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Gliding - now I get it

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Gliding - now I get it

Old 21st Dec 2020, 19:20
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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Kristal

A) it wasnít me.
B) the seat pan had been unscrewed..removed..spanner left inside..not that they needed to unbolt anything there...pan replaced ..screwed up then placed in trailer with nothing said after the glider had been test flown and purchased.

Wrt a previous post ..the pilot in the K21 incident loaned his Fox to a fellow competitor (and author) in the UK nationals unlimited class. 45 degree inverted down line..360 degree inverted flick followed by push out. Flick turned into slow roll with nose dropping...glider went through VNE...push started then changed to a high G pull through. Noise like machine gun fire as airbrakes lifted bending heavy duty pushrods. Glider returned to manufacturer.
My only indiscretions were in my Pilatus B4AF with self taught from book flicks etc ( didnít have access to a two seater nor than instructor).. first was unable to complete a full 360 flick until I discovered that I had to start them on a shallow down line. Second was a slow roll at 1,000 ft (off the wire); when I stalled inverted from having pushed too hard...conscious of going nowhere I pulled through with 6G to stop speed build up which worked.
I later modified life raft smoke flares attached to the wing tips .....few stories there.


Spin ..still from video
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 20:02
  #142 (permalink)  
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Must admit, I saw Bob Grimstead pushing out from a stall turn in a Fournier RF-4 a few years ago and I did hear Sergeant Wilson in my head saying "are you sure that's wise?". No doubt the RF-4 is built for several negative Gs, I just can't recall seeing the Skyhawks doing anything much negative other than the mirror pass.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 20:21
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Loose Rivets:
Innominate, I'm dying to know how you were holding the throttle.
As far as I can remember, I don't think I was doing much wrong in that regard.

On the subject of Andy Gough, in 1977 I and a few chums from the Leeds Poly Gliding Club went to Finningley for the air display, which included much of the previous day's Royal Review of the RAF with the addition of Andy's aerobatic display. Jaws dropped when he did a low loop towards the crowd; he did two more and (judging by my slides) the bottom of the third loop was less than half a wingspan off the deck. As others have said, he clearly managed energy very well, but we were not surprised when we heard of his fatal accident.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 20:31
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
CJ,
Andy Gough ( RIP )....in some ways, a classic Swiss cheese. "Father" was noted for his ever increasing " close to the envelope, if not outside it " flying displays and, whilst nobody can / could, dispute his flying skills, there was the problem, due to whom he was, as to who was going to tell him to tone them down at bit. FOD was a factor. Human error then combined to align the holes.
Andy G certainly pushed his luck quite a bit during his displays,I wonder if he knew how lightly built the outer wing structure was on Blaniks,iirc he was an MT Fitter by original trade.
Anyway in 1985 whilst I was working for Hawker Squiddeley 'somewhere in surrey' - I decided to have a few weeks gliding holiday back at my old gliding club in zimbabwe.
It turned out to be a classic 'Busmans Holiday',a day or 2 before I arrived - one of the senior instructors had attacked a Parked Slingsby Dart 15 (lead sled) with a Blanik Wing whilst on ground roll after landing at dusk - he saw it at the last minute and stuffed on full aileron to try to miss it but probably actually made it worse (an instinctive act).
Nobody at the club knew anything about metal repairs so guess what.... the rivets and skin pins cost a bottle of whisky from a contact at Air Zim and I had 7 days of 'fun' in a hot and sweaty workshop.
I dangled a small weight from the back of the 'Tip Tank' to retain the correct 'Wash Out' at the tip.
I of course had to do the Air Test including some loops etc so that the members knew it was safe to fly,actually personally flying the air test was less stressful than watching a pilot do an air test after a major job - my heart used to be in my mouth sometimes watching first flights after major jobs on a/c over the years.






Looked a wee bit better after repair.


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Old 21st Dec 2020, 21:03
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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I was offered, and accepted, a trip in a Blanik at Doncaster in around 1968. To me it was more like a spaceship rather than a glider. It was also my first aerotow.

We landed after 20 minutes and I went back to Bawtry.

Within days, I was informed that it had "folded up" and had come down on the dual carriageway next to the field.

