I headed to Hollister late in the day after confirming that the weather down there was flyable. I had to check because it was pretty crappy in the Bay Area.

I arrived a bit early, thanks to me over-estimating how bad the traffic would be. So I poked around a bit while Jim finished up with the student that he was with. I took a few minutes to check glider six four echo. Someone else had already done the pre-flight checks, but I'd rather check it myself.

The clouds were low, so we decided to work on low stuff. I didn't care what we did, I was just happy there was a crosswind. It was coming right run runway 24, so we planned to fly off 31 a few times so I could finally get some decent crosswind training.

Flight #1

For the first flight, we headed to 2,700 feet and dodged a few coulds while looking for lift. There wasn't much out there, so I got to practice a few slips before getting into the pattern. I was entering from left 45 rather than the normal crosswind entry, so we had a bit of altitude to burn.

The downwind leg was interesting. I had to crab into the crosswind a fair amount. It's odd to be flying "sideways" like that. The turn from downwind to base became a downwind to final. The tailwind on base had me flying a bit faster than I expected so there wasn't any base leg to speak of. Once on final, I eased into the side slip and opened the spoilers. We touched down just a bit left of center on runway 31.

Flight #2

For the second flight, we decided to tow downwind in the pattern and fly another crosswind landing. The crab was a bit less than before, but I really didn't notice until later. The base leg actually existed this time. On final I didn't need to slip as much as before. That told me that the wind had died down a bit. The crab should have given that away on downwind but I just didn't think about it.

The landing was good. Amusingly, I noticed that the runway lights were on. That's the first time I landed a glider on a lit runway.

Flight #3

This time, we planned to take off on runway 31, fly to 1,500 feet and enter the patten for runway 24 (the active runway). Rather than a normal landing, we were to simulate an off-field (short) landing over an obstacle. I kept off the spoilers on final until we got over the power lines and then pulled them out nearly the whole way. We fell like a rock and touched down just past the numbers. I pulled the wheel brake and got us stoped in a couple hundred feet.

The landing wasn't bad. The only odd thing about it was seeing the ground come up at me that fast. But at least we didn't bounce. :-)

Flight #4

For this flight, we took off on runway 24. Then, 300 feet over the ground, Jim pulled the release to simulate a rope break. I made a 45 degree banked 180 degree right turn back onto runwawy 06 for landing. It took a bit of adjusting to get over the runway. We drifted down the runway a bit, I pulled the spoilers, and landed.

No problem.

Flight #5

This time, Jim told me he was going to pull the release again. He told me because he wanted me to come back and make a low approach to runway 24 even though I'd want to land back on 06.

We took off on 24 and roughly 500 feet above the ground, he pulled the release. I turned around and entered a right downwind for runway 24 and made my radio call. Then, just before we reached the half-way point downt he runway, Jim pulled the spoilers and said "You're in sink now." I looked around and said, "okay, but I'm going to fly down the runway a bit longer before I make a 180 to land on 24." When I began my turn, he gave the spoilers back to me. I closed them for the duration of the turn and then put the nose down quite a bit more and pulled them back out to drop enough altitude to land. We landed long on runway 24.

That was a fun flight. I really didn't know what I'd do in advance, so I just had to decide how to fly as the situation developed.

Flight #6

After all those rope breaks, we flew one last flight with a couple other twists. Rather than drag the glider back to the other end of the runway, we flew a downwind takeoff on runway 06, went to 1,300 feet and came back for a no spoiler landing on runway 31.


Whew. Despite the weather, I had some interested flying. Most of it was in preparation for emergency situations. I feel a lot better about low altitude approaches and landing in very short distances.

On Saturday, we'll take the ASK-21 up in the mornining for a few flights. Then I'll do some more solo work in one of the 2-32s. Oh, that reminds me. I also got a 14-day solo sign-off.

Posted by jzawodn at February 13, 2003 11:03 PM

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