.

.

All things hang gliding. This is the main forum. New users, introduce yourself.

Moderators: sg, mods

By blindrodie
#401030
Many thanks to Ryan and Dave and JD for their input, backstory and all! Working on WINNING in Missouri! :mosh: Always the student.

So Dave did this thread help you at all?

8)
User avatar
By DAVE 858
#401031
How can I learn when I already know everything. YOU GUYS SHOULD BE LEARNING FROM ME! :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

In all seriousness I do enjoy these disputes if nothing more than for the sake of argument. Now someone start an RRG or PG vs HG thread so we can keep the fire going!!!
User avatar
By NMERider
#401032
blindrodie wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:05 am
Many thanks to Ryan and Dave and JD for their input, backstory and all! Working on WINNING in Missouri! :mosh: Always the student.

So Dave did this thread help you at all?

8)
Don't forget to thank Theodore Hutz for taking one for the team along with Daydreamer for the video and Will for the OP. Go team! :mosh: :mosh: :thumbsup:
User avatar
By AlaskanNewb
#401035
AIRTHUG wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:43 pm
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..........
nice post.
By blindrodie
#401040
Don't forget to thank Theodore Hutz for taking one for the team along with Daydreamer for the video and Will for the OP. Go team!
Yes, absolutely!

8)
User avatar
By flybop
#401051
DAVE 858 wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:45 am
How can I learn when I already know everything. YOU GUYS SHOULD BE LEARNING FROM ME! :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

In all seriousness I do enjoy these disputes if nothing more than for the sake of argument. Now someone start an RRG or PG vs HG thread so we can keep the fire going!!!
It's winter Dave. Those threads can't be far behind...

And, thank you for your input. I agree that in most situations the DBF is the best approach. Flying at a site when more times than not it is just myself or maybe 1 other pilot gives me the airspace to do figure 8's whenever I want to. I need to do plenty of DBF approaches so I can be safe and proficient when I travel to more crowded sites.
User avatar
By TjW
#401070
What are the times ( or some times) when DBF is a poor choice/ not the best choice?
User avatar
By Lucky_Chevy
#401072
In part, it's a personal preference. I don't like using DBF landing approaches in high winds or in restricted fields. In high winds the downwind leg goes by quickly and I have to remind myself to maintain good speed while my brain is screaming at me to slow down.

When landing in a tight or slot LZ I prefer to make passes on the baseline to lose the extra altitude and sight my landing spot before going on final.
User avatar
By remmoore
#401074
At my home site of Mt. Diablo, we have six designated LZ's - all of them are in hilly or sloping terrain.

Two LZ's pretty much require DBF. The common denominator for the DBF LZ's is significantly higher terrain close behind the landing target. Figure 8's and S-turns are just not going to work there. We do our downwind leg heading toward the high terrain, turn onto base flying parallel to it, then turn onto final away from it.

A couple of others have terrain that slopes up toward the landing target. DBF can be done there, but most of us prefer to make our final turns behind the target, to keep more vertical space for maneuvers. There is plenty of room to do 8's or S's as we see fit.

Two others have steeply sloping terrain in front of the landing targets. It's pretty much impossible to do the downwind leg over this high terrain, so 8's and S's are the rule there.

Diablo is a great training ground for so many aspects of advanced flight, and we certainly keep our landing approaches tuned!

RM
User avatar
By Takeo77
#401075
I'll chime in from a beginner's perspective, I'm not a beginner, but because my wife is a Hang-2 I find myself in the company of new pilots more than my experience-peers. A figure-8 approach is great if you are not experienced at judging wind, distance and glide ratio. I know many people advocate a pure DBF approach but our local site of Dunlap has seen more than it's share of over/undershoots. A figure 8 has you turning upwind directly over the left/base, right/base keypoints with the ability to turn in at any time. If you don't have a good grasp on how wind affects your ground track, figure 8 is about as good as it gets. I also personally use it for when I observe an active LZ, and I am waiting for the right moment to approach the field.

