Strong Wind Techniques

Pine Mountain Strong Wind Glass-off Techniques

By Frankie Aspinwall and Phil Pohl

  • LAUNCHING IN STRONG WINDS
    • Don't Be Distracted -- Once you are clipped in, get control of your wing.
    • Be Focused -- Build a clean wall with yourself at the center point of the wing.
    • Launching -- Launch directly into the wind, using your best reverse launch technique & finesse.
    • Amplification -- Applying too much brake when launching in high winds could pull you off your feet.
  • FLYING IN STRONG WINDS
    • Observation -- Observe all wind indicators including your fellow pilots.
    • Avoid the Lift Band -- Stay low and out front in a lower wind gradient.
    • Penetration -- Check penetration often.
    • Descent Techniques -- Turns, big ears, etc.
    • Ears & Speed Bar -- If you must apply both big ears and speed bar, apply big ears before applying speed bar.
    • Stabilization & Descent -- Big ears can be used to stabilize the glider and get you to a lower wind gradient, but will not increase forward speed and in most cases, will decrease forward speed.
    • Speed Bar & Instability -- Speed bar will increase forward speed and can make the wing unstable.
  • OVER THE BACK PROCEDURE
    • Gain Altitude -- Let out the speed bar and big ears and try to gain as much altitude as possible, before reaching the crest of the ridge. By the time you reach the crest of the ridge, you must make a decision. Look for a suitable, clear and rotor-free LZ. The lower you are on the ridge the faster you need to react and make you decision to run WITHOUT hesitation
    • Run With Wind -- When you have just started to slip behind the ridge, it is time to make your move. Turn 180 degrees and fly downwind, AWAY from the ridge. Fly as FAR as you can and prepare to turn back into the wind to land. Your altitude will make a difference on the distance you need to run with the wind. While flying downwind, it is possible for your ground speed to increase 40+ mph (hopefully, passing through the rotor quickly.)
    • Turn Back Into the Wind -- Turn into the wind facing the backside of the ridge. Your sink rate will increase. Be prepared to encounter the rotor.
  • LANDING
    • Landing Area -- Select a safe landing area, beyond the rotor
    • Use of C or D risers -- At 30 feet above the ground, with brakes in hand, grab the C or D risers while steering by weight shifting or by using the D risers.
    • Landing -- As soon as your feet touch the ground, kill the wing, by fully pulling down on the risers. Immediately charge the wing. Get behind the wing to aid in collapsing it.
    • Unhook -- Immediately unhook from the wing.
  • SOME POSSIBLE LIFE SAVING EQUIPMENT
    • Radio tuned to the DAR frequency -- 151.505
    • Small LED flashlight
    • Cell Phone
    • Flares
    • First Aid Kit
    • Air Life Subscription