I hope you enjoy my blog, a collection of articles and thoughts regarding my interests. I'm a married father of two that loves to write about gliding, hunting, fishing, camping and any outdoor passion. Oh yah, I'm a quadriplegic. I hope this is informative to some, entertaining to others, and interesting to all. Let me know what you think. If you'd like an article for your publication, I've got words I haven't even used yet!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Flying Week

Glider for wheelchair - good trade!
Well, last week was the Edmonton Soaring Club's soaring week, what a pile of fun!

Monday we arrived in the field and put my name on the list to fly, and Trevor stepped forth and volunteered to man the back seat for me. My arm strength is on the weak side so I need help with the tow, as it sometimes requires some strength and full movement of the controls to stay behind the tow plane .
Trevor supervising my landing.

At first it did not look like there was going to be very much lift, but as we got in the air the clouds were forming.   The lift turned out to be pretty good, and all that Condor practicing seemed pay off , we stayed up for 94 minutes !

"I'll fly with you anytime! " said Trevor after the flight , I took it as a huge compliment to hear that from such a good pilot !

 Tuesday I headed back up to the field, and when I arrived I noticed that nobody was flying .

" How come nobody's in the air? " I ask .

 "The air is flat, there appears to be no lift ." comes comes the reply.

  "Okay, we'll go do our sausage run and then come back , hopefully there will be lift by then . "

 We load back into the van and take off for a nearby town that has a fantastic sausage shop,  within an hour we are back of the flying field.

 " Well  there still doesn't seem to be any lift, did you want to go for a flight anyhow? " I'm told .

" Sure do! I'm here so I might as well fly! "

 It takes About 10 minutes to load me into the glider, there is no hurry because nobody else wants to fly yet anyhow . John volunteers to ride in the back with me, brave soul!  We put my cuff on so that I can grab the stick, get me all positioned and strapped in and away we go! John in the back does the tow, and at 3000 feet above ground we release from the tow plane.

"Okay, get yourself organized," John says from the back.

"I'm ready,"

"You've got control," John says handing over control of the Puchacz to me.

We fly around from cloud to cloud trying to find lift, and a few times we find some mild thermals, but just enough to stay up about 40 minutes or so.

Upon arriving back at the flight line in the glider, Jason volunteers to ride in the back for another flight, so off we go! We managed to stay up for half an hour or so even in the low lift conditions.

Saturday rolled around and it looks like a great day for flying. We pack my flying stuff, and us quadriplegics always seem to pack around a lot of crap, and head to Chipman!

Jason had told me about a flight recorder application for iPhones, and I downloaded it before this flight. It was really easy to use. You simply download the free app into your phone, start it up and hit the "record" button and put the phone in your pocket or aircraft. After the flight is over you simply turn it off and the flight-track is saved. It records your exact track, speed, how good your thermalling is, even which direction you prefer to turn! There's also a whole bunch of stuff I don't know about yet but will definitely keep playing with this! Once again we got towed to 3000 feet, but this time there was lots of lift!

Our flight track, a free iPhone app
Thermalling with Mike in RXQ
There were three gliders in the air at the same time, and we got to thermal with the other ones! What a blast it was to have another glider in the same column of air, there you are going around and around watching the other ones, being careful to keep a safe distance. It was very much like the Condor simulator.
We did several climbs up to cloud base, which was 6500 feet, and the flight lasted about 85 minutes, was it ever exciting! Jason got quite a few photos from the back seat, and we had video cameras on the glider, what fun!

Thanks again to the great folks at the Edmonton Soaring Club for all the fun! I hope to make it back soon!