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By waltspoint
An hour in the garage tonight, plus a half hour in the landing area prying the busted dtube off. And probably another half hour this weekend when I set up and find I've got some wire twisted somehow and I have to take things apart to fix it.

Sunday was actually a pretty great day at Ft. Funston. It was cross from the south, but plenty strong so Westlake was still possible. It was my 2nd flight of the day, spinning around, getting a bit sideways & upsidedown, diving in and out of fingers of fog. Pretty smooth air, with occasional rolling chop. My equipment was working well, I was having a great time flying with my son, who I took on his 2nd trip down to Westlake. Gangs of badass pelicans were cruising by. Hawks, crows, and gulls were all up with us. We could see whales doing their whale thing just out beyond the beach breakers.

I was coming up on 3.5 hours of air for the day and I was getting tired. Since it was south, I used the 'over the bush' approach rather than the usual 270 approach from the other side of the landing area. I had done this on my first flight and all went well. I came in with a bit of extra speed, but not a bar-at-the-knees approach. As I was doing my downwind leg, I felt the control pressures get a bit light but I still felt OK. I started a 180 back into the wind. As I was turning, the glider rapidly rolled much farther than I had intended. Now I was not very high and heading towards the parking lot with a lot of bank angle. I sort of remember transitioning, possibly missing the dtube on the first try, then hanging off the left dtube with all my weight to bring the glider to the left. I nearly got it straightened out before I met Mr. Hardground.

I think things played out like this: I was lazy from being tired and complacent from everything going well so far. Over-the-bush is not my regular approach at this site. I needed more speed margin as I entered my downwind, and ended up on the edge of stall by the time I started my turn. So when I turned, I ended up stalling at least my low wing, which caused the sudden steep bank. Maybe a bit of landing area turbulence helped push me over the edge. The T2C is actually a pretty forgiving wing for being such a demanding wing (eh, wat?), so it let me partially straighten out and not die. Probably it just didn't want to be smashed on that day.

I'm really disappointed with myself. And I'm sorry I hurt my glider. I seem to blow a dtube every year. But this year I was hoping to do better. I started the season with a bunch of days on the training hill. And I'm at flight 78 towards a goal of 100 for the year. About 35 hours. So I'm pretty current, and have no excuse.

I guess my luck just ran out. Don't depend on luck, all you krazy krazy hangglider dudes and dudettes. Lots of landing approach speed is more reliable than luck. And don't get lazy and let your guard down.

Oh, and here's another bit of wisdom I was allowed to gain from the experience. It's a pain in the azz carrying a glider across a windy landing area with a broken dtube. And tip wands are hard to get undone with a broken dtube. Does anyone have a clever trick for this? Push out, /jd

My trick for dealing with a broken downtube is to grab some duct tape and anything you can find for a splint - broom handle, tire iron, hair brush, whatever - and splint it temporarily back together so you can safely carry and disassemble the glider without the sharp edges of the tube cutting a hole in your sail. Even just taping the tube together will work if you add enough layers to keep it rigid.
That makes sense. I'm going to add a roll of tape and find some kind of bracing material to add to the clutter in my truck.

BTW, why is it always the VG dtube that breaks? Every time that I can remember, it's always been the VG side...
waltspoint wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:08 am
That makes sense. I'm going to add a roll of tape and find some kind of bracing material to add to the clutter in my truck.

BTW, why is it always the VG dtube that breaks? Every time that I can remember, it's always been the VG side...
Assuming you are right handed?
That's your power side, strong arm "braces for impact"
Left handed, in fact. I have wondered if there is a reason for this. I think it's either Murphy's Law or something to do with the Coriolis Effect.

I did have a safe and successful 2 hour flight today, with an uneventful landing. My friend however blew his landing and broke his (you guessed it!) VG dtube.

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