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Gliding Rope Break



This was a test for a gliding instructor, whereby the tow rope pulling the glider aloft is released at low altitude. The pilot has to drop the nose, maintain speed and return to the field to land. Check out the tight turn right at the end.


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Author David Brown ( ago)
Like a Boss..

Author Paul Ellis ( ago)
I did a turn like that on my final approach on only my second solo. The
altimeter got stuck at 300ft on my old Slingsby T31. So long as you take
wind shear in mind and accelerate into the turn you will survive. That's
why I'm still here to tell the tale!

Author VolDep45 ( ago)
Nicely done.

Author wordreet ( ago)
That was a superbly well judged zero altitude turn. Proper skills! B¬)

Author TungstenKid ( ago)
I read that in earlier days of aviation a lot of pilots were killed by
trying to make it back to the field when the engine failed on takeoff
because they weren't gliders. It's easier with gliders because gliders are
meant to glide..:)

Author TungstenKid ( ago)
Alternatively if the field was long enough and the wind not too strong he
could have landed downwind without having to make that turn into wind,
Incidentally I like that Krosno's straight untapered wings giving more lift
area, it must be light as a feather to fly.

Author Chris Lovell ( ago)
Unfortunately I have seen this decision lead to death :/

Author itildude ( ago)
I fly that exact model aircraft (Krosno KR-03A) and I know it is capable
but that was still really hairy...he had no energy left and could easily
have stalled right into the ground. In any other glider he probably would
have but it is damn near impossible in the Krosno.

Author Jan Mizeski ( ago)
Good job!

Author Paul Bentley ( ago)
ps If it was a cable break or a test the decision to immediately turn
downwind would have been wrong.Should have been a landing straight ahead or
if insufficient room an S turn.Attempts to return to the launch point after
a cable break at low level are definetly not to be recommended & likely to
break the glider.Not the way student pilots are ever taught.Checkout the
glider crash in a demo flight at Shoreham Airfield if you want to see how
it can go badly wrong for an experienced glider pilot.

Author Paul Bentley ( ago)
Glider rope break ? I am a bit puzzled by this short video,must have been
launching into wind SO why was he then flying downwind at low level & then
having to turn back into wind . Does not make sense as a cable break to
me...Whatever the reason potentially dangerous to do a low level turn like
that.Must have had landing airspeed but easy to lose 200 feet on a base
turn.

Author Giovanniram22 ( ago)
For me that I fly onle rc gliders, probably the square plant of the wing is
the difference between a safe low speed turn and a tip stall if this was
made with these modern high tapered wings.

Author pepersorte ( ago)
No height should have been taught you. On some fights, even when not having
a test cable break, our instructor woud some time say. What if the cable
broke now? You would give him an answer but rearly told weather you were
right or wrong, unless your answer was realy stupid. Mind you this was only
once you were more or less about to go solo anyway. and on any given day
what to do would depend on the conditions. I myself always loved cable
breaks, made me fill safe that I could do them every time

Author pepersorte ( ago)
Another thirty feet and he would have crashed down wind??? Pete

Author pepersorte ( ago)
He did great but would have failed test. But as for what was in front of
him on field???? Well should he have even took off in that case, field
should have been safe. but I agree he is a skilled pilot and on wind less
day propoble could do that manover over and over. Till he dos not manage it
right on his last one. You should always first choce land ahead and alwys
check field before take off and sky so noone could have jumped into field
in front of him. Fly safe be happy cheers Pete

Author Vulcancruiser ( ago)
the guy has skills.......its irrelevant what anybody has been
told.......the dude pulled it off with a couple feet to
spare........kudos.........

Author tomshiba51 (1187 years ago)
Nice recovery.

Author bikerider1987 ( ago)
Should have landed downwind

Author jwboll ( ago)
I saw the same landing done in an Interstate Cadet just the other day,
engine sputtered 40 feet after takeoff, he made the turn, landed diagonally
to the runway and smacked into a ditch, writing off the plane, and throwing
himself through the instrument panel and partially through the windshield.
If it weren't for the ditch it would have been a "superb landing" also.

