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Do you wear a Parachute in a Glider ?

Steve

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For the glider pilots on the board, do you always wear a parachute when flying? I am working on my Comm Glider add at a pretty busy glider port and see about 50% of the pilots wearing emergency rigs.
 
T

transpondersoff

I guess it depends on the school and the maintenance. If the maintenance is really bad and the gliders are neglected, I will wear my parachute.
 

soarby007

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When I had my own glider I always wore the chute. I think the theory is that if you are in a gaggle, then it is more for collision than maintenance problems. A few years ago there was a 126 that lost it's wing at 6,000' in Florida due to overstress in a thermal. The guy survived, had no chute, just rode it down. It's cheap insurance. The FAA admininistrator (ex) crashed his in colorado and died. Chute might have made a difference.
 

BD King

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Yeah. Mid-air. I recall a story by Richard Bach where there were a number of same guys in the same thermal. The next thing he knew there were airplane parts falling past him.

www.bdkingpress.com
 

Dangerkitty

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I always always always wear my chute in a Glider. At my old Gliderport outside of Dallas we had quite a famous soaring gentleman who had been flying gliders for over 60 years. He never took off without his chute in his glider.

He would know. In over 60 years he has had to bail out twice.
 

FN FAL

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Donsa320 said:
\

Airplane parts?? :)

~DC
I was under parachute once and playing in a thermal under neath a cumulous cloud with my brakes stowed about 5 years ago.

I looked down and there was a sailplane underneath me spiraling up in the column of air I was in. I got out of the way so the pilot could keep spiraling up and when he went past me I saw the dude was circling tight with a hawk. Dambdest thing I ever saw.
 

ISaidRightTurns

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I remember several stories about people getting a tow (the angle is fairly low), then releasing, raising the AOA only to have a snake that was chillin in the nose slither past. I would be under canopy shortly there after :)
 

Dangerkitty

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ISaidRightTurns said:
I remember several stories about people getting a tow (the angle is fairly low), then releasing, raising the AOA only to have a snake that was chillin in the nose slither past. I would be under canopy shortly there after :)

Thanks alot. I have always been scared $hitless about that happening to me. Now you have just confirmed one of my worst fears.
 

mattpilot

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here's a Q...

Why do you wear parachutes in gliders but not in airplanes?

Seems kinda odd to me.
 

Crimson03

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Parachutes are required by the sanctioning organization (ssa or fai) during sailplane contests.
Most higher performance gliders have the seats designed for a pilot wearing a parachute. From what I've seen in the US most training/club flying is done without parachutes and most private owners have and wear them.
2 modern (slightly heavy) americans plus chutes would I suspect put most training gliders over gross. Plus getting out the backseat of a 2-33 in time is doubtful.
I would guess that the guys you see wearing parachutes are either racing pilots or just using a parachute to fill the seat pan like the designers intended. If the choice is cushion or parachute might as well take the parachute.
 
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Dangerkitty

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mattpilot said:
here's a Q...

Why do you wear parachutes in gliders but not in airplanes?

Seems kinda odd to me.

Not really. If you have ever flown a glider or been flying around them it is easy to see why you would want to wear a chute. First of all the profile of a glider makes them very very difficult to see. The best time to spot one is when they are in a tight turn revealing the tops of their wings. I have been in a thermal and didn't see a glider until it was almost on top of me. Doesn't happen all the time, but it can happen.

Secondly many times you will find yourself is a thermal with other gliders and at times the gliders can get very close. Sometimes too close. Midairs have happened and will continue to happen. A chute is just another layer of safety. Just in case. Another point to also consider is that many gliders dont have radios or the pilot just doesn't want to use them.

Third. At my old gliderport we had a victor airway that went right over the field. Many times your would be working a thermal only to see a Bonanza streak by (probably on an IFR flight plan) that had no clue he was flying through an area of gliders. If a midair happens with a powered aircraft a chute gives you another option in case you need it.

Lastly if you are doing aerobatics in a glider (which many people do) chutes are required by the FAA. Don't wanna pi$$ off the feds.
 
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Donsa320

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FN FAL said:
I was under parachute once and playing in a thermal under neath a cumulous cloud with my brakes stowed about 5 years ago.

I looked down and there was a sailplane underneath me spiraling up in the column of air I was in. I got out of the way so the pilot could keep spiraling up and when he went past me I saw the dude was circling tight with a hawk. Dambdest thing I ever saw.

That had to look great....I know you are in WI and here in the fall the owls will migrate and stay in a themal drifting their way. Hundreds in one thermal at times and they don't want to let you in in a glider. But...we're bigger. <grin>
~DC
 

Steve

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Thanks for the info guys. It looks like a Parachute will be my next investment. Flying the 2-33 now and hopefully the 1-34, 1-26 and Pilatus B4 after that. They look like they would be easier to get out of if needed. Anyone have any parachutes they like more than others? I am already on the tall side for most gliders so I assume something without a seat pad would be my best bet?

Also found this bail-out story online. http://www.soaridaho.com/Schreder/Stories/Bailout.htm

Really shows how important that parachute can be.
 
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Dangerkitty

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Steve said:
Thanks for the info guys. It looks like a Parachute will be my next investment. Flying the 2-33 now and hopefully the 1-34, 1-26 and Pilatus B4 after that. They look like they would be easier to get out of if needed. Anyone have any parachutes they like more than others? I am already on the tall side for most gliders so I assume something without a seat pad would be my best bet?

Also found this bail-out story online. http://www.soaridaho.com/Schreder/Stories/Bailout.htm

Really shows how important that parachute can be.

Steve,

I bought a Strong Model 303 a few years back. I was about to go with a company that advertises in the SSA mag but then a Rep from Strong came out to our Gilderport to give a Seminar on the best way to bail from a Glider.

I thought that since they put on a free seminar the least I could do was buy a chute from them. Go to www.strongparachutes.com to check them out.

And buy the way, ask around the Gliderport for the BEST parachute rigger in town. Then go to him and pay him well. If you do have to bail and the chute saves your butt find out what the rigger likes to drink and then buy him a case of it.

DK
 

Huggyu2

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mattpilot said:
here's a Q...

Why do you wear parachutes in gliders but not in airplanes?

Seems kinda odd to me.

Good point, but I do wear one (when at all possible) in an airplane. Cheap insurance.
 

Crimson03

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There was an incident in the early nineties iirc, wherein a skydiver was flying a C-150(2) with his rig on and bailed after having engine trouble. Anyway the airplane didn't anything important and I don't recall if he was charged but there was talk of 'careless and reckless' operation as supposedly there were suitable fields within reach.
I would guess that the insurance companies and the faa would rather the pilot die trying to stuff an airplane in a crappy field rather then have an unpiloted airplane find its way to a daycare center or something really expensive/full of people etc.
 

Lead Sled

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Personally, it depends upon the type of soaring that you're doing. If you're wave or thermal soaring then yes, a parachute makes sense. If you're ridge soaring then you're operating pretty close to the terrain and a parachute probably won't do you any good.

'Sled
 
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