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At this point I would like to thank Cambridge University Gliding Club which allowed me to take the club’s ASW19B – “CU” to Aboyne and Stephen Gibson from CGC who very kindly lend me his hi-performance oxygen system. Without them, I would have never spent as many as 37 hours in the air. Out of those hours, two flights are particularly notable and possibly of interest to the reader. The first one is my diamond height gain which happened on the 09/10/18. The second one is 268 km undeclared cross country flight in wave done on 10/10/18.
= Diamond height gain =
The evening before, the RASP wave forecast for Scotland seemed more than optimistic, with strongish south-westerly winds. I’ve decided to attempt an early start for the sake of an easy take off and plenty of time for looking for a good wave spot (and who can say ‘no’ to Scottish sunrise in the middle of autumn).
Yet, both the spirits and altimeter were getting high again at another great location over lochs in Tarland Bowl – the wave I found there gave me an easy ride to FL225. I stopped the nice climb, not to infringe the FL245 (for instance due to altimeter error) with a height gain of 5900m I was sure that the dreamed-of diamond is bagged. Keeping the descend rate low, not to shock heat the glider cooled to some minus 12°C. With no space to jump out of happiness my return to base was rather uneventful.
= Cross country in a wave =
Some experienced Aboyne pilots say that getting diamond is one thing, but the real challenge is to fly cross country in a wave. The next day after my diamond height gain looked promising, thanks to fierce but stable southerly winds giving wave bars latitudinally aligned all across Scotland. Again, I decided for an early start and seeing two Aboyne pundits ensured me that the day will be good. They were ready at the runway, in complete darkness waiting for the first sunrays to allow for aerotows to commence. As before, sunrise over wave clouds was spectacular and unforgettable.