Best way to exit a narrow box canyon?

Last updated by XC Triker Comments (5)

Categories: Equipment, Safety

"Of course, don’t get in a box canyon is the easy answer for this one, but that does not answer the question.

imageWe are all aware of the accident over the East River in New York City wherein the pilot was unable to turn around in the available space and struck an apartment building. A sad and preventable accident.




  • XC Triker

    I hadn't really thought about turning into the wind to help reduce the radius.

  • YFT

    Always stay to one side of the canyon so you know whan it is getting narrow you can make your turn. If you stay in the middle you will run out of room to turn.

  • jeff trike

    Why would you want to leave a perfectly good box canyon?

    If you planned out your flight beforehand, there shouldn't be a problem,  no impenetrable wall ahead. Just keep going.  I think some pilots get nervous, maybe unsure of what is ahead, start to panic, try to escape, turn without thinking it through.  I know of one case that led to a fatality that way.

    Don't go in there unless you are sure it will be ok.


  • white eagle

    Well as I see it. The problem is that you may experience lee side sink and not be able to climb out.second the winds rotors convergence and thermals make for tricky judgments.there might be hidden obstacles you may not expect say traffic birds wires trees.so if I really wanted to explore a box canyon I would do so from altitude first and have a plan of escape giving plenty of room for error.a good rule would be no safe 360 no box canyon.box canyons have killed allot of ga bush pilots.

  • XC Triker

    Good one Jeff.  I probably haven't really considered turning into the wind as a method to help escape as I wouldn't tend to be down below another object in any more than subtle movement of morning air.  I think that is part of what David is saying, plus reiterating what you said about not being in there if you don't know the whole layout / no hazards first, and what the author said about not getting in there in the first place.

    Food for thought-- always better to have run the scenarios through in your head.