On 2002-10-09 19:18, Mr Jo Macdonald wrote:
Rick, did you ask the guy who got lofted about steering the kite, whether he had to use really small movements of the bar or leaders and/or correct after?
Did he keep the kite powered or depowered while flying it down?
I recall that he said he used small control inputs or words to that effect. He did indicate that the kite response was strange or twitchy. I don't think he commented on whether or not the kite was depowered. The one thing I have noticed is that sudden changes in sheeting will slow or interrupt the smooth flight of an LEI kite. You have to wait a while for it to power backup and resume normal flight. What would happen with the kite seeing a forward speed of 30 to 40 kt. or more is hard to say. Small control inputs seem to potentially have a violent effect, amplified by the higher wind velocity going over the control surfaces of the kite.
Remember in this case in Cabarete, the rider almost had his kite in the hands of an assistant when a 51 kt. gust hit. So his kite was low to the ground and yet it still fired up into the powerzone. I suspect that small pressure differences on the control bar or possibly slight uneveness in kite line lengths were substantially amplified by the very strong wind. Alternatively, he may have accidently steered it there during the initial dragging. He was 20 m off the ground and heading towards a building under construction once he had a clue as to what was happening.
So, what may be reasonable and expected in more moderate winds, say less than 30 kts. may fly out the window in more extreme gusts.