*


All times are UTC + 1 hour



Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Unexpected Kite Launch Disasters
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:59 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8316
Location: Florida
A kiter was recently reported to have had his leg caught in kite lines, was lofted to a considerable height (30 m was reported) and was subsequently dropped to his death near Anapa, Russia on the Black Sea during a powerful storm. Gusts on the order of 62 kts. were reported in the area. Several large vessels were sunk or grounded during this severe storm.

vj wrote:
so here comes some details on the accident.........

First of all, it was a really an accident - not because of "irresponsible" attitude to conditions or anything like that.

He measured the wind and realised it was too much for his Takoon Air 7,5 (C kite). However, hoping that the wind might slow down, so he set up the kite, and was checking the bar setup, with the kite behind him. In a moment a gust moved the kite (which probably was not sanded enough), lines got stretched with one line around the leg and kite went up looping. It was a second and he couldnt do anything - flying up backwards and connected to kite with his leg. Probably it was not 100 ft height.....but the fall was enough to kill him//////////

RIP

From: http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2343552

This tragedy follows others including one that happened 24 years ago in Washington State in the USA. Steve Edeiken was preparing to launch a world record, 14,000 square foot parafoil kite sponsored by Budweiser. The first day of the effort had too little wind to launch. On the day of the accident, a sudden gust of wind unexpectedly launched the kite while Steve was among the kite shrouds. His leg was caught as he was carried about 120 ft. aloft. It was reported that he succeeded in untangling his ankle while still hanging on to the shrouds. The kite then started to oscillate violently side to side eventually throwing Steve away from the kite and to his death. The approximate 2 inch diameter kevlar kite line then parted and the foil folded up and fell to earth.


Life Magazine, November 1983 carried a two page photograph of the tragedy.

Image

Image




CLICK FOR FULL SIZED IMAGES




.


Last edited by RickI on Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:10 am, edited 8 times in total.

{ SHARE_ON_FACEBOOK } { SHARE_ON_TWITTER } { SHARE_ON_ORKUT } { SHARE_ON_DIGG } { SHARE_ON_MYSPACE } { SHARE_ON_DELICIOUS }
Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:00 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8316
Location: Florida
Steve Edeiken is well known and respected in the kite flying community. As a mark of respect, that American Kitefliers Association (AKA) established the annual Steve Edeiken Award. Dave Gomberg and Peter Lynn comment on safety considerations for flying of very large kites at: http://www.gombergkites.com/faq-s.html

Regarding kiteboarding, there have been other unexpected launches over the years. In very strong, gusty winds it can be challenging to bury your kite with enough sand. The vibrating of the kite can dig the kite out from under the burden all too readily. The kite lines can readily tangle while strumming in the high wind potentially making the kite overpowered and uncontrollable upon launch. Kites have flown free from the surface and have injured bystanders in years past.

This is the third kiter to have been lost in excessively gusty winds due to tangles within the last few months, including other sad losses in Spain and Hungary. The circumstances of the tangling varied widely in all three cases. The common factor in all of them was high, likely too high wind for kiting within a reasonable degree of safety.

Some considerations come to mind.

1. Don't kite in excessively strong or gusty wind. This seems trite, but it is not, people need to take a hard, cold look at this consideration before rigging up. In some cases it may be for the last time, so think about it. At least two guys have died rigging up in excessively gusty conditions and waiting for a while with ensuing fatal tangles. If in doubt, don't rig up.

2. It is a good idea in stronger winds to attach and carefully preflight your lines last, just before launch. Leaving them on the ground creates a tangle hazard and the bar can "fly" the kite to some degree if it comes free from the ground. The lines and bar of the runaway kite can be hazardous as well.

3. Anchor your kite with enough sand. If in doubt, deflate the leading edge and roll it up until you are ready to head out. Don't leave the kite lying around to be deteriorated by strumming in high wind and possibly to cause problems if it launches on its own.

4. The kiter and assistant should carefully preflight the kite before release. If necessary a third person should walk down the lines preflighting them before kite release.

5. Carry hook knive(s). You may not be able to use them in all emergencies but if you don't carry any they will do you no good whatsoever.

6. Avoid line tangles while in the water at all costs. Wind and wave loads can impart enormous line tensions to cut or simply drown kiters. Stalling a kite over head is one way to get tangled another is to move towards the kite with it on the water and many other ways.

Kiting can be tricky, doing it in very strong conditions can shrink the margin for error to unacceptable levels at times.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi


Last edited by RickI on Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:40 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8316
Location: Florida
I understand the lost kiter was untangling his lines down toward the bar when the kite was lifted free from the ground by a strong gust in Russia. He had decided not to launch based upon wind measurements but elected to rig up and wait to see if the wind eased down. The kite launched suddenly, started looping and caught him by the leg dragging him aloft.

