Nov 2, 2011 | Posted by: roboblogger
"So do you want to try a little wing-over?” says Bob Hagen from the back seat.
“Absolutely!” I reply.
“OK, just follow along with me!” Hagen says, meaning that I should keep my paws on the stick to learn the control movements for the maneuver. Hagen has been a glider pilot instructor and tow-pilot for many, many years.
He gains a little speed and pushes the stick forward. The nose of the glider drops steeply. The view out the canopy is now filled with green as we dive to pick up speed. The sound of the air rushing past increases as we accelerate. All else is silent in the engineless aircraft.
Hagen pulls sharply back on the stick and we zoom skyward in a steep climb. Now all I can see out the front is the cloudless blue sky. As we are rocketing upward, Hagen moves the joystick hard left and rolls us onto our side, holding that altitude as we bleed off speed. The sound of rushing air diminishes until it is near silence in the glider. Then the nose drops sharply and we fall nearly vertical toward the ground as the whoosh of the air returns. The green fields once again fill the windscreen. I feel the joystick move back and my shoulders slump from the G-force as Hagen pulls us out of the dive. What a thrill!
Since: Jan 10
In the early 1990's in the UK, I took on a paraplegic partner in a sailplane we had modified for hand control of the rudder and an air brake locking handle. These adaptions, plus cell phone coverage allowed Steve to soar cross-country safely, even if he were to land out. Read the full article.
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