Sunday, July 03, 2005

First solo flight in the Grob 103

I went on Sunday hoping to have longer access to the Grob and maybe get more than an hour’s flight. Fortunately one other club member was there – no way I could push a 973-lb. glider by myself! Unfortunately the conditions were not favorable. Although it was hot – high 90’s – a moderate breeze at the ground level seemed to be killing the thermals. The ADDS forecast winds changing about 90 degrees at 4000’, so even if thermals got through the low winds they’d be subject to a shear. And an inversion would cap them, too. There were very few private pilots flying. But about 1:30 I gave it a try, for practice if nothing else. I let off about 2900’ AGL and didn’t find any lift until about 1400-1700’ AGL. I got a 40-minute flight but never above 1700’. I think that was the longest soaring flight of the day. It was rather bumpy, esp. on tow. So I basically practiced turns and scratching for thermals in this new-to-me ship. It’s nice, but the rudder is really sensitive. A little is too much.

I also futzed with my new GPS setup. It records OK, but is hard to see. With sunglasses off it would be OK, but I can’t fly without sunglasses. I’m experimenting with different screen glare films, maybe one will work. Otherwise I may need to look into some different colored glasses.

My Plantronics mini headset plus into the Grob’s radio jacks but doesn’t work, so I’ll need to research that… schematics, impedance, etc.

I used my Camelbak for the first time. There's plenty of room for it by my shoulder but I need to find a simpler way to strap it in. Lesson: put it in at the last minute - the water gets hot.

So, lots of new stuff today. I was cautious to not focus on non-essential distractions during flight.


Anonymous said...

I did all my training in a 103. It's fun to fly and very comfortable.

Trying filling your camelback about 1/3 and freezing it the night before. It helps keep it cold. I actually just keep mine frozen.

Anonymous said...

In the beginning, I hated G-103 because of the yaw-instability (which, amazingly, Grob calls a "student control-coordination training aid"). Blanik noticeably better, DG-505 needs very little rudder to center the string (but I digress...).

Then, in one of my training books it described the yaw-string in terms of a Grob ("yaw unstable") and gave a simple trick to assist string-centering. I tried it, wow it worked. After 25 flights (9 flights the 1st day) in a G-103 while at "immersion school" finally I looked like I knew how to fly it. "Looking good" in a G-103 is not easy. If you fly a G-103 well, your profiency is excellent.

Roger said...

Would you care to SHARE said yaw-string trick?