Cross Country Magazine Tuesday Tip

This week's tip comes from Thermal Flying by Burkhard Martens

Your equipment

To fly well a pilot needs to be in tune with their wing. In other words flying must be FUN.

The passive safety should correspond to the pilot's experience level, and the performance should be adequate.

Minimum descent rate for all recent wings is very close, so that if thermalling in normal lift generally the best pilot, and not the best wing, will sit on top of the stack.

Performance differences only become visible when gliding, and then only really when gliding at speed. Extreme differences may be seen when gliding at top speed into a headwind, whereas gliding with the wind doesn't tell us much about a wing's performance.

A pilot flying apprehensively under a high performance wing will get less net performance out of it than they would if flying assertively with a Sports Class wing. This is due to the fact that a larger proportion of the pilot's mind is then available for flying tactics and calculations rather than being tied up worrying about the wing.

On glide

Photo: Nova

Thermal Flying: New edition is available on