I had a neat opportunity to do KAP over a farm where they grow pumpkins for Halloween. And this year they did a corn maze. I can't post the pictures to Flickr until after their festival, though, because they're a dead giveaway for how to run the maze. Suffice it to say it was a chance I couldn't pass up.
Except that it's on the side of a mountain, downwind from a tree-lined highway, and the weather is never ever KAP friendly. But hey, I had to try.
Earlier in the week I put up a Nighthawk and a Gopro and gave it a try, but the pictures were blurry. (I also had to hand-over-hand the line to get the kite down. Too much tension for me to use my winder. On a Nighthawk. This should've been a hint.)
Today I went back and put up a Flow Form 16 and my DSLR rig. It worked... sort of... About an hour into the session the wind suddenly picked up (from the 25kt it was already blowing!) and the kite overpowered.
I tried very hard to tie it off to a fence post. I was wearing leather gloves, being careful, but when I tried to tie the three hitches to hook it to my carabiner, three of my fingers got caught in a loop of line. I did what I could to free them, but the wind kept picking up and I started to feel my knuckles bend sideways.
It's at times like these that I regret doing solo KAP. I regretted all sorts of other things, too, like leaving my knife in the car and not making a gamma hook the way I'd intended to after seeing Christian's post and talking about it with Henry Jebe. In a couple of minutes I went from thinking, "I can't wait to get home and see how these turned out!" to thinking, "I can still drive myself to the emergency room with a thumb and a pinkie on this hand."
To my utter delight I looked up just as my Flow Form went into its final dive. My rig landed hard, and the kite hit vent-first in a grassy field. I got my hand out of the line, ran to my rig to get it off the line, and ran to the Flow Form to get it off the line and pack it away.
I've never been so glad to crash my rig and kite.
To my surprise the camera survived fine. Even the lens, which I thought would be toast, still worked afterward. The rig didn't seem to take too much damage, either, except I'll need to install a new set of leg brackets. These are toast. And the Flow Form? It's a Flow Form. It was trying to re-launch even as I was taking it off the line.
My fingers work great, too, though it took a while for the feeling to return.
Tomorrow I'm going to the hardware store to get the stainless rod I need to make a gamma hook. My fingers are NEVER going to have that happen to them again.