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Old 6th February 2019, 10:29   #16
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Default Re: World's Cheapest Flight - Hadapsar Gliding Centre, Pune

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Originally Posted by Pontiac View Post
I have always thought gliders needed an airplane for it to be towed up. I see them all the time getting towed from the airport next to my home. This has never crossed my mind that a pulley can make them airborne. This is cost effective. But at the same time, I guess it puts a limit to the maximum height it can reach.
This is done for small circuit flights within the vicinity of the glider strip (joyride flights). For longer cross country flights, an an aircraft tows the glider to 3000/5000 feet to launch.

Glider flying is an uncontrolled sport in India, that means not much regulation and subsequent lack of safety since no one is accountable. Also a glider is mercy to the atmosphere, lacking a powerplant, the pilot has controls to only go with the airflow, if he accidentally enters a downdraft, he is forced to land in the closest field. However gliding experience makes a pilot a better pilot since he knows aerodynamics and handling weather.
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Old 6th February 2019, 12:49   #17
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Default Re: World's Cheapest Flight - Hadapsar Gliding Centre, Pune

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Originally Posted by Samfromindia View Post
T
The only safety instruction i got was not to touch any controls in cockpit while i was in co-pilot's seat No parachutes also !
It is not uncommon not to use parachutes on gliders, also giving parachutes to incidental passengers is not likely to be very useful. For a parachute to be effective you need to be at a reasonable altitude. Close to the ground a parachute is useless. More importantly, you need to know how to get out of the glider and how to use the chute. That takes training more than a bit of instruction.

I believe in some countries it is mandatory for glider pilots to wear parachute. If not by law, most glider clubs will enforce it. E.g. the UK.

An interesting “my parachute saved my live from a glider pilot perspective”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...collision.html

Remarkably, on just about any other (motorised plane), wearing parachutes is simply not required, nor practiced.

I fly a plane where the plane itself has a parachute.

https://cirrusaircraft.com/innovatio...ame-parachute/

I have never had to use it, but I did get training on how to use it.

Here is what that looks like:




Quote:
Originally Posted by Pontiac View Post
I have always thought gliders needed an airplane for it to be towed up. I see them all the time getting towed from the airport next to my home. This has never crossed my mind that a pulley can make them airborne. This is cost effective. But at the same time, I guess it puts a limit to the maximum height it can reach.
Gliders can take off in three different ways. The pulley as shown here, towing by another powered plane. Lastly some gliders have engines as well. They come in different shapes and formats, usually either a feathering or retractable type of propellor. As soon as you are done with the engine, you switch it off, the propellor feathers or folds away.

This allows pilots to take off, or to actually cruise in powered mode as well. It adds a bit of safety if you find yourself with no thermal and no suitable landing zone. You simply power up.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_glider

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 6th February 2019 at 12:52.
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Old 6th February 2019, 13:10   #18
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Default Re: World's Cheapest Flight - Hadapsar Gliding Centre, Pune

Dear Sam, many thanks for sharing your experience at Hadapsar gliding center. Didn't knew that it is open on Sunday's for general public, an old colleague of mine was a member there and he used to visit the place mostly on weekdays (IIRC).

Your thread brought back fond memories of my NCC Airwing days when we used to do gliding at Raipur airport. Gliding and skeet shooting were best rewards of being an NCC Airwing cadet
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Old 7th February 2019, 02:10   #19
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Default Re: World's Cheapest Flight - Hadapsar Gliding Centre, Pune

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Gliders can take off in three different ways. The pulley as shown here, towing by another powered plane. Lastly some gliders have engines as well. They come in different shapes and formats, usually either a feathering or retractable type of propellor. As soon as you are done with the engine, you switch it off, the propellor feathers or folds away.

This allows pilots to take off, or to actually cruise in powered mode as well. It adds a bit of safety if you find yourself with no thermal and no suitable landing zone. You simply power up.
Good to know. Once you fly a glider, I guess the perceptions will change. I am a trainee pilot and I fly a 172 (1972 built). I was skeptical at first on its safety based on its age. After a year of flying in it, I got so confident about its gliding capabilities that changed my perception of safety of an aircraft altogether.

I know gliders have the right of way over conventional aircraft based on its capabilities or lack thereof. Does it change once you have an engine fitted to it?
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Old 7th February 2019, 02:19   #20
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Default Re: World's Cheapest Flight - Hadapsar Gliding Centre, Pune

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Originally Posted by Pontiac View Post
Good to know. Once you fly a glider, I guess the perceptions will change. I am a trainee pilot and I fly a 172 (1972 built). I was skeptical at first on its safety based on its age. After a year of flying in it, I got so confident about its gliding capabilities that changed my perception of safety of an aircraft altogether.
I assume you are practicing engine out emergency scenario’s and having to glide to a safe enough landing zone? I trust this is practiced with the engine to idle/prop feathered and not with the engine actually shut down?

