Flying Tips & Techniques

Ground Control in Strong Winds - Course devised and taught by Mark Leavesley.

The Cravat

There fairly rare but if you find yourself with your wing tip looking like this picture don't panic just lean away from it and keep your direction with a little brake the opposite side ie the side your leaning towards! Then once you have got yourself a straight line take at arm's length the stabilo line and pull it all the way down and let it go! It's as simple as that, you may have to pump the brake the same side as the cravat if there's a slight tuck still.

Take a look at the other picture here and notice my left hand holding the camera pole, then follow to the riser, you can see on my C riser there is a red line furthest outer at about 9 o'clock "this is my stab line". Look for it on your glider next time your out flying, if your not sure ask me to show you on the hill. It's one of the least talked about line yet it's so needed in times like a cravat. A video will be uploaded soon.

Cobra Launch

Picture 1: First lay the glider with the left wing tip into wind and down the hill side and the right wing tip up the hillside, so the left wing tip is sitting into the wind, it's very important to fold the wing tip sitting into the wind over a little bit to weight it down to stop the wind blowing it up the hill before your ready to launch.
Take the downwind riser and check it's all straight and ready to connect to the harness and lay it down onto the ground, do the same with the into wind riser taking care not to pull and be too rough with this riser or it will make the into wind side of the glider flip and get all messy. I myself walk towards the glider risers while wearing my harness and knowing I turn to the right when I launch I bring both risers together making sure they are not twisted and that the speed system pulleys are on top, then I turn them in a 180 degree twist to the right and connect them to my harness.

I'm now ready to launch from the cobra position.

Picture 2: You can see my left arm gently pulling the right side riser to start the downwind wing tip to start rising into the wind window, the glider will slowly cobra it's way to the wind as long as you pull slowly and gently, you do not pull aggressively, hard or with any speed here, it's all about being gentle.
Once the glider has slid into wind all the way and looking like a kite surfer all you do is gently pull the right brake to bring the glider over your head and walk off the hill. Picture 12: I am now pulling the right brake to bring the glider over head.
Picture 13: We are running off the hill!

I have been using this launch for years and it's especially great for tandem flying but can be used no problem for flying solo. It's all about good positioning of the glider and yourself, you don't want to be standing ready to launch with the down wind tip trying to launch itself. You need to take a small step towards the trailing edge and very slightly backwards towards the downwind wing tip, doing this makes for a great smooth cobra launch. When you gently ease on the right i.e. downwind riser to launch make sure you lean a lot away from the glider in a smooth way to be ready for the pull. It's all very easy when done gently. I do offer training ground handling days if you want to work with me on this or any ground handling techniques. More pictures coming soon on this section and a video will be added here real soon so stand by.

Thank's and I hope this helps some of you out there ML.


© 2012 Leavesley Aviation