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User avatar
By gpwrinkled
#335003
The wing camera was running as I launched from Mingus in August without being buckled into my harness. Rather than sweep this mistake under the rug, I wanted to put this video out in hopes that it may keep some other pilot from making the same mistake. As hard to believe as it may be, my harness was hooked to the glider, but I hadn't buckled myself into it... I was only zipped in at the chest. I had even done a hang check and thought I was good to go. I cover all that in the video in hopes that it may be helpful.

So here goes something different than our typical "had a great flight" video...
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I ADDED ALL THE BELOW STUFF A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER... IT'S A POST FROM MRCC ON PAGE 3. THOUGHT THE DETAIL WOULD HELP THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT CHECKLIST SYSTEM I BRIEF IN THE VIDEO AND AM NOW USING.
mrcc wrote:Great post with a very positive outcome. :thumbsup:
It could have easily happen to me on any no. of flights due to a lack or lost of concentration attributing to other external factors.
I think your check list is great idea & maybe I will attach it to the top of my harness where after reading will store it inside the harness with velco.
Having the checklist anywhere that works for you is terrific!!

Dan Schroeder's system (a fellow AZ Mingus pilot) was based on the idea that if the Final Checklist was somehow ALWAYS dangling in front of you when you were hooked in just prior to launch, then you had less chance of forgetting to go through the Final Checklist just before launching[. He had a small quick-disconnect (like you see on some car key rings) that was diaper-pinned to side of the main sail zipper fabric out near the nose of the glider. The lower half of the quick disconnect (which was obviously removable) trailed the same bright red streamer and plastic card that you see in my video. The hard plastic card has a hole cut in it right at the very edge of the card, with a slit cut between the hole and the edge of the card that allows the card to be bent and the hole to be opened temporarily. This slit allowed the card and wound-up red streamer (when detached from the quick-release) to be clipped (muscled) onto the harness carabiner, where it hung for the flight. When unhooking from the glider after the flight, the pilot is reminded of the card because it's right there on the carabiner. The pilot would right then remove it and re-attach it via the quick-disconnect to the other half of the quick-disconnect that was still diaper-pinned to the main zipper. Then, with the card once again dangling near the nose with its bright red streamer, the card is folded up with the glider and is once again dangling for the next flight. A great system I think, because the card is "always" dangling right in front of your face when you are hooked in to the glider prior to launch. If the pilot doesn't notice it (tough not too!) then launch assistants probably would, thus reminding the pilot to go through the final checklist. (Fyi I don't know why the words "pilot" and "glider" are greyed hyperlinks... something that hangglinder.org does I guess)

I changed the setup a bit and prefer the card to be permanently tied with a simple knot to an existing brass-grommeted hole in the sail under the nose cone because
1) It's never detached during the flight process so I can't lose it,
2) When stowed under the nose cone it doesn't compromise the aerodynamics of the glider by flapping around on the carabiner
3) It's still dangling in front of me before every flight, without fail
4) I can easily reach it, review it, and stow it while fully hooked in and prepared to launch.
5) I velcro my nosecone on during preflight when I temporarily have full VG. With this system I don't have to un-velcro the nose cone in order to stow the card, since the card has its own velcro and simply slides under the nosecone and sticks to the velcro I place on the back side of the nose cone..

Oh, before I forget, 2 important things about the contents of the 2 checklists:
1) Ensure that the first item on the Final Checklist card is "Pre-Flight Checklist Completed" or something like that.
2) Ensure that one of the items on the Pre-Flight Checklist is "Final Checklist Card is Dangling from the Glider" or something like that.


So like I said initially, Having the checklist anywhere that works for the pilot is terrific !... the idea is to find a method that ensures the pilot is reminded to use the card on every flight.
I gave all the detail above because I just wanted everyone to know the thought process behind the current system, so they could consider those points as they decide what works best for them.
Many thanks for your your input on how you might use the checklist. That opened the door for us to talk about all of this, hopefully to everyone's benefit. I'm glad it looks like this has been helpful.
All the best and safe flying to you. Oh, and good to hear from you, hadn't posted with you in a while. One of my dream flights is to be where you are! Thanks again! :) Greg
Last edited by gpwrinkled on Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By Scott MacLeod
#335004
Damn. Thanks for owning it and sharing...
User avatar
By zamuro
#335005
Yep Scary. Not sure if would have tried to caught a thermal to gain altitude rather than landing even in a small closer field. Glad that everything went OK and you made the bulls eye too :thumbsup:
User avatar
By NMERider
#335006
Thank you for the excellent PSA Greg! :mosh: :mosh: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Ironically you are using the hang check system that was partially motivated by Kunio's fatal hook-in failure from the same site a few years back. Mitchell now owns Kunio's carbon base tube and I own the carbon base tube from another glider demolished by a hook-in failure. That pilot was o.k.

