January 03, 2003


A funny thing happened today. During my first lesson this morning, my instructor demonstrated a spiral dive and recovery. Now there are a few important details I need to cover before you can appreciate what happened and why it was funny (to me, at least).

It was chilly out. I noticed the temperature was roughly 40 degrees when I arrived at the airport. So I'm guessing it was maybe 45 by the time we took off. Of course, in normal conditions, we loose about 3.5 degrees for every 1,000 feet we climb. So it's safe to say that it was chilly at 3,500 feet too. And since it was chilly, my nose was a bit, well... runny. Not a lot. Just a bit.

A spiral dive, unlike a spin, results in the glider's nose pointing farther and farther down all the while we're picking up speed quickly and the stick is all the way back. To recover, you need to roll the glider's wings back into a level position and then pull out of the resulting dive. During that pull-out, you can easily pull 3 to 4 Gs of force.

Now those of you who have put 2 and 2 together can already guess what happened...

When my instructor demonstrated the spiral dive and recovery, I was a bit unprepared for the G forces in the recovery. And, as you'll recall, my nose was a little runny.

Let's just say that as we pulled out of the drive, I felt something spring from my nose as if it was trying to get away in a hurry. It took a second for me to realize what happened, but when I did it amused the hell out of me for a minute or so.

Mental Note: Don't perform high-G maneuvers with a runny nose.

Sorry. I just had to share. Couldn't think of much else to blog today. There will be some new Java stuff next week, though. So stay tuned and I promise not to talk about buggers or anything. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 11:41 PM