SEARCHING FOR LIFT

When wind is a major factor it can influence decision-making in more than one way.   With several thousand feet of altitude to use it might be best to search downwind early, while you’re still high enough to get back.   But when low, it’s better to sniff in the windward direction first so that if you find nothing a return the other way will be easy.   Staying upwind also will allow more liberty to search on either side while running downwind to the landing site.

Work from some kind of tentative atmospheric model while searching for lift, and keep a back-up model in mind in case the first one proves inaccurate.   When you have no clue, take a guess, but at least try something.   Then, while gliding along, remain alert for signs that other forces are at work instead.

Given these simple ideas, your next challenge is flying the sailplane as precisely as possible.   This means going truly straight in straight flight, carving all turns with flawless coordination and using only the correct speed-to-fly for every single moment.   You must employ your entire repertoire of skills, with eyes outside the cockpit, while planning ahead and preparing for the unexpected.  This sphere of mental discipline is where all others come together, and capabilities begin to compound like interest in the bank.