Training continues…

Continuing from my last entry, I went back on Sunday 28th April for some more flying lessons.  The weather was fairly good, with some gusts.  Did 6 flights, with 2 successful landings, but 4 more landings with slight ballooning.  Hmmm, not bad but I’m getting there!  My instructor says that my approach control was good, although he pointed out that I have to watch out for the speed decrease through wind gradient.   I managed the full launch from the start, in difficult conditions, and I think that’s a great achievement for a learner like myself! 

After several weekends of family ‘commitments’, I managed to escape and headed for Shenington on the 26th May.   The weather was absolutely perfect and I’d wish that would have happened back in April, as there were plenty of thermals, almost everywhere.    Did 5 flights on that day, but in reality, I did 4, not 5.  I’ll explain a little later on.

My first flight was on a motor glider to learn how to fly a normal approach, undershoot and progressive undershoot.  That flight was very worthwhile and learned a lot (however, I am also aware that the flying characteristics for this motor glider is different from a K13 glider).  It’s basically to show you how a normal approach should “look” from the air.

Undershoot demonstration

Undershoot demonstration

Then went into a K13 glider (my second flight of the day) and my instructor has demonstrated on flying a K13 in a normal approach, which lasted 4 minutes from start to finish.  The ‘attitude’ is certainly different for a K13 as opposed to those from a motor glider.

On my third flight in the same glider, did some local turns and found a thermal and with some assistance from my instructor, we circled up a thermal and managed to stay airborne and I flew my first circuit before landing back with a total air time of 29 minutes.

My fourth flight was absolutely the best I have ever flown, with lots of thermals and managed to gain from 1,200ft to 4,500ft.    Did some thermalling with one other glider and learned some airmanship techniques from my instructor on keeping track of the other glider while “sharing” in a thermal.   Whilst at a safe height, my instructor has demonstrated spin and spiral dive.  I also did 1G stall, wing drop  and having some difficulties in trying to turn with increasing speed.  This is one area that I’ll need to practice a bit more, so that I can recognise the signs a bit better.  I think this is important as you do need to recognise these signs and be able to take action to avoid such situations.   Did the approach and landing which I’m told was very good.  🙂

Tim getting strapped in

Tim getting strapped in

Now, the fifth flight, I was “invited” as a passenger in a wonderful glider, the DG500/20 with winglets.   It was so comfortable with lovely reclining seat and the dashboard were lovely (although I daren’t touch any of them!).  The flight was brilliant, started with aerotowing and then soaring everywhere, thermals easily found and climbing up to 4,500ft.  Did some landmark appreciation with my instructor being a very useful flight attendant (or guide, if you like) showing me the landmarks!

Happy pilots

Happy pilots

All in all, it was fabulous and a great learning experience.  I am not yet solo, but I will be when the time is right for my instructor to have confidence in me to fly solo.

End of a stunning gliding day

Watch this space for more updates, soon.