Let’s face it- sometimes things go wrong. And sometimes you get lucky. This is one of those stories and there is a LOT here we can all learn from. Rick Heatley was having a lovely day in the sky on a near-perfect day at a new site on the rugged and wild Vancouver Island, British Colombia when suddenly things went proper pear shaped. Moments later he was on a super steep slope, his wing was in a tree and he was in knee deep snow. And the helicopter wasn’t going to be able to get him. It was going to be a very long, cold night…
Safety is a recurring theme on the Cloudbase Mayhem and these happy ending episodes that are littered with “shoulda, woulda, coulda” help all of us fly safer and more prepared for when things go wrong. Listen and share. This one has some serious pucker factor.
If you like what you hear, please consider becoming a subscriber to ensure our high-quality content continues. You can also help contribute to a healthier, greener planet through my partnership with Our Forest.
Hi there. Everybody. Welcome to another episode of the cloud base mayhem. We are laws. I record this. So when you get this will be sure than that. But as I record this we are less than fifty days out from the excel. So that's getting pretty exciting. Stay tuned. My social stuff on Instagram and Facebook page and other I guess cloud base, ma'am on the website right up articles about that. If you wanna follow along we will be posting constantly on that. During the race of follow my page, not my friend. Dan will do anything personal side of Facebook? You can follow the page. I'll be recording videos and talks and pictures and stuff as the race goes on. And they just automatically get uploaded that red whole does that pretty seamlessly for us. Got a great show where today about a mid air that happened up on Vancouver island, Rickie Lee longtime pilot. Very good pilot and pilot instructor in he got kind of taken out of the air. Interesting this hap and crazy what happened after that? He did not get hurt gives spoiler alert. But pretty amazing story. I'd spend the night and snow apply and cut longline out. So you hear all about that? And interesting how it ties into the show about TM threaten their management that we just recently did. So you're going to really enjoy that before we get to it just to couple monger, bits of housekeeping here, I have been talking about twitching us over to a new platform directly from our site for our patriot supporters that is done. I should not have taken this on. While I was draining for the x apps. This ended up being a lot of work. But it is all done. You can see it on the website. We are still testing and cleaning it up, and we're gonna make it look a little bit prettier. But if you want to migrate across from patriot. You can do so we're going to keep patriot up. It's actually an awesome platform. And you know, I know there were some issues with some free speech stuff there on that platform. But from what I can tell we did this switch to save you money into for more money to get to us and not get taken out fees. But now that I've set all this up should have done more research on this on the front end. But actually for the especially for the lower donations one three and five stuff. Their fees are really reasonable there much less where that gets altered a little bit as if you're in the certain countries have a lot of that. And then pay and quite a bit at tax. So it's really kind of person a person ends away. But there's no tax. If you come through our website. It's just a. Direct credit card charge. But then credit card charges through pay power through stripe, which is what we're using really add up. So if you're on patriot you like that platform, we're gonna keep going to stay there. I wanna keep hosting everything there. So feel free to just stay. If you wanna migrate over and switch, then please. Do we've set it up basically exact same way Sam rewards and all that stuff with the hats t-shirts at certain levels book that kind of thing. But just so, you know, we've got quite a bit of bonus content. That's kind of behind a paywall, but it's not really, it's basically just subscriber content member content. Whatever you wanna call it. The ask me anything shows me and Bill court. They'll be more in future. The video did with Poku show Bauer. We just put out a little segment little bonus segment from one of the conversations working on this weather podcast, and Jeff Shapiro. Just went off on a tangent about thermals how they're formed and train -ment. Using them and not bombing out. Just terrific stuff. It didn't belong in the weather one. So we just made this little bomb show. We're going to try to do a lot more of that. In fact, this talk that you're about to hear with Rickie Lee when we signed off me had a great conversation about what could have been done differently and some of my own experiences with that kind of thing. And I just got his great everybody needs to hear this too. So we're gonna make that bonus content. So it is for members only, however, you are automated member if you've signed up for our newsletter. If you bought a t shirt if you supported US Patriot. If you've support us on pay pal I have combined that old database. Hopefully, it's all there if you don't if you're having trouble you can't log into our site, then just reach out to me to websites and the chill set up. But as I always said all we ask for its buck show. But if you're not in finance -sition do that in that means like I don't even want this to impinge on lots as you're driving to work.
00:05:00 - 00:10:06
You know, I really. You know, we're all ladders find hard to believe that we can't work over dollar for something if you find valuable, but I totally get the can't end that's complete fine. I've asked for no other many other ways you can support the show which I say again and all the other show won't say here. But if you have supported us in any way, then includes just signing per newsletter to the website. You haven't account with us can go see that bonus content. So go to the website, log in if you don't have a walk in a walk through it, breezy, if you get our newsletter than it's just your Email. So, but let us know of you have any problem that should be all ready to go. Like, I said we're still testing we're still cleaning it up. But especially by the time you hear this should be ready to go so one other bit housekeeping. I know we've been totally slack about doing more hanging shows and got some great people lined up man for groomer Christian, Jack, I'm going to do that. When I'm over in Europe. Do those a wolf e night out? A little bit down by this year. And also recently out Santa Barbara just missed him there to do a live show was unfortunate. But we're gonna get him on the show. You know, some of them vast shows we have had been with with hangs and with Larry tutor Martin. And I know we need to do more of those. If you're hang glider, and you listen to the show, I Pol jobs, but we are definitely going to be lining more and more of those up. Finally, I'm gonna read an Email to you many of you heard the sailplane podcast. We did quite a while back with Kevin Brooker. He reached out to me in an Email about the TM show and threaten your management show did with JK, and I just wanted to read this too because it's it's it's important. And it's. I've gotten a lot of emails about that show. I really appreciate that people are digging this and interested in it in curious how we can make this better part of our culture kind of safety, and that's what this emails about. So I'm just gonna read this to you. And then we'll go straight show with Rick really enjoy Kevin says while listening the TM castor, you add the TM concept is really good. And can be applied everything do not just flying anything risky, driving flying, boating marriage can all benefit from this. And we're in we need to be practicing. The change of activity has a lot of crossover flying just thinking about a threat. There was a single mention of the culture of safety. TM's almost useless. If there's no culture around safety TM works when everyone is looking for the the t- threat in his willing to speak up rather than get all pissed off because someone is questioning my judgment. I should think them for looking out for the sport, self, righteousness, and arrogance counter to safety culture. Safety and threats assessment is applicable to the entire activity. Not just to the guy under the wing an interesting spectator. It's tagged on long during landing wherever and it's bad for everyone checklists checklist. Don't help they're not taking seriously when we pull out of checklists or doing anything where we're fuck up is going to hurt someone pilot or otherwise, we need to focus only on the list do not talk to some with someone with a list or interact with anyone during list run through. We've all heard about this. You know, when clipping in you're not really supposed to bother somebody too easy to become distracted and forget to finish closing strap. Checking the Wayne attached get interrupted start over don't try to them. Either. Politely, ask them to wait until you're done. Engage them too much effort goes into Norring, something inhuman sock and multitasking, isn't that the truth? There was a bit chatter regarding only being sport, pilot or or sky jet. I adapt the risk compared to the task taking the digital risk because it's a contest record flight, etc. Is a good way to get killed pilots should train the way they intend to fly. It was touched upon about being tired flying into a new situation as being a big risk experience allows us to get away. With a lot of stupid stuff. We are essentially lucky our experience and skill just allow us to move on autopilot who in a new situation appears is when we get slapped sky if during a contest race, whatever there's a chance of meeting the fly into the league's mentioned in the podcast, we need to find a day or condition which allow us to experience this within safe grammars, those listened to the Kriegel show asked him about some of the real famous training. He does to train for the conditions that he flies him all the time in the excels. So you go back and listen to that. And find. Out some of the crazy stuff that that? He does. Trying something onsite with no experience while under stress external or self imposed as a way to get hurt. And finally says part of the safety culture is trusting your flying. But buddies if they ask how you're feeling up for the flight, the honest, thank them for carrying might feel often rather than fly you chase guy. Go a tree them if you launch, and they know you're off your game. There's a chance they will be thinking of you flying around rather than themselves, and we suck and multitask, just my own personal experience with this.
