Techniques to Centre a Thermal

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Charles Petersen
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Techniques to Centre a Thermal

Post by Charles Petersen » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:53 pm

I have added this file to the Piloting Files folder in the Archive section of this Forum
BGA Thermalling Advice.pdf
Centring A Thermal - British Gliding Association
(229.05 KiB) Downloaded 15 times
​Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight.... do not go gentle into that good night. - Dylan Thomas

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James Kingdon
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Re: Techniques to Centre a Thermal

Post by James Kingdon » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:20 pm

Thanks Charles. It's the eternal mystery, and another read is always welcome.

I thought I was going to learn it by watching other pilots, but when I tried to do so I discovered that they use some sort of magic. :) There seem to be two rules of thumb that pan out over the years; 1) soggy Ontario thermals aren't very big, 2) the best lift will be found as you leave the thermal, having spent 20 minutes climbing in the weak stuff.

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Charles Petersen
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Re: Techniques to Centre a Thermal

Post by Charles Petersen » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:19 am

And even when you think you have the hang of it, you see a master like Dave Springford just smoke even the elite. So much to learn, and a challenge to both the left and right hemisphere or your brain.

You can learn something every flight, and should make it your goal to do so. Sharing a flight in the 500 is something I'd recommend; each pilot can discuss, and share, and learn, and especially if you can get a flight with an experienced pundit, you'll learn faster.
​Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight.... do not go gentle into that good night. - Dylan Thomas

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Tim Wood
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Re: Techniques to Centre a Thermal

Post by Tim Wood » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:03 am

Some of the best-looking and most reliable thermals will be found on the downwind leg. Don't be tempted- they are only good for half a turn, you break all the rules if you get suckered, and you will make the pilot behind you very mad!
Tim

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