The last two days, I’ve been flying another 2 mountain flights with a different instructor, being Jean Magne. First, We struggled very hard to get out of the local Fayence area (again). Once passed the Lachens mountain and the barre de Séranon, everything went smoothly. We have been performing a 257 km flight in nearly 5 hours. What a great experience. Our second flight was even more impressive as we made a 334 km flight in 5 hours with our Duo Discus. I know Jean Magne since many years, he’s flying since the late 50’s, he nowadays is 85 years old and still soaring enthusiastically every day with people like me. Amazing person.
The second flight we made with Jean Magne perfectly fits to obtain the gold badge of the FAI Gliding commission. I already have got the silver badge, for the gold badge one needs to fly 5 hours in a row, gain 3000 meter of altitude and fly a distance of 300 km (but not necessary to a pre-defined goal). With departure of the Fayence airfield, this has been bringing us to Plampinet, high in the Alps.
We’ve followed the classical road from Fayence to Plampinet, meaning via the Col d’Allos, Barcelonette, Saint Crepin and Col de Vars.
With these great flights over the Alps, my mountain soaring course comes to an end. I now need to progressively build up my experience and perform these routes by myself. In other words, there’s still some work to do but now that I’m back at the level I used to be 15 years ago, I’d like to continue but it will require lots of practice.
One last reflection about this training week in Fayence. The flying styles of both the instructors I have been flying with this week is very different. Where Pierre-Marie Dauvergne is focusing on flying the perfect “Mac Ready” speed, Jean Magne was much more insisting on using the rudder properly when I start to make turns.
My next flight is likely an attempt to fly to Argens/Cordeuil, without instructor on board.
I already performed this 100 km route once (many years ago), I need to do so at least another 4 times to get the proper experience, prior to soar by myself to Barcelonette.