Pre-Solo Written Test

Alex Caldwell CFI-G

Updated 08/17/2014


Nomenclature - draw a line from the listed terms below to the corresponding part on the glider picture.

Rudder                                                    Right Aileron              Left Aileron                           Canopy

Vertical Stabilizer                                    Dive Brake                 Wing Strut                             Nose

Horizontal Stabilizer                                Wheel                        Pitot Tube                              Ground Handle

Elevator                                                   Skid 


2. Why does a glider have?

   1. Ailerons    ________________________________________To control bank angle.

   2. Elevator    ________________________________________To control angle of attack of the wing.

   3. Rudder     ________________________________________To counteract aileron drag.


3. What does a wing do? Generates Lift


4. What is angle of attack? The angle at which the relative airflow meets the wing.


5. Name 3 things that happen when angle of attack is changed.

   1.    Lift changes.

   2.    Drag changes.

   3.    Airspeed changes.


6. What color is the release knob in a 2-33?   In the Blanik or European gliders?

    2-33 – RED       Blanik/European - YELLOW

7. Why does a glider have a yaw string?  Who invented the yaw string?

    To show if the glider is flying streamlined (or not).   Wilbur Wright invented it.


8. In the following drawing, which rudder pedal should be pressed to straighten the yaw string?  The left rudder pedal. Pretend the yaw string is like an arrow with the point at the forward end. The arrow will point to the rudder that needs to be pressed more.




9. Before making a turn, a pilot should always _________________________?  Clear the area for other aircraft in the direction of the turn.


10. What turns a glider? __________________________________________ The lift of the wings.


11. Name the three axes of the glider about which it can move.

      A. ________________________________ Longitudinal - Roll

      B. ________________________________ Lateral - Pitch

      C. ________________________________ Vertical – Yaw.


12. When the glider moves about any axis, it rotates about the _________________________________________. Center of gravity.


13. The glider fuselage tends to fly streamlined through the relative airflow because of the  ____________________ effect and thus is stable about the yaw (vertical) axis.  Weathervane


14. The glider tends to fly with its wings level because the wings are mounted on the fuselage at an angle called ___________________________________________.  Dihedral .


15. Pitch stability is achieved by a balancing act between the horizontal stabilizer, wing lift and the ________________________.  Center of Gravity.


16.  When a pilot 'flies' a glider, he is only controlling 3 things. They are:

         A. ____________________________________________ . Direction.

         B. ____________________________________________ . Speed / Angle of Attack

         C. ____________________________________________ . Keeping the aircraft streamlined (yaw string straight)


17.  In a shallow turn the pilot will need to hold some aileron (into, against)  _____________ the turn because of the __________________    stability.   Into    roll


18. In a steep turn, the pilot will need to hold some aileron (into, against) ______________ the turn because of the

___________________________  tendency.  against  overbanking


19. During all turns, some ________________________ will be needed in the direction of the turn.  rudder


20. What is meant by popped rivets? Loose rivets


21. What would cause a popped rivet? Overstressing the glider.


22. What are some common signs of possible hidden damage? Popped rivets, wrinkled skin, distorted hinges, bent dive brakes, Dents, loose fabric


23. What would you look for when checking the tow release mechanism? Cleanliness, spring tension, wear, bent, cracks, foreign objects in area (rocks, sticks).


24.  How many safety pins inside the fuselage are to be checked through the access hole behind the rear seat of a 2-33? Seven -  Four wing bolts, two aileron pins, 1 divebrake pin.


25. What would distorted hinges on the ailerons or dive brakes indicate? Glider may have been flown past redline. Controls may have been moved abruptly or too hard when above maneuvering speed.


26. What should a student pilot do if he finds evidence of damage or excessive wear? Report to the instructor or other person in the club responsible,i.e.  club maintenance officer or club president.  Report to any other pilot you see preparing to fly the glider.


27. What documents are required to be in the glider? Hint: OAR  1. Operating limitations – in form of POH (Pilot Operating Handbook), or placards.  2. Airworthiness Certificate 3. Registration Certificate.


28. Assume that you weigh 118 lbs.  and are flying solo.  Using the information below,  calculate a weight and balance for the 2-33 N2745H.  Are you within weight and balance limitations?


Schweizer SGS 2-33 N2745H Serial # 525

Max Weight = 1040 lbs.

Permitted CG Range    =    78.2 in.  to   86.1 in. aft of datum.

Top of Form 1








Empty wt. & cg







Front Pilot Weight







Rear Pilot Weight







Ballast (if used)






















CG = 66,985.4 / 767 = 87,334 

CG is too far aft (Aft limit 86.1) see above permitted CG range.



Bottom of Form 1


If not in weight and balance limits, how much ballast do you need to carry?


Recalculate the above with 14 lbs ballast  in permitted ballast box.  Puts CG at 86.033 aft of datum. Just inside permitted range.


29.  What should you look for when checking the pitot tube?  Damage, Free of dirt or bugs. i.e. open and not blocked or damaged.


30.  What is a stall?  A relatively sudden loss of lift due to exceeding the “critical angle of attack”.


31. There are 6 indications that a stall is about to occur.  What are they? 1. Excess back stick position and pressure.   2. Nose high attitude.  3. Low airspeed.  4. Quieter wind noise.  5. Mushy feeling controls.  6. Buffeting


32. Where on the wing does the stall first occur? On the inboard trailing edge of the wing.


33. When the wing stalls, the glider pitches nose down. Why? Because the CG of the glider is ahead of the center of lift of the wing.


34. What is the minimum stalling speed of a 2-33? 31mph solo,  at minimum pilot weight.


35. Can a glider stall at a higher speed?  How? Name factors that can cause the glider to stall at speeds higher than  minimum stall speed.  Yes. 1. increased gross weight. 2. Turns with increased G loading 3. Forward CG location 4. Dirt, bugs, damage to wing surfaces 5. Sloppy uncoordinated flying. Abrupt or overuse of controls in some situations.



36. Why is it important to practice stalls? So pilot will recognize impending stall early and make a quick positive recovery with minimum altitude loss and no tendency to secondary stall.  It is most important to practice stalls so you will recognize the conditions leading up to them and  avoid getting into them near the ground.


37. How is a normal recovery made from a forward stall? 1. Stick forward, nose attitude below the horizon. 2. Pause until normal flying speed obtained. 3 Resume normal flight. Do not raise nose above horizon.


38. If a wing starts to 'drop' during a forward stall, how should that wing be raised?  Why?  Use opposite rudder to “pick up” low wing. Do not use aileron to raise a low wing in a stall. Keep ailerons neutral until flying speed is  regained. Opposite aileron would cause increased angle of attack of the already stalled wing. When  at or near the critical angle of attack raising the low wing with aileron  will aggravate the stalled condition. It may also tend to increase the tendency to enter a spin. 


39. Turning stalls are most dangerous close to the ground. Why? When is this most likely to happen?  There is often more turbulence near the ground that can cause angle of attack to exceed critical threshold for a stall if you do not keep your speed up so that you have enough margin over the  stall speed.  In a  steep turn the load factor increases the stall speed, reducing your safety margin of airspeed over the stall speed.   The wind gradient may cause your  airspeed to drop off as you approach the ground.  A steep turn near the ground is most  likely to happen if you overshoot your turn to the  final leg  from the baseleg,  and have to steepen up or “buttonhook”  your turn to get back to the runway centerline.


