I finally got back into a sailplane after three weeks away from training. Saturday morning was windy with poor lift so, only students were flying. I got 4 flights in the Schweizer 2-33 with a different club CFI-G. None of the flights was very long but, we got a lot done in that short time.
Flight 1 was a 3000 foot tow. My CFI demonstrated moving from high to low tow by passing through the tow planes wake then, had me do it. Nothing complicated with this maneuver. You just drop straight down until the horizontal stabilizer of the tow plane lines up with his main wing. The only real trick is not over-controlling and dropping too low. I moved back up to the high tow position and then just did my best to stay behind the tow plane. That is probably the hardest thing for me right now. I have to work hard to hold any semblance of a steady position.
I pulled the rope release at 3000′ agl and made a climbing right turn to bleed off speed. On this flight I worked on straight ahead and turning stalls – the 2-33 has very gentle stall characteristics, steep turns and slips along a road. Very quickly, it was time to turn toward the field and get into the pattern. I followed through on the landing but, the CFI did most of it. Because of the wind, he would help out on all the landings we did. This flight was a too short 14 minutes.
Flight 2-4 were all to 2000 feet. On flight 2, I was introduced to boxing the wake and repeated that on each of the following tows. These three flights were all pretty much the same, some stalls, a steep turn, turns around a pint (tough with the strong winds), slip along the road to the downwind, fly the pattern and land. Each flight only lasted 11 to 12 minutes.The flights were short but, I learned a lot and, I am gradually getting more comfortable flying on tow.
I didn’t fly Sunday because operations at the field didn’t get started until after 10AM and we were leaving the campground early so we could get home and get ready to meet up with some friends at the Marriot Lincolnshire Theater in the afternoon. Hopefully, I will be able to work more on landings next weekend.
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