The first six flights cover the essential “basics” and lay the foundation for controlling the glider. We usually recommend that you undertake a maximum of three flights on any one day and preferably at least two in order to reinforce your learning without it becoming bamboozling.
At first it may seem that a lot is going on but that is perfectly normal so do not worry! There is very little theory, this is hands on stuff.
For all Flights
You will start your “Ab initio” training in the club’s Grob Twin 103 two-seat glider. These are modern, dual control, all fiberglass gliders that are manufactured in Germany and maintained for the club by certified engineers approved by CAA. They are easy to fly, light on the controls and safe. To start with you will be introduced to the various parts of the glider, what they are called and how they work. Standard pre-flight inspection checks will also be carried out.
You will be seated in the front seat of the aircraft and various instruments and controls will be shown to you – how to fasten the harness, how to adjust the rudder pedals, open the air ventilation vents etc.
Once you are comfortable, your instructor will position themselves in the rear seat and you will be ready for your first lesson. All aspects of the process will be explained to you in “plain English” but if any stage you don’t understand please ask your instructor to further clarify. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little nervous or apprehensive, we realize at first the sensations of flying are likely to be unfamiliar to you but rest assured you will get used to them! All our instructors are experienced pilots and have no desire to put themselves, you or the aircraft in any danger and will keep a watchful eye at all times.
Don’t forget to fill in your flight times on this flight log form, see the timekeeper in the caravan.
Flight 1 (2500 ft tow)
You will be shown the following:
- The “pre take off” flight checks CB SIFT CBE
- While on aero-tow, various local land marks will be pointed out to you so you can orientate yourself to the airfield for the return home.
- Once off tow the instructor will demonstrate the stability of the aircraft and the effects of the controls:
- There are three axes that the controls effect – these are Pitch, Roll and Yaw.
- The stick gives us pitch when moved forward or back and roll when moved left or right.
- The rudder gives us yaw (nose moves left or right), this does not turn the glider.
- Now it will be your turn on the aircraft controls to try it for yourself – your instructor will guide you and will take over the control of the aircraft for landing or if you feel uncomfortable at any stage.
Flight 2 (2500 ft tow)
- As for flight 1 but further instruction will be given on the effects of controls and flying the aircraft straight and level.
- Speed control – visual and audio clues.
- You will be shown how to do a balanced turn and then combinations or turns and straight and level flight.
- The approach and landing sequences (the “circuit“) will be explained to you.
Flight 3 (2500 ft tow)
- Further practice of the above
- Aileron drag (adverse yaw) and how to correct this will be demonstrated to you.
- You will practice the co-ordination of controls – smooth, balanced flying.
- You will be “talked around” the circuit and onto final approach – usually your instructor will take over to complete the landing.
Flight 4 (2500 ft tow)
- You should be doing your own harness straps by now and going through the pre-takeoff checks yourself (CB SIFT CBE), with a bit of help of course.
- Your instructor may ask you to come on the controls with him/her during the aero-tow.
- Practice those turns again, from one direction to another 180°, 360° this may take a bit of time as you settle back into it.
- Fly towards distant land marks – straight and level, speed control.
- Your instructor will introduce the use of the airbrakes.
- Fly the circuit under supervision.
Flight 5 (2500 ft tow)
- Practice, practice and more practice – you may be able to prolong the flight if the conditions are suitable (lift available), your instructor will show you how to put all that turning practice into actually soaring.
- The use of the trim control.
- Plan to join circuit and land.
Flight 6 (2500 ft tow)
- Extend the flight if possible by using available lift.
- Fly the aircraft at difference speeds – 50, 60 and 70 knots.
- Practice turns in thermals if available.
- Plan to join circuit and land.
We look forward to helping you gain your WINGS.