40. How do you prevent turning stalls close to the ground? Complete understanding of the problem. Never try to stretch a glide by slowing airspeed after landing pattern entry.  Never turn back to the runway after a rope break unless above 200 feet AGL.  Do not thermal below 1000ft AGL.  Keep yaw string straight. Keep adequate speed during all turns. Always keep the nose below the horizon. 


41. A turning stall is most dangerous when entered from a:

     1. Shallow turn ***

     2. Medium turn

     3. Steep turn


42. Give a step-by-step recovery procedure from a turning stall.  1. Stick forward. Nose below horizon. 2. Pick up or raise low wing using opposite rudder. Keep ailerons neutral until flying speed regained. Do not use ailerons to try to pick up low wing.  3. Pause until flying speed regained. 4. Roll level with coordinated use of rudder and ailerons once flying speed regained.  Bring nose to a normal attitude below the horizon when flying speed regained.


43. The one important thing NOT to do during the first steps of a turning stall recovery is __________________________?  Do not use ailerons to try to pick up the low wing. Use opposite rudder instead.


44. From the standpoint of turning stalls, the safest turn is a:

   1. Shallow turn.

   2. Medium turn.

   3. Steep turn.  ***


   Most trainers have very limited up elevator travel or limited “up elevator authority”.   When in a steep turn, the load factor moves the CG forward relative to the center of lift,  and it therefore  takes more up elevator and back stick to get the wing to exceed the critical angle of attack than in a steep turn than it does in  straight and level flight.  So,  many trainers to not have enough up elevator authority to stall in steeper turns. This does not apply to other gliders, i.e. Blaniks, 2-32s,  especially ones designed for aerobatics. Even the 1-26 has more up elevator authority,  and will stall or spin easier in a turn than the 2-33.


45. What is the glide ratio of a 2-33 with the dive brake fully open?  5  : 1


46. What is the maximum glide ratio of a 2-33 with the dive brakes closed? 20  : 1


47. Below 1000 feet AGL,  a pilot should never ____________________ ? Turn his back i.e. turn away from the landing field.


48. What is the three item check list accomplished at the I.P. ?  1. Hand on divebrake handle.  2. Establish proper airspeed.  (Varies in different wind and turbulence conditions. Minimum 55mph in 2-33). 3. Ignore the altimeter once you are in the pattern. Use angles and other techniques for judging the pattern according to the TLAR method.


49. What is the primary judgmental decision to be made during the downwind leg?  Where to turn onto the base leg.


50. What two checkpoints are used during the downwind leg?  Point A – opposite the touchdown point.  Point B – looking back at your touchdown point at a 45 degree angle.


51. What would you do if you experienced excessive sink during the downwind leg? Close divebrakes and turn into base leg early if necessary.


52. How should the turn into base be made? 1.  Fairly steep bank,  45 degrees  2. constant airspeed – which means a steady nose attitude on the horizon.  3. Yaw string straight.  Streamlined fuselage. Coordinated use of rudder and ailerons to keep yaw string straight.   Above all,  avoid a “skidding turn”, that is one where you are using too much rudder,  as this is a set up for a spin if you were to stall.


53. Upon completion of the turn into base leg, you realize that you are too high. What will you do? Open Dive Brakes.  Turn slightly so as to angle base leg away from field.


54. You are on base leg ready to turn final and realize that you are too high. There is one type of pattern that should be avoided. What is it?  Buttonhook or Fish-hook type pattern,  where you fly past center line of runway and then try to turn back and re-align with runway at low altitude.


55. On final it is important to maintain a constant __________________ and freeze a "spot' on the canopy by using your _________________ ?  Airspeed  Dive Brakes.


56. On final you realize that you are above a 5:1 glide slope. As a student pilot you should ____________________? Open Dive brakes and land further down the runway.


57. As an experienced pilot, when might you find the TLAR method most useful?  During off-field landings where you do not know the exact altitude of the field you are landing in.



58. The following graph is for a 2-33 at 790 lbs solo. 


     Use the graph to show:   1.   minimum sinking speed.

                                              2.   The speed for best L/D in still air.

                                              3.   The speed to fly to a goal on the ground against a 15mph headwind.

                                              4.   The speed to fly in 200fpm sink if the climb  expected in the next thermal is 200fpm






59. The following graph is for a Schweizer 2-33 flown DUAL at 1040 lbs gross weight.


    Use the graph to show:   1.   minimum sinking speed.

                                              2.   The speed for best L/D in still air.

                                              3.   The speed to fly to a goal on the ground against a 15mph headwind.

                                              4.   The speed to fly in 200fpm sink if the climb  expected in the next thermal is 200fpm



59.  In the following graph, show where the maneuvering speed or Va is represented.

       Explain the significance and importance of the maneuvering speed to the pilot of a 2-33.


At the left hand or lower speed end of the diagonally marked limited maneuver area. About 65mph. The speed at which abrupt control movements may be able to cause damage to the glider. Also a standard gust of 25fps may be able to cause a load factor that can exceed the positive G load limit.


60.  List the tow signals below:

a) Tow plane waggles rudder on ground: ____________  Towplane ready for take-off.

b) Glider waggles rudder on ground: _____________  Glider ready for take-off.

c) Tow plane waggles rudder in air: ____________  Something is wrong with your glider. Most likely your dive brakes are open. Remember it is NOT a signal to release!

d) Tow plane rocks wings in air: ____________ Towplane has a problem and wants glider to release now.

e) Tow plane fish tails in air: ____________ Towplane can not release.

f) Glider rocks wings on tow while in normal position: ______________ Glider requesting tow plane to increase speed.

g) Glider fish tails or yaws back and forth on tow: _______________ Glider requesting tow plane to decrease speed.

h) Glider moves out to one side, usually to the left side of tow plane, and rocks wings: ____________  Glider pilot signaling that he/she can not release.

i) Glider moves out to right: _____________ Glider requesting tow plane to turn LEFT.


61.  What actions would you take if the canopy on a 2-33 came unlatched after the glider lifted off? Continue tow. Slip glider to the left, using right rudder. The airflow from the side will help hold the canopy down.

62.  What special use airspace(s) do we have near our airport and where is it(they)  located? Lemoore MOA East of the field, extending north and south. See sectional chart.

63.  When two or more aircraft are approaching an airport for the purpose of landing,

 which one has the right of way?

   a) The slower aircraft

   b) The faster aircraft

   c) The lower aircraft ***

   d) The more maneuverable aircraft

64.  In turning stall recovery, using ailerons to level the wings before un-stalling the wing

will have what effect and why?   The aileron on the low wing,  when lowered in attempt to pick up the low wing,  will actually have the effect of increasing the angle of attack of that wing and aggravate the stall condition on that wing.


