Friday, June 10, 2011

Slacker Finds New Place to Land in West Corinth

My flight on Wednesday ended up in a field in West Corinth about 10 miles north of the airport. My first land-out.

I knew it was going to be a marginal day but I haven't been able to fly much this spring so I decided to go-for-it anyway. I was pleased to be able to stay up after Rick gave me to 3K' tow. There were little ragged cumulus clouds but they seem to dry up before I got to them or produced no lift. There was the occasional good thermal (unrelated to the clouds) and I had got up to 5K several times. As I headed north for the second time there were some bigger, thicker clouds over the high ground between Post Mills and Montpelier. Up until now I was keeping the arrival height for Post Mills at 2,000' or more on the glide computer (to make sure I could get back to the airport with plenty of altitude). I was about 12 miles from the airport and about 3-4 miles from the better looking clouds (the clouds were about 15 miles from the airport). I came up with a plan. 1) fly to the clouds and go up, 2) if 1 didn't work, head back towards the airport and find a little lift along the way to get me home, and 3) if 2 didn't work, land in a field.

You can see what happened from the pictures (sorry about the quality-I didn't know how to use my phone as a camera) and flight log.

I picked a huge field that had a nice up hill slope to land in. I didn't realize (and I was thinking about it) until I touched down that it was tall grass (about 2.5'). The grass decelerated the glider very quickly, then grabbed the right wing and swung the glider 90 degrees. Total landing roll was about 100 feet. Luckily there was no damage. I will definitely try to avoid tall grass in the future.

A guy was working in his garage across the street from the field and I used his phone to called Rick to come get me. We packed the glider up in about 10 minutes and arrived back home before 5.

Thanks Rick for pulling me up (tow) and pulling me out (of the field).



PMSC Member said...

The clue to crop is the color:

dark green = tall grass
yellow = recently cut

As well for crops planted in rows: if you can't see any dirt between rows, you can assume the crop is tall enough to be a problem.


S2 said...

Good job, Tim. I know the field, and I also know that there aren't any alternatives nearby.

Here's hoping that the grass doesn't get any higher before one of us needs it again.

S2 said...

By the way, congratulations to everybody on five straight days of flying. Not bad for a "weekends only" club!

Anonymous said...

Geez, I spent all the time wing running for you & smacking a new ignition coil in the PMSC ground tow vehicle to tow your craft back to trailer ( in 91deg heat ) and you decide to cruise home by air conditioned car ( w/ driver ).

Apparently the retractable wing mounted weed wacker modules were not working.

I did that route on my 1st flight in the 1-23 on Nov. 2 - 09 under a terrific cloud street & learned there are few fields, no big ones, most are sloped & many have a bush, rock, tractor or cow in the middle.

I was happy to make it back to the c-street again after heading NE to another parallel c-street & turning back 3/4 of the way there.
Great job. Everyone walked away (or drove) & the plane could be used the next day.
The def. of a successful landing.