Letters to the Editor: Glider pilot made best landing choice available
February 9, 2012
The comments of Russ Pecoraro from Heavenly as reported in the Tahoe Tribune, relative to the glider landing on the slope, demonstrate a high degree of ignorance and lack of concern about serious injury to person and property.
When a glider loses lift and/or hits a downdraft, they have no option because they have no engine to power out of it. Flying over the mountains is great for gliders, and standard practice, because that is where you find the lifts from the airflow over the mountains, but there is also the common occurrence of downdrafts. Witness the crash of Steve Fossett with tremendous experience and a high-powered airplane that got sucked in to die a couple of years ago by Mammoth.
The glider pilot’s other option was to crash into the trees with a guarantee of substantial property damage to the glider (tens of thousands of dollars) and a high probability of serious injury or even death to himself.
The pilot made the best choice, and Heavenly should be rejoicing that their terrain was available to let him land safely.
South Lake Tahoe