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-   -   Gliding - now I get it (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/636674-gliding-now-i-get.html)

INSCRINIUM 11th Nov 2020 19:06


Originally Posted by VP959 (Post 10923969)
I wonder how many people here had their first flight in a Sedburgh and their first powered flight in a Chipmunk? Must be a few with that combination, I suspect. After my first glider flight at RAF Halton my first powered flight was later that same year, 1965 I think, in a Chipmunk from RAF White Waltham, an ATC air experience flight. My mother was dead chuffed I'd flown from there, as she'd been a WRAF radio operator there from 1949 to 1951. I still have a photo of her from then, standing next to an Anson at White Waltham, after her first ever flight.

Opposite way round for me and slightly different.
​​RAF section of CCF took me to Cambridge a few times in the late 70s for Air Experience in Chipmunks (first aeros too, which I loved) and in the Lower Sixth or thereabouts spent a very happy time at 616 VGS (RAF Henlow) learning on Ventures. Heavens knows how I survived the solos, I was the opposite of a 'natural' :O

Just as well I was deemed medically unsuitable
for a career in aviation ("Permanently Unfit" is the phrase that sticks in mind) as I got my disappointment in early and went off to do interesting and well-paid stuff on the ground!!

anxiao 12th Nov 2020 05:30

I used to fly a T31 and T31 and be a general dogsbody at the Doncaster club in 1964 (four shillings for a cable launch!) but ATC gave me a "C" licence at Kirton in Lindsay in 1966. A wonderful experience for a young kid. Air experience in the Chippie was usually at Leeming, and once a year on the summer camp on various East Anglian stations. So yes another one here for the T21 and Chipmunk memorial flight...

blind pew 12th Nov 2020 07:12

5 to 10 gliders in a thermal
 
Luxury..obviously never flown in a prestart comp thermal with 40 odd others.
Had a great day "gliding" two weeks ago..two hours thrashing my Bristol 409 through the cevennes to Millau...got my kit out only to find my vario was u/s so had an hour paragliding by the seat of my pants and following the vultures. Fortunately rough conditions which kept most of the others on the ground so none of the 20 gliders within 100m botty twitching.
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....3bd1197235.jpg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....caf234ce62.jpg

old,not bold 12th Nov 2020 08:54

To someone like me, who started gliding in T21s at Lasham when Derek Pigott was CFI, ie more decades ago than I care to remember, graduated to the Swallow and Silver C by 1960, then stopped when sent abroad for 20 or so years by Her Maj and never restarted, not least because I was into powered flight, this video is jaw-droppingly astonishing. I wish I had restarted!

I'm sure that flying a glider imparts piloting skills that someone who has only flown under power will never have. Forced landings? Not a problem, I've had to do it twice (mag X 2 failure, and engine fire). No big deal, due to glider training under DP 10 years before.

Hot 'n' High 12th Nov 2020 11:54

Gliding was always fun. :8 Recall one check flight with a rather strict Instructor who maybe used to make his points in a rather "overbearing" way. H 'n' H "won him" for a routine "Check Flight" so off we bombed. As the Club did Aero and Winch Launches, the SOP was Aero to 3k or so and do the stuff +, at some point, do a "Practice Cable Break" to cover that element of Winching.

For those maybe not in the know, to do this, at a suitable height, the Instructor would take control, dive down to about 100kts, then pull up to about 45 - 50 deg of climb to simulate being on the Winch and hand back to the Stude at about 90kts. As the speed washed off, and at a suitable "winching speed" (60-70kts) a pre-arranged signal would be used to indicate a "simulated cable break" and recovery action would be initiated by the Stude.

Now, the training used to result in pulling the cable release to drop any remaining "cable", and pitch over rapidly which often resulted in the glider heading back down at about 45 degrees. I thought this daft so developed a technique of releasing the cable, confirming ASI rate-of-fall and angle of climb and then pitching over quite gently, controlling speed loss carefully so I was "in a normal glide attitude at about 45kts" by the end. Reasons? (A) maximised height gain in the bunt (B) minimised rate of height loss once over the crest and (C) made a drama into a complete non-event. Most of my real cable breaks usually ended in a return to the Launch Point even if they happened quite low as my recoveries were quite "height-efficient"!

Anyway, flew the above recovery with the Instructor and was then promptly bawled out by said Instructor for not getting the nose over quick enough. Having explained points (A) thru (C) to him I was told, in no uncertain terms, that it was my "LMF, my obvious fear of -ve g" and we were "going to do it again and I was to do it properly this time - I'll damn well make sure you are happy with -ve g!". The fact I was a known "Aeros-holic" was by-the-by! So off we went and, at the approriate "sign" I initiated a recovery, tugging on the cable release dutifully while stuffing the nose over.

At this point it all went a bit odd - the cockpit area went partial-green/brown IMC as all the sand, soil, grass, pens, half-eaten sandwiches, clip-boards, false teeth and other detritus left the cockpit floor and gathered at the top of the canopy. Once heading back down I eased back to +1g and everything started to fall/drift/flutter gently back down. Silence from the Instructor behind ..... then "Bleeping Hell!!!" to which my response was "Would you like me to demo that again for you?"!!!!

