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The shame of it.


alan_k
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Oh the shame, the shame. :oops:

After posting on the ‘flight times’ thread ‘If I know it's going to be short I'll put 4-5 litres in so I can fly for up to 45 minutes plus a reserve of 1 litre’ I went and ran out 1km from the field.

I hadn’t expected to fly again this week but the wind was forecast at 10km/h for Thursday so I went up the field. I had put all the fuel I had got in the garage into the tank giving me a little under 5 litres.

My planned route was a new one across to a place called Oulches, only about 11 km away. The track involves crossing some forested area so I planned to climb to 2000 feet to give me safe glide clear height. I also thought I would keep my sweatshirt on under my flying suit as it’s always colder at height, right? :(

The wind was very low so the forward inflation seemed harder than normal and once I had the power on I didn’t seem to be running quite fast enough for a smooth lift off. After going light on the feet and then falling over in a heap (not quite all first attempts are successful) I moved the kit back to the start point and sat down to cool off. I was particularly hot and sweaty now as the air temperature on the ground was 15°.

Note with hindsight: fuel burn on 1st attempted T/O.

The wind direction had changed a little so I reset, this time without the sweatshirt on, I thought to myself it’s better to actually have the energy to get off the ground, I can always cut the flight short if I am cold once up there. I did a full power check but decided to wait because the wind direction was not settled.

Note with hindsight: fuel burn on 2nd power check.

Once the direction was settled I set up again, checked the fuel level to see just over 4 litres then took off with no problem and headed downwind. I kept full power on to get to 2000 feet, about 9 minutes at full revs with the correspondingly high fuel burn of course.

The flight was very enjoyable, particularly because I had not been this way before. I had forgotten that Oulches was close to the river Creuse so the scenery was quite picturesque. I turned 180° and then realised quite how strong the wind was at 2000 feet. I got my bearings visually, and then thought I’m hardly moving, this is going to take a long time to get back. :shock:

I put some speedbar on to gain a bit of forward momentum, having to increase the revs to maintain height, then started to think ‘I hope I’ve got enough fuel to get back to the field’.

The wind is weaker lower down so I reduced revs to descend to about 600 feet and picked up some groundspeed. The view is good at this height anyway but the only problem is getting back over the forested area in safety. At this stage I am watching the fuel level closely – Mistake! I’m convinced the more you watch it the faster it goes. :?

I managed to spot a shorter route over the forest so climbed back up to 1100 feet but the traverse seemed to be played out in slow motion. I was quite relieved when I had crossed and then had just fields below me. I descended to 700 feet to pick up a little more speed and was enjoying the flight, apart from the small worry of the fuel level.

I could see the T/O field in the distance and thought another 10 minutes and I’ll be back. 5 minutes later the donkey stopped. Ooh this is quiet, this new headset is really good – ah no, that’s a different thread.

I had got plenty of fields to choose from so pulled the trimmers down to give me plenty of glide time. I was approaching a large field but could see it was divided into 3 by fences running across the field. There were a couple of cows in the middle section but the far section was larger so I opted for that one. There was a gaggle of cows in this one but fortunately well to the left hand side so I landed on the right hand side. I gathered up the wing in front of me and made a hasty walk to the side of the field away from the cattle.

I unstrapped and started packing the wing into its bag when the farmer stopped his tractor on the adjacent road. He had seen me come over and go all quiet and had guessed that something was probably wrong. He helped me move the kit to the other side of the electric fence at the far end and then gave me a lift to the T/O field on the side of his tractor. He was going that way anyway but I still thought it was very good of him.

So a very enjoyable flight, given that I wasn’t expecting to; even more so given the frisson of an out landing. Flight time 50 minutes and plenty warm enough without the sweatshirt

Note with hindsight: fuel burn when trying to penetrate strong winds.

Cheers,

Alan

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Oh the shame, the shame. :oops:

After posting on the ‘flight times’ thread ‘If I know it's going to be short I'll put 4-5 litres in so I can fly for up to 45 minutes plus a reserve of 1 litre’ I went and ran out 1km from the field.

Great post Alan !

Obviously sorry to hear that you came up a bit short on your latest trip, but it sounds like it actually enhanced the adventure.

...I’m convinced the more you watch it the faster it goes. :?
:lol:

Silly question - but how do you monitor your fuel level? Some sort of meter, mirror arrangement or the wriggle around and look technique?

I could see the T/O field in the distance and thought another 10 minutes and I’ll be back. 5 minutes later the donkey stopped. Ooh this is quiet, this new headset is really good – ah no, that’s a different thread.
:lol::lol::lol:

But nice to hear another case of a farmer being so helpful.

Did you manage to take a camera up with you, and get some autumnal shots along the Creuse ? :wink:

Also wondering whether you ever get to fly along the Creuse the other way, as many years ago I stayed near Chambon. The aerial views of the river south of Gargilesse must be great as the river winds its way down to the big dam and huge lake behind.

