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A few newbie questions about the sport



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 17th 18, 03:58 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

A short while ago my daughter was considering joining a local Civil Air Patrol chapter, while attending the meetings with her I began to be interested in Gliding. I'm in NJ. If someone could help me with a few basic questions, I'd really appreciate it:

1. What is the average ground speed of a Glider flight?

2. Can Gliders take off and land at any airport/airfield...or are there known designated airports?

3. Regarding the thermal updrafts: Does this mean that Gliding is a seasonal sport and therefore flying in the Winter is more difficult (or impossible)?

4. Any tips on finding a school to begin lessons?


Thanks again for your time.
Ed
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  #2  
Old September 17th 18, 04:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot)
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

Welcome, you have something to share with your daughter!

Typical flight speed in training is about 35MPH to 70MPH, sorta depends on the ship.

There are airports that support training and flying sailplanes, but almost any is fair game if weather means you have to land somewhere else.

To find places to fly, go to SSA.org, they have a "where to fly" on a map with contact info. Sorta depends on.....
-where in NJ you are
-weekend only OK, or do you also want during the week (some sites are weekend only, usually clubs)
-find some places, go there, interact, ask questions, see if the group is something you can feel good about

There are places in eastern PA, NJ and southern NY to fly. I fly with Valley Soaring in NY.
  #3  
Old September 17th 18, 04:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot)
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

Oh......missed a question regarding lift. Yes, Soaring is sorta seasonal, but training can be year round. Our group shuts down early January, opens again in April or May.
Some places have easy access to ridge lift, so something different.
  #4  
Old September 17th 18, 05:02 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

On Monday, September 17, 2018 at 10:58:36 AM UTC-4, wrote:
A short while ago my daughter was considering joining a local Civil Air Patrol chapter, while attending the meetings with her I began to be interested in Gliding. I'm in NJ. If someone could help me with a few basic questions, I'd really appreciate it:

1. What is the average ground speed of a Glider flight?

2. Can Gliders take off and land at any airport/airfield...or are there known designated airports?

3. Regarding the thermal updrafts: Does this mean that Gliding is a seasonal sport and therefore flying in the Winter is more difficult (or impossible)?

4. Any tips on finding a school to begin lessons?


Thanks again for your time.
Ed


Go to SSA.org and look for the Where to Fly symbol. This will lead you to a directory of soaring sites in your area.
Welcome aboard.
UH
  #5  
Old September 17th 18, 06:19 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ben Hirashima
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

Welcome to soaring, Ed! The seasonality of the sport depends a bit on your location. There are three main types of lift that gliders use: thermals, ridge, and wave. Thermals tend to be good during spring, summer, and sometimes fall, depending on the area. Ridge and wave lift depend on wind, and can be found at any time of year, depending on the area and topography. Winter is generally regarded as the off season for soaring, but at least in the Western US, we sometimes get great wave days.
  #6  
Old September 17th 18, 09:50 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

As a newbie - one thing to know when you ask a glider pilot the question "Is it a good soaring day" depends (you will hear "depends" allot in Soaring).

Some of the best days to lean to fly a glider are not good Soaring Days.

There can be excellent flying days no matter what time of year and what location - weather is the key component and unpredictable past a few days out.

my $.02

WH
  #7  
Old September 17th 18, 11:01 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

On Monday, September 17, 2018 at 10:58:36 AM UTC-4, wrote:
A short while ago my daughter was considering joining a local Civil Air Patrol chapter, while attending the meetings with her I began to be interested in Gliding. I'm in NJ. If someone could help me with a few basic questions, I'd really appreciate it:

1. What is the average ground speed of a Glider flight?

2. Can Gliders take off and land at any airport/airfield...or are there known designated airports?

3. Regarding the thermal updrafts: Does this mean that Gliding is a seasonal sport and therefore flying in the Winter is more difficult (or impossible)?

4. Any tips on finding a school to begin lessons?


Thanks again for your time.
Ed


Hey Ed,

1. Answered by Charlie.

2. Can Gliders take off and land at any airport/airfield...or are there known designated airports?

So long as the airport is sufficient in size to tow out of, yes. But gliders are limited to flying out of places with towplanes that can tow us up. There are several places in and around New Jersey that tow.

3. Regarding the thermal updrafts: Does this mean that Gliding is a seasonal sport and therefore flying in the Winter is more difficult (or impossible)?

While there's a bit more to it, you can think of thermals being driven by the difference in temperature, not so much the actual temperature of the air.. You can have a very cold day, but so long as the ground is a bit warmer, you will have thermals.

To make it a little more complicated, our good soaring days are often when it gets *colder*. When the cold fronts come through and we have those cool NW days, the air becomes "unstable". This is to say that it is easier for thermals to rise, because the air gets cooler faster than it normally would. As a result, when the thermal rises, its relative temperature is higher, making the thermals stronger. Cold fronts can be quite strong in the autumn, fall and spring. One of my strongest thermals was in February... 13 knots for 3000ft or so. Not that far off from the speed of the Empire State Building elevators!

Simply stated, look up at the sky on those cooler, drier days and you will often see nice puffy cumulus clouds marking our thermals. Those are the best soaring days.

4. Any tips on finding a school to begin lessons?

If you're in Southern Jersey, the closest place to you would probably be Philadelphia Glider Council at Hilltown PA. If you're closer to middle Jersey, nearer to Rt.80, then Jersey Ridge Soaring at Blairstown, NJ. If in Northern Jersey, then Valley Soaring is a good option too.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

  #8  
Old September 18th 18, 08:50 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
CindyB[_2_]
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

On Monday, September 17, 2018 at 7:58:36 AM UTC-7, wrote:


1. What is the average ground speed of a Glider flight?


While circling in a thermal - essentially zero toward your landing place. In cruise flight on a thermal flying day in NJ - approximately 50 mph.

Take a look at this link for a NJ thermal flight by a gal
https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=6828340

and this link for a NJ ridge flying flight by a top young NJ pilot
https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=6168501


2. Can Gliders take off and land at any airport/airfield...or are there known designated airports?


Legally yes. Practically - we band together at a less busy country airfield to not interfere with "air commerce". Self launching motorgliders can integrate at any airfield. You can find local clubs and schools via www.ssa.org. Also check out the Women Soaring Pilots Association for mentoring, scholarships, and local contacts. http://www.womensoaring.org/


3. Regarding the thermal updrafts: Does this mean that Gliding is a seasonal sport and therefore flying in the Winter is more difficult (or impossible)?


Possible year around. Learn anytime. (Just don't get frostbite. You are in NJ and I am told they have winter.)


4. Any tips on finding a school to begin lessons?


If you don't enjoy the first club or teacher, find another one.
Or come see me for a week of training camp . . . .

Thanks again for your time.
Ed


And contact me anytime directly for any questions. Happy to help.
I always want to get another young lady soaring.

Cindy B
north of Los Angeles by an hour.
www.caracole-soaring.com


  #9  
Old September 18th 18, 01:01 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

https://sugarbushsoaring.com/youth-p...-soaring-camps
  #10  
Old September 18th 18, 02:52 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default A few newbie questions about the sport

2. Can Gliders take off and land at any airport/airfield...or are there known designated airports?

Legally, we can take off or land at "any" airport, but naturally, there are practical exceptions. You wouldn't want to be in the traffic pattern at say, Dulles, O'Hare, Atlanta-Hartsfield, etc.

Most glider operations are located at untowered airports, surrounded by "uncontrolled" airspace. Of course, there are lots of exceptions, but suffice it to say that you probably will be flying with an operation that has this issue resolved and you don't have to worry too much about excessive commercial traffic.
 




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