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Whitters Diary 25th to end of course


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We lost one of the days due to strong wind but I can't remember which one it was.

Paul Haxby Joined us to consult with Piers who had been taking notes on all our instruction and lectures during ground School and field training. aul will be assessing all our instructional technique for himself including private interview with the students.

After a morning of ground handling Dave and I spent the afternoon running through introducing the wing and motor including review of unpacking packing and checking the wing and motor.

During the ground handling we have been concentrating on controlling the wing overhead and bringing it to a stop as in an abortive take-off procedure. This involves me pushing Dave down the field allowing him to become light on his feet then I stop pushing and Dave smoothly flares to a slow walk before turning and collapsing the wing with control. Its now time to exchange my pushing for some pushing with a motor.

Dave has already spent several sessions with the motor on his back both with and without engine running. Now for some work with the wing and motor together. We mange 1 out of 3 successful reverse inflations with a turn and use of the engine to push Dave along. Dave is reluctant to open the throttle too much at first. I want him to experience how the wing feels overhead when it is more heavily loaded in order for him to realise that a lot of the hard ground work is done and improved technique things will be getting easier from now on.

I think there is a mixture of both excitement and anxiety for both Dave and I as we approach the stage where Dave is almost ready for his first solo flight.

Fri 27th.

Dave is now making consistent successful inflations with the running motor on his back. At one stage Dave had the running motor on his back practicing (heavy Parajet) without pause for 40 mins. Amazing determination and stamina for a 60 year old.

The morning session culminates with Dave accelerating down the field bringing the engine revs to the point where his feet are just leaving the ground. When the wind drops down this evening Dave will do his first solo PPG flight.

Some of the other instructors describe that Dave should have flown then because he is ready. But after watching Dave over days I feel he just needed this session to bring all the elements together one more time allowing him to convert more of the technique to unconscious competence. Also he has worked very hard today and would be bettr attmpting his first solo rested. Then if things do go a little wrong, information overload will not prevent Dave from taking appropriate action. When he does fly he will feel more confident and enjoy the flight, also he will be able to cope with poor inflation or engine failure on launch or climb out.

The afternoon was spent hang checking practicing getting in and out of the harness. Charging and checking radios and review communication signals if the radio should fail. check and re-check. Now we are ready. :)

Unfortunately the wind was just a little bit lively for flying this evening denying Dave his opportunity for first solo. One more session and he will be there.

This evening we all went ouit for a meal (great steak) with Pascal, his Mum and Fanny his girlfriend. Ken Togood decided to liven up the evening with a little entertainment of his own. I will let someone else tell the tail on that one.

Sat 28th. Lots of hand shaking and hugging as we all say goodbye.

Thanks guys for a fantastic 2 weeks. I have learnt much more than I immagined and in the presence of good friends.

Oh yeh, and Dave, you havn't got rid of me yet. See you in the field and very soon. :lol:

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Thanks Alan.

It did seem as though the weather gods were against me on Friday, but ha ho there is always another day, it will give me a good excuse to meet Whitters again down at Lambourn, its just a case of getting days off together. Thanks for the beer last week the supplies were getting a bit low, with all that running up and down the field you sure work up a thirst, and with 12 mouths to feed, you know how quick it goes.


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I just made time to read all of Rich's diary entries. Sounds like a superb course and maximised use of time always impresses me. Thanks for sharing Rich. Nice to hear you had a go at the cloverleaf.!!!!

BTW Flew about 6 days in Algodonales. 2 days rain and 5 blown out. Couple of good thermic days though and circled with Vultures. Had over a 1000 ft/min up in one mother of a thermal. I deduced that PPG is more convenient and a little safer, in my case anyway.


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