Violent Meeting With the Ground

South Central New York Hang Glider Pilots' Association

Violent Meeting With the Ground

Postby wingspan33 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:36 am

On this last Sunday Moritz Wagner (pres of Rochester Area Flyers) and a less experienced fellow Chris Toomey came to fly at the local Mt Washington flying site. I took a bike ride for exercise (10.7 miles) that day and happened to go past the valley LZ. Well, not a sole was there. No gliders flying or on the ground and no cars left there for retrieves. That seemed odd since it was prime time for someone to have been in the valley LZ. Well, last evening I checked to see if any RAF pilots were going to show up at the site today (possibly good wind direction) and I instead found the below quoted message in response to the question

Katrin wrote: So? What did we miss?

On Jul 22 Chris Toomey wrote: Conditions similar to those in Elmira. Slightly strong and gusty at times. Abundant lift. WNW to north. We both got about 50 minutes and chose to land. Moritz probably got 1500-2000 over. Best I could do was 850. Some thermals but mostly ridge lift. We had good launches. Moritz chose to top land. I landed down at the church. I have not top landed, so was not comfortable trying that. A combination of factors contributed to a bad landing for me. I wound up hurting my arm and taking a trip to the ED. And let’s put it this way...... I’ll be in a splint for 6-8 weeks. I have it on film and will review later. Chris [emph. add.]


There's a small hospital right across from the valley LZ so I would bet that "ED" means Emergency Department. Chris T doesn't say so, but it sure sounds like he broke his arm. I'm sorry this happened and wouldn't wish it on anyone.

But what's proven here involves my comments, made to the launch land owner, about me (flying 99% safely for 44 years) being no real risk or liability to him or the RAF Chapter's site liability "insurance". I've mentioned to the top land owner, that the bigger threat is some less experienced RAF member having an accident. Now, I don't think this broken arm(?) is going to lead to the top land owner getting sued. But he's sure not going to get sued by someone who's had a beautiful day of flying - including landing safe and sound.

I'll make another brief comment - If this Chris fellow is a Intermediate (H3) pilot then why hasn't someone from RAF briefed him on how to do a safe top landing? Lead by example?! If he's only a Novice (H2) then maybe he's not ready for top landings. But if he's an Intermediate then the only reason for him not knowing how to top land is because none of the experienced RAF membership has cared to teach him the process of making a safe top landing.
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