65.  What documents must you have in your possession as a student pilot to fly solo?

   a) Student pilot certificate, photo ID only ***

   b) Student pilot certificate and logbook, photo ID

   c) Student pilot certificate, logbook and radio license

   d) None of the above

66.  What documents must be in the aircraft in whenever it is flown?

   a) Registration certificate, airworthiness and logbooks

   b) Registration certificate, airworthiness and operating limitations, (can be in form of Pilot’s Operating Handbook and/or placards)   and a photo ID ***

   c) Registration certificate, airworthiness and bill of sale

   b) Registration certificate, airworthiness, weight and balance and bill of sale

67.  Which instrument(s) will become inoperative if the static vent becomes clogged?

   a) Airspeed Only

   b) Airspeed and Altimeter Only

   c) Airspeed, Altimeter, Variometer ***

The variometer static may be connected in different ways if it is a Total Energy compensated vario. The static may be on a separate probe such as a Braunschweig or Prandle tube on the fin and not on the same static as the altimeter and air speed indicator.

   d) Altimeter Only

68.  What are the differences of a spiral dive and a spin? How do you recover from each


 Spiral dive is a diving turn, high speed, low angle of attack , wing is not stalled. May be avove maneuvering speed. Danger of going over red line and getting flutter or over stressing the aircraft with G loading attempting to pull out of dive.  A spin is a stalled condition, airspeed is low, one wing stalled more, various factors cause auto-rotation. Puts relatively little structural stress on the aircraft.  Glider is usually quite stable if held in spin,  but the  descent rate in a spin is quite  high, so a spin is very dangerous if you are close to the ground.  If you are close to the ground and  do not have enough altitude to stop the spin, recover  and resume normal flight, you will hit the ground at a very high rate of descent which is most often fatal to the aircraft occupants. 

69.    What would you do if you found yourself  through misjudgment or a tow plane problem,  or other  problems unable to make it to the normal IP at the normal pattern altitude and were  at the locations and altitudes marked in this map? Draw lines on the map to show where you would go.


The thing to remember is if you are too low to make a normal pattern, it is better to make an abbreviated pattern,  where you join up with the normal pattern at a later point but at a normal altitude for that position in the pattern. . For example, if you do not have enough to make a full pattern with downwind, base and final such as the point 500 ft. AGL to the SW of runway 31 in the picture, join the pattern on a left base leg  for runway 31, but at the normal altitude for that base leg., then turn final for runway 31  as you normally would.  Do not try to fly a down wind leg if you arrive in the pattern area but are at  a very low altitude. You may even have to make a straight  in approach to a runway if you are very low, or even land off field if making a straight in appears very marginal as to whether you can make the runway. 

70.    You are in the 2-33 and you are at 800 ft. AGL over the IP and entering your downwind leg for a right downwind for runway 13 at Avenal.  You suddenly see Morgan Hall in his Duo Discus just below you at about 600 ft AGL circling just west of  the IP.  As a student pilot what should you do?

1.      Give way to Morgan, and break off your approach until he lands, since he is at a lower altitude and therefore has the right of way.

2.      Give way and break off your approach,  since he has a better glider,  and has more experience, and you are only a lowly  student pilot in a 2-33.

3.      Be polite, give way and break off your approach.   Switch to a left downwind for runway 09  and land on that towplane runway in order not interfere with Morgan’s plans or  the higher performance DuoDiscus.

4.      Continue your approach as planned.  Morgan will probably stay up even,  though he is lower than you, or if he can’t stay up,  he will be able to extend his pattern further than you because of the higher performance of his ship,  He also knows you are a student pilot in a lower performance  ship,  and will adjust his pattern around your needs.  However, keep him in sight,  and monitor his position in any case, as even though he is very good, he may not see you. ***


70.    . You are landing on Runway 13 at Avenal. You have turned final and are lined up to land on Runway 13. All of a sudden, the towplane and a glider start rolling on takeoff on runwy 31 coming  at you. What should you do?  Why?

1.      Make an immediate 180 turn,  and land straight ahead to the north, even if you end up in a the field to the north of the airport.

2.      Keep going on your approach to runway 13,  but stay as far to the right as you can. Pass him to the right and land on the right hand side of runway 13. If there is no room on the right side of the runway, land in the clear area between the three runways, keeping clear of the windsock and wind T or other obstructions in that area.  ***

3.      Make a series of 360 deg. turns until he passes you, then land on Runway 13,

4.      Make a 90 deg,.turn to the right and land in the field just to the North of Loyal’s old house heading west.


71.    You are flying  at 5000ft. MSL  under a well developed Cumulus cloud in strong lift in Class E airspace.  What does the CFR Part 91  say about how close you can fly to the bottom of this cloud?  Why?

a.       1000 ft.

b.      500 ft. ***

c.       2000ft

d.      As close as you want, as long as you do not go into the cloud.

      We need to keep clear of the clouds in order to 1. ensure that if some IFR traffic emerged from the cloud, we would have time to see it and react to avoid it. 2. If two gliders are both circling under the bottom of a  cumulus cloud, even if they are just clear of the actual cloud bottom, it becomes very hard to see each other.  It is much easier to see each other if you allow the 500 ft. clearance below the cloud. Anyway, it’s the rule,  but that is also the purpose of the rule.


72.    You suddenly realize the lift mentioned above has become so strong that you are getting sucked up into the cloud.  What should you do?


a.      Open dive brakes fully, slip the glider,  and head for the closest edge of the cloud you can see. ***

b.      Keep circling, as cloud flying allows you to get much higher than staying below the clouds and you will get a much longer cross country flight that way.

c.        Enter a steep and fast spiral dive,  as this will get you down quicker.

d.        Enter a slip with full rudder deflection.


73.    In the above situation, you realize it is too late,  and you have allowed yourself  to be sucked into the cloud,  and have lost visual contact with the horizon and the ground.  What should you do? Why are each of the other choices wrong?


a.       Some gliders may fly hands off and not exceed the design load or airspeed limitations in a “benign spiral” mode. You have practiced this in your glider and will try to get the glider to do a benign spiral. ***


b.       Enter a spiral dive to get down as fast as possible.



c.       Enter a Spin as soon as possible before you get into a graveyard spiral and can no longer stall the glider without exceeding the positive G load limit.


d.       The 2-33 has terminal velocity dive brakes. Open them fully, and the glider  will not be able to exceed it’s redline  speed, no matter what attitude it gets into.


                  Answer a. is preferred these days,  but c. entering an intentional  spin, might also be an option. It may depend on the characteristics of the specific type of glider you are flying, as to whether it exhibits good benign spiral characteristics and what it’s spin characteristics may be as to which option you would choose. It is good to know the characteristics of the glider you are flying in this regard before the need arises!


74.     What type of airspace is enclosed by the dashed blue line in the following sectional chart clip?

What type of equipment would the aircraft need and what procedures need to be followed in order to enter this type of airspace?


Class D.  Two way radio communication with the tower.


75.     What type of airspace is enclosed by the circular markings around Fresno Air Terminal?

What type of aircraft equipment and what procedures does the pilot need to follow in order to enter this type of airspace? What are the equipment requirements for over-flying the top of this airspace in a glider at an altitude above 4400 ft MSL and 10,000ft MSL?  What equipment is required for over-flying this airspace in a glider above 10,000ft and below 18,000ft?



Class C.  Two way radio and Transponder with Mode C altitude reporting required to enter and also for over-flying the class C airspace between 4400 and 10,000ft. MSL. It would be legal to fly over it in a glider between 10,000 and below 18,000. You must get an acknowledgement of your radio call in order to enter the class C i.e. establish communication before entering but you do not need a “clearance” to enter.



77.  You are at an altitude of 5000ft. MSL directly over the Avenal Airport.  What type of airspace are you in? i.e. A, B, C, D, E, F, or G?   What are the minimum flight visibility and cloud clearance requirements for daylight VFR flight in this airpace?


Class E.  3 miles visibility.  1000ft above, 500ft below and 2000ft horizontal separation from clouds.


