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A tool to haul down a stuck kite


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Captain Aether

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:49 AM

Hello, has anyone had the experience for having their kite "stuck" in a strong wind? What tools do you know of that would permit a single flyer to haul down the kite?

#2 reynolds5520

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 01:18 AM

The right tool for the job depends on the size of the kite and the strength of the wind. As well as a variety of other factors like how much room you have to bring it down in.

Most of the time for what I fly, a pulley hooked over the line with a length of strap attached as a handle will allow an anchored kite to be walked down. With bigger kites and stronger winds you may need additional straps to the pulley for more people holding the kite down. I've been part of a group of 8 burly guys struggling to bring down a big kite. Sometimes it's best to get the kite down before the wind builds.

Tell us more:
What kind of kite are you trying to bring down?

Size?

Anchored or hand flown?

Large open field or small patch to fly from?

#3 carl anderson

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:55 PM

How do you get the pully over the line. Could you post a picture. I've seen other fliers use a strap with a carabiner to bring the kite down. Multiple haul downs wear a grove in the carabiner. I do a hand over hand but my single line kites are not that large.

#4 Captain Aether

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:05 AM

Hello guys, Permalink asked about the type of kite. You can imagine any lifter that becomes too much for one to handle easily. Imagine also that the kite is flown over "unfriendly" territory. Therefore a full walkdown of the kite may not work. What method of walking down the kite to a point, catching and hauling in line seems to work. I've a vision of catching and locking the line and walking it back to the stake or bag, but the details escape me.

Reynolds5520. Gomberg kite accessories has the split ring pully you seek. They work.
Cpt. A.

#5 vraun

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:06 AM

Hey Gumby,
Making bigger fighters :-)
Use a snatch block. Kind I use for big kites. Opens up so you can put line on the roller.
http://marinestore.c..._block_30mm.jpg

Some use ones similar to this, put a carabiner through the holes after putting it on the line.
http://www.chicagoya...0711_113730.jpg

#6 reynolds5520

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:36 AM

I have pulleys like the ones Vaino linked to above. Advantages are that they are light weight and it's easy to blow sand out of the open bearing. Disadvantages are relatively high cost and it is easy to get sand in the open bearing, I don't fly at the beach much so the sand hasn't been a problem for me.

I also have this style:
http://www.tractorsu...y-1-1frasl;2-in

This type is very strong but heavier, it is also much less expensive. On this style, you drill out the rivet that holds the two cheeks of the block together and use a carabiner in the hole to attach your strap. When it is time to use it, remove the carabiner, swivel the cheeks on the axle shaft to open a gap for inserting the line, and hook it over the line. Then swivel the cheeks back into alignment and clip in with the 'biner. Additional straps can clip to your carabiner.

Here is a picture from Simon Crafts that show this type on a strap, with a different clip in place of the carabiner.
Posted Image

I could provide a picture of the pulley being opened and hooked over a line. First I would have to find one to photograph, on my last trip they weren't in the bag where they belong.=(=(=(


To Captain Aether's situation with no room to walk the kite down. Sometimes you can walk down to the side or back and hook the line to another anchor, either one that is already there, or one you put there for this. Repeat until the line is all strung between the anchors. In a strong wind you may need a lot of help to make this work. Wait until the kite is down and safely put away before you worry about putting the line away, the line will be much easier to handle once the tension is off.

You could also use a winch at your anchor point to haul the line in. Be very careful of any winch design that spools the line under tension. The spool may collapse under the increasing pressure with each wrap. The crushing force can also damage the line.


edited to properly name the parts of a pulley block - the side plates are cheeks

#7 Captain Aether

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:02 AM

Nice rig.Good advice. The struggle is how to pack lightly and yet have contingency management. I suppose experience and experienced AKA pilots are going to be key here.
Cpt.A.

#8 reynolds5520

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:52 AM

I found my straps hiding under a folded tarp that I thought was the bottom of the pile of stuff.


