ptwizz Posted January 16, 2012 Share Posted January 16, 2012 My first two days of training with Andy and Rick at Airways Airsports: Day 1 - started with a frost on the ground but a warm welcome from the staff, followed by the expected paperwork. A surprisingly short session in the classroom, going over the basics of the wing and airfield practise was followed by some PLF practise and before I knew it I was walking onto the field with a harness and wing. Rick took me through the procedure for checking the wing, lines and harness before strapping in and a few forward launches. I was surprised at how easily the wing (Ozone Element 2) came up time after time. It's either a very easy wing to launch, or (less likely) I have some talent. Within 2 1/2 hours of arriving on my first day, I found myself attached to the winch line, checking above and behind before calling "all out, all out, all out" and lifting off for my first flight. My best attempt at describing the experience can only be by comparison to the first time I rode my own motorcycle. When I touched down, still on the winch line after a straight and level flight at 10 - 20 ft. altitude, I didn't know if I'd been in the air for 5 seconds or 5 minutes. The direction of the (very slight) wind allowed for flights diagonally across the field; about 60 seconds in the air without releasing. By the end of day 1 I was up to 50 ft. I must say I felt much happier higher up and further away from the big round rock, which was still white with frost. Govt. surplus tank suit liner and vehicle gloves kept me comfortably warm all day. Day 2 started with a thicker layer of frost. Wind had swung round to Easterly, meaning we had to winch across the width of the field, so flights were a bit shorter. After checking the kit, we were soon racking up flights. After a couple of 50ft straight and level flights on the tow line, I was ready for a release. At 60ft on the winch, everything was nice and straight and steady. I took both brakes in my left hand and grappled for a moment to find the release with my right. Once off the line, it was a gentle glide back to earth with only minor corrections to keep the wing square on to the wind. The excercise was repeated a couple of times as the wind picked up to 5-6kt. The next two flights were at 80ft, releasing the line and making a couple of turns, 45° off line and then back into the wind before landing. The sun was sinking below the horizon as we packed up at the end of a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying weekend. Flying the school wing in very good conditions was considerably easier than I had wound myself up to believe. The whole experience was very sedate and I came away with a great deal more confidence in my ability than I previously had. The most challenging part of the whole procedure for me was getting the wing down neatly after landing. Once I worked out that I should turn to face the wing immediately I had touched down and stopped, things became easier and I spent less time untangling lines between launches. Now I can't wait to get back up and start doing some higher launches and circuits. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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