Chap 19: Spot
Stretching Glide II
Deep Stall / Parachutal
When Ship Hits the Fan
fury of a dust devil
When The Ship Hits the Fan
March 17, 2006, Chapter 4, 19
see also Wing
Collapses and The
fury of a dust devil video.
You're flying along in relative smoothness when, out of
nowhere, wham! You hit some wild air. Feeling like a helpless
marionette at the hands of a mischievous puppeteer, you instinctively pull on the only thing there is to pull onóthose poor
unsuspecting brake toggles.
That would be the worst thing you could do!
Your first response to an unknown situation is hands up,
power offóbut do it smoothly. Think reduce brake pressure,
reduce power. Act from that basic premise unless you know for sure what to do. If you're close to the ground, carefully (not abruptly) use
whatever control is necessary to avoid hitting obstacles and steering
reasonably straight. The key is to use
least pressure required to do what you need. Next, if you feel like you're looking down at
the ground then the wing has surged forward--add just enough brakes followed
by going hands up.
As covered in Chapter 4 and 19, most accidents in turbulence result
from the pilot's action, not the turbulence itself. Those reactions must
If your instructor didn't have you rehearse the proper action to nasty
air, rehearse it in your chair. Rehearse it in flight. Do something
physical, like rocking in your seat and then go hands up. When the ship
really hits the fan, only what you've rehearsed will spring forth.
In nearly all things control-wise, less is best. There are certainly a
very few times when extreme brake pull is necessary but, even then, it's
usually very briefly and when you know the wing is surging rapidly
forward or you're starting a dive.