Advanced Soaring Made
Easy - 4th Edition
Author: Bernard Eckey
Hard Cover, 187 illustrations, 176 photos (all in color), 432 pages,
Dimensions: 7.87 x 10.63 x 0.91 inches (200 x 270 x 23 mm)
New 4th Edition
This 4th edition is now the all-encompassing book on advanced soaring. New topics have been included, the structure of the book was changed, the page layout and graphics were much improved, the text has been revised or extended throughout, and the quality of many new photographs is simply spectacular – all courtesy of my editor, who until recently was the 35-year editor of the Canadian gliding magazine, Free Flight.
Previous editions have quickly turned into best sellers (the third edition was available in four languages) and have already helped many solo pilots become highly skilled and very competent cross-country pilots. This new and final edition is completely up-to-date with current changes in the sport and offers new pilots a self-coaching tool with all the information needed from a single source. This doesn’t mean that performance oriented pilots were forgotten; on the contrary, chapters on competition flying, glider fine-tuning, and the all-important psychological aspects assist experienced pilots to improve their success rate in competitions or enhance their chances at record attempts.
Every glider pilot can benefit from the breadth of information in this book. Inexperienced pilots will gain valuable insights while building basic skills, avoiding setbacks and disappointments. Cross-country pilots can use the advanced theoretical knowledge in the development of superior practical skills. Competition pilots will find their knowledge challenged, resulting in insights that will greatly contribute to rapid progress. In short, “Advanced Soaring Made Easy” is the ultimate book for pilots trying to get on the fast track to success – a book that no ambitious glider pilot can afford to ignore.
Samples of new sections in the 4th Edition
Gliding is a fascinating sport and without a doubt the most peaceful,
most affordable and by far the quietest form of aviation. To soar
effortlessly like an eagle has been one of man's age-old yearnings and
many thousands of pilots around the world today regularly experiences
exactly this and enjoy the beauty, challenges and delights of this
Gliding means flying modern machines of
great beauty and elegance for hundreds of miles in total comfort and
without resorting to engines. Success depends on the skill of extracting
the necessary energy from the atmosphere around them. Real determination
to succeed is a good starting point but good progress and full enjoyment
requires some study as well. A basic theoretical knowledge is essential
for success and that's what this book is all about. It not only covers
all sources of energy for soaring, but it also deals with weather
analysis, flight preparation, mental aspects, safety matters and
competitive flying. In short, it is a first class training aid to guide
pilots from local soaring to advanced cross-country flying and beyond.
Fast and exciting cross country flights are what most glider pilot
dreams are made of. Others aim for high altitude lee wave flights or
aspire to doing well in competitions. Sadly even to this day there is
precious little literature available focusing on real practical help and
assistance to the ambitious glider pilot.
Bernard Eckey, a German born record pilot, instructor and head coach of
the South Australian Gliding Association (now living in Australia) has
closed the gap with his new book: "Advanced Soaring Made Easy". He is
encouraging pilots to move out beyond the circuit area and experience
the exciting world of advanced soaring. His comprehensive work is
clearly written and presented in a very attractive format.
Making the difficult transition from a
solo pilot to a confident soaring pilot is what the first chapter is all
about. Rather than floating around, learning very little the aspiring
aviator can use the information provided and turn valuable background
knowledge into essential thermalling skills. A beginner adopting this
approach is likely to get on a steep learning curve and will soon enjoy
the sport to the fullest. He will find a fascinating aerial world
awaiting further exploration.
The second chapter deals with the
important issue of soaring weather, and especially the prediction for
soaring conditions for the day ahead. By using practical examples the
author makes this difficult subject easily understandable and even
explains numerous other relevant weather related issues such as sea
breezes, convergence lines, etc.
Other chapters deal with such important
topics as flight preparation, safety, off field landings, mental
preparation, ridge soaring, wave flying, flying competitively and
advanced cross country flying with guidelines for proven flying tactics
and methods for speed improvement. The advanced cross country pilot gets
advice on reducing the workload in the cockpit and even learns about
aerotow retrieves, effective use of flaps, etc.
A total of 134 drawings and graphics and
over 163 very attractive photos help to shed light on the various
subjects. Glider pilots will find it hard not to try the many practical
hints and suggestions on their next flight and further their enjoyment
from this fascinating sport.
Because the author has refrained from
using any jargon even pilots with a rather basic command of the English
language will find the book easy reading. Pilots with an ambition to
practice gliding in different parts of the world will find this book an
extremely valuable source of information and a first class introduction
to gliding terminology.
About the Author
A 40 year love affair with aviation started for Bernard as a young boy
when he visited a model aircraft field. After 15 years of building,
flying and later even designing model aircraft he decided to take up
gliding and obtained his German license in 1982.
In 1983 his professional career saw him
transferred "down under" to head up his employer's Australian
operations. The truly excellent gliding conditions in Australia
convinced Bernard to become a private owner of a PIK 20 in 1985 and from
then gliding has occupied most of his spare time.
While serving his club as a committee
member, president, gliding instructor and state association delegate he
obtained his "Form 2 Inspector Rating" in 1991 and his private pilot
license in 1992. In 1996 he became a gliding coach and was made a GFA
level 2 coach in 2002. He was later appointed head coach for South
Australia and Northern Territory.
