I booked a day of tandem training / assessment with airventures.co.uk. The plan was to meet up with Gordon and Malcolm at the Castlerigg stone for 10am. It's about an hour away from Lockerbie and then was a fair breeze in evidence along the M6. Heading in towards Keswick there was a wee bit of drizzle. So a traditional start to a day of pg training!
After a weather briefing from Gordie we headed to Wind fell (next to Carrock fell). The students headed up the hill and I joined them while Malcolm did several tandem flights. I got to sit in on the briefings and also assist with launch and top landing which was good experience.
I also got to have a go on an XL gin bolero 4 (en a) glider. I think it was part of the assessment that the guys saw me fly solo. I quite enjoyed it. The brakes seemed extremely long to me but it all worked quite nicely. It was a bit scratchy at times and then borderline soarable but managed a couple of wee flights, some slope landing and a bit of kiting about.
It was quite nice to have an easy to handle glider and no Pod! Although I don't think i'm ready to downgrade.
After the fly down it was my turn on the tandem. My tandem! We did a couple of top to bottoms (with a bit of soaring) to get started. The glider launched pretty easily although it is surprising how much of a pull back you get. This makes it a tad interesting as you're also attached to someone else so not particularly maneuverable.
We then did a couple of slope landings, top landing (landing was fine but a wee bit of a drag after collapsing the glider!). We then had a chat about the different aspects of flying, briefing etc while working through the assessment proforma. I needed the break. I'm not used to a full on training day on the Hill. Later on I discovered one of the students had had 13 flights. I vaguely remember being that keen.
By this point it had gone 5 and Gordie called it a day for the students. He set them a challenge to see who could fly to the cars. Malcolm seemed keen that we should try the same. It was soarable so we launched and then got some nice height over take off. The tandem flies quite well :-) and seems easier than I remember from previous (several years back) tandem flights.
We then glided out from the hill, applied some speed with the trimmers and made it to the cars with no real problems. I wasn't 100% sure of the terrain on the other side of the cars so did a couple of s-turns and down on a nice grassy area next to the cars. The landing / flare seems pretty easy to handle which is good.
All in all a great day out and I also passed my assessment :-)