Aero Club Albatross Ridge Training Program

I have made ridge training videos and organized existing resources to make a comprehensive ridge training program for Aero Club Albatross. I highly recommend that anyone who would like to learn the Blairstown ridge review these materials and practice in Condor before starting their real life dual training. There is a lot of technical and local knowledge that is required to soar a ridge. By learning these skills before getting into a two-place glider with an instructor, the pilot would greatly increase the value of their training as they will be situationally aware as they fly and will be relating their simulation experience to reality.

Note that a pilot is not ready to fly a ridge on their own simply having reviewed these materials and practiced in Condor. Ridge soaring is dangerous and it is highly inadvisable to fly on a ridge without receiving advanced training.

The Blairstown ridge generalizes quite well to many other places (Mifflin, Wurtsboro, Chilhowee, New Castle, Harris Hill, Front Royal, etc.) Other clubs can use these resources and Condor flightplans for pilots to learn basic ridge soaring skills.

Lastly, the demonstration videos mostly used a 1-26 to illustrate basic ridge skills. Note that higher performing gliders are generally not safer or provide greater margin than a 1-26 while ridge soaring. Most higher performing gliders stall more severely in gusty conditions than a 1-26 and are less likely to make a safe landing in the marginal fields near ridges. High performance gliders can make a slightly lower approach back to Blairstown airport, however this is not recommended for beginners as they will encounter more severe sink on the lee side of the mountain and will not see the airport during this gnarly final glide.

As a result, pilots should use the 1-26 and the decision making and margins as a baseline. The only difference is that a high performance glider will be able to do the same things at a higher speed.

For the Condor Flightplans, contact me and I will send them to you.

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