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User avatar
By NMERider
#400993
bickford frederick wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:08 pm
Well what happened? I remember something with a drag chute and a crash and you didn't fly for awhile.
I was goofing around when I should have been paying closer attention to my DBF with the 69" drogue chute deployed. It works so smoothly that I failed to realize that I was descending at ~1200fpm during my pattern rather than a more typical 4-500fpm. As a consequence, I extended my down wind leg further than I should have. When I started my base leg turn I was already too low then bounced off the grass before I rounded out. I suffered a typical whiplash injury from the bounce followed by getting smacked on the helmet by the glider's nose. 100% pilot error and nothing else. The equipment and weather were all flawless. I use an identical 69" drogue chute all the time. I can fly lines that only paragliders will attempt by virtue of being able to safely land in confined areas. One of the many nice things about this is being able to discover new routes and find house thermals in places I'd never know to look.

I make an extremely large DBF to the LZ on this recent flight arriving with about 50' or so to spare after I think a 16-mile glide. Then I land on a downhill LZ using my magenta 69" drogue. Do you see the level of freedom I have with this gear and technique? It's a pity more pilots don't have this but many more do now than ever used to.

User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#400999
Takeo77 wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:14 pm
I built a rack for a similar purpose for use here at Ed Levin park, other than one or two other Hang-3/-4 I have only had requests for it among people Hang-2 and below. I still use it because landing well is a priority to me, I guess it's too mundane for most?
What's the saying? You can lead a horse to water, but can't make him drink. Seems like sometimes that horse turns out to be a real jackass...
WhackityWhack wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:14 am
I've seen very experienced HG pilots soar for hours, make a questionable approach and whack a landing and still be just giddy about their "awesome" flight.
Ditto- seen WAYYYY too much of this! I suppose that's a matter of opinion... but I'm like you, landings are essential- inevitable- aspects in aviation. Get them right damnit!

It's funny to me to see Dietch so active in this conversation, as some years ago he was pretty exactly the pilot you're describing here. What made him a bit different was that then, like now, he did a lot of filming and posting about his flights... and he was getting a lot of accolades and ego-feeding despite his inelegant arrivals back to terra-firma. And boy did he not like me pointing it out in hopes others would see your and my perspective- bad landing = bad flight, doesn't much matter what happened beforehand. In the very beginning I hoped to help HIM see that, and even help him dial his landings in; It quickly became clear he was unreceptive to any criticism, no matter how constructive and well-intentioned. So then he became the unofficial poster child for "don't be like this guy". After almost a decade of that, though, I have to give him props and much respect... he did come around and see the quality of his landings was in need of attention. He's since done a lot of work and practice and training to improve them. He's still not perfect, none of us are... there are still people that land a lot better than he does, a lot more consistently than he does... but hell, you should see some of those old videos!!! He's doing SO much better now! Alcoa Aluminum stocks have suffered greatly... but now he can serve as a diferent example to the community- one that people can always change, learn, and improve. He once swore up and down and sideways that he was merely an uncoordinated person, flying in thermic conditions, and so those poor landings were inevitable and unavoidable. Like he was a victim of fate or genetics, like it was the price he had to pay to do what he wanted to do. But now, same dude... no, 10+ years older now!... same conditions, same equipment more or less... vastly different results. Respect JD. Finally living up to that NME in his pen name!
DAVE 858 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:55 am
No, the figure 8 approach is NOT a good tool. It is the result of bad habits and poor decisions. It is the direct result of an inability to fly precisely and nothing else.
Dave- Nothing hinders learning like "knowing". You are pretty dang dead-set in your opinions about figure-8 style approaches (or anything other than DBF even?). I am glad you have found an approach that works so well for you in all variety of circumstances, however not everyone is content... or best suited... living in a box of your creation. If you would admit that you simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND any non-DBF approach, that could be a good start to opening a constructive dialogue here?

