Flight of the month goes to new pilot, Stefan Nel, for his first soaring flight! Stefan's story below reminds us of the simple joy of flying and how lucky we are to enjoy this incredible sport.

Stefan on the ramp at Dasklip

Stefan's story:

The day was almost perfect... A windy Thursday afternoon on Rondebossie at the end of September. Few of us was there, Lennox, Ian, Chris and Steve. Having heard about Steve's awesome soaring flight the week before with an "accidental" top-landing and all, I was super excited and keen to kick my training wheels of as well. By now I knew Rondebossie as the place very good for foofies, had 13 before this time, but have not yet been that lucky with the weather. The wind was about 25kph and very southerly, relatively smooth..

The afternoon started with utmost excitement. I felt like a kid seeing Ice-cream when I saw Ian hover above the steep end at the eastern side of Rondebossie, staying up with very little effort.. 

Then I started to rig my glider as hastily as I have ever done before, untied it from the roof, zip the bag open, rig A-frame, spread the wings..

O-Fudge!! where's the battons.. - Looked in the car. Fudge!! The realization was dawning on me... it is still in the garage.. Fudge!!. How could I be such a dumb ass. Starting to think about this perfect weather and not flying, but sitting it out was torture.

Steve just landed, and he is willing to let my fly with the Atlas. Cool! Have not flown it since the dunes but hell, sitting out now is not an option anymore.. Under Lennox's guidance we neared the edge, waiting a bit for the wind to smooth out a bit.. And I'm off.. It was a little bit bumpy in the start, not having the familiar nippy response of the Uno, but soon I was climbing in the lift and enjoying the view. This is the first time I'm flying with a vario as well, and not long before "butter zones" of lift was apparent. I started playing around in the air, tracking along the ridge and going back to lift when my altitude was at takeoff level. Topped out at about 65meters above takeoff. Enjoyed this for about 45minutes, then came in to land

Landing was a breeze... I ended up in some venturi right over the hill and was finding it difficult to penetrate well with the Atlas. Pulled in a lot, and let it out slowly.. Just put my feet down! I love this top landing business! Not long and Steve was of again.


This was just an awesome afternoon.