Flying cross country on a paraglider: narrated thermal search


Right, so I’m thermaling now just with the ‘tourist position’ on the brakes and it’s thermaling quite adequately. it’s coming around in a reasonably tight turn, but it’s quite a lot of muscle that you need for that. it’s a
bit easier if you put your hand through and have a slightly higher brake position.
it’s more comfortable there for me. he’s climbing faster than me and he’s upwind
of me so I’m gonna move upwind. always try and do that when you can. there’s a nice core there, round we go okay these thermals are very short-lived
at the moment they’re not enough to get me away from the hill. just a glide out,
hoping for something. the guy in front of me is climbing slightly, relative to me, so
it’s worth carrying on gliding. I’ll continue on with this track. he’s sinking out now.
there’s nothing on the hill, there’s nothing off to the left, so I’m going to
go right. something there! I’m waiting for it to be sustained … it’s gone back to zero
there. The lift was somewhere around here somewhere there still nothing on the left a little something out in front I see that the wind has switched over
there, it’s got more Southwest. it was running west-northwest earlier. it’s now
coming straight towards me, so it’s gonna start pushing different air in onto the
hill. instead of being in the Lee of this hill on the right, we’re now gonna have
some air coming in over those warm fields 0.4 m/s, it’s really not that much, a
very light climb, but it’s worth working these little things just to maintain or
gain a little bit of altitude just to stay in the game for longer. okay he’s
got a nice climb out in front of me. I need to join in without getting in his
way. I’m waiting for him to complete his turn. he’s coming all the way around
behind me. just keeping it steady, not doing
anything wild, trying to stay somewhere around the center of the thermal. this
might be good enough to leave the hill with, we’ll see if I can hold on to it. So let’s talk about the performance trap. You might think that a beginner glider, one
meant for schooling, is going to be no good for getting up and doing
cross-country and flying and you know it’s gonna hold you back and … heh heh, okay, there is still a bunch of guys over there trying to get away on various kinds of gliders and
here we are on the Sonata … promise you it really is a Phi Sonata, it’s an EN A, it’s a first wing and it’s intended for training students and flying away
from getting your solo licence. very calm, very reassuring, lovely, easy to
fly but equally you can get up, I was staying with the other guys. I’m gliding
now following somebody else. There’s very little difference in it and really
you’ll have so much confidence on something like this that you’ll probably
be flying a lot more in a lot more places and exploring and just
having a good time. So don’t discount getting something simple because you
think you need more performance because the performance comes from here not from there so much we’re gonna find something lift here, let’s
put you on the helmet so long. Lovely stuff! There seems to be something there …

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