Rescue me


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This is, what happens when a maillon brakes unfortunally. No fun at all.
But everything went good.
Maneuver was a asymetric Sat. flight weight total ~115kg on a freestyle 22
The only question now is, why broke the maillon.
As you can see on the foto, the maillon was closed. It broke on the other end of the washer.
Any ideas so far?

greetings Reini

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paal's picture

I have read an article long time ago about this. Overtighing this can make it unscrew in the other end. This can also happen if the maillion if badly manufactored. There will be too few threads holding the weight in the other end that do not open when you unscrew.

So either someone overtighten, or it was bad.

Reini's picture

Hey. The Thing is, that the Nut was pulled Out on the Other end. The Maillon is still closed as you can See on The picture.

paal's picture

Well. I must say I have seen this MANY times. 10 times I guess. Everytime it has been because it was already almost open. I have seen this on several brands. Two times on Gradient, other times another gliders like Ozone and U-turn (on real acrogliders). Even U-turn had this as a problem some years ago. (I do not know what they have changed).

No manufactorer I know of uses glue. For sure I do not know them all. But I know some. I work as an instructor and have changed lines on MANY gliders. Never have the maillons been glued. Even if I think every manufactorer should use locktite or similar.

My point is that all pilots should check this more often. If you check 20 gliders, I'm sure one of them can be opened using the fingers only. Especially on acro gliders. They tend to unscrew when put thru lots and lots of pendulums. Pressure, no pressure, pressure, no pressure.

Regarding bad quality gliders:
To state that Gradient have a quality issue in general bothers me. I flew Gradient acrogliders for many years (untill 3 years ago), and no acroglider of any other brand would stay the same during a whole season like my seven. All other gliders had problem with lines changing (streching) and even the profile. When others would change gliders every season at minimum, I could fly two.

Reini's picture

What schandabert said, is what i can guess the most at this Time. I am still in contact with my local dealer to get some further Information. For the Future i will Check my Glider Every Single flight you can believe :-)

josue's picture

WOW!! Did you report it to Gradient?? I think it´s not a benign incident, the manufacturer should be informed and give a response. Do you believe you or somebody tighten the maillon too much as shandabert suggests?
I think I'll have a look at all my maillons...

Reini's picture

It was closed for 100%. That is what i can say for sure. On the picture you can see clearly, that the maillon opened on the other side. The strange thing is, that the thread doesn`t look like normal. The edges of the thread are looking a little bit "round".

naschi's picture

looks like it was not 100% closed :)

shandabert's picture

As it looks for me it just broke at the end of the thread! So is there still some thread in de nut side?

if yes then this is a known Problem with these types of locks, also on the karabiners with your Rescue attached to the harness!

It comes from torquing the nut to much!! When closing this things just screw it finger tight and then tighten only a quarter turn DO NOT YANK ON IT!! (if scared add some screw lock on thread)

And as an advice given in the comments before real acro gliders are mor robust!!

See you in the air und am Stoa!!

kevinr6's picture

God, quite a scary expirience i guess!

To tell the truth i had a similar issue on my Gradient Bright 3 scool wing. I found my self flying with 4 maillon open and afterwards i realized there was a DHV safety note on some Gradient wings saying they forgot to use a tread locking glue during wing assembly.

Is the maillon really broken? It seems its just bented a maybe it was open during flight.

from that day i carry an hallen key in my harness and sometime i check the maillons are well closed up.


FLO13's picture

I'm not so surprised, i had a aspen freestyle and after a freestyle 2 and i know a lot of pilots who flew that wing, many of them had problems with lines or tissues....
The finishes of Gradient wings are really really bad!!!!
If you do a lot of acro flights the best thing you could do is to buy a real acro wing...
Less versatile but realy more solid and safe.
If you had had the same incident at 30 meters height at this time you would be dead!!!!
it's a shame.....

theo's picture

Wow ! Never heard of something like that before on any gliders, my guess is you had bad luck, like a wrong-manufactered maillon because I don't know anyone who had this problem with fresstyle2...