Author michi386 (101 year ago)
test for a gliding instructor: failed

Author Mark Brittain (196 years ago)
Only the pilot can make the call on what to do, when I learnt to glide the
instructions for the field were below 350 feet land straight ahead, 350-500
perform a left handed S turn and land ahead and anything above 500 perform
a normal low circuit. The airframe was very old in design and a gliding
ratio of something like 1:4 although we operated around the airfield as
though it was 1:1 - oh and I was 16..... ;-)

Author Jim Foreman ( ago)
I think I know that glider from the long, constant chord wings. It has
flaps for glide control and looks like he kept good speed all the way until
he needed to slow for the actual landing. Then he applied the flaps for a
steep final approach to touchdown. Jim

Author Toy72Y ( ago)
i dunno about this. i always got taught - you never turn back on the
airfield on climb out. high aoa, low ias. you make it 90° you could spin,
you make it 180° you could downwind stall. it's just bad juju.

Author okaponkoji ( ago)
Please for get about what I have said. I myself was confused, too. Sorry!
The dangerous point is that the pilot had to maintain the bank until the
wing tip came too close to the ground at the same time he/she needed to
lower the nose for airspeed, which is worth blamed not praised.

Author Andy Plater ( ago)
ah okay, I read them but I was kind of confused to your point. It appears
almost as if the glider has slowed down to turn though; my reasoning for
saying that is after the turn he puts the nose down to pick up airspeed. If
that's the case, that indicates he was uncomfortable with the height/sink
rate, and could easily spell disaster as you said by a stall/spin scenario.
Of course a gust of wind could be the culprit too, but either way, it's all
dangerous.

Author okaponkoji ( ago)
Thanks for your comment. If you read my previous comments, you will see I
have admitted that I was misunderstanding the relative movement of the
sailplane and wind direction, so that I no longer talk about the slipping
and I agree with your opinion.

Author Andy Plater ( ago)
I agree wholeheartedly with the danger of the low altitude turn, but I
can't see anything that would indicate a sideslip in the video. The wind is
coming from the right of the camera, and a turn in that direction would
cause the illusion of a skid to the outside of the turn, which is present.
Not knowing the wind on the day or being able to see the control surfaces I
don't think anyone can comment on how coordinated the turn was.

Author xterminatorSD ( ago)
When youre hauling freight then any turn is much safer. Look at the speed.

Author Gary Laaks ( ago)
Brilliantly done I would think. Thought that the turn at the final was a
tad daring but I was not there to decide for myself. Happy flying gentlemen
and ladies

Author okaponkoji ( ago)
@MrEngelchen In my most recent reply to @CDeWeerdt a few weeks ago, I no
longer talked about glider motion relative to ground. You don't have to
conclude anything about my comments any more. The point is the danger of
low altitude turn. You don't really understand what you are talking about,
Sir.

Author MrEngelchen ( ago)
@okaponkoji The glider turns relative to the AIR not the ground. You
haven't taken the wind into account in your analysis. Therefore, I have
concluded that you don't really understand what you are talking about.

Author okaponkoji ( ago)
@CDeWeerdt I may be wrong. The other gliders on the ground seem to be
awaiting their takeoffs. So that the landing should have been executed into
the head wind. My guessing induced a poor conclusion, I must confess. Even
so, overall danger of the turn at that low altitude must be blamed. The
pilot could have turned earlier while high enough or when already too low
he/she could have landed tailwind. That's a poor and too late decision for
a prospective instructor. I wonder he/she passed the test.

