Sunday, July 13, 2003

Cross-country tow??

7/13/03 - The club was planning a campout at W next weekend, and suggested a student could assist with aerotow of a Blanik (read: pay for the tow). Sounded good, so I signed up. M recommended I look at the sectional to get familiar with the route. I got W gliderport info, weather forecast, etc. and looked at the route I expect they would take. I also looked at alternate landing sites, go-no-go point if we decide to soar, thermal forecast to see if final soar into W would be possible. Good practice - but then we had to cancel the aerotow at the last minute.

So... two 17:00 flights with P, 3000' tows. Normal takeoffs. A bit erratic on tow, trying to use a lighter touch and keep the wings level. No lift, since the air seemed to be too stable although it was hot. Turn practice - second flight, he just had me go where I wanted and practice turning. P: "I'll just sit back here and not chatter." It's lots of fun JUST TO BE UP THERE!!!

I did the whole pattern pretty much unprompted. Both landings very smooth touchdowns. First landing, I pulled the brake too hard and skidded the nose a bit, so I learned to wait longer before braking. Second landing, I had my hand on the flap control instead of the spoilers! Fortunately, the flaps won't move at 55 kt, and with a headwind our descent was steep enough anyway, so it worked out. On that landing, I focused on speed control and never got below 50, crept up over 60 once, but overall I handled speed much better.

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