Soaring stuff

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Soaring stuff

Postby tonycondon » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:22 am


Glad that I made OFTL of the Week! Thanks! Also thrilled to hear the discussion about soaring on the podcast. Cross country in a hang glider is pretty awesome, and I thought flying in my low performance sailplane was something to talk about :)

There was a question posed about how to find where to fly gliders. Check out and click on the "Where to Fly" link. This will give you the location of nearby clubs and commercial operators that are affiliated with the SSA (Nearly all of them are).

Im glad that the impression was given that Cross Country soaring is normal and fun. and you are right, that adrenaline you get once you've dedicated to landing out is something else. I would also compare it to breaking out on the ILS at minimums! My CFIG says that every time he turns final for a field the theme from Star Trek pops into his head "To boldly go where no man has gone before!" On the flight where we landed in the same field, the first thing he said to me after getting out of the glider was "so much for boldly going where no man had gone before!!" :D

Oh and Wave Windows were described in the other forum, and that is typically the common method for the high altitude flights in the US. There are some, mostly people out in the Great Basin area flying wave off the Sierras, that have actually been doing long high altitude cross country flights on instrument flight plans and in contact with ATC, squawking on a transponder and the whole kit and caboodle. Notable is Gordon Boettger who flew the longest flight EVER in the Northern Hemisphere, and only a 100ish km short of a world record, using this method. It helps that he is a Pilot for FedEx in the real world.

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Re: Soaring stuff

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:55 am

I have another reason to go soaring. I was in a pilot safety meeting last Tuesday and we were talking about thunderstorms. One of the guys flys Grumman G-150s professionally now but a few years ago was a freight dog flying some kind of twin Beech. He was first officer to a captain (mega-hours ready to retire type of guy) that wanted to fly through a line of clouds associated with a front.

This guy was saying that he was reading the weather situation based on his gliding experience and had a strong feeling that there would be convective activity in the area. That comment caught my attention.

He was unsuccessful in convincing the captain to fly around the line instead of penetrating through it. The flight was pretty intense from what he described. They came through it with bruises where the seatbelts went across their shoulders but otherwise unhurt. I'm sure that they both needed a change of shorts. The plane didn't do so well. It sounds like they bent the airframe and there were panels where the rivets had failed. The maintenance chief wasn't amused.

It was kind of interesting how at one point he turned to the other glider pilots in the room as he was telling the story as if to say "okay you guys will understand this and the other folks maybe not."

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