I had a rope break today

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    • #8936
      Don GrilloDon Grillo

        What would you do in these scenarios? Runway in use, 27. Wind 220/7kts.
        Let’s do a little armchair flying.
        Thanks to Steve’s Snyders son’s video that I grabbed these screenshots from.

      • #8941

          Both are below 200 ft so land ahead, no turn back. The glider may be damaged in either scenario but the pilot could be uninjured.
          1. Slip, max spoilers, full flaps, nose down. Reaching the ground flare enough to make the landing without injury, nose skid into the runway, max braking. If not stopped and approaching obstacles, intentional  ground loop.
          2. Best L/D glide straight ahead to clear the trees. Then execute an off field landing into the field straight ahead. Shallow bank fo find the best landing site within 45° of straight ahead. If landing in corn hold it off the corn stalks and then let it settle into the corn in a  nose-slightly-above-horizon attitude. Stick all the way back during deceleration.

        • #8942
          Don GrilloDon Grillo

            Pilots deal with ADM (Aeronautical Decision Making) and RM (Risk Management) decisions on nearly a constant basis from the time we start the walkaround to the time we exit the cockpit.
            Why do we use checklists? To help mitigate risk.

            The E on our takeoff checklist stands for Emergency.  We train for rope breaks or other failures at 100ft, 200ft and above.  While doing that checklist item what are we asking and what is our E plan?  We need to know wind direction and speed as it may effect our E plan. Which way am I going to turn in the event I have to return to the field? Or, do I risk an off field landing?  (Did you know that wind socks are calibrated?  Most windsocks fully extend at 15kts of wind. A half extended windsock would be about 7kts of wind.)

            In our two scenarios we have a left quartering headwind reporting 220 degrees at 7kts. Departing runway 27 that gives us a 4kt headwind and a 5kt left crosswind.  In picture 1 we are 100ft agl. In picture 2 we are 200ft agl.  (Note the location of the Sky Soaring hangar in both pictures).  Do we have enough runway ahead of us to land straight ahead in the event of a 100ft rope break?  How about a rope break at 200ft?

            Austen told us what he would do.    You are the PIC, what would you do?

            (This is meant to solicit/spark a conversation and maybe do some training as well). Click on reply or visit the skysoaring.com website message forum and reply there.

          • #8943
            Dennis BurkeDennis Burke

              The quiz is purposeful, the scenarios not quite textbook answer. 55LL 27 has the p-lines and trees N side, wind pushing us to treeline in this flight. At 100ft , to be down and stopped by hanger’s westend (max) will take significant aggressive spoiler-L slip. The 200ft may have 2 options, L teardrop return, or on to Getty rd. or field on L side.

            • #8944
              Rich WalendaRich Walenda


                Thanks for the question and scenario.

                My answer to both of them is fly the glider.  At 100 or 200 feet it is not the time to forget how to fly.  Watch your airspeed so you do not enter a stall and perhaps a spin.  There is not enough room to recover from a spin at those altitudes.  Landing ahead is the only real option at 100 feet.  At 200 feet you can think about a return but landing ahead still may be the best option.  Save yourself, not the glider.  At times the best option could be to land the glider between 2 trees and watch the wings get bent off but you should live to tell the tale.  A head on smack into anything solid is not what you want.  Landing on a road may look good but do not forget that roads usually have power lines crossing them and those are hard to see.  (A short flight into an 18 wheeler coming down the road also does not sound too good.)

                Thanks for all who chose to do some discussion with this topic.

                I welcome all feedback.




                • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Rich WalendaRich Walenda.
              • #8946
                Karl LandlKarl Landl

                  When I joined the club in 2006 my immediate concern and question was what about the ditch at the end of runway 09. I never heard any discussion regarding this matter. I wonder why? Nothing serious?


                • #8947
                  Steven SnyderSteven Snyder

                    Karl, and all; several years ago I had a CAP Blanik at the field. We brought in a 172 to do a ferry flight and with a light tailwind I was certain we would not have cleared the ditch. Maybe 50 agl and I released. Just barely stopped in time. Turned around and launched into the wind with room to spare.

                  • #8948

                      If you have X-plane you can select Sky Soaring as your take-off site, set the wind conditions, then release at 100 ft to practice landing straight ahead, or trying to do the 180.  The scenery is not the real deal, but the runway is grass. The token glider in X-plane is the ASK 21.

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