When someone comments that I must be an adrenalin junkie, I reply that flying isn’t about the adrenalin – if you’re getting that much adrenalin, you’re probably doing it wrong.
But, at the same time, you need to be able to deal with the adrenalin. You need to be able to respond in scary situations. And you need to get a kick out of things that others would run away from, otherwise you couldn’t do it.
…However, I’m now beginning to enjoy spirals. And I even got to try my first few SATs recently, even enjoying the really ugly spirals that go along with a failed SAT entry.
It won’t become the main focus of my flying – I’ll never be an acro pilot! But as the trip goes on, I may have been spotted doing the odd spiral (or 10) where I wouldn’t have done so before, and before too long, I’ll hopefully get the confidence to try another SAT or two 🙂
I’d recommend a SIV course to anyone who wants to increase their confidence in the air. Excellent – scary, exciting and reassuring in equal measure. I’m starting to enjoy spirals (maybe a little too much!) and hoping to try a SAT if this rain stops. I’m getting my wingovers bigger and more even. B-line stalls were good fun. And while collapses on an SIV can’t be as startling as ones in normal flight, it’s made me much more confident that when I do get them, everything’s going to be pretty much ok. In particular, collapses and tucks on the bar were a real eye opener – nowhere near as aggressive as I’d imagined. On top of that, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how non-scary it is to stall my glider – hard, yes, and not something I want to do often, but nothing like I’d imagined.
So much was I enjoying my spirals and concentrating on the perfect exit that I forgot about the landing. With Tomas on the radio saying: “Go out, Jenni, go out!” I gradually eased up on the brake, imagining a beautiful smooth exit. It was only when I heard Tomas saying: “Go out now, Jenni, we are too low,” that I realised perfection may have to wait. But that’s the joy of being over the lake – no harm done, and while I didn’t quite manage to make the landing, it was only my legs (and boots and gloves and reserve) that got wet, while my glider landed neatly on the beach!
With comments like “This is the top of your glider we can see on the video now”, “Here, there is no tension in your lines,” and “Your wing seems to fly very well with a cravat”, I think it would be fair to describe my spin exit as ugly! I was startled by the feeling and let up my hand far too soon and too quickly. And then I froze and completely failed to brake the dive that followed. But I managed to weight shift and compensate for it, stopping it from going into a spiral and got to practice getting it out (wow, that stabilo line’s hard to find when you need it!). Lesson learnt! Not much more add really – I think the video says it all!