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BoKu

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You definitely want the gear extended for a water landing. It absorbs energy and reduces submarining.

Edit add: the rounded belly on most gliders creates suction that draws them down into the water. And once the nose goes under, they tend to dive on in. If the speed is great enough, it will sometimes bend the wings back, crushing the wing skins near the root rib and aft of the spar, and perhaps breaking the spars. With the gear down, the wheel and tire tend to create a lot of drag and absorb a lot of energy, so by the time the belly touches down there's not enough speed to draw the nose under. And if it tears the gear out, well, I'd rather repair gear trunnions than replace wings any day of the week.

--Bob K.
 
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Victor Bravo

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Edit add: the rounded belly on most gliders creates suction that draws them down into the water. And once the nose goes under, they tend to dive on in.
Yes, but.... Of all the stupid, unsafe, illegal, immoral, and egomaniacal things that I have done in sailplanes... searching for thermals or ridge lift over water was not one of them. How do you get into a situation where you are ditching a sailplane in water?
 

BoKu

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Yes, but.... Of all the stupid, unsafe, illegal, immoral, and egomaniacal things that I have done in sailplanes... searching for thermals or ridge lift over water was not one of them. How do you get into a situation where you are ditching a sailplane in water?
Word is that if you lose your shirt trying to work Sergio's Elevator, you should land parallel to the shore about a hundred yards out. As far as I know, nobody has had to put that to the test.
 

Topaz

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Yes, but.... Of all the stupid, unsafe, illegal, immoral, and egomaniacal things that I have done in sailplanes... searching for thermals or ridge lift over water was not one of them. How do you get into a situation where you are ditching a sailplane in water?
By searching for thermals or ridge lift and not paying attention to the fact that you're below the ridgeline and there aren't any land-out spots under you but that valley floor filled with a lake. Ooopsie.

Naturally, the first thing you hear from your friends is, ...

1260622.jpg

"Who's the U-boat commander?"

('80's movie reference. Sorry you young ones.)
 

Victor Bravo

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I had a high school guidance counselor admit to landing in a cesspool thinking it was a perfect field of green. Talk about owing the recovery crew.
OMG, if your counselor was named Tupper Robinson, with a Kestrel 17 sailplane contest #3V... I was on that recovery crew! He landed in a sewage treatment pond in Lancaster California, and three of us had to go out and get the Kestrel. But it was definitely not green and it was not filled with "liquid" at that time, so it may not be the same guy.
 

don january

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Yes, but.... Of all the stupid, unsafe, illegal, immoral, and egomaniacal things that I have done in sailplanes... searching for thermals or ridge lift over water was not one of them. How do you get into a situation where you are ditching a sailplane in water?
Pilot must have been looking for them 2 piece bathing suit.:gig:
 

Dana

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I had a high school guidance counselor admit to landing in a cesspool thinking it was a perfect field of green. Talk about owing the recovery crew.
I heard about a guy who did that. He yelled "HELP! FIRE! FIRE!". When asked why, since there was clearly no fire, he said, "Would you have come as fast if I yelled, HELP! SEWAGE?"

Dana
 

Topaz

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I heard about a guy who did that. He yelled "HELP! FIRE! FIRE!". When asked why, since there was clearly no fire, he said, "Would you have come as fast if I yelled, HELP! SEWAGE?"

Dana
People just don't take you very seriously when you yell "fire" about a glider. ;)
 

Victor Bravo

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People just don't take you very seriously when you yell "fire" about a glider. ;)
BU**-S**T !!! :)

My beautiful racing glider, a 1983 Ventus B, burned up in a hangar fire at the 1987 Barstow, CA US National 15 Meter championships. A 45 year old wooden specialty shade hangar (supposedly built for converting squadrons of B-25 bombers from the "glass nose" to the "gun nose") burned up and took out 25 or so of our racing ships, a couple of really nice Airstream motor homes, and one or two A-26 bombers.

One of the world/national level competitors, Al Leffler contest #LB "Little Boy" came up to me the next morning while we were going through the charred remains of the building, and said "I'm sorry Bill, my boys and I had pulled five or six gliders out and yours was the next one we were go ing in for, but we were running on hot coals and burning wood and we just couldn't go back in for it. The oxygen bottles were exploding like mortars, we were really worried about one of them knocking our heads off."

Nobody today would believe it, but back in those days you could actually borrow a friend's glider, and compete in the contest. I drove form Barstow to Tehachapi, borrowed an AS-W20C from Howard Haig, drove back to Barstow and flew the contest, making 17th place if distant memory serves.
 
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