Figure to start a glider thread as suggested by others so we can share our experiences. I will say the club has safety first and foremost. They contact KJAN approach and let them know we would be flying NE of the airspace and they rerouted jet traffic around us. As soon as we called in the last flight, jet traffic resumed from the NE.
This thread I hope others will chime in to give me input to help me improve on becoming a better glider pilot and also I hope others share their soaring / glider experiences.
Every pilot needs to try this once in their career! Ok with this behind me, Back from glider lessons today.
Been waaaay too long, I was going through serious aviation withdrawal these past few days so came hell or high water, I was getting a lesson in this week. Rain, clouds and winds have been the show stopper these past 3 weeks.
I wasn’t sure today lessons were going to happen as winds were gusting between 20 and 25 knots. Got out to the airport at 4:30 and saddled up in the Blanik.
First flight was a non eventful flight, considered a warm up flight to get a feel for the glider again. I was “ok” on the tow using tips shared out here and in other forums to point the nose out to the outside wing on banks. This tip almost came to bite me in my fourth and final flight but it did help me keep the rope taught.
We did basic maneuvers and slowly orbited back down to earth from 2500 feet on the first flight lasting 1/2 hour. We used runway 27 and winds were direct crosswinds. I have to say my power flying experience made me shine on these approaches as it was nothing more then crabbing into the wind and slipping to lose the altitude. Speaking of altitude, I still need lots of practice controlling my descent with the spoilers. Unlike power where I used my throttle to control my descent, I obviously don’t have that in the glider. Pitch for airspeed and because the winds were so strong, instructor had me do a 60 knot final. Really honk the nose over to maintain that speed, quite different sight view as compared to a power plane. I felt like I was diving toward the runway!
Second flight, towed to 1700, never left the pattern, just made a circle or two to descend to pattern altitude.
Third flight, I think they put the cheap rope on. 200 AGL PING, rope goes bye bye. Plane was banking right so I turned right. I did slightly delay getting that nose over to get my speed to 55 knots. Because of the crosswind, my instructor said he would have turned left for a tighter circle radius to the airport. Heck, I tried that lesson and snafu’d that direction. Oh well, but he said I was fine, did what I had to do to get back to the airport.
Fourth and last flight, it got ugly behind the tow, to the point the instructor took the controls briefly. We took off, and the tow plane turned out earlier then normal to the right, and I pointed the nose to outer wing. Not sure what happened but once he cleared the tree line he zoomed up. I had the nose up and was below him but above the wake. I got too far outside the turn which of course exasperated my airspeed and when I kicked in right rudder to take up the slack, it worsened the slack because I am guessing my forward speed was accelerating. Still not quite sure what the instructor did to correct it but it was efficient and he turned the controls back to me. Last landing was on the shorter runway 18 as the hanger is on the 36 side. Landing was nice.
Soooo assessing myself today.
Over controlling still a problem. I still oscillate in yawing on tow, but it is improving. I am maintaining a relatively good sight picture with the tow plane slightly above the horizon and my nose is slightly below the horizon.
Landing. I have to learn how to use my right hand! In power flying, I only used it as a rest on the throttle. Touch here, and a touch there, and that’s it. With the glider, this just ain’t going to happen! I need to keep my right hand on the stick and left hand on the spoilers so I can control my descent better. Currently, I have been choking the stick with both hands. I know in time this will improve or it better improve LOL.
My feet and hands don’t want to work opposite directions. With power obviously keeping coordinated is important. Problem with rollout, you sometimes have to use complete opposite control movements to keep the downwind wing flying. So this could mean full right rudder and full left aileron. My instincts still having troubles computing this.
On coordinated flight, I am nailing that so stepping toward the rudder hasn’t been a problem thus far but still every once in awhile I find myself stepping on the ball and have to remind myself to step on the rudder the yarn points to.
All in all good 4 lessons today bringing me up to 15 flights for a total of 3.5 hours flight time.
I know now the glider really does slice through the turbulence. I would have had the snot kicked out of me today had today’s flight been in a power plane. The ride is remarkably smooth in spite the winds nearing 35 knots at 2500 and what ended up being closer to 15 to 20 knots on the ground when I got there.