A sobering introduction to "what could go wrong, probably will"

IG
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Old 22nd Dec 2020, 14:54
  #146 (permalink)  
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BP

" A) it wasn’t me.

B) the seat pan had been unscrewed..removed..spanner left inside..not that they needed to unbolt anything there...pan replaced ..screwed up then placed in trailer with nothing said after the glider had been test flown and purchased.

My only indiscretions were in my Pilatus B4AF"

I've condensed the above for this reply.

A ) Fair enough, I'll retract my statement as to your liability.

B ) Now, you'll have to excuse me here being a former BGA inspector, signed off by a Mr D. Stratton, the interview took about 2 mins and he wasn't exactly enamoured to BS / incompetence / ego's so he must have been happy I had a vague idea about maintenance, but that statement shows a complete lack of understanding as to airworthiness. The fact the aircraft had been test flown, the seat pan had been removed / refitted is irrelevant .albeit I accept this introduced the FOD

What is relevant, is, that, as soon as the aircraft arrived, it should have been subjected to a detailed inspection, which, strangely enough, would involve removing said, seat pan ! , Just rigging it, then flying, on trust, isn't remotely sensible. How, for example, do you expect to find hidden or unreported damage ?

As for your "only indiscretions "..in the Pilatus ..really ?.....your posts have contained a litany of "indiscretions, " although the classic was the 5000m climb, "before hypoxia set in ".....out of interest, can you recall the low point ?....not always the same as the point of release .....it's just, that, even with my lousy maths and being generous as in, say, 2000ft, that still puts you up around FL 185 / FL190........for us mere mortals, it's always been advisable to keep Mother Nature happy. She'll only let you take the proverbial for so long after all.

I refer to your post # 83 in which you opined you were pleased we had never met. I can only reciprocate and assure you, if we had, you would have remembered the meeting.(s)

longer ron.......nice photo's and clearly something involving my life long allergy.....work Never got to that stage, but did do a patch repair near the tail wheel once after the pilot performed a "carrier landing "....the Blanik , thanks to the stick, was prone to over rotation in the flare if not gently persuaded to land. Pleased to say, the next time it happened, it was taken back to the factory who were impressed with the over engineered patch which was still intact.

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 22nd Dec 2020 at 18:52.
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Old 22nd Dec 2020, 21:47
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Dear Krystal
perhaps I miss wrote a previous post...it was a climb to 5,000 m above sea level.
I am well aware of the symptoms of even mild hypoxia as in 1970 I was exposed to past the point of loss of consciousness thanks to Auntie Betty and her sailor friends decompression chamber in Pompey. I used to take a few minutes heavy intake of pure oxygen before starting descent especially on some of my long haul flights which fairly quickly reenergised my hearing and vision.
I also fairly regularly flew up to FL130 whilst rock polishing in the Alps Maritime..these escapades gave me headaches due to lack of oxygen and I limited the duration to five hours.
With regard to the 8mm spanner..I too attempted to get a rating from Dick Stratton purely because of several gliders being signed out which had obvious defects and as I owned three I wanted to cut out the middle man. Not having an official aviation grease monkey qualification I gave up and most of the stuff I flew I did a secondary check for my own safety. This was after one of my machines crashed fresh out of inspection in the hands of a full cat instructor but it wasnít an isolated case in the least.
My phoebus had a ďmandatoryĒ mod to the early hoteliers which was inappropriate and led to the ailerons binding so was immediately removed after annual inspection.
My mates Lambada on the South African register that I did some fabulous flying in had itís annual by the importers and a few hours later an engine fire due to their shoddy work.
I flew a couple of loops in a grob at the Cape club only to have the canopy fall off when clearing the runway as the inspector who had tarted her up over winter had epoxied the canopy hinges and filled the bolt holes with P38.
Both in France and Australia Iíve had to go to the CFI and stop an aircraft being flown when an inspection was prudent.
I was fortunate that from an early age (13) I worked on cars, motorcycles, boats and built the latter, had 40 years of model flying, plus was one of the Wunderkind trained by the corporations so please donít lecture me.
Whilst an old fart I have survived half a century plus in aviation so it canít be all down to luck and ignorance.
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Old 23rd Dec 2020, 08:11
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by blind pew View Post
Instructor on the stick.
..last was on a requalification in France a couple of years ago where I let go of the stick and his nibs unbeknown landed himself...said that was better then sent me solo..
Interesting; I did something similar when flying from Valence(F) when the heavy hand of the instructor behind was quite obvious on the stick whilst I was theoretically flying it...I just quietly let go and the aircraft continued going where the instructor wanted us to go...I handed control back to him at the required moment and he seemed none the wiser. I've had this several times when flying in France at various clubs and also the shouty version too...It can't all be my crap flying...can it
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Old 23rd Dec 2020, 08:28
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
This was at the time that registration, certification, etc was being pretty much imposed on the gliding world here. One thing notable at that meeting was that a fair proportion of those present were opposed to having their DIY approach to flying and maintaining aeroplanes taken away. One thing that got mentioned time and time again was that their system wasn't broken, so didn't need changing. I did bite my tongue a bit, given that it was fairly common knowledge that flight safety within some BGA clubs wasn't as good as it could have been.
The BGA has always run its own show and has done a bloody good job of it generally, including the airworthiness/inspection/maintenance side. The record speaks for itself. There will always be black sheep, but on the whole I've only ever witnessed in 40 years very high standards in this respect.
The K-21 incident mentioned in this thread though does frighten me...Surely many people were involved in unloading, inspecting, rigging, positive checks and pre flight inspection, and no-one thought to have a bloody good look round inside it beforehand The BGA can preach about the correct procedures until it's blue in the face, but if this is what people on the coalface are happy to do, then there's no hope.

