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Finally flown.

Yesterday, I finally flew a glider in Germany.

The airfield at Schmoldov was still too wet so instead, we took two of the club’s gliders (a Puchacz and a Janus) and one private one (a DG-1000) down to a place called Pasewalk, about 100km south.

Leaving Schmoldov.

Leaving Schmoldov.

 

Rigging the Puchacz at Pasewalk.

Rigging the Puchacz at Pasewalk.

We rigged the gliders and joined in with the Pasewalk club. Unfortunately, me and Damian didn’t get to fly until the very end of the day. It was a little annoying to be watching everyone else and hearing them on the radio enjoying good thermals and then to have nothing left when I flew, but at least I finally flew.

The first question from my instructor was ‘So, is this your first flight?’. Err, yea, I don’t think anyone had told him that I was already quite experienced. I think he was fairly new to instructing and it was probably a little unfair to both myself and to him, for us to fly together. But we did anyway.

My instructor in the front.

My instructor in the front.

I had to sit in the back, for a silly insurance reason (the stupid bureaucrats are convinced that the person in the front seat is necessarily in charge, when in truth it is usually the other way around). Also, he flew the launch and landing which was quite disappointing. It was completely blue and there was no vario or slip string in the back and no electric vario at all so it was quite hard work. Despite this I managed to find a weak thermal and convince the Puchacz to stay up for 22 minutes. I think the instructor was quite impressed that this was even possible, especially since I’ve not really flown from the back before and was flying entirely by feel for most of the time. For part of the time I got him to read out the vario for me :). It was a nice enough flight though and just good to finally fly.

Pasewalk town.

Pasewalk town.

Yet another shot of me in a glider.

Yet another shot of me in a glider.

 

3ft above the airfield boundary, with no brakes!!

3ft above the airfield boundary, with no brakes!!

I’ve now seen German gliding in action, and on the whole its much the same. The winch launches were all very nicely flown and the thermalling looked good from the ground, even with several gliders circling together. The circuit patterns are the rectangular type, rather than with our diagonal leg, but I can get used to that. My only major concern is with the approaches, which were shallow enough to make me uncomfortable. It works fine at that field, where there is a perfectly flat field behind the landing area to undershoot into, but it would probably be lethal in more exciting terrain.

 
 
 

Damian gets ready for his first flight.

Damian gets ready for his first flight.

Damian also got his first flight which I think he enjoyed. It’s always good to introduce someone new to our world. After that, we packed up the Janus and the DG-1000 turned up from a 5 hour, 200km jolly, down to the edge of Berlin and back. We had a few beers and headed back to Schmoldov and home. I think the beer helps my German too. It doesn’t make me any better of course, but just makes me care less about how I sound, so I try to say more.

 

The launch point from above.

The launch point from above.

Nice end to a good day :)

Nice end to a good day 🙂

All in all, a good day and hopefully next time, they might clear me to fly solo.

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Categories: gliding
  1. April 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    The full set of photos for the day are here:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2327611&id=61305529&l=2fd0a7c892

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