Here is the strap I use to pull down big kites.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6729



This scrap of rubber water hose slipped over the strap during assembly makes a much more comfortable handle than the bare strap. Even one inch webbing will dig into your gloved hand with a big kite.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6733



The pulley has been removed from the carabiner, allowing the cheeks to swivel open to be placed over the line.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6736



Here the cheeks have been swiveled closed over the line and secured by the carabiner.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6739



You can see here that this pulley has a simple lubricated bushing in the sheave rather than ball bearings. Keep it clean and it will work great for a very long time.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6748



In this close up you can see how the two cheeks are fastened together by peening over (rivet like) part of one cheek in a hole through the other. Drill this hole out to allow the cheeks to swivel. Smooth or chamfer the drilled edge to prevent wear on your carabiner.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6751



On this pulley (modified by Barry Ogletree and the Whatakite crew) the axle pin has been welded to one cheek to reduce the number of loose parts that could be dropped on the field. The other side still has the original cotter key to allow disassembly for cleaning.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6754



Barry (Whatakite) Ogletree likes to use this clip in place of a carabiner. No loose parts to get lost.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6757



Pull the spring loaded pin to open the clip. I sometimes struggle to close this clip with a heavy load on the line. One hand to hold the pulley on the line, one to swing the clip closed, and one more to push the pin so the clip can latch. A carabiner never requires more than two hands.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6760



I like this light duty strap for smaller kites. I also keep it in my pocket for emergencies on the field. It isn't as easy to hold as the heavy duty strap, but it works great when you need something quick.

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6763

http://reynoldsnet.n...&g2_itemId=6766

#9 Captain Aether

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:54 AM

You have my sincere thanks. That is about as complete an answer as a man could want. I did not know about the second type of clip, nor the light duty pully. I also like the hose on strap solution. When I travel to the city next time, I'll search them out.
Cpt.A.

#10 Andrew Beattie

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:52 PM

Hello, has anyone had the experience for having their kite "stuck" in a strong wind? What tools do you know of that would permit a single flyer to haul down the kite?


My first preference is not to use anything. Pulleys are an additional source of risk - they can collide with fingers, they are nasty on a "twanged" line.

They tend to be an indicator. If a team spontaneously assembles to tackle a big kite issue, the guy who turns up with a pulley is often the one that you need to watch out for - the dangerous one who thinks he knows what he is doing but doesn't.

That said, sometimes a pulley is invaluable. We use a high quality tendem pulley with bearings: http://www.petzl.com...0/tandem-speed. Attach it to a strap and to a vehicle and drive slowly to the kite. It is particularly useful when you need to walk the kite down in a direction *other* than straight towards the kite.

When you reach the end, turn the vehicle to one side and land the kite to the other.

And watch out for the end of the line! It seems obvious but it is *very* easy to go to far. If you do, you stand a good chance of breaking something (or tightening your knots so that you can't undo them...)

The weak point with this pulley system is the carabiner. Always think through what will happen if it breaks.

Andrew

#11 aboutkites

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:18 AM

The last comment was very good in handling a too small of a field situation but I had to read it several times to make sure what he was saying. IF you have 400 feet of line out and the kites is over the trees on a 300 foot field the first thing to ask is how did you let that happen. We have all been there and learned to be more proactive.. After you finish mumbling to yourself you can set another anchor to the side of your current one and then walk the line down and work your way to the anchor. You can then tie it off ( clip in to another anchor strap and carabiner then walk it down more moving to the other side of the field and doing the same thing. If you have fifty feet to either side you can shorten the line by 150 foot if you go to both sides. Correct me if im off base but I think that is more detail as to what Tug was saying.

Remember that pulling increases the load so do it slowly and also be away of the heat from the friction on the carabiner for the same reason. If you clip it in to the 2nd anchor you can let the line float over its entire length to absorb the loads as the kite pulls before you ground it.

The biggest thing to remember is don't panic and think things out. Its better to loose the kite before you get to the point of hurting someone.

 

NOTE: The clarification to Cliffs and Capt'n question. If you walk it down 50 feet and then walk the line sideways you can set a second anchor to attach it to. Since you don't have slack to tie a knot you can use a short line or strap with a carabiner to clip on to the line. Then you continue to walk down another 50 feet and you end up back at your original anchor. The end result is 100 feet of line on the ground and you just keep doing it until you clear the obstruction and can drop it on the field. Remember to walk it down slow to prevent it from overflying and to lessen shock loads.



#12 Captain Aether

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:14 PM

Hello all. Here's the thing. If my kite is stuck in the sky, I can walk it down with a pully in the direction of the kite, or side to side. But, what if I walk it down 100 feet and I want to bring that part of the line back to my ground stake, tie it off and then get another hundred feet and so on until the kite is brought in? I do not want to wrap the flight line around my hand. Is there not something which for lack of a better name could be called a grab hook? Couldn't this hook be used to secure a line under tension, letting the pilot walk back that length of line to a staking point?
Cpt.A.