Tin gliders- I've always quite liked the metal stuff. I've flown a few Blaniks over the years but they do have a disturbing tendency to make a helluva racket in lumpy air! I did a check flight in one at Grobnik(SL) years ago in some low level wave and we went through the worst turbulence(rotor) I've ever experienced. The scariest thing apart from the approach angle was the noise from the airframe
Oh, and I watched a B4 dismember itself in France a few years ago, luckily without serious injury to the driver(I'm reluctant to use the term pilot after reading the accident report...). It did make for some spectacular photos though...
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Old 23rd Dec 2020, 10:53
  #150 (permalink)  
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BP,

Dick Stratton ( RIP ) was a very astute man.......

"Whilst an old fart I have survived half a century plus in aviation so it can’t be all down to luck and ignorance."

Indeed, and who am I am to question your self effacing modesty in this respect, or even suggest the above statement falls into the same category as, say, Amelia Earheart, for example.

" I also fairly regularly flew up to FL130 whilst rock polishing in the Alps Maritime..these escapades gave me headaches due to lack of oxygen and I limited the duration to five hours.


Yep, those headaches should always be disregarded.....as Dirty Harry said " a good man knows his limitations "

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 23rd Dec 2020 at 14:58.
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Old 23rd Dec 2020, 17:00
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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As mentioned there were some good and bad clubs and procedures. I left mine after a decade because of the accidents and injuries from using the obviously dangerous bga winching procedures which had not evolved with the advent of high power winches and the acceleration that they imposed on glider and pilot.
I wrote to the my CFI on witnessing another near accident with a trail lesson which was another bug bear which I had taken up with the National coach as it was foolish to demonstrate a stall on the an already frightened punter during his first venture into the ether.
Two years later whilst delivering our Discus to my partner in the UK I picked up his S&G and read that two more experienced pilots had died winching. I wrote a letter to S&G in extremely blunt terms which was a constructive criticism and the remedies. After a series of emails and phone calls I sent it to one of the executive, again ignored but the next month I drove up to Bicester to help a mate with his Stemme and PS appeared. Cornered he played the thicko and in the end I mentioned that if I appeared at an inquest the BGA would probably cease to exist. You might remember the horrendous cost after a National coach was sacked, one of those who took the decision to fight a court action was also the fool who wrote to the DGAC and stopped the gentleman’s agreement that our licenses were valid in France. A french CFI friend negotiated a special procedure for me which I sent off to Spreckly and was published in S&G although by this time Brian had decided to close his French operation.

The upshot was new winching procedure was adopted and the ten year fatality rate has halved.

