First time > 500 km

Posted by Moser on 13 Aug 2009

On last Wednesday I had to write my last test for this semester. As the long term soaring forecast looked quite good I decided to skip the party on the evening and to drive home (i.e. the airfield) instead. The weather report for Thursday promised us good but blue (no clouds that mark the upper ends of thermals) conditions. I don’t really like flying on blue days as you can never be sure if there is still thermal activity where you are heading, but I was quite motivated because I did not fly cross country for nearly two months. On Thursday morning Daniel and I assembled the Ventus 2cx (Thanks btw) and I put in 58 liters of water ballast. At 11 AM me and some of our guests from Hamburg were ready for tow. Fortunately the weather forecast was not entirely correct: We already saw some clouds develop.

At 11.47 AM (local) I released the tow rope a little north western of Cham in about 700 m AGL (above ground level). My first thermal wasn’t good (or I just did not get it the right way). So I proceeded a little further north, lost some more height and found myself in weak, narrow thermal. I decided to drop my water ballast which probably was wrong. Afterwards the thermal improved and I could fly on to the north. Within the first hour I seldom was higher than 1000 m AGL. When I passed Weiden the altitude of the cloud base and the thermals’ strength improved and I got faster. The Fichtelgebirge provided me with some strong lift and soon I passed Kulmbach.

Sonneberg

Sonneberg

Overhead Sonneberg I entered the Thuringian Forest. Some kilometers before Suhl I turned back southward. All in all I had to thermal too much for my taste on the first leg.

New Railway bridge

Bridge construction site on the Nuremberg–Erfurt high-speed railway

On the way back south I did a better job and did not thermal much until I was south of Tirschenreuth. A Janus joined me in close formation for some 40 Km. In order to stretch the flight a little I went on to the south east of Cham and turned near Bischofsmais.

From there I planned my final glide which was quite tight and got tighter due to some strong downdrafts in the area where I turned. But I was lucky and hit some thermals on the glide home. The second one was quite strong and I decided to gain any height I could get in order to make some extra kilometers. I again passed Cham and flew on to the north west. I could use some calm evening thermals, turned at Neunburg vorm Wald for the last time and went home fast.

With a distance of 529 Km and a duration of 6 hours and 37 minutes this was my farthest and longest flight. Because of the high amount of traffic and the sometimes rough thermals I only took a few pictures today.

Here is the flight on the OLC.

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