17: Challenging Sites
May 15, 2007 | Section III Mastering The Sport
Narrow Confined Areas |
Finding Legal Sites |
Spot Landing Risks
The fact that we can launch from such a wide variety of sites is
impressiveóa major draw to the sport. But some sites, under some
conditions, and for some pilots will be impossible or dangerous to
launch from. We must always make sure that our skills match the task at
hand. The tools in this chapter will help you manage some of those
challenges and, more importantly, recognize when to skip locations that
are simply unsuitable.
One major tenet of any site you choose is that it must not require you
to climb over an obstruction until you are well above it. A tree-line,
for example, must be far enough away that you can take off and easily
circle back around over the launch site before reaching the trees.
Distances are terribly deceiving and must be walked off.
A good thing is that the launch corridor doesn't necessarily have to be
wide. Obstructed sites also carry the likely risk of rotor. You may not
even know about it but seeing the tops of trees wiggle is a good clue.
If there's more than about a 5 mph wind up at tree-top height, the rotor
could be treacherous. Not only turbulent, but sinky. Numerous crashes
resulted from pilots who got into the descending portion of a rotor and
couldn't climb over an obstruction they thought was far enough away.
That's one reason why it's so import to never accept a site that
requires the motor to continue running.