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Unexpected Kite Launch Disasters

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Postby Flyer51 » Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:14 pm

KITEWHIPPED wrote:Flyer51,
You stated, "If I am desperate and nobody is around to launch/land I use a cable/caribiner setup we have anchored into a man made rock wall." Can you explain this more? Are you describing a technique for self-launching that is safer than using sand or a sand bag? Please elaborate/ descibe in more detail. Sounds interesting.
It's been described many times elsewhere on this forum, but here goes anyway:

The equipment:
A stainless steel cable about 3 metres long.
The one end is fixed to a rawl bolt, which is fixed into the wall.
The other end is fixed to a carabiner hook, which is a hook with a spring loaded closing clip. So you can slip the loop that normally hooks onto your harness into this hook, and once it's hooked in, the only way to release it is to depress the spring loaded closing clip. The carabiner hook end normally lies on, or is buried slightly under the sand when nobody is kiting.

How it works:
You pump the kite up and run your lines out as per normal.
Then take your chicken loop over to the carabiner hook and hook it in.
The hook is now the equivalent of you standing there hooked in and ready to go
You walk to your kite, pick it up and move the kite to the edge of the window as if you are about to launch it for the fictitious person standing where the carabiner hook is.
Move the kite backwards and forwards till you find the spot that it balances on the sand by itself on one of the wingtips.
Then quickly walk back to the hook and without unhooking the carabiner, hook your harness to your chicken loop.
At this stage I normally pull the upper side of the bar and launch the kite.
Once it's safely in the air and you have it under control, unhook the carabiner hook and drop it on the sand.

To land is the exact opposite prodecdure.

I find this method quite safe, provided:
There is nobody in the arc of the kite and lines, that is downwind of the kite or lines. The reason for this is that sometimes if a gust hits, the kite might roll backwards once before settling down again.
I also always depower the kite completely. This seems to minimize any bouncing of the kite.

I remember a while back somebody posted a short video of themselves using this method. Do a search and I am sure you will find it.

I also remember seeing a post recently where somebody used this method, and something went wrong, I think one of the lines was hooked around the bar maybe?
The kite pulled the securing pole as well as the concrete base right out of the ground, as well as pulling the kiter for some distance, so be very careful.
I have never had any problems using this technique though, even when it's very gusty.

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Postby KITEWHIPPED » Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:43 pm

Thanks for reviewing this technique again. I'm new to the site so I didn't think to do a search. I will search the site to look for the video you suggested, but the discription was excellent. Thanks. :thumb:

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temporary anchor

Postby sflinux » Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:24 am

If you don't have a permanent anchor, you can do this:
At our beach, we use a T-bar fence post, ~ 4 ft long.
We use a 2" diameter 12" tube with an end cap, which is used to drive the fence post into the ground (sand).
On the post is a larksheaded loop with carabiner.
The T-bar is cheap ~$5, the 2" tube another $5, carabiner $5. Certainly the entire setup could be assembled for less than $20.
I also added a nylon streamer which is great for locating the stake, and also tells you the wind direction.
It's really boosted my confidence level for solo self landing in powered conditions.
I drive the stake in the ground before each session, and remove it at the end of the session.

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