Safety height

How high (low) do you train over ground, when the box is almost over your landing field?

Last season I was at Gelitzen and would stop the manouvers at about 300m, this allowed me to just reach the (alternative) landing field a couple of times when I miscalculated or messed up. But this year I'm flying at different locations due to time and budget constraints, and often reach the "box" with under 400m.

I see a lot of Acro pilots do tricks until almost the ground, and have the feeling that I'm being too conservative and not training enough because I still chicken out if I'm not sure I can finish with 300m safety height over ground.

The same goes when there is a dynamic soaring wind or thermals over a ridge, but the AGL is relatively low.

How much reserve height do you calculate in?

Is it different if over a ridge above take off or over the landing field?

I'm not referring to learning new tricks, but practicing ones I've done before (though they mightn't be perfect yet).

Latest Comments

Fabian's picture

Better being too conservative than not conservative enough. I usually end my runs rather high (even above water) and always put the most dangerous ones (the ones where you pass over the glider = risk of falling in) at the top.
I sometimes also feel too conservative when I see people doing helis just above the beach in Olu. It goes right in almost all of the cases, but just a few days ago i saw a really low reserve toss ending on the roof of a beach bar. It's not because the pros can do it relatively safe, that I can do it too

I usually calculate the height where i stop by imagining what could go wrong, how much altitude it would take to exit and add 200m safety margin to that. I do make exceptions for tricks I am very confident at (ex: I don't have a problem to exit a SAT at 150m but you won't see me do a misty flip at that altitude)

WoodysGamertag's picture

I know I'm not fully answering your question, but that's because I'm still learning myself. Having said that, one thing I do is I put the stuff I'm still less confident in at the top of the run. Then I do things I've really mastered toward the bottom of the run.

I look forward to more guys answering this.