GLIDER CHRONICLES 2011 – May 13th : Friday – lucky for some.

Not a time to be superstitious. I admit that some doubtful thoughts crossed my mind on the evening before, but by the time I was at the flying club, all that was forgotten and I just had a great day.

The instructor this time was the guy who wrote the book about winch launching! So managed to get the real info on how to do it and the issues involved. This is one of the applications where the practical use of mathematics really comes to the fore. Why? Well, one aspect is that if you pull up into the main climb too fast you are trying to increase the vertical component of your speed too quickly, and guess what? This mistake can kill you! Hence all the training and training about it.

Follow this link to some video simulations on the British Gliding Association (BGA) website. Suffice it to say that this safe winch launching drive have resulted in a significant reduction in accidents over the last 5 to 10 years. Good job.

Fri 13th May: Conditions: South westerly. Gusty. Ragged soaring.

Winch launch:

  • Look at BGA website re: launching.
  • No time to worry about getting onto main wheel since it all happens too fast. Just keep glider in a shallow climb until accelerating through 50kts. Look for 50kts on ASI and just feel for the acceleration in seat of pants.
  • Then gradually go into full climb over 3-4secs. Don’t change attitude too quickly. This can kill.
  • Use judgement in the moment, rather than relying on pre-thought out decisions.
  • Instructor notes:

  • Good winch launch. Running out of height exercise showed good judgement associated with safe handling. OK for solo.
  • Personal notes:

  • 4pm flight. Real tussle to stay up. Duration 1hr 1min.
  • Another great flight, but late in the day when the lift was dying since the sun is lower. Found a brown field (i.e. no crop) which was giving scrappy lift but, lift nonetheless. A real hard long fight as much as a flight. Still felt great after that accomplishment.

    Getting gliders ready for flying on a cloudy day.

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