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Floating on air "What I like about it is that it's real flying—you're right back to the basics," commented Andy Andrews, senior with the Greensboro Office, "it doesn't forgive you your mistakes; you can't power your way out." Andy was describing his enthusiasm for soaring, the sport of literally riding on air in one of the gracefully airworthy but completely engineless craft known as sailplanes. (The term "glider" is in disrepute because it suggests a gentle but steady flight downwards to a landing instead of prolonged buoyancy.) "I've been told it's a little like scuba diving," he said, seeking a way to describe the thrili of soaring. He meant the eerie silence with nothing but the wind noise slipping past the windscreen as you ride a current of air, dropping or climbing. "You feel as if you're one with the sailplane." Andy, who has long flown powered airplanes, started soaring about three years ago. "There's a little soaring center thirty-five miles away from Greensboro, an airport called Strawberry Hill," he recalled. "I was curious so one Saturday afternoon I gave it a try." Now he soars on weekends every chance he gets and his wife, Carol, who has soloed in power planes and has been up in sailplanes a few times, loves it too, He said it took only a couple of hours to make the transition from powered craft to sailplane aviation; it would take a non-flyer as long to learn how to 20 operate a sailplane as it would for him to qualify with powered aircraft. He rents a one-seat sailplane, getting off the ground by means of a tow aloft by a powered towplane. At an altitude of 1,500 to 2,500 feet, he releases the sailplane from the tow rope and is on his own. How long a sailplane will stay up depends in large measure on the skill of the pilot. While the sailplane has all of the steering and banking controls of powered craft—rudder, elevators and ailerons—the rate of descent can be controlled mechanically only by spoilers, iarge flaps on the long, thin wings which act as air brakes when opened. Manipulating them enables the pilot to increase or decrease the rate of descent in landing. Also aiding him is a cluster of instruments: an altimeter; a variometer, which shows the rate of climb or descent; an air speed indicator; a compass, and a "needie ball" which, operating on the same principle as the bubble in a carpenter's level, indicates whether or not the sailplane is flying at a level attitude. Sailplane flying in the Greensboro area is thermal flying—riding on updrafts caused by temperature differences; warm air rises above cooler air and presumably wili hold a sailplane if the pilot is clever enough to find a thermal air current. For example, Andy explained, a likely area to fly above is a plowed field which sheds heat stored up from the sun's rays. A forest, however, will retain heat and a sailplane above it will falter. Very little soaring is done in the cool Carolina winter. Andy's longest flight has been for two hours and forty-five minutes, he recalled; he has been up in a sailplane for about thirty hours in total. A sailplane will stall at thirty-five miles per hour and at sixty is flying "wide open," either in a dive or being shoved along by a brisk wind. A good sailplane will climb as high as 50,000 or 60,000 feet (above 11,000 an oxygen source is needed). Andy has not yet attempted cross country flight but sailplanes are capable of flights of several hundred miles, according to international standards. "I have a tittle sign, 'Plan ahead,'" Andy noted. The object is to land your sailplane where you intended to land —usually where you took off. Andy consequently tries to fly upwind from the airport so that it is easier to maneuver his craft back, Occasionally sailplanes must land in a strange field. No trouble, however. He is in radio contact with a ground crew who I pick him up with a truck. The sailplane 1 can be disassembled in about twenty , minutes and stored in a trailer. Is there any danger of making five 1 children ranging from four to fourteen fatherless? Not much. "Generally
Hartley, Thomas Y.
Dauterman, Frederick E.
Norton, Chauncey A.
Haskins & Sells. Greensboro Office
Haskins & Sells. Columbus Office
Haskins & Sells. New York Office
Haskins & Sells. San Francisco Office
|Abstract||Illustrations not included in the Web version.|
H&S Reports, Vol. 08, (1971 spring), p. 20-23
|Source||Originally published by: Haskins & Sells|
|Rights||Copyright and permission to republish held by: Deloitte|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|