"No, no, no, that's absolutely fine - I think you know what -"ve" g feels like now (yer, right!), maybe you can just take me back to the circuit now?"! Clearly the Instructor "jungle-drums" worked as, thereafter, all my "Practice Cable Break" briefs by Instructors included a rather pointed "and when I indicate the cable brake, just recover as you normally do!!!" Happy daze!!!! :ok:

Krystal n chips 12th Nov 2020 12:44

H n H...that made interesting reading...so the obvious question is, why, if you had winch launching available did you not get plonked in the front, inst in the back, and thereafter at some point, " simulated twang ! " and recover as per. ?.....doing a "simulated " break in the way you describe it doesn't make sense really. Whose idea was this I wonder ?..and why

Fitter2 12th Nov 2020 13:01

Hi Kn'c. The winch driver on an ideal launch tries to give the airspeed for best achieved height, and on a real life cable break speed loss while returning to the attitude for normal flight can mean that you are below the expected airspeed; initiating a turn immediately to join a downwind leg of a circuit is a recipe for a spin - I have watched a few happen. Proper instruction is ' lower the nose and wait until you have the desired airspeed before trying to turn'. At low level with a strong wind gradient, this can take a surprisingly long time. Less well trained instructors (and there are still a few around) translate that into the manoeuvre described above. A good training supervision system roots them out; quickly in well run clubs but other places exist.

longer ron 12th Nov 2020 13:20


Originally Posted by Krystal n chips (Post 10924876)
H n H...that made interesting reading...so the obvious question is, why, if you had winch launching available did you not get plonked in the front, inst in the back, and thereafter at some point, " simulated twang ! " and recover as per. ?.....doing a "simulated " break in the way you describe it doesn't make sense really. Whose idea was this I wonder ?..and why

One of the many changes I found when returning to gliding from a short 22 year break is that I have seen the exercise described by HnH carried out quite a few times,but it is in addition to normal launch failure training - it does not replace having a 'twang' of a time with ones instructor :).
I would imagine as well as anything else in the early stages of training it finds out if the P2 has a sensitivity to neg 'G' which has been blamed for a few cable break accidents over the years.

treadigraph 12th Nov 2020 13:35

I found I had became quite sensitive to neg G in light aircraft when I got a bit older, maybe after 40, not sure why but anything that had my bum going light on the seat and also steep turns made me a bit uncomfortable. Flying has been too infrequent for me to assess whether I would get used to it again!

Fitter2 12th Nov 2020 14:18

Longer ron

it does not replace having a 'twang' of a time with ones instructor https://www.pprune.org/images/smilies/smile.gif.
and neither reproduces the insidious gradual winch power failure, which can leave one gently hanging with no airspeed at all in a 45degree nose up attitude - in these days of radio comms to the winch easily simulated by telling the driver to gently throttle back when the glider is in the full climb attitude (and the instructor, who is expecting it, hovering with hand ready to smartly pitch the nose down and prevent any aileron application by the occasional pupil hell bent on killing not only themselves, but me too)

hiflymk3 12th Nov 2020 14:24

My big sis and her husband took me up a few times in a blanik, aero tow at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. I enjoyed every second of it. Finances, kids etc prevented me from taking it up. Sigh!

Hot 'n' High 12th Nov 2020 14:51


Originally Posted by Krystal n chips (Post 10924876)
H n H...that made interesting reading...so the obvious question is, why, if you had winch launching available did you not get plonked in the front, inst in the back, and thereafter at some point, " simulated twang ! " and recover as per. ?.....doing a "simulated " break in the way you describe it doesn't make sense really. Whose idea was this I wonder ?..and why

Thanks for all the other posts re "Cable Break Training".

Now, K 'n' C, it's generally a case of using an aero-tow so you get the time in the air for the Instructor to then check you out on GH, Steep Turns, Stalling, Spinning etc, most of which, unless you get away from Winch Launch, are simply not possible in the short "up-round-down" off the winch. You need the height to do the stuff so aero-tows are the main way for check flights - and also check you out on the tow (left, right, up and down recoveries while in a tow etc).

A cable break exercise is thrown in as (a) it is a critical skill to maintain and (b) is safer to do at height and (c) you can go straight into another simulated break exercise if you stuff the first one up ....... or are accused of being a "lightweight -ve g Woosie" as I was!!!!! :rolleyes: I sort of got my own back on that one!!!!! :ok:

We also do a Test Winch Launch to keep Qual in that, but the main aim of that is to be sure you rotate smoothly into the climb and then control the thing well all the way right up to the top for release and then fly a good circuit - so, generally, it's a short up-round-down hop. It also saves tying up the winch too much on a busy day or having to drag the gliders back if you land way down the field off a cable break as can be the case.

