Home Forums Safety Who’s in favor of having a launch and landing clinic?

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    Marc Deschenes
    General Member

    Video launches and landings. Review them later the same day in the LZ on a large screen. Get critique and advice from instructors.

    Or some other format. Like off the training hill.

    Pilots, instructors, who’s interested?

    Gary Anderson
    General Member

    Having a launch and landing clinic is a great idea. I suggest that we add a new ‘lesson’ to the standard landing clinic: we should pick an out field, put up a flag and have pilots land out in a semi controlled environment.

    Tim Ward
    General Member

    Currently, it’s hard to reliably get enough altitude off the existing training hill to have the speed required to do a good skim and flare.  Top of the 80 foot training hill to the edge of the grass is about an 8:1 glide.

    However, with a little more construction, we’ll have a launch accessible via Gator or Ranger with a fully-assembled glider at about 130 feet and about 6:1 to the edge of the grass.  Haven’t launched it yet, but that should be steep enough to get a good dive and skim in.

    This launch is up by where Kenny’s trailer used to be.  I would like to name it the ‘Whack’ launch.

    Because it was Kenny’s nickname,  and used as a launch to practice landings we’ll probably see a few, and also I think Kenny would be amused by that kind of humor.



    This is interesting. Will the “Whack” launch be appropriate for both HG and PG ?


    You mean something like this? Stan and I donated videos of ourselves to get critiqued. Keep in mind this is not my launch & land MO! 😆 We just used two of my worst examples.




    Marc Deschenes
    General Member

    Yes. Like that. When I got back into flying, I went to the Santa Barbara training hill and had Willy video my launches and landings. He said I let the nose come up in my first two steps then brought it down. I couldn’t sense the nose going up. Had to see it on video to correct it.  Lately, there’s been a number of sloppy launches at Crestline that could have ended badly.  Some pilots are known for mushing off. Seeing themselves on video could help them correct the problem.  Others have inconsistent landings. An instructor may be able to spot something very simple that they’re doing wrong.


    It’s definitely a great way to get better and fine tune one’s launches and landings! I’d highly recommend getting someone to record your launch and landing and then go over it with an instructor.

    For example I was in complete denial that I was jumping on some of my launches, until I saw myself doing it on video. It didn’t -feel- like a jump, but it sure looked like one! While an instructor can try to argue with their students about what did or didn’t happen on launch, video doesn’t lie.

    So ya,… great idea. Open yourself up to a detailed critique and don’t get offended by someone trying to help you. We all make mistakes, nobody is perfect, so try not to feel hurt by it. Use it to get better!

    Dan DeWeese
    General Member
    CSS Instructor

    The training hill sits vacant almost every evening. Judging by that, it seems pilots are satisfied with their level of competence given the consistently pilot-friendly launch and landing conditions at this site.  Does it take a clinic to compel pilots to show up to better their fundamentals? Unfortunately, the answer may be yes.  Ask pilots who consistently launch and land well what methods they employed to get consistency. Guess what they’ll say. Lots of practice. Grab a beginner glider and in smooth evening conditions, practice. Tim or I can gator up the hill. By late eve, the winds usually die down to almost nil and theres your low/no conditions to work in.


    I was in favor when I thought it was a… LUNCH and landing clinic.  Still in favor, even with out the Lunch.


    Dan. I agree with your statements about the value of practice and suggestion to utilize the great resource already in place vis a vis the training hill and you or Tim with the gator.

    What would be the charge and description in range of number of flights, or time on the hill? Let’s assume that either 1 or 2 already rated pilots would be the potential customers and they have all their own equipment. I imagine the price would be a balance between typical training hill fees and the public service being encouraged.

    John Benario
    General Member

    I’m in full agreement.  I paid Tim for a day to critique my landings.  We did a bunch of launches.  14-16?  Definitely learned some pointers from him.



    Dan DeWeese
    General Member
    CSS Instructor

    With a 6pm start, one would probably get 15-20 runs. Late day provides conditions that let the piloting determine the outcome, not the conditions determining the outcome. The narrative is day 1 speak that everyone has long forgotten but should hear every year. Launch and landing explained in simple terms. The purpose of each. Launching and landing is easy. Anxiety can keep you from performing the task at hand. Reps on the training hill get you out of the passenger seat and back confidently in the pilot’s seat.

    contact flycrestline at gmail

    Scott Isbell
    General Member

    I would be up for more practice.


    Let me know when.




    “This launch is up by where Kenny’s trailer used to be.  I would like to name it the ‘Whack’ launch.”

    “Whack-Shack” maybe?

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