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 Post subject: Re: First Date
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:25 pm 
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Hera's Fiance
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NT2 wrote:
Very enjoyable. :bow:

Well crafted. Lots of good solid information that leads you through the whole event, like one of those Discovery channel documentaries. I especially liked Tyrol's realization that they were "topping out."


The flight scenes in this story were inspired by a few real-life flying incidents. Only one of those was I in the cockpit for (though not Pilot in Command) and it was the basis for the bit where "Tyrol realizes that they were 'topping out.'"!! It happened to me almost like I described it happening to The Chief, except that I realized what was going on sooner than Tyrol did (and our town fair didn't have a proper roller coaster for me to beg my parents to take me on.) I was on a glider training flight with a German exchange instructor (the Germans have some great glider pilots, btw) sitting behind me. We'd found some good thermals (actually the local hawks found it and I followed them) and had spiraled up to about 10,000 ft enjoying the pretty day when he realized that he'd scheduled another customer's flying lesson to start in just a couple of minutes. Well, you can't get a glider down 10,000 ft. in two minutes... so I thought. He asked me to give him control of the plane and when I did he pulled the stick all the way back... I tried to convey in the story the feeling of the parabolic trajectory over the top of that stall as closely as I could. I'm glad you found it memorable. It sure was to me! The instructor didn't spin the plane, though, but managed to drop the deeply stalled glider almost flat and surprisingly controlled most of the way down. Like a good instructor, he explained to me what he was doing once we were in a stable stall and how it was done just in case I found myself in a similar situation and needed to "fly" a glider below the stall speed myself sometime (which I've never tried to do).

The spin straight down through the clouds was done by a friend of mine who, as Sharon did, had managed to get his visual flight only Cessna caught over a storm. He wasn't sure where he was but knew that the area was dotted with a large number of big radio towers that reached up into the storm he'd have to decend blindly through. Being an engineer he figured the least probability of hitting a tower would occur if he just went straight down through the storm and being a bit of a daredevil he just did it, recovering the plane from the spin once he was under the storm. He claims (if you can believe an old pilot's stories) that on the same flight in he'd been caught in an unusually low jet stream which gave him a ground speed over part of his flight of over 200 knots. He says almost as soon as he landed he was met by a couple of FAA representatives. He thought he was going to be in a lot of trouble for taking his plane down through the clouds when he was supposed to be flying VFR only. Instead, they had a copy of the traffic control radar logs on his plane and wanted to know what kind of plane he had that could both do over 200 knots in level flight and also hover like a helicopter! (the spin stall portion of his flight gave him an apparent ground speed of almost zero as he was dropping pretty much straight down). Whether it's true or not, it's a good yarn and helped inspire part of this story.

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 Post subject: Re: First Date
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:55 pm 
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Obviously you're very knowledgeable on the subject. It shows in the story, in a good way. Propels it along as opposed to a data dump.


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 Post subject: Re: First Date
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:57 am 
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Yeah, Chris is the new Clément Ader/Louis Blériot! :french:

Say, did you already try to glide in a helicopter?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autorotati ... icopter%29

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 Post subject: Re: First Date
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:26 pm 
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wow. This is turning into a Jeopardy question. :)

"I'll take European Aviators for $600."


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 Post subject: Re: First Date
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:30 pm 
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I forgot Otto Lilienthal. :grin:

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 Post subject: Re: First Date
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:27 am 
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For those wanting more glider icing horror stories, this article was in this month's issue of Air and Space Smithsonian. I immediately thought of everyone's favorite Cylon sailplane pilot when I read it:

http://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/Stranded.html

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