As the weather looks to be turning more Spring like, you’re probably thinking it’s time to end that Winter lay-off (if you haven’t already).
Some safety musings before you head out to try and find somewhere remotely near Windy Knoll to park…
· You went to the DSC reserve re-pack, right? Your reserve should be checked \ re-packed at regular intervals as outlined in manufacturer’s manual. In absence of this, BHPA recommends every 6 months.
· Servicing – your glider should be checked \ serviced at regular intervals as outlined in manufacturer’s manual. In absence of this, BHPA recommends every 12 months.
· Remember your pre-flight checks
· Spring time can produce strong thermals due to cool nights and warm days.
· Be aware that turbulent air can also be caused by wind shear and marked boundary layers.
· When you arrive at the site, you’re not simply checking if the conditions are flyable – are they flyable for you? Better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground…
· Try to get some ground handling in after the Winter layoff. This will help re-awaken your muscle memory and get your “feel” for your glider back.
· Be prepared to help out fellow pilots – e.g. if they’ve fluffed launch and are being dragged, grab a wing-tip to get the glider under control
· We’re all fallible – give yourself and others extra space for errors on take-off.
In the air
· Pilots in contention both turn right, unless hampered by geography, in which case…
· Give way to the pilot with the ridge on their right
· Join a thermal in the direction of rotation of pilots already established in it
· Don’t turn aggressively in thermals close to the ridge
· Monitor your position over the ridge – if drifting back, be ready to use speed-bar whilst you still have plenty of height to get back into ridge lift
· You checked whether your landing site is affected by lambing closures before you launched, right?
· Give yourself more height than usual over the landing site – height = time & options
· When planning a top-landing, fly the ridge first to evaluate the air you will be landing in
· You’re down! It’s been an epic first flight of the season. You’re stoked. Amazing. Now clear the landing field as quickly as possible – pack up at the side to give others room to land
· Reminder – a fine is payable if you don’t make the official landing field at Bradwell – info here https://derbyshiresoaringclub.org.uk/bradwell-landing-fine/
Usually, there will be Committee members and \ or Club Coaches on the hill – speak to them, for they’re a lonely \ lovely bunch and will be happy to offer advice and assistance
Have a great start to the season and fly safe
See you on the hill