29 December 2014

Winter training

As well as having some beautiful scenic flying on clear winter's days, this is good time of year to practice skills.
For example: why not do a few exercises to improve your gliding ability by developing your rear-riser control?
Rear riser control is accepted by most top level pilots as an essential skill on 2-liners and is also very useful for a much wider range of pilots and gliders. Using the rear risers to damp pitch movements, make course corrections and maintain a feel for the glider is much better than resorting to the brakes. It has the bonus of maintaining efficiency much better. It is done by keeping your hands in the brake handles and holding the top of the rear riser or the handles if present. The brakes should be fully off.
Try this:

  • Fly the full length of the ridge holding the rear risers
  • Fly several beats including the turns using rear risers only
  • Go to full speed bar and allow the speed to stabilise. Come off the bar quickly so that the speed converts to height and the glider pitches back. Damp the ensuing surge with the rear risers.
To see a bit of rear riser control in action have a look at Brett Hazlett's beautiful video "Never Come Down"After about 2min 25 you will him using plenty of bar in active air and using the rears.

Notes of caution:
  • Small rear riser movements have a big effect compared to brakes
  • Be especially gentle of the rear risers if you have no speed bar on since you are slowing the glider down
  • Build up gradually with your rear riser control
Happy winter!