When Downdrafts Become Inescapable Traps

Western mountain air often generates super-charged thermals, endless convergence lines, and very high cloud bases – epic conditions for epic flights. In this episode, we join Clemens Ceipek from Chess in the Air on a soaring journey over the 55 tallest peaks of the Rocky Mountains, and his declared 1000 km FAI triangle flight across the entire state – the first ever such flight in Colorado.

But there’s also a dark side to such extraordinary conditions: when the air goes up extremely fast, it can come down even faster. Extreme downdrafts can be totally invisible – and when you encounter them at a low altitude, they can be a deadly and sometimes an inescapable trap.

Shmulik Diementstein, one of the most experienced glider pilots in Colorado, recently died in just one such microburst accident. Clemens will also discuss with Chuck what may have happened on that day and how we can learn to recognize and better avoid this deadly trap.” Source: ‚SoaringTheSky‚.

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