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Re: 'Dog needs good home...

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:34 pm

Ancient Sky Dog Antics.
The link below is an air crash investigation video.
It brings to fore changes needed in preflight check lists.
I recall a laps in my preflight check list.
I also recall a laps in a friends preflight check list.
In the link below go to minute 40 of the video to get to
the real meat of the checklist advisory.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWrcRRmPH6I

I realized the laps in my preflight as I was doing it.
I spoke the words, “Weaklink is good- Release is good,”
without looking at either. I halted my race to get into the air
to actually go back and look at each item and confirm that they
were in fact both GOOD. As it turned out I was good to go.

But not so with my friends laps in his preflight checklist.

Ignoramus (not the assisting pilots real name) and I were assisting Victimus
(also not the hooked in pilots real name.) by hooking Victimus up to the towline.
Any mistake here could end up crashing Victimus onto the frozen snow
covered lake behind the show machine without any opportunity to release from the towline.
Ignoramus, at this point only had experience with Moyes Tow releases and had no prior experience with the “Three Ring Circus” release that we were currently using. (Decades ago.)
Hooking up correctly, back in the day, would require the towline end of a 3/16” Polypro rope to be hooked to a 1/8” rapid link that next had the weaklink and then a big 2” diameter ring. Next it would be hooked up to the remaining two ring release. (I’m glad I could clear that up for you.) Anyway-----

Ignoramus, unnoticed by me, (AKA Clueless) without the rapid link, weaklink and 2” ring,--- hooked the Polypro rope directly over the second smallest ring of the “Three Ring Circus Release.” (Which now made it a two ring release without a weaklink.)
It would be a perfect capture moment upon pulling the pin to release. The release would open but no way would it let go. The loop of the towline would not slip over the outer part of the ring that was through the loop of Polypro rope. It worked a lot like a button in a button hole.
Ignoramus drug the release up in front of Victimus to get his approval and Victimus said, “That’s fine! --Thank you Ignoramus.” (Not verbatim.)

Not only did I (AKA -Clueless) not detect Ignoramus’ mistake Victimus also glossed over the mistake in his excitement to get into the air.

What happened to Victinus upon attempting to release at altitude? That’s not the point of this post.
I’ll just leave the readers hanging here since the point of this post is to not make the same mistake that the pilot in command, Victimus, made.
What might happen to you if you make the same mistake is just as much of an unknown ending.

No pilot died during this tow operation.
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Re: 'Dog needs good home...

Postby soar8hours » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:02 pm

Hey Doug, "Skydog", Johnson.....

I'm currently flying my seventh Falcon.
And yes I've had six before this one!
I weigh 205 and my 195 is an Attack Falcon 2.
My buddy ( who is lighter than me ) has a 170 Freedom.
I was just wanting some input about yor weight and how the 190 Freedom flys.
May as well ask, have you flown a Falcon before and what made you decide on the Freedom?

Thanks
Tommy Thompson

"Experience is no substitute for Safety"
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Re: 'Dog needs good home...

Postby skydog » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:44 am

billcummings wrote: Ignoramus (not the assisting pilots real name) and I
billcummings wrote:(AKA Clueless)
were assisting Victimus
(also not the hooked in pilots real name.) by hooking Victimus up to the towline.
Any mistake here could end up crashing Victimus onto the frozen snow
covered lake behind the show machine without any opportunity to release from the towline.


I've met those guys (or guys just like them) before!!! They were in attendance at one of our last (of 14) Duluth Winter Sports Festivals at Barkers Island. Victimus's release/weak link failed. We had a safety director, launch directors, check-lists on both ends of the line, good communication equipment...you name it. However, we are all ultimately responsible for our OWN safety. Having so many people involved in a launch operation with many participants and spectators only complicates things and can cause distractions. The pilot launched, went off course to the left, locked out and impacted on his head from over a hundred feet. WTF...why didn't his weak-link blow? What is going on??? As I was driving out to the crash site, I thought we had all just witnessed our first major injury and/or death at a Skydog run event. What could the problem have been?

When we investigated we found that the weak-link had been doubled up by an inexperienced assistant/friend of "Victimus". Let's call the assistant/friend "Clueless" for this example. I'm pretty sure it was "Ignoramus" who was the launch director on that tow line/sled team. The launch director and/or the pilot should have caught the mistake when the slack was taken out of the towline. This incident really shook me up because we are ALWAYS trying to be so diligent about safety. s*** still happens!! :cry: There was some broken aluminum but, thankfully no one suffered any permanent physical damage from this crash. Preflight, preflight, preflight. Just remember...You gotta be tough if you're gonna be dumb!!

