More on Landing techniques

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More on Landing techniques

Postby nev » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:54 pm

I've just read a BHPA accident report from an accident last May where during landing a flexwing collided (at ground level) with a PG pilot (who was on the ground) in the HG landing area. The pilot swung through, the noseplate hit him behind the head, and the pilot has serious back damage.

Something that jumped out at me (more detail in link below, specifically page 18) was the finding that a pilot is more likely to get hit on the back of the head by the noseplate if in the flying position. The analysis also asserts (quite reasonably IMHO) that with a pilot in the 'conventional' (i.e. Gorilla) position, the pilot is more likely to wack the bottom of the glider than slip under the nose.

I think this has greater significance for RW's, as with our forward-rake and higher aspect ration, we must have a greater chance of (very undesirably) getting ahead ofthe noseplate

Reflecting on the 'wheels' discussion recently, I presume wheeled pilots sometimes remain in the (prone) flying position thinking the wheels will save them? What I'm getting as, is that it may be more desirable to be in gorilla to avoid getting under that noseplate.

I still remain an advocate of the "hard flare + dissipate all energy" approach; wheels or no-wheels, like my assertIon a few months back, I believe we must avoid getting under that noseplate at all costs.

See accident report from 26th May 2013, listed at:
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Re: More on Landing techniques

Postby nev » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:17 pm

More form me........


Thanks for sharing that James (see below). I think there is a strong case for advising AGAINST landing while in the prone position (calling Mark Dale, Joe Schofield - something worth progressing in print?)

The only established / proven method I know of for consistent wheeled landings is to (i) use those huge 18" pneumatic wheels and (ii) position the axle well forward of the basebar, and ideally on a self-positioning castor (as often used on duual training gliders, see pic at )

I don't use wheels; nothing to do with fashion or coolness (I'm laughing - have you seen my clapped-out old car and harness?), but because I don't believe I would actually make use of them in a crash situation. If ever I'm in a situation where a less-than-perfect landing may manifest** I'm firmly of the school that says 'hard flare, kill that energy' which means wheels won't get a look in. Plus (putting the head/noseplate danger aside) I would advocate that small wheels on the basebar is a far-from-reliable rolling mechanism and will only be achievable on the smoothest of landing surfaces. I remember chatting to Allan Barnes after he restarted HG following his late 90's accident; he eventually had to switch to sailplanes as regular wheeled lands were just not reliable.

** - can happen to anyone despite good planning - one example I'm thinking of is a tailwind due to thermal suddenly kicking off. However, spotting this scenario (i.e. undesirable ground speed) should feature in 'pilot awareness' and is not an excuse to crash or luck out on wheels - it CAN be resolved!


Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2013 18:14:19 +0000
From: ---
Subject: [hg_comps] RE: Base bar landing method

Perhaps due to the fact that I tend to only go flying when its windier I have found myself using the basebar method quite a lot in recent years, or at least one hand on an upright and the other on the bar. So much so that it has unconsciously become my defacto set-up and its bitten me, much like the landing the Scott Dougll described yesterday and much like the incident we are all debating (appreciating there are other factors in that incident).

Landing at Perranporth this summer I as ‘normal’ came in on the basebar; great for roll control but crap for flare authority. Against one of my own golden rules I was also flying without wheels.

Result – couldn’t flare and couldn’t land on the wheels, the basebar dug in, I swung forward through the A-frame and was smacked on the top of the helmet by the nose of the glider. Sound familiar?

No damage but I was shaken up.

So I am now forcing myself properly back onto the uprights, what a difference, I can flare properly.

All sounds bloody obvious but it’s a consequence of not getting out often enough, and there are plenty of pilots in that boat.
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Re: More on Landing techniques

Postby Johnnybravo » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:23 am

Perhaps this shows an illustration. Watch the end of this Vid:-

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