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RickI 10-24-2007 03:16 PM

Some more reasons to avoid Squalls, like the plague
This is from


Originally Posted by RickI

Originally Posted by Dax
- Squalls suck, but coming in and attempting emergency landing during one is way worse than sticking it out in the water. Just put your kite at neutral and wait it out. If you need to pull your release and kill your kite.

High, sustained winds are one thing, they can be common up your way and fairly rare down here in the SE. You get used to them up that way along with the odd accident and incident. Rig small and religiously take all the numerous extra precautions you guys are detailing and accept if something seriously goes wrong you could be badly injured, well enough. At least up to the 35 to 40 kt. range for advanced, well experienced riders with the right gear. Some will get injured, but it goes with the territory, we know that right?

Squalls, totally different matter. Who was it said, it is the "gusts that kill you?" Sudden, violent boosts, lulls and direction changes can be extremely hazardous such as commonly come with strong squalls. Best advice, work to avoid squalls DON'T wait for them to arrive. Head in and secure early before the wind changes, temperature drops, etc..

Why? Here are a few reasons. There are many more beyond this short list.

This guy parked his kite at "neutral(?)", got to ditch that name, with an incoming squall. Is this the advice you want to give people? He came very close to being killed by hitting "water."

He wasn't alone in waiting out squall with a kite up, there have been others. Most of these guys are now dead sad to say.

- There was the commercial jet pilot who was lofted in an as of yet unidentified violent weather system in Portugal. He was estimated to have been lofted over 300 ft. high and 1650 ft. downwind to strike a mountain.
- There was this famous lofting in Cabarete, over 100 ft. high and 800 ft. downwind from years back.

- There was the kiter earlier this year who was reported lofted 450 ft. downwind into a garage building, presumably in a squall gust.

- There was the rider in Okinawa, lofted from about 150 ft. offshore and into a concrete wall while furiously trying to open his side release snap shackle quick release in a squall burst.

- The was the rider in Utah in 2005, caught by a microburst, perhaps for the sixth and last time. He was lofted repeatedly and at least once to about 75 ft. high and 300 ft. downwind. He presumably died while still offshore and away from land.
- Shannon Best tried this in a squall, on the shore mind you, still he flew about 100 ft. inland. He would have gone further than that but chose to free fall to slam into the beach instead of flying into the roadway and powerlines.
- There was the guy who had his kite near the zenith and shore, was hit by a squall gust and took out one of those timber posts holding up the roof on this building.
- This guy didn't know any better, despite the obvious hazards of violent squall winds. He had his kite near the zenith with a squall exploded, again while on shore. He went flying about 165 ft. inland, not the 80 ft. shown to hit a house.

and still many more catastrophic lofting and dragging accidents, fatal and otherwise in squalls. Squalls are proven to be extremely hazardous, the deceptive part is you never know how hazardous in advance. Let's wait and find out, uh right. You are right about not wanting to have a kite up while on land when they strike. The smart money has the kites secured BEFORE they strike. Screw with them at your peril. Believe it or not.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

RickI 10-24-2007 03:17 PM

and the following:


Originally Posted by RickI
Squalls have killed guys offshore and maimed others simply by hitting water. You need to do weather planning and monitoring to try to avoid the squall. It is readily possible, do it ALL the time. Of course weather and signs vary the world over. You need to do what works in your area.

There is NO significant hazard if you anticipate the squall, land and secure before it strikes. Waiting for it to strike, onshore or even offshore can be hazardous in the extreme.

Local weather and precautions have to govern though.

btw, I could keep adding to that list many more cases from around the world. Squall hazards are common and widespread.

What would you rig at 1:00 pm this day and how do you think you would fair, waiting it out offshore?

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