A pilot’s strong determination to succeed is a good starting point, but real progress in a complex sport like gliding requires some guiding literature. This is where “Advanced Soaring Made Easy” really shines. It paves the way for success and assists pilots to discover the true fascination of our unique sport. No matter what an individual’s ambitions are, all glider pilots will benefit from a wealth of information. Inexperienced pilots will gain valuable insights while building basic skills, avoiding setbacks and disappointments. Cross-country pilots can use the advanced theoretical knowledge in the development of superior practical skills. Competition pilots will find their knowledge challenged, resulting in insights that will greatly contribute to success.
German born Bernard Eckey is an ASH 25 owner with almost 4000 hours of safe flying to his credit. He is a 1000 km speed record pilot, gliding instructor as well as a level 2 coach and is now living in Australia. Only after entering 6 flights in excess of 1000 km and one 1134 km FAI triangle in his logbook he compiled this truly all-encompassing book featuring 432 full colour pages including 180 graphics and 20 tables. For the first time ambitious glider pilots can get all the necessary information from a single source and make the difficult transition to a competent cross-country pilot with ease. This doesn’t mean that performance-orientated pilots have been neglected! On the contrary, chapters on competition flying, glider fine-tuning and the all-important psychological aspects assist even experienced pilots to improve their success in competitions or enhance their chances at record attempts. Notwithstanding all this, the book’s goal is to put fun and enjoyment back into our sport. Making the difficult transition from a solo pilot to a confident soaring pilot is what the first chapter is all about. Rather than floating around, learning very little the aspiring aviator can use the information provided and turn valuable background knowledge into essential thermalling skills. A beginner adopting this approach is likely to get on a steep learning curve and will soon enjoy the sport to the fullest. Almost every page contains information on how to transform new knowledge into practical skills. Readers will instantly see that specific and systematic training paves the way for even more fun and enjoyment in gliding.
The second chapter deals with the important issue of soaring weather, and especially the prediction for soaring conditions for the day ahead. By using practical examples the author makes this difficult subject easily understandable and even explains numerous other relevant weather related issues such as sea breezes, convergence lines etc. Other chapters deal with such important topics as flight preparation, safety, off field landings, mental preparation, ridge soaring, wave flying, glider fine-tuning, flying competitively and advanced cross country flying with guidelines for proven flying tactics and methods for speed improvement. The advanced cross country pilot gets advice on reducing the workload in the cockpit and even learns about mountain flying, long distance flying tactics, aerotow retrieves, effective use of flaps etc. The author’s love of the sport is more than evident but his passion for gliding is best expressed by the brilliant illustration of the book. Plenty of photographs allow readers to experience the third dimension, often from quite unusual perspectives. Bernard Eckey has included many of his own pictures from memorable gliding expeditions, frequently taken in some of the most inhospitable parts of Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. These were supplemented by spectacular shots from fellow pilots from other continents. They reflect the attraction of the sport in an impressive way and will stimulate interest and curiosity. In addition the pictures offer motivation and encouragement and at the same time provide background knowledge to already addicted members of the gliding fraternity.