Author okaponkoji ( ago)
@CDeWeerdt I shouldn't have concluded whatsoever. Nonetheless, I still
suspect the possible sideslip. If the glider had flown the normal downwind
leg, some side wind can be coming from left (viewpoint pilot) during the
following base & final turns. On the other hand, at a simulated low
altitude rope break, the glider must be released into the head wind in
order to replicate a take-off incident. Then, the wind should come from
right (viewpoint pilot) at the turns.

Author CDeWeerdt ( ago)
@okaponkoji Because the plane is turning its base-leg, it 's possible that
it had to face some side wind coming from left (viewpoint pilot). Never
conclude a sideslip when you're on the ground, because you can't see the
wind!:) The only person who knows it, is the pilot. I think the pilot did a
good job!

Author TexMex ( ago)
I don't fly gliders but I could have done this so much better....

Author okaponkoji (1122 years ago)
If the turn is executed correctly, glider axis is a tangent line of the
circular course. This means at the very moment the nose was pointing at the
camera (0:08), the plane's apparent movement relative to the ground must
have shifted to your right. Nonetheless, its relative position against the
ground continued moving leftward even after that point until 0:10 because
the bank was insufficient to cancel out the centrifugal force. Therefore, I
have concluded that the plane was sideslipping then.

Author francois330 (2018 years ago)
@okaponkoji How can you see that sideslip on this video ?

Author 1NZD ( ago)
This is extremely good talent !!! Gliding WIN !

Author Theguyunderyourbed (692 years ago)
@DrRClavan That's what you do when your cable snaps.You turn 180 and back
to the airport

Author severniae ( ago)
I hope that particular instructor doesn't teach this to his students! Far
too low final turn, almost verging on unsafe.

Author HelgeBuk ( ago)
@TheDudeFrom0Z And you should'nt have said "of" instead of "have"... Still
you did.

Author Jochem Beunckens ( ago)
@DrRClavan Yeah,.. But maybe the runway was to short to land?? He took a
risc and he had luck ;)

Author okaponkoji ( ago)
@deimos2k6 If you take a careful look at the turn (around 0:08-12), you
will notice the glider was side slipping. The pilot was not very skilled,
because of the wrong decision to turn at that altitude and poor execution
of the turn. He/she could have spun the glider and smashed into the ground.

Author Deimos and Jo ( ago)
that's not insane, probabily he's a very skilled pilot. nice landing for
that position...

Author ninjasailor1 ( ago)
Very bad flying.

Author Fap Damage ( ago)
Last second....GROUND EFFECT!! Superb landing!!

Author JetlinerX ( ago)
@DrRClavan I think they were trying to land into the wind.

Author MelihAlex ( ago)
@DrRClavan you must look at the wind.

Author TheDudeFrom0Z ( ago)
i shouldnt of watched this before i went gliding

Author marjar3046 ( ago)
Is it Puchatek ?

Author GAFAAAAAA (50 years ago)
@DrRClavan he wouldn't have made the turn unless it was absolutely
necessary so i assume there wasnt enough field left to land safley, but he
did a very tight turn which is the safest thing to do at low altitude so it
was all good.

Author jlillie2 ( ago)
Wow, practicing to die, and he almost did it..... I think I'll mentally
prepare, and only carry out the execution in the even of a real emergency,
and not create one....

Author optyqus ( ago)
This maneuver is so dangerous that even instructors avoid it!

Author TheLTproducts ( ago)
@DrRClavan I know, right? :S

Author Drakensson ( ago)
i love adventureres like you :D making that fancy turn in that attitude :D

Author SuperAviatar ( ago)
Perhaps I should also mention that as a professional winch driver with over
15,000 launches I spent a lot of time watching the decisions being made,
some of them totally toe curling!! Another aspect was simulated power
failures, when the winch quits during the climb... getting this wrong can
be serious. I've also done stupid things myself, fortunately not fatal.
Approaching the fortieth anniversary of my first flight, I suppose I'm
lucky to get this far - my instructors will certainly agree.

