Towers in March

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gregangsten
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Towers in March

Post by gregangsten » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:53 am

I may be just superstitious but I am very leery of flying around the Towers this time of year. Flying Saturday was on the windy side but the air was generally smooth and the lift was light. Most of my flying was VG on, doing gentle circles and fingertip flying along lift lines. Around the Towers I got thrashed anyway, even though I made a point of flying faster around there.

I think this is the month that Markus was bitten there in similar conditions. Just a humble suggestion to stay on your toes around Towers in these pre and post frontal conditions.

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JD
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Don't Get Taco'd Anywhere

Post by JD » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:47 am

Greg,

I was hoping the topic of this thread was to inform everyone that Towers Launch has re-opened. But alas...

Markus' accident at Contract Point happened at 2PM PDT, May 9, 2015.
There is no time of year when any portion of the spine from Locals up to Contract Point is ever safe, mid-day. Somewhere I have video of my friend Robert getting pitched over forward past vertical on his Atos VX mid-way between Locals and Contract Point.

Springtime always brings sharp turbulence. About 9 days before Markus’ accident Wolfi rolled over at Elsinore and taco’d.

Markus flew back into a thermal that had already rolled him 45° then was hit by the cascading waterfall of rotating air which rolled him upside down as he flew into the leeward side of it. He was also flying to slow for his glider to do a half-loop out of the roll-over.

Flying too fast into turbulence can also cause an accident since airspeed amplifies the effect of turbulence. Pilots need to judge for themselves what speed maximizes safety in any given time, place or condition. I certainly don’t know any universal answer other than to stay on the ground.

Cheers, JD

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gregangsten
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Towers

Post by gregangsten » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:54 pm

Thanks for the correction, at least they both start with M.
You're right, it is generally nastiest over there on any day. Maybe it's just the Spring conditions or a particularly unstable day like Saturday was, but any day where the conditions are not typical you really can expect the unexpected over there.

henderthing
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Post by henderthing » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:08 pm

Since I'm hoping to start flying again soon... and am unfamiliar with the waypoints around Sylmar, would it be possible for someone to point out the area in question... You know--using pictures or maps or something?

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gregangsten
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Towers

Post by gregangsten » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:27 pm

First of all, you should know that we all fly around there all the time. It's not as if it is a deadly place that must be avoided.

It is the radio towers just across the dam from the Kagel launch. More specifically, it's the area around that point out in front of the towers, called Contract Point on maps and Google Earth.

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