00:10:06 - 00:15:02
I'm currently with the red will stop going on. Also got really stressful situation going on with my boat business. You know, I've had this scattering kite serving expedition of run for office longtime since the end of the ninety nine miss Nelson more than twenty years and yet finishing up a big refit. And you know, we're so memberships, and it's just been incredibly stressful and the last few times, I've been flying a lot hiking flies right now. You know, what I'm in the air. And my brain is on this is not on flying. It's on to stress this of this business and. Island yesterday. I was like I gotta get my active be focused on what I'm doing right now that whole thing and say no show. This one flight about take most important flight nil ever take. So have that in mind. Let's try to keep working on this TM concept. I think it's really really cool. I'm glad we dove into that. And I'm really thankful for those of you giving me all this feedback. Appreciate it. So let's your this crazy story of Ricky a little mid air that went bad, but not all bad just lots more from this. So enjoy. ? ? Rick awesome to have you on the mayhem. I really appreciate this. I I know you just been through a very heroin incident. And you're you're fine. And that's Bravo. And I can't wait to tell the story. I think listeners are going to be odd for the next hour long takes to get through this. So can't wait to learn about it. I don't know much about it. But I thought before we get into it. I think the audience would appreciate known a little bit of your background and flying history. And and where you are. And not a lot of people have spent time out in Victorian on Vancouver island. If you could describe your zone a little bit too because it's a very very special place. It's a whole that area. Very dear to my heart. I used to certain I started going up there with my my dad when I was a little kid you live in a really precious part of the world. Yeah. Fisher. Thanks gavin. Thanks for having me on really appreciate it, come longtime listener podcast. It's fantastic. What you do for the flying community? Really? Appreciate it managed to save the saved a lot of. I'm sure I'm appear in Victoria. It's a kind of a a rugged place. We don't have the grassy launches and landing zones and stuff like that. So I can fly in rugged launches this kind of our thing, and I've been up here for most of my life. I started flying about twelve years ago worked my way up. I was I got addicted that giving buddy else worked my way up and got my minorities rating intermediate rating worked mine struck the rating tandems, take friends do commercial town stuff like, and of course, I worked my way through the glider classes, we'll do for about the last six seven years. I've been flying declassified IRS. I just love the way they fly exciting fly. So that's kind of my deal. Mostly recreational pilot, do some cross country flying don't really compete or anything like that. I just do it for the love of flying a lot of fun. Yeah. And I was just gonna but in and say, you gotta tell us a little bit more about Vancouver island, give some give some dimensions. You know what you're surrounded with? I mean, when you when you said rugged, he left me little short hair. That's you know, it's. It's incredible place. I mean that is proper BC. And I think you know, to understand the scope of the trees in the the density, and you know, you're you're in your worsted area. Yes. The have have relief forested area. I think I heard a status something like the state of California has the population -able Canada. So we got a lot of land. You know, this coveted trees with not a lot of people. So it's nice in in a way, you know. There are no launches whether's lineups and stuff like that. If you can get four or five your buddies to come out that the big day. So. We're we're we're climbing hillsides and discharging off Little Rock kills probably Allegra. Tune in the Xhosa. This looks good. Are you are you mostly flying out alike? Clear cuts, and that kind of thing or I mean, these are these areas have been cleared with logging or it. I've never flown out an on the island Ellis about you know, what you're kind of dealing with is it is it windy is it really thermic is big enough island to be super thermic. Can be thermic. I mean, some of our biggest sites you may get to ten thousand feet at that. That would be that'd be big air hair. So it's not it's not huge out the tude, and you know for us to get into the mountains. There has to be some logging. So the logging long companies come in.
00:15:02 - 00:20:02
They they put the roads in they move their way up. And I mean, the clear cuts are triggers their on big hills. The thermal generators in the UK, you can fly some pretty good distances, but it's tiger country. So if you wanna fly deep, you're you know, you got a couple of day walkout if you land in the wrong spot. So you have to be prepared in his his anyone flown like the Eyler is just ridiculous not awful in. All there's no there's no chain of mountains to kind of join. Yeah. It wouldn't be wouldn't be doable. Okay. Okay. So what the big flight there? I mean, if you get seventy eighty kilometers out diptych flight that's pretty good though. The it's all right. These these typically kinda out and backs. Yeah. Yeah. There was some guys that have done some ways that are pretty good young. But they're they in the you go in deepened. He you. Make sure you don't make a mistake. And you hope you pop up the other side. You get high enough. You can see both sides of the mount Ari both sides of the ocean on both sides of the island or so you're looking one way towards Vancouver in the other way, you're looking towards Japan. Oh, yeah. Clear as you can see you can see clear over to Vancouver, Washington. Now, typically, like, a you know is a normal day go over the west side and ridge sore or are you flying typically on the east side? You're kinda flying Lee. Are is so small we can go from side to side on the mountains. Mainly run kind of dagley across the mountain not up down them. So we get plagued with the north wind summertime. He gets a high pressure. Get north coming in the seems all our launches face self. So that's always as always a challenge we have one small ridge soaring site. That's actually right downtown Victoria out that in self is crazy site. It's power lines in houses, people everywhere. It's it's amazing even let us fly there. And that's that's our one ridge site. So it's almost all thermic flying here. All right. Well, okay. That gives us a good foundation for where you are. So the the let's get into this incident. The reason shy away from it it. Let's start very early. What let's set up the whole day for us. Yeah. This is a site that was flown maybe ten years ago, and it was quite a bit by maybe earlier twenty years ago, the hang gliders used to fly, and it's it's a big site. It's it's probably a ridge that runs forty fifty kilometers could possibly get a hundred calmer out return on it a mountain tops maybe five thousand plus the pretty rugged lots of clear-cut stuff like that and utter while it's quite a track for us together to half hours driving time to get to the site. So, you know, over time that the hang gliders Halder gear back in the seventies and stuff they're like offered at this. They found sights closer, and then it was kind of Bannon for a while ten years on phone at our longer. And some of our local guys some keener 's new reports they rediscovered it, and they were inquire. Hiring you for some of us more experienced by will come out and check it out do some cross country flying. So I had never flown fight. Ben flying twelve years. I'd never flown the sights on Shirley. Well, let's take a look it was it was a moderate day. So there wasn't any high expectations for big cross countries. But, you know, find a new way in hang friends or seven people going. So it seemed like a good day that go in and check the site. We had a range of pilots we had everything from beginner novice pilots alr- up to senior instructors actually the instructor that taught me was out that day. So it was going to be an interesting day for sure everybody keeping is on each other. And you know, the new guys Rieger to go far I was just kinda eager to check on site. So we wandered up found a way up the hill, and we hit I think round probably four thousand feet we had snow which is just impassable to to to drive in tutti to bother hiking in. So we set up on the side of logging roads over some clear cuts and one by one we took off. It's just mellow. Nice. Perfect is actually when the day started. It was overcast. So we like we'll spend the day looking for for nice launches. And then it kind of cleared up. Got little blue cycle started coming in. They started getting stronger, and it was obvious the day was on. So at that point, we started how can off the mountain in the end people were not no problem climbing this in the day. I would say it was probably around noon by them. Okay. Yeah. So good climbs. And you know, I launched second to last or more by buying me. And everyone was already already climbing.
