- Posted July 27, 2012 by
New Castle, Virginia
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Airplane window photos
Ridge soaring the Blue Ridge Mountains in sailplanes. This was taken over Craig County, VA near New Castle. My friend is in the sailplane pictured. I was playing photographer for the day, chasing him around from another sailplane.
In sailplanes we exploit vertical air movements in the atmosphere created by the perpetual interaction of the sun and wind with terrain. Ridge soaring is made possible when mountains deflect the wind upward creating areas of "lift" on the upwind faces of the mountains. As long as the air is going up faster than the sailplane's normal decent rate then the sailplane will climb. A good analogy for this is trying to run down an ascending escalator and being unable to reach the bottom. On this particular flight we were aloft for a couple of hours.
I'd like to upload more pictures but didn't realize it would not be possible when trying to edit a already submitted report.