Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Last of the Summer Flyin'

It' been a great week for flying. On Monday evening I went over to Green Dragons after work, and got three winch flights in the Woldingham Valley. The launch was from the top of a low ridge so I was being towed downhill, which was a new experience fro me. In practice this just meant that I got higher quicker. The Valley was beautiful in the evening sunlight, but like a guy on a date in a Thai restaurant, my gaze was torn away by the greater beauties that unfolded as I rocketed skywards and a panoramic view of London opened up below me.

I was down at Green Dragons again yesterday evening. This time the wind looked good for soaring. We hung around at the Westerly Bowl waiting for the wind to drop, and by about quarter to 7 it was safe to fly. For once everything came together - the weather, my confidence, reverse launching skills, control of the glider in the air, and slope landing on my feet (not my bum). I got four soaring flights along the top of the ridge. The lift was strong but bumpy, so it was like riding a roller-coaster along the ridge. I got the hang of turning gently away from the slope whenever I hit sink, and on two occasions this saved me from landing in the bushes (but not from scraping my butt through their topmost branches). My final flight was beautiful - the sun had set, and a huge moon was rising over the ridge.

To crown a great evening, Andy signed me off as Club Pilot! So after 15 months of struggle and heartache I have finally completed my training. This means I am free to fly anywhere in the world in a Club environment - I'm no longer tied to the school. Foreign skies are beckoning!


No comments: