Helico landing / Spin landing


Basically this is a quite simple but very spectacular trick. Actually this is a negative Spin, performed only few meters above the ground.

Basic technique

If your brakelines are long take a wrap on one side and sit out from your harness. In headwind, slow down the glider as much as possible according to the ground. Once you are stationary about 1-2 meters over the ground, release the left brake, grab the left riser and yank down the right brake immediatey at the same moment. The glider starts to spin and you’ll hit the ground in few seconds after about a 180 degrees turn. If you did everything well, the landing will be pretty smooth.

Advanced technique:

For more beautiful helico landings, you have to take some energy before.
For example: 1-2 meters high above the ground slow down the glider, than release the brakes and let it surge. You have to pass close to the ground (if you have enough speed you can even touch it with your harness, then you’ll climb back). When you are at the lowest point (or just a moment later) pull the brake to spin the glider. After it started to spin, release the brake, to keep the wing open, just like in a helicopter (it will also turning faster this way)! When you hit the ground, the canopy will be still in the air, so you have time to grab the „A” risers and pull it back over you. If your technique is right, the glider won’t even touch the ground!


Of course the biggest danger is if you hit the ground too hard, so I advise to practice only over a clean area, sand or snow and from low height (at most 1-2 meters) at the beginning! Anyway you don’t need more altitude to do it nicely! Don’t do this trick in strong or zero wind because you will hit the ground with a high horizontal speed and you can hurt yourself! Always use boots to protect your ankles!


Check the Wagas Festival video collection for more tips and tricks

Latest Comments

polluelo's picture

Really NICE vid!! Lots of information into theese sequences!! THANKS!!

arjan's picture

Great material reversal ! Really liked the Pyla stuff, nice angles !

reversal2's picture


If you want to see some helicopter landing... go to my web site www.reversale.com
I have made 1 movie of my friend Olivier Fritz.

arjan's picture

I would guess you'll have an aerodynamic obstacle when you B-stall the wing one-sided. In fact, you pull down part of the canopy in a vertical manner which provides quite an amount of drag. I think this will make the wing turn more or less, but it might prevent the wing to go in a real spin-motion. Normally the drag induced by braking is just used for initiation of the spin and thereafter released so the wing will stay open and continue spinning (like in the comment of Pál).

Correct me if I'm wrong.

erlendmc's picture

Yes, you will stall one side of the glider by the B-raisers , but you would not get the spinning going very well...... When your glider does not spin fast enough there will not be much pressure in the glider and it will not stay in the spin. Instead the glider will start flying again with a search first.

( I am talking about spin landings, not hellies...)

For both triks, it is important to feel the brake pressure. By trying to, and by grabbing the B-raisers you will not have any contact with your brake line.....and you will loose information from the wing.

Then I have a question...;) Is hellico-landing the same as a spin landing? or are you talking about doing a couple of turns like a normal helli but all the way to the ground, in the lift zone....( the last one sounds like an ankle killer…….)

andreasmolaup's picture

Would it be possible to perform a helico-landing by b-stalling one side of the glider? I can't see why it shouldn't work.. =)

PalTakats's picture

After you enter a helico, you have to release back the brake to keep the wing open (anyway the tip collapses). It works the same, when you make a spinlanding. After the wing stalled, release the brake and the glider will turn faster (if it collapses it slows down).
During a helicopter half of the wing is stalled, but because the rotation is fast there's enough pressure in the canopy to keep the whole wing open (but in the negative's side the pressure is much lower). If you shift your weight to the outer side, it accelerates that even more.

In my opinion... :-)

aerialanarkist's picture

yea i find if you hold a bit of weight to the other side helps keep the glider in a flatter spin. I dont think it is such a good thing in the heli tho? as the entry is different. spin landings are more like good old negitive spins.

arjan's picture

I've done spinlandings with my former wing (Swing Arcus) and my 'groundhandling wing' (Advance Omega3). I noticed it was easier to spin those wings more evenly when I leaned somewhat to the opposite side. So pulling the right break and lean on my left buttock. So not going all the way with the weightshift, but just applying some contrary weighshift while applying brake at the other side. It just seamed the wing would spin more easy, agile and steady (helicopter-like) instead of just stalling the thing onesided. I don't get the dynamics yet, someone who can fill this in ? This might also help when going for helicopters ? Didn't apply the opposite weightshift in heli's yet however - they are not that nice at the moment - need more practice ; )