Tuesday, May 29, 2007

High in the sky

So this past weekend we had the other half of our Christmas "adventure gifts". Paul took me gliding. Yup, those planes with no engines..and I got to fly one! Of course there was an instructor in the back seat, but i still flew :)

We arrived at noon to find ourselves the only students there. This meant great 1 on 1 time with the instructors and veterans. We walked around the glider and learned about it and theory of glider flight, then got in the plane! I was surprised at how small the cockpit was. The hatch is just over the top of my head and there isnt much room anywhere. I settled in and we hooked up behind the tow plane. He pulled us along the runway until we took off, then he towed us up to 5000 feet about ground (8000 feet above sea level). Then i pulled the big yellow knob and released the tow cable and we were off!!



The cockpit is smaller than it looks. the glass almost touched my head






It was amazing. I wasnt nervous at all, which was great, but i was a bit queasy. I am on boats and rollercoasters too and nothing i can do about it sadly, just cursed with a sensitive inner ear balance. Anyhow, we were up about 25 minutes. We would glide around looking for areas of lift (upward air currents) to get more elevation and then circle around and over the fields. It was beautiful to see it all from above.

I took the controls and he guided me through banks and turns and levelling off. Its cool how senstive the controls are and it doesnt take much force. Then we came down and Paul went up for a flight. He loved it and it all came back to him since he did years of gliding when he was a teenager. He got to fly for most of the flight.

I wasnt sure if I wanted to go up again since my stomach was so queasy the first time, but i figured i only get the chance to experience this once, so who cares about little motion sickness! Suck it up Princess! SO i got back into my iron horse and we took off again. This time i felt better overall. We stayed up quite a while and found a really good lift current over a dark farmers field (dark=better chance of lift because of radiant heat). We tucked into the lift and started a long series of tight spirals to keep us going up. We went up almost 1500 feet more in elevation just from this lift..all with no engine! Then the tight spirals got the best of me with all that moving around. Thankfully I had brought a baggie...you get the drift of what i mean. :P

As soon as we left the spirals I felt totally fine again and we flew a little bit more before we landed. Paul had a blast and loved every minute of it.

What an amazing experience!!






(11 days until we leave now..packing in full force....20 foot shipping container is on my driveway....Its coming too soon! AAHHHH)