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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Added: 8 years
Runtime: 0:27
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Author Paul Ellis (2 months)
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 Rcbif (3 months)
Yikes! Unless there are power lines or something else that we cant see, I
cant see any reason to make such a low dangerous turn. Keep going and land
straight ahead....

Author EVZebra (4 months)
Yeah he took a bit of a chance there turning back down wind.
He did it well though, he got his speed up first thats why he nosed it down
for so long. He really should have just landed straight ahead with the air
brakes on, he could have dropped a wing in that turn, listening to the wind
blowing in the mic it was blowing pretty hard, if you turn down wind and
the effective wind speed over the wings is less than around 60km/h you will
drop out of the sky like brick.
In other words if the wind speed is 40km/h you have to be flying at at
least 100km/h before you make the turn, to be safe you have to be doing
130km/h before you make the turn. The same thing applies when you coming
into land you have to add the wind speed to the landing speed. If you come
in with a wind speed reading on your instruments of say 70km/h and you have
a head wind of 20km/h if the wind stops blowing you will suddenly only be
doing 50km/h the aircraft only flies at 60 km/h so you drop like a stone.
So many pilots dont know this and its a death trap, of course its worse in
gliders, the ones with the short wings and the engines dont get affected as
often as their stall speeds are so much faster than the average wind speed.

Author VolDep45 (3 months)
Nicely done.

Author wordreet (1 year)
That was a superbly well judged zero altitude turn. Proper skills! B¬)

Author LkOutMtnMan (7 years)
Excellant flying!

Author marjar3046 (3 years)
Is it Puchatek ?

Author muggles1985 (4 years)
@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 Jochem Beunckens (3 years)
@DrRClavan Yeah,.. But maybe the runway was to short to land?? He took a
risc and he had luck ;)

Author Andy Plater (2 years)
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

Author Toy72Y (2 years)
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 funfly3 (4 years)
@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 Brewdison217 (5 years)
Lol, nice, I haven't seen it happen yet :P

Author russy810 (6 years)
these arnt concrete rules btw... is depends all on the day

Author okaponkoji (3 years)
@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 DrRClavan (5 years)
Excuse me! High stick forces? If you're flying Schweizers maybe but not in
anything newer than an LS-1!

Author Jan Mizeski (1 year)
Good job!

Author were562 (5 years)
lol i went today with air cadets it was great fun i love it when it starts
getting bumpy lol

Author Drakensson (4 years)
i love adventureres like you :D making that fancy turn in that attitude :D

Author Theguyunderyourbed (3 years)
@DrRClavan That's what you do when your cable snaps.You turn 180 and back
to the airport

Author fr3ds4t (6 years)
I know...I'd have better said a passenger...:) And for now I'll be sitting
in the front with the instructor behind...:(

Author TungstenKid (1 year)
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 PBparatroopingpilot (6 years)
that's not the rule, it depends on the winds that day, the height where you
should turn and make an improvised pattern is always given in the briefing
of that day

Author Breno Moura (5 years)
Did you even bother to think about why he did that?

Author xGreenHatGirl11 (5 years)
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 skierplaterandy (5 years)
too bad out squadron hasnt used the winch yet....

Author Aussiebattle (3 years)
looks like he actually does a full circuit and lands headwind. I was a
student 20 years ago , never went solo . I suppose i got a bit chicken in
the end. From what i can see the decision to circuit was wrong as his turn
to final was executed too low. possible choices would be land straight
ahead full air brake or if that's not possible a 180 degree turn and land
with tailwind.

Author tomshiba51 (2 years)
Nice recovery.

Author Chris Robinson (5 years)
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 Adrenalfix (4 years)
nicely done for a downwind landing onder pressure

Author ToritoNL (6 years)
But if he'd done the turn earlier, he'd be higher and be safer. There seems
plenty of room on the field to land further. I think one tends to land
close to the normal landing spot and do anything to get to it, forgetting
one could land safer, but more remote.

Author jwboll (2 years)
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 itildude (1 year)
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 MelihAlex (3 years)
@DrRClavan you must look at the wind.

Author Weltbevoelkerung (5 years)
perhaps he couldnt land there...

Author Paul Bentley (1 year)
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 elrobto (5 years)
how u meen with long wings is easyer to fly then with short wings

Author DrRClavan (5 years)
Even better, we use the 300 feet rule which can lead to tricky situations.

Author secret00agent00man (6 years)
and again! he had no choice!

Author Damir Catic (5 years)
if there is a rope brake below 50 meters you should fly straight, but if
you are above 80 meters then you can make one safe turn

Author pepersorte (2 years)
Another thirty feet and he would have crashed down wind??? Pete

Author Chris Robinson (4 years)
do so.

Author helipilot727 (4 years)
@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 okaponkoji (3 years)
@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 TheDudeFrom0Z (3 years)
i shouldnt of watched this before i went gliding

Author pepersorte (2 years)
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 Chad Cole (4 years)
That guy has skill... That was a BEAUTIFUL recover right there now.

Author MrEngelchen (3 years)
@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 ninjasailor1 (3 years)
Very bad flying.

Author pepersorte (2 years)
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

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