Flight Skills

Flight Safety: The Downwind Devil

When soaring, it's safest to keep all turns away from the hill. But for XC you need to thermal, and effective thermaling requires circling. When you're close to the terrain, you can be caught by the 'downwind devil', especially in strong wind. This has caught out many pilots over the years, pilots who knew the theory and yet still made the mistake. It might not be as simple as it seems. Don't let it catch you!

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XC Secrets: The Downwind Devil

Turning back at the ridge? Don't get caught by the Downwind Devil!

When soaring, it's safest to keep all turns away from the hill. But for XC you need to thermal, and effective thermaling requires circling. When you're close to the terrain, you can be caught by the 'downwind devil', especially in strong wind. This has caught out many pilots over the years, pilots who knew the theory and yet still made the mistake. It might not be as simple as it seems. Don't let it catch you!

Read more