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Tow line malfunction causes hang glider to deploy parachute



From the video description

The guy’s description:

I was towing and I’d attached the link to the tow line incorrectly. It couldn’t release. At 1,000′ I realized I was in trouble, couldn’t fix it, was descending at 3000′ per minute, and tossed my parachute. 11 seconds after my parachute was full, I was on the ground. More excitement than I need, I can assure you.

1:09 I release my auto-release. That allows me to get somewhat higher without it disconnecting the tow.

1:24
you can see me try to release the tow, and nothing happens, even after several tries.

1:30 in, I know I’m in trouble. I kicked my feet out of the harness to indicate that I had a problem. (But they already knew that.)

1:40, you can see the tow line, nearly straight down, over the base tube, starting to put pressure to dive.

1:50, I start fishing, with one hand, for my parachute. That didn’t work.

2:00, I begin to use both hands, and at 2:10, the parachute is finally out. The video shows that ‘chute waving around, but it’s still. The glider and I are doing the waving. That’s obvious if you see the shadows on the glider wing.

2:19, you can see the glider shudder. That’s the tow line being cut on the hose clamp that holds the wheel in place.

2:23 I’m on the ground.

If you look at the angle of the glider with the horizon, at around 1:40 and compare that with the angle at 1:54, you can see that I’m headed nearly straight down. On the ground, thinking, “Hey, I’m down, alive, and I don’t hurt. Amazing.”

At the top of my flight, I was dragging about a mile of tow line behind me. Harold had released the power to both winch drums, and watched the line scream off both drums at a rate he’d never seen, or heard, before. He was pretty much terrified. “I’m really sorry Harold.”

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