aggressive with my toggle inputs, and on approach I stalled my wing between 10-15 feet off the deck. My wing stalled behind me and threw me down on my back so hard that I bounced.

    My parents and grandmother were both present and witnessed the whole thing. My mom was an EMT, so within minutes they had my neck supported and an ambulance on the way. The fire department got my wing down from the trees, and I was shipped off to Loma Linda medical center. I have two compression fractures in my back, and had surgery to insert supportive hardware. I’m all good now, and in a few months I’ll be fully recovered.


    Marc Deschenes
    General Member

    Glad to hear that the pilot will fully recover.

    Gary Anderson
    General Member

    I am also glad that the pilot is recovering well, and thank you very much to Dan and the pilot for that report.


    I was there.  Didn’t see it, but I heard the impact he describes and called 911.  Took about 4 tries to get through at launch, Verizon kept dropping the call.  Finally got a call that didn’t drop.  I was about to get in the car and drive toward the fire station to get signal.

    Very glad to hear that he is recuperating well.


    Pilot said :

    “I’ve done this maneuver at this particular site maybe 50 or so times,”

    It does Not matter what your level of experience , or how long you have

    bin flying to achieve your attitude for EGO ; only TWO thing’s matters for

    these decisions :

    Exactly what is the reward , for the Risk your about to take ?

    And — Your decision could effect your flying pears , in a very

    negative way ; so do ya really wanna disrespect your friends

    that way ?


    Bille Floyd


    How many people were at the WW demo days, the year Steve Parsons

    gave the lecture about why WW stopped top landing Martial for testing

    their gliders ?

    Anyone care to summarize, the entirety of his speech ?



    Clark Frentzen
    General Member
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