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By flybop
#400608
Every winter here I can go as long as 5 months without flying. Each spring I go through the heightened Butterfly Effect from being out of currency. Even during the season if I go a few weeks or more I can feel my confidence drop way down. However, so far, those launches and landings have gone off pretty well.

So my question is this: Do your nerves, confidence deteriorate before your actual flying skills? For me my confidence and bump tolerance drops off before my actual flying skills. Then, once I get that magic first flight in things settle down quite a bit.
User avatar
By wonderwind_flyer
#400619
Good topic.
I too live in a location with a long winter. Even though there are some decent winter flying days there can be too much wind for safe flying a couple of months. I find that my 'pre-flight' confidence level drops after a few weeks without flying. By 'pre-flight' I mean that time period from when I load the glider on to my vehicle until I am in my harness and walking toward launch. Once I am standing on launch and feeling my connection to the wing ... the confidence is back.

During those non-flying weeks I have found a few things to help keep me mentally in the game.
1 - working on glider related projects (glider inspection, cable replacement, harness maintenance, etc)
2- Using a flight simulator (such as Condor or Silent Wings)
3- Visiting my flying sites and LZs without my glider ... just to hike around, watch birds and ponder

..::JG
By blindrodie
#400620
Great method JG. #3 is my favorite!!

8)
User avatar
By Charlie Romeo
#400644
Hi again Flybop,i like the way you descibe a ""butterfly effect" of one issue leading to others.As to your question,i believe,yes you got it right and yes to J.G.,especially to 1 and 3. I also reckon your head space before any fly ,{perhaps especially after a long break} depends on what went wrong or right with your last few flys.I"ve been flying a looong time now and from my personal expierience and observations if some bent aluminium or bruises are involved in the pilots last flys, then sometimes What goes first for you becomes what goes second for you and so on.....exacerated when the mistakes are pilot induced not weather induced.This has led to even seasoned pilots wondering what ifs and how comes.This can lead to stagnation in their flying , inevitably becoming another dropout.This is another reason why it is so important you stay with your current grade of glider because you feel so bulletproof.You feel cocky,you put setbacks behind you and you keep growing.There are at least two other strong reasons why we all havn"t succumbed to our what iffs.....A vibrant club scene and strong peer support can really help bring a pilot back to the fold and the main reason for hangin in there is the JOY thing.Our joy from h.g.... those feelings of serenity,peace.amazement panic adrenalin,carving the air,satisfaction with life,etc,etc.These are part of my joy and by the way you don"t need an extreme sport to have a joy.It might be working the soil of your vegie patch,a few hours immersed in a good book,it could be anything that when you do IT , your in your happy zone and the real world doesn"t intrude till you"ve had your fill!We all need at least one joy and h.g. is mine with{at the moment } trail bikes my second.... So let me try to wind up....I guess i"m lucky living here...the coast with its easy stress free conditions are great for a blow the cobwebs away and then i"m ready for the inland challenge again is great....however if i only had inland i would fly later in the day reduce my stress level and allow myself the chance to once again chase my joy.So in a quiet moment before you stand on launch with your glider balanced on your shoulders perhaps you may have a simple mantra like this one,i only ever remembered a few of the lines,but you s.f. buffs will know them well enough..I looked them up..."I must not fear.Fear is the mind killer.Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.I will face my fear.I will permit my fear to pass over me and through me.And when it has gone past i will turn the inner eye to see its path.Where the fear has gone there will be nothing..Only i will remain."..or maybe "the worst that could happen is i"ll do some lazy turns and end up in the bombout..Whatever you do to get to the proper headspace for a relaxed but alert flight is great,so happy and joyfull flying mate.C.R.....I guess i wrote this for the wider audience..not just personally to you Flybop 8)
By Sfort
#400693
All great ideas! Also taking the time to read articles on theory, and watching HG videos.

If you have the opportunity, it's the best time to escape for a week or so to a nice sunny thermal site elsewhere. I live in Valle de Bravo Mx(and work with a HG tourism company here), and pilots flock here every winter to escape the winter blues. 8)
wonderwind_flyer wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:18 am
Good topic.
I too live in a location with a long winter. Even though there are some decent winter flying days there can be too much wind for safe flying a couple of months. I find that my 'pre-flight' confidence level drops after a few weeks without flying. By 'pre-flight' I mean that time period from when I load the glider on to my vehicle until I am in my harness and walking toward launch. Once I am standing on launch and feeling my connection to the wing ... the confidence is back.

During those non-flying weeks I have found a few things to help keep me mentally in the game.
1 - working on glider related projects (glider inspection, cable replacement, harness maintenance, etc)
2- Using a flight simulator (such as Condor or Silent Wings)
3- Visiting my flying sites and LZs without my glider ... just to hike around, watch birds and ponder

..::JG
User avatar
By Nicos
#400696
Well after not flying for several months I flew last night. After a minute all was well, but totally forgot how to setup my glider, even started setting it up facing the wrong direction!

Maybe doing that sail-off inspection would work too
User avatar
By flybop
#400697
I am now fast approaching a month. Now the windy fall season is in full swing. The fall brings strong south winds to Paradise Valley and Livingston. Winds were over 50 mph in Livingston today.

With a bit of optimism I loaded the wing to meet some visiting pilot friends at the Hog Back. We never untied our wings. The high winds is the price we pay for warm days this time of year. It was close to 70 today.

Some of my non flying days were spent doing some fence work on a gate that we go through to get up the hill. Two of us replaced the sock on the south side in over 20 mph winds. Another non flying but very useful event we try to do every winter/early spring is a chute clinic. We get together, hang in our harness and do a practice throw. The next day we repack the chutes. This is always a huge learning experience and could very well save a life one day.

There is still time for us this season. I have had some great late October/early November flights. After that there will be snow and a long wait til April.

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