Sunday 4 March – planning the perfect soaring season

Well, as expected it was not quite the ideal soaring day today. Indeed when I arrived and unlocked the field gate, I wasn’t sure if I would get up the field , there being quite a lot of surface water around (understatement!!). But get up ok I did, and was sat there planning a flight for myself (Snowdon O/R – my plan for the first nice day this spring – 569K) when fellow E teamer Graham arrived with a Landrover (Chris was away on duty team at his granddaughter’s birthday party). This was a great relief in case of problems going back down the field.

As I said, if we can’t fly we can plan, and Graham and I worked on his training plan so he now has a clearer idea of what progress he can reasonably expect to make through the summer, and how best to twist the arms of the duty instructor to make sure it happens!

For those who are in training, days like these are an excellent opportunity to ask questions that get lost on days when your head is full of flying. Make a list, pin the DI down and get him/her to explain things you’re not sure about. Then you will make the best progress come the flying days.

For those who are post solo but who haven’t yet made the ranks of World Champions, days like these are an excellent opportunity to make a plan for the season.

This morning Graham and I talked through things in 3 headings which you might find useful to make progress:
> badges / distances/measurable achievements – eg I want to do my XC endorsement, get my 5hours, fly my first rated comp, fly faster XC, do my 500k, do over 100hrs flying, become an instructor
> technical – eg I want to get all my post-solo development card items crossed off, improve my circuits, work on speed control in thermals, improve turnpoint technique, learn to fly the energy lines, learn to fly blue conditions
> fun – eg I want to ditch the geezer in the back seat, fly with buzzards, do task week, do someone else’s task week/comp, fly Snowdon O/R, fly a 750km, nab a ride in a hot 2-seater, fly and land somewhere for coffee then fly home.
>>Of course, all three categories overlap!

The other person on the airfield, Graham’s dog Bunny, was to be honest pretty unimpressed with many of my suggestions. In the end she was very glad that Graham finally came to understand that the real purpose of his being there was to take her for a walk. Which he did, just as the rain turned to snow and the field vanished in a blizzard. I slithered gently back down the field to solid tarmac, went home and made soup.

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Shalbourne Gliding

Shalbourne Gliding