Dick
After flying Guy’s Fox I bought an absolute gem of a Pilatus B4 from Germany. It had never been club operated, had less than 1000 hours and was high spec including Dutch anti wire bars behind a tinted canopy with a display flare system.
Sadly a friend was towing it up to Arboyne when a bird rear ended him causing damage to both wings, tailplane and rudder so I phoned Dick who recommended a tranny in the West Country although he didn’t mention that He/She was into his wife’s underwear.
We had a BA captain who whilst average when he was taking his hormones he became a liability..BA sacked him although I missed his polka dot Bikini on nightstops
I insisted I wanted a full wing skin replacement and to pay for storage as well as the estimate which I hoped would facilitate a quick settlement. I paid upfront around £1,000 and after over a month I got a phone call from the loss adjuster as the repairer had offered a Arfur Daley job at half the price.
I contacted Dietmar Poll in Berne..not only a Specialist in plastic structures who had been head hunted by the Swiss, he was European aerobatic champion and the only person in Switzerland qualified on all three glider construction types. He agreed to repair it over the new year break if I drove it over. Long story shortish after a month I contacted the local constabulary after taking legal advice wrt breaking into the yard and drove out west to find the glider where I had left it around six months before in a milking parlour, half out of the trailer with the cockpit open and covered in straw and filth. The tyres were knackered. Absolute disgrace..so much for recommendation.
Arriving in Berne Dietmar took a wing out into his workshop and inspected it to discover that the AD on the airbrakes had not been correctly carried out. Extremely lucky for me as there had been two fatal accidents with the failure of a push rod after fouling the bellcrank and placing a lateral load on the attaching rivets which failed. The mod had been inspected and passed in the UK and our club had a similar fault on one side.

I had a very sticky situation at Puimoisson with my Discus Turbo extended making lots of noise and little power resulting in a final turn below 50ft and shutting the fuel cock off to land with the motor extended which is not certified.
Both elevator and rudder were in disturbed airflow.
I contacted the engineer who designed and built the glider who asked if I had carried out the air box modification? My partner had had the glider from new and apparently no one in the BGA knew of the mod.
The clue for me is that as I closed the fuel cock the revs increased. A good half round bastard file and an hours elbow grease solved the problem.
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Old 23rd Dec 2020, 17:14
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure if this counts as being bad practice or not - comments welcome from those with far more experience. Scenario - my first instructional/introduction to gliding flight at a gliding club. Previous experience a handful of air experience flights when in the ATC around twelve years or so earlier (none since then). Introduced to the glider (a Blanik) and given a brief on the controls, instruments, instructional procedures, etc, plus some safety related stuff, like what to do in emergencies. Strapped in to the front seat, the plan being to aerotow behind a Chipmunk to 3,000ft. Nothing more on what we might do during the flight.

The instant we released the tow, the instructor dived and then pulled straight up into a loop. No warning to me at all, and frankly it scared me shitless at the time, mainly because I just wasn't expecting it at all. The rest of the flight was OK, but my nerves were shot to pieces, so trying to master level flying at a set speed was made massively harder than it should have been, IMHO. May be this was seen as a way to sift out time wasters, who may not stick with gliding. May be this instructor just believed that this was a good way to introduce people to gliding. All I know is that, for me, it sort of set the tone of the whole experience of learning to fly, and not in a particularly good way.
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 00:14
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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People who do this should not hold an instructor rating (and would not on my watch).

Last edited by FullOppositeRudder; 24th Dec 2020 at 00:35. Reason: I found it necessary to severely tone down my initial reaction and comments
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 03:31
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Back in the mid 70s, one likely ex Luftwaffe instructor would happily demonstrate loops to intros if that was what they had asked for ahead of time. There were quite a few that wanted the experience and I saw several from the ground. In a Blanik loops are approved, at least in those days. Blaniks were the initial trainer for aspiring East Block air force pilots. Flaps and retractable landing gear were there to add some measure of complexity, but little in performance. There are many stories of flaps going in and out on final while the spoilers stayed put

Landing on retracted gear was a non-event, but common. The remedy was to lift the tail high enough that the gear could be put down.
​​
It got tricky between the 13 & 23 because the gear handle motion was opposite between models.

I remember even in this century some US commercial sites billed the Blanik as a "high performance" glider

At the time it came out it was quite a good glider, especially compared to rag and tube. Glass ships were in their often precarious infancy.

I remember a photo of a Blanik that spun in. The pilot suffered broken ankles.