#13 cliffordjquinn

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:26 AM

Hi Capt'n, I'm havin a little difficulty understanding the process. You have a kite up and it's pulling so hard that you need a pulley to walk it down ,but then you want to shorten the line,I think I got it right. Pulling hard and wrapping the line around your hands isn't a good thing so another method is needed. Normally when a kite is pulling so hard and you need a pulley putting a device on the line to bring it back to the anchor point ain't gonna work. It's already pulling so hard you can't haul in the line from the point of anchor. My suggestion is to ask for help, or bring the kite to the ground, shorten the fly line and re-launch. Depending on the kind of kite maybe a AOA adjustment might help to reduce sail wind load. MHO

CLIFFORD

#14 kitephil

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:52 AM

The "grab hook" you're looking for are rock climbing tools called jumars. They're designed to fit onto a rope, slide upward, then clamp down when pulled backward, allowing you to climb up the rope. I suppose they'd work for kites, providing the line was a big enough diameter. You could use your pulley to walk the kite down, then affix a jumar, pull it back to your anchor, and tie it off. As always, standard safety precautions about hard-pulling kites apply.

#15 reynolds5520

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:34 AM

...what if I walk it down 100 feet and I want to bring that part of the line back to my ground stake, tie it off and then get another hundred feet and so on until the kite is brought in?

... Is there not something which for lack of a better name could be called a grab hook? Couldn't this hook be used to secure a line under tension, letting the pilot walk back that length of line to a staking point?



Like everything else, the best answer will vary with the size of the kite and the pull on the line.

One way to hook to the line the way you suggest would be with a length of line tied around the flying line in a Prussic Hitch and then used as a handle or clipped to a strap for a handle (maybe even the same strap as used for a walk down pulley. I have been thinking about adding something like this to my "always in my pocket" gear. It isn't unusual to need a handle to safely take the tension off a line temporarily while making some adjustment.

#16 aboutkites

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:18 PM

The device that Phil is talking about is used with larger climbing line and I would not suggest that its used with light line. It has a cam and a rounded surface to capture the line designed for . Checking the catalogs the Ascenders are about $80.00 and designed for 8-13 mm. line. I have found some flat jaw clams used to pull wire fencing but it can damage the line.

A neat trick is to use a carabiner and when you want to tie it off you can twist it several times to lock it on the line then open the jaw and make several loops around the carabiner to (tie) the line to it then walk it back.

I have a favorite high load knot that we use to tie up barges under a several thousand pound load.
You start by having the line cross under itself on a post or open gate of a carabiner. Then you bring the line around the loaded part of the line and put it next to ( matched up ) to the standing part. In simple terms its looped over the flying line then clipped back in the carabiner. You can now do the same thing again from the other side. I know its confusing and I will try to add photos later. The end result is you have loops from each side that put opposing force on the line. If you have it right the you have a flying line with several loops from alternating sides. You always loop it from underneath and then match them up so when you release it under load it lets you release one wrap at a time until it slips in a controlled manner.

The comment to get help and pull it down then shorten the line and relaunch or use a smaller kite is actually the best way to handle the situation.

#17 Captain Aether

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:26 PM

I too looked at the jumar and appreciate its usefulness with big lines. I am most eager to see you photos of this other method of line management. I agree that a team could be gathered to haul down a stuck kite, but I think of it as a personal responsibility. This is why I am interested in what other skilled flyers can teach me. I've read many excellent suggestions so far. I appreciate every one of them.
Cpt.A.

#18 George Weber

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 07:09 AM

Captain Aether,

I like the small pulleys that can be opened to fit over kite line and then closed and sealed with a carabiner. Good climbing stores carry several sizes, carabiners and straps. Or you can make your own strap for pulling down your kite. Pulleys come in range of strengths too. This method is light wt., strong and efficient. :)

#19 Oldgoat

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:57 AM

I'm gonna hang with 5520 on this one. (a) a mini pulley or equivalent for walking down and (B) a keep it simple approach such as some line with a Prussic to attach to the line and pull it back to take up length. This method can also prove useful if you've decided to add some line laundry and attach it with a carabiner after your kite is already up. On even smaller kites pulling enough slack to attach the carabiner can be a chore.
Most of the time I am flying “single hand” and I realize that the winds can build quickly. That being said, I'd have to say that perhaps even more important than “bring down” equipment is not finding yourself in that situation in the first place. Big kites in strong winds can be dangerous. Don't mean to preach, just sayin'. :)

#20 Zeke1947

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:24 PM

Just a thought, but if there is room you can pull the line down a bit and then walk the line sideways causing the kite to move over to a point where it has less lift.




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