Linda Salamone's Blog

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My first comp day back since breaking my arm and the sky was dark and stormy looking in two directions. I had a good spot on the staging line and took maybe the 6th tow for flexes. The rigids were just maintaining but I thought maybe we'd drift right outta there. The tow went okay in spite of all the stressing out I had done over shoulder towing after almost a year. But at around a thousand feet, I felt some rain, and in the next few moments I was completely soaked. Russel dragged me around as if searching for a dry spot, but waved me off after finding none. I ran back to the area over the prk where rigids were turning, but my wet glider felt scary and dive-y so I ditched the VG and tried to thermal. When the glider kept nosing over and bar pressure was nonexistant, I realized I had a big problem on my hands that I was ill equipped to handle. Things got worse when the rain increased and I let the VG off completely. Sinking and sort of diving fast, I was close to landing pretty quick but a gust front and heavier rain were making things even freakier for me. When I managed the glider onto the field, of course it was with a big hard whack. Zippy made some observations about my landing which will probably improve things in the future. First tip was to come in with way more speed and keep my hands lower on the uprights until flaring. I hasd felt like my groundspeed was screaming fast and to escape being face or arms first I had climbed up the uprights in defense mode. Not good. I got a whole lot more advice about flying when wet and am still truly amazed that so many pilots have experience with it. In my limited view, rain equals no flying. But so good to know what to do if it ever happens again. Half VG and fly fast and come in super hot. Getting the water off the wings is key to keep it flying. Lessons learned....Tons of rain on the way for the next few days.


  • Whew! That's a bit (lot!) spooky. Glad it worked out so well. But I'd stay planted on the ground if there was any possibility of rain in the area. Or even on course, for that matter. Just not worth the risk.

    By Blogger JackieB, at 12:48 AM  

  • Hey Linda, wet hang glider flies like a hammer. The flare turns tuff but go confident for it, you know how to do it! If you see that even doing it strong was not enought, please take off your arms from dts. Well, what am I doing here?... Teaching a priest how to pray? GOOD LUCK! And we are expecting good flights for you! Neko.

    By Blogger Neko, at 6:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home