00:20:02 - 00:25:01
I think one pilot Madame doubt are he landed on lower logging road. So the daily pretty good. I launched off had a nice solid cycle solid launch. And right away of low scratching out front. Miss kind of mean little clear-cut pushing me around and I. Took a beaten for a little while scratched around. And then thought, you know, I'm gonna push up front and see if I can find something more stab list and read into a nice nice establish thermal head took that right up. The cloud base in how days besa day topcoat around sixty three hundred feet. Okay. That's not very high free guys up there or that's good. Now, we were basically, you know, seven eight hundred feet above the mountain top so low low I mean, so to jump to jump down Grijalva jumping from you know, from top top or flying right across the top of the ridge. Couldn't get you're not getting a lot of clearance from the top of the mountains, which which later came back to get me. But so I thought my flight plan was I got up, and I could see all the other pilots. Everyone was just kind of wander around having fun. I seen a couple of pilots at a gun down bridge and were coming back low. So I thought I've wandered down there and see what they were up to. So I. Started climbing gliding climbing gliding working my way down the ridge. And again, I had never been there. So once I started working my way down the ridge, the mountaintops go higher and higher. So as able to climb up from started around five thousand started pushing on beyond six in sixty three three got pretty high, and I could see all the Gulf islands in beautiful be really taking Dan in working my way down the ridge. And like I mentioned it's a long drive to get this site. So by the time, I pushed maybe twenty kilometers up the ridge myopic since relying were clearcuts, logging roads. And that's not something I wanted to do that day. You know, it's a two three hour Heiko. You got all your buddies waiting for you, you know, it just lengthens today. So I figured a nice out in return would be would be the days task. I don't know maybe the clearcuts they're different. Although I really doubt it. But it's every time I've flown like when when willin I did the Rockies thing, you know, the clear. Cuts. Look epic from the air. But the air they're not they're not really a place. You can I mean, you can land, obviously. But you know, there's a famous story of him not on our on our trip. You he'll land in clearcut when he was trying to do something. I can't remember where somewhere maybe Kamloops not. I can't remember. But he he landed in clear cut, and it was like two and a half days of getting out. Just just getting out of the clearcut was like ours. Just just get to the, you know, 'cause they're just I think people here that were, and I think clearcut, but it's like their stumps in down trees in the you know, the all the new growth in their vicious. The clear is not the best term for clear-cut replant, lots of time. So you're looking down at this clear cut that looks like a good landing auction get down closer to this. Fifteen foot tall trees these tiny from the exile at yadi of snow this the these are. These are it looks better because they're not two hundred twenty foot trees, but they're still they're not good clear. Clear is not quite the right word for them. But yeah, I mean, they are options. And usually there's roads between him and stuff like that star. A you're not going to do not hang gonna be hanging from a tree one hundred feet up. So it is option. Yeah. I'm with I pushed down the ridge far enough. I thought nice out in return. Maybe it was like a forty kilometer day, so hit it was, you know, just just to kind of check out the new site. So I started a turn back. I got the highest Clem of the day sixty three hundred feet. So I turned back pushed into a little bit of a headwind, maybe fifteen Colomer headwind, easy glide back and started working my way back down the region as I did my flight instrument started showing some over the back win. And right around the time. I realized that are maybe slightly after I took about a sixty percent collapse on the wing, and I haven't taken a class like that probably for five or six years. It was pretty good. It was enough to wake me up and say, hey, I'm I'm probably in the league here. You wanna push out? Maybe a little bit away from the ridge. So that's that's what I did up pushed out from the Rijn. I was getting good good. Nice solid lines lift lift on my glides and stuff like that. So I was able to make it back towards launch. And as I got back towards a five of the seven pilots were kind of circling around one around launch kind of area, maybe a couple couple more ridges down towards me. And I spot it a couple one pilot situated nice in high peak level and another one below climbing.
00:25:02 - 00:30:01
Good solid climb. So I move my glide Anna headed towards that lower pilot to join in the glide, I need a little more out to to continue my transition towards till backing tag launch got in that climb without pilot probably little bit down wind of him. And we started to climb both of us up underneath. Another pilot. I made sure I kept distance from him. But as I climbed up on the other pilot, I lost sight of them 'cause they were basically directly above me in climbed. I didn't need to climb up to above tight. I thought you know with the with Lee the wind coming over the back. I'm gonna stay just below ridge height and try to stay in the way of the mountain which I did. And the hide I needed went on glide was on a nice glide cited my next point. I was gonna hit and took another collapse. What I thought was another collapse and felt like a frontal. So when I looked up I was pretty surprised to see that pilot in my wing right away. I knew I knew who it was. It was the pilot that was circling right above me. 'cause I still had is on the other pilot, climbing and. Yeah. It was not a good sight to see Fisher. So case is the other pilot tangled up in your lines or. Yeah. When I looked up I saw my wingtips fly Ford and the wing I fly sometimes when it takes frontal the wingtips can can race Ford and touch each other. So I saw the wings the wingtips come forward and completely wrapped around her. Yeah. And at that point, I knew had very little time. I mean, I've seen the YouTube videos. I've heard all the stories from people mid air collisions people getting tangled. So my first thought was stole the bladder get the wingtips peel back, and hopefully give this other pilot a chance to get out of my wing at. But at this point, I was probably only less four hundred feet above the ridgetop and the wings Bom backing the ridge. So I need stall gladder wasn't ruby might best option was the best option. But it wasn't really something. I wanted to be doing that close to the ground had to do a quick yet to quick there wasn't a whole lot of thought might my fault pattern. Was I stay tangled in I let fate choose decision or a stole the glider. At least I have I have a choice in the matter. So I stole the glider. Liner you on flying an advance omega excerpts glider lightweight yet. Yeah. Lightweight and you know nice. Nice glider some nice fastened fairly stable fairly predictable. So I knew when I stole this. Glad new the wingtips with peel back. They date immediately. They peel back the glider opened up and the pilot. I think it was combination me stall in the glider in her glider still flying. But it pulled us apart pretty violently. And she went through the top of my glider taking a couple lines with her tearing the glider whatnot. But she was free and she flew away, which which was a with a huge relief. Unfortunately, Mike ladder was pretty damaged missing some lines huge vowed on the right hand side, and the glider exited stolen dough Ford, really hard. I slowed is slow the slow the glider down as shot Ford. But it was far too damaged on the right hand side. So it entered a nose down spiral at that point. And I practice a fair amount of v only like that. So as the G forces built up it started to auto rotates peel my neck back in my head back in a new. This was something that I I was not going to be able to recover from that close to the ground. Would I wouldn't need a lot more L to to deal with that? If at all it was winding right up so immediately hand down in the handle my hamlet right into the reserve. I tossed it out up in clean air and have a real memory of those white lines coming out of the bag when it hit the end, it just boom in exploded and open perfectly clean, perfectly symmetrical square. Rebelo? What it was a around pull down apex round and had enough time to swing under. As I was swinging under it, I knew it it opened. I knew I wasn't going to be yanked in the reserve buydell. It was a nice clean opening. I swung underneath it. Started rapping the brake brake lines to disable my glider. And as I was doing that. I thought about Chuck mile to again, I looked over my shoulder, and I could see the trees in the mountain like seconds away. So abandoned, the glider spun around get my feet face on the mountain and just managed to somehow dodge in between a few trees, I the first couple of thought it was going to grab onto that was my initial thought grab onto trees I go flying by.
