14 Oktober 2017

My first flight in Bahia - on a single surface glider!

Not so easy to be in an area with bad phone reception an fractured internet connection, but I try to keep you updated anyway.

My first flight on this adventure trip happened thanks to Betinho Schmitz and his school SuperAr. He is here with an xc clinic and let me fly a single surface glider and his harness. Together we try to help the others to improve their cross country flying skills. Carla, one of his students, helped me set up the glider, while I prepared the harness (not a lot of storage space in that one…), the radio frequency and the turn points.

And yes, I did fly with big wheels on my base bar, cause I wanted to show the pilots that it is absolutely cool to fly with the best protection possible, specially when you are in a new area and do your first xc flights. Landing fields can have unexpected slopes, obstacles like fences or powerlines or trees. With wheels, you might be calmer and make a better choice.

Our goal was Iaçu, about 75km from take off. We got up to base and went over the back of Buquerao take off. After Kate landed quite early into the course, Betinho said I could go ahead following the train tracks. For a while it worked fine, but when the good lines are upwind or downwind, possibly over not accessible, not landable terrain, it´s not so easy on a single surface glider. You have to be much more careful about good timing with clouds! About 25km from goal, I decided to land with a paraglider pilot in a field that looked like a great choice. The wind in the air and on the ground were up to 20km/h, so the landing was smooth and easy. Luckily I decided to not cross the forest and go for dodgy fields, because the „trees“ turned out to be cactuses with huge thorns! Impressive! While it was the big, blue hole when we landed, of course half an hour later we had beautiful clouds over our heads...

As I had no radio contact with a driver and no phone reception, Kiko the paraglider pilot and his family just put my glider across their car and took me with them to the next houses, 5km down the road. The lovely lady who runs the local bar let me use here phone, so I could tell Claudinha where I was, and she relayed it to Betinho. A while later, we were on our way back to Santa Teresinha.

The internet here is really slow and broken, almost impossible to post pictures!

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