  1. You are making a pattern tow at Avenal airport and release at 1000ft AGL above the airport.  What type of airspace are you in?  i.e. Class A, B, C, D, E, F, or G?  How high does this airspace extend?   What are the minimum flight visibility and cloud clearance  requirements for daylight VFR flight in this airspace?


Class G uncontrolled. Up to 1200ft AGL at Avenal. 1 mile visibility, clear of clouds in the daytime. Night requires 3mile visibility and 500ft below, 1000ft above and 2000ft horizontal separation from clouds.




79.   You are on a cross country flight and get low near Visalia Airport. You are considering landing at Visalia Airport and notice on your sectional chart that it is surrounded by a zone of airspace outlined by a dashed  purple line.  What type of airspace is this?  i.e. A, B, C, D, E, F, or G?  Why does Visalia have this?   What flight visibility and cloud clearance is required to land at Visalia Airport in the daytime under VFR flight rules?



 Class E airspace which goes all the way to the surface. It has this because there are instrument approaches to Visalia and they want these aircraft to be in controlled airspace. 3 miles visibility, 500ft below, 1000ft above and 2000ft horizontally cloud separation required.


  1. What radio frequency do we use at Avenal to announce our position and intentions to other aircraft in the area?  Will powered aircraft transiting our area or intending to land at Avenal be likely to know about or use this frequency? 


    1. 121.5 Mhz
    2. 122.9 Mhz
    3. 123.3 Mhz ***

                                                                                               d.      122.0  Mhz


  1. What is indicated by the gray colored line marked VR 1257 near the Priest Valley VOR in the following sectional chart clip?  What dangers do you need to be aware of near these areas?



         Low level military route VFR type.



  1. What is indicated by the shaded magenta area surrounding the Firebaugh airport?  How would this affect visibility and cloud clearance requirements for VFR flight if approaching the Firebaugh Airport?


 Area where class E controlled airspace extends down to 700ft AGL instead of the more common 1200ft AGL


  1. What is the airspace  marked inside the red circle near Phoenix on this sectional chart clip?  Are these areas  marked on your sectional chart?  How do you get information on the existence of this  type of airspace before a flight?  What all the reasons you can think of that this type of airspace is created?   What happens if you enter this type of airspace?



This is a “TFR” or Temporary Flight Restriction area. It might be a forest fire, a search for a lost hiker or escaped criminal etc. Also large ones are used for POTS and other VIPs.


  1. At what altitude are you as the pilot in command  required to use Oxygen when flying a glider?  Between 12500ft and 14000ft if there for more than 30 min.  Above 14000 at all times.


  1. At what altitude is your passenger in a glider required to use supplemental oxygen?

Above 15000 ft.


  1. You are wanting to use a parachute in your glider.  How recently must the parachute have been inspected and repacked by a licensed parachute rigger?

                      Within the past 180 days.





Consider the following 24 hour RASP forecast for Avenal presented in a SkewT-LogP format. RASP Skew T Log P diagrams represent a forecast of temperature and humidity at various altitudes, which is very important in forecasting soaring conditions. In other cases, the same type of diagram can be used  to plot  actual sounding data recorded from sounding balloons.  Radiometers are now available that can measure these values from the ground without sending up a sounding balloon.


  1. Will there be cumulus cloud development and if so, how high will the cloud base be?  Yes. The  approximate cloud base will be 4000ft.,  where the temperature and humidity lines converge.


  1. Will there be over-development? Yes, likely due to the enclosed area between 4000ft and 6300ft. with the green line. The green line indicates probable precipitation.


  1. Will there be any precipitation?  Yes. The green line on the far left near the cloudbase level indicates probable precipitation. This is the only place where the RASP has anything to mention about precipitation.


  1. What direction and velocity will the winds be at 10000ft MSL (700mb level)? From the NW at about 15kts.


  1. What will be the surface temperature and dewpoint be at 2100Z? Temperature about 56 deg. F. and dewpoint about 40 deg. F.


  1. What will be the temperature and dewpoint at 5000ft MSL (850mb level)? Both will be about 42 deg. F.


  1. Will there likely be thunderstorms?  No, the depth of the cloud layer is shallow and there is a temperature inversion at about 12,000ft level. The upper air is too stable.


  1. What will be the flight visibility be at the surface? (Hint trick question).  Not able to determine this very well from the RASP, however it will not be likely foggy due to the spread between the surface temp and the dewpoint.


  1. Which lines represent the dry adiabatic lines representing the temperature of a rising parcel of dry air?  The solid yellow or gold lines that slant to the left as they go higher.


  1. Which lines represent the saturated adiabatic lapse lines representing the temperature of a rising parcel saturated with water vapour?  The solid green lines that slant to the left but not as steeply as the dry adiabatic lines mentioned above.


  1. You land at an unfamiliar airport and are approaching an airport marking from the side of the solid yellow lines as in this picture.  What should you do (or not do)?  What if you were coming from the opposite direction, i.e. moving towards the dashed yellow lines from that side of the marking? See explanation below.


98. You are making a flight in a wave and have oxygen aboard. What percent humidity (H2O) is allowed in aviator’s breathing oxygen?

a.)   50%

b.)   25%

c.)    5%

d.) None (0%)  ***

99.  At what altitude do you as a pilot need to start using Oxygen?

a.)    10,000 ft. MSL,  at all times at or above that altitude.

b.)    18,000 ft. MSL,  at all times at or above that altitude.

c.)   Between 12,500 ft. and 14,000ft  MSL, if you are  that altitude for more than 30 minutes.  ***

d.)    At 12,500 ft MSL and above at all times.

100.                    As a student pilot, you need to have an endorsement from your instructor for continued solo flight every:

a.)    180 days.

b.)   Calendar year.

c.)    3 Calendar months.

d.) 90 days. ***

101.                     You are on a cross country flight out of Avenal and want to get updated weather information and check for any new TFRs that may have come up since you checked before take-off. What service and frequency could you use on your VHF  radio?

a.) Flight Watch on 122.0 ***

b.)   Contact Lemoore Control tower on 128.3

c.)    Check New Coalinga airport AWOS on 119.275

d.)    Contact Fresno Approach South on 132.35


102.                     You have a private pilot certificate with airplane category and single engine land class  ratings.  You also have a private pilot certificate with a glider category rating, and an endorsement for self launching in motor gliders.  You are current in powered airplanes with more than 3 take offs and landings in  powered airplane to a full stop within the past 90 days.  However, you have not flown any  glider for the past 6 months. You want to take your 3 grandchildren for rides in your m0tor glider (Lucky you, to have a motor glider!) .   Are you current to do this?

a.) No.  You must have 3 take-offs and landings in the preceding 90 days in the same Category (glider) and class and type (if type rating required). ***

b.)    You are OK, since it’s a motor glider and you’re current in a powered airplane.

c.)    You would be OK if it was a pure glider and you had made 3 take-offs and landings using  aero-tow, but since it is a motor glider, you need 3 more separate take-offs and landings to a full stop in a motor glider.

            d.) You make 3 take-offs and landings in the motor glider as sole manipulator of the controls and are now  current in the motorglider.  You can now take the grand-kids up in the motor glider. However, if you want to take them in a pure glider by aero-tow, you would need 3 more take-offs and landings in the pure glider by aero-tow.

103.  Is the motor glider considered a “Class” of glider, similar to “Single Engine Land” or “Multi-Engine Land” in the Airplane category?  No.  In gliders there is no class or type. The motor is considered a different method of launching but the FAA still considers it a glider.  However, you do need an endorsement from a qualified instructor  for that method of launching in your logbook.

