Using Condor to Practice Ridge Landouts

Landing out on ridge days is dangerous. The conditions are often windy and turbulent and the fields near mountains are often short, steep and have obstacles. Some sections along the ridge have few landing options, like the Blairstown ridge.

On the other hand, with few landing options, it is possible to prepare for the most relevant ones. Over all my years of ridge soaring, I have spent quite a number of hours reviewing landing options on Google Earth, walking them on the ground, and monitoring them from the air. Most of this work can be found on the Ridge Slideshow and The Ridge Map. You can pre-plan which fields you will land in and what approach to expect into that field. I believe this greatly minimizes the substantial danger associated with soaring the ridge cross country.

Lately, Aero Club Albatross has been using Condor for cross country training. We have been doing ridge and thermal tasks to get folks up to speed. Most of them are fairly realistic and the goal is to complete the task.

Last week, we did something different. I set up the turnpoints over some of the critical landing options. We toured the ridge and actually landed at these points.

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Along the way we discussed the techniques and challenges of landing in these places. Eric Anderson was kind to video the whole thing and feel free to watch it to see what it was like.

If you would like to try it yourself, see my flight track and the flight plan.

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