Today I woke up early. The promise of light winds and mild temperatures was just too much. I loaded up my trike and wanted to get a quick flight in. I also wanted to try out my new GoPro camera. I got out to New Jerusalem and weather was perfect! I unloaded my gear and set everything up. I got my camera adjusted and got myself strapped in and took to the skies. But… Something didn’t feel right. There was no wind but the wing kept pulling to one side. I steered the trike in that direction and the wing came up overhead just like normal so I went full throttle. As soon as the trike left the ground it didn’t feel right. It pulled to the right and set right back down. I pulled on the brakes a little more and got airborne but then the turn to the right got even more pronounced and the climb rate was too steep and too slow. I decided to set it down fast before something really bad happened and well… here is the video.
After a sock-soaking walk through the dew covered weeds three times… once to walk my wing out and a trip back to walk my trike back out… I spread the wing out on the ground to sort out the problem. As I was coming in to land I looked up at the wing and noticed that back side of the wing on the right side looked like it was bunched up a little. Something I couldn’t see on the ground or when I kited the wing.
I laid out all the lines and followed them back to the wing and then I saw it. Two of the adjacent brake lines had tangled and formed a well-disguised slip not that was holding tension on the inboard right brake lines. I untied the knot and freed up the lines. Sadly I was out of time and was soaking wet anyway so was not able to test fly the wing to verify I got all the kinks worked out. That will have to wait a couple of days.
2 thoughts on “Knot Flying Right”
That was exciting and more than a little terrifying! Glad you landed safely and figured out the problem!
Yeah, it was just as exciting the second time I tried to fly it that day before finding the knot. I left that part out for brevity’s sake. At least the second time I landed on the pavement so my sneakers didn’t get any wetter. 🙂