Cross Country Magazine Tuesday Tip

This week's tip is from Burkhard Martens' new book, Cross Country Flying

The Thirds Rule

Every mistake you make on a cross country flight will try to take its revenge on you. Here are five typical errors which should be avoided at all cost!

  • Starting too early and bombing out bitterly. You were the first to launch when thermals were still weak and the gaps between them long. By the time you've packed up and got to launch again, conditions have changed and the moment has gone.
  • Launching in a big area of shade. You were't watching the clouds around you carefully enough and started when the sun was switched off. High and mid-level clouds often move in a different direction to the ones lower down – watch for that.
  • Turning to the wrong side because you weren't paying attention to brake pressure, or because you have a favourite turn direction.
  • Changing your direction of turn mid-thermal with no need to do so. You fall out and lose the thermal.
  • Launching at the end of a thermal cycle. Work on your take-off routine so you always launch at the right moment.

Thermal routesWatch for mid-level cloud moving through. Photo: Ed Ewing

Cross Country Flying Cross Country Flying by Burkhard Martens is out now