There have been a number of other accidents over the years when the kite has been on the ground, lines attached while the kiter moved along the lines. I recall a kiter was gored by a log many years back in Brazil when he was walking towards his unanchored kite when it suddenly relaunched.

It is best to detach lines from one side of the kite, if not all of them, with a thoroughly anchored kite, before moving down the lines.

Regarding setup, I would recommend attaching your kite lines last, just before launch. There are different approaches but one I learned from Paul Menta six years ago was to tie the flight lines to the board foot straps while stretching them out and untangling as an anchor. I try to take the bar close to the point from which I will launch from to avoid dragging the lines through tangling seaweed, etc.. I put the board perpendicular to the kite and between the wing tips. When everything is straightened out and preflighted on the ground, I connect the lines to the kite just before launch. That way if the kite takes off prematurely there are no lines attached to cause additional problems.

Some of the time, it may make little difference how you setup as long as you preflight properly. In high wind or in a powered kite incident, it can make a critical difference. Learn a safe reliable way to rig up and do it consistently every time.


Last edited by RickI on Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:00 pm 
Offline
Medium Poster

Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 154
I make it a point to avoid walking over lines or between lines, roll up my lines and put the bar on the kite with two lines disconnected.

Occasionally it's unavoidable because most people leave their lines stretched all over the beach.


Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:30 pm 
Offline
Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:11 am
Posts: 488
Location: Pickering, ON
One other option to secure the kite that some of us use around local launches here is to buy a dry sack and fill it with sand. one or two of these can be placed on the canopy of the kite behind the leading edge. Kite cannot vibrate it off. Here is a link to a dry sack up in Canada here.

Image

This is much more secure that sanding a kite and safer than putting a board on it. They are under $20 also.

[/url]


Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:21 am 
Offline
Medium Poster

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:19 am
Posts: 61
Another option on the dry bag is to use one of the 'environmentally friendly' reusable bags that you can get from grocery stores. Fill it with sand... can easily dump at the end of the day and easy to fill at the start.


Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:14 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8316
Location: Florida
Do many run their lines out after they are attached to an inflated kite?


Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:28 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:58 pm
Posts: 1266
RickI wrote:
Do many run their lines out after they are attached to an inflated kite?


I used to launch my "C" kites using the sanded tip method. It worked great about 150 times, where I would just run straight back to the bar....inside the lines. One day, as I was jogging back to the bar, my lines appeared to shimmy...I thought it was my eyes...until I felt a couple of the lines rising up against one leg. As I stopped jogging to push the line down off my leg, I felt the bar slam into my back and then I was being lifted by one leg. I came slightly off the ground, lost my balance and fell down, being dragged in the sand.

I got lucky, and the kite crashed. I got untangled from the lines, grabbed the reride safety leash, and flagged the kite. Needless to say, I never ran back to the bar within my lines, again. They say: "It's better to be lucky, than smart"....I got lucky that day.


Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:15 am 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8316
Location: Florida
Thanks for the story Kitezilla, silvering stuff. I suspect others have had misadventures out there moving down the lines of a launchable kite or walking towards one while still hooked in. I'll have to go through my archive and post some more examples.

What have others experienced in this?



p.s. - Thanks for setting me straight on the geography Oleg!


Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:55 am 
Offline
Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 7:35 pm
Posts: 237
Location: Durban, South Africa
I used to sand a wingtip on my 2006 Sonic 11.
Then one day (about 12-18 months ago) in about 20-25 knots as I got back to the bar and turned around, I saw the kite had shaken free and was starting to launch by itself.
So what does idiot do? He reaches down and grabs the bar.
In an instant I was flying about 15 foot off the beach at high speed.
It happened so fast it's still hard to believe.
Luckily I let the bar go before hitting the beach. I still hit the beach hard, but not too serious.
The kite flew and tumbled downwind on the beach for a while, then luckily landed safely in the nose down, facing the wind position.
I am also very lucky we have wide open beaches with very few obstacles.
Needless to say I don't use sand anymore...
If I am desperate and nobody is around to launch/land I use a cable/caribiner setup we have anchored into a man made rock wall.

We have a kite club of 25-30 members, and we have made a point of discussing the recent death of the kiter where his one line shortened in the wind just before launch, at our last two meetings. The main thrust of the discussion has been "If you are the launch/land assistant, you potentially have the kiters life in your hands, take it seriously and check that all the lines are clear and not knotted!".
So these deaths, horrible and regrettable as they are, also provide us all with lessons we have to take seriously.


Top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC + 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ladomi and 14 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group