Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another weekend out west

I’m really cramming some flying into my time in WA and once I again I hired a car and drove out to Beverley early on Saturday morning to arrive in time for the briefing. The plan this weekend was to concentrate on judging height and angles in the circuit. First flight was in the ASK-21 (BSS) and was to 2,000 feet with the altimeter obscured. During the tow we practiced hang-up procedures (what to do if the glider’s tow release doesn’t work), plus the signals from the tow pilot to the glider pilot to check that airbrakes aren’t open, and the wave-off sign. During the tow the instructor asked me to judge our height a number of times and each time told me I was very close, which was heartening.

I’ve always been a bit nervous during instrument-obscured flights and I tend to fly a bit messier than normal and this was the case in this flight, though I was happy with my judgement of height and angles in the circuit.

The next flight (which was by then late afternoon – there’s a lot of waiting around and helping with launches etc in gliding) included boxing the tow “very well done Brian” says my instructor, and then a gentle flight in the beautiful late afternoon light. There was little lift left, though I found and hooked onto a small weak thermal over the town for a gain of a measly 200 feet at 1-2 knots. Finally, I joined downwind and of course this was the only place where there was ample lift, so I had to extend the downwind leg even for this hangar flight. I was happy with my approach and landing.

The next day (the Sunday) was busy, with 5 flights - more circuits with the altimeter obscured and a simulated rope break and ending with a hangar flight in the Pooch. All in all I was happy with my progress and only sorry that my time in WA was coming to an end.

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