I'm also reminded of a Socrates quote, "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." If you all you see are the strengths of the DBF approach, are you blind to it's limitations? If all you see are limitations in figure-8 approaches, are you blind to it's advantages? It seems that way to me, but who am I to say... just think about it, eh?
User avatar
By DAVE 858
#401009
I never said that a DBF approach is the end all be all of how to land a hang glider. Some approaches are merely just pieces of a DBF approach. It all comes down to circumstance. My point is that each leg of the approach is executed with control precision and accuracy. I just don't buy that a figure 8 approach allows you the ability to do that better than a DBF, BF, or straight in approach. Like I said before, I think this is an ego issue as arguing for a figure 8 approach is just asinine.
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#401012
DAVE 858 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:16 pm
My point is that each leg of the approach is executed with control precision and accuracy. I just don't buy that a figure 8 approach allows you the ability to do that better than a DBF, BF, or straight in approach.
No argument here, ALL approaches should be executed with control precision and accuracy. Generally speaking, I don't think anyone is suggesting a figure-8 style approach allows for better control precision and accuracy... just comparable precision and accuracy in many cases. In some cases, yes a DBF style approach is a stronger choice... but there are definitely cases where a figure-8 style approach can definitely be advantageous. As I said I'm glad you have gotten so competent and comfortable performing the DBF, however I am sorry your tool kit is limited to just one tool. When all you have is a hammer...

I care not which approach you or any others choose to use. However, I very much DO care when someone posts judgemental, closed-minded, uneducated statements as though they were fact. Obviously it is your opinion, but hell- if I respected you or recognized you as a source of useful experienced knowledge, and read your statements, chances are I would not ever so much as CONSIDER performing a figure-8 style approach. And that is what has me posting... because that limits people's options, and in some cases can increase their risk unecessarily, or at least make performing a quality, accurate landing much more challenging than it needed to be.
DAVE 858 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:55 am
No, the figure 8 approach is NOT a good tool. It is the result of bad habits and poor decisions. It is the direct result of an inability to fly precisely and nothing else.
DAVE 858 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:55 am
Like I said before, I think this is an ego issue as arguing for a figure 8 approach is just asinine.
I'm sure your intentions are good, but these comments help no one. Especially yourself! Again- perhaps admitting that you DO NOT UNDERSTAND figure-8 style approaches might be a step toward opening your mind and expanding your perspective (and growing as a pilot). Sure would make for more constructive and friendlier toned conversation around here...
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#401015
Sarcasm noted. Listen man... I'm a busy guy, but I also care about hang gliding and the community of people that do it. I'm passionate about sharing what I've learned along my journey of being deeply engulfed in the sport... but don't take advantage. Are you actually interested in listening, and trying to open your mind to the possibility that something you obviously believe very strongly may not actually be true? I've wrestled with that with some things, and I sure as hell know it's not easy. I enjoy teaching... but only those that want to learn can be taught. So- ya wasting my time, or actually interested in understanding this better?
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#401018
wasn't a joke Dietch. So tired of dicking around on this forum. Trying something new- asking if someone is ready to learn. Otherwise WTF. He's content knowing what he knows and not knowing what he don't...

What's funny here???
User avatar
By AlaskanNewb
#401020
AIRTHUG wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:11 pm
DAVE 858 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:16 pm
My point is that each leg of the approach is executed with control precision and accuracy. I just don't buy that a figure 8 approach allows you the ability to do that better than a DBF, BF, or straight in approach.
No argument here, ALL approaches should be executed with control precision and accuracy. Generally speaking, I don't think anyone is suggesting a figure-8 style approach allows for better control precision and accuracy... just comparable precision and accuracy in many cases. In some cases, yes a DBF style approach is a stronger choice... but there are definitely cases where a figure-8 style approach can definitely be advantageous. As I said I'm glad you have gotten so competent and comfortable performing the DBF, however I am sorry your tool kit is limited to just one tool. When all you have is a hammer...

I care not which approach you or any others choose to use. However, I very much DO care when someone posts judgemental, closed-minded, uneducated statements as though they were fact. Obviously it is your opinion, but hell- if I respected you or recognized you as a source of useful experienced knowledge, and read your statements, chances are I would not ever so much as CONSIDER performing a figure-8 style approach. And that is what has me posting... because that limits people's options, and in some cases can increase their risk unecessarily, or at least make performing a quality, accurate landing much more challenging than it needed to be.
DAVE 858 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:55 am
No, the figure 8 approach is NOT a good tool. It is the result of bad habits and poor decisions. It is the direct result of an inability to fly precisely and nothing else.
DAVE 858 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:55 am
Like I said before, I think this is an ego issue as arguing for a figure 8 approach is just asinine.
I'm sure your intentions are good, but these comments help no one. Especially yourself! Again- perhaps admitting that you DO NOT UNDERSTAND figure-8 style approaches might be a step toward opening your mind and expanding your perspective (and growing as a pilot). Sure would make for more constructive and friendlier toned conversation around here...
Airthug

I agree with you on this.

