Italians in a Defender

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I am going on with my hang-gliding path. Today I am flying a different hang-glider, also 21 sq meters, but more stiff sail. It is controlled much easier, but start is more difficult, and the flight is lower.

I made 24 exercises “takeoff-flight-landing” straight ahead, and 4 flights with a 45-degree turn. This hang-glider is heavier, and it is harder to bring it back to the starting point, but it is much more predictable. But in flight a feel that he is less laterally stable: once you turned, it keeps turning (unlike “target” hang-glider which I flew before in Russia). To stop turning you should apply a control force to turn in the opposite direction. Like for an airplane.

I also flew with my instructor in a tandem flight. Also 21-meter hang-glider. I feel that there are A LOT of thermal flows here. Almost everywhere. Of course I cannot find and use them so great as my instructor does. And he even does not use a vario!

They use Land Rover Defender to bring hang-gliders uphill. So strange feeling in that ride: a lot of Italians, they are constantly speaking (as usual, with expression!). I think that it was 3-4 parallel conversations. I don’t speak Italian now, so for me it is like a white noise, but the feeling is pretty funny 🙂

They have a TINY landing spot here! Initially I did not even understand that that tiny glade is a landing spot! It is really a spot! The approach is almost as in an airplane, almost standard full-rectangle circuit, but the landing… In a hang-glider in any case you have only one attempt. And here it is especially important. I saw somebody landed uphill though, but it is a totally different skill and it should be practiced. At least to overcome psychological barrier: it is not easy to fly directly to the ground (more speed, steeper angle), and then abruptly stall the wing.

I remember Crimea and Klementieva mountain near Koktebel. There are kilometers-width landing area, and the landing approach is simply “making turns to decrease distance from hill, and trying not to hit any bush”. Here it is impossible, course precision should be near perfect. I was never trained to overfly a landmark previously, and here it is an essential skill: without that it is impossible to make a good approach. I can relatively well fly towards some external reference, but I am really bad on flying directly over a landmark. Previously I just had to stay in a dynamic flow with a minimum altitude loss in turns. And now I have to be really precise. It is a noticeable lack of experience.

But in overall my flights are more smooth, takeoffs and landings are better, and muscles are stronger 🙂

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