May long weekend was the official start of club’s aerobatic program and it was a busy start. Having been rained out Saturday, on Sunday, May 17th we had four participants, four instructors with two gliders and a vertigo mile to top it all.
Given the late start on Sundays (9am), on the 17th we each had time for one flight which was just fine for most of us as we rediscovered the effects of G’s on the stomach and realize that we would need to build up our G-tolerances yet again. We continued flying on Victoria Day when most of us got two flights each. There had been aerobatic flights every weekend since then.
Here’s our instructor team relaxing after a hard morning at work on the 17th.
The program starts at 7am on Saturdays and 8am on Sundays. We assemble by the hangar, pull out gliders (505 and Puchacz) and do daily inspection so that we can be on the flight line and ready to take off at 8am on Saturdays and 9am on Sundays.
Depending on the number of the participants on a given day, each gets one to two flights, although on non-soaring days when there is not much other activity, we can keep flying acro longer and people can have as many flights as they can tolerate.
Having flown almost every weekend since opening of the program, three of us reached the stage when we were cut loose to do individual figures solo, under watchful eyes of our instructors and the experience was exhilarating.
All of us experienced something similar – a bit of tension before the start of the first figure, then as you start pulling the G (first figure is loop) the tension melts away, the vision suddenly expands to pick up things we have not previously noticed and by the end of the figure we are on top of the world, alive, happy and having a lot of fun. No wonder aerobatics are addictive!
In between our flights, we watch our fellow participants flying the figures like loops and hammerheads and see how the figures look like from the ground. Or, we can also watch free air show quality acro performances by our own instructors.