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Your practice Assigned Speed Task (AST) can vary depending on the day and your focus. You could have a few turnpoints around the airport that form laps. Maybe it is time to work on one of your badges, just make sure you go past the center of the turn, not just nicking the closest edge if you want to claim that badge.

It is even better if you have some friends to race against to compare decisions.

Maybe you wait around for the best weather. You could start the morning with the desire to do a 500km flight. You pick your turnpoints to get the required distance. Study the weather, figure out a good start time, and fly it as if it was a contest.

Less inflight planning

No additional planning on where to make your turn in a 40mile cylinder, everyone is going to the same spot over the ground. This is a matter of hoping your forecasting skills are good. You can ‘guess’ what your speed is going to be at 10am and figure out how long you want to fly and assign an appropriate length task. Then update your start time once airborne.

No Chickening out

Unlike a MAT task, you cannot skip the last turn because you think it will take too long. You are going for it, granted this is all practice… However, if you never landout you are not pushing yourself hard enough. If you land out every day then you might be pushing a little too hard. There is a happy medium, I am not sure what it is though.

Gear Shifting

Task setters like having some challenging areas. Since you are attempting to set this task before you takeoff there will most likely be some unforeseen trouble areas, so you do not necessarily have to go looking for them. Why do you want to have to transition through a weaker area? To practice gear shifting. When to downshift and take a weak climb to avoid getting stuck is the difference between first place and landing out.

You can be super ambitious with your tasking and have to take the last thermal at the end of the day to make it home.

George Lee’s Camp

At George Lee’s camp, we would set an AST every day. Typically something that resembled a triangle, the goal was 3-4 hours on task. You can accomplish a very worthwhile and good flight during that time period, it does not have to be 8 hours each day. But if you are working on your stamina for flying a Nationals you might think about 4 hours as your standard task time. If you are headed to the WGC add a few hours to that. You might not be on a task that long, but with an early launch you could easily see an hour go by before your ideal start time.

Claw Aircraft Anchor

Claw Aircraft Anchor

Developed by avid pilots, the C100 Aircraft Anchoring System provides superior protection for aircraft from damaging winds. The C100 System exclusively utilizes the Claw®, a patented lightweight, high-strength earth anchoring system. The C100 Kit includes one carry bag that stores three Claw® anchors, nine spikes, one hammer and 30-ft of rope. Its total weight is just 8 lbs. Each one of the three Claw® anchors can withstand 1,200 lbs. of force, yet, it requires little effort to install or remove, making it far superior to any other aircraft anchor system.



A high–end vario navigation system. The ideal instrument for those who would like to keep their instrument panel as it is. The 80mm sized LX8080 comes packaged with a V8 variometer (optionally with V9 or V80). The 2.8″ anti-glare display fits into a standard 80 mm panel hole. An automatic light sensor adjusts the brightness and optimizes power consumption.


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garret willat  Garret Willat holds a flight instructor rating with over 8000 hours in sailplanes. His parents have owned Sky Sailing Inc. since 1979. He started instructing the day after his 18th birthday. Since then, Garret has represented the US Junior team in 2003 and 2005. He graduated from Embry-Riddle with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics. Garret represented the US Open Class team in 2008 and 2010 and the Club Class team in 2014. Garret has won 3 US National Championships.