Cross Country

 

To fly cross-country away from the airfield, hopping from one thermal to another is the ultimate thrill for many gliding pilots. Once the skills have been developed to fly a glider safely, you can develop your skills to fly considerable distances. Members of the Gliding Club of WA have achieved many notable long distance flights. Eight of the ten flights in WA of over 750 kilometers were by members of this club. We have also made a number of 800, 900 flights and one 1000km flight. These flights may take up to 10 hours. The principle that allows a glider to stay airborne for a more than a few minutes, is the ability of the pilot, to find the invisible columns of rising air, called thermals. Whereas the novice pilot will tend to stumble on a thermal by luck, skilled pilots learn to recognise the best terrain or clouds most likely to produce good lift. They also develop a sense of feeling for the lift in the air and like the eagles we fly with, can hunt out the strongest lift in the area. Developing these skills allows them to fly higher, further and faster than others.

Of course if the pilot does see an Eagle, soaring near buy, he can be sure the Eagle is in better lift, its time to join our fellow aviator.

At GCWA, our aim through the club coaching scheme is to train the up and coming pilots to reach a high standard, as soon as possible, so that they can proficiently fly cross country, and get home at the end of the day. Of course if you don't get home, the training you are put through, teaches you to land safely in a paddock, from which your fellow members will come and collect you.

The Gliding Federation of Australia have a number of badges that are internationally recognized that create goals to be chased and achieved. These are as follows.

Silver Badge.

50 Kilometer flight,

5 Hour flight

Gain of height of 1000 Meters.

Gold Badge.

300 Kilometer flight.

Gain of height of 3000 meters.

Diamonds.

300 Kilometer flight returning to base

500 Kilometer flight

Gain of height of 5000 meters. (This is usually done at our Wave Camps at the Stirling Ranges.)

Our tug in action

Jantar over the Agriculture College in Cunderdin

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