Some Action Pics From The 2000 Nationals At Porterville

Siggy Bockmaier has a reserve-deployment at launch

After launching Siggy has a slight left deflation and bounces onto his harness. He gets back onto his feet and launches again. His dislodged reserve falls out and hangs below him. He is yanked to a stop as the reserve starts to open. Reserve inflates and the canopy pitches forward. Siggy lands hard but safely.

Laura Nelson has a close one just after launch

As Laura launches her left side gets a bit of a deflation. She corrects and pumps it out before it gets out of hand. Then gets hit by a "bullet" and rockets upwards. Right side of wing starts to deflate. Canopy pitches violently forward. Canopy corrects with a semi right - assymetric. Canopy dives back towards the mountain. Laura gets things under control and continues flying.

Just a few comments (I can't say exactly what happened because I was not looking at the glider): Greg Hamerton said that there were two or three 50%-ers both sides one after the other to begin the show. The first pics apparently only show the glider recovering from those.

The pilots on the take-off could not agree whether the pull-out was one or five meters above the ground or toilets - again I do not know! Was not looking. The rocks looked very ominous from the position of the last picture - weightless, and knowing the pendulum had to happen - after that I put my attention on controlling the glider. People had to walk forward to see me again. People on the road commented that they could barely see the glider. For many on take-off I disappeared from sight.

My only real contribution to this lot is that I was very aware of the necessity to control without over-control, and that I made very sure that I did not control more than 60% at any one time. I contribute the quick recovery after the severe pendulum to specifically that. It would have been extremely easy to stall the glider in an effort to stop the pendulum
earlier. Instead I concentrated on turning away from the mountain as well as containing the pendulum.

This goes hand in hand with the "pro-active" flying technique. I did not feel a need to grab carabiners, but that could be because I flew the Contour harness with cross-overs for the first time.

Have a fun time.

Laura Nelson