On Sunday I headed down to Hollister to fly in the DG-1000 with Charlie Hayes, mainly to get finished up on my DG-1000 checkout. I had previously flown with him two weeks ago.

I already felt pretty comfortable in the glider, so when he asked what I'd like to do, I suggested that we take a high tow to practice some loops and other maneuvers, and then maybe one or two more short pattern tows. He agreed and off we went.

Flight #1: Loops

For the first flight, we towed west over the hills (and clouds) for some loops. The tow was fun because we got to fly above and around the clouds. Flying around the clouds actually gives you a sense of how fast you're really moving. Anyway, we got off tow at 6,200 feet and did a few clearing turns. Then Charlie took the controls to demonstrate a loop. He dove down quickly until we had 90 knots IAS and pulled back on the stick. He kept a constant 3G most of the way thru the loop (less over the top) and then recovered in a good 40 degree climb to get back some of our altitude.

He then asked me to simply do what he did. My first two worked pretty well, but we had a bit more float going over the top than his loops. For the third one he suggested I pull 3.5Gs instead, and that seemed to make all the difference. I was able to fly the whole loop with positive Gs

After that, we decided to head back closer to the airport before doing much more. But we had to get thru the clouds. He fist thought we could go over them, but as we got closer it became apparent that it wasn't going to work. We'd have to go under them. He left the route up to me, but there weren't many options. We cold either exit in the direction of Pacheco Pass or head south a few miles and punch through there. Seeing that there appeared to be more room toward the south, I took us that way.

As we got closer, Charlie told me to fly as fast as I had to in order to get under the clouds. In short order I had us going about 90 knots and loosing just enough altitude to get under between the clouds and the hills (or the power lines on top of the hills). It was fun to fly that fast for a few minutes. The ailerons are certainly heavier when you're going 80-90 knots in the DG-1000.

We punched through and headed back toward the airport. On the way there, he had me trim the glider for about 42 knots and take my hands off the stick. He wanted me to get comfortable flying with just the rudder pedals. It was a bit odd at first but I got the hang of it after a minute or so. All I needed was very small rudder inputs to get the glider to do what I wanted it to.

From there, I took us into the pattern for a normal landing on runway 24.

Flight #2: Pattern

We then launched again for a quick pattern tow to make sure I knew what I was doing on landing. No real surprises there. The DG-1000 is pretty easy to land. A bit harder then the Grob 103 and a bit easier than the Duo Discus, in my opinion.

After that flight, he asked if I felt comfortable. I told him I did, so he completed my logbook endorsement (with the 20 meter tips).

Posted by jzawodn at December 07, 2003 09:09 PM

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