I am a passionate glider pilot. And this is a story about me taking off with my plane, and the people that I meet at the flying field.
I have been a passionate glider pilot for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I used to fly many times a year with my dad. Now, that he has retired, we fly almost every weekend. The big passion of mine is to start from mountain airfields, where the so-called ridge flying is possible. This means that you take off from the top of one mountain, and ride up in the air by the updrafts generated by wind going against the side of another mountain. It gives you an amazing feeling of free flight!
In the summer we usually go to our favourite place in Central Europe – Alps in Austria or South Germany. Because it’s not in our own country there are always some things to be taken care of before leaving: get all necessary documents (flying license, insurance), prepare yourself and your plane (get new maps, check all instruments) and last but certainly not least, find someone to help you pack everything in your car and drive to the location (because sometimes it takes 2 days of driving).
The glider plane is one of the most exciting and meaningful experiences of my life. I have been active in the gliding sport since 2009 and have since flown over 800 hours in all kind of weather conditions.
I learned how to fly a glider when I was 17 at an airfield in northern Germany. My first flight was with a two-seater plane, which was towed into the air by another aircraft. At 2500 feet above ground my instructor released the cable and we were free!
Flying a glider is a unique experience that allows you to become one with nature. It gives you a new perspective on the world below and provides you with the opportunity to experience nature in its purest form.
As I gained more flight time and experience, I became confident enough to fly on my own. A flying license is not required for this type of aircraft but it is highly recommended for safety reasons due to the simplicity of the plane.
My favorite part of flying a glider is thermalling – climbing in rising columns of hot air, also known as thermals, which can take a glider up several thousand feet above ground altitude. Once you reach cloud base at around 5000 feet you can then glide away from your thermal and search for another one. Theoret
Once a year for the last five years I have traveled to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to fly in a glider. The experience is both exhilarating and peaceful.
A glider is a small, unpowered aircraft. Gliders are designed for soaring, which is flying without an engine. They are towed into the air by a powered aircraft, usually by a rope attached to the glider’s nose, and then released. After release, the pilot flies the glider using thermals (rising columns of warm air) and ridges of wind blowing up the side of hills or mountains (called ridge lift). There are no moving parts on a glider; no engine, propeller or flaps.
The pilot sits in an open cockpit with little more than a seat belt and shoulder harness. I love being able to see all around me, not just through a windshield or window. The wide-open cockpit gives me an unobstructed view of other gliders and full access to all my instruments.
Gliding is a sport that allows you to experience the feeling of flying in its purest form. A pilot flies with a lightweight glider aircraft, without an engine, and enjoys the sensation of soaring and gliding on warm air currents. In this book, I am going to explain how gliders work, where to learn how to fly them, what it feels like when you’re up in the air, and much more! So let’s begin!
Gliders are lightweight planes that have no engines. The pilot has to soar or glide on rising currents of warm air in order to stay up in the sky. The pilot uses thermals – rising currents of warm air – to gain altitude like a kite, and then uses the energy stored in this altitude in order to glide forward. To help the pilot find thermals, a passenger holds something out of the window (like a paper bag) as they fly through each thermal so that they can see them from inside the glider. Gliders can also be towed by other aircraft into the sky for a fee before being released at about 3,000 feet above ground level (or 1km).
There are two main types of gliders: sailplanes and motorised gliders. Sailplanes are the most common type
The challenge of flying the perfect glider flight is addictive. I have been flying them since I was a little kid, and it is one of the few hobbies that I have stuck with throughout my life. Some people go for the thrill of aerobatics. Others enjoy soaring over the gorgeous countryside. For me, it is about being up in the air and trying to fly as efficiently as possible.
The problem with flying a glider plane is that–as the name implies–it has no engine. It has to gain altitude from drafts of warm air called thermals, or by being towed behind powered aircraft. Once it reaches a certain altitude, however, it can glide for hours at a time. This is different than hang gliding or paragliding because gliders are real aircraft that can seat two people and hold more weight than ultralight aircraft .
I love to enter cross-country competitions where I try to fly from point A to point B as efficiently as possible . This means taking advantage of thermals while avoiding descending air currents known as sinkholes . The most important skill needed to do this is knowing how to read the weather, especially wind patterns . You also need to know how to interpret the signals from
Glider pilots, like pilots of any other aircraft, must observe the airspace requirements discussed in Chapter 3, which state that you may not operate an aircraft within a lateral distance of 500 feet from any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure that is not under your control. Glider pilots also have additional airspace responsibilities related to the operation of their aircraft.
Gliders are different from powered aircraft in that they do not have an engine. They must be towed and released at an appropriate altitude so that they can glide to another location. The towing aircraft must maintain a distance of 1,000 feet from clouds before release. After release from tow, the glider is considered an unpowered aircraft and is subject to all applicable FARs for unpowered aircraft.
Gliders do not always land where they take off. Most glider pilots launch their gliders from airplanes and then land at airports without flight service stations (FSSs) or control towers. Many such airports are located in rural areas away from busy airspace; however, some are close to controlled airports where separation services may be required, or to airspace where you must establish radio contact with air traffic control (ATC). In this chapter we will discuss how to navigate the skies safely when operating gliders near controlled airspace or
A glider is a special kind of aircraft that has no engine. To stay aloft, it must be launched into the air like a kite and then ride the breeze and currents of rising air.
Soaring is one of the oldest forms of flight, dating back thousands of years to when man first tried to fly. Early attempts at flying were with gliders or kites. The Wright brothers’ first powered airplane was actually a glider!
Today, soaring is still done for pleasure and sport, but it can also be used for scientific research and other practical purposes. Gliders are used for meteorological research, for training pilots, and for search and rescue missions by dropping off spotters over a forest fire or other area where visibility may be limited.