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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 10:37 am 
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This is complements of a guy called Steven Bertie-Roberts, a paraglider in our country. I asked him the best way to handle a lofting incident if you are high, and this was his response.

If you were able to think at the time, I would say just keep the kite at 12, as you continuosly do with a paraglider. You have no other option. If your true air speed drops to below 8 knots the kite might stall no matter your relatively high wing loading, in this case a spiral could result and cause a dangerous pendulum motion. In this case if you are realy cool under fire, pull full depower to initiate a glide and pray. If you are going to hit the water and you ground speed is horendous, eject before impact, alternatively, if you are headed for solid ground, jump up at 3m.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 10:58 am 
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Ok, avoiding it in the first place definately by never hooking in with the kite at zenith on land, but if it does happen is there any way of steering it?
Getting smacked into the ground when you come down will hurt so powering up as you come down sounds good, although when I got lofted I did this and landed ok, but then immediately got dragged horizontal about 30-40m fast (I think as the kite fell into the power zone, but it all happened so fast, I couldn't say for sure). It's the fast uncontrolled horizontal movement that smacks you into hard things downwind that's killa dangerous, not necissarily the up + down imo.
Keeping the kite at zenith to glide down sounds good but couldn't you steer it like a parachute, trying to avoid the shit hittin your fan?
Jo

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mr Jo Macdonald on 2002-10-09 11:58 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 12:27 pm 
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As you said in your post, its not really the coming down, hence releasing at 3m to avoid the drag (because you could well be winded or knocked unconscious depending on how hard you are coming down, and get dragged into a building thereby making it more serious than the landing) Rather a broken leg, than a broken head.

The guy who got lofted in the beach thermal in Hawaii (I think it was there) was reported as saying, the kite WAS steerable, but VERY twitchy, so I would guess you could steer, but use it as a last resort to steer away from buildings if you really have to, because if you get it out of control, you're in trouble. Otherwise, stay with the Zenith.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 12:40 pm 
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Avoidance is definitely the way to go. Many lofting incidents occur very rapidly with no time to react, some of the more rare ones do allow a bit of time. If you are high and up for a while, this generally means you were lofted by a very substantial gust. If you are airborne for a while you will be traveling at close to the windspeed. In the case of a major lofting, this could be very fast 30 to 40 kts. or possibly more. How and where you hit becomes critical. You fellows make some excellent points. They say "always fly the airplane." When lofted and if you have time, "always fly the kite." That is concentrate on stable flight and avoid stalling your kite at all costs. Two riders, Greg in Melbourne, Australia and Dimitri in Cape Hatteras used transitions or direction reversals to advantage to shorten and even alter their flight paths. The guy that was lofted 250 m horizontally in Cabarete also focused on stable flight and even steered a bit into a pine tree. Considering that he must have been traveling at 40 kt. or better, this probably saved his life. In the case of Eric's thermal lofting incident in Oahu to about 225 ft. he again, concentrated on stable flight and steered the kite slightly as well.

So in summary if you have one of the more rare, spectacular loftings focus on flying the kite with small control inputs to maintain stable flight. If you see something to hit that is softer than something else, try to aim gentling for it This part is particularly tricky. If you can time releasing your depower leash before impact but not too high off the ground you could try to do this.

All this advice falls into the catagory of suggestions to a jet fighter pilot in an unrecoverable high speed inverted spin, 3000 ft. off the ground. Luck, training and a bit more luck, really play into the outcome. Best to avoid lofting in the first place as the outcome is too uncertain. Checkout:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... EFERENCES/

Fly safe,
Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 12:52 pm 
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the french guy that got lofted in Cabarete in February reported that he was able to steer the kite but that it was twitchy. he kept the kite at zenith to avoid coming down on new construction with rebar sticking out, then we he saw he was heading for the street/power lines, steered kite into a tree.

Marina
Kitexcite


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 1:04 pm 
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Cabarette, not hawaii, apologies. I just knew it was somewhere outside south africa :grin:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 1:05 pm 
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So anyone have any idea of the best way to steer it in this situation? I suppose, really light pressure on one side of the bar, then correct the other way to bring the kite back overhead.
Jo


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 1:43 pm 
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just like doing a big air?

a very big one ...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 1:54 pm 
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How about, kite at zenith fully depowered so the AOA gives you forwards speed and is also lowering your ground speed as it's going against the wind direction, pull lightly on the brake leaders, which will be slack anyway, to steer the kite, correcting to stop it turning. Power up and/or bail out as you are about to land/hit?
Jo


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 4:32 pm 
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If you are "powered up", never put the kite overhead on land. When launching, always keep it off to the side toward the water.

Brad


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