00:30:01 - 00:35:01
But I was moving fast to do that. And I was a it was a nice gap in the trees. So I managed to go right in between the gap between a land on my feet on the mountain and my reserve land in nice clearing spot. Just above me reserves. Another story with reserved the nice it was it was beautiful. It open cleanly and quickly. I was happy. And then I I'm standing on the hillside, I'm standing on my feet completely unharmed. And I feel this tugging motion. Like pulling me up the hill. And they looked behind me and Mike glad my reserves fully inflated in those Thermo going up the ridge. So it's trying to pull me up the ridge. So it was easy to disable the grab a few lines collapse and relaunch. Lit up shoved it in the back of my harness. And you know, you start the process of hill. Radioing your friends, mama ground. All right. But right away. I knew you know, there was no walking where landed so I told them right away said, you know, I'm gonna need a helicopter when you need a long line. That's gonna have to happen for sure I'm not walking outta here. The next I'm just gonna let you go. There's no reason for me to be even in here. But I I because I've seen the report in the picture your proper snow was that night. You got much more snow this picture. Look, this little ant on the side of massive snow. Yeah. Unfortunately, I landed about forty three hundred feet up. Okay. So there was snow knee-deep snow, and you know, I'm standing on a on a hillside this like sixty degree slope. So my next biggest fear is sliding downhill dying. I mean fast the was one of those take the wrong step in your you become a toboggan, you're gonna be even be going down the hills hoping to grab onto trees go by. So once I got the call in new the helicopter was coming. My thought was to maybe mess around CPAC gimmick lider out of the tree. And I felt so bad target on those lines knowing that tissue paper glider, they're probably just was not gonna down. And we have a site a over in Vancouver bridal falls this called this red glider this been stuck in the trees for a decade. It's. Glided this Mark. So it's phone through my head off great might mile Maga's, the glider gonna Mark this hillside for all time. So a little bit just because I've been quite curious about this. So the helicopter was that the cell phone you guys himself own range or you're doing that with SOS on your end reach or how dummy take me through how you rebel to get. This message out that you need a long line. And obviously, you know, helicopters are ubiquitous where you are magin. There's lots of good pilots and lots of good Heli. So that must be kind of the number one way you guys deal with these kind of emergency situations that correct? Yeah. In this type of situation. It's it's Hellier nothing. And there was a two three pilots ahead in reaches on them. And they were eager to use them. So they hit the SOS. I have really good cell phone service, and we all carrying to meter radios as well. So I was able to use a combination of of things I started getting tax messages right away. A phone calls from the search and rescue. So there was really good contact really good community. Station. We were both thirty minutes from an air force of space up coal mocks. So I assumed you know, within thirty I was Sumed within under the hour. There's gonna be helicopter hovering over top of me. But for some reason, they decided to dispatch from other areas, and I was up there about an hour and a half or more before the helicopters showed up and part of the reason I was heading back to the launch to tag launch end land was over development that day was just completely over developing. So I'm standing there watching those little with speeds of cloud, Orman know, five hundred feet below me in coming up the ridge. So I knew time Dicky. Yeah. That's was going through my head. I'm thinking this helicopter doesn't get her soon. I'm going to be standing in a cloud. I'm club. As is gonna be a thousand people only in a forcibly. That's what happened everything started to work against me. Once I got on the ground clouds moved in cloud-based lowered in about an hour and a half hour, forty five minutes later ahead a helicopter hovering in front of me. But they just seem whiteout conditions. Actually, actually put any battery my gopro to film the helicopter coming again me. All I got was footage of a helicopter hovering a hundred meters on front of me. They just couldn't get they don't like those conditions understandably. Yeah. That's yeah.
00:35:01 - 00:40:03
You don't wanna make it worse. No. So they hovered around. They took four five attempts. They came kept coming back in closely. Exactly where I was. But around seven thirty I got the call so everybody on your on. We're not coming at ya. So at that point, I knew I needed that glider. Yeah. So outcomes Huck ni- a hack off all the lines cut the risers off. And I get a real long sticks. Longest I can find stand up Mickey toes, and I get it just in the leading edge able to pull the glider out. And I mean, we've all gliders in trees from you know, one time or another and they're impossible to get out of. You know, you could spend an hour trying to get dead gladder out of a tree, but somehow immense kit that glad fifteen minutes gladder in my hands. I even took the time to fold it up Nuys and put it in his little pack bag in stuck it on my harness and started moving downhill, my thought was get below the snow line if you gonna spend the night here below this low snow line is going to be a lot more comfortable. I know that that was totally impossible. The snow was thousand fifteen hundred feet below me still hillside, but I sort of moving down the ridge always keeping myself in front of trees. So if I slid I was gonna slide down into the next below me and work my way down the ridge in eventually nightfall pick my big maccammon spot got so dark. I couldn't see anymore and where I was standing in his where I was staying with night. What have you got? What have you got on you? How much water how much food? Anything else any other kind of safety gear? You got like. Yeah. You know, little -mergency blanket or you just got your glider. We're just really well. Because springtime here is it's gold and the ongoing six thousand feet is cold minus temperatures. So I have a a wool shirt on. I've got a down jacket got another win jacket on top of that got gloves balaclava in a boss full that kind of stuff on. So I'm pretty warm. Unfortunately, I wasn't wearing proper shoes at little socks on some all like summer hiker Konosuke so quickly my fica wet, which was it turned out to be a real pain in their pain in the ass later on because once I finally found that place to to camp for the night cover myself with glider used my reserve on the ground and immediately the shoes the socks had to come off. Because it was frostbite was definitely a concern. Unfortunate wasn't able to find a place flat either. So I had some hiking poles with man, I planted them in the ground put him up against my chest to hold myself up. And that was kinda gauge if they were between my belly button and my chest. I knew I was sliding down the hill. Couple of times woke up, and they wrap around my neck side to push myself down pushing back then. Yeah, I use my glider, and you covered myself up, and you know, I settled in thought you this isn't that bad. I'm pretty warm ABI. All right. And I kept communications with the with the rescue teams in whatnot. But in your the guys you're flying with what did they decide to do or they did they just plant themselves at the launch or they like well that silly. What what did they end up doing while? There was there's an airport about five miles away. So yeah. So the helicopters were able in there, some of the pilot stayed some went home. I told him. There's no point on hanging out here. You know, go home, you're fine. You're physically you're you're gonna make the I. Yeah. I was gonna make to the night. No problem. You know by by six in the morning was probably minus four minus five in it had been snowing. So yeah, I myself covered up, and it was nice and calm. The mountain had a nice quiet too. And I thought it isn't going to be too bad. But unfortunately, two three hours later, the winds picked up, and they were they were blown life forty kilometers now. Unifil nice open area for the helicopter to see me. What I thought was a nice area turned out to be the bad choice. Because now I'm open to get beat on on by the win. Could be. I took a beat down for two or three hours, and then it calmed down. And then it started to snow. It has to be the story of it didn't snow on you. I got snow for four five hours until morning, and it was still snowing in the morning. So I remember waking up kinda push the glider and all the snow coming off glider. So I had like a little glider igloo thing going on. And it wasn't too bad. I was able to make it through the night to rub my feet every half an hour.
