Day 7 – Thermalling & XC Course at Billing

DAY 7 : Rumour has it that there are about 150 to 200 pilots in Bir. I would estimate somewhere above 100. These are not just figures because there is a huge mela on the take off. Mostly Russians and they have earned themselves a reputation that is not very desirable. One needs to extra vigilant n keep a sharp look out for some unguided missiles.
Thankfully a few groups have left and there might be some respite.
Although the inversion is low, keeping pilots below 3000 mts amsl, higher up pilots get much better climbs with cloudbase going upto around 4000mts + making distance flying possible.
We were earlier on take off but only managed to take off around midday. The day was marginally better and our gang wss able to fly thermals more independently. The task wss to get familiar with Thermalling, be able to detect thermal sources, fly safely inside the thermal, improve climb rates in the thermals, follow thermal atiquettes, try n map the size, shape n strength of the thermal. Everyone was performing better with every flight.
The best part of the day was when we had a templepilots gaggle of our own. It was evening time and the sky was covered with some amazingly beautiful cloud patterns. There wss a point of time when Karthik, myself, Rohit, Sajid & Alok were all in the same thermal with a Griffin Vulture in the centre, circling & climbing all together in one symphony. I could clearly see Karthik’s smile n feel his joy at this special experience of flying high with best of friends for comoany. This would be remembered for some time. Remy had a long flight trying to fight the inversion and go up. Viz, Imran & Jitu had better n more satisfying flights than the previous day. Alok entered another achievement to his repertoire by doing a forced top landing. He joined me for some eggs n noodles post which we took off n flew together for some time.
Garden Cafe was our dinner joint, run by an enterprising Tibetan family.
Tired but happy, it was a great day of learning, fun & adventure
pics courtesy Anuya


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