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..you want me to read?

Posted by on in Training
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Advanced Soaring Made Easy

Theoretical knowledge of soaring flight could be considered absolutely essential if you would like to progress further in gliding. ...read on!

 

Congrats to Bernard Eckey for his recent release of the 3rd revision of “Advanced Soaring Made Easy”. What impressed me most on this publication is that Bernard is taking the down to earth approach in explaining the theory behind soaring. The book is written in a language that is clear, logical, scientific - yet simple and easy to read. Therefore the book makes itself available and understandable to not just academically oriented glider pilots. The content and structure addresses established and advanced pilots and is also relevant to the newcomers of our sport.

There is a magnitude of useful hints for the competitive oriented. However, the book is not like other new publications entirely competition oriented – it deals with local flying and general cross country flying- that's where everyone starts off from as a glider pilot. Developing a solid theoretical background and becoming efficient in local flying can provide the important stepping stone for efficient cross-country flying as well as for successful competing. Getting more out our hobby and sport on any level can be seen as one objective for reading this book.

I don't know if there are others out there that have got a similar experience to mine: going solo wasn't as exciting as flying my first 100 K's as part of my Silver C. Helmut Reichman was THE text available at that time - it suited myself and others. The content of "Cross Country Soaring" is still unrivaled. The book was Helmut Reichman’s PhD work - usually the majority of PhD texts sit on a shelf and gather dust. There would be only a few soaring pilots that have never heard of this text.

Cross Country Soaring delivers its contents in a very mathematical language. This can be off putting for some fellow pilots - beginners and advanced. Helmut Reichman suits me, but as an instructor and mentor I like to have books available that I can refer to and that I can recommend to others. Bridging the gap between that first solo and the first solo cross country and beyond - this book picks up and continues where other books like Basic Gliding Knowledge end. And it can take you further if you wish to do so. Advanced Soaring made Easy is one of the standard texts chosen by gliding coaches.

The meteorological aspects are tailored to the southern hemisphere. The rotation direction of highs and lows are not just reversed – specific synoptic charts deal with different weather phenomena that are tailored to our great southern land. Flying sailplanes over vast distances is likely to be contained or extended by different weather systems in close proximity to each other. Our recent trough line condition that allowed for a few flights over 1000k's from NSW is just an example - Warwick just happened to be on the wrong side of the trough. Bernard's personal experience in Australia make his explanations and instructions entertaining and easy to understand. It's a book that didn't put me to sleep whilst having it on the bedside table.

There have been a lot of advances in soaring in the last 10 to 15 years. The equipment got better, so did the instrumentation. The biggest improvement I have seen is the theoretical understanding of soaring and it's techniques. Long gone are the times where paraphernalia flew around in the cockpit and pilots made themselves sick trying to follow McReady theory. Helmut talked about the use of block speeds back in the 80's - we are still refining this method. Bernard's book covers how sailplanes are flown these days.

Some might miss a detailed section on PDA's and other modern glide computers and software. I reckon it is beyond the scope of a book like this to cover the use of glide computers in any great detail. Programs and gadgets come with their own manuals - read them and practice to use them whilst on the ground! The craving of many for a less computer literate explanation shows that there is a need to make gliding less mathematical and just easier to understand. Extending one's knowledge with the aid of this book can help to get a better understanding of what glide computers are supposed to help you with whilst flying.

Advanced Soaring Made Easy is not only accurate, but easy to understand… it’s a good book!

There is no competitor out there that winning against is more satisfying than winning against oneself. Winning against others is one thing - winning against oneself means you gained something that is usable in the next flight. There is no room for trophies in a cockpit!

Erich Wittstock

 

 

Comments

  • Daniel Atkinson
    Daniel Atkinson Tuesday, 26 March 2013

    Could not agree more.
    Usually over the Christmas Holidays I would be trying my best to stay away from anything that involves something done at school, such as reading books, But this book was much different. Even as a beginner to soaring, the book has helped me better understand how to find and center thermals efficiently - weather patterns, comp preparation, health and well-being; all the way to explaining how to get the most out of SeeYou.
    The book is packed with easy-to-understand graphs, figures and explanations for everything you could possibly encounter whilst gliding in Australia and around the world.
    Every page on the book was a delight to read; I still re-read sections before every flying weekend.
    As Erich has said, it's definitely worth a read. I have learn't more than i could have imagined from the book and I especially love how Bernard has shared his most memorable gliding moments in the book; it has only made me more determined to fly Cross-Country.

    Dan.

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