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09/09/2007

Permalink 22:00:00, by admin Email , 292 words   English (ZA)
Categories: take offs & landings, solo, motor falke, circuits & landings, blanik L13

I'm posting this blog little late due to it being rather a hectic week at work.

ZS_GFI LandingSunday at the club was great. Just as they were about to wheel the Blanik out to the launch point I asked the instructor if I could take a flight in the Falke. No problem he says, off you go.

Just to illustrate how time consuming gliding is:

In the time it took me to DI the Falke, do the pre-flight inspections, warm the engine up, perform four touch and goes, fly around the north side of the ridge, do one full stop landing and to taxi back to the hangar, a total time of 35 minutes, the Blanik had one launch a flew a circuit for 5 minutes. Makes one think doesn't it.

Once the Falke was back at the hangar I spent the rest of the day helping out with the Blanik and also had two great flights. The wind was light and the launches were not great, my highest being 800 feet.

Blanik being towedThe more I fly this aeroplane the more I like her. The controls are so light and the adverse yaw is minimal requiring far less rudder input than the Twin. The rudder controls are also a lot lighter and one does not return from a flight with a stabbing pain in one's thighs.

I'm also starting to get the hang of landing her and using the flaps and brakes and all three landings and circuit plannings went off well. On the last circuit I turned finals too high, possible due to me not landing on the same runway we look off on, so the instructor side slipped us in. This is one skill I really need to learn.

Cost for the day 141,40ZAR + 133,00ZAR.

02/09/2007

Permalink 17:51:19, by admin Email , 129 words   English (ZA)
Categories: student, take offs & landings, blanik L13

Salto ZS-GHY FinalsFlying weekend day 2. Again I was reminded how cramped and horrible the cockpit is. Almost full elevator authority during the flare results in my right hand doing some weird deformed and contorted movement into my chest. And during the circuit and can't do full right rudder and open the airbrake at the same time without first getting my left knee out the way. Could potentially be painful if the instructor suddenly decides to open the brakes.

So it was just a circuit after a very nice 1300ft launch into the very fresh Westerly. The launches are interesting in that you actually need to force the nose down. During my one launch of yesterday I forgot and before you could say fruit loops, we were climbing very steep. Cost = 47ZAR.

01/09/2007

Permalink 18:45:00, by admin Email , 189 words   English (ZA)
Categories: student, take offs & landings, thermaling & soaring, blanik L13

ZS-GFI Winch LaunchFlying weekend day 1. I had two flights in the Blanik, one was a 5 min circuit and the other a nice thermal flight of 15 minutes. The wind was really messing us around and we used all four runways today launching from four different directions.

I'm learning more about this aeroplane and besides the hideously uncomfortable cockpit, where there is definitely no place for a pilot and a parachute, it flies really nicely. With the flaps 70% extended she flies very slowly and turns on almost nothing. Another thing I really like are the very light and responsive controls. Unlike the Twin, you don't need to man handle her across the sky.

ZS-GFI FinalsI'm finding landing to be a bit of a handful though, mainly because I not used to using flaps and the brakes aren't particularly effective, this plus the poor penetration into wind results in a high work load for me. The flaps are also tricky in that you need to first slow the aeroplane down before the flaps can be fully engaged and then increase to approach speed again. Cost = 110ZAR. Pity there was no time to fly the Falke.

ZS-GFI Landing

25/08/2007

Permalink 18:15:00, by admin Email , 214 words   English (ZA)
Categories: student, take offs & landings, blanik L13

Blanik L13We had our first flew flights in the Blanik L13 today. Rather a nice aeroplane. There are four points that stood out for me. Firstly the incredibly uncomfortable seats, secondly the huge joystick (this thing is so big that if removed could easily be used as a deadly weapon), thirdly the sounds and noises the plane makes and lastly it can fly so slowly. You can thermal at 60kph and the approach speed with flaps is a maximum of 110kph. Took me some getting used to and was very enjoyable.

As the Blanik is so light we were getting very good winch launches with out much of a head wind to help. After my six minute flight I took the Falke up and soared the weak lift on the ridge for about five minutes, one TnG and then I landed. I was using 16R and there was a light 45˚ cross wind component. Made for some interesting landings as my cross-wind skills are not that great.

So it was a long day at the airfield, but at least we flew. There were only four flights in the Blanik between 10:00am and 01:30pm makes like a 50 minute turn around time between flights which is very bad, but understandable due to the low number of members (4) there.

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