00:40:03 - 00:45:02
You know to keep them more which is a bit of a challenge when you're perched on a hillside, but you get enough water. I had enough water had a little bit of food. I was good for the night. If I was being if I was going to get left there again for a second night had some I was in trouble. But yeah, they you know, they were saying first crack dawn, thirty minutes, thirty minutes after sunrise, the helicopters going to be in the air. We're going to be up there. And when I woke up in the morning, I pulled the glider off mate I look out at snowing heavily, and it's just so fogged in its way worse than it was when they couldn't come get me the day before. So at this point. I'm starting there. Formulate a plan on how I'm gonna hike out there. Because they're not coming to get me. But fortunately, you know, they did come and get man. And these guys men these helicopter pilots, they were they were impressive. When the long line came in at two guys hanging off of it hen, he planted those guys right at my feet, we clicked into a harness, and as we took off the one of the guys was telling male copter how closely were to the trees over fifty people the trees, okay were feet from trees, and he was using that as a reference for the helicopter, who's flying completely whiteout conditions above us. That's a good pilot. There's not a lot of guys will do that. That's amazing. So I was I you know, I said to him afterwards. I said I recognize what you did there man that was that was impressive flying flying with no ground reference at all. When they came to get me, these these guys ended a long line they were excited when they landed. 'cause obviously they flew in completely white conditions. The flying back out. So I'm standing there on the hillside with my with my bag back in first thing, they say dropped the bag. You can't take the bag. To which I responded, that's the ten thousand dollar bag there. And you know, I got the look like, are you kidding me? Man. Nearly leaving the pag so I had to leave all my gear on the hillside, and it's a Bimbo ten days. Now, it's still sitting there on the hillside. We can't get into get so kids that you'd have to do that. Kinda makes sense. I mean. Wow. They weren't concerned with the gear. Of course, they on getting getting out. Yeah. Hats off to on the me. There's no no can't fault them there. Kanye, I had no complaints over that. So we'll make it another mission. Go back and get the bag later initially snow melt, and you'll be able to dig their, you know, it'll be glamorous kinda wrecked. Anyway, you know that the reserve they're the there's no there's no using them again. So so the one. I was going to say before we move on. I'd love to you know, because obviously, you know, most people listening are like, well, that's never going to happen to me. But that is this does happen people spend nights out, and I'd love to just get you know, what are some tips. What are some man? I wish I would have had that you know, what what what do you wish you would have had? You know, if you could what will you have with you when you know from from this day forward. I'm sure your your kids probably gonna change a little bit. But the other thing is how about some tips with the wings because you know, we we spent a night out in Mozambique after I totally smashed or dinghy ahead anchored and the tide came way up and took it in over the beach and just destroyed it. So there was eight of us that had to sleep on the beach on this Mozambique in the Indian Ocean, the cold you were we slept in the sand. But it was I did learn a little bit about using glider stay warm, but what did you did you wrap it up like taco did you wrap around and round and round and. Round. What what what advice could you did use your reserve as well did use the two? I did. Yeah. Yeah. When I found a nice spot to sit down. I pulled the reserve out. I put it down on the ground. I my main thought is getting wet in those type of conditions minus minus four minus six degrees. If if you're wet you're down Jackie gets wet your pants get wet year urine bad situation, you'll get hypothermia really fast. So I put a reserve parachute down it acted as really nice waterproof kind of barrier between the the ground. And then I yeah, I basically wrapped glad around me leading edge up towards my head. So I could use like the nylon Batman's to kind of keep it away from my face bit. When the winds picked up I had to adjust it because these thoughts started going through my head. What if the wind comes with and through inflates Mijo rips me off the hillside or something? So I ended up. Tonight gathering all the leading edge is together in tuck in the Monday, my back and stuff like that. But I was actually pretty impressive.
00:45:02 - 00:50:04
It worked. Really? Well, kept me warm, very wind proof. Obviously, the one thing I would recommend. I mean, I had hiking goals with me in man, I will never fly with those again, even if you don't use them for hiking. They were I was able to use them the hold myself up on the hillside, and if I was laying down I probably would've used them as low temp polls at to keep the glider for me because of the difference between me under the glider in the snow outside who was a lot of condensation on the inside of the glider. So every time I kept hating the gladder to snow off hands get wet amendment. We get cold because there's so much in condensation inside gladder. So you could use the poles to hold the glider up off your body. That would be a good thing to have a headlamp. I mean, I won't go flying without a headlamp. It's one of those things like why would I need ahead that flying? But yeah. Got it got to have a head lamp if I I mean, I could use the light on my cellphone. Luckily, when I took off at morning, I had a hundred percent on my phone, and I was able to use that phone all the way through the day all the way through that night to the next morning. The next morning had three percent left on my phone. So backup battery for a phone would be, you know, you can get little small ones, you know, like lipstick-size ones that give you one more charge on your phone dot might have been the difference between more communication with the rescue team in. None at all of that. Like, you didn't have it in reach. I did not know gain. Bad Boyd Rick via very disappointed isn't a podcast. I know I know that's unacceptable. Find one and you know that was probably I'd never flown the site. And I didn't really realize how remote it was. Are you know, I just I wasn't prepared for sure there was the some the stakes I made for sure and this is kind of a whole learning experience for all of us. I'm I learned a lot that day for sure. Yeah. I would say the things you mentioned are are must you know. I think it's you know, we have to approach are flying. Whenever were even remotely remote as as if we're going back into skiing. You know? So you got to have the extra battery gotta have the inner reach got have some extra clothes. You know, you gotta be prepared for that night out. And at least a little bit of food. You got it just all even if you're just going for ridge soaring session. It could be I I've I have been involved enough of these. Yeah. Like, you said like the battery, you know, you lose your phone. You're you're out of calms in even. That's what's nice about average in reach course. But but I then you've got that as backup and they last forever. But yeah. Okay. Good. Oh, I was gonna say sure and headlamp headlamp with Farah batteries. That's just a must that. You'd never go back into schemer that headlamp we got a better take the same way. Yeah. If I'd had ahead map. I would have had enough time to. Continue to search for a better place to sleep. I mean the night shows where I was going to sleep in that was a bad feeling 'cause why slept wasn't a good choice. I could've easily slid down the hillside to my death. So, you know, a headlamp and I ran through mine. Hey, use your phone use the light on your phone. But then you walk around holding your phone in one hand yet one hand get yourself when you slip, and you're aiming the battery the battery of your phone just be killed using the light. So headlamp would have been the huge way nothing in they take up. No, see us. You know, the the one won't be advised. That would have that is a lot of people. You know, pull out the headlamp in. Hey, I got my headlamp in their batteries your fried because they leave their batteries in just take one battery out reverse it. Otherwise, you've got batter you'd want the batteries in the headlamp. But if you just take one out in verse it whenever you've just, you know, when it's ever when it's in your pack. Then you can you can you know, you can do that in the dark. You can open it up. You know, it's the middle battery. Switch it. You're good to go. But that's a that's one. That's caught a lot of people as well. Yeah. That's a good point for sure. Okay. Well, carry on. I kinda cut you off there. So good. So you're you're going to be flying with a little bit extra kit in the future. That's a good day. Yeah. Charging everything, you know, having your heaven, you're in reached charge. Having your radio charge have in your cellphone charged. All that stuff being able to charge him again of the two meter radio was invaluable the next morning when the helicopter came had three percent left on my phone, wasn't sure if they were going to actually be successful. So I switched over to to being a radio, and I couldn't even see the helicopter, and I grabbed my my radio. I start talking. They already had dispatch setup in that put me in direct contact Tallec off too. So I was able to talk to someone on the ground that could immediately relate to the helicopter something I could do with cellphone something I could do within reach. You weren't talking to the cockpit. Where you while? I was talking to dispatch who mmediately Archaea to the yet.
