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Cross Country Soaring: How to Do Your First One, and Then How to Get Better By Kevin Finke and Noel Wade April 2, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Cross Country Soaring: How to Do Your First One, and Then How to Get Better By Kevin Finke and Noel Wade April 2, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cross Country Soaring: How to Do Your First One, and Then How to Get Better By Kevin Finke and Noel Wade April 2, 2012

2 Presentation Outline Cross Country Flying: Basic Skills to Develop in Local Flying - Kevin How to Make a Safe and Successful First Cross Country Flight - Kevin Weather Info - Online Tools and resources - Noel Thermalling Methods and Techniques - Noel Instrumentation for Cross Country Flying - PDA's, Loggers and Flight Computers - Noel Speed to Fly and Final Glides- Kevin Techniques to Improve Your Flying - Kevin

3 Cross Country Flying: Basic Skills to Develop in Local Flying Preflight Weather Navigation Finding and Using Lift –Thermalling Cloud Recognition and Selection Ground Sources –Ridge Wind Direction Topography –Wave Interthermal Speeds to Fly Final Glides Landout Field Recognition and Selection Non-standard Patterns Accurate Spot Landings

4 Additional “Soft” Skills Estimating Altitude loss to the next cloud Estimating Altitude above ground Recognizing good lift in straight flight Logging and Recording your Flights You don't have to be great at all of these, but you have to be good, and maybe even more important, confident in recognizing your abilities and weaknesses. Know your limits. Once you have this basic set. It's time to leave the nest!!! Other Stuff

5 How To Make A Successful First Cross Country Flight Preflight Preparations Comfortable in the Glider you choose. 2-3 Hour Flight –Food, Water, and Waste Pick an Good Day and a Familiar Site –Good Predicted lift for most of the Afternoon Have some Routes Pre-Planned –Variances for Wind Condition/Weather Be Ready Early in the Day Have a Crew Lined Up –Aero-retrieve possibilities

6 After Release: What to Do Before you Leave Don’t be the first to Launch –Leave about an hour after the start of the day. –Should take about 2-3 hours to complete task. Take a few thermals locally to get a feel for the day. If the lift is where you expect in relation to the clouds and you find good climbs, Commit to actually starting the course. –Get High and Go!!! Once you start out, don't come back!!! Go to your Planned Destination!

7 Out On Course Fly with a Macready Ring setting of 1 or better between thermals. Use Macready 4 though for you final glide calculations to alternates. Test out each thermal along the way, but if high pass up the weaker ones. Use lines of lift along your course. Feel free to deviate up to 45 deg off course for lift if you need it. Always make sure of where you are and how you compare to your decision altitudes. Smile and Have Fun. You’re going Cross Country

8 More out on Course Stuff Be aware of the weather and how it changes during the day. Both in front of you and behind you. When you get to your destination/goal. Celebrate. Relax a little, get back up high again. Once High again, head back home. You’re more than halfway already actually. Use the same strategy for clouds and lift on the way back, except. Once you get within gliding distance for final glide, try a final glide back home. Add 500’ per 10 miles for margin. Listen to AWOS and reset your Altitude so your glide heights are correct. Evaluate the wind as well and how that may affect your glide.

9 On Final Glide: Almost Home When you’re about 10 – 15 miles out, you should be fairly certain of making it back. Hopefully, you’ve given your self margin and you haven’t used it up. Mentally shift gears from finding lift into setting up for a finish and landing. - You’ll be amazed at how much mental energy you’ve used thus far. Double check AWOS for airport conditions and wind. Switch to Tower Frequency and listen for traffic pattern directions. Use your checklist for landing. Remember you’re gear. After landing, push off the runway and get clear. Now it’s time to Celebrate! Congratulations You Did It!!!

10 But what if I have to land out? You’ve prepared for this. It’s just a part of flying Cross Country. Stick to your Decision Altitudes. 2000’ AGL – Have field options selected 1500’ AGL – Options narrowed to 1 or 2 suitable fields 1000’ AGL – Commit to landing out Minimize your chances of landing in a field by staying within range of airport alternates. On landing, Pay attention to wind direction, and look very well for hazards: Fences, posts, wires, etc. Give you’re self time and space. Make a good landing.

11 Now Onto the Details!

12 Speed to Fly

13 Speed to Fly: A Few Notes Flying fast and efficient is necessary for Cross Country because it allows you to fly farther in a given day. The Actual Speed you fly between thermals isn’t as important as the thermals you pick to climb in. Effort should be spend on learning to find the really good thermals, and then centering them quickly. Leave when they weaken. When the day changes, you may need to change your pace. When it’s good and consistent, feel free to push. Fly closer to your actual Macready Setting. Final glides are a good skill to have, just like accurate landings, they should be practiced at the end of every flight.

14 Post Flight Analysis Logbook Get a Data Logger Use the OLC Use Post Analysis Software –See You –StrePla –Others Journal

15 Goal Setting: How to Improve Good Goal Setting involves 5 Aspects. SMART S – Specific M – Measureable A – Achievable R – Realistic T – Timely Journaling: Is a good tool to use to record not just what you did, but the things you did well, ok, and could use some work. By keeping track you can target specific aspects of your flying to work on.

16 Some Examples

17 Fly with a Purpose and Goal


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