Monday, January 12, 2015

Valle de Bravo Jan 12

Another lazy day in Valle as the high pressure is setting up.  Cloudbase has been getting higher and higher as the days go on; today the volcano looked to be in the clear for most of the day.  Closer to Valle cloudbase was 3600m (over Serro Gordo, I was amazed!) but there were few actual cu's.
Landing short, pilot in the water but his glider in the trees.
Then this kid rescued his glider with a stand-up paddleboard!

The lake LZ had quite light winds and it was very bubbly, so the landings were sometimes chaotic.  Pilots were going long, going short, landing downwind, and occasionally splashing in to the water.  At one point 3 pilots were coming in quite close together: pilot #1 landed and then proceeded to kite as pilot #2 was coming in.  Pilot #2 then flew into the kiting pilot #1, resulting in a tangle of pilots and gliders right in the landing spot.  As pilots 1 and 2 were trying to sort themselves out, pilot #3 came in, and in trying to avoid the mess, stalled his glider from about 5 feet up, landing on his back and bottoming out his airbag harness.

I believe if he had leaned forward in his harness for landing, with his body forward of the risers, he would have landed more on his feet and it would have been a non-issue.  As it was, he didn't bother getting out of his harness and into the landing position, flared too high, and consequently landed on his back.  As he was in quite some pain the ambulance was called; they showed up in 20-30 minutes and put him on a backboard to take him to the hospital to be checked out.
Aftermath of the landing-on-his back pilot
After that the wind came in a bit more strongly so the landings became less of an issue.  Alex and Andrew landed up by Saucos, while Al almost made it back, landing just behind Torre as he didn't have the last 50m of clearance to make it over and into Valle proper.  Will and I did simple flights back to the Lake, via Maguey and Serro Gordo.  Lots of pilots did the south circuit to the Aguila ridge and then San Simon before making it back to Valle, either by flying or by taxi :)





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