My First Flight in the Clouds

My First Flight in the Clouds

On one of their weekends in early October, my friend and experienced pilot Alexey and I went on flights to our mountains. The weather was warm and sunny. We made an ascent to the mountain “Flat " - one of the highest, closest peaks of the ridge (height 762 meters above sea level). The whole journey took us about an hour and a half.

The weather forecast did not promise strong thermal activity today, and I did not particularly hope for long and high flights, but Alexey's jokes that such a long and hard climb should be rewarded with a good flight-encouraged me.

After climbing to the top of the mountain, we rested for a while and began to prepare for takeoff. My friend took off first and immediately after his takeoff, I realized-the weather for flying today is great. His paraglider caught the updraft and was rapidly moving away from me up over the top of the mountain.

I prepared for the launch and also took off. As soon as I was in the sky, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of thermal flows in the air and their size. They were everywhere, they did not need to be specially searched, and their large size allowed you to easily spiral out of them and gain height.

I flew over the top of the mountain at an altitude of about 800-850 meters above the sea (at that time I had little flying experience and my record of climbing in that place was about 900 meters).

After about an hour of flight weather, the weather reached its peak. Strong updrafts came (up to +4 m/s), which allowed me to gain an altitude of 1350 meters above the sea, setting my personal altitude record in Gelendzhik, and climb to the base of the clouds, and then dive into them.

Emotions of joy and excitement overwhelmed me at this moment. My old dream came true - to fly in the clouds in Gelendzhik. At one point, I got a little scared when I was inside the cloud and couldn't see anything but the white, fluffy vapor that surrounded me on all sides. I had a navigation device with me, which I easily navigated and took the right course in order to fly out of this cloud.

After a few minutes of instrument flight, I flew to the edge of the cloud, where I could see the earth again. Completely flying out of the clouds, I enjoyed the incredible views of the surrounding area of our city, from such a height I viewed them for the first time. Looking back at the cloud from which I had just flown, I once again thought how huge and beautiful it was.

I set a course for the neighboring large city of Novorossiysk and flew along the peaks of the ridge. Along the way, I encountered several more powerful updrafts that helped me gain altitude to the cloud base and move further in the chosen direction. After about half an hour of flight, the weather began to change, the wind changed its direction and the updrafts disappeared. By this time, I had flown about 10 kilometers from the start and landed on a field near a small, neighboring village.

It was my most exciting, beautiful and memorable flight. Now I am waiting for good weather to break my altitude record in Gelendzhik and fly even further!

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