Friday, 27 April 2012

Gliders and Lenticular Clouds

With some strong Northerly winds at high altitudes over Europe lately, we got the chance to see those massive clouds forming in mountainous areas.
Their impressive shape is the result from high altitude waves and they are a sign of exceptional soaring conditions for glider pilots.

Two weeks ago, a Belgian pilot took off from an airfield situated at the Belgian/Dutch border to land near the Spanish/French border a few hours later, covering over 1050 km (650 mi) without the use of an engine. A dozen flew circuits of up to 800 km in one go.

I was working around that time but got the chance to do a few flights in thermal soaring conditions (using lifts under Cumulus clouds), do a bit of formation flying and get back to stick-and-rudder flying, quite different from flying a swept-wing jet and probably more pleasant as well. 

I hope you will enjoy the video and the photos.

That's how addictive it gets, flying close to 100 hours per month for a living, flying as a passenger every week to commute back home and flying gliders on my days off.