Thoughts on Flying HLG's
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Home > Articles & Tips Index > Flying > Thoughts on Flying HLG's

[Courtesy of Bill Kuhl, September 1998]

After almost two years of HL flying, I am realizing how much skill plays into to HL flying. In the past, I often blamed the conditions. Granted there are days when it is easy to thermal out, but as my flying skills improved, so did the frequency of my thermal rides.

Here are some of the areas I have worked on, feel free to comment:

* Flying smooth, may sound easy, but when the thermal is bouncing your plane around it is not. Stalling is really bad. The first thermal turn seems to be criticial, mess it up and you will be down soon. I try to keep the speed up, which seems to help.

* Adjusting the circle to stay in the strongest part of the thermal lift. Have seen much improvement here, the plane will be going up, but as I adjust the plane will start going up much faster.

* Launching directly into lift. By making a better attempt at reading the air, often launch into the thermal without loosing the intitial altitude off the launch.

* Higher launches by using my whole body and maximum follow-through.

* I keep thinking to myself; is the plane going up or is it coming down, if it is coming down, it must not be in lift, adjust.

Yesterday was rather windy, but the lift was good. I kept practicing; catch a thermal, circle until the plane was a couple a hundred feet high and come back upwind for the hand catch.

Bill Kuhl

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