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 Post subject: Rigging error causes serious accident
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:33 pm 
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The following is about an accident involving a young woman in Alameda, CA, USA that happened over the weekend and is taken from ikitesurf.com. Sylvia submitted the following post, she also participates in this forum:



"Yesterday I was on the water and witnessed from a mile away an accident which could have been avoided. I am still touched by it because it was so unnecessary and also so severe.

Someone was holding up a kite for launching. The kite however was not getting "quiet" while being held up in the wind for the launch, it was moving, fluttering, "dancing". A typical sign for crossed lines. It was light wind (10-12mph), not very gusty. I hoped they would not launch that kite but ground it and check the lines again. It was so damned obvious that something was wrong.

But they launched that unstable kite. The ambulance came 5 minutes later. Don't know how the kiter is doing, it did not look good. The kite had done the "deathspiral" and knocked the kiter out.

However - what was clear to me from a long distance could have been obvious to all those other kiters at the beach. Close to the launcher. That this kite was rigged wrong and dangerous.

That happens mostly to beginners....why? Maybe kiteschools should emphasize much much more on rigging than they do now?

1. Make sure you know 100% how to rig a 4 line kite correctly. If you don't - ask.

2. Always doublecheck your lines. After attaching them to the kite it is a good routine to walk them back from the kite to the bar, the center lines between your legs and the backlines in your hands.

3. Colorcode your lines so that you get visually aware when you have your center lines and backlines on the wrong atachement points at the kite.

4. Either launch unhooked or (if you are experienced) with a quick release which you have practiced to release really quickly. And let go of the bar immediately if you have a potential problem with the launched kite. Of course - have a kite leash.

6. As a 3rd person (hey - experienced kiters!): When you see a launching kite which is not sitting quiet in the launchers hands but moving and dancing - go to the launcher and ground the kite. Doublecheck the lines.
This unstable behavior is a clear sign for crossed lines. The kite will be out of control after launch, an accident is very likely. That sort of accident is very likely to cause severe injuries.

Safe kiting! -Sylvia"



This is yet another serious reason for manufacturers to move to polar or "kook-proof" kite line connectors. I understand that many will be providing such connectors on 2004 kites.

In the interim, PREFLIGHT AND THEN PREFLIGHT AGAIN.

Sylvia's point about looking out for obviously misrigged kites during assisted launch is an excellent one. We need to look out for one another, something like this crosses the lines of experience. Both new and experienced kiters have been injured by this easy mistake.

It is dismaying that this accident happened in a reported 10 to 12 mph. That is where lighter body weight can really stack the deck against you. Then again, I remember reading about a serious lofting accident and injury that happened to a guy in around 15 mph. Kites can exert A LOT of power even in lighter winds. It is not known if a helmet, impact vest, etc. might have made a difference in the outcome of this sad accident. Still if you don't wear one, you throw away ANY chance that a bit more protection might be able to do for you. For people that don't feel threatened by possible impacts against "soft" sand, please take note of this sad accident.

There is a fair amount about ways of avoiding this sort of problem in the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines. Check them out at:

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=11310

or just blow them off and take a possible turn in the "School of Hard Knocks." Kiteboarding can be a dangerous activity and special care is indicated at all times. I hope that the kiteboarder heals fully and soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 6:26 pm 
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Location: Vermont, USA
Rick,
Thanks for continuing to provide us with this stuff. About a week ago, I was going on my second session and had a buddy spotting my self launch. He had a hand on the kite. I took a couple of steps back with the bar and it didn't feel right. The kite ripped up in the air, into the powerzone, and into a tree, before it could really power up. I have color coded lines, and non reversable front and backs. The only thing I can think of is that I picked up my bar backwards adn didn't notice it. You have said it before PREFLIGHT YOUR KITE. I was lucky. Just a couple of small tears in the kite. Could have been ugly. My instant reaction was to control the kite, not to pull the release.

My new rules: If somebody is available, have them launch me (I almost always self launch).
Preflight and then preflight again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 6:49 pm 
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Location: Florida
kjelleren wrote:
Rick,
Thanks for continuing to provide us with this stuff. About a week ago, I was going on my second session and had a buddy spotting my self launch. He had a hand on the kite. I took a couple of steps back with the bar and it didn't feel right. The kite ripped up in the air, into the powerzone, and into a tree, before it could really power up. I have color coded lines, and non reversable front and backs. The only thing I can think of is that I picked up my bar backwards adn didn't notice it. You have said it before PREFLIGHT YOUR KITE. I was lucky. Just a couple of small tears in the kite. Could have been ugly. My instant reaction was to control the kite, not to pull the release.

My new rules: If somebody is available, have them launch me (I almost always self launch).
Preflight and then preflight again.