Maybe some of the more experienced pilots here have forgotten what it's like to be new.
User avatar
By Willmrx
#401081
What makes this (landing) so interesting? Are the reasons why it happened. And the reasons for this sad landing started some 20 years ago.... One night, I get this phone call from a fellow instructor, he tells me that he has this student that has, (more money than sens) and was eager to get his hang 3. However, the instructor said , that the student had not yet demonstrated that he had the skill set to get his hang 3 , as well as having a very poor understanding of the basic aerodynamics of a hang gliding. Well a couple of days latter, I did get a call from his student. I did not return the call. Well, the student did find a local instructor to call him back as well as giving him his hang 3. And to the (surprise) of the instructor , the student ended up buying a new wing and gear from the instructor. As a result, the student has never learned the skills necessary to safely land a hang glider. He was very lucky he did not break his neck on this landing . And BTW that was hang 2 landing conditions at McClure that day.
User avatar
By NMERider
#401083
Willmrx wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:40 am
...And BTW that was hang 2 landing conditions at McClure that day.
All dollars and no sense. I get it. I'm still not sure what he could have done different, successfully. There are people in every hobby and recreation who have money but not always a great deal of talent or willingness to learn. I've no answer to this issue.
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#401094
TjW wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:55 pm
What are the times ( or some times) when DBF is a poor choice/ not the best choice?
Super windy conditions is one that was mentioned. Others can be when the landing terrain is up-sloping into the wind, because people OFTEN (although shouldn't) get thrown by their seemingly low altitude over the ground while staging upwind, so they start their downwind and by the time they turn base they are now much higher AGL, as well as too high for their target landing spot. I say people shouldn't get thrown by this, because approaches and landings should be judged by ANGLE, never AGL.

Another time can be if the conditions are such that big, sudden altitude changes can occur. Not necessary TURBULENT, but I have flown some sites/conditions where 100 ft or more of altitude can come or go in an instant. It would suck royally to be upwind or cross-wind of where you want to land, and suddenly find yourself at the proper altitude to turn in for "final", forcing a downwind or crosswind landing that could have been avoided by staging at the downwind end in the first place.

Another is if an LZ's geography is better suited to a figure 8 style approach than a DBF. For example if an LZ is more of a long skinny strip parallel with the wind direction, with trees or other obstacles along the sides, one would have to choose between doing their downwind closer to the edge of the field in order to ensure they could turn in at any time without the obstacles blocking them... but that would force a short base leg, probably just a 180 turn... which loses a lot of a DBF's flexibility and user-friendy-ness. Or the pilot could do a downwind leg farther out from the LZ, but if they misjudge their placement, glide, or the conditions, they could then have a tree line blocking them from getting into the LZ. Someone mentioned Dunlop CA, and that's a pretty good example of this- with the slope on one side of the LZ and the pond and tree line on the other. Ponds, rivers, streams, etc can cause for different air temps, and in turn different conditions or sink rates as you fly over them, so that can again be a reason not to DBF over that side of an LZ.

Takeo mentioned above if someone is not good at judging their altitude and sink rate (IE time until landing) or how long it takes to fly along a DBF, then it can be very difficult skill-wise to perform a DBF, as well as very stressful where the pilot gets worried about not being on the downwind side and ready to turn in while they are in mental "landing mode". Skills do take practice to develop, so not having the skill set to accurately DBF is not a reason alone to not do them... but if an LZ doesn't grant a reasonable safety margin for approach error (too small etc), then that's a good reason to "stick with what you know", and like Takeo said, doing figure 8's (properly, not S's!!!) does allow the pilot to make the go in/not yet decision again and again and again until it's time... and the choice is binary, rather than a DBF where your path for the downwind is thinking about your base, which can be highly variable, which is thinking about when you turn final, which can also be variable... DBF requires a bit more planning and thinking ahead... probably a reason people do tend to generally land better when doing it- because LANDINGS require planning and thinking ahead, so those doing DBF's may *also* be more proactive think-aheaders than some pilots tending towards figure 8 style approaches, who might be more like the wing-it, shoot-from-the-hip, spontaneous and make-it-up-as-they-go types?