Andy

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Alan, all....

Have a think about what happens to your Angle of Attack when you apply power.

Then think about how best to make headway into strong wind. ;-)

SW :D

Thanks Simon. I do appreciate the balancing act between lowering the angle of attack using the speedbar and having to use more thrust due to the reduced lift.

Is it generally the most efficient speed with no speedbar but with trimmers on :?:

Alan

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I'm glad you enjoyed the post Andy. :D

...I’m convinced the more you watch it the faster it goes. :?
:lol:

Silly question - but how do you monitor your fuel level? Some sort of meter, mirror arrangement or the wriggle around and look technique?

Andy

I use a fixed fuel mirror as shown below.

Did you manage to take a camera up with you, and get some autumnal shots along the Creuse ? :wink:

Also wondering whether you ever get to fly along the Creuse the other way, as many years ago I stayed near Chambon. The aerial views of the river south of Gargilesse must be great as the river winds its way down to the big dam and huge lake behind.

I hadn't got the camera with me unfortunately. I haven't flown near Gargilesse but have visited there a few times, along with Lac d'Eguzon and the Barrage d'Eguzon. The barrage is actually a hydro electric power station, I will have to plan a flight over there some time.

Cheers,

Alan

573363f344399_Fuelmirror.JPG.c0da72710f8

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Alan,

This is a great post. I'm glad you landed OK and have been able to walk away (OK tractor) to tell the tale!

If anyone else fancies sharing near misses like this, it's a great way of preventing other people making the same mistakes...

Flysafe,

Tj

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Alan,

This is a great post. I'm glad you landed OK and have been able to walk away (OK tractor) to tell the tale!

If anyone else fancies sharing near misses like this, it's a great way of preventing other people making the same mistakes...

Flysafe,

Tj

No near miss just a controlled out landing as it should be. :D

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Perhaps 'unplanned event' might be a better description :lol:

Here's the thinking behind my post.

A 'critical incident' is one that causes the author to reflect on something that has happened that might change his behaviour in the future.

Alan obviously thought that his running out of fuel (narrowly!) and having to land out was worth thinking about and seeing what he might do differently in the future. (He could have been flying over shark infested custard which would have made things much more interesting - never mind the cows and the electric fence! :shock: )

The 'critical incident' is a 'hit', the safe landing was a 'miss'. Something did happen, however - planning prevented it from being a dangerous incident.

So it was 'nearly' a 'miss'.

ANYWAY...

The point I'm getting at was it's a good thing Alan had planned for a landing away from his T/o site (getting height over the forest and all those good things) and let's all plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Tj

PS Not having done the PMC syllabus, I don't know if it has a section about unplanned out landings?

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Perhaps 'unplanned event' might be a better description :lol:

Here's the thinking behind my post.

A 'critical incident' is one that causes the author to reflect on something that has happened that might change his behaviour in the future.

Alan obviously thought that his running out of fuel (narrowly!) and having to land out was worth thinking about and seeing what he might do differently in the future. (He could have been flying over shark infested custard which would have made things much more interesting - never mind the cows and the electric fence! :shock: )

The 'critical incident' is a 'hit', the safe landing was a 'miss'. Something did happen, however - planning prevented it from being a dangerous incident.

So it was 'nearly' a 'miss'.

ANYWAY...

The point I'm getting at was it's a good thing Alan had planned for a landing away from his T/o site (getting height over the forest and all those good things) and let's all plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Tj

PS Not having done the PMC syllabus, I don't know if it has a section about unplanned out landings?

Yes

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I use a fixed fuel mirror as shown below.
A nice practical solution Alan. I always prefer KISS approach...
I hadn't got the camera with me unfortunately. I haven't flown near Gargilesse but have visited there a few times, along with Lac d'Eguzon and the Barrage d'Eguzon. The barrage is actually a hydro electric power station, I will have to plan a flight over there some time.
That was the place - remember hours of childhood fun trying to sink each others kayaks. Told you it was a long time ago :oops:
"A good landing is one you can walk away from, an excellent landing is one where you can use the aircraft for its next planned activity."

Anon

Great quote Norman.

Andy

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This is rather an old definition, but it does seem particularly applicable to paramotoring.

"A good landing is one you can walk away from, an excellent landing is one where you can use the aircraft for its next planned activity."

Anon

Makes you think eh Pete? :lol:

Good job I was taking off then and not landing :explode:

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Ahh, Pete, I thought you did leave the ground momentarily, if you did, your return must have been a landing. :lol:

Pete managed to combine both take-off and landinjg into one manouvre and being the show of that he is added the pyrotechnics for effect.

:D

Whitters

If you are going to do something , do it in style

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