00:50:04 - 00:55:04
Oh, I can't operate on our bands, not not that that can't physically. But they they're they're they're they're war can hire that lower. I'd always get. But they're down one thirties, or you know, we don't start to one forty so someone. Yeah. So that that was great to have that fully charge. I'd actually taken it, and stuck it in my down jacket that night when I swept keep the batteries warm knowing that, you know, the cold is gonna kill that battery. I wanted to keep his warm. I could got that thing out in the morning, and then I could hear the helicopter hovering in front of me. And once it got right in front of me. I just relayed, okay? The helicopters in the exact spot is in front of me. I can't see it. But I can hear it. And I know it's right in front of me, just tell the move in closer to the mountain, and they were able to hover in closer to the mountain to they could see me, I could see the light certain poke through the clouds, and they got up close. So, you know, fully charged batteries. The was a huge thing. If I didn't have my radio if I didn't have my cell phone things would have went down differently for sure. Yeah. Cool. Okay. So I'd love to ask you about the long line in your first Cup of coffee and all that kind of answer that was pretty fun. But let's go back in break down at in some ways. I feel fortunate to be having this talk now just released a couple of days ago this show on T M heard narratives -ment. Yeah. That was that was really interesting to me. So let's try to be forensic now as the system is. And and take it back. Would you do wrong? What the other pilot do wrong? What you know? What are we all need to learn as a community? So this doesn't happen. Yeah. For sure I definitely made some mistakes that day and listening to that last hard cast just put it so perfectly inter perspective. I could see the areas I may I could see the what led up to it. So I made some assumptions that day after after the incident happened I talked to a couple of old hang gliders vine. Decades decades, and one of them made a really good point to me said that he has a fifteen second rule. It's the time he figures takes him to do an avoidance turn our full three sixty on his hand glider, and he prioritizes the glide the pilots closest to him gives him a one two three priority. And if they are in that fifteen seconds space. He never loses is on them. And if he does he even if he has to he leaves his thermal gets is on them again. And then back into the thermal if he can't I thought that was a beautiful piece of information had I been doing that I can guarantee you this would not have happened one of the mistakes. I made was I made some assumption. So first big assumption. I made was all the pilots flying today. Do they all have the minimum skills flyer or they'll competent to fly here that day? And I assume they were because they were there. I. I didn't know lot of the pilots. So I gave them maybe more leeway than I should have. You know, I is soon they would follow all the basic right away. Rules, turn the same way. You know, get out of a glider. That's that's climbing below you a faster moved one side. You know, keep your distance from other gliders the person above is going to keep their eyes on the glider below you know, flying predictable way. So that other pilots can predict what you're gonna do. I gave all of these sumptious to this pilot. And it turns out that this pilot wasn't doing predictable things before the action. We have a track. Log in you know, the pilot made a left hand turn flew straight made a right hand, turn flew straight to the left and three sixty flew straight through to right entry sixty was just wandering around the sky above us as we were established in thermals climbing up to the rapidly climbing up to them they were doing all these maneuvers of never gaining any altitude. So we had a moving target above us, basically. And at I never left. T-t-that thermal to get is on them again. And as I got closer and closer, they were harder and harder to see and still a very clear, you know, right away, screw up on this other on this other pilot and yet at the same time. It's kinda like, you know, they like driving driving accidents always thinking off we're defensive enough. It doesn't really matter. So it sounded like I mean, I'm not putting on you at all. Just sounds. Let sounds like, you know, the that's a tricky right of way, one to the because it's you you're absolutely supposed to be paying attention to the people coming in below you. But there there's also that window just like driving and car where people are kind of hard to see. Yeah. And at the impossible for you. But it's like it's like coming up to that red light. Are you know, you gotta green light? You're assuming the other prison guard Red Eye your Suming, they're gonna stop because that's the law, but they don't always stop, right? Sometimes they blow that red light T-Bone you.
00:55:04 - 01:00:00
Yeah. And you know, what can you do about that? And as I got close in closest glider, obviously, I couldn't see them at all. And I'd actually stop turning started gliding again when this pilot decided to their their final move was to glide straight line pretty much over top of us and make a turn in the opposite direct. Action. So we had already established thermals the one beside me already done about seven left-hand revolution. Seven three sixties this pilot decided fly over topless in initiate, a right hand the opposite way, and they fell out of the thermal. So they were doing a right hand term lost about hundred fifty feet in their turn tuned. Seven degrees. They lost one hundred fifty feet. So they're doing right hand descending turns were doing left-hand s ending turns. So it was it was the, and you know, she kind of flew right into my flight path. And luckily, kind of luckily she flew right into the middle of glider. So the glider the wingtips wave of the fly Ford Rafter up, but it did give me that chance to open the glider up again has she flown into the corner the wing or something in my wing spiral. The rounder would have been far down. It would have been very very hard to get a row at probably just lost all control. So. Some very very lucky things that happened there. But yeah, there were some errors made for sure from both sides. So how you guys addressed this as a community, but you know, the. Don't wanna throw anybody under the bus. But there's you know, the these are these are great learning situations in and thank goodness. It it came out. You know, she flew away. It sounds like you, you know, you spent a cold night out. But you're probably think we'll stars right? Yeah. I mean we lost sock year. That's bummer. Yeah. We both walked away. So you got you the best outcome. You. Is. No, you hear all the stories. They don't always end up. So great. I'm more times than not, you know, they end up with fatalities for us to both walkaway. That's that's awesome. Yeah. Sure. Yet, we wanna learn from it. We want to we want to kind of pinpoint. How does how does something like this happen? I kind of pride myself on keeping eyes on people a safeties a thing. A love your podcasts on safety. They're always the ones I gravitate to of had twelve years of flying not a single accident. So to go from twelve years of flying to my first accident is a mid air with reserved appointment. I I wanna dig into this. How how did I get there? How did that happen? So, you know, we've looked at things like training is a big thing. We have a lot of pilots that. They're just not being trained to the level that they should be and a lot of the time around by other pilots to train to these low levels too. So they start to think that hey, I'm pretty good. And they don't know what they don't know. And then you get these Leo you get a group. I think what happened in this situation is there's a group of let's and they have like a group intermediate syndrome problem where they're all at the stage, whether intermediates they all think really good, and they're no just enough to make themselves dangerous, and they're all competing with each other pushing each other. So every single time they go fly. They're pushing to absolute maximum red line of the day in there's no in there to pull them back, and you know, have the mentors. They don't have the instructors there there. We were talking about this before, you know, before we started recording that you know, what you're seeing in in Canada. Certainly would I'm senior in the states is, you know, there's this massive hole in you'll now we don't really know how this works in other countries. But we assume that it's better because there's you know, you get your P to get your very novice Ray. I mean, you get you get a week. Raining down in Utah with good weather, and you got your P to a week. And and you've learned a lot in that week. So there's no way you're going to retain, you know, like the rules road. You know, when I when I go through the rules of the road with the with the boat. I mean, that's a massive course, you know, right return, is you gotta know a lot more than that. You know? So and you got to refresh it, you know, it's like a wilderness. First responder course, it's something you've got a refresh in refreshing refresh. But yes, you know, we we we send these fledglings off with very little knowledge in very little airtime in do the real world. And and and there's this massive gap. And if you don't have yourself surrounded by a great community in a lot of mentors for no fault of their own.
