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Thread: Review of good flights and not such good flights

  1. #1
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    Review of good flights and not such good flights

    In keeping with the series I started in late 2012, here is another story.

    Most all contest pilots know John Good, the pilot in this incident. This is more evidence that proves you should never say - "That couldn't happen to me".

    And for all pilots, not just contest pilots, we all have a need to stay informed.

    If you were in a trade of some kind (medical, teaching, commercial flying, research, etc) you would always be doing "professional reading" to stay tuned into your trained vocaton. With glider flying it is nearly the same thing. You need to stay tuned in. An excellent source, besides Soaring Magazine, and the newly revamped SSA web site (still having growing pains), is the soaring cafe at .... http://soaringcafe.com/

    This article, written by John Good, is published on the soaring cafe web site. It's an easy read, entertaining and informative as well as easy to follow.

    Go to the link shown below and see the article entitled
    Rafting the Hiwassee
    It seems John had left himself with no other options other than to put himself and his glider into the water.
    Don't say it couldn't happen to you. Ever been low near the top of walker and found yourself on the wrong side of the ridge (that's the reservoir side)?
    It will probably happen in Lake Tahoe --- one of thee days. How about on the wrong side of Goat and sinking like a rock. You head north but you soon realize you are a bit too short to make it to the runway at Gravelly Valley. Lake pillsbury here we come. Lots of situations might lead to a water landing. It beats a tree landing - I think.

    Check it out... see...

    http://soaringcafe.com/2013/04/rafting-the-hiwassee/

    Thanks Key, for sharing this link with us.
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 04-22-2013 at 05:37 PM. Reason: grammar
    Peter Kelly

  2. #2
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    Re: Review of good flights and not such good flights

    Thank you for the link Peter. I've always wondered how big the waves on a lake can become, before they become deadly during a landing. I bet not very big.
    Luke

  3. #3
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    Re: Review of good flights and not such good flights

    Almost happened to me in the Nimbus flying out of Williams. I had climbed up to the top of Goat in strong wind conditions and made one turn near the top of goat and got blown over the top into the canyon to he south. Running down the canyon in 10kts down I got tunnel vision and the only place I could see to go was Indian Valley Reservoir. Running down the canyon I bumped into a small thermal and was able to climb out. OK, now you bright guys, remember, I had tunnel vision. What might I have done that would have saved me the landing had I not bumped into a thermal??

  4. #4
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    Re: Review of good flights and not such good flights

    Quote Originally Posted by Garykemp View Post
    Almost happened to me in the Nimbus flying out of Williams. I had climbed up to the top of Goat in strong wind conditions and made one turn near the top of goat and got blown over the top into the canyon to he south. Running down the canyon in 10kts down I got tunnel vision and the only place I could see to go was Indian Valley Reservoir. Running down the canyon I bumped into a small thermal and was able to climb out. OK, now you bright guys, remember, I had tunnel vision. What might I have done that would have saved me the landing had I not bumped into a thermal??
    I was flying with Gary and Ray that day and I recall the incident. I know of a bright guy who knows the answer, actually he could write a book about it, as to what tunnel vision is all about. He made his living studying such matters for NASA. (drum roll please....)

    Dr Key Dismukes, why is it we get tunnel vision during such stressful situations?

    About putting ourselves in places where we don't have a good Plan B, I suspect Key could write a book about that too. As we all know, every glider pilot (from newly soled to the highly experienced - such as Gary K) sets up a plan B (consciously or automatically) every time he/she ventures away from the glider port. I suspect there were decisions made, or events occurred that preceded that point where Gary found himself below the ridge on the wrong side. There are circumstances that cause a pilot to create and then rely on Plan B's that turn out not to be viable options. John Good talked about his Plan B decision making in the water landing (that Gary is referring to above).

    As for me, my guess would be that Gary had this for Plan B - find some lift if blown over to the wrong side of the ridge - but some bright guys might have a better explanation. Maybe some bright guys would talk about setting up workable Plan B's.

    I know Key is traveling this week, doing lectures and jetting about the country, but I'm sure he'll share his expertise with Gary and with all of us in a short while.
    Peter Kelly

  5. #5
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    Re: Review of good flights and not such good flights

    Quote Originally Posted by Garykemp View Post
    Almost happened to me in the Nimbus flying out of Williams. I had climbed up to the top of Goat in strong wind conditions and made one turn near the top of goat and got blown over the top into the canyon to he south. Running down the canyon in 10kts down I got tunnel vision and the only place I could see to go was Indian Valley Reservoir. Running down the canyon I bumped into a small thermal and was able to climb out. OK, now you bright guys, remember, I had tunnel vision. What might I have done that would have saved me the landing had I not bumped into a thermal??
    Turn right, stupid!!

  6. #6
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    Re: Review of good flights and not such good flights

    Methinks what Gary means = when in sustained sink, go 90 degrees as where you are is clearly bad. In the valley, the possibility is that the downwind side of the valley at least has no sink, and possibly lift. Up higher or in open sky, away from any obvious triggers, you could be in a wave trough, so going 90 degrees puts you either out of the sink band or into some lift.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  7. #7
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    Re: Review of good flights and not such good flights

    When playing in the Mendo's I try to keep in mind that Gravelly Valley is only 10 to 15 miles away from Goat or Snow. If you decide to try the west side of Snow and sink below the 'pass to safety', You should be able to make Gravelly, its 1900 and you should have close to 5,000 available. Most ships will make 15 miles with 3,000 available and ....................you might just hit a thermal on your way to Gravelly and win the day!

  8. #8
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    Re: Review of good flights and not such good flights

    Ray tried going down the drainage path and said there was a mountain in the way, but he too, lucked out and found a thermal.

  9. #9
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    Re: Review of good flights and not such good flights

    In general, "tunnel vision", actually tunnel thinking, is a very common effect of acute situational stress. (Stress is a physiological, cognitive, and behavioral reaction to situations in which we perceive serious threat to our well-being and are uncertain whether we will be able to create a safe outcome.). The physiological effects one experiences (increased heart rate and force, decreased peripheral blood flow, etc) prepare the body for "fight or flight". The cognitive/behavioral effects include narrowing of attention scan to the most salient aspects of the situation, pre-emption of working memory by anxiety (which undercuts logical reasoning, analysis, and consideration of alternatives), and rushing. These effects were probably useful when threats were situations such as encountering saber-toothed tigers, but they are largely maladaptive in threatening flight situations. With Peter's help i will recount a personal story about such a situation soon.

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