Recently paragliders from all over the country gathered in Sarangani near General Santos to enjoy some flying time. It was my first time to visit this beautiful province and fly at the SAFI Ranch. We had 4 glorious days of flying and even managed to squeeze in a dive at the Lemlunay Dive resort. Our last day in Sarangani was the most exciting day for me as I did my first top landing.
A top landing is when you land in the same area where you take off. For beginners like me it can be frightening to attempt to top land. Our take off point was 970 ft above sea level where the winds were turbulent at times. Executing a top landing could be tricky for my skill level.
|Take off site|
It took me several attempts to land and there were moments where I felt lots of rough and bumpy winds much like a strong air pocket that you feel when riding a plane. It was nerve-racking. Then I heard Buko say "look at me, focus on me Monique". That's all I needed to hear. In a situation when your heartbeat is racing and there's a million things going on in your head it is easy to panic and lose focus. So zeroing in on a target (in this case my instructor) and staying locked on that focal point really helped. I made three unsuccessful attempts and came close to landing only to abort because of the strong winds. But I was determined to top land and I tried one last time and finally made it!
|With Buko after my top landing|
I have a long way to go before I can become an intermediate pilot and there is still so much to learn. So I am certain there will be more “firsts” for me to experience. Until then, staying UP is Great!