Was the plane trying to tell me something?


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Was the plane trying to tell me something?

Postby aeajr » Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:17 pm

It was very windy today. So windy that I was the only one on the field.

That should have been my first warning.


I took out my Spirit sailplane and my up-start, my short hi-start that I like to use when I am practicing something around launches or landings. I set my goal for the day to work on my launch, management in the air, and landing of my sailplane in windy conditions. Not thermal hunting today. Which this much wind a thermal would be hard to find anyway.

I tried a couple of test glides first with hand tosses. 3 crashes in a row. What happened? Oh, had the computer set on the wrong plane. I need channel two reversed on the Spirit, which is set on plane 2, but I had it on plane one.

Perhaps this was my second warning!

So I fixed that and had several good hand glides. Finally I started to fly. I added about an ounce of ballast to help with wind penetration.

Well, I am not master of the wind and the Spirit is not really the best plane for these conditions. However the launches were perfect, about 200-250 feet which is great on my up-start.

I had to work hard to handle the plane in the strong gusts, but I guess I got better as the day went on. However one rough landing broke the trailing edge where the rubber bands hold one of the wings.

Third warning?

I was able to fix it at the field so I could fly some more. I made another five or six launches and was coming to the end of my time at the field.

Now, I have seen the really good pilots land their planes right on "the mark". They get down into a crouched stance and bring the plane toward them. At the exact moment, they put it down on the landing mark. So I decide to try that.

Are you getting ready for the pay-off?

Here comes the plane - wind gusting - floating in at about 5 feet waggeling in the wind. I am bringing it into the wind, down in the crouch just about to touch when a big gust hits, the plane balloons up and flys right into ME! The wing hits me across the middle and my elbo catches the tail fin and breakes it.

Do you suppose the plane was angry that I had been tossing it up into that nasty wind all day? Did I miss the hints? Had I ignored all those warning?

My wife says I can't take a hint. Do you suppose the Spirit feels that way too and was just trying to get my attention?

I wonder.
Best regards,
Junior Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2003 8:05 pm
Location: LI, NY, USA

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