 104.  You are taking off at Avenal in the 2-33 on aero-tow.   You are at about 200ft AGL altitude,  and you notice that you and the towplane are not climbing very well. Suddenly,  you see the towpilot “fan” the rudder from side to side fairly rapidly. What does this signal mean and what should you do?

a.) Emergency!  Release now!   You should do this and land straight ahead.

b.) Something is wrong with your glider.  (Think - What types of things could be likely to be wrong with your glider that the towpilot could see?)  ***

c.)  Towpilot needs to go to the bathroom right away,  and will be aborting the tow after turning to bring you back within gliding distance of the airport.

d. ) The towplane is overheating,  and the towpilot needs to speed up to provide more cooling for the engine, and is letting you know so you won’t be alarmed.

Refer to the following SkewT-LogP diagram for Castle Peak:

105.  Approximately what would the thermal index be at 4000ft ?  Would this likely be strong enough for thermals that would sustain a 2-33 sailplane at that altitude?  Is the thermal index a good way to estimate how high the thermals will go?

Thermal index is the difference between the temperature in deg. F. of the air at a given altitude and the temperature of a parcel of air at the surface and at the surface  temperature and lifted adiabatically to that altitude from the surface.   


106. Based on the expected boundary layer top from this diagram, what would be the approximate thermal strength you might expect?  How do you calculate that?

(Max lift will be approx 1 kt. for each 1000ft of the expected boundary layer top in the best thermals. Average thermals will be about 2/3 that. Source:  Kai Gersten “Introduction to X-country soaring.” )


The surface temperature at 12:00 noon is 30 deg. C and the dewpoint is 20 deg. C If cumulus clouds form, how high will the cloudbase be? Does this mean the cumulus will actually form?

The Bradbery rule: ( temp in C  - dewpoint temp in C. )  x 400 =  cloudbase in ft.

30-20 x 400 = 4000ft.

Later at 3:00 p.m. the temperature rises to 37 deg. C. The dewpoint has not changed. How high will the cloudbase be then?

(37 – 20) x 400 = 6800 ft.


Another rule is to (T – T dewpoint in Deg. F. / 4.4  )  X 1000 = cloudbase AGL


Refer to the following “Koch Chart” for estimating effect of temperature and pressure  altitude on required take-off distance and rate of climb:

According to this chart,  if the pressure altitude (altimeter reading at the surface with Kolsman window set to 29.92 in. )  is 1500ft. and the temperature is 105 Deg. F. what would the percent increase in take-off distance be compared to a standard day at sea level? What would the percent decrease in climb rate be compared to a standard day at sealevel?


Refer to the following FD (Winds Aloft ) forecast:

DATA BASED ON 021800Z    
VALID 030000Z   FOR USE 2000-0300Z. TEMPS NEG ABV 24000
FT  3000    6000    9000   12000   18000   24000  30000  34000  39000
BIH      9900    1706+16 2505+09 2429-06 2335-19 224635 215744 216255
BLH 1914 1914+23 1713+16 2108+10 1917-06 2019-17 183432 183742 195153
FAT 3108 3205+18 9900+14 2406+08 2425-06 2332-19 224335 225145 216154
FOT 3622 3612+14 9900+08 9900+01 2725-11 2632-25 254540 255049 245353
ONT 2407 1805+20 2109+16 2212+10 2308-05 2014-18 182833 183443 194355
RBL 9900 9900+17 2805+09 2711+03 2619-11 2437-23 246238 246947 236754
SAC 2706 9900+17 9900+11 2409+05 2429-09 2440-20 235037 235247 226055
SAN 9900 2107+21 2212+17 2213+10 9900-06 1722-18 182833 183343 184254
SBA 3007 3609+19 3405+14 2606+10 2414-06 2224-19 213734 204044 203955
SFO 9900 9900+17 9900+11 2409+05 2427-08 2435-20 244237 234547 225256
SIY      3310+14 9900+07 2508+00 2626-13 2539-26 245940 246049 235651
WJF      2712+20 2108+15 2310+10 2410-05 2120-18 203534 194044 203855
AST 2706 3214+10 3213+04 3111-02 3608-14 0409-27 072044 082254 990048
IMB              2806+06 2806-02 2612-16 2515-29 243442 234846 233947
LKV              9900+09 2705+00 2429-14 2446-25 236640 236748 236750
OTH 3607 3609+12 9900+05 9900-02 3012-15 3008-27 320745 261449 242347
PDX 3009 3316+09 3013+04 2912-02 3507-15 0310-27 062044 071952 220847
RDM      3309+13 9900+06 9900-02 2810-15 3009-28 271344 243047 233246
GEG      2508+08 2805+03 9900-02 0607-14 0714-26 072842 072852 221747
SEA 9900 3208+07 3312+03 3408-02 0105-14 0513-25 072043 082254 990049
YKM 3010 3010+10 3110+04 2806-02 0509-15 0612-26 072343 072352 221047

For Fresno Air Terminal the wind and temperature at 12000 ft MSL is

a.      240 deg magnetic at 6mph with a temperature of +8 deg F.

b.      240 deg. True at 6 kt. with a temperature of +8 deg C.

c.       24 deg. magnetic at 6 kt. with a temperature of +8 deg. C

d.      240 deg True at 6mph with a temperature of +8 Deg. C.

                  Answer:  b 240 deg. True at 6 kt. with a temperature of +8 deg. C


For Fresno Air Terminal at 9000ft. MSL, the wind and temperature are:

1.      99 deg True, but light and variable with a temperature of +14 deg. C

2.      light and variable, with a temperature of +14 deg. C.

3.      light and variable, with a temperature of +14 deg. F.

4.      99 deg. Magnetic, light and variable with a temp of +14 deg. F.

Answer: 2.  light and variable with a temperature of +14 deg. C

For Fresno Air Terminal at 30,000 ft MSL, the wind and temperature is:

1.      220 deg.  Magnetic,  at 43mph and a temp of 35 deg F.

2.      220 deg. True at 43 kts. with a temperature of 35 deg. C.

3.      220 deg. True at 43 kts. with a temperature of -35 deg. F.

4.      220 deg True at 43 kts. with a temperature of -35 deg. C.

Answer 4. 220 deg. True at 43 kts. with a temperature of -35 deg. C

110. You are ridge soaring in the bowl just NW of Tar Peak. You are just able to maintain a height about even with the top of the ridge. Suddenly you encounter a nice thermal which might allow you to get higher. You are going NW along the ridge, with the ridge to your left. The thermal feels like it might be a little stronger towards your left wing.  You should:

1. Turn right,  away from the ridge until you have reversed direction, then turn left, again away from the ridge,  and go back NW again, in an “S turn” or “figure 8” pattern,  hoping the thermal will still be there for a while, and you might gain some altitude even though you are not circling in the thermal as you would over flat ground when up high. But regardless of what you think the thermal is doing, always turn away from the ridge. Always approach the ridge from a shallow angle so you can always turn away from it.  Never approach the ridge straight on at a 90 deg. angle.

2. Turn left, into the ridge and continue circling in order to stay in the strong core of the thermal and get  above the ridge top where you will have more clearance above the ground,  and can relax more.  Circle very tightly, with a much steeper  bank that you usually use,  in order to gain a bit more space between yourself and the ridge.

