late in the afternoon after what´s been a beautiful summer day. I´m
sitting in the glider "Charlie three", my std. Cirrus, enjoying the view
of southern Småland from the air, with its forests and lakes, bathing
in the eveningsun. I have been in the air for more than 6 hours now. A
little while ago I rounded the last turningpoint on a 600 km long task
with three turningpoints, and now glides north towards the goal, Ödestugu
airport. Hopefully I will land there in about one hour. If I make it I
will score a new club record in long distance flight! The weather has
been relativly good with 2-3 m/s climbs and a cloudbase that reached more
then 2000 m in the afternoon.||A
short while later I begin circulating with a little more then 1 m/s climb
under a deacent cumulus, which saves me from an unwilling visit to Feringe.
Slowly I regain my altitude, and eventually I am able to leave the cumulus
on 2100 m. Once again I go to the north. From here I can reach Hagshult
airport, only 36 km from Ödestugu. If I get there, it will at least
be a shorter drive to get me back by car. I maintain the speed for maximum
glide, 90 km/h, and prepare myself for half an hour of straight forward
flight until my altitude runs out.|
About ten minutes later something unexpected happens. 15 km ahead a small hole
in the cloudlayer has formed, and I can see a beautiful sunbeam shine
in a low angel towards the ground, straight in front of me. Evening sun
doesn´t produce much heat, but in spite of that a small fraction
of a hope comes into my mind. Imagine if the sun could produce some thermals!
Since the small sunbeamed area is in my way, I aim straight on it. For
another ten minutes I stare on the suspotted peace of forest ahead of
me, while I come closer but also lower. What if…
that moment, just before I reach the sunspotted area, I see a small cumulus
start forming way up there straight ahead of me. I don´t even dare
to think… Straight ahead, continue straight ahead…Yes! 0,5-1
The climb is slow, but for every circle I get closer to Ödestugu and a
triumphant homecoming. Dear God, don´t let the climb stop now! This
thermal shouldn´t really be here at all, it´s to late, and there
is definitly no other if this one stops.
the sun goes downwards the thermals get weaker, and when I reach Feringe
airport, 75 km from home, it´s hard to find much more then 1 m/s
climb. Up till now I have believed I could finish the task, but when I
look to the north from here my hopes of coming home dissapeares. 5 km
north of Feringe there is a last cumulus, and after that I see an unbroken
layer of stratocumulus as far as the eye can reach. No sunshine and therefore
no thermals either, all the way home. I can´t reach my homefield
from here with 2000 m altitude.
if this wasn´t enough, I get no climb under the cumuluscloud either!
To continue straight ahead is pointless, so I turn back south again. If
nothing else I will have to land on Feringe airport.
climb doesn´t stop. I stay there for a long time and gain much more
altitude then I really need. Thanks to my extra altitude I can afford
a grand passing of the finishline at maximum speed, 220 km/h, screaming
of joy. The feeling of finishing this day is not possible to describe
Coming home after a long flight, a wonderful feeling!