XC Tutorial: Start time selection

Start tactics should be considered separately for the following three cases: a winch, a small mountain - thermodynamics, and large mountains.

On the winch they usually don’t choose the start time - you start when your turn is right. If suddenly you have the opportunity to choose a start time, you must try to start so that at the time of uncoupling you are in the stream. That is, during your start, the flow should be somewhere behind the winch and the operator. At the same time at the start, the wind will die down. However, there are possible options. I do not know how to reliably predict whether there will be a flow at the end of a puff. It is only clear that in a light wind, the probability of going on a route is much more if someone directly in front of you dragged on and found a lift. In the end, you can join him.

In thermodynamics, everything is much more unique. Stand at the bend, and get ready for the start. You will feel the wind change. When the stream approaches the hill, you will feel the calm of the wind. The stream, being in front of the mountain, draws in air and obscures you from the wind. After a few minutes of calm, a wind will appear, which can increase to significant values, with strong currents up to 8m / s. After several gusts, the wind will slightly weaken and for some time it will blow evenly, and then the cycle repeats. You need to start as soon as you feel the first blows after the calm. You can just raise the wing - a powerful stream will take you off; you will not notice how you will be above the mountain. Immediately begin to process the thermal with spirals to spend less time in the dangerous proximity of the terrain. It is probably too late to start during the gusts. Raising the wing into the wind is more dangerous, and the stream is already likely going uphill. If you take off after passing through the stream, you may be able to hold on to the dynamics - but only until the next calm.

It happens that the wind begins to blow not directly uphill, but a little askew. This means that the flow is not right in front of you, but a little to the side.

In large mountains, it often happens that the launch site is somewhat distant from the standby stream. This is good in terms of safety: in the zone of thermal turbulence, you will have a height in case something happens. The tactics for choosing a start time here will be somewhat different. Even the duty-paid stream does not work all the time, but cyclically. If you get out of phase, fly down. Climbing a large mountain is usually difficult, long, and expensive. A good sign: a bunch of pilots are gaining height in front of your eyes. Fly, but just keep in mind: it will take some time to reach them, and you may not be able to catch the steam locomotive. If you do not want to sit on the tail of others, watch the birds, and calculate the phases of the thermal cycle. Recommendations for thermodynamics are suitable, with the exception that you need to start a couple of minutes before gusts of wind appear. In Sopot, a dozen meters before the start, a sorcerer stands on a trigger hill. Local pilots look at him, and as soon as he agitates, they immediately start and find the flow in its place.

If you do not get into phase, try to hold on by all means, without losing height. Cling to any zero, even -0.5 is worth processing if it drains around 2m / s. You need to hold out 10-15 minutes before the start of the next phase when it starts to shake everyone and everywhere. However, you should not rely on the relief: before my eyes this led to injuries, and salvation in large mountains is a difficult and long procedure.

The tactics of choosing a start time depends on what factor. It is important to understand whether you can gain height if you slip the on-duty trigger and fly out over the valley. This is usually visible - you just have to watch the birds and those who flew before you. If something rises away from the mountain, you don’t have to choose a start time at all. I once applied such tactics. Above the “brains”, the standby stream was sluggish, but I noticed that the pilots were also raised above the valley. I did not chew on the snot and walked away from the slope. Downhill to -3 almost made me sit down, but in the end, I found a good stream, clearly stronger than near the start. A few minutes later I was higher than those who dialed by the mountain, and ahead of them along the route. Naturally, in those days when the valley works poorly, such tactics will quickly lead you to the tea field.

As you can see, when choosing a start time, one must take into account many factors that, at times, contradict each other. One can only say unequivocally that at the moments of the flow in the air and in this flow there are many domes at once. It makes sense to start and rub into their system. If you do not like to climb into the crowd (and whoever loves), you will most likely be pulled into the drain phase when experienced pilots do not take off, and those who take off do not linger for a long time. Suppress such desires in yourself :)