Hook In Check! This Tandem Tourist Almost Bought it!

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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Hook In Check! This Tandem Tourist Almost Bought it!

Post by Steve90266 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:54 pm

A buddy of mine just sent me this. I'm amazed that the guy is able to hang on as long as he did. Unbelievable. Hang Check/Hook In Check Always Always Always!

Steve Murillo

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Post by Steve D » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:28 pm

Unhooked Death Again - Change our Methods Now?
JBBenson - 2009/01/25 16:27:19 UTC

I get what Tad is saying, but it took some translation:
HANG CHECK is part of the preflight, to verify that all the harness lines etc. are straight.
HOOK-IN CHECK is to verify connection to the glider five seconds before takeoff.
They are separate actions, neither interchangeable nor meant to replace one another. They are not two ways to do the same thing.

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Post by JD » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:48 pm

I know at least 3 pilots from our club who have launched unhooked. I did it myself in 1978 resulting in a dislocated left middle finger which healed up longer and meaner and ever. I know PG pilots who launched 'unbuckled' one of whom fell to his death while his 17-yo daughter was left adrift in his tandem PG. I know of some tandem HGs where the pilot was unhooked but not the passenger.

Fear of launching unhooked is a very powerful reminder to perform a hook-in check immediately prior to launching.

Hook-in checks have nothing to do with hang checks or routine maintenance.

A visiting pilot launched from Crestline recently after performing a successful hang check just prior to launch. His routine maintenance was fatally flawed however. His riser was not attached to the carabiner while his reserve bridle was. This fact was hidden by the neoprene sleeve which covers the bridle and riser. He crashed and has been in a coma ever since. In his case neither a hang check nor hook-in check made any difference.

I knew a pilot in Spain who also failed his routine maintenance and not hang or hook-in check would have saved him. His riser failed internally and he went into free-fall. His reserve bridle was improperly connected to the internal webbing and upon deployment it abraded and melted the webbing leaving him in a fatal free-fall. He left behind a widow and young children. The visiting pilot at Crestline has a grieving wife and two young boys with dwindling or exhausted financial means.

Ignoring one's own injury or death, perhaps reflecting upon the devastation it can bring to one's family will make a pilot fear launching unhooked and slaking on his routine harness maintenance which reminds me of a recent accidental reserve deployment but I digress.....

I hope a few pilots get the picture. Be afraid. Be very afraid and maybe you will be motivated to routinely perform all three items mentioned here.

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