… stalls now out of the way, the radio pipes up that we will try a spiral. One of the guides, Chris, had indicated that I am very likely the first Delta 2 that Jocky has had on one of his courses. So I wonder, for briefest of seconds, if Jocky is not only assessing my behaviour under instruction, but response of the wing -> one of the reasons for the Delta 2 to be categorized as a ‘C’ was its post spiral behaviour, taking upwards of three full 360s to recover to level flight.
I figured it was a toss up at that point as to who was more intent on how this would turn out.
Thought train interrupted …
Almost reflexive now, hard weight shift right, right toggle firmly to half brake – a weight shift, brake and dive automaton.
Holding the brake down, the horizon bisects the wing nose to tail.
Bury the brake to near full extension.
Wind rush sharply increases along with increasing pressure sinking me into the harness.
The nose rolls over, the horizon now bisecting wing tip to wing tip, facing me straight down at the lake.
Houston, we have a spiral dive.
‘…and ease up.’
Right toggle progressively let up.
‘…and ease up.’
Outside brake applied, slowly.
‘…and ease up.’
Nose rolls back up, a pair of 360’s to bleed off the remaining speed.
The speed with which the spiral built up and the time it took to bleed off reaffirmed my belief that this is a wing to be flown initially with a decent degree of caution.
Another spiral was performed the following flight, and held in longer with a similar outcome.
With some altitude to spare, 90 degree turns. First 90 done without weight shift, the second with. The exercise is to demonstrate behavior in turns with and without a weight shift component.
‘Face away from launch’, the radio commands.
‘…and 90 degree turn to your right…’
The weight shift, toggle and dive automaton fights back, trying to dissuade a turn without weight shift. The turn becomes unbalanced. Left wingtip collapses, snakes its way into the lines, and re-inflates.
Houston, we have a problem.
‘Mark, you have a cravatte, let it bring you around to face the landing.’
Around I go slowly to the left, not wanting to add left brake until I understood how much control I had.
I size up my glide and realize that I might not make the LZ.
Weight shifting to keep the wing aligned with where I want to go, I give a pair of sharp pumps on the brake line to try to free the captive wingtip – to no avail.
A frantic visual search for the green stabilio line, lost in a sea of verdant hill side.
Thankfully my prior experience with the Buzz Z3 (which shares a similar stablio line placement as the Delta series, on the C riser) made it easy to locate the line on the riser mallions and pull the tip free.
Glide increases and I might just make it.
Since this was an ’emergency’, my landing options opened up and I was able to more or less set myself down slowly on a tiny peninsula and kite the wing to drape it over a bush. Feet and wing dry. Success!
Mark: 1, Cravatte: 0
A great day all in all, well, aside from trying steak tartar at dinner – somewhat indifferent on that.