Interested in hearing your perspectives on the figure 8 approach vs DBF etc.
User avatar
By DAVE 858
#401021
Im seriously interested in how a figure 8 approach is a better choice than a DBF, BF or straight in approach. Specifically how it can be more accurate and precise than a DBF approach. I might be set in my ways, but I don't believe there is any argument here.
User avatar
By NMERider
#401022
AIRTHUG wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:26 pm
wasn't a joke Dietch. So tired of dicking around on this forum. Trying something new- asking if someone is ready to learn. Otherwise WTF. He's content knowing what he knows and not knowing what he don't...

What's funny here???
Dude! You keep beating your head against the wall. It doesn't work. It's never worked. Neither does browbeating and bullying other pilots. Nor does pontificating. None of it works nor has any of it ever made anyone a better or safer pilot perhaps with extremely limited exceptions. This isn't the military where when you are the sergeant in charge, you can bark orders at your subordinates and even that only goes so far before your troops covertly rebel.

Hang gliding is a recreational activity whose primary purpose is to have fun. If it isn't fun to listen to then no one is going to listen. Or if the statement doesn't promise the reader or listener more fun in his or her future they ain't gonna pay it much thought.

So why did I take my landing more seriously? I was missing out on some good times.
#1 - Several accomplished X/C pilots refused to take me along with them until I could land out ion the brush safely. Not perfectly like in competition gymnastics but safely, meaning I didn't get anything worse than a minor scrape and my glider was still ready to fly after I landed.
#2 - A good buddy of mine asked me whether I'd be disappointed to miss a great day of flying because I was injured or my glider needed repairs. I told him of course I would. And he's like, well then why take unnecessary chances (with any aspect of flying)?
Now I'm one of pilots who tells wannabe X/C pilots to show me their log books and point out where they deliberately landed in the brush off the LZ or did other unorthodox approaches. I'll even give aspiring X/C pilots a Google Earth file filled with X/C track logs and bailout waypoints. Some actually study the flights and then they walk a bunch of bailout fields. I've even offered to loan good friends my Falcon so practice land-outs can be more manageable. It's actually fun to do all this. But if they don't want to do their homework then I just say, "Sorry. I won't help anyone who hasn't done his homework.".

I try not to argue, bully or insult the aspiring X/C pilot. I just tell them how much fun it is to do out-landing practice and to walk new LZs and to study track logs in Google Earth. But you of all people should know that very few pilots want to do their homework and pay their dues by doing landing reps and any other aspect of soaring flight that's essential to success.

This is recreation and it should be fun even if it's a ton of work with a long learning curve. Getting beaten over the head just isn't fun and those who don't get into a fight often rebel by doing the opposite while others walk away altogether and quit. Some ignore the noise and go on about their business and progress and still do well.

But the sad reality is that some pilots are going to hurt themselves regardless of how great our advice may be or the excellence of our sales pitches. As long as they aren't jeopardizing our insurance pool. or flying sites, or the sport itself then it's best to just look away before they go splat but have 911 on speed-dial. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sometimes it's best to temper one's intentions just a little before we find ourselves in a war of religion.

So stop trying to win. It's making you lose. Offer what you have to contribute but take no offense when your kind and heartfelt offer is neglected, rebuffed or rejected. Go have fun and keep making entertaining flight videos with your little princess. Those are priceless.
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#401023
DAVE 858 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:25 pm
Im seriously interested in how a figure 8 approach is a better choice than a DBF, BF or straight in approach. Specifically how it can be more accurate and precise than a DBF approach.
A good place to start this might be in talking about the most effective ways of using figure-8 style approaches- because I see above you said "straight in approach". I don't care if a pilot does a DBF, 8's, S's, or flips around randomly to get themselves into an LZ... a straight final is an integral part of LANDING... so a more accurate way of thinking of the approach is everything leading up to the straight final. And before someone goes apeshit, yes I am aware there are occurrences where landings don't involve, or literally can not involve, a straight final... but that's like .1% so let's not go there please.