Author SuperAviatar ( ago)
It's hard to judge without seeing the pilot's view of the field and all the
surroundings. The important thing is to avoid the mentality called
'get-home-itis' that compels you to land back at the launch point. A really
bad instructor will tell you it's a long walk back for him.... My response
is, if it is in the next field, then it is better than a crash. I learnt on
a small triangular field, and flew a glider type that would achieve a 500
foot launch on a calm day. Different decisions!!

Author Tom Stock ( ago)
@m1leswilliams Because you WANT the the rope to break in some cases..
rather than pull you into the ground, damage, the plane, or if you are
flying tow, ripping the tail off the tow plane, or having both planes out
of control because the rope didn't break, etc. Tow rope is 80-200% of the
glider gross weight.

Author Tom Stock ( ago)
wow no way I'd try make that turn! straight out!

Author funfly3 ( ago)
@m1leswilliams adding another 1000m of steel cable would just add to the
strain on the glider as they weigh 200 kilos or so , so the glider would
have to lift an extra 200 kilos and would not be able to get as high on the
launch and would be a pig to manage as they would tangle on the release

Author pyro999maniac ( ago)
I would just land ahead in that situation

Author muggles1985 ( ago)
@m1leswilliams A lot of things can cause a launch failure. It could be that
the cable has broken, it could be that the weak link safety device has
broken either due to age or because it was overstressed in some way. If the
weak link has broken there would be no sense at all in being attached to a
second cable which could continue to overstress situation. The fact is that
there are a number of reasons for launch failures, and these eventualities
need to be trained for just in case

Author Miles Williams ( ago)
How come instead of training for something like this all the time you don't
just use two ropes to tow the gliders ? If one fails the other takes over,
problem solved !

Author bigbfoot1 ( ago)
Going along with pilot5054, because it was a training mission they could of
added a factor in that everyone knows expect for us watching this video.
For example they could of said that the runway was blocked making a
straight landing impossible to do. Because this is what training exercises
are for, training for the worst, hoping for the best.

Author Chad Cole ( ago)
That guy has skill... That was a BEAUTIFUL recover right there now.

Author PBparatroopingpilot ( ago)
@pilot5054 yeah, but you could also just land after turning around 180
degrees with a bit of downwind, better then this shit

Author Ebdan88 ( ago)
This is Creasy....What if things went wrong and he killed the people on the
Ground!!?

Author Philip Allen ( ago)
There's a lot of criticism of this pilot and I know it's drummed into us
glider pilots to land straight in a launch failure; however landing
straight ahead sometimes is not possible. From this clip we can't see what
was ahead of him and although he was low, still had the speed to make his
manoeuvre. Experienced pilots will tell you safety is not about altitude,
it is about management of energy. Although this is not how you would teach
someone else, the pilot did made a skilful safe landing!

Author Adrenalfix ( ago)
nicely done for a downwind landing onder pressure

Author catsfiveuk ( ago)
I don't know where that was filmed, nor what the prequel to it was, but I
know I would normally find a reception committee at my club if I did a
final turn that low after a winch launch failure. Looks like there was room
to turn in earlier and higher and still stay on the airfield. Possibly a
case of either 'I have' far too late, or 'launch-point-itis'. A friend of
mine was spun in by an instructor with the later problem, thanfully they
were unhurt, unlike the K13. BTW I have a Silver C.

Author Chris Robinson ( ago)
do so.

Author Chris Robinson ( ago)
I am a professionl gliding instructor. The examiner, playing the student
has turned, when he should have landed ahead and is asking the potentail
instructor to get out of that! The potentail instructor should have taken
over sooner and stopped the student from from getting into the situation in
the first place, it is possible that the examiner intercepted "The I have
control" and asked the question, what would you do if you took over too
late. If you can land ahead.

Author Juan Ortiz Zaforas ( ago)
@Pilnowac yeah but he made it

Author Pilnowac ( ago)
@DrRClavan thats true! in that altitude you never should make a turn with a
glider thats to dangerous !!!

