For today’s triple play, let’s start with hang gliding. On the big training hill, there are 7 tests to “clear,” which means you get your Novice license and you can fly off the mountain launch. But, if you don’t fly off the mountain for 4 days straight, you have to “re-clear.”
Today, Pat will re-clear and I will continue my endless quest of clearing for the first time. Yesterday, I learned they mis-counted my total training hill flights: they missed a page. At the rate I’m going, I will have about 160 flights by the time I clear for the first time! They don’t give you a trophy for that; they just charge extra.
After successfully completing one more test today, I’m pretty much spent. Pat re-cleared and left for the mountain early on, but the wind prevents him from flying. He picks me up and then we head over to the landing zone where we each get a tandem flight.
For the second time, I hook in with an instructor and we are towed above 2000 feet, literally into the clouds. But this time, I’m not as mentally paralyzed. The instructor gives me control and I fly us all the way to the landing (except for those moments when it appears I’m going to kill us both).
Flying a tandem glider with an extra person in it is completely different from flying solo. It’s good to experience the altitude though–and to have 12 minutes instead of 12 seconds to practice.
Next, let’s talk about Tisen.
Two new things happen at the training hill today. First, while Tisen has stopped chasing wheels, when I carry my glider he dives at my legs, grabbing at my pants and pinching my skin. When I set the glider down, he stops. When I pick it up, he starts again. He doesn’t seem to be able to associate my legs with my body when I have the glider on my shoulders.
Second, when Pat leaves, he calls Tisen down from the big hill by squeaking his favorite ball. He was at least 100 yards away and he ran down the hill to get that ball. The power of a squeaky toy!
In the car later, Tisen starts carrying his squeaky toys up onto the seat in the min-van. I cannot help but snap a shot with my iPhone.
This leads us to our final subject, Photography.
The pictures from the tandem flight were taken by a small Olympus point and shoot positioned on a mount on the wing. The camera was set to take a shot every 10 seconds. This was not my camera, but an add-on service the flight school offers. Frankly, I can’t tell much from the photos and they all start to look the same after a while, but it is kind of cool. I am definitely going to wear sunglasses so I don’t have to wear the school’s protective eyewear next time, though!