Monday, July 30, 2012

New glider flights July 28-29

Maiden flight at Woodside!  Photo courtesy of Alex Raymont
Well I went for it and finally got an Icepeak 6 as Niviuk finally certified the size 21.  As this is a step up for me and my first 2-line glider, I decided to take it easy by going to Woodside and one of my most familiar sites.  Thermic and a clearing day meant nice gentle thermals and moderate amount of wind later on, perfect for learning how this glider flies!

Didn't actually go XC on that flight but stayed local, figuring out how to thermal the glider properly and how tight I can turn.  A big issue for me is launching the darned thing...compared to my Avax it's much harder to launch and is very prone to the snake-dance.  Need to continue my kiting to get that dialed!

Once in the air the glider is definitely a step up in performance with awesome glide and speed in reserve.  It doesn't seem to matter how much bar I push...the performance doesn't seem to suffer no matter whether I use 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2 bar.  Basically how much bar do I dare?  So far I haven't tried past 1/2 bar :)

Fortunately the glider seems to be bomber in the LE which means less collapse prone, but I'm sure if/when it goes, it'll be big!  A bunch of kiting and inducing collapses has already shown me that much :)

After my orientation flight it was time to fly Pemberton and go on my first XC in stronger conditions.  I found the air a bit rough and windy but manageable, and after taking some time to get settled in the stronger air I doodled downrange to Copper, returned, and then crossed the valley to the Miller side.  Once again the performance of the glider shined as the Miller crossing was into a strong west wind, and I was able to cross no problem and fly up the hidden valley a ways before returning to a "baby" Whistler Express in the LZ.

So far the glider has treated me well and I've kept things under control.  I've had some anxious moments when the glider started doing something unfamiliar and wriggling a bunch, but I'm starting to learn what all that means.  It's a different language and I'm trying to learn it fast, but take things at a reasonable pace at the same time.  Trying to respect the glider, but at the same time show it who wears the pants in this relationship :)


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