Late, Comment Oops (:-)
Correction this was at Leighton often referred to as Cottesloe, due to proximitry. Incorrectly referred to as Mossman, the latter being a totally different site.
Picture of the Leighton site. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1549Accurate Analysis of the day and Positive Recommendations for the Incident at Leighton
I was present at the day as I was walking along the footpath (not flying as I considered the gust component too big). The primary cause of this was lack of weather assessment and then situational awareness until too late. Still few factors to consider of the Day.
1. First and most important it was NOT a blue sky day i.e (no sea breeze)
2. This was NOT a mild cloudy day with gentle pre frontal like we usually fly
3. This WAS a heavy overcast day with frequent small fronts moving in on westerly (Large gust factor).
4. The gust component was big indicating massive instability in the weather and potential storm squalls
5. The pilot limited coastal ridge soaring flying and coastal weather assessment.
6. Gust exceeded 22 knots for a very long duration excess of 10 minutes due to low cloudbase and squall like storm. (Prediction limted to ~ 18 knots)
7. Aircross Not the best glider for Dynamic low ridge soaring but excellent XC wing
The damage to property was minimal, I fail to see how this could have exceeded more than $ 100 for material. To say the place was a dump would be an understatement, any change would have been an improvementRecommendations
1. Westerlies are best flown in blue sky days (I know we all fly prefrontal, and fronts regularly)
2. Read the wind coming on over the water all the time...
3. Be were wary of flying on a day where the gust factor exceed 3 knots especially on a low ridge
4. Always stay in front of the lift band.
5. Fly the beach at Quins of Burns regularly and don’t experiment at Leighton or even less unforgiving places. That is where we all learn the hard (but more forgiving way as there is no road or houses)
6. Bleeding of height and energy via VERY BIG ears (Small big ears just create more drag)
7. Flying to the south of the launch where there is almost no ridge and the roads is recessed far behind the ridge. Penetration will be better and height will be lost naturally.
8. Predictions will not show isolated storm cell strengths and localised effects.
9. Big ears and Speedbar together is one of the safest, most efficient manoeuvres for both penetration and loosing height
10. Add Wingovers to the above and you are down very, very quick.
11. Coming in for landing glider control and penetration may cause your altitude to vary and sa the gust from the rough ocean state causes turbulence and you bump on the ridge or pseudo land causing the glider to pitch grabbing more wind and starting to drag you
12 Take multiple wraps on the brake lines upon (or preferrably), just before 0.5 meter before landing. Once the glider is on it way collapsing take wraps immediatly up to there the lines allow to pul through the pully)This is crucial otherwise you will be dragged as even flapping glider in stong wind will drag you.Warnings !
1. Never pump out big ears at the same time of letting go of the speedbar. One at a time.
2. Big ears are easily removed by weight shifting to the opposite side of the one you want to release. Usually they come out by themself. If not leave them in
3. Landing with big ears is perfectly safe, no need to pump them out.
4. Gusts fronts can not easily be read coming over the water at the best of times, less so on overcast days.
5. Ocean state is not a good indicator of wind streanght as there is a lead and lag beween water and wind.
6. Lastly Very Obvious - Landing in traffic, powerlines ensured of injury to yourself and possibly others...
See below Typical Spikes in the Actuals versus Predictions, this is due to local storm showers (or low level winds ahead of squals)