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Incredible Lofting Story From The Great Lakes

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cwood
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Re: Incredible Lofting Story From The Great Lakes

Postby cwood » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:33 pm

irwe wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:21 pm
I was not present the day the accident occured but from eye witness accounts (one kiter on beach one in the water close to Jason).

Jason was on a 6 m Foil kite (appropiate for the pre-squall conditions)
My Kiter Buddie on the water started to head back to shore before Jason
When the Squall hit my Kiter Buddie also with a Foil kite brought it close to the waters edge and pulled release and kite layed in the water.
Jason had his kite at 12:00 and it launched him violently. At this point reaction time would not have been quick enough for a release of Chicken Loop.
If I am in error with any of this description please correct me.

Learning points.

If you have been Kiting long enough then you have been caught off guard by a sudden change in conditions (ie. Front moved in quicker then anticpated). Having your Kite at 12:00 is a 'safe" position only when wind strength is easily manageable.
Better option is to bring your Kite to the waters edge (I know Foil kite riders have a natural tendency not to do this as they usually dont want their kites in the water). Have one hand on the Chicken loop ready for release (even if this means chasing that expensive Hydrofoil kit later).
Additonal comments welcome
This is largely correct, but the deadly factor was a moderate loft combined somehow with a low in the window loop which created in essence a very powerful lateral and slight upward catapult effect. Having kited hundreds of hours with him I am still perplexed as to where that steering input came from. We will never know. People say oh, others kite in 50 kts.....this was different....violent instant arrival, Cherry is known for strange ground effects when wind goes westerly. Think about your 30 kt feel, then double the reading and remember wind strength is not linear.

Understand the weather, monitor the forecasts beyond just wind, learn how to read radar and the movement of weather, leave extra time to be clear of danger.

We will miss him massively.

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Re: Incredible Lofting Story From The Great Lakes

Postby Dave_5280 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:50 pm

foam-n-fibre wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:20 pm
The additional comment I would add is that this situation should have been avoided completely.
Pilots have a saying about deciding not to fly in bad weather- I would rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground. Maybe our version should be - I would rather be on the beach wishing I was on the water, than be on the water wishing I was on the beach.
These users thanked the author Dave_5280 for the post (total 2):
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cwood
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Re: Incredible Lofting Story From The Great Lakes

Postby cwood » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:53 pm

Dave_5280 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:50 pm
foam-n-fibre wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:20 pm
The additional comment I would add is that this situation should have been avoided completely.
Pilots have a saying about deciding not to fly in bad weather- I would rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground. Maybe our version should be - I would rather be on the beach wishing I was on the water, than be on the water wishing I was on the beach.
Love it!

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Re: Incredible Lofting Story From The Great Lakes

Postby andylc » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:55 pm

Also speaking without first hand knowledge but a foil kite at 12o’clock during a squall sounds super weird. The last place you’d want any kite during a squall, especially a foil kite.

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Re: Incredible Lofting Story From The Great Lakes

Postby Kiterisland » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:10 pm

When that squall hit in my area all you could hear were trees snapping all over the place. It hit instantly. Went for a walk after the windstorm many many trees 2-3’ diameter were downed, snapped like twigs. To have a 6m foil at 12 during that will end badly. Such sad news. Ridden with Jason a few times, was spectacular to see him jump close up.

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Re: Incredible Lofting Story From The Great Lakes

Postby Hugh2 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:45 pm

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br44
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Re: Incredible Lofting Story From The Great Lakes

Postby br44 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:35 am

cwood wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:33 pm
irwe wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:21 pm
I was not present the day the accident occured but from eye witness accounts (one kiter on beach one in the water close to Jason).

Jason was on a 6 m Foil kite (appropiate for the pre-squall conditions)
My Kiter Buddie on the water started to head back to shore before Jason
When the Squall hit my Kiter Buddie also with a Foil kite brought it close to the waters edge and pulled release and kite layed in the water.
Jason had his kite at 12:00 and it launched him violently. At this point reaction time would not have been quick enough for a release of Chicken Loop.
If I am in error with any of this description please correct me.

Learning points.

If you have been Kiting long enough then you have been caught off guard by a sudden change in conditions (ie. Front moved in quicker then anticpated). Having your Kite at 12:00 is a 'safe" position only when wind strength is easily manageable.
Better option is to bring your Kite to the waters edge (I know Foil kite riders have a natural tendency not to do this as they usually dont want their kites in the water). Have one hand on the Chicken loop ready for release (even if this means chasing that expensive Hydrofoil kit later).
Additonal comments welcome
This is largely correct, but the deadly factor was a moderate loft combined somehow with a low in the window loop which created in essence a very powerful lateral and slight upward catapult effect. Having kited hundreds of hours with him I am still perplexed as to where that steering input came from. We will never know. People say oh, others kite in 50 kts.....this was different....violent instant arrival, Cherry is known for strange ground effects when wind goes westerly. Think about your 30 kt feel, then double the reading and remember wind strength is not linear.

Understand the weather, monitor the forecasts beyond just wind, learn how to read radar and the movement of weather, leave extra time to be clear of danger.

We will miss him massively.
Very sad story. Given a foil kite plus a massive wall of wind hitting from a different direction, plus bad luck, it appears that the loop could have happened without any steering input. Furthermore I suspect that it was the catapult itself that was the problem, and not the landing. A sudden acceleration from close to 0 (in that particular direction of movement) to, who knows, 50-60 mph or more - and who knows how many Gs - can easily cause a very serious whiplash injury, such that the subsequent landing might be a mere detail. RIP

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Re: Incredible Lofting Story From The Great Lakes

Postby droffats » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:37 am

Nice tribute. It sounds like he really touched those that knew him.


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