Mid Summer on the South-side, mid-morning, with light winds, an H0 pilot under instruction flew off course of the the planned approach to the lower LZ and struck a vehicle parked near or possibly in the LZ.
Mistakes happen and getting off course was a mistake. The crash, as with most crashes, was caused by multiple mistakes. The pilot’s second mistake was inflexibility in reacting to getting off-course. At the time the pilot realized the mistake the pilot was fixated on landing in the designated LZ. As a result the pilot was not able to recognize that better options existed for a landing point outside of the park. This same fixation resulted in a crash on the North-Side this year and a PG mid-air.
Practicing flexibility might help. Ken HudonJorgensen teaches a mental drill wherein you stop in random places and devise a landing approach for that location. This drill could also be adapted for designated LZs. Walk to a spot away from the normal pattern and devise a landing patten to land form that spot and altitude. This would be a great drill for instructors to do with students. It not only teaches mental flexibility; but, also the skill of devising landing approaches.
From the Book of Risk:
How to avoid it.
- Study good landing pattens.
- Learn to judge angles over distances.
- Arrive over your LZ with enough altitude to make at least one full 360 and to begin the patten form any direction.
- Always keep a safe lZ within reach.
- Do not get downwind of your LZ in strong winds.
- Practice flexibility by randomly stopping at any location and devising a landing pattern for that location with existing conditions. Also do this exercise around your designated LZ from points outside of the normal approach (include looking for other places to land outside the designated LZ, but safer from the unusual point or unusual conditions.