Paragliding Collapse in Valle de Bravo, Mexico





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Published on Jan 25, 2013

Spun the SAT entry over the lake in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. Had a fight with the glider. Very nearly a $1000 mistake. Music courtesy of the band from the main square in Valle.

OK heres what happened.

I pulled too much break too quickly entering a SAT. My first SAT with this glider was just moments before and I just got a little excited I guess. This mistake led to a quite dynamic spin with the energy created by the turn. The glider flipped and I did an ok job of catching it. Unfourtunately due to the reclined body position and a failure to actively prevent it I swung into a riser twist. This flip and swinging under the wing was actually much bigger than the video lets on. I am swinging almost from horizon to horizon, you just can't tell.

Now twisted in the risers. a big surge comes, but I am unable to catch the surge in the twisted risers. With more experience/ground handling practice maybe I could have caught this surge in this position, but that shit ain't easy when you are swing around all crazy!

This surge brings on a huge cravat on the right side. This cravat was so severe it immediately puts me into SAT. No amount of brake of weight shift was going to stop that turn. I tried anyways weight shifting and pulling left brake only to have the left side stall and spin the other way. I was surprised by how little input caused the left side to stall and spin the glider the other way. At this point I really thought I was fucked.

Release inputs and the cravat brings the glider back into SAT. This time I grab the Cs and give a good yank. Luckily it worked and I exit normally.

Sitting upright in the harness very well could have prevented the riser twist and ensuing cascade. I was altitude aware and over water but only had one more turn before toss time. Ultimately I was fucking around and almost paid an iphone, vario, gopro, radio and pride for it. Instead I got a good video to entertain you all with. If enough of you watch the video I will have enough money to buy a new pair of underwear.

Yet again more ground handling, SIV etc experience would have prevented/moderated the situation I put myself in. I bet a bunch of pilots would have caught the riser twisted surge even if it meant reaching up and grabbing the rears to do so. I didn't have the muscle memory to make that happen....yet

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