Monday, August 22, 2011

Chutes and Ladders

Knowing the reputation that St. Andre has as a very rough, windy place, I had hoped that everyone would stay upright for this comp.  It wasn't to be.  Yesterday a British pilot had to deploy his parachute.  We haven't heard the full story yet of what happened, but the pilot is alright.  He apparently has some back injuries, but they are not life threatening.  

Carl came on radio halfway through the task yesterday saying that a guy was coming down under chute.  Apparently he watched the guy and saw the chute open but thought it looked too small.  In the end, it turns out that the chute didn't completely open - story is that it wrapped around an upright or something like that and he came down inverted relatively slowly.  The area where it happened is quite rough, but somehow he managed to land in a fairly open area.  As of this morning, he is in the hospital and his glider is still up there.  I hear it will be a difficult retrieve.

I can't help but wonder why people enjoy this site so much.  I'm told over and over again that if you respect the weather here, everything is fine and the flying is fantastic.  I guess I'm just not sure what it takes to "respect" the weather.  Yesterday's forecast was for beautiful conditions and light(ish) wind.  Same forecast for today, I hear.  

Meanwhile, as we were driving out of the main landing field at the end of the day yesterday, in comes Antoine.  He had blown off the task presumably because he felt it was too small for such a great weather forecast.  I jumped out of the car to ask how his flight was.  He said he had flow nearly to Italy - didn't know the exact distance, but thought it was about 250 kilometers total.  Well done Antoine!!


tony s said...

you wrote'I can't help but wonder why people enjoy this site so much'

me too I wonder the same having had two nasty experiences there. However i had intended to compete there but finances have stopped me. Reading whats happened I'm no longer disapointed I couldn't make it. Here's wishing for no more bad stuff

Gordon said...

We will hear the full story from Barry but it was not a tumble but an unintentional manoeuvre pilot induced. It was not rough at all where he was, unless you managed to get into the Lee .... This day was fantastic and the only problem was the local cb that got too near goal a bit after 5pm. Had you flown the course Jamie you would have loved it! This is the best place to fly in Europe! Please note I criticise you for slagging st andre but I do feel free to slag fiesch without ever going there:)