For pilots faced with having to land with a fully zipped harness I suggest flying in prone and belly landing using the harness as a giant skid. Trying to flare while zipped in appears to whiplash the pilot downward with enough force to possibly do serious spinal and/or neck damage. It is possible to bend your knees enough to slide in on your thighs and then flare hard once the glider has slowed. Be sure to let go of the downtubes in case the nose pitches down to avoid spiral fractures to your forearms. Just a suggestion!
User avatar
By gpwrinkled
#335007
Scott MacLeod wrote:Damn. Thanks for owning it and sharing...
Just trying to keep it real ! Real bad in this case! LOL
User avatar
By gpwrinkled
#335008
zamuro wrote:Yep Scary. Not sure if would have tried to caught a thermal to gain altitude rather than landing even in a small closer field. Glad that everything went OK and you made the bulls eye too :thumbsup:
That might have been a better course... but maybe not... point is we gotta be measuring those types of decisions instead of freaking out and doing something to make the bad situation even worse. Good put and thanks for the reply! Oh, and I think that's the only bullseye I've ever made! :lol:
Last edited by gpwrinkled on Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By gpwrinkled
#335009
NMERider wrote:Thank you for the excellent PSA Greg! :mosh: :mosh: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Ironically you are using the hang check system that was partially motivated by Kunio's fatal hook-in failure from the same site a few years back. Mitchell now owns Kunio's carbon base tube and I own the carbon base tube from another glider demolished by a hook-in failure. That pilot was o.k.

For pilots faced with having to land with a fully zipped harness I suggest flying in prone and belly landing using the harness as a giant skid. Trying to flare while zipped in appears to whiplash the pilot downward with enough force to possibly do serious spinal and/or neck damage. It is possible to bend your knees enough to slide in on your thighs and then flare hard once the glider has slowed. Be sure to let go of the downtubes in case the nose pitches down to avoid spiral fractures to your forearms. Just a suggestion!
Funny you mentionj the base tube. This actually cracked my carbon base tube during the landing, which added a couple of extra dollars :shock: to the repair. The old base tube now has a place of honor on the wall in my shop... had a lot of good flights with it.

Good puts on landing options. I was surprised that i couldn't gauge the correct bar position for during flight and landing... plus there was a very strong gradient that I should have booked through, but I didn't, so I ended up kind of parachuting in. The one day I didn't fly with my wheels... go figure! :? :)
User avatar
By Tiberiu
#335010
Wow :shock:

There is another video of a similar incident

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I love my Tracer , it's impossible not to get into the leg loops.
User avatar
By gpwrinkled
#335011
Tiberiu wrote:Wow :shock:

There is another video of a similar incident

I love my Tracer , it's impossible not to get into the leg loops.
I thought the music in the video was appropriate... flying without leg loops you really are on the "Highway to hell"... LOL. Well, I guess some of us are... others are on a highway to a better place :wink: Thanks for the reply :thumbsup:
User avatar
By HG_Aviator
#335013
I would add a post flight check list as well.... perhaps too much, but I rather be be safe than sorry.
User avatar
By gpwrinkled
#335015
HG_Aviator wrote:I would add a post flight check list as well.... perhaps too much, but I rather be be safe than sorry.
Good put !!! :thumbsup:
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#335016
Here was my launch without leg loops at a coastal site a couple years ago. Note the huge PIO's as I tried to kick my legs up into the boot and things didn't feel right at all-- why was the boot so much higher than usual? Finally got my feet into the boot and zipped up.



Went on to have a nice long flight



And a good landing on the wheels, without unzipping



I did alert a pilot on the beach to "catch" me because it was windy and I was afraid it might not be so good to be stuck there prone on the ground

Contributing factors to the problem--

(now edited as I watched the video again and saw that my memory has deviated from what actually happened!)

In essence, the harness was already hooked into the glider, with my radio cables connected, but I hadn't put the nose cone on yet.

I judged it too windy to put the nose cone on with the glider tail-to-the-wind, without a knowledgeable helper on the keel.

So I slipped one shoulder into the harness and moved the glider nose-into-the-wind and slipped out of the harness and attached my nose cone.

After attaching the nose cone, I was going to move the glider back to its original sheltered position tail-to-the-wind before going through the usual process of getting in the harness. Then I would have to move the glider yet again before launching.

So again I slipped one arm into the harness and started to pick up the glider. But then I stop, and slide in the other arm, and then I do the side zipper, and the side buckles.

