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Top wind speed I should launch in?


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I've got an EN-B Ozone Spyder 26m2.

I'm still trying to get a handle on the numeric value of the wind speed in knots I'm able to launch in, reason being that I need to read a wind report of a launch site that might be an hour away.

Anything from 5kt and below is obviously ok. Unfortunately I don't have a wind meter (that I trust) to gauge speed when I'm at a site. I bought a cheap wind meter on eBay before and I would go to a site and it would read 7-8kt but I would still get dragged around. Am I really *this* bad at ground handling or is the wind meter just off by like 200%?

It gets fuzzy around 10-15kt. Can I fly or not?

Here's the wind forecast of where I'm at now:

https://drive.google.com/a/victorlinphoto.com/file/d/0B7frWuNellxaNEpyQlRIREZtRW8/view?usp=drivesdk

My wing is flapping about pretty wildly and it's not seemingly possible to get it into a wall. If I leave it unattended on the ground it'll start to blow away on its own. The Spyder is an ultralight wing which means it is really easy to launch in light winds. Unfortunately it seems this also means that it flies up too easily in stronger winds.

As soon as it gets blown up 15 degrees or so (on its own, no tug on the A's) I'm getting dragged along, so I pull the brakes and run after it. It comes down, flies up again on its own, I pull on the brakes and run after it again, and the cycle repeats.

But the forecast says it's less than 15kt? More like 13kt. In fact, other forecasts say it's only 6kt with 9kt gusts in my area (Windy app).

https://drive.google.com/a/victorlinphoto.com/file/d/0B7frWuNellxaOElFaGttY3BBbkU/view?usp=drivesdk

So what's your numeric criteria for wind speed? And what wing? What do you think *my* criteria should be?

 

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Hard to say, personally I don't fly when I can't ground handle my glider in a relaxed way, since it's likely to much wind at higher altitude. Anything below 12 kts feels safe for me (Swing sting 2, EN A-B), but I also look at how stable the wind is. I don't fly if I see a spiky pattern with strong gusts. It's an uncanny feeling when the wind gust wants to control your flight direction, when that happens I feel it's time to land. 
I really like the Holfuy stations, and I hope this is something more pilots can collect money for all over the globe. My main tool for flying weather is Soaring Weather Europe It's an "amatuer program" that makes thermal predictions for free flying. This is the kind of weather map we pilots really need. Having something like this and a Holfuy station anywhere in the area and it's hard to miss a good day in the sky.
 

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my usual limit is 10-12mph, but its the gustiness i am concerned about,  also my usual ppg take off is on a hill so i get a bit of venturi on the hill and  am already at cruise altitude. 

if the wind is 10-12mph im not going to get far on an xc return so ill just play about. 

pg on hill limit is 20mph if smooth

 

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I've a strict 10mph limit for windspeed at ground level.   Technically you can launch a higher speeds, but theres just no real fun in battling against stronger winds-  I tend to concentrate flying on the days that it gives best enjoyment- dry, low or no wind, etc....  

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Wow, ok, thanks for the numbers. 

They make a lot more sense to me now.

10mph / 8.7kt has been about the max for me as well in non-gusty conditions. 11.5mph / 10kt has always felt too strong. Not a problem in just a PG harness, but different with a motor on your back.

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6 hours ago, gordon_dunn said:

I've a strict 10mph limit for windspeed at ground level.   Technically you can launch a higher speeds, but theres just no real fun in battling against stronger winds-  I tend to concentrate flying on the days that it gives best enjoyment- dry, low or no wind, etc....  

Same here Gordon, no fun battling head winds.

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The real skill is not just knowing how to fly, but knowing when not to.

 

 

I've a strict 10mph limit for windspeed at ground level.   Technically you can launch a higher speeds, but theres just no real fun in battling against stronger winds-  I tend to concentrate flying on the days that it gives best enjoyment- dry, low or no wind, etc....  

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So what are your rules of thumb for gusts and thermic conditions?

Gusts can't be more than X knots in Y minutes.

Wind direction can only change up to X degrees in Y minutes.

If it's marginal, do you guys drive up, plant the wind sock, and then just sit around for 15 minutes watching the sock, not even unpacking the motor and wing?

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Correct - Wind stock goes up and then have a walk around for 10 minutes and watch it for directional movement and the gusts.

I heard that if the gusts are more than double the wind speed - don't fly.  I'll stick to that if the wind speed is over 6 mph ish

Also, if the wind is blowy and changes direction of 90 degrees while ground handling - go home :-) and fly another day.

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If you are very local to your site it is actually useful to have a weather station with wind meter recording values (ave & gust every min), which are logged (usually easiest by uploading to a weather site). That way you get trend data which is far more useful than single one off measures. You'll be able to tell if the wind is dropping, changing direction, etc. 100s or 1000s of readings plotted on a graph are way better than a hand held anemometer.

 

If I see a trend of the wind dropping on my weather station then I will go to my local field before it's actually flyable as I can be more confident that the wind is dropping. You also really start to understand your local conditions better.

 

The limiting factor for me isn't that I can't take off in the wind, cos on a small wing at ground level you can usually take off, it's just fairly unpleasant when you're in the air! You'll work out your own speeds over time, and then when you reflect over the last few years you'll realise your personal ones will have changed a bit, and you'll be more certain about your own judgement.

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