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Old 10-14-2014, 01:07 AM
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Default Report from the tortoise

Hey guys! I haven't posted much lately but I'm flying In those brief windows of available time.

I got my Falcon 4 toward the end of last fall. I love the glider. It handles like a dream. It was, however, quite different from the wing I was used to flying. I took a couple of scooter tows in mid-day conditions and got spooked. The glider responded well to inputs but I was finding it difficult to maintain headings. The sail was tighter and I felt lighter on the wing. I became much more aware of flaws in my technique. I never felt out of control but I knew I needed to step back In order to dial it in.

I began a series of days where I would tow up in the evenings after the last of the thermals had died. The air was butter smooth and it allowed me to really connect with the glider.

This vid is from a couple of months ago. My flight plan as of late has been:
-tow to altitude, release, practice 360s, 180s, etc., set up approach, land.

In this flight, upon release, I carved a gentle 360 to enjoy the view. Then I banked harder in the other direction. After that, I cranked a 180 and headed to the SW end of the runway to set up my approach. At this point I glanced at my vario and realized that I had forgotten to zero it out. Oh well. Time to eyeball it. My goal was to land in front of the hangar. Wind was nil.

I knew I was the only glider in the sky. Hence the awkward Figure-8 on final. Better technique would have dictated a slipping 360 prior to the downwind leg.

http://vimeo.com/104266821
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:38 AM
Eric Proulx Eric Proulx is offline
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Great no wind landing Matt!
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:53 PM
fdmurphy44 fdmurphy44 is offline
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Nice flight Matt. What altitude did you get on tow? Seemed like the air was very buoyant and you boated around for a while. Yes, nice landing.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:40 PM
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Thanks guys.
Frank, prolly 1100 or so? I forgot to zero out my vario so I'm not sure. Regardless, John is a Jedi on Scootzilla. Willie is pretty great on it too.

The next thing I have to work on is getting upright in my harness during the landing sequence. I haven't really needed to thus far because (A) I'm gangly, (B) I fly slightly head-up anyway and (C) I'm flying a Falcon fer chrissakes. That being said, it is a technique that I need to introduce to my muscle memory because there will be days with conditions that require it.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:44 PM
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Matt, as you know I'm no veteran but I think you are being way too hard on yourself.

You towed up beautifully, made your turns, and you finished it off with an excellent landing.

Not sure about all that stuff with slipping 360 turns to the down wind etc. Personally I don't like making slipping turns because it robs me of previous minutes, seconds of air time. Doing it close to the ground just makes me too nervous because I haven't got the whole timing/altitude thing down well enough to know which way I'll be facing when it is time to final.

Matt, from what I can tell there's only one thing you need at this point; enough altitude and therefore time in the air to find your 'inner bird'. Perhaps you should talk to John about AT.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:03 AM
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Thanks Sri! I appreciate your input and heed your advice. You have gone further as a pilot than I have so I'm listening! I have yet to thermal or soar so I'm jealous!
I'm looking forward to my first solo tow, that's for sure.

I think what disappoints me about my failure to get to the correct altitude prior to my downwind leg is my concern for other pilots. I got my fluorescent orange glider for a reason: to warn other pilots that the "special needs" pilot might do something stupid.
If I am flying on a day where multiple pilots start their landing sequence at the same time, I want to be able to carve a predictable DBF pattern so that pilots above me can coordinate their own landings.

The spot landing part of the H2 test was hard for me but it's there for a reason. Solid landings are just something I gotta practice.

Last edited by SBX614; 10-15-2014 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:29 PM
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miketest miketest is offline
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Sweet flight, sweet landing Matt. And a long flight for a scooter tow.

FWIW... Solid landings are something most everyone needs to practice. Some eventually get it... Some don't. (As the scars on my knees will attest, I'm a card carrying member of the latter group!)
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