Even with the engine idling and the prop feathered it still creates a substantial drag. So if this is the way you practice you should be well prepared to handle and actual engine out situation. With the engine stalled, the propellor at standstill you have far less drag than with it still idling. So it will glide even better!!

I learned to fly and did my PPL check ride on a 35 year old Cessna C150.

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Originally Posted by Pontiac View Post
I know gliders have the right of way over conventional aircraft based on its capabilities or lack thereof. Does it change once you have an engine fitted to it?

Good question. And I am not sure. It might well be different between different aviation authorities.

It is usually phrased along the following lines

Quote:
power-driven heavier-than-air aircraft shall give way to airships, gliders and balloons;
So maybe a powered/motorised glider is considered a power driven heavier than air aircraft.

Not sure, maybe some of the aviation guru/ pro-pilots know the answer?

One thing is for sure. If you are towing a glider, you tend to have right of way to other powered aircraft. Which makes sense.

Jeroen
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:31   #21
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Default Re: World's Cheapest Flight - Hadapsar Gliding Centre, Pune

Thanks Sam for taking us on the joyride with you. Such a wonderful experience. It indeed looks like the cheapest way to get airborne. Added to my bucket list. Keep sharing such experiences for everyone's benefit.

Cheers,
Pawan
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Old 7th February 2019, 23:27   #22
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Default Re: World's Cheapest Flight - Hadapsar Gliding Centre, Pune

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I assume you are practicing engine out emergency scenario’s and having to glide to a safe enough landing zone? I trust this is practiced with the engine to idle/prop feathered and not with the engine actually shut down?
Yes. This is the method. Engine at idle. Not actually shut down. I haven't tried shutting down the engine yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen
Even with the engine idling and the prop feathered it still creates a substantial drag. So if this is the way you practice you should be well prepared to handle and actual engine out situation. With the engine stalled, the propellor at standstill you have far less drag than with it still idling. So it will glide even better!!
Ah. Good to know. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen
So maybe a powered/motorised glider is considered a power driven heavier than air aircraft.
Possibly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen
One thing is for sure. If you are towing a glider, you tend to have right of way to other powered aircraft. Which makes sense.
I remember this. This is also a question from the test I cannot forget.
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Old 8th February 2019, 18:19   #23
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Default Re: World's Cheapest Flight - Hadapsar Gliding Centre, Pune

Wonderful thread Samrat! Got to know a lot of things about the joyride which was very close to my heart during my childhood. There were a lot of gliders flying in the sky from the Behala Flying Club those days, but barely anything open as a joyride for public. It was for training purposes only.

Indeed the landing was smooth as seen in the video. Must be the skill of the pilot responsible for this!

Many thanks for sharing the beautiful experience!

Last edited by suhaas307 : 9th February 2019 at 23:09. Reason: Spacing
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Old 9th February 2019, 21:39   #24
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Default Re: World's Cheapest Flight - Hadapsar Gliding Centre, Pune

Talk about cheap -- in the mid seventies (last century) while we were in college, BITS Pilani (Rajasthan) had a gliding club, where we members used to pay ONE RUPEE per flight ! Joyrides used to cost TWO RUPEES, usually given to visiting family members of students.

A petrol Jeep used to winch the glider up into take-off, like a kite, with a junior member of the Gliding Club running holding one wing up. At the right height we had to pull a lever disengaging the cable from the 'belly-hook' of the glider. The hook & cable, attached to a small parachute, would fall to the ground, to be rewound by the Jeep pulley. It was so much fun, and dirt cheap.

The experience was in some ways better than in a small plane, as engine sound was missing -- just the swishing of air across the fuselage and wings. All other controls and gauges were the same as in a small aircraft --joystick, rudders, ailerons/elevators, turn & bank indicators, airspeed indicators, altimeter, compass etc.

We had to search for 'thermals' , pockets of hot air which gave lift, which in turn gave you more time and distance to fly. Otherwise it was a trade-off -- you dropped altitude to increase speed and vice versa.

For gliding students and joyriders, the front seat was always reserved, giving you more 'birds-eye' view without obstructions.

In 2008, when we went back to Pilani for a reunion, were dismayed to find the Birla Gliding Club closed, due to high operating costs !

Last edited by suhaas307 : 9th February 2019 at 23:10. Reason: Formatting and spacing
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