Monday, March 19, 2007

First Single Seat Glider Solo

Roberta has been getting on my case about posting to the blog so here it goes. I actually haven't been posting much because I have just been gliding on the weekends and not much else.

Gliding has been progressing nicely and last weekend I had my first solo flight in a single seat glider. On Saturday there was a national gliding awareness day called "The Big Day Up" where the public is encouraged to come out and give gliding a try. A lot of the club members came out and put their planes together for display and there was a lot of flying.

I talked to the CFI and got him to let me go solo in the club's Smyk PW5 which is a single seat glider. It has a really short wingspan and is a tiny glider all around. Supposedly it is like a race car compared to the Grob 103 Twin Astir that I had been flying.

All of the experienced guys on the field had been scarring the crap out of me with stories of how hard it was to take off with PIO(pilot induced oscillation). PIOs happen when you correct to get the glider on track but you over correct. Then when you correct for that correction you over correct. Then it just gets out of control. Each pilot told me different tricks to get over the PIOs in the PW5. Bracing my arms on the side of the plane, putting a finger on my wrist to steady it, trim it back for takeoff, just use two fingers on takeoff, stick hard back, etc.....

So I got mentally prepared for the flight and pushed the plane onto the runway and got in and waited my turn. This is always the time that I notice that I have to pee. One of the instructors came over and gave me a couple more words of advice and right before he left he said "And this plane crashes nice too".

With all the pilots and instructors from the club standing up watching, I did the takeoff and it was perfect. No problem. The lift was scratchy and I just got used to plane which was very quick and nice compared to the beast that I have been flying.

I came back in for a good landing and got cheers and handshakes from most of the pilots. Making the transition to the single seaters is big accomplishment for me. Now I just need to figure out how to keep the damn things in the air.

Roberta and I are going to Taupo down south for 5 days for concentrated gliding instruction. Roberta wants to get up to speed but doesn't want to spend the time waiting around at the glider field. I just want to get closer to getting my full glider pilot license. Should be fun to see that part of the country from the air.

Wish us luck.


Roberta Robles said...

Why won't you post those videos of me gliding over omarama? I mean you just spent all that money on a video camera!

dc said...

congrats man! sounds (scary) like a blast

Anonymous said...

The instructor sounds like a jerk for telling you how the ship crashes prior to your flight. Not cool...he should not be instructing. Its' his job and responsibility to install confidance.

King Nerd said...

It wasn't a big deal. People here tend to have a good sense of humor. He knew that I wasn't going to stuff it up.