Friday, September 18, 2009

More glider flying

Second post about glider flying!

I've been many times at Boberg since my first glider flight. Now that I'm part of the club I have to be there every weekend. I've had 7 flights (8 with the first one) as a glider student and on the 5th, I landed without the help of the instructor for the first time.

On the 6th flight, the instructor took off and after 50 meters, I took the controls. On the 7th flight, I had the controls the entire flight. It is very cool to take off and you only have to mantain your heading and climb with an airspeed between 80 and 90 km/h. As you climb higher, the rate of climb is reduced and you have to push the nose a bit to mantain 80 km/h. When the cable is released, you pull the lock three times to ensure it has released and you glide! If you take off with a crosswind, you must fly into the wind so that it doesn't moves you from the climb trajectory. The next step is to find thermals.

One option, tipically used, is to fly below a cumulus cloud and hope there's rising air. You can also search for other gliders flying around in your area and if they are making turns, it means they found one. You fly there and then fly on that same circle with the same direction. You fly on his 9 o'clock if turning left, so that he flies on the other side of the circle.

When you don’t find more thermals and you’re flying below 250 meters, it’s time to land. All flights all made near the airfield so that you don’t land somewhere else. You fly parallel to the runway (Gegenanflug or downwind in english) and check if there are other gliders landing. As you fly abeam 500m from the runway threshold (at your 7.30 o'clock), you start your turn to the Queranflug (Base) and it’s perpendicular to the runway. Then, you start turning to the Endanflug (Final) and apply speedbrakes as required. Normally you descend with 90kmh and use speedbrakes with pitch control so that you don’t get too fast or too slow, or too low or high and make a nice approach. When crossing the treeline, you apply full speedbrakes and land. The flare is extremely easy and the glider stops with less than 20 meters on the ground.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Cya

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