Takeoff, Rope-Break, and Land-Out Practice

Our takeoff and landing skills start to atrophy the longer we stay on the ground.  If you have Condor (and I know a substantial and fast growing number of you do), these are things you can also practice on the simulator.  And it can be a lot of fun because you can practice things you probably wouldn’t want to try in real life.
So here are some fun exercises for you.  These are based on the two flight plans that are attached.
1) Elliot’s Field
 Imagine you have a rope break (or – in this case – a tow plane failure) at 150 feet AGL.  What would you do?  You actually have a few options but it’s important that you decide quickly and then execute flawlessly.  Try the following (all are possible):
  • Land in Elliot’s field (this is probably what you were taught to do) – the complication is that there is a moderate cross wind from the south, so see how you do!  (If you don’t know for sure where Elliot’s field is, press “J” before your flight and you will see a window to fly through that will guide you there.)
  • Land in the L-shaped field (a bit further to the ENE).
  • Make a 180 and land back on the runway.  Do this twice and notice the difference whether you turn left (downwind), or right (into the wind).
  • Try Elliot’s field again, but this time land into the wind.

Try with a school class glider first (an ASK21 if you have it, or else try the Blanik); Then move on to club class glider or a Duo Discus (similar to our DG505) or any other high performance ship and load it with water ballast – the experience is very different!   For the ultimate skill test try to put the 28m wing-span EB29 with full ballast (if you have it) into Elliot’s field.  Now that is next to impossible – you’re much better off to turn around.

2) Cross-wind takeoff plus getting low in the south.

Download the flight plan here.

Imagine you find yourself in South Boulder at 1200′ AGL and there is a 20 kt wind from the north.  What would you do?

  • Can you make it back to the airport and pull off a perfect cross wind landing?  (It’s possible but if anyone’s watching you, you’re probably going to be grounded for some time…)
  • Is there a better and safer option?  (Hint: remember where Lemon’s field is?)

Again, try different gliders with different wing loadings and see what impact it has.

Have fun!