Several harness problems on launch

Please tell what happened and how it might have been avoided. Names should be ommitted. This forum should help others learn from mistakes that caused or nearly caused a mishap.
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Several harness problems on launch

Post by greblo » Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:48 am

Yesterday (Saturday), one of of the launch assistants reported 3 separate incidents where advanced rated pilots nearly launched with problems in harness to glider attachment. It seems all 3 pilots at first declined the offer for a hang check on launch. After offering a second time, the pilots obliged and found problems.

Perhaps this is a good reminder that the only way to insure proper attachment to the glider is through a thoughtful and thorough hang check.

Those wishing to discuss the various popular methods are invited to continue the discussion.

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Post by stebbins » Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:51 pm

A few years ago, at a competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico, my wife was doing wire crew duty. She asked one of the pilots if he wanted a hang check. He declined. She stepped in front of him and said again "Do you want a hang check?" He said no. She refused to move and said "I think you should get a hang check." He got angry and flung himself agressively down for his hang check. He hit the ground. J had seen him not hooked in, and refused to move out of the way until he got his hang check. She also didn't just tell him, since she wanted him to remember. I doubt he will ever forget that incident.

Similarly, at the same competition on another day, one of the H3 pilots was standing on launch in wind that was tossing his glider around. He had serious problems controlling it, and was insisting on launching. My wife, J, said something like "Did you notice that 3 other pilots just backed off of launch?" He said he was fine. She said "Don't you even want to know why a Hang 4 and two Hang 5 pilots, all with local experience and thousands of hours, just backed off of launch? Don't you even want to ASK them why?" He backed off, and broke down his glider after talking to the other pilots. Nobody flew the rest of the day, as the wind was too high and the T-Storms were about to let loose. This guy almost launched into conditions he couldn't handle because he didn't want to admit that he was over his head. Especially to a woman. Ego can kill you. Use all the information available, which includes the other pilots there. And if you aren't worried about your body or life, just think how you'd feel with a nickname like "Drop-zone Dylan" or "Hook-in Harry" or "Fall-out Felix".
Fly High; Fly Far; Fly Safe -- George

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