Of course, when on the winch with an Instructor, a bit too much enthusiasm on the wire and ..... "twang" ......... as longer ron notes!!! :E

And if you'd upset the Instructor at some point they'll just "pull the plug" on you anyway!!! :ok:

And if you've really peeved them off - they'll not even warn you!!!!!!! :eek:

As I say, happy daze!!!! :ok: Brilliant fun and some fantastic flights! Sadly not flown for a while. Cheers, H 'n' H

Hot 'n' High 12th Nov 2020 15:14


Originally Posted by Fitter2 (Post 10924959)
......... and neither reproduces the insidious gradual winch power failure, .......

Agreed. To some extent, the way speed is controlled on the winch during any launch indicates if the Stude is on the ball, with "too fast" or "too slow" being dealt with promptly and appropriately. As with anything, if the Instructor is in any doubt they can simply take the approriate action and re-do the flight with any additional testing as you describe. As I say, the simulated cable break is good as it "costs" nothing in terms of time from an aero-tow, ensures it is done and can be redone etc.

Ultimately, if the "simulation" has gone well and the winch launch is on the money all the way up .... endex as it frees things up for, say, ab initio training etc. If the winch launch is at all scrappy - time to dig a bit deeper and all bets are off.

And if you forgot to buy your Instructor a beer last time....? :\

VP959 12th Nov 2020 15:37

Back when I was flying gliders, a bit over 40 years ago, we always did simulated cable breaks from an auto tow launch, never from an aero tow (the airfield didn't have a winch). I can't ever recall doing simulated auto tow cable breaks from an aero tow launch, but can see that it makes sense in some respects, although the element of surprise is missing. I always thought that not knowing when the instructor was going to pull the release on you made the check a lot more realistic.

Does anywhere still do auto tow launches? We had a couple of old Rover 3.5 litre automatics, converted with a hook mounted on the roof, together with a hole cut out of the roof to access the hook. There was a deal at the club where if you agreed to drive the tow car for half a day you could get either an aero tow or three auto tow launches for free, so being skint I seemed to spend a lot of time driving these battered old Rovers.

Krystal n chips 12th Nov 2020 16:25

OK, well it would be fair to say I think I am more than familiar with the difference between an aerotow and a winch launch, albeit all the checks such as GH / steep turns, / spins / stalls can easily be achieved off a winch launch. Plus, having flown at sites that operated both forms of launching, there was always a requirement to remain current on both and their potential failures. Have to admit I've never seen, or heard, of the aerotow time being used to simulate a cable break however until longer ron clarified it

Likewise the problems of low speed on the cable and speed exceedance on the cable. And yes, I've seen the classic 250ft break, for real, at which point, said student simply executed a perfect "chandelle " to land back whence he had departed a few seconds previously.....completely unfazed..... unlike the inst who was noted for his cool composure and who, as he said afterwards, was taken by surprise and made the decision not to attempt to recover during the " chandelle ", because if he had done so, then that would have been that Got a commendation I believe for his action. Bloggs, by the way, went on to greater glories when he flew an immaculate approach in our Swallow, having conveniently not stalled / spun on his final turn, into a cunningly placed scaffolding barrier near the launch point possibly unaware the rest of Bruggen was available.

thegypsy 12th Nov 2020 16:51

I had a cable break on my first solo on a T21 at 300 ft at Weston on the Green in 1961

Luckily side slipping landed straight ahead thanks to size of airfield.

Boeing Jet 12th Nov 2020 17:38

On one of my trips the instructor brought us into the downwind leg fast & low. So low in fact that we flew across a field below the hedge & then pulled up high turning onto base leg then final approach to land. Marks out of 10 he shouts out, can you do that next time I says!! :)

longer ron 12th Nov 2020 18:40


Originally Posted by Fitter2 (Post 10924959)
Longer ron

and neither reproduces the insidious gradual winch power failure

Hi F2 - yes we still do insidious/gradual winch power failures as well,which is why I described the whole process as Launch Failure training.

longer ron 12th Nov 2020 18:47


Originally Posted by VP959 (Post 10925008)
Does anywhere still do auto tow launches?

Cor that is going back a bit - last auto tow I did was at Enstone in 1991,we then 'lost' the use of the tarmac runway and converted to Winch,we did have a Pawnee for A/T at the time as well.
I have not heard of any regular auto tow in UK recently but not 100% sure.IIRC at Enstone we normally used old Jaguars for the towing.

VP959 12th Nov 2020 18:52


Originally Posted by Boeing Jet (Post 10925094)
On one of my trips the instructor brought us into the downwind leg fast & low. So low in fact that we flew across a field below the hedge & then pulled up high turning onto base leg then final approach to land. Marks out of 10 he shouts out, can you do that next time I says!! :)

I remember being on the ground at Bicester, whilst Andy Gough was practising a display routine. His finale was a very low downwind pass along the runway, at high speed, followed by a dive out of view towards the quarry, then popping back up into a chandelle and coming back in to land. Watching him do an outside loop in the Blanik, on a quiet summer's evening, those of us on the ground could hear the wing skins popping from a couple of thousand feet below.


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