Posted by: cokenias | July 27, 2011

Walking Would Have Been Easier – And Safer

Mussel Rock, Pacifica, 15 mph SW. 4:00pm

Extremely sloppy windy launch from Tomcat. As I approached the edge, I felt a lot of lift, so I lazily kicked off a quick step and went up a few feet, only to come back down backwards/sideways into the bushes. I kited/bounded back to the main launch area and did exactly the same thing, getting airborne too early and coming down in weeds. Still facing front and feeling in control of the glider, I pushed on. Again, up for a moment and then plopped down again about 15 feet downwind/downhill. Another push forward, this time actually penetrating, but still needing a quick extra kick to get flying.

I turned north, downwind, over the middle road and the foliage below, pulling a fair amount of brake. As I approached Gusto (my intended landing spot, for a shorter walk to Walkers) the terrain rose a bit more than I could afford and, as I was diving a bit, I kicked through a bush or two. By the third bush I was going slower than the wing and it was clear the flying part was nearly over. I brought both feet in front of me roughly lined up with my vector for a sort-of-PLF. I impacted feet first into soft bushes, and rolled over my shoulder, simultaneously yanking in a fist full of D lines to help down the wing. Two rehearsed techniques served me well here. Thank you Judo, thank you flight school / ground handling practice.

No injuries or damaged gear. Flattened some shrubbery. Packed up and went home.


  • Too windy and cross at launch for my skill level.
  • Poor speed control launching.
  • Did not maintain adequate ground clearance, crashed.

0:01 Mussel Rock (Tomcat), reverse launch.


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