01:00:00 - 01:05:01
You know, they're they're just it's a it's a dangerous time. And in your case dangerous time for other people do. Yeah. I do know. Yeah. Unfortunately, you're right. You know, if you don't know what you don't know you can be dangerous to yourself, and to others five days of training blows my mind. If I mean, I've heard that story lots of people say, oh, yeah. My course was five days in got my novice in just you know, we, you know, only enough to kill yourself after five days. Basically, you've got the basics, but you do need that community you need that, you know, you know, like, the UK they've got the club pilot. So you get your novice rating new club pilot, and you have compiled and other events pilots that are able to give you advice in and. Moulder approach to flying. So as a healthy approach think it's really easy to get very unhealthy approach to flying. Where you don't even understand the risks. You're taking in your always endanger, there's no one really there to to say otherwise. And that kind of stuff is comes with time with flying. You know, there's lots of times you look back the holy cow killed myself lucky. There was no there was no in their kind of tell you what you were doing was dangerous who was out. I was flying in comp in in Macedonia. The Nordic open this last year and have dinner one night with the Swedes big group Swedes. And they they're could believe this was unbelievable date. So they what they do is when they join a club. Then you basically get signed to a, you know, a senior person in the club in pays the the do. So when this person gets to. Certain level. And they start thinking about like, hey, wouldn't it be cool to go to Annecy the club pays for the instructor? You know, they pay for their flights. But you don't you don't earn any money. Like, if you're if you're part of the club. This is just expected of you as a mentor, so but your your your trip is basically free. So you're you go down they fly on innoc- with these new group of pilot. So there's like a couple instructors in very small group of new pilots and you get instruction for week for free. Amazing. It's amazing. You know, why don't we do stuff? Like that. I mean, literally, it's it's just we wonder then we see the action reports. And we're all you know, it's not like you have to scratch your head very hard. Yeah. I mean, that's another point to touch on onto the accident reports being a hero all self regulated. So it's up to us to to report these accidents in of course, you know, right away reporting the accident I wanted, but when the learn from this we did a big write up in posted a so everyone can learn from the whole incident. There's lots of pilots that don't report incidents or accidents here. And I don't know it's it's ego. Or, you know, you're embarrassed or what not, but we learn from every single accident in this particular pilot had several accidents leading up to this that I was unaware of one of was flying into power lines. Had I been aware of that information. I probably wouldn't flown that close to that pilot. But I didn't have that information. So I think reporting these types of things and and dissecting limit finding why this happened in this can happen to anyone in. What can we do to make sure that this doesn't happen again? You know, we're self regulated. So we got to implement those things are self teach each other that kind of stuff have checklists since like that. I'm not going to be opening this this show. I haven't recorded this yet once when we're done a recording the opening as I always do afterwards. And I got an Hossam Email this last week from Kevin Booker. He's he's our guy that did the sailplane episode awhile back Pearland product and all that and obviously sailplane pilot. He was very familiar with TM, and in his his feedback was that, you know, this system is awesome. In the reason check marks, you know, the check March work is that is that they, you know, they force you to zero in and go down through the list, but without a culture of safety T M as useless, you know, the, and that's so true in what you know. It's great to understand it. But we have to make safety a part of our culture in a way, we had it has to be that. Oh, we had an accident. There's everybody's going to have an accident some point flying everyone. And so there is no need for embarrassment. You know, I was out in Santa Barbara training for the X apps. I went into trees when I was out in Santa Barbara for that. And one of right off with a bunch of p two's. I went into tree. I know. I mean, it's just it's just part of the sport. You know, it happens the happens for sure, and you know, I was happy to bed not have Maxon twelve years, and then this happened. So you know, it can happen.
01:05:01 - 01:10:05
I got complacent. I got you know, I wasn't wasn't doing due diligence. And and it'll come up and bite you sometimes by Gerard. And and we were lucky to walk away for sure we got very lucky I was able to clear out of the glider my reserve opened beautifully. You know, I was rescued very lucky. I don't even sit down and think about the alternatives of what could happen because they're all bad. So, you know. Yeah. I know how lucky we were. What was the date does just after his left Friday last Bryce says we go so has your head flown since you know? Was it is it was non event because it went so. Well, or was it are, you know, are you having nightmares? No. I'm I'm pretty good. I think the other pilot is worse off than I am. They're pretty shaken up and they're going to take step back and look at what's going on. I've got other gear. My closet, but you know, the weather went crap afterwards. So I'm just waiting for a nice day looks like next couple of days. Nice. I'll probably go shake shake it off. And I know that it wasn't. I didn't make some gross error where it almost cost me my life. I made some small errors in the I got the worst possible come from small errors. So I'm confident that you know, this isn't something that's going to happen. Again, anytime soon in twenty years the flying here on the island. There's never been a mid air or even longer thirty years has never been in mid air. There's never been reserved appointment. So it's not a common thing, you know. And I think it's a lot of the time is because you only find with for the people in the air. It's it's pretty hard to hit four people when you have a huge amount of air. The we don't have a lot of people around, and you know, that was one of. My other eras too. I got you get used to flying with your buddies. You got your buddy on the wingtip? You get in thermal. You're spinning around wingtip to wingtip talk into each other. And. You know, you become with those people, you know, they're going to be predictable. You know, they know what they're doing the, you know, they're not gonna put you in danger. And I gave that kind of I gave that to another pilot that I didn't know the end that was a big mistake. You probably heard there was really tragic mid air at the British. This this summer this last summer for the Nordic open in a seem very famous longtime, you cut UK pilot out of comp in had a mid air with a non compliment. So a free flyer who is obviously much much less skilled, and I think these are the one these things, you know, in and they both died. And you know, I think that that's when you know when you're at a call when it a World Cup. It's amazing. How how close you can fly a lot of other pilots, you know, and and do it pretty calmly. But as soon as you start flying in a comp like like, I'm always way more wary say if I'm at the Minorca or something because you've got you've got forty complex. And then you've got a lot of folks that are at their first comp ever in there on a b ah, and they don't understand how to liner with big, you know, you know, huge aspects they don't turn the same. Just Bank those over get out away. You know, a so I I really like my kind of my one of my favorite takeaways here. So far is this hanging telling you this information, I've never heard that. That's great about gold. I mean had I been flying using his fifteen second rule I can guarantee you this would not have happened. So I mean, it's kind of a pain. You're you're in thermal your thermal the pilot. He's above you. You're you're assuming he's doing the right things. Are you going to leave your firm every time you lose is on him? It's kind of impractical thing. But at the same time this could have been avoided if that was you know, as followed that kind of. Yeah. Well, I Rick. I appreciate your clearly this was a right of way faults at you know, I I if we're going away the fault the false, obviously more on the other pilot, but you have identified, you know, there was a whole lot of little threat here, isn't there and led up to this? That, you know, you're kind of casual you're kind have fun. It's party. It's kind of at the end of the day. It sounds like, you know, you're you're, you know, ripping up to this climb. It's great. You're kind making some assumptions, you know, stuff you're that. I appreciate that that you've you've broken it down. And and you know, that's gonna make you certainly much better pilot. I think certainly the you know that your crew up there as well. I'm sure everybody's talking about this thing right now the officer. I mean, I remember I took a thermal in courses little guide when time and he was saying, you know, this always stuck with me.