The purpose of an approach is to position your aircraft where it "needs" to be, in order for you to land where you want to land. Needs is in quotations because we're human, flying small lightweight gliders in an active invisible medium... striving for perfection is encouraged, but also recognizing that where your glider needs to be is a soft concept, it's a general area kind of thing. Hopefully everyone understands glide slope- where being close to your target and low when you start your final gives you a short final, and being higher and farther away can give you a longer final but still land you in the same exact spot... if your distance-to-altitude stays along that glide slope angle.

How someone gets themselves onto this glide slope angle is a bit irrelevant to the landing itself, as long as they do it... hopefully we can agree on that, right? So- why figure-8 instead of DBF?

Someone already commented on how their DBF went all wonky when they found themselves landing in way more wind than they were accustomed. Humans are creatures of habit, and while a pilot SHOULD be constantly monitoring position and judging ground speed on the downwind and estimating how that shifts the ideal glide angle positioning steeper (closer to the desired touchdown spot)... we also easily fall into routine. If your downwind leg takes 45 seconds or more most flights, it's surprisingly easy to get caught off guard when circumstances call for it to be like 10 seconds, or possibly even less! This is if you start at about the same geographic staging point to start your DBF. If the pilot recognizes early how windy it is, they might start their DBF farther upwind in order to still have that 45-second (I'm making these numbers up, never actually timed a traditional DBF haha) downwind leg. But at some point this gets pretty impractical, gliding way upwind... presumable way past the LZ from where you originated... just to box it and come back again.

Which brings up- there is a minimum altitude required to perform a DBF. If someone gets to the LZ too low to fly upwind first, then downwind alongside their LZ, then fly a base leg, and finally... a final. That might turn into more of a downwind to BaFinal, where the base and final are really just a single 180 degree turn. If you don't like the idea of doing 90-120 degree heading changes in a figure-8 approach, I doubt you support flying downwind and doing a 180 turn back into the wind. Not to mention much of the adjustable nature of the DBF is lost in that case.

So maybe getting to the LZ low someone is disciplined and aware enough to let go of their DBF plan BEFORE they try flying upwind, creating the need for that 180 BaFinal thing. Maybe they fly to the side of the LZ in a way that they can basically drop in to a DBF without the D... they just fly the Base and Final. Well again, a lot of the adaptability in the DBF is lost. In fact, doing just a base leg and turn to final is the same as doing one leg of a "figure 8" and turning final. It's just a crosswind heading and a turn into the wind.

Speaking of A TURN INTO THE WIND... a figure 8 approach can have many turns into the wind. A DBF has ONE. An advantage of figure 8's is that the pilot can exit the eights on either end, or cut one short and turn into the wind and into the LZ. If someone gets a DBF wrong, they find themselves with some serious last-minute decision making to do! Should I land into the wind, somewhere else... or land in the LZ, but it might be downwind, or maybe I can at least get cross-wind... maybe. If you've ever been there you probably remember the feeling of helplessness as you're on the wrong side of where you wish you were... it's quite memorable!

Obviously this means someone messed up their DBF... and for fairness we should discuss how so many people mess up a figure 8 style approach, too. It's called a figure 8 because, in no wind, the pilot needs to fly a figure 8 pattern over the ground. This is often seen as undesirable because that means the pilot is turning a bit away from their LZ again and again in order to do those 8's. What happens a lot is people, being imperfect humans again, don't want to or aren't comfortable with turning away from the LZ enough to keep themselves over one area of ground while they figure 8... so they end up flying more like a series of "S" shapes, where they are getting lower like they want, sure, but also getting closer to their desired landing spot... and effectively they are following a glide slope line into the LZ... all the while staying above where they want to be, and steadily inching lower and forward and always staying over that slope angle they want to get into.

The more wind there is, the less of a challenge this is- because with the drift of the air moving over the ground, it becomes less and less necessary to actually point the nose of the glider away from where you want to land. And so, in wind, it's fair to say figure 8's become easier to perform correctly, or said similarly it gets harder and harder to fly "S"'s and inch your way in rather than getting lower until you're on that angle to turn final and head in... and like I said earlier, a figure 8 approach can present a lot more opportunities for when to turn in... whereas a DBF requires you to have an idea of if you are too high or a bit low while you are still upwind, or while traveling downwind, or while flying that base... although options are decreasing by the second at that point... too low cutting base early means landing a bit off the wind line, and too high means doing essentially a figure 8 type turn before final... so I hope it's a skill that's there when needed!

