You only get one chance to fly the line you choose to fly. But what if you could go back, and analyse the decision? Consider the alternatives? Compare with others? You can ... with a tracklog!
In this multi-part series, Flybubble team pilot Phil Clark explains how you can learn a lot from analysing your flight tracklogs. Part one explains how to view your flight data by getting it out of your instrument and on to your computer, uploading it to an online XC league, and downloading the Google Earth (GE) file. Part two explains how to get more out of your tracklogs with GE, understanding the different file types, and drawing lessons from from them. Part three looks at multi-coloured traces. Part four draws more tracklog lessons. Part five investigates ways to learn from others in competitions and XCs.
After what seemed like an 'endless summer' in the United Kingdom, the paragliding cross country flying season appears to have finally come to a somewhat unwelcome end for 2014 - and what a hugely eventful year it proved to be! However, just because it's warmer than usual doesn't necessarily mean it's better for XC flying. So what kind of year was it for flying XC on paragliders in the UK - not just the few 'Sky Gods' but the many 'mere mortals' too? One of the best ways to gauge this is by looking that the UK Paragliding XC League, and hearing from the pilots, of all levels, who took part.
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!