Strong wind sends two planes aloft

Those are modified STOL Cubs, but yeah – it’s incredible to see those things do that. You are getting your stall speed down to about 25 kts with those things, so with even a mild headwind, you can be down and stopped in nothing.


Get this guy a contract! But remember, just because you had the idea doesn’t mean that you wrote the script. And also, after you sign the contract we own the idea forever and ever or until Walt Disney’s frozen head can be re animated


It looks like that.

Whats actually happening is the winds of the downdraft is itself turning the propellers.


There may or may not have been pilots in the planes. But the behavior we saw is identical to what would happen if no pilots were in the planes.


Umm, no. They have pilots in them who decide to take off for safety reasons.

Yep, I was just about to say, that’s a Cub. They tie them down pretty tight at the small plane airports and floatplane lakes up here, for just this reason.


No, I don’t think so. When they show #2 tow plane taking off, when it’s perpendicular to the camera you can see straight through and out the other window. Cubs are small planes with not a lot of space in the interior. Here’s what it looks like with a pilot in it. I guess it’s possible that the pilot is way back, but it looks empty to me.

Also, it doesn’t seem like the path, especially of the first plane to take off, is something a pilot would do, but who knows with gusts that strong.

EDIT. Apparently I’m completely wrong. Just found the reddit thread. Someone is wrong on the internet! And it’s me!


To summarize/clarify:

  1. Wind caused tow planes to take off, not gliders - the gliders had lots of warm bodies holding them down.

  2. The tow planes had pilots in them: note the idling propellers.

  3. As the tow planes were facing into the wind, the lift generated by the airspeed of the wind over the wings was sufficient to lift them off the ground, even with zero initial groundspeed, after which the pilots revved the engines sufficiently to maintain safe flight/control.

Years back in the (Canadian) Air Cadets, some of us were pushing a glider on the ground in moderate winds (facing into the wind); when pushing it onto the runway over a slight rise similar in height to a speed bump, the extra little bounce combined with the lift from the wind made it start to rise off the ground, perhaps a foot off before being hauled back down by the weight of a number of very scared cadets.


Gliders have loops under the wings which can be used to tie them down. The cubs will as well but they might not have been close enough to a place where they could be secured. You can see a bunch of people sitting on the wing of one of the gliders so the issue had been recognized a minute or more earlier I would say.

Weren’t they still on the runway, while the gliders were off the run ways and tied down?

Well link us, dude.

I’m assuming it’s this one from up thread:

That is weird - that comment was hidden from me. Refreshed and it appeared.

I like how this thread is devolving into two camps: people who think they know about aircraft from things they’ve read on the internet and people who have actually been around light aircraft. You, sir/madam, would appear to be in the latter camp.

And just to be pedantic:

As discussed above, winds of that speed will spin those props easily.

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