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A quick glider circuit at Camphill

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Camphill in Derbyshire is one of my favourite airfields, I've flown from there loads of times and although it is not the airfield where I learned to fly gliders, nor did my first solos in them etc (that was at the far more forgiving and considerably larger old WW2 Wellington bomber airfield at Husbands Bosworth), I still regard Camphill as the airfield which made me a good pilot, because it is so challenging to land there. There are numerous hills on the approaches which can cause vicious downdrafts, necessitating one to sometimes bring a glider in very steep to power through wind gradients, and it is generally the case that gliders will come in at a good 70 knots and then slow to the typical 35-38 knots at which they would be when touching down, so one often ends up operating the spoiler lever like some demented trombone player on approaches into there, but it is always pleasing to perform a good landing at that location, even a virtual one.

So here is a virtual one, done in the gliding sim Silent Wings. The observant among you will notice that I did not reset the altimeter, which was reading me at around 1,300 feet when on the field before take off, which is about right for its height above sea level. This is because when typically gliding, one flies about for so long and sometimes end up landing out, that a particular skill of gliding is being able to judge one's height visually for a circuit and not to rely on an altimeter too much, typically staying at a 4:1 glide angle to the landing location to ensure one will get in and mentally drawing the circuit pattern backwards, so it is a bit different from flying a powered aircraft circuit although the principle is generally sort of similar. So, you will note that I pulled off the winch at around 2,000 feet on the altimeter on the launch, which I knew would give me a fairly typical circuit height start altitude of around 7-800 feet above the field elevation. Gliding makes you good at knowing how big a sheep looks when you are at about a 1,000 feet lol.

Note that the terrain here in that sim is very basic freeware, but despite the sparse detail, the terrain profile itself is accurate, Camphill really is on on top of a hill at about a thousand feet above sea level and genuinely is surrounded by all that unforgiving terrain where there are many trees and lots of dry stone walls, so there is no room for error when landing there. Most people, even experienced pilots, when they first see that airstrip tend to say, 'you've got to be kidding, right?'.

 

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Nicely done, sir! Never heard of Silent Wings, until now.

When the sheep have legs, you're at about 500 feet, if they have eyes, you've landed or are just about to! :) or something like that...

No airbrakes on the landing run? Presumably because you had available runway? At least the terrain mesh is decent as you say.

 

EDIT - just had a look at the Silent Wings site. Seems very impressive - Norway scenery is now incorporated for free :)

Edited by HighBypass

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17 minutes ago, HighBypass said:

No airbrakes on the landing run? Presumably because you had available runway? At least the terrain mesh is decent as you say.

You can see them popping open and closing on the approach, but when it touched down it was doing a shade less than 40, which is essentially that things stall speed and it will bleed speed for a smooth touchdown better without the spoilers open, so when it did touch down, I decided to let it roll out and just kept the wings up as long as possible since there was still quite a bit of field left, this is a bit of habit since if one goes a long way down the field and pushes it clear of any other cables when it halts, it doesn't hold up any other take offs.

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