One more thing about a DBF vs figure 8 approaches. Well, I'm sure there are other things I'm not thinking of right now... but this one more thing is a big one, and I saved it for last on purpose. :wink:

When flying a DBF, a pilot is more or less flying flat and level, initiating a turn, leveling out, etc. In figure 8 typed approaches, the glider is almost always banked. Does that matter? Yep... well, sometimes anyway! Turbulence tends to be more vertical and horizontal. Either thermals are rising and other air is descending to take it's place, or air is flowing over hills or mountains or trees or houses or whatever. Maybe the airflow gets shifted a bit left or right, but generally turbulence is felt the most when you're flying flat and level, and the least when you're banked. Also, when you're banked and turning, the forces created are actually multiplying your wingloading. If I recall correctly- and don't kill me if I'm mixing up my numbers- I think in a 30 degree coordinated turn you're pulling 1.5G's, right? So if I hook in at say 200 lbs, and my glider is 144 sq ft, I have a wingloading of ~1.39 lbs/sq ft. When I'm in that 30 degree bank coordinated turn, the glider is feeling 1.5x my weight, so my 200 lbs feels like 300! Glider didn't get any bigger, so now I'm rocking ~2.08 lbs/sq in. In case anyone hasn't connected the dots yet- we're flying weight shift hang gliders, so more weight is more control.

In either approach there is the concern of being bumped off course by turbulence, and it's never a great thing in either approach. Getting bumped off course in your downwind leg can mean extending that leg unintentionally, requiring shortening the base or possibly the base and the final. Getting bumped off course in a figure 8, although less likely, can simply mean one loop of your 8 is really big, or your 8 starts looking like a three-leaf-clover, or an experienced pilot might think quick enough to go with that bump and take a quick 360 rather than fighting it and trying to stick with the 8's plan... but whatever happens, if you suddenly lost some time/altitude, no big deal, that just means one less "8" leg. As long as the plan is to always exit the approach for a nice long final, the argument about getting dumped out of a figure 8 downwind and hitting the ground with a drastic ground speed is no more relevant than getting bumped and turned downwind on the base leg of a DBF.

With all of that said- and advocating that everyone (eventually) get proficient in performing both types of approaches- I'll confess that I also prefer a DBF over figure 8's for most people, most times. But that doesn't mean I don't see the value or the strengths in figure 8's etc. And hopefully now you can understand how, sometimes, a figure 8 approach can very well be a wiser choice than a DBF... assuming you've got the skills and experience to perform it well. In any event, the safest approach is going to be the one you're good at over the one you're not... so if you've practiced and worked hard to get really good at one, that is excellent- and yes definitely use that one when things are "interesting". But when things are mellow, why not start practicing and training the 8's... or some variation therein... dial it in on those flights when you could DBF it in your sleep. Who knows, there might come a day where the site, or the conditions, or the traffic, or whatever suit the figure 8 style approach... and bam, whip that skill out of your bag o tricks and land like a boss. I have had a few times when I was truly glad it was something I learned to do in addition to a DBF!

And responding to Dietch... I will NOT stop trying to win! Winning, to me, would be every glider sold from hereon out would have the same downtubes it came with from the factory. Winning would be when people come to an LZ to "watch dem crazy kite peoples" land... they see an entire community of skilled aviators, not a bunch of "arrivals" where they appear lucky to have smacked into the right field at least. If I didn't know hang gliding didn't have to be like that, and I saw pretty much any average day at an LZ like Ajax... hell no would I even consider hang gliding! Crashing doesn't look COOL or FUN! So, yea... I'm gonna keep trying to win. Anyone that wants to win with me is welcome, and there are a lot of people I've helped along the way that will attest to what I'm all about (and what I'm not- re: bullying or intimidating people?). As for arguing... that's exactly why I was asking if Dave really wanted to know... 'cause there was a time when I came to hg.org for entertainment, and while I never argued anything I didn't believe in, I absolutely welcomed a good debate for the sport of it. A lot of times you were my Huckleberry... so again I find it funny you saying you try not to argue. You would just go on and on insisting you will never land well, it's not something you are personally capable of, it can't be done in never-seen-before fields, and can't be done in those conditions... and it wasn't just me, you had lots of people saying they flew the same gear, higher, hotter, rowdier places, longer durations and distances, and still had nice landings... and you'd come at it again and again. I know that to this day you feel I was beating you over the head like a whack-a-mole every time you'd post yet another video with a seismic landing... or another flight where the camera battery died or card was full right when you turned final :chair: I truly just wanted you to wise up before you got hurt! The irony that you broke your neck AFTER you got wise and practiced and put some polish to your landings... just fuking sucks. That is SO not the positive reinforcement that should follow such a long overdue wise decision!!! Despite what you may think, I was not at all happy to hear of that incident. And I can even say I am glad you are still out there getting after it and flying... that's an inspirational tale. I just wish you weren't still holding that chip on your shoulder from the 10 years I spent trying to get you to listen, and weren't here needling at me while I'm taking the time to try to help educate (again). No good deed I guess..........
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#401025
When you can't respond with something nice... or intelligent... or contribute something to this thread... why even make a post like that JD? :wtf:
User avatar
By waltspoint
#401026
I'm thinking I might not want to do a DBF approach if there was some obstruction at the upwind end of the LZ, power-lines a hill or something. And some approaches, like maybe the Mission Ridge LZ in Hayward CA, it just seems easier to set up down-wind of the up-slope landing spot. So having a varied bag of tricks does seem useful. Although I do prefer DBF mostly, not that I'm the world's best lander.

