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Powerline vs T-Tail

It was probably my first complete wipe out. I was slope soaring my first glider, a Kyoshu Melody 1500... I loved that thing! Anyway, although the slope had plenty of updraft, as with most good slope sites, there were a few things to contend with, including trees and power lines.

It was probably about my 20th flight, my confidence was rising and I'd managed to stop shaking the controls from my nerves. I did a pretty good recon of the area, picked the landing sites if I couldn't make it back to the top of the cliff, and spotted my desired landing site behind me. I was standing directly under power lines, but figured they wouldn't come into play since they were behind the main flight path.

Anyway, to cut a short story long, a few spectators showed up and I dazzled them with a couple of loops, then after a few minutes decided the wind was picking up and I would bring it in. The approach was magnificient... I climbed about 100 feet above the cliff, then did a full circle over the powerlines and brought it in a smooth dive for the precision landing. As it turned out, I was carrying too much speed, being about 20 feet above my landing zone. I decided I would need a "go around" and so proceeded ahead to the slope. Well, as soon as my little Melody 1500 caught a glimpse of the cliff edge, up it went... up up up... close to the power line... very close. Full down elevator... okay this is going to be really close, but maybe an optical illusion? Then bang, the tail buzzed into the power line, which sheered the T section clean off!!!! A lightning fast spiral to the ground later, and there were bits of servo and glider pieces all over the concrete path.

There was no applause, as the spectators went home... and I retired from the hobby for a few years.