In 1996 he was able to acquire a damaged
self-launching open class ASH-25 two-seater sailplane. Re-building the
aircraft with the help of friends increased his enthusiasm for the sport
even further. Since then he has taken his pride and joy to many places
in Australia and pilots from many countries have benefited from free
Over the past 20 years Bernard has retained
his excellent contacts with various European glider manufacturers. He
and his wife Chris became agents for a number of manufacturers during
the nineties. Today they run successful agencies not only in Australia
but also New Zealand and Japan with an excellent reputation and first
class relationships with their customers.
With over 3500 hours soaring in his logbook
Bernard always strives to extract the maximum distance out of any
gliding day. He can look back to an estimated 300,000 km of
cross-country flying. He is holder of all GFA distance badges, has
performed 6 flights in excess of 1000 km and set a new Australian record
for a 1000 km out & return flight. In addition he has performed an 1134
km FAI triangle.
Although he is not a regular competition
pilot he has competed at national sport class events and won a number of
competition days. He also won several state championships.
Forward by Ingo Renner (4-time world soaring
With this book Bernhard presents to
the gliding community a dictionary for the meteorological phenomena
that can keep gliders aloft to fly long distances.
In recent years
we have seen an increase in performance of cross-country flying that
seemed impossible only a few decades ago. The improved performance
and handling of gliders are only partly responsible for that surge.
It is most likely that the pilots’ tactical decisions and their
advanced knowledge of meteorology boosted the long distance and
speed records to their present level. Pilots who
have developed a basic understanding of gliding theory and have an
open eye for the forces of nature can explore and enjoy the almost
endless possibilities of modern gliders so skilfully designed and
constructed by dedicated craftsmen.
chapters in this book explain in detail, with clear illustrations,
what glider pilots need to know to maximize their enjoyment and
performance. Some lift forces are smooth or weak and others are
strong and turbulent. Lift can also be isolated or lined up for long
distances. Pilots who have learned to master these great forces with
skill and patience can, on certain days, combine several different
lift sources for exhilarating flights using all the daylight hours.
This book not
only gives a complete overview of meteorological phenomena but it
also explains to glider pilots how to take advantage of them. The
book details the techniques of soaring in thermals, slope lift,
wave, etc., and provides pilots with excellent information that they
can put into practice to improve their skills and get the maximum
out of the sport of gliding. Pilots who achieve the best performance
are those who can recognize the different forces of nature and use
them to their advantage.
Perhaps they can
use an early morning wave to set off on long distance flights as I
have done. I shall never forget my late glides into a sunset from a
high climb in a late thermal or from a wave. In high mountains the
ice breeze occurs almost every evening and one can enjoy late
soaring in the centre of the valleys right up to last light. This is
what makes the sport of gliding so special.
To all readers of
this book I wish you excellent soaring and hope you gain as much
pleasure and exhilaration from gliding as I have over the years.
I would also like
to commend Bernhard Eckey on the huge amount of research he has put
into writing this book and presenting it in such a useful format.
The first edition of his book has been well received but because
this second edition looks deeper into many additional topics it will
be even more encouraging and motivating to the many supporters of
our fascinating sport.
Safe soaring to
Forward by Michael Sommer
I imagine if you are reading this
foreword you share my love of flying without an engine; in using
only one’s knowledge of nature to explore the skies and the
countryside. Your memories of special flights may include, as do
mine, fast flights under high cumulus cloud streets over the flat,
dusty, red outback of Australia or gliding over huge forests and
lakes in Sweden and vast stretches with nowhere to land in Africa’s
Then there is passing Mt Cook and
looking out across the forests of the West Coast to the sea in the
fantastic wave systems of New Zealand or ridge soaring the west face
of the Matterhorn peak in Switzerland. Whatever landscapes you have
the opportunity to fly over, the enjoyment of the landscape, as well
as the satisfaction at achieving remarkable distances and speeds
with only the power of nature, are the things that inspire us to
Getting the most out of every gliding
day is what drives me and gives me the most enjoyment in gliding. To
be able to do this, one needs knowledge. But having said this, I
believe that to fly doesn’t require a special talent. Like any other
sport, systematic training can allow anyone to improve their gliding
One of the aspects of the training is
the theoretical background. Much of this is already known and many
books have been written about the various aspects of gliding. The
specific value I see in ‘Advanced Soaring Made Easy’ is that it, in
simple words and in a very practical way, provides all the
background for any glider pilot to improve their gliding, no matter
whether they just have accomplished their first solo flight, or they
are competing at a high level.
I got to meet Bernard a few years ago in
Australia. He is more than just an enthusiastic glider pilot who has
accumulated a lot of skill and knowledge. I know him as someone who
is dedicated to sharing his gliding knowledge with up-and-coming
glider pilots - to show people what is possible in gliding. This,
together with Bernard’s skill in putting things in an easily
understandable way, makes him an ideal author of a book such as
The first edition of his book has
already helped thousands of newcomers to advance their gliding
career. However, this second edition expands on a wide range of
topics and will be even more beneficial to the many followers of our
However long we have been flying, there
are always new things to learn and experience. Each day brings a
unique set of conditions, opportunities and challenges.
Even after more than 20 years, gliding
has lost none of its early fascination for me. I hope this is how it
is for you also!
Dr. Richard Q. Agnew of Australia
R Agnew's Advanced
Soaring Made Easy Book Review.pdf
Review by Paul Remde
This is one of my favorite
soaring books. In addition to the many wonderful and high-quality
soaring photographs it contains many well written explanations of
countless subtle aspects of soaring. It is easy to read and
Bernard does an excellent job of explaining complex and detailed
subjects. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions. I
can't wait to read the 4th edition!