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Glider down- Beachy head

Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Glider down- Beachy head

Old 16th Oct 2018, 10:31
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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So all Turbo's then Dave, if you're right ? I presume that if you're soaring the cliffs then you don't really have the height and time to get the donk started in the first place if the ridge stops working. Might as well leave the engine at home ! Unless they tried to fire up and it didn't start....
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Old 24th Oct 2018, 12:36
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting to view planefinder.net or similar and see the doomed glider just losing height and ditching, when just a few minutes before another glider gained 1000' above the cliffs (but I don't know if that was assisted though).
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Old 24th Oct 2018, 17:00
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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One was on the side of Beachy Head that was producing lift and the other one wasn't and got his feet wet. I am told that the guy in the back seat was an ex-Chief Flying Instructor.
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Old 24th Oct 2018, 22:21
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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layers

Having taught all the way down from big boys pax jets through alpine soaring and flying off Irish beaches and now playing with paragliders the atmosphere isn't quite as most people understand it and no matter how much experience you can get caught out.
I did one flight in the West of Ireland rounding the tip of slieve Brandon (3000+) below the 1000ft cloud base..face worked a treat as wind force 5 until an embedded shower came through. fall back was a ditching in the lee...sadly no photos as needed both hands on the stick.
For coastal or even in land slope soaring one has to consider the layers..inversions..a small height change can find you in completely different air mass with different wind direction and speed. it's not predictable without a sounding which is why hot air balloons let off toy balloons before flight.
I did try and find a drone set up to do the same..some times I launch and become very religious but then again if it all goes tits up then I land on my [email protected]
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 09:59
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Did the duo discus have a handy pop-up engine? they don't always get you out of trouble even if installed in the glider....One of the Jones lads was flying with a lady friend at Deeside, and getting nervous on the downwind leg raised up the standby handy engine.....which of course increased the drag nor did it choose to start..... and so though they might have made it to the runway, they ended up on a car in the car park, surprising an elderly couple sitting in their car watching the gliders.
As the expensive glider also suffered damage (though nobody hurt inside the car or the glider) rumour had it that the Jones lad had some serious explaining to do to his Dad, who owned the glider
When you really need it it doesn't always get you out of trouble!
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 14:39
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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As the expensive glider also suffered damage (though nobody hurt inside the car or the glider) rumour had it that the Jones lad had some serious explaining to do to his Dad, who owned the glider
When you really need it it doesn't always get you out of trouble!
Actually, Mary, it was a borrowed glider (Janus M) the owners were trying to sell at the time, and had said "If you break it, make sure it's a write-off". They agreed Steve had inadvertently fully complied with instructions.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 15:04
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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turbo discus

closest that I've come to getting seriously injured in 50 years plus of flying has been with a pop up motor.. three separate occasions. when I first got it was asked by the Cfi of the Ulster club as he was doing an accident investigation on one that had piled in on its first flight with a new owner.
There are some good points but the system design on some of them and there usage leave a lot to be desired.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 15:30
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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And let us not forget that with most pop-up motors, once they have popped-up, you have to dive to get the speed up in order to get the prop to turn. Which always assumes that you have enough spare height left to use up in diving in the first place.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 15:48
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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By the way, does anyone else remember having to do an engine re-start in the air as part of their PPL syllabus? I did my PPL on the Tiger Moth in 1958 and remember this exercise well. I seem to remember that "Sir" would stop the prop during a stall turn to the right. Then it was a case of heading downwards at terminal velocity watching the marked reluctance for the prop to even show signs of turning over. From memory, at least 2,000 ft would be consumed in the process.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 19:10
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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​I was told it was not part of the PPL. It was in case you decided to continue to a CPL.​​​​​​
Done in the Tiger Moth during my 1964 PPL, at Thruxton. It needed a lot of height.
Most of the training was on Jackeroos. The one Tiger was dual only, for stalls and spins.
(There was no starter motor, for those who don't know the aircraft.)

