Well handled glider launch failure

Really nice job here…



That was the glider version of a closed-loop pattern. Now if only they could do touch-and-gos…

When I trained with a glider, instructor conducted a test with new students to see what they do before clearing them for a solo flight. It involved simulating a rope release right before departure end of the runway. With options - fly runway heading and land off field or turn around and land on a field. It was unexpected and fun. :smiley: I choose to turn around.

My brother told me about abort procedures for gliders in his glider club.
They just do it based on altitude.
If a cable break happens below a certain altitude they just go full brakes, stick forward and land right there, if it happens above a certain altitude they just enter a normal landing curve, and between those it is the most annoying thing, because they have to turn around and land with the wind.
All of those procedures are practised often (and quite often without warning by the instructor) throughout the training course. The instructor just drops the cable and the student has to react based on the altitude at that point.
Glider pilots are experts in landings. Because there is no second chance. There never is.

Remember the guy that landed in the Hudson River? Glider pilot. You could tell by the way he did the approach. Most pilots would have crashed.

I would say that glider pilots are experts in energy management. Most pilots are pretty good at landings - but glider pilots have a greater awareness of energy management and also (I feel) a better connection to the feel of the airplane as well as a better understanding of things such as increased stall margins under certain g-loading.

Regardless of whether you are a glider pilot or a powered aircraft pilot, the decision to turn around and make the airfield is one that has to be carefully considered (way before the emergency actually happens) and executed to perfection. It is much, much better to crash into the trees under control straight ahead than to try to squeeze performance out of your aircraft and end up stall/spinning on that base to final turn. Practice, practice, practice results in good decision-making like the one you see in the video above. For every five of those videos there is one or two where the result is not so good.


I agree with that.
But I still think there is some kind of special mindset if you know that you can never touch and go and try again. It is about the options available I think. Powered flight gives you more options.

btw: the other funny thing about gliders is pulling Gs. Glider pilots that have flown powered aircraft before flying gliders often tell that one interesting story: Being used to flying Cessna 152s and the like they tried a glider for the first time, and they were shocked by the maneuvers that are considered normal by glider pilots.

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