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Old 09-26-2007, 10:56 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,657
Default Squall Lofting On Video

I understand this experienced kiter launched a 16m EH freestyle kite in about 9 to 10 kts. on a lake in Quebec. A large black storm cloud moved in and brought stronger winds with it gusting into the 30's. The rider was rigged big with a C kite and ignored the changing weather, as long as he was allowed to anyway, sigh. The guy was progressively overpowered as you can see until eventually, he was yanked into land in no time at all. He seemed to be preoccupied with being heavily powered to overpowered for about 30 seconds prior to getting dragged on his edge into shore. This should have been enough time to release. It took less than two seconds to slam into shore after he lost his edge which was sufficiently violent to likely block his releasing at that late time. He may have tried to pull his quick release but it has been said, perhaps in the wrong direction for successful operation?! We need to practice this stuff often before we might ever need it.

Some discussion of this accident appears at:

and from the area in French at:

Two days prior to the accident, another squall moved over the lake. This one was a lot more powerful. You NEVER really know how strong storm winds will be until it is on you. A percentage may toss out winds like this, while others won't change it, and yet others may kill it or shift direction offshore. You just don't know other than over time if you go into this stuff consistently, you will likely get slammed, badly. Choose your weather well and monitor conditions while out.

Some considerations come out of this accident:

1. Do proper weather planning and monitoring. Act EARLY to avoid deteriorating weather before it hits.
2. Properly maintain and regularly practice emergency depowering. DO NOT expect to be able to figure this out during an emergency.
3. Use adequate distance.
4. Don't rig to big.
5. Use proper safety gear.
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