Flying Dutchmen

Posted on Tue 29 July 2008 in general

As previously mentioned I went flying last night thanks to the company social fund. It's left me wondering if I should join the club and take up the hobby again (once the house is sold and finances are more capable). My main concern is the time budget but I do enjoy it.

I was a little nervous for the first flight as we where in glass birds, the more forgiving wood and canvas gliders nowhere in sight. The launch is always the most "intense" bit as your speed can pick up quite quickly and the glider makes all sorts of interesting groaning noises as the airframe is put under stress. However the intervening 15 years had obviously exaggerated my memory of the launch and I found it fairly easy to cope with.

For the first circuit I took control after cable release and brought the glider all the way to the final leg of the circuit. My instructor took control for the final approach as we where a little far out from the strip. Despite my memory of being very bad at co-ordinating turns I seemed to be able to keep the turns in the groove OK. My instructor certainly seemed to think I hadn't forgotten what to do. I still find keeping speed constant tricky, especially as you really should spend most of your time looking out of the cockpit and not at your instruments.

The weather was very nice but very "flat", most of the thermal activity disappearing as the sun went down. This meant the flights where around 5-6 minutes which basically enough for a few turns before thinking about the landing.

By the time of my second flight we were quickly approaching dusk and visibility although good was getting a little hazy. However under guidance I took the glider all the way from cable-release to landing which I was very happy with. There was a slight communications issue regarding which way was "more" air brake which led to the ground approaching slightly faster than desired leading to the instructor taking over that particular control. However he assured me the rest of the landing was all by my own hand :-)

So now I'm pondering the �470 p.a. membership (+ about �31 per hour flying fees). However first things first I think I need to get Fliss along for a trail flight!