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Altitude is your friend (AKA: how not to do it)

Today I made a stuff-up, which could have ended very badly. Rather than try & forget about it I'm posting this so anyone else can see my mistake & hopefully learn from it:

Well done for posting your video

Well done for posting your video. I'm glad to see you are OK. You are not alone mate - most pilots that have been flying for some time have had an experience with losing altitude awareness. I've been guilty of this in the past myself (who can forget my cock-up last year at Taylors after blowing a SAT entry). Last year I nearly wrote myself off after a low level 360 turn on my speedwing at Mt Hutt. Shit sometimes happens but hopefully we learn from these mistakes - I certainly have.

Aside from ensuring that you have the altitude for a high energy manoever - remember, you need to have extra altitude to make sure you have a removery margin if something goes wrong - and sometimes it does! Pre-plan your manoever in your head before you initiate it - know how many spirals you intend to do. This is a good key to keep you thinking about what is an appropriate point to start recovering from the manoever and managing your exit energy on your glider during recovery. In other words, if you intend to do 3 sprial dives, after 2 rotations, you need to be staying ahead of your glider and thinking about recovery techniques before your third rotation.

Know your glider well before trying any high enery manoevers and learn high energy manoevers over water eg. SIV course. The Earth is hard and it will rise up to smite thee if you lose respect for it. I've lost skydiving mates over the years from carrying out swoop turns too close to the ground - always give yourself a margin for error to bail out of a manoever or recover when it all turns to custard!

Blue skies dude!


Mate, firstly I am glad you

Mate, firstly I am glad you are OK. Secondly I want to congratulate you, on having the balls to post your mistake and cop all the criticism form other pilots. All I will say is, be prepared to to listen to it and learn from it.