In our April 2009 issue, Jim Lawrence launched the first in his series of articles about LSA training in a Flight Design CTLS. This month, he takes us through solo.
Instructor John Lampson
The washboard-road days of early spring turbulence are behind us now. Below, the green/gold farms and blue gem lakes of Massachusetts ease by. The viz from the left seat of 860LS, our smooth and steady CTLS, is simply great. It’s CAVU—60 miles south lie the sparkling Connecticut coast and a dusky smudge of near-shore islands. To the west, though, a black wall looms. Weather says thunderstorms by 6 p.m.; it’s after 5 now.
It’s good to be flying after another long training break. My ever-cheery, rock ’n’ rollin’ instructor, John Lampson, has patiently put me through the paces. I’m more relaxed in the bird now, much smoother with the controls, the forward sight picture, flight trim settings and radio work—ah, radio work, that great ego equalizer.
Today, says Lampson, could be solo day. But I’m eyeing that wall of coal-dark cloud 10 miles away, thinking, “Well, maybe. And maybe not.” Because if there’s one thing I learned from hang gliding in the mountains, it’s this: You don’t mess with the thunder.
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