Sunday, 13 November 2011

One's own discretion; the advantage of being licensed

Today I saw the merits of licenced flying. Jump through all the CAA's hoops and you are given freedom to decide when you fly (albeit within the limits of your rating). Gliding, for all its freedom from licencing, on the other hand, only happens if the CFI says so.

I was at the Gliding club today on a non-foggy day, with the motor glider out, fuelled, checked and on a tow out to the field, when the CFI drove over after his latest launch to tell us in gentle, tactful terms that there would be no further flying due to poor visibility.

Now, clearly this man knows his stuff and obviously he was being very responsible and very safe, but I looked up and just knew, without any question at all, that if I'd been at Great Oakley today, we'd have been flying. I suggested hanging about and seeing if visibility improved....low but broken cloud was blowing West and there was none behind it, and it had been getting better all day. And after all, several launches had gone off in poorer conditions quite happily.

But no, apparently at Glider clubs, once the decision has been made, that is it...whatever the weather goes on to do. And I seemed to be the only person who was disappointed.

I told my instructor that next time it isn't flyable for gliders, I will take him over to Great Oakley and will take him up in my microlight. Next weekend I am taking my Microlight stuff with me, just in case.

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