|Getting Towed To 2000ft|
"Sounds good, I'll be right there."
A quick glance to the right reveals the glider turning towards you. You're at 8,000 feet near the Livingston Range just North of Cowley Alberta. You can see the mountains, lakes, rivers, towns and roads far below. The two gliders circle inside the thermal. The pilots have their heads on 'swivel', being careful to keep each other in sight to prevent a midair collision.
"Ok, this thermal is dyin', let's carry on," says Dwayne from Grande Prairie.
"Sounds good," I reply as we both roll our gliders level, retract the flaps, and head out to the Southeast.
"When was this?" you might ask.
"Last evening." sez I.
"Where?" you reply, thinking that there's no gliding in The Great White North in February ... eh.
"You been smokin' or drinkin'?"
"Nope, been flyin" I reply.
"Bull Sh--," you say, not watching your language very well I might add.
It's true, been flying, on line. There's a great gliding simulator called Condor that is amazing. The sceneries are photo realistic, the glider handling is very realistic, as are the weather and lift conditions. Some of the top glider pilots from around the world use this simulator to sharpen their skills, and anybody can test themselves flying against these pilots!
People from around the world connect on a daily basis, and fly races on line, using different sceneries. While flying these races you are searching for lift, avoiding mid-air collisions, and always looking for a safe place to land if you run out of lift. With an add-on called TrackIR the view out your glider depends on which way you are looking. Looking left shifts the view out the left side of the glider, looking right lets you look out the right side. Looking up and down shift the view up and down too. Pilots speak to each other using a program called Teamspeake.
With all of this working together, you have a very realistic flight experience, while making friends and honing skills. Who says there's nothing to do in a Canadian Winter? Learn to fly ... right at home!