Thanks for passing your experience along Gary. Glad that you weren't hurt. Picking a control bar upside down is yet another serious hazard aside from rigging errors. There was an extremely experienced kiteboarder that suffered a spinal injury (back fracture) a while back. It is thought that he picked his bar upside down as well in strong winds. It is hard not to make such errors then again the price in pain and other consequences can make failure to carefully preflight too steep. It seems that assisted launching is a safer approach from analysis of the KSI accidents. This is ASSUMING you are using a experienced helper and clear, properly understood instructions.

Fly safe and ...

PREFLIGHT AND PREFLIGHT AGAIN!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 7:48 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, Canada. rides Naish,Ozone,North, Spotz,Aguera
I once picked up my kitebar backwards during a rushed self launch. I would definitely been hurt if there had been anything other than soft sand downwind!

All kitebars should be clearly color coded (red on the left is the standard).

And with regard to the orginal accident, anyone who assists by launching a kite should never let it go until they have confirmed that the lines look right. I have occasionally caught problems before anyone got hurt. I ALWAYS do this. Even when I launch a kite for a top level rider, and I still take time to see that all lines look OK before I let any kite go. Lines can not only be rigged wrong but they can become tangled in the wind.

:wink:
Chris G


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 7:48 pm 
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Location: duh...Cape Cod, USA
Rick,
My Takoon Wook which I got in Feb. came with polar, nonreversible connectors for the front and back attachments. I took the opportunity to re-rigg my bar and other kites to match. I hope the other kite manufactuers are doing this by now as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:35 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, California
RRD kites also have "dummy-resistant" male-female connectors (polarized).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:40 pm 
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Location: Isle of Sylt, Germany
Quote:
The kite however was not getting "quiet" while being held up in the wind for the launch, it was moving, fluttering, "dancing". A typical sign for crossed lines.


Sorry, but I don't think that this is right. When a kite dances, like you say, it is a tipical sign that the depower ist too much. This happens all the time when the bar does not have enough pressure. The kite will get unstable because there is more pressure on the front lines and the back lines have no pressure.

Croossed lines can not be seen other then checking the lines. There is no sign for this from far away. In this specifical case you mentioned it just happend to be the cause.

Even the new and very good takoon line setting will only help to avoid this problem to a certain extend. If the lines are crossed twice, it won't help either. Checking it out twice is the only way.

Greetings, Sylt Rider


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:52 pm 
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Rick,

We may need a slightly tougher stance on this.

Quote:
4. Either launch unhooked or (if you are experienced) with a quick release which you have practiced to release really quickly. And let go of the bar immediately if you have a potential problem with the launched kite. Of course - have a kite leash.


Should read:

Quote:
4. Launch unhooked and let go of the bar immediately if you have a potential problem with the launched kite. Of course - have a kite leash.


Two of the most experienced kiters I know since 1998 were you and Tom (Mel) and both of you had somewhat serious accidents while launching hooking in on land. Experiences should not be the excuse for launch hooking-in on land.

Hung.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:56 pm 
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the wrong setup oif a fourline kite is a severe problem.
This weekend a bad accident happend destroying a guys lower jaw.
His lines were setup incorrect.

Colored lines help a lot, female and male connectors can be very good, but due to different brands they have different setups.
So I heard the story, that a guy was flying I think Slingshot kites, but borrowed a Rhino2 from a friend to test it. These brands have the connectors the other way around, but the kiter though it belongs this way and of course attached it incorrect.

So I think the best way is as mentioned above to walk the lines back to make sure all is right and to check twice the setup at the kite.

Then the kiter and launch assistant should take only 5 seconds and check before releasing the kite to the sky. It doesn't take more than 5 seconds, but can save you from not being able to kite again.

I also find it helpful to have one hand on the quick release to immediately pull if something feels/looks wrong.

Good luck to everyone, since it happens to me as well, specially when you have been off the water for a while (like it in winter).
Thx to Wichard!!!

Greets
Toby


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 11:50 pm 
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Remember we are kiters, the hyperactive part of society.

This means we are in a hurry because at home we couldn't find the keyes of the car wich by the way was almost out of gaz. We did forget something that we need later on. Ofcourse not our kite because we left it in the car together with the thousands parts of other stuff we may never forget again.
Than we have to borrow a phone to call our friend as we promissed, our phone is still at home.

The adrenaline gets really high as we seee the others ripping on the water. And we get in the rush mode. We run out the lines with our standard system that we thought out for days. Only thing is there is not enough room on the left side so we go right.

ofcourse we forget to turn the bar as we notice at that moment that we left the harnass in the car.

Damn...get up and back, hook in and thumbs up....


:oops:


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