An ultra-low cable break in the Zug

On 2nd April 2017, I captured an ultra- low cable break on my video camera mounted on our Zugvogel. I was hoping for a soaring flight, but as you will see due to the cable break had a very short flight.

All glider pilots are trained to cope with launch failures, or what we call cable breaks. On every winch launch when going up on the wire, you are thinking cable break. When you experience a cable break, it’s nose down, build up landing speed, on this day in the Zug it was 55kts, then decide,
1. Land ahead if in your judgement it is safe to do so, or
2. An abbreviated circuit, i.e. turn to fly back towards the launch point, then turn in to land.

An abbreviated circuit, could be as little as a 360 deg turn to land, or as much as immediately joining the circuit and land as normal. Then anything in between.
The ultra-low cable break can be quite dangerous, as you haven’t got much height, so it’s nose down quickly to build up landing speed and land ahead. Normally when landing you would use your air-brakes, but on an ultra-low cable break, don’t touch the air-breaks as you are far too low and might fall out the sky. Only open them when on the ground. This is where your training cuts in and you land safely.
The music by the way is Safety Net, I wish I had, had one on that flight, but hey, I landed safely.