Last edited by RatherBeFlying; 24th Dec 2020 at 03:43.
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 04:07
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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Blind Pew:
I also fairly regularly flew up to FL130 whilst rock polishing in the Alps Maritime..these escapades gave me headaches due to lack of oxygen and I limited the duration to five hours.
Surely this should be in the Darwin thread?
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 05:53
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RatherBeFlying View Post
I remember even in this century some US commercial sites billed the Blanik as a "high performance" glider
Compared with a 2-33 it probably was
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 07:58
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RatherBeFlying View Post
I remember even in this century some US commercial sites billed the Blanik as a "high performance" glider
Hi RBF
It is all relative I suppose - having trained on T31's (Mk3) - my first flights in both a Bocian 1E and a L13 Blanket certainly felt like being in a high performance glider,although it was a little strange to have one of those canopy things .
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 09:04
  #158 (permalink)  
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BP...

Well first, thanks for providing a revisionist, or alternative if you prefer, perspective on physiology, metabolism and flight safety on this thread. All those books and papers on these topics now debunked !

Plus, your contribution to UK gliding of course.....blue plaques will surely adorn every club in the future !.... albeit these are usually placed after the individual has passed away, but, with your natural modesty, possibly you would wish to perform the unveiling ceremonies yourself whilst still with us ?......sadly, Icarus was only mythology, however, had you been available to advise him, then the catastrophic wing failure, and slightly flawed design, may never have happened .

I get the impression you weren't entirely happy with Dick Stratton....however, I'm at a loss as to making the link between the BGA inspector's sexual orientation and his ability. I assume you informed Mr Stratton of your experience ?

You mentioned a PS at Bicester....which narrows the field slightly as there's only one PS I know and can think of along with "thicko ".....which, I feel very safe in saying, he's anything but. Possibly he "adapted the conversation to suit " you might say ?....as have I in the past, although my own village idiot impression obviously requires no effort on my part.


How did you change the launch procedure ?

As for aerobatics on an air experience, or intro to training flight, erm quite simple really " NO WAY ! ".....if the " pilot " does such, then he / she is clearly suffering from an over inflated ego and should be removed from flying there and then....preferably never to return as such actions are just plain stupid and dangerous, Caveat....I can understand these taking place in a club which specifically offers the public the opportunity to enjoy glider aerobatics, but even in these circumstances, it pays to exercise caution because it's easy to read people. Said pax may well be "lets go for it ! " on the ground, only to be anything but once airborne.

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 24th Dec 2020 at 14:45.
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 09:19
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
As for aerobatics on an air experience, or intro to training flight, erm quite simple really " NO WAY ! ".....if the " pilot " does such, then he / she is clearly suffering from an over inflated ego and should be removed from flying there and then....preferably never to return as such actions are just plain stupid and dangerous, Caveat....I can understand these taking place in a club which specifically offers the public the opportunity to enjoy glider aerobatics, but even in these circumstances, it pays to exercise caution. because it's easy to read people. Said pax may well be "lets go for it ! " on the ground, only to be anything but once airborne.
Thanks, that tallies with my view. As already mentioned, there were one or two instructors at that club that seemed to lack people skills, would shout at students and weren't people I ever felt comfortable flying with. It was my misfortune to end up with one of these for my first instructional flight. It was only after the flight, when I was given a training card with the syllabus in it, that I realised that this first flight was supposed to cover effects of controls. I'm not at all averse to aerobatics, in fact the aeros during my last flight, a couple of months ago, were the highlight of the flight. The problem at that first glider instructional flight was that my flying experience consisted of a few winch launches from Halton, an air experience flight in a Chipmunk from White Waltham (both more than a decade earlier when a cadet), plus a few transport flights as a passenger. I just wasn't prepared to experience a loop on a first flight.
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 11:07
  #160 (permalink)  

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When I was a PPL FI I flew a good many trial lessons. Some people were extremely nervous, some not at all and very occasionally one would ask about doing a loop or similar.

It has to be remembered that flying for a living one can quickly forget what a strange sensation it is to fly for the first time. If I had a nervous customer, once in the aeroplane, I would explain what was going to happen from the moment of applying power for take off onwards. I wanted them to enjoy the experience and come back for lessons!
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