Last edited by Maoraigh1; 25th Oct 2018 at 19:13. Reason: Add
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 18:24
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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This is one of the risks you take by flying cliffs in a glider, it is very much an adventure sport and all part of the challenge, it occasionally it goes wrong. The cautious way of starting a turbo is to pick your field first, from a sensible height and anything less than 1000 ft is risky because with a windmilling prop you loose height quickly.
The Duo Discus is probably the easiest starting turbo the engine will start at not much more than 50 knts so you should not loose much height, BUT, if something goes wrong and it doesn't fire up down you go. Quite likely turbos have slipped below the cliffs before and cruised away with the motor, thankfully no injuries, does anyone know the fate of the glider.
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 18:34
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Deltasierra010 View Post
Quite likely turbos have slipped below the cliffs before and cruised away with the motor, thankfully no injuries, does anyone know the fate of the glider.
Lost at sea - for now. Certainly was bottom of the list of things to rescue that day with two chaps in the (chilly) water.

These 'turbos' sound really hit and miss. I've always been frightened by gliders. Birds don't have fixed wings with no further option - they can always flap them - equivalent is a Lycoming spinning on the front end. I'll stick with that.
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 03:33
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I've always been frightened by gliders
I have approx 2.5k hrs in gliders and about the same in single engine piston aircraft. I’ve never been frightened in a glider, but have been somewhat concerned on several occasions when the ‘Lycoming spinning on the front end’ decided to stop spinning.

The inherent risk is lower in a glider than an SEP simply because there’s less stuff to fail!
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 07:00
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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In Texas, attempting to come to terms with the US requirements for a motor glider license, one of the requirements was to do a dive start of the engine. That didn't suit me at all. Throwing height away just to start the engine? and it took a rather deep dive for the instructor to get the engine to start! Decided not to bother with a motor glider license, but be satisfied with the plain and simple power/ or glider, one or the other. Never did like motor gliders anyway.
In a glider, you are still hopefully scratching around over a town or other suitable feature right down to base turn for the chosen field, and 9 out of 10 you do manage to get away in the glider.
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 08:47
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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And let us not forget that with most pop-up motors, once they have popped-up, you have to dive to get the speed
Im a bit surprised by this statement. The five types with pop-ups, that I am familiar with, all have electric starters.

Concerning air starts, that is something I have familiarity with. I used to do checkouts in a Motorfalke. Although the starter was 100% reliable, we had to get the student to perform an air-start, which involved diving at 45 and accelerating up to nearly 80 kts before the prop would turn over. A lot of height was lost!
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Old 28th Oct 2018, 12:23
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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The typical pop-up engine gliders come in two varieties - sustainers, these are smaller less powerful engines which will typically give some height gain and get you back home, and self-launchers, these are more powerful and, as the name suggests, can launch the gliders.

The former are usually air started by doing a gentle dive, pull the decompression lever, allowing the prop/engine to spin up and when you then let go the engine will run (usually)

The self-launchers typically have an electric start.

Either system is not always as reliable as one would wish, and people do get caught out by relying on the functioning of the engine. Our MO was to go for the engine sooner rather than later and make sure you were in an area where landing out would not end up in damage of the glider or its occupants.

Having an engine revolutionises the gliding cross country experience - being able to plan something at the end of a flying day is nicer than having to wait (for hours) for one's retrieval crew. That is very much more a young person's game where time is not an issue.
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Old 14th Nov 2018, 21:29
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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From what I've read gliders are somewhat safer than single engine piston types.
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Old 18th Nov 2018, 09:43
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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There was a nice piece on this by The Flying Reporter.
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Old 3rd Mar 2019, 09:46
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jazzer83 View Post
From what I've read gliders are somewhat safer than single engine piston types.
Part of that statistic must be that gliding is of necessity a fair weather activity. Personally I feel very safe using a winch launch but less so with an Aerotow where you are dependant on the single engine piston type in front and a bit of string connecting the two, leaving the end of the runway at 100 ft leaves only one option in the event of a failure. That is to land ahead whilst trying to avoid the most haxardous looking objects, not an enticing thought. By contrast with a winch launch you gain 1000 ft in half the length of the runway and practice winch failure at all heights.
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Old 3rd Mar 2019, 10:17
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Is it of necessity that we have fair weather? How about those that fly in wave? I hear those conditions can be described as anything but “fair weather” sometimes.
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