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Gliding Mentor - Breaking the Apron Strings: Soaring Cross Country

Gliding Mentor Series

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Detailed Description

Gliding Mentor Series

Landing Out

Landing Out

A Gliding Mentor Series book; 8.5 by 11 format; 44 pages; illustrated How to deal with the gestalt of handouts: The heightened tensions and emotions, denial, and the effect of previous conditioning during your X-C flight.

Don is a Gold Badge, Triple-Diamond cross-country glider pilot with many cross-country flights of over 500 kilometers. In this new Gliding Mentor Series book Don teaches us the psychological factors that accompany off-field landings, and the mental conditioning that can lead us to disaster if we fail to change gears from "Must Complete The Task" mode to "Mr. Spock" mode.

Interesting, entertaining, downright funny at times, and a very thorough treatment of the emotional and psychological factors that influence the outcome of an off-field landing. I promise that you will be surprised to discover how many there are!

Includes a chapter by Bob Wander that provides a thorough review of how to develop and then maintain skills that keep you safe in off-field landings. This is, in my opinion, the only complete treatment of off-field landings in print in the English language.


  1. The final four minutes
  2. coming out just right
  3. Addendum
  4. Appendix

Cross Country Manual for Glider Pilots

Cross Country Manual for Glider Pilots

Another new book in the Gliding Mentor series, prepared under the general editorship of Bob Wander.

Complete with training methods and completion standards, this is an essential book for all pilots who aspire to fly cross country safely, efficiently, and without fear


  1. Getting your yourself ready
  2. Acquiring & practicing cross country skills
  3. getting you equipment ready
  4. flying your flights
  5. Planning your flights

Breaking the Apron Strings

Breaking the Apron Strings

Petmecky explains the fundamentals of of flight preparation and in-flight decision-making for the crosscountry pilot.

Safe Altitude profiles, Go-Ahead points, thermaling techniques, final glide considerations, height bands, speed-to-fly, landing considerations - it's all here in this book.

Phil’s pilot logbook reveals nearly 30,000 glider flights and many thousands of flight hours in gliders. His current favorite glider is his 60:1 ASH25M motorglider which he shares with a partner. Breaking The Apron Strings is Phil’s first contribution to the Gliding Mentor series.

  1. Safe altitude circles
  2. constructing a flight profile
  3. flight documentation
  4. flight bands
  5. selecting a cross-country task
  6. Polar adjustments
  7. Thermaling techniques
  8. Spacing yourself

Riding on Air

Riding on Air

The latest addition to the Gliding Mentor series is Rolf Hertenstein's brand-new opus Riding on Air: Ridge, Wave, & Convergence Lift. What's it about? We think the title says it all. As a long-time airplane pilot and gliding pilot who first learned to fly in mountainous country, I am amazed and delighted at all of the things that Rolf explains in this book that have been a mystery to me for many years. Most soaring pilots have some appreciation of ridge, wave and convergence lift; I wish EVERY soaring pilot had the depth of knowledge and experience with these types of lift that Rolf has, and that he reveals in this book. We would all be the safer for it! Riding On Air contains what you need to improve your soaring performance in ridge, wave, and convergence lift. Furthermore, you'll learn why these types of lift sometimes disappear, seemingly without warning to the under-prepared pilot; and that in turn can lead to close scrapes (at best), or to disaster (at worst).

Another thing that surprised me about this book was how often convergence lift is present, even when far away from mountains or oceans or other large-scale geographic features. I now see convergence events in the atmosphere almost-daily frequency, because I have learned what the physics of these convergences are, and how to recognize them by visible signposts in the air.

104 pages, first edition, copyright 2011. Riding on Air: Ridge, Wave, & Convergence Lift is a Gliding Mentor series book. General Editor of the Gliding Mentor series is Bob Wander.

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Practical Wave Flying

Practical Wave Flying

Wave forecasting, pre-flight preparation, personal equipment, oxygen systems, medical factors and hazards of altitude and cold, emergency planning, aerotow hazards and techniques, notching after tow release, maximum performance wave climbs, orientation and navigation, normal and emergency descents, cross country techniques in wave conditions, and approaches and landings are all covered in this book.


