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Glider Feedback
Nick Wisser. 2000/12/11.

Aside from the instability of a DHV-2/3 glider, beginners can become overwhelmed by the amount of feedback that a high-performance glider delivers. Information returned to the pilot through the brake lines and harness can be a lifesaver for someone with experience, but for others it can scare them right out of the air. I provide below a few examples of the kind of conversation a canopy can have with its pilot during a typical thermal flight.


DHV-2/3 Glider, advanced pilot. Glider speaks with the voice of James Earl Jones (Deep, serious voice)


  Canopy up and over, launch complete. Proceeding one-niner kilometers per hour, heading two-seven-zero degrees… left brake-OK, left-OK, ok ok ok ok. Right turn initiation complete, trimming, bank angle nominal. Ok ok.


  Lift encountered, reading four-zero-zero feet per minute. Ok ok ok. Core is to the left, turn initiation to left complete, bank angle flat. Ok ok. …Lift niner-zero-zero feet per minute.


  Left bump--OK, left-bump---OK. Ok ok…Exiting thermal, right side decompression, correction complete. Right side decomp-- RIGHTMOST THIRTEEN CELLS READ NEGATIVE FUNCTION, correction, correction, correction complete, course change minus-five degrees. Ok ok ok.


...   Altitude sufficient for crossing to next peak with eight-point-zero glide average. Transition initiated, two-point-zero kilometers to next turn point.


  Landing spot approaching, trim speed, boots two feet AGL. Brakes applied for speed-to-altitude transition, maintaining altitude at two feet AGL, airspeed now near stall, touchdown complete at three kilometers per hour. Well-done captain.


DHV-2/3 Glider, beginner pilot. Glider speaks with the voice of Joe Pesci (Nagging, New-Yorker voice)


  Canopy up and over, HEY CHECK THE OVERSHOOT, PAL ! Who taught YOU to fly ?…Hey ! Hey ! Heyheyhey HEY ! Leftbrake leftbrake rightbrake hey ! Hey hey Whoa, LOOKOUT ! …


..    Hey hey WE GOT LIFT ! The core's over to the left…no, idiot, your OTHER left ! Wow, BIG surge. Yeah, that's me out front, whatta YOU lookin' at ? You lookin' at ME ? Hey ! Hey ! We hit lift again. Hey, BACK HERE, pal, I'm behind you. Nice butt, you been workin' out ?


  Careful Mack, we're comin' out the front---WAH MAN ! Copilot to pilot, we got half the freakin' wing down, whattaya gonna -- Oh, YEAH ? YA WANNA PIECE O' ME ? I GOTCHA NEGATIVE SPIN RIGHT 'ERE..


  I think you've had enough exercise for one day chum, time to land. Careful, we're comin' in hot, comin', watch the…TOO MUCH BRAKE BUTTHEAD, we're goin' up again ! Ain't nobody told you about energy retention ? Fine, now we're gonna overshoot. Don't put me in the bush, don't put me in…Oh, that's just GREAT, you MORON, I'm in the bushes !


DHV-1/2 glider, beginner pilot. Glider speaks with the voice of John Cleese (Refined, butler-like voice)


  Canopy up and over, your launch is complete. And if I may say so madam, a perfect launch, brilliantly executed…Yes, madam, as you wish, straight ahead. Beautiful day isn't it ?…Left turn ? Yes, an excellent choice. A bit of a bump here, however, please use caution…Another bump….may I suggest…very well madam…


  Excuse me madam, but we've encountered lift. I cannot tell which side the thermal resides, but if you turn in either direction you will find it soon…very well, madam, left again. And by the way, your flight suit is quite flattering, is it new ?


  Sorry to disturb you again madam, but there is a slight loss of canopy pressure on the right side, that will result in a minor collapse in… twelve seconds. Shall I…very well. Outstanding correction madam, you've been working out I believe.


  Time to land ? Thank you madam, a prudent choice. If you would prefer I can call ahead and have cocktails waiting…very well madam. Slowly…slowly…done ! A perfect landing, madam. Have you lost weight ?