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At what point in your approach do you (most often) transition to the downtubes?

Before rounding out on final.
27
27%
After rounding out on final.
46
46%
One hand before rounding out on final, one after rounding out on final.
28
28%
User avatar
By lostgriz
#258369
I am curious what everyone else out there is doing with their hands. I personally usually transition to the down tubes before I round out on my final. I know that many people prefer to wait until after they round out. I have never felt like I couldn't get enough speed from the down tubes or that I was sacrificing control by flying from the down tubes. When I transition to the down tubes, I initially have my hands very low. After I round out, I slide them up a little and then right before I flair; I slide them to around shoulder height for my flair.

This seems to work really well for me. I am interested in hearing some thoughts on why others use a different or similar process.
User avatar
By andylongvq
#258373
For me it completely depends on the conditions.

For example, if I feel the conditions are benign enough, I'll go to both downtubes early... before I pull in to go through the gradient. I do this so that I am fully ready for the landing while slowing down in ground effect and in position for the flare.

However, if I think it's going to be squirrely right down to the ground, I'll keep my left hand on the base tube until I'm approaching trim, then move that hand to the downtube.

I see a lot of shaky or blown landings because the pilot is very late getting their hands on both downtubes and letting any latent control input energy dissipate before the flare.

So I would say more pilots should be getting on both downtubes earlier than they do. Because I also see pilots moving the basetube hand to the downtube right at the end in conditions that are quite benign. So there's no reason to have that hand down there for "more control".

- Andy
User avatar
By CAL
#258374
this is a very good thread , transitioning is very important in the landing process

i feel it to be important to transition either before you pick up speed on final or when you are at trim speed on your final or so high that it doesn't matter if you balloon up.

when you transition going faster then trim it allows the base bar out making the glider balloon up and possibly turning to one side, if this happens at a low altitude, you are going to have your arms full trying to gain control of the glider.

if you are high you can gain control.

my method is on final before picking up speed, transition, make sure the wings are level and pick up speed keeping the glider level, round out, as soon as the glider is at trim speed wait a bit then flare, remembering that your airspeed determines when to flare, your ground speed determines how hard to flare.

i always try to have as long as final as possible to allow the glider to stop the yawing after you turn to final from base and concentrate on leveling your wing, the longer the final the more success you will have at keeping the glider level,

of coarse there are times when you have to make adjustments, in this sport you need to be flexible.

for example coming into Andy Jackson flight park LZ i made a late turn into final i knew i needed to stay prone to get the l/d i needed to make it to the LZ, i waited till the last minute to transition, flared and stepped out of my harness at the edge of the LZ.
User avatar
By Spitfire
#258397
I voted for option 3 but I'm on the DT when I'm upright, which is well before staging and DBF.

If I'm coming in high on final and the base bar is touching my legs meaning I can't pull in anymore, I"ll transition from the DT to the base tube with my right hand and really pull it in, and then transition back when in ground effect at trim.

I'm an H2 and only flown a Falcon 3, so this may not work on higher performing gliders.
User avatar
By relate2
#258401
I have a simple philosophy change hands above 100 feet or in ground effect, NEVER in between. I like to be one up one down at the beginning of my landing approach all the way down to ground effect, then move my base bar hand up to the upright just before flaring.

That way I have full control of my glider and can focus on positioning my glider without the distraction of popping the nose, lifting a wing etc if I change hands in that danger period between 100 feet and ground effect.
User avatar
By Cloudhopper
#258402
There is a risk here of generalizing the characteristics of your glider, assuming that all other gliders fly more or less the same. This is not the case. Many gliders can easily be flown fast enough from the down tubes, and so their pilots often transition early. These are often more basic wings, and their pilots have never experienced flying a competition class wing. Therefore, they assume that their technique should work for others, especially those with faster gliders.
I have been flying for 38 years. I placed 3rd in a world invitational Aerobatic competition. I fly a t2c. I cannot fly much faster than trim speed with my hands on the down tubes. I need to stay on the basetube, or have one up-one down to have reasonable speed and safety on final. Your technique should depend on your wing and harness.
By noman3
#258403
when jesus tells me to
User avatar
By lostgriz
#258420
Cloudhopper wrote:There is a risk here of generalizing the characteristics of your glider, assuming that all other gliders fly more or less the same. This is not the case. Many gliders can easily be flown fast enough from the down tubes, and so their pilots often transition early. These are often more basic wings, and their pilots have never experienced flying a competition class wing. Therefore, they assume that their technique should work for others, especially those with faster gliders.
I have been flying for 38 years. I placed 3rd in a world invitational Aerobatic competition. I fly a t2c. I cannot fly much faster than trim speed with my hands on the down tubes. I need to stay on the basetube, or have one up-one down to have reasonable speed and safety on final. Your technique should depend on your wing and harness.
Very good point Cloudhopper. I have a very limited experience with other gliders. I can only speak for the single surface gliders I have flown. I can get all the speed I need out of my Freedom and handling isn't an issue. You make a good point that as the performance of the glider changes, this may not work for me.

Thanks for all the feedback guys.
User avatar
By DocSoc
#258425
CAL wrote:this is a very good thread , transitioning is very important in the landing process

i feel it to be important to transition either before you pick up speed on final or when you are at trim speed on your final or so high that it doesn't matter if you balloon up.

when you transition going faster then trim it allows the base bar out making the glider balloon up and possibly turning to one side, if this happens at a low altitude, you are going to have your arms full trying to gain control of the glider.

if you are high you can gain control.

my method is on final before picking up speed, transition, make sure the wings are level and pick up speed keeping the glider level, round out, as soon as the glider is at trim speed wait a bit then flare, remembering that your airspeed determines when to flare, your ground speed determines how hard to flare.

i always try to have as long as final as possible to allow the glider to stop the yawing after you turn to final from base and concentrate on leveling your wing, the longer the final the more success you will have at keeping the glider level,

of coarse there are times when you have to make adjustments, in this sport you need to be flexible.

for example coming into Andy Jackson flight park LZ i made a late turn into final i knew i needed to stay prone to get the l/d i needed to make it to the LZ, i waited till the last minute to transition, flared and stepped out of my harness at the edge of the LZ.
:ditto: :ditto: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
User avatar
By DocSoc
#258426
relate2 wrote:I have a simple philosophy change hands above 100 feet or in ground effect, NEVER in between. I like to be one up one down at the beginning of my landing approach all the way down to ground effect, then move my base bar hand up to the upright just before flaring.

That way I have full control of my glider and can focus on positioning my glider without the distraction of popping the nose, lifting a wing etc if I change hands in that danger period between 100 feet and ground effect.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :ditto: :ditto:
User avatar
By DocSoc
#258427
noman3 wrote:when jesus tells me to
:surrender: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :ditto: :mosh:

Good to see you haven't changed brother!

-Doc
User avatar
By DocSoc
#258430
lostgriz wrote:
Cloudhopper wrote:There is a risk here of generalizing the characteristics of your glider, assuming that all other gliders fly more or less the same. This is not the case. Many gliders can easily be flown fast enough from the down tubes, and so their pilots often transition early. These are often more basic wings, and their pilots have never experienced flying a competition class wing. Therefore, they assume that their technique should work for others, especially those with faster gliders.
I have been flying for 38 years. I placed 3rd in a world invitational Aerobatic competition. I fly a t2c. I cannot fly much faster than trim speed with my hands on the down tubes. I need to stay on the basetube, or have one up-one down to have reasonable speed and safety on final. Your technique should depend on your wing and harness.
Very good point Cloudhopper. I have a very limited experience with other gliders. I can only speak for the single surface gliders I have flown. I can get all the speed I need out of my Freedom and handling isn't an issue. You make a good point that as the performance of the glider changes, this may not work for me.

Thanks for all the feedback guys.
For so many years the training has been "Hips in, Pull in for speed" and this is great but it's a bit old school...

Cloudhopper is right that " Many gliders can easily be flown fast enough from the down tubes, and so their pilots often transition early. These are often more basic wings," But, in my training program which is done via Aerotowing and not from a training hill which inherently teaches the Downtube method I like to teach the one hand up one hand down transition and from above 200+ft.

The reason for this is that one still has serious control of the glider and is prepared to flare when the time comes. This time is after the round out and going into trim speed to avoid any weirdness of the approach like a balloon up or dropped tip.

My students learn on the traditional SS Falcon 3's and Many of them actually can move to a SS Freedom, or like glider after our program because the understanding of landing the wing has become more technical and less muscle in their minds...

I see many students just wear themselves out pulling in their hips coming down in from 300, 400, 500 feet, and begin to 1) float way off their intended point (which can instill confusion and frustration) 2) Balloon on round out (because they are exhausted and just let out at the round out).

Now to preface that these students are again aerotow students and have not yet developed the walk-jog-run... pull in, let out, flare mentality like you would at LMFP or the like.

This is a great thread because you can learn various methods that work and try which works for you.

I learned with the hips in, but find that our students learn best with a combination of both methods so have fun. fly safe... and just remember when you round out if you just focus on flying and not flaring you will run it out but that's ok cause you will be relaxed and not freaked out about your flare.

