Part 3 - Planning Ahead

Right, now we have acquired the skills to put the glider where we want it in the sky and can manage to maintain controlled level turns its time to start looking at our landings.

To me all landings start with PLANNING and for me this starts before you even launch your glider off the slope. So many times I see people walk up to the slope switch the model on and launch without much consideration for any other model flyer on the slope or the conditions that are around them.

Model Pre-Flight Checks

I know it sounds strange but don't get this bit right or you may not be able to attempt any sort of landing. Please check and confirm:
  • Battery power good in both the model and transmitter
  • Transmitter switched on to the right model
  • Range check if you are doing a maiden or if you have any concerns over connectivity
  • Controls move in the direction they should.
  • Model fit for flight. i.e. nothing falling off. no sticking control surfaces etc..........
  • If its sunny - do you need sunglasses.
  • Cold weather - wearing suitable clothing
  • Is your model suitable for the conditions in front of you. i.e. too windy, not enough lift etc.....
  • Flying with suitable BMFA Insurance
Flying Site Checks

Another one that seems very obvious but it all worth mentioning.

  • If its a new site then go and talk with any of the local fliers. Find out where it's good to fly and where its advised not to fly. How good the lift is, Where to land etc.
  • Site rules - Any restrictions on height. Some sites are run by a specific club and open to members only. Many sites you will share the sky with Paragliders / Hang gliders which have always have the right of way. Where do they take off / land. Go and talk to then if needed.  
  • Even if you fly at the same site week after week the conditions will change from day to day or even hour to hour. The wind strength effects both the lift and just as importantly the sink (curl over) generally situated behind the slope. Its just a consideration you need to have thought about before you get flying
  • Landing area - every flying site will have a different type of landing area which may require a different type of approach and circuit. Some sites you land on the side of the slope, some have large flat tops and others have limited amount of space to touch down on. Take time to understand what's available and if possible watch others how they land on the slope. Get an idea before you get into the air where you want your model to land. Don't leave the decision until you are making your final turn.
  • When landing will you have any issues with walkers, horses or obstacles on approach i.e tree's, fences etc.
Make these decisions now and hopefully you will not get any nasty surprises as you move onto your landings.

Checks done and we have launched our model, so its on to Part 4

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