Outlandings: Do’s and Don’ts

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    • #12726
      John DeRosaJohn DeRosa

        This is from the Wings & Wheels Newsletter.  Always good reading.

        Sign up at http://wingsandwheels.com



        By Adam Woolley

        Outlanding (or an off-field landing as others would call it) preparation starts from a long way out, even at 5000’ when we still have 40km of distance to cover before hitting terra-firma. It starts with a simple, there’s my track line to the turn point, off to the left is a scrub line and generally unlandable terrain, to the right is generally better, this thought at that moment is enough. Note: This article doesn’t seek to talk about the five ‘S’ of field selection: SLOPE, SIZE, SURFACE, STOCK or SINGLE-WIRE EARTH RETURN LINES, but a generalization first, then the do’s and don’ts.

        Let’s continue – 3000’, the scrub line direction isn’t working as predicted, I’ll start moving towards the right, there’s a good patch of fields surrounded by undulating terrain, then further to the right, wide open fields. 2000’, now it’s really time to start narrowing it down, you’ve got an option to go further right to the easy fields or you can stay over the area that you identified earlier. Out of the 10 fields you saw, there are 5 useable and are towards track, your decision is to stay in this area, so you continue searching for lift in this area…

        1500’, now is the time to select the three best options, and start planning your circuit into all of them. Sadly, still no lift and now you’re at 1000’ on downwind to your chosen field, you notice that it isn’t suitable because of an unseen farmer’s fence running through the middle of it. No problems, you have your backup plan in mind, adjust your downwind to meet the requirements, and into the field, you go. Congratulations, you just made a successful outlanding! While it’s easy to feel down about the situation, I actually look upon it as a blessing in disguise. Because it renews my confidence in outlanding, knowing that the training & my judgment, works. The next adventure awaits, meeting the locals, arranging to get yourself, the crew, and your glider home safely, followed by a well-earned drink that quenches your thirst!

        So what are the Do’s and Don’ts of outlanding?


        Let your airborne friends know that you maybe outlanding, and if you do, advise them roughly where you are and when you have landed safely
        Calm yourself, so you’re able to think positively and decisively
        Make your decision to land early enough
        Establish the wind direction on the ground and land as best you can into the wind
        Stop ASAP in the field, you never know what fence or ditch is coming up that you haven’t seen from your checks
        Your five ‘S’ check before you do your normal downwind check
        Ensure you keep safe flying speed at all times
        Be stable on your approach to land
        Tie down your glider before leaving it
        Take your drinking water and any sustenance before leaving the glider
        Make every attempt to contact the farmer before entering their property
        Find the gate and best path to your glider before the crew arrives

        DO NOT..

        Change your field selection at the last minute
        Lose concentration, keep focused until the glider has come to a complete stop
        Take one extra turn in false lift on a windy day, just land the aircraft safely
        Experiment with something different, just land the aircraft normally
        Start your circuit too high
        Rush through your landing checks

        As long as you follow these general principles, when the time comes to landing off-field, you shouldn’t have any problems. Happy off-field landing, there is such a thing, I think..!

      • #12728
        John DeRosaJohn DeRosa

          I should mention that the author of this article is Australia and uses phrases that you may not be familiar with.

          An example is “SINGLE-WIRE EARTH RETURN LINES” which basically translates to “a thin hard to see electrical wire that you don’t want to run into”.Another is “paddock” which is a fenced off area for livestock (plus rocks, ravines, bulls, trees, etc) that you also don’t want to run into.My rule of thump for landouts is “Land in dirt and you won’t get hurt”! Been there done that several times. Fun!

          Best Regards,
          John “Dirt” DeRosa

        • #12729
          Dennis BurkeDennis Burke
            A good review posted. A concern i’ve had during 5 past Spring Safety Meetings is how we should handle outlandings of any members while in the club gliders. The PW5 seems to be the only one that could be easily disassembled, but its trailer would have to be towed out by a remaining member(s) that have a vehicle with capable wired hitch.  The other club gliders seem impossible to take apart in field, and may need many members to do that task.Even so, do all of us know the proper tools to bring out to Site, for each SGS and Krosno, and where Trailers are identified for each (if existing), and how to hook them up??  Maybe I’ve missed something over the years, but I wouldn’t know the exact procedure steps to help one of the members get back to SSI, possibly after sundown. I could make up my own procedure, but that’s  not right. The private ship owners have their trailers with stowed tool kits, and know their tear-down procedure, so they need basic manual labor help. I would suggest an SSI landout procedure to be taught/reviewed to the Members as a Safety Topic.

          • #12732
            John DeRosaJohn DeRosa


              We have had quite a few club ship land-outs over the years, I have been on 5+ myself.
              A required part of every glider pilot’s
              training is to take part in assembling or disassembling a glider –
              typically during early spring and late fall work. It is important and a very instructive event. No one can know how to do this on every known glider but the types of metal gliders that
              we own has a common set of steps, bolts, pins, and types
              of connections. We also have the assembly manual for reference.
              What occurs is that we gather up a bucket of assorted tools, straps, padding, etc. Then a group of members form up a party to go the site of the landing. It most often happens the same day, but once or twice had to wait for the next day. Every time someone had a hitch on their vehicle plus we have every size of adapter/ball in the radio room. If we don’t have the exact trailer for the glider you will be surprised how a “general” trailer can work for the short trip home given enough straps, padding and such. The collective member knowledge is the key element. Plus NOT dropping any parts in the dirt/grass (a blanket helps)!
              The event may not go quickly, and much sweat will be expended, but every single time the end result is that the glider arrives back at the field. Again, a very instructive event.
              John H DeRosa


              On Friday, September 23, 2022 at 02:43:48 PM CDT, SSI <webmaster@skysoaring.com> wrote:

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