My Realm

Meet me - know me - read my posts and try to figure me! Well I am someone who is always thirsty for adventure, someone who simply hates playing sheep(u know the types - follow the herd!). An enthusiastic trekker, who loves to travel and ever ready for one of those wierd new found sports- luv to make new friends and njoy being my family's pet :)!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The soul flies free... Part 3 (In Flight)

Now that P2 course with TemplePilots was underway, the main highlight/question for all students was when do we get to take off greater heights and fly for longer periods of time!? The answer was very soon!

Day1: Wash-Out
The morning session helped us review what we had learnt in P1 and in addition to that -Reverse Kiting. The session was pretty tiring and definately fruitful!

The evening session was something we were all looking forward to - travel to Tower Hill and take off 750 feet. Before we could embark ourselves for this mission we had to learn to fly longer and better at this height- afterall we are P2 students :).

Avi explained us all about ridge soaring techinques and lots of stuff about meteorology. Its amazing how much a Pilot has to know of this stuff before actually taking off!

So we reached the Tower Hill Plateau that day, and to our disbelief the winds were raging at ~30+ kms/hr this was very bad for a student to take off. So all we could do that day was analyze the ridge in all posible ways - mark our landing area, which was away from the electric poles and watch how other experienced pilots took of the plateau that day.

Day2: Search a Site!
The morning session was again full of kiting and had 2 flights from Shinde wadi. I experimented something new at turns -weight shift turns and I enjoyed it!!!

The evening session was something very wierd! We came to the base of Tower hill but spotted other pilots heading back -again suspecting heavy winds. So then started the journey to hunt for a new site, which involved extensive travel around the Kamshet region but all in all we resorted back to Tower Hill where the winds had subsided significantly and were very suitable for Student Pilots!

So here I got to experiment my hands on a Glider-Epsilon (since my new Gin-BoleroPlus glider was forgotten back at Japalouppe) . It was forward launch and due to heavy winds I had to be quick and startoff towads the edge. The canopy was laid off at the edge, having the Prefilght checks done and a little briefing form TJ- I was given a go and off I was in 2 steps off the edge into teh void. At that very moment I remember I was transported off to my own world- all I remember is that I realised I was airborne when I heard "Take a left ..." on the radio!.

This was the plan - take as many '8' turns as posible parallel to teh ridge to gain lift and soar up higher (I guess I was up atleast 1000ft from the ground). I was thoroughly enjoying every bit of this! In sometime realised I was stationary over the Tower Hill plateau at the extreme left edge- Then I remembered that I had seen some pilots prior to take off stationary at this very point. That very moment I remembered words like 'stall' etc... Thats when I heard TJ on the radio "Take a right .. get in ... take a left... Goood". And off I was back to my '8''s . Then I was told to proceed for landing... which meant I had to start taking 'S' shaped turns and target my self to the plains down below to some field without electric wires around!. Performed some guided 'S' turns and down I was - the glider landed on its leading edge -BAD LANDING! I had not applied enough brakes to cousion the descent.

But later I realised that my flight lasted for well over 20mins! And boy was it amazinngggg!!! The thrill the exitement and the suspension into void was just working like pure ambrosia for me, it felt like I was in my own dream world... I remember looking around and down at the valley - boy was it an exhilarating feel!

The day ended with happy content pilots- who had taken off!

Day3: Inaugurate the BoleroPlus
The morning sesion was no different to the previous day's session - just that we decided to try our hands at spot landings. Its a different story that none of us except Rahul made it close to the spot!

The evening session, was something man. Avi / Goor and me were amongst the first ones to reach the plateau. I was the first one to adon Avi's harness and spread out the new Gin-BoleroPlus DHV-I rated Paraglider! Anita gave it a kiss at one end of the canopy while she asked me to do the same so I did ... Then got myself in the harness. Prefilght checks confirmed and off I was in my own world.

This time the situation was a bit different, 2 reasons the wind was somewhat uneven and I was in a new harness and felt a little uncomfortable in that. So every jerk, shake and swirl I felt got all the little bubbles and rumbles shaking hard in my stomach. I was scared! But still I did very confident left and right weight shift turns! This was amazing! Then I remember , I went to teh extreme left end of the ridge and then a quick right 180 deg. turn and the speed happened to slow down all of a sudden. Knowing not what to do in such a situation- I slightly twitched the A-raisers and got the glider to move ahead, later I was told by Avi that in in-experience never ever do that also that the glider I was flying was an extremly safe glider.

Later as I headed for my descent - I head from TJ "start a right ..." I was surprised and he made me take a the right for a complete 360 deg turn - later I realised that I was in a thermal and he was trying to gain me some lift! Amazing!!!!.

On the way down, again the same old storly the glider went plop on its leading edge but to add for the failure the winds were at 0 kmph! This is not a reason for me not to land right- should have held the bakes in multi loops -this was something I learnt in the debrief!

Day4: Potatoes falling off the sky!
The morning session was again a repeat whrein I won the spot landing competition flying the Ariea Med. Paraglider. The kiting session that followed was just too good for 2 reasons :
1. I had to do as much as I could since this was the last day
2. Got very confident and did some advance reverse kiting techniques!

The evening session was something everyone was exited about , but this time we were surprised to see just Dilip Kotecha(the Paragliding chap representing india) alone at the plateau doing noting but lying down. All this since there was absolutely no winds atop, if there was some it would be South or West but never East! So this gave us enough time to play around joke have fun and photo-sessions! Later the wind picked up slightly and we decided to get off the edge!

Me again was the first one to take off in the BoleroPlus! Since there were no winds I had to run quiete a bit before takeoff to get the right lift - it was a cool takeoff. But this time, since the wind conditions were not all that strong -barely 15kmph I /anyone could not comple an '8' . Just at the end of the '8' I was descending. The only portions I was geting a lift was above a little hilloc I kept flying above(the very same region I caught a thermal). But yes this time I happened to do some mischief and went way off to the right much beyond the outher limits before TJ yelled into the radio "RIght RIGHTTT... what are u doing man... " -well it was not mischief just that I was in the moment and aura of flight! So then started the 'S' turns , Gauged my flight lookng at the wind-sock far below -this was a bad illusion wherethe windsock indicated west-wards winds and it appeard east to me ... Took a twist of brakes in my had and slowed my descent but somehow nothing seemed to slow it any firthur and I repeated what I had done the earlier day -BAD LANDING "Your glider went bummp ... shame on you" thats what I heard on the radio.

I was ashamed at myself for not landing right- untill later when Bhola came upto me and said "I though all of u had left, the wind is going in the opposite direction!" "Ahhhh..." or so I tought just about when I noticed all fellow pilots following me were coming down the sky and falling potatoes let loose off the sky "slopppp... plooop .. daaadd.. scuuurrr.."

So for the last 3 pilots we- unfortunate bad landing pilots- kept yelling off our throats ... wind is in the opposite direction. .. pointing westwards... Some did benifit .. other did not undersand and went PLOPPP... :)

So in and all it was an amazing experience to fly around and gain the confidence and understand the mistakes and knowing what went wrong and why it happened so!! -Thats more important thanhaving an all correct very safe perfect flight! -Afterall we are students not experts!

Now I dunno when I shall return back for this high, but I hope it happens soon!

Now I am standing in this crouching position - hands ahead gripping something and pulling back , hands go up and I face up and let go . My hands in a cross-ish position and my hips swaying side to side... :) Trrying to balance something what I am staring at!

Alas... my sessions are over...

nJoy the Pictures

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