Names in this blurb were changed to keep you from knowing who they are. Any similarities between these people and others with similar names in other similar stories or examples is purely coincidental. In other words Bill...I'm not accusing you of anything, nor should it be implied. I really like your the way your story hints at the fact that you may have been involved in a...mistake??? Nah!!
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Re: 'Dog needs good home...

Postby skydog » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:57 pm

skydog wrote: The pilot launched, went off course to the left, locked out and impacted on his head from over a hundred feet.


Well now...I could have been under attack by 'the space people' when I wrote that...somehow it's coming back to me...after further review and the help of the photographic memory of another Skydog...at the end of that full diving lock-out, the pilot managed to pull out enough JUST before impact and avoided serious injury. The glider paid. He had used non-Skydog approved weak-link that was way too strong to begin with. Its breaking strength was doubled when installed incorrectly and FINALLY BROKE at what we figured to be in the range of 800 lbs. +/- 75. He must have missed the mandatory Safety Meeting at registration (where an equipment approval process was in place) and somehow that got past all of us.
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Re: 'Dog needs good home...

Postby Bill Cummings » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:51 pm

Hey Sky Dog Doug and Sky Dog Flare,
I just went back and reread this Sky Dog history and was remembering :idea: of you two and also Craig Austin, Buck McMinn, Jon Solon telling Don and I about how in the early days you all had tried Wisconsin Point with that fifty foot bank on the south shore of Lake Superior (30 degree slope) just didn’t quite cut it but you revisited the site years later when the higher performance gliders came out and finally it was soar-able for hours at a time. (Wow! That has to be my longest run-on sentence ever!! Somebody give me a first place award!)

I’m wondering now with our even higher performance gliders it would be doable in even lighter conditions. Is that place still open or crowded with new owners?
This is the time of year for the wind to work at that site.

I remember all the ga$$ I wa$ted running 80 miles down there in the summer to find out that the warm summer winds out of the north would rise up above the cool air above the lake and never be soar-able at Wisconsin Point. It was a spring and fall site. (IF THE ROAD WAS DRY--OH MAN! THE MUD!)

I think you should go take a flight out there and call me while flying. If it is still accessible it is now days your best closest soaring site.
Call Flare and tell him Bill just scheduled another ROAD TRIP. (Sorry I won't be able to make it.)
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Re: 'Dog needs good home...

Postby skydog » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:12 pm

Hey Skydog Bill,

Yep, we still maintain the launch and monitor conditions at the Dutchman's Creek site. We've been out there quite a few times in the last couple years...you know...when it was close but no cigar for soaring. So, it hasn't been flown since this flight on Labor Day weekend 2011. https://vimeo.com/45874283

I had my last heart event after that flight...that's the reason for the "thank you" at the end. I am 100% sure I wouldn't be alive if I had not had all of their help!!

It took me until this summer to get back in the air in Chelan. https://vimeo.com/70253013

More local news: West Skyline Dr was opened on the west end for a short time a few weeks ago. It has been closed since last year's floods took out bridges and large road sections between Becks Road and Spirit Mountain. It won't be open again till next year. BUT, while it was open, Flair Uke and I brushed the south launch. Then a week later Flair and I relocated and brushed the trail to the SE launch and brushed that launch too!! A few days later we had a forecast for three days of SE to South with V's. The cement plant LZ went through a hazardous waste clean-up that smoothed it, removed all the obstacles including trees in most places!! Tons of wide open LZ! We were psyched/stoked whatever...we went out there, dropped a car down below. Had a driver too. We get on top set up flags on launch and waited the forecasted wind to take over and it was starting to come in light east southeast!! We went back out on Skyline to the vehicles and a city truck pulls up with lights flashing and the guy says "we're closing the road till next year if you don't leave you'll be in here for the winter" POP goes that idea!!!
Oh well, at least we're ready for when the road reopens. Flair has a brand new harness and can't wait to fly it. We're looking at Green Point dune in Frankfort Michigan for 3-4 day road trip when the forecast ever comes. Maybe a trip to Arkansas at some point...don't know what the future holds. Hope it's all good!!!

Take care there Skydog...enjoy the vids. Hope you and your lovely better half are well. :0)

...with eyes turned skyward...
Skydog Doug
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