Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Top Landing トップラン

A 'top landing' or 'toppuran' as Japanese fliers call it, involves landing at a place you normally take off from, that is, typically at the top of the mountain. On days with sufficient lift to sustain indefinite ridge soaring, this is a convenient way to return to where one started, obviating the use of other transportation (or one's legs) to regain the top of the mountain. Needless to say, however, a top landing is comparatively difficult to pull off, typically involving touching down at small, sloping, windy areas with dangerous rotors lurking just downwind of the ridge top. since the paraglider has no motor, careful management of altitude via using one's speed and position within the lift zone is required in addition to precise horizontal manouvering in a varying crosswind. Normally, this maneuver is taught to folks with more experience, but my teacher decided to give it a shot with me after maybe getting bored of flying his radio controlled model glider next to my canopy. in the beginning, you see me moving away from the mountain in an effort to leave the lift band and reduce altitude. when i felt it was just right, i turned back in and more or less by luck, found the right line! a little while later, i also managed a 'touch-and-go' landing, taking off immediately after landing without letting the glider fall down, but by that time the battery in my helmet-mounted camera had given out. still, i think this is a pretty fun clip.


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