  1. The mountain wave
  2. Forecasting
  3. oxygen and environment
  4. hardware
  5. pre-flight
  6. flying the tow
  7. altitude climbs
  8. coming down
  9. crosscountry

Power Pilot

Power Pilot


  1. Glider FAQ's and glider familiarization
  2. Aerotow launch procedures
  3. Primary flight controls
  4. Glider airwork and performance airspeeds
  5. glider approaches and landings
  6. understanding practical test standards



A Gliding Mentor series book "Thermals" by Rolf Hertenstein, Ph.D.

1. Imagine that a teenager becomes a full-time glider flight instructor. He instructs full-time for ten years, logs thousands of hours, and earns his Diamond Badge.

2. He earns a Ph.D. in Meteorology.

3. He becomes a research scientist, specializing in atmospheric turbulence, with specific emphasis on thermal analysis, mountain wave analysis, and rotor analysis.

4. He writes a superb book about thermals and convection that non-scientists can understand

The latest book in the Gliding Mentor series - "Thermals" by Rolf Hertenstein, Ph.D. - came about EXACTLY as described above.

What's in it? Just about everything that you ever wanted to know about thermals. From the rankest amateur, and up to and including the finest triple-diamond cross-country pilot, you will find TONS of information about thermals, soundings, thermal waves, and thermal prediction that you can USE to extend your knowledge and your flight performances. In the five months that I spent editing and illustrating this book, I learned LOTS of new things about thermals, convection, the Skew-T, thermal prediction, numeric weather modeling, weather resources on the Web, thunderstorms, and a host of other important topics in its 92 large-format 8.5 by 11-inch pages. And recently, I used what I learned from this book to select the day to fly my Diamond Distance flight - 515 kilometers. Fun!


Thermals are the most common form of lift used by soaring pilots. Historically, the first soaring flights were accomplished by exploiting ridge or slope lift on the upwind side of rising terrain. the discovery of thermals, coupled with advancements in glider structures and design, meant that soaring could progress from local slope-soaring to cross-country flights conducted for many hours, at relatively high altitudes, across vast expanses of terrain

Accurate prediction of soaring conditions presents several challenges to the weather forecasters. very small changes in the atmosphere, such as unexpected cooling of air aloft, or the daytime development of a scattered, rather than broken, layer of high clouds, can turn a day that was predicted to be a marginal soaring day into a very good soaring day. On the other hand, if the actual daytime maximum surface temperature falls of the forecast maximum surface temperature, or if unexpected moisture moves in aloft and forms a sun-blocking layer of stratus clouds,the forecast for a good day of soaring weather falls apart, and pilots are disappointed to find only a smooth, stable-air sled-ride down and out of the sky, right back to the gliderport, without so much as a bump.


Why Buy From Us?

Wings & Wheels has been serving the sport aviation and soaring community for more than 20 years.  We have the largest and most comprehensive inventory of sailplane and soaring supplies.  Nearly everything you find here is in stock and can ship the same day.  We are here for aviators, businesses, mechanics and government.  Our goal is to fulfill your order promptly and as conveniently as our resources allow.

Wings & Wheels is proud to be the American representative for HpH Ltd, producer of the finest quality 304 sailplanes.

Our staff has over 8,000 hours of flying experience in gliders and airplanes. Wings & Wheels is staffed by Sean, Garret, Miki, Matt and Linda. You will have a friendly voice pick up when you call. Our staff is trained to promptly take your orders and ship your products.

Shipping Information

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Orders placed by 3:00 pm PST Monday-Friday for “off-the-shelf“, in-stock items are normally shipped same day by UPS.  Although we stock the vast majority of the items on our online store, we cannot assure that they will all be on hand at all times. We ship every order as quickly as possible, and in the event of a delay, be assured that we are working hard to get your order shipped promptly. Due to order volume during holidays, we cannot guarantee that all orders placed can ship on the day after the holiday closure. 

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