SAFA Skysailor Magazine

26 SKY SAILOR September | October 2020 As we slowly emerge from Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, the following USHPA suggestions on risk mitigation training may help us to re-enter the air accident-free after the break. Post-Covid Skill Review The following tools and review suggestions can assist pilots in assessing the dangers involved in the sport, to help mitigate those dangers by making sure our skills are re- freshed after an extended break from flying. Analysis of past accidents recommends three main risk factors when making their personal flying decisions: 1. Personal risk management; 2. Complacency; and 3. Encountering turbulence at low altitudes. As pilots, each of us is responsible to assess the dangers involved in our sport and assume personal responsibility for our own safety. The following ideas on what each pilot and club might do before the new flying season, aim to decrease the inherent risk of accidents in our sport. Each suggestion is derived from lessons learned from previous accidents, some suggestions are wing-specific, while others are applicable to all disciplines. Launching Each flight starts with launching. During this phase of flight, the goal is to transition from not-flying to flying in such a way that control of the wing is maintained, ensuring a safe transition. This transition requires adding energy into the flying system. The methods and skill sets required differ, depending on the type of launch or aircraft, and are ex- ecuted using the muscle memory we each develop through repetition as we learned to fly. After completing that early training and increasing our experience, we typically try to do one launch a day and stay up, soaring for as long as possible after that launch. Over the years (and perhaps decades), these launches are executed with more advanced equipment that is typically harder to launch (i.e., heavier and with higher stall speeds, more complex control input, harnesses that are harder to run with, etc.). As we repeat these launches using the muscle memory developed on our novice equipment, we can deduce why poor launches are far too common even among our advanced pilots. Here are some suggestions. Review Cliff Launch (CL) and Flat Slope Launch (FSL) techniques. These call for different requirements Review your skills to prevent accidents Adapted from USHPA HG & PG magazine, March/April 2016 Photo: Courtesy Lisa Bradley Photo: John Chapman