Mussel Rock, Pacifica, 3:00 pm, W @ 12mph
Launched from Walker, on the northern side to avoid rotor from the ridge. Only wearing one glove today, the other was the floor at home. Good ground control and solid launch, but I was sinking and I quickly gave up. Headed for landing below Lemmings by turning north, then south as I left the hill. With the SW wind at my back, my ground track north was greater than I anticipated and I ended up closer to Lemmings launch than I had intended. Shouted a warning to a pilot who was thinking of taking off, but I managed to hook a sharp left before crowding her. I then found myself low and facing the wind, but also over the Lemmings star thistle bushes. I hate the star thistle bushes. I should have turned away at this point, but I was above a west-facing slope and thought I might find just a little lift. A second or so and I realized I was going to have to land soon. There were many options available to me, including turning 90 degrees to my right, into open air and landing on one of the lower roads. Some pilots were sitting on the Gusto launch, ahead and to my right. I was actively trying to avoid fixating on them, I didn’t want to land on them, so I forced my attention forward. I then realized I had run out of decision making time and committed to landing on the path I found myself on. By pulling my feet up and a bit of quick brake to turn some speed into height, I just cleared the bushes, landing with my feet solidly under me.
Unfortunately, my left brake and stabilo lines were fouled by the metal sign which lists the Mussel Rock site hazards. Nearly the full length of the two lines, under tension, scraped perpendicularly across the edge of the sign. I inspected all the glider’s lines and found the brake sheath was a little rough in places and had picked up some paint. There was minor damage to the stabilo line sheath, some of the core fibers (which are intact) are now exposed. I’ll check with my instructor whether the fix is repair, replace or ignore; and how safe it is to fly in the meantime.
Update: I’ll use glider repair tape as a temporary fix and order a repalcement line. It should be OK to fly in the meantime, the line isn’t going to break; even if it did, the glider would still fly, left wingtip flapping in the wind.
- Didn’t announce launch.
- Surprised by airspeed/groundspeed difference.
- Only one glove.
- Committed to poor glide path when other, safer options were available.