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Posted by on in Training

I’d first of all like to thank the club for the opportunity at the $500 junior scholarship on offer, it is a great opportunity to expand the amazing sport that is gliding to juniors. The Warwick Gliding Club offers excellence facilities and is full of amazing people, best of all we even get to go flying. Since joining the club I would highly recommend gliding as the perfect sport for any aviator particularly juniors as it is by far the best sport that anyone could dream of. In order to gain this scholarship I was asked to write a blog of my gliding experiences, so here goes.

Since starting gliding as a birthday present about six months ago, every flight has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. There has never been a second where I haven’t learnt anything and I feel that won’t change any time soon. Even though there has been a few rough days where I looked a bit green I can honestly say that learning to fly has been one of the most rewarding hobbies I could imagine. The best moment out of my flights would have to be just a few weeks ago where we reached 10,000 feet which gave me an entirely new perspective to just how small we really are. Also back when I had just begun to learn the controls and we stumbled upon a group of about 13 eagles, never thought I’d see that.

Gliding has also given my an insight into my dream of becoming a pilot in the defence force and everything seemed to come together during my work experience at the Army air base at Oakey in the Blackhawk simulator. Just learning the basic principles of flying meant that I had a far better go at this technology and also made it a hell of a lot more fun than crashing into the ground every 5 seconds like the rest of the group. The freedom of flying is out of this world and I was surprised when I realized how relatable it was to both school and my other hobbies.

Physics isn’t such a drag anymore and I find that I can even relate a lot of it back to aviation, that and I always find myself looking up at the sky seeing whether or not the conditions up there would be any good. The experiences I have gained in just the last few months overcome any video game or school sports I could think of. Also throughout the process of learning to fly it has become apparent that my dream of becoming a pilot in the Air Force might even be possible, and it gives me something to strive towards. After reading through ‘Basic Gliding Knowledge’ what feels like a million times I can say that I know CHAOTIC off by heart and despite what Sydney might think I actually do remember pitch, roll and yaw even though it took me a couple of weeks.

Even though I still keep finding myself getting thrown out of thermals I can confidently say that I have improved beyond my wildest dreams and I never thought that I would be able to get my hands on the controls let alone fly the thing. Because of the stage I am in at school the teachers have been asking us what we wanted to do after school throughout the year, at first I said I want to join the defence force, the next term I said I wanted to join the Air Force. Leading up to work experience all I said was that I wanted to fly, but when they asked me on Friday I replied with, ‘I wanna fly fast.’ So I guess you could say I’m well and truly hooked and yes I’m trying to get all of my friends up in the air with me. So I’d just like to thank all of the instructors, tow pilots, my parents and all of the members in general for their support and someday I hope to go cross-country with all of you.

Adam Sinden.

Tagged in: blog juniors solo Thank You
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Posted by on in Flying reports

I was invited to share my experience from my first solo flight on late Sunday afternoon, which was an exciting event and one that I will remember for a very long time.

Sunday was an eventful day at the airfield.  The cadets were already flying when I arrived with my father.  Phil was instructing and Leigh was also there for training.  I had begun my training in October last year and had no idea that I would be flying my first solo later in the day.

I flew in the PW6 with Phil initially and noticed a lot of air traffic and radio chatter.  A number of powered aircraft were making radio calls.  It required greater concentration but gave me a good chance to practice looking out for and identifying the other aircraft.

Phil allowed me to decide when it was time to join the circuit, which was valuable to the process of learning good decision making.  He explained that moving away from the field in search of lift was okay, if you were prepared to turn back with sufficient height to land safely in the event of not finding a thermal.

After landing Phil thought I was ready for emergencies, which he explained would involve the tug signals and aerotow launch failures.

I flew with Sid a number of times later in the day.  He tricked me a number of times when he simulated a rope brake by releasing it.  I thought we were climbing to 4000’ AGL to practice spin recovery and was suddenly presented with the next decision.

During the training phase you will find yourself announcing your options in the event of a launch emergency during the pre-flight checks.  It was at first a bit of a shock when having to execute a landing technique under the circumstances.

I practiced landing ahead after the low break.  Sid released the rope on another flight which required a 180 degree turn to land back at the field.

After the emergencies, Sid finally allowed us to climb and practice spinning and recovering.  I landed and Sid, after speaking with Phil, told me that I was doing the next flight on my own.

I was suddenly a bit nervous but also excited.  I told myself to do exactly what I had done minutes ago and to relax and enjoy the experience.

I launched after completing the checks, with Sid holding the wing and Bill towing in WPS.  I released at 2000’ AGL and stayed to the east of the field, getting a feel for the handling of the PW6 with nobody in the back seat.

I enjoyed the flight and imagined hearing my instructors’ voices in my head as I went through the standard procedures.

In the late afternoon with no thermals, I stayed airborne for just over twenty minutes.  I landed after having thoroughly enjoying the flight and was congratulated.  It all happened very quickly, but surprisingly I didn’t feel rushed or overworked.

I wish to extend my thanks to Sid and Phil for instructing on Sunday, Leigh for helping after the emergency simulations and Bill and Val for towing.  Also, I’d like to thank all the instructors that have flown with me.  Finally, a big thanks to my dad for driving me to Warwick, Owen, and to those who have kindly offered a lift.

I’m excited to continue the training and looking forward to heading back to Warwick for another weekend.

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Tagged in: blog juniors pw6u
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