We were simulating some shots today including recovering a runaway kite at the waters edge. Winds were around 20 mph, with gusts and lulls to around 17 and 25 mph. The kite was released at the zenith 400 ft. offshore and at a point intended to stay within narrow designated area with interceptors ready on shore.
The kite had another idea in mind as you can see below:
The 9 m 2008 T3 flat kite has very little sink as it flies along dead downwind. If you look carefully you can see the bar hanging almost directly below the kite helping to keep it in level trim. With traditional C kites that bar is usually off behind the direction of travel along a diagonal. This kite is gliding so efficiently at the vertical, the bar acts as light ballest. Once the kite went ashore the bar hit the sand and started to drag. This steered the kite down to the surface where it was recovered.
Moral, always use a kite leash. The kite flew about 900 ft. and if not for the bar hitting the sand, it might have kept on flying quite a bit further say if it stayed over water.