Reserve deployment incident report 01/01/2021

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Reserve deployment incident report 01/01/2021

Postby sangwonsuh » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:21 pm

I launched at EJ at 11:10am. Conditions were all good. I climbed up to 4,300ft at La Cumbre before tagging VOR cylinder and then I left West Bowl at 3,800ft to Cathedral hoping to bench back and move to Tit or land in Parma, depending on the altitude. I didn’t gain enough altitude at Cathedral, so I headed to Parma. I left Holy Hill at 1,900ft toward Parma. Right around the lower spine of Holy Hill, known as Power Prayer, I think that my right-side glider hit a strong turbulence from the South or South West (my glider was heading East). I instantly lost pressure on the right break. Looking up, I saw that the right-side of my wing was about 70% collapsed. I wasn’t on a speed bar at that point. The glider swang sharply clockwise and started to fall. It was at around 12:34:40pm at 1,750ft with the ground clearance of about 400ft, according to my track. I felt a strong G-force from the swing, at which point I let my right break go and grabbed the reserve handle immediately. I waited perhaps for about two seconds, hoping that the wing recovers. But the fall was accelerating and I didn’t have enough ground clearance to wait any longer. Inspecting my track, the sink rate peaked at -2,750ft/min, which is about -14m/s, in about 4.5 seconds from beginning of the collapse. Given that a sink rate increases by 9.8m/s per second in a free fall, I gather that it wasn’t a complete free fall, though it felt like one. As the wing didn’t recover in a second or so, I pulled the handle forcefully and threw it as hard as I could. I grabbed the right break immediately, but there was no pressure. The reserve was deployed very quickly, perhaps within a second or two. I felt a strong pull from the back and I was in the air for about another 5-7 seconds before I safely and slowly landed on the East side of the Power Prayer hill. The whole thing, from the collapse of the wing to landing was only about 10.8 sec-long. I bunched the glider and the reserve together and took a short walk down to Parma.

First of all, I thank our Eagle crews for packing my reserve--it worked amazingly well. Second, reviewing my tracks, I hypothesize that there was a sudden gust from the west at that moment, which might have created a rotor in the lee-side of Power Prayer hill. I thought that I had enough clearance away from the rotor, but perhaps it wasn’t enough. A lesson (another!) learned.

I am sharing my Ayvri track. Again, I would appreciate the views from other pilots. ... 5qh4hckfat
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