I'm sure there are more cases where a DBF isn't the best suited approach for the situation... but there's a few to think about at least :thumbsup:
User avatar
By lizzard
#401095
Fly wall /clifftop landings.Downwind ,base final,flare are all one action .Too high?do it again too low ? I guess that is where the name came from.
But is it really a type of figure eight ... so many contexts.
Learning to have your intended flare point as an approaching dot that just gets bigger is key to a good landing.
Its best not to lock into any pattern but local knowlwdge, shared or gained is an advantage .
By bickford frederick
#401124
Will, you should upload some whack videos on YouTube or whatever. That's good stuff to learn from.
User avatar
By Charlie Romeo
#401128
I seem to Ditto you a lot Blindrodie :lol: ..I especially like your informative writing Airthug.....not a thug at all.....at least not to me ..yet :lol: ...just a quick two cents worth.....When i am over a landing paddock i pick my best spot to land, ie based on the fact i could under/overshoot or land to the left or right and it won"t be a big deal....BUT what i then do is pick my pre-spot and this sets me up for the landing. Always aim to overshoot the pre-spot and your right 8)
User avatar
By Skyvine
#401145
remmoore wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:11 pm
At my home site of Mt. Diablo, we have six designated LZ's - all of them are in hilly or sloping terrain.

Two LZ's pretty much require DBF. The common denominator for the DBF LZ's is significantly higher terrain close behind the landing target. Figure 8's and S-turns are just not going to work there. We do our downwind leg heading toward the high terrain, turn onto base flying parallel to it, then turn onto final away from it.

A couple of others have terrain that slopes up toward the landing target. DBF can be done there, but most of us prefer to make our final turns behind the target, to keep more vertical space for maneuvers. There is plenty of room to do 8's or S's as we see fit.

Two others have steeply sloping terrain in front of the landing targets. It's pretty much impossible to do the downwind leg over this high terrain, so 8's and S's are the rule there.

Diablo is a great training ground for so many aspects of advanced flight, and we certainly keep our landing approaches tuned!

RM
Once again, RM, you have summarized a topic nicely. In this case, the need for competency in more than one type of approach. I was looking for a good example of where I have used different approaches for different LZs (very important on x-c flights), but that glass of wine got in the way.

Thanks!
By bickford frederick
#401153
I landed in the PG LZ mid-day at Hat Creek on my Northwing Horizon once. Jug saw it. He was with a group on their way back from Woodrat hanging out in the shade waiting for the evening glass-off. Jug gave me a brew and Page gave me a free t-shirt.

What I did was dive into the field and do a wing-over before I crashed into the trees and then get into ground skim to land.

Years later on my 610 I did about the same thing in an area I didn't know I wasn't supposed to land. Slightly tailwind and up sloping a bit for ground skim before flare time.

Neither places could I have done a 8 or S etcetera approach. I would've ended up using all of the field because I couldn't get into ground skim and bleed off speed early enough.

I haven't ever flown with a drogue chute or seen one in person, just videos. What I'd like to know is how well you'd be able to recover airspeed if you lose it on final near the ground.

Often near the ground the wind moves much more horizontal than vertical. As it is coalescing it sometimes does a backspin of sorts so if you hit it head on you enter a rapid surge of lift followed by a rapid surge of sink.

This is where you need to regain airspeed as soon as possible and not end up in mush mode near terrain which can be very dangerous at places like the downslope into the main LZ at McClure. There's been numerous accidents and one death I know of from that happening.

Maybe it would work okay? I'm not sure. If I had the ability to test it out I'd do it with plenty of altitude and calm air. I'd have instruments and video and do some mild whip-stalls at various speeds and then do the same routine with the drogue chute deployed to see the difference.

I haven't found any video showing anything like this. There's math to do the calculations but I don't know the equations to make any estimate.

Thinking about McClure, it might be best to go ahead and forget about shade in the LZ and get permission to cut down all the trees. Doing that would open up the area and there would be a lot less turbulence generated for safer landings. Also, no more pitch from the pines on gliders..
User avatar
By NMERider
#401157
bickford frederick wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:32 pm
....I haven't ever flown with a drogue chute or seen one in person, just videos. What I'd like to know is how well you'd be able to recover airspeed if you lose it on final near the ground.

This is a important question. I'm glad you asked it and have phrased it well.
Although I have used several different types of drogues since 2008, I am only going to answer with respect to the 60" drogue that Dustin Martin sells and is manufactured by Free Flight Enterprises, who build the LARA reserve chutes for Wills Wing and the huge BRS chutes for the Cirrus airplane.

There are two modes of descending with this drogue: Waked and Clean.

If the drogue is being waked by an upright pilot and harness then its power decreases dramatically and this can be a very good thing if you need to accelerate quickly such as when dropping through a surface gradient or have hit a low-level wind shear, tree rotor or tree shadow.

