Looks pretty unlikely that I’ll be doing any flying in the next two days, so let’s look at 2008 by the numbers.
Flying days: 18
Flying sites: 9 (6 for the first time)
States: 6 (3 for the first time)
Total airtime: 17:17
Longest flight (duration): 2:36
Longest flight (XC distance): 2.88 miles
Max altitude: 6979 feet (from a 2047 foot launch)
Number of gliders flown: 3 (my Falcon, my Vision MkIV, demo Sport2)
Not a great year in terms of cooperation from the weather in New England (although the Ellenville crowd had great results flying into New England), and not a very good year in terms of safety, from the unfortunate number of deaths nationwide to the local incidents among people I know, resulting in injuries ranging from minor to serious. I had two less-than-acceptable landings myself, one a minor whack that re-bent a downtube that had been damaged before I bought the glider, and the other a case where I was forced down fairly hard in high winds at the coast, landing on my belly with no forward speed and bending metal in my control frame. But balancing that out, most of my launches and landings have been quite good, and my in-flight handling skills have also been going well.
Now it’s time to look forward to 2009. Xmas brought me two HG-related presents to make life easier in the coming year: a backpack for carrying my harness, and a pair of bar mitts. I have a list of 10 things to accomplish before moving up to a fancier glider, and I got through seven of them this year. There’s a very good chance that I’ll be able to get through the remaining three in the springtime.