Chelle's blog

I fought the hill... and -I- won!!!

Mon May 10, 2010 3:22 am

[  Mood: Happy ]

So Saturday we were going to out with the beginners group, but it had a few more people than planned and we decided to hold off till Sunday.

Sunday we head out, and there were 3 of us on our glider. Woooooooooooo!

....Except we also just happen to be going to the hill that I had my wierd irrational fear about.. Shocked ahh

I felt a little unsteady, but I suited up and passed my turn a few times for the boys to practice, as the wind was coming up pretty good and I wanted to wait and work up the nerve anyhow.

After about half an hour I decided to just bite it and go.

So I went to the top of the hill, hooked in, and just stood there.

Then I moved about 5 feet lower down the hill.

And stood there.

One of the amazing instructors for Muller Windsports that had been out a few weekends came over to me and gave me a "pep talk", made me remember to breathe, and basically while he was mid-sentence I picked up my glider, balanced it in about 2.4 seconds, and bolted down the hill- punch

AND FLEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I screamed like a banshee, and by the time I made it to the bottom of the hill and landed in an ineligant tummy-slide I was laughing hysterically.

The next time I went up to the top of the hill I picked up the glider, felt a couple wind gusts, and decided to defect that turn to the boys.

BUT- the next 2 turns (which ended up being the last ones) I took, bolted, tummy-slid, and laughed my terrified ass off!!!

So now that I can run down a hill - next time I can work on pushing out a LITTLE later to hopefully land on my feet and not lying down Razz

Thank you SO much to the amazing advice and confidence from Judy, Helen, and Red.

Judy and Helen - you ladies are an absolute inspiration to me. Everything you have told me has helped me tremendously, and knowing it's okay to be nervous and safety conscious is amazing.

I also put my name on the tandem list for Mount 7 out in Golden, BC.

AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Hahahahahaaaaaaa.

It's kind of nice though that 3 of the 5 instructors that do the tandems out there have been instructors in our groups, so there is familiarity and I have absolute and total confidence in their phenomenal abilities.

Intermediate course is it June.. Dun dun DUNNNNN!

And untill then, every second weekend I'll out hitting the hill over and over practicing! big grin


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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 2257
Location: Bay Area

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject:    


Do what you know and do it well.

Happy Flying!

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Joined: 13 Aug 2007
Posts: 2112
Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 3:15 pm    Post subject:    

I am so happy for you. Your experiences sound so similar to mine. I can remember having some fear about certain spots on the small hill or just about certain things happening. I always felt more comfortable launching from one particular side because I had a wing come up on me on my launch run...before I knew how to correct that problem. Yes, it was irrational and once I learned that it was me that had to make the necessary corrections and that I was capable of doing so, it made all the difference in the world.
Just keep that conservative approach. It will serve you well. And don't get discouraged if you have just a so-so day. Sometimes that just happens. It's just part of the process. Smile

One caveat...I am so happy to give you any advice I can that helped me as a pilot,especially a teeny female pilot Laughing (and I know you already know this Wink ) make sure you listen to your instructor as he knows your skillset.
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Joined: 27 Jul 2008
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Location: south australia
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject:    

Awesome, Chelle, it sounds like you are dealing with the fear really well! And your instructor sounds great.

Have you been reading the Women's worlds blogs? I smiled when I saw Jamie describe the site as having "comforting" big open flat landing fields out the front! This is precisely what I mean about the difference between many women and men pilots - many male pilots might feel the same way, but in how many blogs by top male pilots would you ever read a description including the word, "comforting"Smile Smile Smile

Keep progressing at your own pace, trust your instructor and HAVE FUN!!!!
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Joined: 05 Jul 2009
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Location: Colorado
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 10:36 am    Post subject:    

Congratz! mosh It all gets better from here. Just a tip. Before you go on your tandem Eat!!! Also bring food. When I went for my tandem, I ate early around 7:30am. Got to the top of the Mt. at 8:30 and did'nt launch until 11:30 and I was starving. There is nothing like doing 100 360's on a empty stomach. Take food!!!
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 6:27 am    Post subject:    

I'm glad you've gotten the advice to aero tow. This really helped me overcome some height fears. Anyway some fear is healthy. Even after 20+ solo tows, I get nervous before my first tow of the day and don't want to eat to boot. I combat this by keeping trail mix and/or crackers with me. Then I realize that a little fear is healthy. It makes me do a detailed pre-flight of the glider and my equipement and makes me visiualize my flight before I even take off to formulate a flight plan.

About the training hills, take your time. I took a year. Now my basic skills are good, and I'm advancing much faster than most people at the flight park expected. I'll even be going back to the hills with my new glider in a few weeks to practice my foot launches and flares.

Beware two invisible monsters during training... confusing adrenaline for fear and exhaustion = mistakes. It sounds like you've got a good head on your shoulders. I don't think the second monster will get you as long as you stay patient during your flight training. The first monster is just something to be aware that it is there.

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