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Sunday, June 03, 2012

First time flying a glider!

After a surprisingly heavy mist all morning, the sun came out!

Clubhouse where the welcome was warm on a cold morning.

Yesterday I went gliding for the very first time. And it was thrill, especially when my friend and neighbour Stewart let me take-over the controls. I sure was chicken with those pedals and joystick! I'd straighten it out and them over correct massively - a glider takes a moment to react to your stick move, so the pilot must anticipate slightly, which is a tricky thing to learn straight off. Reading the landscape and reading the panels and the wind shifts is another fine balancing act, plus enjoying - yes, learning to enjoy - thermals! We only had a couple of gentle ones when I was piloting, and they freaked me out, pulling the nose suddenly up when I was trying to steer straight and steady. Stewart apologised at the end of the flight for the lack of big thermals - but I was happy about as a first timer! 
Sarah and Stewart before take off.

Power plane towing the glider up.
Our visiting English friend Sara also flew and took over the controls up there in the wild blue yonder. She saw a different view of Australia than she had in her months here. 
While Sara was up and I was watching, two feet firmly planted on terra firma, an urgent call came in to the Eagle's Nest: a power plane had complete engine failure north of Wickepin and was going to land in an open field. The pilot these was thoroughly unflappable, and the Beverley Soaring Society's pilot on duty went up to provide any assistance needed. All was handled calmly and quickly and our towing pilot was back faster than I expected - just minutes away. 
The Eagle's Nest control tower

Andrew Burke, high-flyin' poet, ready for take-off

Thanks to Stewart and Anna - fabulous neighbours and friends - 
and to Sara for being a good buddy during her stay here.
When you want to go gliding, just phone the ever-helpful
at Beverley Soaring Society, an easy drive from Perth.


Sheila Murphy said...

Looks like fun! Keep your eye out for a hitchhiker from Phoenix!!! :)

The` Htut Win said...

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garradunga said...

bloody 'ell mate, rather you than me, congratulations