So, somehow, I started by thinking "I'm going to move the glider again with one shoulder in the harness"

Then maybe-- I'm not sure-- I thought "wait, it would be easier to move the glider with both shoulders in, easier on the harness as it won't drag sideways so badly"

And then I changed to thinking "Since I have a bystander here who is willing to hold the nose down, so I have both hands free, why not just get ready here leaving the glider nose-into-the-wind and save all that moving back and forth?"

And that's when I forgot why I had one shoulder in the harness, and just continued the process of getting the rest of the way into the harness, never having put my feet through the leg loops.

1:25-1:45 are the crucial seconds in the video. (Video of routine just before launch:
)

I don't (or didn't) normally check the leg loops because it was normally so automatic for me to get into them before putting my arms into the shoulders. The leg loops on this harness don't buckle, you have to step into them.

Spectators are distracting!

It would have been better just to put the glider back tail to the wind and climb into the harness the usual way without the distraction of a curious spectator holding the nose and chatting. It wasn't so windy that it was terribly risky to move the glider, just inconvenient.

Ways to help prevent:

* Put the nose cone on before hooking up the harness ( I just forgot this time)

* Always slip on one shoulder only, not both, if you are just trying to bring the harness along with you as you move the glider on the ground. Or go ahead and get into the leg loops. Don't be in the shoulders unless you are already in the leg loops.

* Be very cautious whenever you decide to get help from a bystander as you are surely changing your routine and also increasing your distraction level. Take extra time to preflight everything.

* Don't change your routine to involve bystanders except when really necessary.

* Check leg loops before launch, every time. Just "having a routine" isn't good enough. Sooner or later you may find a way to screw it up.

Steve S
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.
User avatar
By gpwrinkled
#335018
Excellent clips Steve. What a beautiful place to fly. Agree with all your points. I think what you have here will help many folks. Thanks for the reply and your experience. We are lucky to tell the tale I think.
User avatar
By pjwings
#335025
Thanks for telling the story. It's never 'good' to hear about events like these, but it is valuable to try and share the lesson.

Fly high, fly safe!
User avatar
By Felix
#335026
Wow, glad you made it out of it safely. Downtubes are replaceable...
I have the same harness and almost launched without my leg loops once (lower buckle unfastened) - I've gotten too used to the HE tracer where the leg loops were automatically on. Luckily I caught the loose leg loops after my hang check (and not during!) - will take much better care from now on.
Fly high, be safe and thank you for your video!
User avatar
By Dontsink
#335028
Thanks a lot for posting this!.
Scary because it can happen to anyone,newbie,intermediate and expert.
Good motivation to keep on being the weirdo who has a written,before takeoff checklist taped to the upright of my bird.
Flight discipline is a royal PITA,but it works...whatever method you use,be a stubborn square head and stick with it.Every single flight.If procedure is interrupted,start over.
Glad you made it ok,great job under pressure :).
User avatar
By gpwrinkled
#335032
pjwings wrote:Thanks for telling the story. It's never 'good' to hear about events like these, but it is valuable to try and share the lesson. Fly high, fly safe!
Thanks. Great to hear from you. I hope it helps someone.
FlyingFelix wrote:Wow, glad you made it out of it safely. Downtubes are replaceable... I have the same harness and almost launched without my leg loops once (lower buckle unfastened) - I've gotten too used to the HE tracer where the leg loops were automatically on. Luckily I caught the loose leg loops after my hang check (and not during!) - will take much better care from now on.
Fly high, be safe and thank you for your video!
Thanks for the thanks - Great harness though... we just have to be buckled into it! :shock: The other tough thing is, when you are zipped you can't see your leg loops, so you have to feel with your hands that they are in place. And your wire crew probably wont notice it either, because the sides of the harness conceal the hips.
Dontsink wrote:Thanks a lot for posting this!.
Scary because it can happen to anyone,newbie,intermediate and expert.
Good motivation to keep on being the weirdo who has a written,before takeoff checklist taped to the upright of my bird.
Flight discipline is a royal PITA,but it works...whatever method you use,be a stubborn square head and stick with it.Every single flight.If procedure is interrupted,start over.
Glad you made it ok,great job under pressure :).
:-o
I appreciate the point about anyone having it happen. When new we are unaware, when intermediate we are overconfident, and when experienced we are lackadaisical. A tough combo that says we need some consistent process to stay safe. Thanks for the reply :thumbsup:
User avatar
By gpwrinkled
#335033
THANKS! This is an excellent summary of potential issues during launch and how to guard against them. Leg loops are just one element in a host of things that can spell disaster. Many thanks for this link. I have saved the PDF in my library. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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