Hugs,

-DocSoc
User avatar
By Dan Harding
#258432
Cloudhopper wrote:There is a risk here of generalizing the characteristics of your glider, assuming that all other gliders fly more or less the same. This is not the case. Many gliders can easily be flown fast enough from the down tubes, and so their pilots often transition early. These are often more basic wings, and their pilots have never experienced flying a competition class wing. Therefore, they assume that their technique should work for others, especially those with faster gliders.
I have been flying for 38 years. I placed 3rd in a world invitational Aerobatic competition. I fly a t2c. I cannot fly much faster than trim speed with my hands on the down tubes. I need to stay on the basetube, or have one up-one down to have reasonable speed and safety on final. Your technique should depend on your wing and harness.
I have to dissagree with this, if this is the case, how do you launch? aerotow?
I do not fly a WWT2c but if it will only go as fast as trim speed when on the down tubes, I do not want to fly one.
User avatar
By lostgriz
#258433
noman3 wrote:when jesus tells me to
AMEN Brother!
User avatar
By lostgriz
#258440
This will vary by pilot size (arm length?) and wing loading.... Can a common intermediate glider like a U2 be flown fast enough from the down tubes? I know it can be flown faster from the base tube, but can it be flown reasonably fast from 200' through trim from the down tubes? Also, do you feel that you have enough control authority from the down tubes when flying the U2 from 200' through trim to flair?

Another stupid question...... Why would it be harder to fly fast enough from the down tubes when flying an S2 or U2 vs a Falcon. It seems that it should be the other way around with less bar pressure and all......?

I am curious if some feel that they sacrifice too much control by going to the down tubes, because they are high on the tubes.....

I am sure that everyone varies their approach from time to time as conditions demand, I was curious in general what your process is. I will occasionally drop one hand back to the base tube if I feel like I need a little extra speed. I do see people pop the nose a little transitioning the last hand up and occasionally dropping a tip a little.

LG
User avatar
By Jason
#258442
Dan Harding wrote:
Cloudhopper wrote:There is a risk here of generalizing the characteristics of your glider, assuming that all other gliders fly more or less the same. This is not the case. Many gliders can easily be flown fast enough from the down tubes, and so their pilots often transition early. These are often more basic wings, and their pilots have never experienced flying a competition class wing. Therefore, they assume that their technique should work for others, especially those with faster gliders.
I have been flying for 38 years. I placed 3rd in a world invitational Aerobatic competition. I fly a t2c. I cannot fly much faster than trim speed with my hands on the down tubes. I need to stay on the basetube, or have one up-one down to have reasonable speed and safety on final. Your technique should depend on your wing and harness.
I have to dissagree with this, if this is the case, how do you launch? aerotow?
I do not fly a WWT2c but if it will only go as fast as trim speed when on the down tubes, I do not want to fly one.
i also fly a T2c....with VG off on the downtubes.....the damn glider does NOT want to go anywhere in a hurry.

i round out and then transistion- its just easier

on flying the tandem falcon with another person i go upright early

when i flew my eagle it was generally one up one down and as I got more comfortable fly faster became hands on the basetube untiil down low
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#258463
Cloudhopper wrote: I have been flying for 38 years. I placed 3rd in a world invitational Aerobatic competition. I fly a t2c. I cannot fly much faster than trim speed with my hands on the down tubes. I need to stay on the basetube, or have one up-one down to have reasonable speed and safety on final. Your technique should depend on your wing and harness.
I rarely disagree with Tom... my experience pales in comparison to his...

But I have no trouble coming in with plenty of speed on the uprights on my T2c.

Like others have said, my transition timing depends on the conditions. When it's smooth, I like to come in fast and stay prone for a long ground skim, and usually my transition happens as I'm flaring. If it's bumpy, I prefer one-hand-up-one-hand-down or sometimes I'll get both hands up very early so I don't have to deal with it later. For me it entirely depends on the conditions...
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#258465
Some things to add to this discussion (that we cover in landing clinics):

-hands on the uprights is non-specific... are your hands at shoulder level like when you flare, or lower on the DT's which allows you to pull in better?

-When hands are on the uprights, where is the rest of your body? Cocoons and other 'soft' harnesses allow you to have your body below your chest. Backplate-slider harnesses force you to still be semi-prone, which means a lot of your weight is still back behind your chest... so pulling in to your chest in one harness can be very different from pulling in to your chest with another harness...

-WHY is there an assumption there is a big speed difference between upright and prone? At straight-arm-bar-stuff while prone, the base tube might be near your harness mains (this is where the glider feels your weight). Upright, you can pull in until the base bar hits you in the legs... at which point it is right near your harness mains. very equivalent weight shift.

-For those that feel they have better control while flying prone... how many hrs of airtime do they have prone? how many hrs upright? You feel more comfortable prone, which as human beings we interpret as having better control. Interesting thing, many newer pilots feel they have better control while upright! We feel best where we spend most of our time...
User avatar
By Avnav8r
#258516
noman3 wrote:when jesus tells me to
Amen, also! Now, please turn to page 51 in you Pagan (Pagen) hymnal.

John Stokes
User avatar
By lostgriz
#258522
Thanks for all the posts here, lots of great feedback!

I went back and reviewed a bunch of my landings and was actually surprised that I have kept one hand on the base tube more often than I thought. Still, my go to has been both hands on the downtubes.
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