I took out my Freedom this weekend for the first time since I got my T2C this spring. I did a DBF, and it was laughable how short I came up, even though I thought I was starting my downwind a bit high. With the T2C, I've gotten so used to trying to start my approach as low as I dare to avoid overshooting. I needed to turn into the wind way sooner than I anticipated, no time for a base leg. I dunno, I guess it's best to fly a variety of gliders regularly at different sites. I'm setting a goal of doing 100 flights next season, maybe then I'll get good at landing. This year I had 56 flights.

Hey Jonathan, in you video it looked like that orange 'chute was winding clockwise the whole time it was open. By the time you landed, it looked like it was starting to pinch itself down. Is that characteristic of the design? I don't think I'd want one that does that, if I opened it high, it might not be there by the time I was on final. I do want to get a landing chute installed on my harness. Push out! /jd
User avatar
By flybop
#401027
Thanks for your description of why a figure 8 approach can be a good option Ryan. That was me that was caught off guard in some pretty darn strong winds. That 63 mph down wind ground speed was not expected. My D leg was only a couple of seconds, but I covered some ground.

As a pilot I like to have options. Being proficient at more than one approach makes me more confident at many sites.

This has been a good thread for me. I just watched the mentioned flight and damn, there could have, should have been some different decisions made. Mainly my base to final turn was not nearly aggressive enough. I kept thinking while watching it that I was not fully aware of just how strong the wind was. A more aggressive base to finale turn would have taken the white knuckle out of the approach. FWIW, the landing was fine.
Last edited by flybop on Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By NMERider
#401028
waltspoint wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:40 pm
....Hey Jonathan, in you video it looked like that orange 'chute was winding clockwise the whole time it was open. By the time you landed, it looked like it was starting to pinch itself down. Is that characteristic of the design? I don't think I'd want one that does that, if I opened it high, it might not be there by the time I was on final. I do want to get a landing chute installed on my harness. Push out! /jd
Hey JD,
The orange drogue is extremely sensitive to rotating air and the pilot/harness creates a set of vortices just like wingtip vortices. The left side vortex rotates clockwise as viewed from behind and the left mounted drogue rotates with it. It's utterly harmless and the reason the drogues come equipped with an oversized ball bearing swivel.

I use an extremely short bridle and so the drogue is very close to the wake turbulence of the pilot/harness. For maximum descent rate it's important to keep your feet in the harness and stay prone. If a very long bridle is used this is not much of an issue.

If you need to reduce the drag from the drogue then deliberately wake it by going upright and it will collapse. Another technique is to slow down to minimum sink speed and the drogue does almost nothing and glide will improve.

There are many little tricks and nuances to expand the utility of these drogues but overall they are the best that I know of and nobody knows who the original designer was. It goes back at least 25 years. I merely revived it and gave the pattern to FFE after explaining how by making out-landings easier and safer we may get more pilots flying X/C and help keep the sport going. These are very forgiving drogues and many pilots have described their pleasure of using and surprise at the amount of drag. Lots of pilots come up short of the LZ grass first time using.

Obviously, I use an even larger version and if you saw the places I land my T2C you'd immediately know why. But I make myself do as many landings without the drogue in order to keep up my skills within reason.

BTW - I have done plenty of tight figure-8s even with the 69" experimental drogue.

Cheers, JD
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