Over the last year I managed to gather my required 50 hours of solo flight time, and yesterday was a good time as any to take my exam for a passenger's license.
The exam itself was basically a revision of most elementary flight manoeuvers (stale turn, high turn, stalling, etc.), accompagnied with an additional back tow (i.e. when the cable does not release).
While I succeeded in my exam, it goes to show that even those things really have to be maintained; I was a bit rusty in performing some manoeuvers. Guess I'll be practising them a bit more.
The long awaited Condor patch v1.1.3 has been released. It fixes a critical bug with the newer nVidia drivers, and was particularly a hassle when running Condor in Windows 7.
Aside of the fix, an additional tow plane was added in the mix.
Download the patch: http://www.condorsoaring.com/downloads.htm.
Soaring club Albatros (EBZH) has organized an online competition in the soaring flightsim Condor. In this competition, participants have to fly a set of tasks where they have to try and get the highest score by obtaining the highest average speed.
There are seven tasks in the Provence, set out of Vinon. The other seven tasks are all based in Slovenia (the default scenery of Condor). The tasks prove to be a mix of flying by thermals, and a good deal of ridge flying. For each task, up to three tries are possible. The best of three count as the final result for a given task.
Results of the competition can be found here: http://www.zweefvliegen-hasselt.be/Condorcup.
So I finally got my 15 hours of solo flight time in, and worked up the nerve to take the final check for obtaining my license. And guess what...
I succeeded in obtaining my license. Yes yes, it's still a license for solo flight (still 35h fly time to go), but it's a start.
Now I can start for competition training, etc. The worlds open up, again.
Up until now, I was flying my solos with a Twin Astir II. It's a 2 seat glider which we use at our club for training (among other things).
The instructors thought it was time I moved on to something else: a Club Astir (also known as the Jeans).
The Jeans is a one seater, sort of the 1-seat equivalent of the Twin Astir I (yes, there's a difference between Twin I and II). It's a small and swift craft; not very recent, and it's a bit fickleish at times. In short: I love it!
I'll be flying this for a while, at least until I've enough hours on the thing to move up to the next glider.
Some in-flight recordings, taken when I was passenger on my orientation flight.
The footage was take with my PDA cam, so it's not very high resolution. Format is MPEG-4 with 3GPP subformat, but normally any decent media player will be able to play it back (I know that at least mplayer with AMR audio codec can).
Next weekend - sat 25th and sun 26th Aug - you will be able to visit the airport of Kiewit, Hasselt for the open house of my glider club Albatros. You will be able to see what gliding is actually all about: visit the airport, see the gliders, and even fly with one of our skilled pilots: an event well worth visiting...
For more information, visit their site http://www.zweefvliegen-hasselt.be/ (website in Dutch).
Time for a new experience, and a new hobby in my life.
Thanks to Bart (aka: my boss), who took me and a collegue of mine for a figurative spin around the block: in the form of gliding...
Next thing I know, I was signing myself up at Albatros Zweefvliegclub (note: website in dutch) at Hasselt (Kiewit), and already have had two lessons.
Those that care may keep their fingers crossed each time I'm in the air (usually on saturdays), and pray that I don't drill the glider down into the ground... ;-)