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First Flights of 2017

Flight 18


  • First flight of 2017, trying to dust off some ‘rust’ in my skills that developed over a winter of no flying.
  • Goals were to practice flying the tow, smooth and medium turns, coordinated flying, speed control, and generally have an ‘easy’ flight to get back into the game.

Conditions at CYHE:

  • ~13ºC at 10:00 AM briefing, partly cloudy, patches of sun to the east over Hope Mountain, dark clouds to the west over the Fraser valley.

Flight record:

  • Flying: C-GVSA (Grob 103)
  • Tow: C-FAUJ (Cessna L-19)
  • Instructor pilot: Andrew L
  • Takeoff time: 12:10
  • Landing time: 12:36
  • Logged time for this flight: 0:26
  • Total glider flight time: Pending update (hh:mm)


  • First flight of 2017, foreseeing I was going to be rusty, and in briefing and prep, I badly need to review the SOAR technique and CISTRSCO pre-flight checks.
  • I flew the takeoff and tow, although I was struggling with maintaining stability behind AUJ due to significant turbulence between ~100-500ft AGL.
  • Since I was so focused on flying the tow, I didn’t have enough bandwidth left over to call out the options, which I reviewed with Andrew while strapped into VSA on the ground.
  • Released at 3500ft over the middle of the bowl.
  • Practiced a gentle right turn, 360º on compass, and a gentle left turn, 360º on compass.
  • Continued towards the eastern end of the bowl, where Andrew had me fly into the lift to the NE of the airfield, to illustrate significant sink conditions; lost about 700ft in one turn.
  • Headed back to the bowl to practice more coordinated flying.
  • A few light rain showers rolled in from the west of the valley and helped to demonstrate the additional sink characteristics of VSA when a bit wet with rain.
  • Found a few patches of lift over sun-warmed rocks on the west side of Dog Mountain, but far from good soaring conditions.

Flight 19

Conditions at CYHE:

  • Simlar as earlier in the day.

Flight record:

  • Flying: C-GVSA (Grob 103)
  • Tow:
  • Instructor pilot: Andrew L
  • Takeoff time: 16:29
  • Landing time: 16:57
  • Loggited time for this flight: 0:28
  • Total glider flight time: 9:17


  • Released from tow at about ~3200ft on Hope Mtn; I flew several long figure-8 ridge lift passes, and we eventually climbed to about 4800-5000ft.
  • A huge curtain of rain was rapidly blowing up the valley from the west, and this forced us to cut our flight short; I asked Andrew to take over, and he did one of the fastest full-spoilers / full-sideslip descents in recent club memory!
  • Note to self; grab a copy of Andrew’s GPS track and animation from him!
Ashley Theiss's Picture

About Ashley Theiss

Ashley is a full-stack Lean tech entrepreneur, web developer, designer, photographer, DJ, and aspiring glider pilot, active the Vancouver tech community.

Vancouver, Canada http://ashleytheiss.com