01:10:05 - 01:15:04
It's not what you were doing right. When the accident happened. It was three or four things days right before. And this was was a perfect example of that. You know, I made this assumption. I put myself in this place, and then this other glider, you know, they fixated on something, you know, we can easily follow her chain of events back. You know, say what you know, this happened. This happened that made you do this. And then you fix. Added on another pilot you made unclear turn, you know, and it just cascaded and those. Yeah. And and you can go back and look at how it happened. And you know, you can make changes for sure to to avoid that type of stuff. So we've identified some cool things here. And I think the biggest one is this this gap in instruction. And I know. Like, my buddies that fly tandems in Switzerland. You know, it's it's like going to university to get that. I mean, it is not easy. And that you know, we still see these crazy mistakes like the hang glider didn't get clipped in. And that whole thing went viral to hope to get him on the show lives down. But you know, I mean, so obviously mistakes are going to be made no matter what system you come up through. And and you know, there's, but it seems like there's the these other systems are lot more methodical. There's a lot more. Do you have to cover a to keep coming back and get refreshed? I don't know it seems like we we we don't have that built into our, you know, USA near version, we need to you know, as a community we need to to just work on that. When you make it happen. The it would be interesting for our system if there was way to hold instructors accountable as much as the novice pilot Novus by leaves and they've been taught a certain amount. And they think they know what they're doing. But there's no way to hold any instructor accountable either for the amount of training. He's doing have we we've got we've got instructors in. Sure there's instructors all around the world. I like this that are, you know? We call them the pump and dump that you just you get them in you through. The course. Inside you got the money. You sold them a bunch of gear four days later in life stories of people saying they're on they're on the launch on the very first day of training flying brand new gear in pod harness on a high m be flying off on their first day three days later the instructors like oh, just fly with your buddies. You know until you thirty place. Let me know sign you off. I mean, that's not a chain. That's yeah. So that is a problem in itself. And that is breeding a lot of pilots that you know, are like this. And then you mix them all together. And you got help. That's not ubiquitous I have a couple story. You know, that you're really infringing there on on, you know, criminal really in these people's lives, and if an instructor takes that casually than man, I wouldn't wanna be that instructor down the line, and you can have we not out. I can't get into what I was gonna talk about. Oakland. She we've had the last few years. But I mean, you know, somebody's gonna come after them. Yeah. It happens in and you know, it's it's up to the community. I think about point together around that person in say, you know, you need a little more training. Our give him some advice. You know, do that mentoring thing to kinda to bring them up to speed up to at least a minimum safety level. But we have no way to to make instructors accountable. You know, there's the pilots in they do their tests in they do their checklist. But it's easy for instructors Aoyama. Here you go you're done, you know. So that's a concern. This is this. We're gonna end on this. Because this is important. You just brought up something that I have been really struggling with in it. You know, an actually believes come up quite a few times on the show, even but how do you handle that person? Like, let's run religious rewind this day all the way back you guys on launch. And this this, you know, the the person that you end up having this, you know, this mid air with had you had, you know. Is there anybody in your group that new all the this history was was there has been any talk amongst your group. Like gosh. I wish we would have said something or I wish you know. Are you know, would it have been appropriate to call this person aside and MB like, hey, I'm gonna leave that question with you think about that for second. Because I just I just got back. I if you heard the podcast with rob spor eagle paragliding, they have developed this culture there that I had never seen anywhere else. It was unbelievably supportive and optimistic and but also very realistic.
01:15:04 - 01:20:03
And you know, they're they're incredibly inviting into you know, pilots from anywhere. You know, if you if you go there, you just feel like you're you're being kind of brought into this family. And when they just have this culture of when they drive up to launch if you know if it's a visiting pilot, and they are not there. No, they don't. No this culture yet. And they start doing the whole negative ground. Suck talk. You know? Like, oh, I don't know. Whether you know, you know, the one match often Riley who's down there's instructor there. He's driving the van, but many of the others just they just start talking right over them or turn the music on like, that's just that's not allowed. You know? You're you're part of the culture there that hey, we're going flying. We don't need a bunch of negative stuff in our head. And then, you know, this is a big mountain sites a four thousand foot site over a very crowded town down to the beach. And so I mean, it's for real and in a lot of pilots come there. And they're very new, you know, they're p two's, they're really learning. And and yet, they're they're kind of folded into this culture of safety. So they're not talked down to on launch. Like, oh, man. This is way too much for you. Mitch will deliver the the weather the information the same to that person as me, you know, so there, and and you know, but they're you're kind of expected to make your own decision. They're doing that in a way, that's really positive. But like, hey, this is serious. You know, and we want you to know what you're getting involved in. And so it kind of puts it back on the person like, wow. Okay. I didn't know that that we were just gonna Huck off and have a blast. You know because often when when you are too. You don't know like you said, you don't know what you don't know. Yeah. I know I I mean, I love to hear stuff like that. I love to hear of communities that are embracing. I mean, as humans we learn way better in in positive environments for sure you the big native group of people in you don't even wanna be around him. A you know, you get that ground suck talk like you're mentioning, and you don't you? Don't learn anything. So I love hearing that type of of situation, and I mean in this situation, unfortunately, there were people with the knowledge that this pilot had been in other accidents in annual make collisions with other things. And that wasn't brought to everyone's. Attention again, it was probably like a an eagle thing or an embarrassment thing are something where they didn't feel it was necessary to to share that information and learning about it afterwards. It was a little bit made me little mad because it was it was very valuable information. That would change you know, how how you fly in the draft with that person. So yeah that day there was a a senior instructor in. He's he's doing his best is doing his best to try to get through to try to keep her safe. And but as you said it's up to that pilot. You know to they want to adopt a healthy respect for the sport in an approach it in a healthy way. Are they just gonna push the red line every day? And you know, I have always said, you know, if you're a gambler and you gamble like that you'll be broken a week. You can't you can't lie. Like that. That doesn't work right. He'll be you'll be broke quick. Yeah. So rick. Thank you for sharing. This amazing story. So still you're you're totally fine. That's that's the that's fantastic. Well, done throwing reserve so fast. You did. You did some things wrong. Be a lot of things. Right. And and that was the big one. So Bravo, glad you're okay. And in really very much. Appreciate this think the listeners will get a lot out of this just yet. One more little tick in our information box. That helps us be safe. I appreciate sharing this with us. Yeah. Thanksgiving, thanks for having me on your, and I hope the hope we can all learn something from it. You know, everybody's you know, couldn't be an accident. Every day we take off it could be that day. So, you know, be prepared and do your training and learn as much as you can. I mean, your pod. Costs are great source for that. So go back in religion to them. All share every flight. We take is the most important flight take bakes for appreciate it. Thanks. Hope you enjoyed that. Always phone to sit down with these great pilots in different parts of the world super inspiring. As always all we ask for a buck show. If you're getting something out of the cloud base may him there, many ways you can support it either financially through pay pal and soon to be directly through our website. We'll have details of that up pretty soon. But if you can't support us, financially, we totally understand this will remain free as long as we can do it.
01:20:04 - 01:21:56
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