06 May 2011

A Passenger (Ballast) Today. Photos and Canopy Glare

I decided that I'd much rather spend the day at the airport than work on items (e.g. yard work) from my ever-growing list. It is a sickness.

I don't yet have a solo endorsement for gliders and there was no instructor on duty today, so I was content to help out with ground operations, not intending to go flying. Only three of us and the tow pilot showed up, so we just pulled one glider out of the hangar. With my ground handling duties diminished, I happily seized the opportunity to serve as human ballast on two flights. During the second sortie, the thermals lifted us to 7,400 feet MSL (about 6,700 feet AGL)--the highest I've been in a glider so far--with climb rates briefly exceeding 1,000 feet per minute. The air brakes were required to maintain a legal clearance beneath the clouds and to descend before the hour reservation was up; we could have stayed aloft all day.

This was the first time I took a camera with me in the cockpit. Unfortunately, the glare from the canopy spoiled the majority of my pictures.

Reflections from the canopy spoiled this one

The canopy reflections were worst when sitting in the back seat. It was suggested that a polarizing filter would help, but I'm not sure how well a polarizer would work on a wide angle (10-22mm) lens. I'm in search of a solution.

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