A tough landing task at Visalia
Thermal duration requires strategy, skill, and luck! Add some competition and it gets exciting.
Pilots can test each other's soaring skills in Thermal Duration contests. Thermal duration requires a knowledge of your airplane, the weather, and the ability to see columns of rising air (also known as thermal vision).
Thermal duration competitions are held throughout California. Competitors and classes include novice, sportsman, and expert levels. Competing in a group of your peers can add excitement to a Sunday afternoon. Whether it's flying a Gentle Lady polyhedral in the GLIDER class, trying to make a 5 minute time, or trying for a spot landing where an inch can make the difference between first and second. There is a challenge for every skill level.
Flying for time and landing skills come into play at the sportsman and expert levels, while novice and GLIDER class pilots are more concerned with just making their assigned task time.