28 February 2012

The cross country season starts!

The weekend offered up some rather nice early season thermals. A positive frame of mind and some skilled flying saw a good few pilots bag their first XCs of the year. There were thermals to hunt and some solid climbs right to cloud base. I've not heard of any big flights, from either Saturday or Sunday, but there is enough life in the sun for 100km flights, even at this time of year. It was February a few years ago when Graham Steele landed agonising close to the "ton." Most of us have far better gliders than he was flying that day!
To help get you prepared, have a look at my XC check list.
Good luck.

22 February 2012

Dales and Pennine Pilots join the XC cause

Many thanks to all the pilots who came to Saturday's XC Workshop in Ingleton. Prize for the the longest journey goes to Ian from Snowdonia. Top effort mate!
It was great to see lots off pilots who are completely new to cross country flying and are keen to get started. We also had some seriously experienced XC pilots at the workshop who were very satisfied with what they got out of the day. The 2011 XC League Champion, Mike Cavanagh even put in an appearance; to claim the pint I owed him!
We are on the cusp of the new season so now we should all be focusing on getting out flying. Even if we are not covering the kilometres, any canopy time is vital training at this time of year.
This Sunday's meteorology lecture for the pilot exam will be the last ground-based day until the Autumn, but I'll be out on the hill working with pilots and enjoying myself. The April XC coaching and flying day is nearly full but there are a few places available in May. July's Pilot Development Week in Annecy is filling fast. I hope you can join us.

08 February 2012

South West Pilots gunning for big XC in 2012

Congratulations to all the pilots, who came along to the XC flying workshops in Somerset at the weekend. For many pilots the techniques to improve glide were very surprising and the thermal searching techniques raised quite a few eye brows. They are itching to give the techniques a go and I have to say that these south-westerners are a seriously motivated bunch. The sea is never far away but that is a challenge that they are keen to overcome.
I hope to see lots of new names in the XC league this year and some real big flights from the ones who have already started their XC career.
Next event in the north on Feb 18th. A few places are still left.