Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mexico - First days

Glider transport is always a bit tricky and I'm happy to report that my glider has arrived well and without major issues in Mexico. I feared the worst when they instructed me to go back to the departure hall after I had already been waiting for half an hour at the gate. But in the end, all went well. In Frankfurt, I met Johnny Nilssen and Genna Markhov, and we saw 7 gliders being loaded into the plane. This is how it looked at baggage claim for us:

Sunday started with carefully inspecting and unpacking the gliders, followed by a nice evening flight. It's a different world, here in Valle de Bravo. To start with, we're at 2000 m. There's also a non-stop procession of cars through the village, almost at walking pace, because of the uneven cobblestones. It makes me a bit short of breath. But, the city is very relaxed. There are food shops/stands everywhere you look and the central plaza really was alive on Sunday.

Back to flying. The altitude plays a role there as well. We launch at 2500 m. So we need more speed to take off. A good breeze or a good run is required. But we also land at 2000+ m. And that's more tricky. The extra speed requires a nice flare.

I tested my drogue chute on both landings and twice, it didn't open, which never happened to me before. On the first landing, I held my chute in my left hand for quite a while before releasing it. Because I flew with it for 2 minutes, the lines got entangled and created a number of knots. Of course, it didn't open anymore. But the flare was a beauty and I didn't have to walk the glider far ;-)

So yesterday, I wasn't going to make the same mistake and pulled the drogue way later. But I didn't pull it all the way out of the pocket before releasing it... So that didn't do anything either. The field was a bit downslope and it all ended in an unstable high flare, followed by a hard landing, just as Laurent did a few minutes earlier. Me and the glider are ok, but it's not the way I want to continue landing here.

Yesterday's flight was the first bit of XC flying here. Flying at 3000 m is low and I exited thermals at 3800 m, about 200 m below cloudbase, because I'm not adapted to the height yet. Let's see how it feels today! Competition starts on March 1st, so we still got a few practice days here.


  1. Hey Jochen, go for it makker. Goed te lezen dat je glider heelhuids is toegekomen. Mijn duikgerief is pas vandaag toegekomen in Qatar. Blijven hangen in Frankfurt.... Succes met de wedstrijd.

  2. Sauber Jochen. Top 10 im ersten Task!
    Darf man da gratulieren? Glaub schon oder?!