If the drogue is running clean which is typical with a fully prone pilot its power is dramatic as in a 3:1 L/D at 38mph on a Sport 2 155 or T2C 144 in zero VG. So, let's say I'm going to land in a vacant lot surrounded by trees and buildings that create a very sudden gradient. But it's blowing 15-20mph at 300'AGL. Let's say I deploy the drogue just downwind of the field at 300' and pull the bar in and fly clean. I often find myself dropping at 1,000FPM and going backwards. Now I have two choices. I can slow the glider down while flying clean (and slow) which greatly improves my glide angle and penetration but my airspeed may be lower than I want it in turbulence. Alternately, I can go upright and wake the drogue while keeping my airspeed which will also improve my glide and penetration but my sink rate will be high. (It's fun the pull out the drogue at a few thousand feet AGL and just go thought these scenarios and get used to your glider's dynamics under each mode and any degree in between.)

So I'm dropping fast into this headwind and look down at the weeds in the vacant lot and don't see much motion. I know there is some combination of wind shadow and gradient waiting for me. At this stage I want to be at the downwind end of the field but not so far that if I stuff the bar I go backwards off the field. Typically what I do myself is bend my knees up while staying semi prone and dive for the ground. The airspeed of my vertical speed is less affected by shadow or gradient than my horizontal airspeed. Depending on different factors I will either transition both hands to the down tubes before I make this final dive or I will wait until I am in skim and near trim speed. I don't have a pat answer for this decision.

If I suspect that I may experience a sudden decrease in airspeed at round-out height, I will have my hands on the downtubes and be ready to flare in an instant. I have hit some strong surface gradient/shadows where I had to flare the glider as I was rounding out. The landings were lovely but it was weird diving down to the deck and just flaring rather than skimming first.

Now, if I have plenty of field ahead of me then I'd be more inclined to come in semi-prone with legs extended and wake the drogue. It's little different than coming in with the same posture and no drogue.

So there's this counter-intuitive paradox than users of a truly effective drogue have to get accustomed to. When coming up short you must do the opposite of what you would do without the drogue. You either need to get upright far enough to wake the drogue or you need to slow down enough that the drag from the drogue drops off and you can float your way upwind. In the latter case it's no different than landing a single surface glider. In the case of relying on body wake it becomes a new skill or habit to become familiar with.

The really great news is that these drogues tend to be so stable and predictable that your maneuverability is not affected. Do all the 360's, S-turn and figure 8's you like. It's just like throwing turns without a drogue except you may be descending several times faster than you would be doing without it. By practicing at altitude, the mystery in the glider handling goes away and you can focus on glide path angles and things like planning for preserving airspeed when dropping through a shear. You can actually do full patterns at altitude and simulate an entire approach all the way to a gentle flare-entry stall. Obviously, don't do a whip-stall into a tail slide except when actually landing.
I haven't found any video showing anything like this. There's math to do the calculations but I don't know the equations to make any estimate.

I have various aspects of this in different videos but not enough time to do a good edit.
Thinking about McClure, it might be best to go ahead and forget about shade in the LZ and get permission to cut down all the trees. Doing that would open up the area and there would be a lot less turbulence generated for safer landings. Also, no more pitch from the pines on gliders..

We are lucky at Crestline to have this large, open dirt aircraft carrier deck to land on. We can still have a bad gradient at the foot of the training hill and a wind shadow from our shade structure but it's tolerable.

The benefits of having a good drogue and being comfortable with using it are numerous. One downside is that landing can be easy like shooting fish in a barrel. When it's too easy, unassisted skills start to slip. I try to mix it up by landing with a drogue when I'd prefer it but can still land safely using prudent practice. Then I'll use it when I don't need it in order to stay current. See if you can borrow one from a local pilot or just get together with someone and buy one and take turns with it. Then decide if you want your own.

In my case I like to push my gliders to the limit and I want to be able to land okay in any of the many small lots or on roads and even downhill if needed. I prefer for others to think of the drogue as insurance. I think of it as a frequently used piece of gear that gives me new flying options. But I prefer that pilots do what right for themselves and there's a lot of variation and diversity.
  • 1
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

Yup, I had a couple Exxtacy flights before the Ato[…]

Thanks Skydog, you did well to edit the different […]

Yes, near Chewelah . We have 3 sites there. (Unde[…]

NORAD tracking Santa?

Very fast?!? Ha. Delivering presents and goodie[…]