By Ted Grussing
I took care of some business this morning … photos and stuff like that and then decided to head to the airport and do a soaring cross country flight. Didn’t have a lot of time as the ISO 100 group was meeting here tonight so decided on just a short triangle of bout 40 +/- miles. So it was a nice launch and engine off in about six minutes as I hooked a pretty good thermal and took it right up to 10,000’ and I was off. Got pretty low a couple of times and most of the thermals were pretty gnarly and trashy, but there were a couple with 7+kts(700’ per minute up) on the averager. Anyhow it was my first XC of the year as pure glider and it was super fun and completed it in about an hour … not fast, but my skills were a little rusty and definitely long soaring xc flights are the emphasis this year.
In going through photos today and this evening I came on this one which brought back a lot of good memories of my high performance ship. I think we were flying out of Sedona as I have Sedona in as a go to. The San Francisco Peaks are off my nose. Instruments are very clear so for a change I’ll just let you know what you are looking at … if no interest in this stuff just skip the following. Inset is a view of the ship in 15meter configuration on the ground in Sedona.
In order, top left is the airspeed indicator and it is reading about 46 kts, which is way slow, but there is a reason for that. Top center is an auxiliary instrument working off the LX 5000 Navigation flight computer. The top marker shows that I am in 10 kts lift (1000’ per minute) the 5.9 the running average of lift and the 4627’ is the altitude above the airport I would be at if I headed back to Sedona. The top right instrument is a Variometer which is an ultra-sensitive vertical speed indicator and of course it is pegged at 10 kts up. Next row down on the left is the radio showing active frequency is 123.30 which is one of the air to air channels used by glider guiders and the standby toggle frequency is 123.00 which is the Sedona Unicom frequency. You toggle between frequencies using the up/down toggle switch on the right of the instrument; next is the altimeter showing 11,560” above mean sea level. In the instrument on the right you can see the pointer indicating about 30.16 inches of mercury. The knob lower left on the instrument is used to change this setting and most airports will broadcast the current weather information including barometric air pressure so you then adjust and it will give you accurate altitude readings. Next to that is the LX 5000 . On the display upper left it shows navigation is setup for Sedona. The BRG is 204 is the heading I should take to go to Sedona and the TRK is the compass heading I am on which is 18 degrees (NNE) The DIS is the distance to Sedona Airport in nautical miles and below that the AVG is showing 5.9 kts + and below that the +4607 is high I am above ground … more info on the bottom line. The next instrument right is also an auxiliary off the LX5000 and is showing 10 up, 22 minutes 33 seconds on the leg or in this case in the air and again the altitude. Many knobs and buttons on the LX to do different things. And the instrument below these in the transponder which broadcasts my altitude for air traffic control and for instruments which pick it up to show traffic in the area. The plugs on the right are for connection of a Plantronics device to communicate and the red paddles on either side are to pop the canopy if you have to bail out. The instrument above the panel is a compass and the controls for flaps/dive brakes and retractable wheel on each side not in view. Most important instrument is the yaw string affixed to the outside of the canopy and is straight up … that is coordinated flight and keeps your eyes out of the cockpit. Best climb rates when thermaling are with a slight slip which if I am turning left would have the string swing slightly to the right.
Reason for only a 46 knot speed? Instead of stopping for lift when going cross country you will frequently just pull back on the stick and ride it up without stopping to thermal … I had plenty of altitude and the idea is to make tracks across the ground so I just pulled back on the stick and picked up what I could before pushing over again and picking up speed. A good one like this you can pick up hundreds of feet. This sailplane has a minimum sink rate of only 94’ per minute and a glide ratio of 48/1. Hey Paul … :+)
So, I’m finally back on track to focus on long xc soaring flights this year. The Lambada has a min sink rate of about 165’ per minute and glide ratio of about 30/1 so it is a wee bit more work when going xc because you have to stop a little more often for lift.
We’re into the weekend … soaring on tap for tomorrow and … :+)
More normal conversation likely on Monday … sorry … just so much fun to be focused on this again.
Share your joy and a few smiles
A bird flies through the sky, and I fly with it. I am each pearl of moisture sparkling in the sun.
I lie lazy on the clouds. And I acknowledge my kinship with each winged thing.
I see all as one, and nothing repels me, as this new day climbs noiselessly out of the valley of the night.
Peace lies over the world and over the world of my soul.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: email@example.com
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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