3.  Turn left until directly heading towards the ridge straight on. Ride along with the thermal as long as possible as you approach the ridge, but turn away from the ridge to the left or the right when you get too close and start to become uncomfortable.   When ridge soaring conditions exist, the thermals are always very smooth, so you don’ t have to worry about encountering turbulence that might cause you to stall very close to the ground.

4.  Make a turn to the right, away from the ridge, to stay in the thermal for ½ a turn, then resume ridge soaring in the opposite direction.

5. Make a very quick left turn into the ridge, but continue it so that you only approach the ridge head on for as brief a time as possible. When you have completed a 180 deg. turn, continue ridge soaring in the opposite direction.

Answer 1. All the other options are very dangerous except No. 4.  But No. 1 has a better chance of gaining altitude with the lift from the thermal.

 111. To carry passengers as a private pilot, you must have:

1.  Have successfully accomplished a  Flight review in the last 24 calendar months.

2. 3 take offs and landings to a full stop within the past 90 days in the same category (class and type if appropriate) of aircraft.

3.  both of the above.

Answer 3. both of the above.

112.  What is an AD?  Who is responsible for assuring that these have been accomplished?

Airworthiness Directive.  The owner and/or the operator,  as well as maintenance personel performing and signing off  any  required inspections  are all responsible for assuring that these have been accomplished. 

113. What inspections are required for the 2-33?  How can you be sure these have

been accomplished?

An Annual inspection is required on all certified aircraft.  An A&P mechanic with an Inspection Authorization.  IA is required to sign off the annual inspection as to the aircraft being airworthy.  An A&P may perform some of the work under the supervision of the AI,  but the AI has the final responsibility and authority.

A 100 hour inspection is required for certified aircraft used in commercial operations.  An  A&P can perform and enter the 100 hour inspection in the aircraft logs. 

These inspections should be recorded in the aircraft log books.


114.In calculating a weight and balance why must the CG be within the limits defined in the pilot’s operating handbook or other operating limitations for the glider?  What is the danger(s) of a CG located too far forward (nose heavy)? What is the danger(s)  associated with a CG that is located too far aft?

The aircraft will not fly properly and will become unsafe if the C.G. is not within the designer’s proper limitations.

A CG near the aft reduces drag by reducing the necessary downforce that has to be supplied (usually) by the tailplane.
This is also a point for competition gliding (more often than not you have water ballast in the vertical tailplane to compensate for those love handles). Aerobatic gliders sometimes feature aft lead ballast to enable maneuvers like tailspins which are not possible with a forward CG.

Aft CGs come with reduced stability, which can be a severe flight-safety concern (e.g. in case of unrecoverable spins).
Some fighter aircraft feature inherently unstable aerodynamics (see super-maneuverability) which offer great agility (e.g. turning rates), but need constant input by a flight constrol system (and woe if that fails, e.g. via Plot Induced Oscillation).


A forward CG results in greater flight stability and reduced danger of sudden stalling, but also increased drag (because of the increased downforce required from the tailplane). In extreme cases this can limit the maneuverability as well and cause a pancake landing (the tailplane can only produce so much lift/downforce before itself stalls, at which point it is no longer holding your nose up).


115. What are the components of an oxygen system? What are the dangers of working around oxygen systems? How often must an oxygen cylinder be hydrostatically tested to be sure it is sound?


Pressurized Oxygen cylinder, regulator diluter demand vs. constant flow type,  Oxygen mask (diluter demand), or cannula (constant flow).

The dangers are from the very high pressure,  which could cause parts to blow off with tremendous force. Such as the valve on the tank if the apparatus was dropped in such as way as to damage the valve.  Or when disconnecting the plumbing from the tank if under high pressure.  The other danger is from fire when flammable materials such as oils burn in the presence of oxygen.

116. What is lost with hypoxia, dehydration and hyperventilation?

Initially good judgement will be lost.  All thinking processes will be slowed.   Vision may be affected particularly night vision early on then all vision as the situation gets worse, eventually even loss of consciousness can occur.   A false sense of well being may occur,  with a sense of giddiness similar to drunkenness.

117. Why is dehydration at altitude more concerning?

Combined with hypoxia, it may make the degree of impairment of judgement and of consciousness even worse.  When it is very hot on the ground and the pilot climbs to high altitudes where it is very cold, the effects of dehydration are magnified due to the body’s response to the cold. Signals occur at high altitude where it is very cold that cause the body to respond by getting rid of what it perceives to be excess fluid.  The kidneys will allow a lot of fluid to be removed from the vascular tree when it is cold. The danger occurs when the pilot descends into the very hot air down low. When he needs that extra fluid again. If he does not replace it, vascular pressure can decrease markedly in the heat down low, and the pilot will be very dehydrated for the conditions, affecting many systems in the body, but most importantly the brain will not be functioning as well. Obviously bad for a pilot.   

118. What happens to indicated airspeed on take-off at high density altitude?

The indicated airspeed  should not be affected. The indicated airspeed will be the same at any density altitude. However, the true airspeed and hence the distance required for take off and the speed over the ground will be much higher at high density altitudes!

119. How does high density altitude affect take-offs and landings?

High density altitude increases the distance required for take-offs and landings. The tow plane engine will have reduced power. Climb rate will be decreased.   The indicated airspeeds the pilot sees on his instruments and the stall speeds and other speeds he reads as indicated airspeeds on his instruments will be the same.  He will fly the aircraft  by these same familiar indicated airspeeds. However the true airspeeds the aircraft is actually moving at  will be higher for all these speeds. Hence the groundspeed on take off and landing will be considerably higher than the indicated airspeed the pilot sees on his instruments.  More distance will therefore be required for take offs and landings.  Allowances must be made in flight planning for high density altitudes, especially take off and landing performance.

120. Draw a Pitot-Static system. 

Something like this, I couldn’t find a glider specific pito-static diagram: This diagram is for powered aircraft and there are some differences for gliders.   Get rid of the  pitot heater.  Also  a glider would have a variometer instead of the vertical speed indicator. The variometer might be hooked up to the regular static port/system,  like this vertical speed indicator,  if it is an  uncompensated or maybe if only  electronically compensated.  However, the variometer  more likely would  be hooked up on the static side to a Braunschweig tube or a Prandtle tube, usually located in the fin of the glider,  instead of the main static system for Total Energy compensation.  The variometer would also have an insulated  capacitance flask or vessel, usually outside the vario case and connected  by an airtight plastic tube to the capacity connector on the back of the vario. In vertical speed indicators, the capacity vessel is inside the case, so you see no connector on the outside like a variometer.  The altimeter and the airspeed indicator in the glider would be hooked up to the gliders normal static port. These normal static ports can be in various locations on the fuselage usually in an area(s) where the designer feels the pressure changes due to changes in airspeed will be the least.


pitot-static system

121. What happens to the stall speed in turns as the bank increases.

A good rule of thumb is that in a 45 deg. banked turn, the stall speed increases 20%.  In a 60 deg. banked turn, the stall speed increases by 40%.  A more complex formula is that the stall speed increases by the square root of the load factor. This is of course, very difficult to calculate in your head while flying!

122.  Interpret the following METAR:

METAR KNLC 191756Z 32009KT 10SM SCT140 BKN190 26/13 A2983 RMK AO2 SLP100

     RH/46 T02560133 10256 20172 51007









   REMARKS:  AO2 SLP100       RH/46 T02560133 10256 20172 51007 


123. What is deviation as it affects the magnetic compass in an aircraft?

Compass deviation is due to inaccuracies in compass readings caused by effects of various materials in the aircraft itself on compass readings.