Author nitrokrumpt ( ago)
wow great landing

Author Weltbevoelkerung ( ago)
perhaps he couldnt land there...

Author szaychuk ( ago)
Erm. I guess that's right. I'm a student pilot working toward his Private
Pilot License, then. :)

Author Ron Harper ( ago)
There is no such thing as a student private pilot.

Author yonieter ( ago)
well we have quite a large field and not many traffic so we're not allowed
to turn just above the ground we have enough room to land straight out

Author szaychuk ( ago)
I agree. I'm a student private pilot and we are taught to pick a suitable
field +/- 30 degrees from runway heading for simulated take off engine
failures at less than 500ft AGL. :)

Author Chris Robinson ( ago)
This clip is part of an instructor test, it might be that the examiner
playing the student role Bloggs having turned when he should have landed
ahead, is asking the instructor student, now how do we get out of that.
From the start the glider appears to be well flown, good speed control,
well banked turn, air brakes opened after wings level. Good practice back
on the ground is that the examiner declares: we were just checking that if
you get it wrong the instructor can fix it.

Author pilotwhitus ( ago)
land ahead

Author bananasfoster2 ( ago)
at a low altitude. read the description buddy

Author Yves Bastien ( ago)
Waaay too low to have completed a compressed circuit to the field. They
were lucky. Hard to judge from a short clip, but this instructor sez they
should have landed on their initial heading or downwind. The wind sounds
high in the clip which begs the question, what were they doing practicing a
low-level (?) rope break on a windy day. The glider looks like a KR-03
"Krosno"

Author DrRClavan ( ago)
Even better, we use the 300 feet rule which can lead to tricky situations.

Author yonieter ( ago)
it really depends on how high he came of the cable if it's (i think) below
100 mtrs you're not allowed to make a turn but you should push the nose
down and make a safe landing

Author DrifterThai ( ago)
this plane is PUCHATEK ??

Author I wish I was Popular ( ago)
yep, schweizers are not user friendly. I really don't remember posting on
this vid either.

Author DrRClavan ( ago)
Following your reasoning it would be easiest to fly with no wings...

Author DrRClavan ( ago)
Excuse me! High stick forces? If you're flying Schweizers maybe but not in
anything newer than an LS-1!

Author DrRClavan ( ago)
I would never make a turn at that altitude, they should've landed straight
ahead after the cable broke.

Author I wish I was Popular ( ago)
sure, aircraft with long wings... gliders fly better, but stick forces
(force required to move the stick around) are considerably higher. In a
schweizer SGS 2-33, in tow, it can take up to 10-15 lbs of force to move
the ailerons, if your doing a 3000 ft. tow, it can be REALLY exhuasting,
trust me, i fly a 2-33 and a Blanic L-13

Author Squirrel9901 ( ago)
i find it funny that all the powered pilots and peopel who don't fly at all
believe gliding is more dangerous than powered....

Author cafeconpizza ( ago)
it's an instruction test, they release on low altitude on purpose to
practice in case it does happen in real life which can be dangerous
depending on where and how the rope snaps (dangerous for the glider if they
don't release on their side fast enough).

Author Valeriu Viscreanu ( ago)
I've witnessed two rope brakes at my club . one at about 40 meters the
pilot put the glider at normal speed and then landed it and another at
about 160 meter in witch the pilot was able to make a very short runway
tour .

Author xGreenHatGirl11 ( ago)
where was this?i have a glider club near my house and i just watched them
launch a glider...but it took half an hour to launch one!

Author slapstik89 ( ago)
i think he may have been referring to the fact that a tight turn at low
altitude with long wings can be difficult due to a slower turn, but yes
long wings do have advantages - hence their use on gliders.

Author crewealexfan ( ago)
lol

Author elrobto ( ago)
how u meen with long wings is easyer to fly then with short wings

Author GerbilEssences ( ago)
Thats hard work with such long wings!!!

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