June 06, 2013

Aerobility Activity Week at Airways Airsports, Darley Moor

The weather couldn’t have been better for the first day of Aerobility’s activity week at Darley Moor. Five Aerobility members gathered in expectation of three days of Gliding, Paragliding, and Hang Gliding. In the event the high wind meant that Gliding was to be the only offering on day one, but what a choice. Guy Westgate briefed participants on what was in store; a flight in his Fox glider including the opportunity to learn the techniques involved in looping and rolling. A procedure to hoist all participants into the glider worked well and once seated and strapped into this most beautiful (and I am assured strong) machine, it was time for the tow to 4000 feet. 

Testing the hoist!
Keeping in position behind the tug is perhaps more difficult than might be imagined. We released from the tug in typical Guy fashion with the Glider inverted, and then after some basic turns it was time for the first go at a loop. I tried to recall my briefing “Descend rapidly at 45 degrees to gain speed, level off, pull back and start to relax pressure as you reach the top”  sounds simple , but what a thrill when you complete your first (no doubt very untidy) loop. Another two goes and I was hooked, but now on to the roll. “Descend rapidly to gain speed, level off, pitch up 15 degrees, and stick hard over” The Fox does exactly what you ask, what a machine! Guy finished the session with demonstrations of a four point hesitation roll, a stall turn and finally a quarter clover. The Fox lands at a high speed, but Guy still managed to come to a standstill in exactly the same spot we had started from; true precision.  

A fantastic day out!

This was an amazing experience that I will always remember, our thanks to Guy and all the team at Airways Airsports, who looked after us royally all day, we will be back.

Briefing in the Derbyshire sunshine with one of the canine locals!

Written by Brian Catchpoole

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