124. What is variation as it affects the magnetic compass in an aircraft?

Compass variation is due to the fact that the magnetic North pole is not located at the geographic North pole, but is in Canada. Depending on where you are located, there may be considerable difference between True North and Magnetic North.  You must consult charts and tables for the area in which you are flying to determine the amount of compass variation in the area of your flight.  In North America,   West of the magnetic North pole, compass variation is usually reported as “X  deg. East Variation”. East of the magnetic North pole you would see “X  deg. West Variation”.

125. Explain the colored arcs on the airspeed indicator. Many new gliders have a small yellow triangle on the airspeed indicator. What does this represent.

White Arc is the flap operating range.  Lower end of white arc is the flaps down stalling speed. The upper end is the maximum speed for any flap deployment.

Green arc is normal operating range.  Bottom of green arc is flap up stall speed in level flight. Top is maximum structural cruising speed of maximum speed for rough air.  Yellow arc is the caution range. This airspeed range  may only be entered in smooth air.  The red line is the “Never Exceed” speed, the maximum speed the aircraft may be flown, even in still air.  A yellow marking (triangle) on the airspeed indicator is for the lowest approach speed (at maximum weight
without water ballast) recommended by the manufacturer;


126. What is “maneuvering speed” Va  ?

The speed above which, full and/or  abrupt movements of a single control may cause structural damage to the aircraft.  Movement of multiple controls in this manner may damage the structure even below the maneuvering speed!

127. What is the difference between minimum sink speed and best glide or best L/D speed?

Minimum sink speed is the speed at which the glider sinks at the slowest rate. It is generally the speed at which you would get the best rate of climb in a thermal. It is slower than the speed for best L/D. Generally just a few knots above stalling speed.  You can see it graphically by drawing a horizontal line across the graph of the polar curve such that the horizontal line just touches the polar curve at the point of the lowest sink rate (See 2-33 polar graphs). 

Best L/D is the speed at which the glider will get the most distance for the altitude that you have.  The speed is somewhat higher than that for minimum sink. You can see it graphically by drawing a line from the origin tangent to the glider’s polar curve.

128.  Talk about “speed to fly”.

Speed to fly is a principle used by soaring pilots when flying between sources of lift, usually thermals, ridge lift and wave. The aim is to maximize the average cross-country speed by optimizing the airspeed in both rising and sinking air. The optimal airspeed is independent of the wind speed, because the fastest average speed achievable through the airmass corresponds to the fastest achievable average groundspeed.[1] The idea is usually attributed to Paul MacCready, although an early version of the theory was first described by Wolfgang Späte in 1938.[2] However Späte may not have considered sinking air between thermals, and there is no mention of this until 1947 when Ernest Dewing and George Pirie independently included this aspect.[3] Paul MacCready, however, certainly invented the "ring", which allowed an easy indication of the optimal speed to fly. 

When on final glide to a goal on the ground, the wind DOES have an effect on the “speed to fly” in lift and sink.  You will need to fly even faster than the best interthermal speed to fly if you are flying into a headwind to a goal on the ground in order to get the best possible cross country speed over the ground. 


129.  At what speed should you touch down in an off field landing?

As slow as is safe, considering the conditions, i.e. wind, turbulence etc.  A slow speed will result in the least energy to dissipate, and the least damage  in case the ground is very rough, or you hit some unseen object during your landing roll out. It will also result in the shortest ground roll if the field is very short.   However, you must still maintain a safe airspeed in the pattern to keep a safe margin above stalling speed in case of turbulence or a wind gradient or wind shear.  In general the shorter the field,  and the rougher and more marginal the field you are trying to get into, the slower the touchdown speed that is desirable. However there is a trade off with safety when landing in a full stall condition in windy turbulent conditions,  so it would be better in most  cases to pick a larger smoother field, or fly another day! You will hear advanced competition pilots espousing that we should always land in a full stalled condition. But I feel that for the average pilot, especially those that do not practice short field landings all the time, it is better to fly the pattern and landing just like you always do.  Don’t try to land in extremely short,  rough fields where your ONLY  option is to touch down perfectly,  in a full stall at exactly the perfect spot.  You will get bitten sooner or later. The competition pilots accept the higher risk landings in more marginal fields  sometimes in the spirit of competition. They area very good at it,  but they sometimes mess up too as can be seen from reports of broken gliders in contests! I believe this falls under what Frank Borman was talking about when he said “A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations
which require the use of his superior skills.


130. Review emergency procedures for take off.

The most important thing is to have a  well designed plan ahead of time, so that you instantly know what to do at any point in the tow from the very start until reaching a safe altitude should the tow rope break, the tow plane have an engine failure or any of a myriad other problems.  The plan should be reviewed actively on each and every tow so that you are going through it actively in your mind as the tow progresses. There should never be any doubt during any phase of the tow that a safe landing can be made should there be a “PTT” (premature termination of the tow).  It is most important to scout out the area at the take off end of the runway from the ground and from the air or from a vehicle ahead of time so that you know what the terrain is like in the areas where you may have to set down. Also you will know about the presence of obstructions such as wires, ditches, irrigation pipes, fences signs, posts, gates, parked farm machinery, workers in farm fields etc. etc.  The wind and density altitude conditions and changes on different days or even the same day or hour by hour or minute by minute,  may require modification of your emergency plans.

131.  Talk about the sequence of procedures for a 200’ rope break.

The most important thing is to have a predetermined plan as to where you will go at all points in the tow, from the initial take off run until you have achieved at least normal pattern altitude or higher. The plan should be initiated immediately, and since you have already thought it out and rehearsed it in your mind, it should not require a lot of time for thinking about different options.  You should be thinking to yourself,  or out loud to the instructor,  where you will go during the tow at every point as the tow progresses.  The conditions of the terrain around the airport and the wind are the primary things that determine your options.  Turning back to the runway may not be the best option, even if you get to 200 ft. , depending on what the options are. You should scout out on the ground,  ahead of time, before flying,   the nature of the landing options off the take off end of the runway. Look for barbed wire fences, ditches, irrigation pipes, wires, poles, trees, buildings, signs, parked vehicles, farm workers in fields,  and other obstructions or objects next to any of your possible landing areas.   Then make a specific plan for every possible point  in  the tow as to what you will do if you should have a rope break or other “PT3”  i.e. “Premature Termination of the Tow”.  

Generally,  if there is a cross wind, turn in the direction towards the cross  wind.  The exception might be if the tow pilot has already started turning before reaching 200 ft. and is turning away from the cross wind. If he has turned more than 45 deg. or so, it may be better to turn in that direction away from the cross wind direction anyway. But even then, you still may get less loss of altitude if you turn towards the direction of the cross wind, especially if the wind is very strong.   The bank angle should be 45 deg. minimum in order to conserve the most altitude during the turn. There is not much gain by banking steeper,  but a slight amount of altitude can be saved by turning at 50 deg. ,  or even 60 deg. of bank.  Keep your extra airspeed margin as you turn, don’t try to “zoom up” and gain altitude by slowing way  down.   However, you should allow  the glider to  slow down to a normal pattern airspeed for the conditions. If there is no wind, and your tow speed was 75 mph before the rope breaks, slow down gradually  to a normal minimum pattern airspeed of 55mph.  Add ½ of  the wind speed to this minimum pattern airspeed as usual.  Remember, if the tow plane is having trouble, he may not be able to fly at the normal towing speed when the rope breaks. In any case, you should get the glider to normal pattern airspeed as soon as possible, whether starting from a normal towing speed,  or an unusually low or high towing speed.  Some instructors advise pulling the release 2 times to jettison the tow rope in case it breaks at the tow plane end,  and you are trailing a long section of tow rope.  Usually it breaks right near the glider, in which case it may be safe to try to bring the tow rope remnant back to the runway with you.  That way you don’t lose the expensive tow ring.


