Kiting on Tow

If you look through the NTSB database, as far back as the records go, you will find that the US loses a tow plane pilot every few years. The official reports use phrases like “loss of control”, “upset”, “divergent”, or “kiting”. I am not going to be so polite. What they really mean is that … Read more

Never do another Flight Review.

Did you know that you never need to take another biennial flight review. When I first earned my private certificate, if I wasn’t interested in a higher rating, I never needed to fly with another flight instructor, ever again. Many pilots flew that way. After all, once I earned my driver’s license, I didn’t need … Read more

PGC Memorial

As many of you know, wave lift can form down wind of a ridge if the winds are strong and the air is stable. The lift is very smooth, and can reach an altitude several times that of the ridge that forms it. Some of our members have traveled to mountainous regions during the right … Read more

GoPro Cameras are COOL

My wonderful wife gave me a GoPro camera for my birthday a couple of years ago. For those of you who haven’t seen one, this is a very small digital camera that is easy to use. It has a fixed focal length fish-eye lens and can record pictures or movies. It comes with a watertight … Read more

Tripple Whiskey Double Foxtrot

Triple Whiskey Double Foxtrot We’ve all read the stories of epic wave flights. Climbs to twenty, twenty five thousand feet or even higher. Oxygen. Cold. Wave windows. Frosted over canopies. Lenticular clouds. Rotors. Cracking gel coat and diamond badges. When there is a strong wind blowing against a ridge, the air is forced up to several times the height of the ridge. If the air is cool and stable, it falls back down to the surface, compresses, and bounces back up even higher. The cycle repeats itself downwind of the ridge, and each crest gets higher and higher. People travel hundreds of miles to glider destinations that boast high wave flights, but you can find wave at PGC.

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Slow Approaches

Glider Pilots- I found the attached article in the latest Soaring Magazine, and wanted to make sure you had all caught it. You do read your Soaring Magazine don’t you? You are a member of the Soaring Society of America aren’t you? If not, you should be. Yes, I know, it’s not the best magazine in the world, but it is a lot better than it use to be, and some of the articles are right on the mark. Please read the article. It explains the difference between a low energy touch down, and a slow speed approach. The numbers are for an ASW-21, not one of our gliders, so don’t dwell on them, but you’ll get the idea.

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Sterile Cockpit

Friends- The weather is warm, the evenings are long, the grandchildren are fun, and I haven’t felt like writing. Fortunately I’ve received some help this month. Craig Levine comes from an airline back ground, and mentioned a particular concern of his. With a little arm twisting I convinced him to make the following contribution: Sterile Cockpit So there I was, sitting at the instructor meeting in a very comfortable location on the couch. We were discussing many issues in regards to improving safety at the field. I opened my mouth and made a few suggestions about sterile cockpit environment. The irony is that if I kept it “sterile” I wouldn’t be writing this article. However as soon opened my mouth Phil Klauder looked over at me and said “Good, can you write an article on the “Sterile Cockpit”. Ok let’s make it clear, my day job is a pilot and I’ve never been much of a writer but here goes nothing…

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Art of the Turn

Friends- This one is important. This one, you have to read. This one can save your life. Ever since people began keeping records, one third of the fatal aviation accidents have been caused by aircraft stalling and spinning into the ground when the pilot tried to make his last turn or two to line up with the runway. I’m not just talking about gliders. I’m not just talking about small personal aircraft. I’m not just talking about US pilots, or last year’s accidents. I’m talking about a statistic that hasn’t changed in 100 years, regardless of education programs and training requirements.

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Positive control Check

Friends- If you haven’t heard, Quebec Delta was grounded a little while ago when one of our members had flown it and found that it was badly out of trim. The adjustment was so far out that the glider ballooned up unexpectedly on takeoff, and required full forward trim and forward stick pressure for the entire flight. When Jack disassembled the glider to investigate, he found that the pushrod that controls the elevator trim had been badly bent. Fortunately Jack was able to straighten the pushrod and reassemble the glider. If the pushrod had been bent any more, we would have had to order a new one from Germany, and the glider would probably have been grounded for months.

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