Saturday, September 25, 2004


9-25-04 Hot - about 100 degrees. One flight with a CFI, one solo, each 30 minutes. With CFI, we didn't do the practical sequence, we just soared... or tried to... Found a little lift, he helped me work it with half flaps and low speed. Pulled it out from 1100' AGL back up to about 1500', but then nothing more. Good landing, came in high and then with airbrakes did a very good landing right in the boxes.

Second flight, I released in strong lift but then it weakened and I had to work 1kt-3kt lift up to about 5300'. Glass ships were going far but I didn't find any more.

Then CFI took his mother for a 1.5 hour flight.

The good news: CFI endorsed me for my practical test! We talked about approaches to taking the test, what the instructors want to see.

Later, I helped L and J put away their glass ships.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Hot and humid

9-11-04 Two solo flights. Hot and humid - 106 in the afternoon. Both times, took a thermal up to about 6200'. Shared a thermal with a hang glider, and with a glider. Not great lift, I got a 33 minute and a 49 minute flight.

Both had very smooth, straight, short landings in the boxes. Noticed how very effective and immediate the spoilers affect the final float. Second approach was very low - sinking air all the way in. I cut it short, should have cut it even shorter. It worked out OK, but very low over the racetrack.

Monday, September 06, 2004

12,000+ MSL

9-6-04 Tehachapi with J. Again from the rear seat. Hooked an awesome thermal over the ridge and just kept going up! Topped out at 12,200' MSL, then headed out to the other side of the valley. Nice to have so much altitude and just fly for fun. Lots of practice and feedback and tips, such as slowing up when the vario just reverses and starts going up, and feeling the lift instead of relying on the instrument.

Sharing thermals with up to 2 other gliders. Later we got a thermal in the valley and ended up staying up for 1:17. Landed again, bounced a little... but then the crosswind died after touchdown and I dragged a wing and rolled off the side. Not rough, but not at all straight. J didn't make a big deal about it. He later said I flew very well.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Rear seat

9-5-04 Tehachapi with H. First flight from rear seat - not so bad at all. He flew the takeoff (not so well - got high right away), then gave it to me at about 500 feet. Skylark's 9 dumps you out over a reservior - there are a few seconds where you hope you don't have a rope break! He didn't want to let me land, but I talked him into it. Not quite as smooth as yesterday, largely because of not looking straight ahead at the touchdown. Not bad, but a slight bounce.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Ridge soaring

9-4-04 Tehachapi with L. Introduction to ridge soaring. Combination of wind lift and thermal lift. It's amazing how the ridge lift can just float you up the spine of the ridge. We ended up going over the top of a 8000' peak (takeoff was at 4200'). I flew the whole flight, including landing on the asphalt power runway - silky smooth! He said I was flying "f---ing great!"