132. Draw a cross section of a mountain wave.  Where are the lenticular clouds, if any?  Where are the rotor clouds if any?  What is concering about the rotor? What and where  is the Fohen Gap,  and what does the sailplane pilot need to be concerned about in regards to it? What and where is the Cap Cloud?

133. What are the different types of lift we can experience? What types of weather conditions are favorable for each type?

Answer: Thermal, Ridge, Wave, Convergence


134. Describe conditions in ridge lift.  Do you need stable or unstable air? How much wind is needed to sustain a glider in ridge lift? At what range of angles must the wind meet the ridge to allow you to expect to find lift?  Draw a cross section of a ridge and show where you could expect to find the best lift.  Where might you expect to find turbulence? If you are trying to ridge soar what weather conditions related to atmospheric stability are more dangerous? Stable vs. Unstable conditions?

 Smooth stable air with steady wind is most  desirable for ridge soaring.  The nicest conditions are near the coast where you have a steady sea breeze coming off the cool ocean so the air is very stable and smooth.  You can ridge soar if the air is unstable or turbulent as long as there is enough wind, such as over irregular mountain terrain in the middle of a hot day in the summertime.    But it may be MUCH  more dangerous to fly low and maneuver near ridges  while ridge soaring when the air is both windy and turbulent due to instability from heating or wind shear etc.

135. If you have wind from the NW near Monterey blowing toward the coastal mountains and hot San Joaquin Valley air what would you expect with regard to flying? Would it be good? What happens to the warm valley air?

You might expect “convergence” over the coast range of mountains which will result in a line of thermal type lift going in a generally N/S or NW/SE direction parallel to the coast range  mountains.

136. Referring to a current sectional for Avenal area i.e. the San Francisco and Los Angeles sectionals, identify a class C airport, a class D airport. What do you need to fly into Class D, C, and B airspace. What do you do differently for these spaces?

Class D – radio with two way communication ability. Two way communication not required to enter but desirable to establish before entering and required before landing except in emergency.  Use light signals if unable to establish two way radio communication.

Class C – two way radio communication, Transponder with Mode C altitude capability  required.   Communication must be established i.e. they have to respond to or acknowledge  your call  before entering the Class C but a specific  “clearance” to enter Class C not required.

Class B – two way radio communication required. Transponder with Mode C altitude capability required.  You must get a specific “clearance” to enter the class B airspace.  Just establishing communication i.e. they acknowledge you are there is not enough.  They must specifically say “cleared to enter Class B” before you can enter the airspace. 


137.Identify an MOA. Can you fly into this area? What do you need to be aware of here?

You can fly into an MOAm  but it is at your own risk. There may be military aircraft doing things like dog fighting,  that may be dangerous. That being said, they will try to break off their activity if they know you are in the area. You can contact the controlling authority for the MOA by radio before entering. The controlling authority and the proper frequencies  for MOAs  are listed in the margins of sectional charts.  The controllers  generally do have radar which can detect you if you have a transponder with Mode C.

138. What is the lifted index? What is the thermal index?

139. What is an LHSO? Identify on the diagram which is the runway and which is the taxiway.

140. Explain what you do differently  when taking off on tow in a glider  in a cross wind as opposed to still wind conditions.

There are 3 phases to the tow that should be discussed. 1. The ground roll, where both glider and tow plane are still on the ground, 2.  The second phase where the glider has left the ground,  but the tow plane is still on the ground and still picking up speed until it is ready to lift off. 3. The phase where the tow plane has lifted off and normal tow starts.

Lower the upwind wing during the take off roll. Have the wing runner keep the upwind wing somewhat lower and have him or her run the upwind wing.  As you start rolling keep the upwind wing somewhat lower than the other wing. Use the opposite rudder to counteract the weathervaning tendency and keep the fuselage going straight down the runway.  As you start the ground roll and are going slower it may require full rudder throw and a lot of aileron throw to control the glider. As you get going faster, the controls will become more effective.  Steer normally with the upwind wing slightly lower and some opposite rudder, just enough to keep the rope straight in line behind the towplane. The next phase starts when you leave the ground but the glider is still on the ground. Here try to keep the wings level with the horizon and use the rudder to “crab” into the wind just enough so that the towline stays straight behind the tow plane and in line with the center of the runway.    The next phase is when the tow plane leaves the ground and you are both airborne.  Take out the crab as the towplane leaves the ground and from there use normal tow procedures to keep the glider in position using coordinated aileron and rudder to maintain lateral position and appropriate elevator pressure changes to maintain proper pitch attitude and position in relation to the tow plane.  In this phase, the tow pilot controls any drift in relation to the runway,  and all the glider pilot can do is maintain a normal tow position in relation to the tow plane.

141. Explain what you do differently on final approach,  the flair,  and rollout during a landing in a glider in a cross wind as opposed to still air conditions or a landing directly into the wind. 

There are two ways to make a cross wind landing. The crab method and the slip method.  In the crab method, you “crab” the nose of the glider into the wind just enough to counter act the “drift” from the crosswind that causes the glider to want to drift to the side at and angle to the runway centerline.  As you flair just before the wheel touches, you kick out the crab with the rudder so as to align the wheel with the direction the glider is moving down the centerline of the runway.  This requires perfect timing and is rather difficult to do, especially if it is gusty or turbulent.  If you misjudge it, you will land with the tire and wheel going sideways which puts a huge side load on the tire, wheel and landing gear and may cause damage.

The slip method is where you lower the wing that is upwind towards the side where the crosswind is coming from, and use the opposite rudder to introduce a slip just enough so that the slip counteracts the sideways drift from the crosswind. The rudder you put in that is opposite to the side you have lowered the wing, will keep the fuselage in line with the centerline of the runway. If you hold this lowered wing during the flair and touchdown and the opposite rudder, your fuselage should be aligned with the runway and the direction of motion of the aircraft should be in line with the runway also, so there will be no side load on the tire and wheel when you touch down.

142.  What do you do on downwind to assure that you are at the right distance from the runway according to the TLAR method? What do you do if there is a wind that is blowing you away from the runway while on downwind? What if the wind is blowing you closer to the runway on downwind?

The exact altitude you are at on your downwind is not that important, within reason.  If you are anywhere between 600 ft. AGL or 800ft. AGL, or  even 1000 ft. AGL, the thing to do is adjust your distance from the runway as you enter and fly the downwind leg such that if you sight down to the runway from the horizon it looks like the runway is at a 45 deg. angle down from the horizon i.e. ½ way from the horizon to looking straight down.  If the angle to the runway looks shallower than 45 deg, it means you are too far out from the runway for the altitude you’ve got, and you need to move in closer as you fly the downwind leg.  If it looks like the angle down to the runway from the horizon is steeper than 45 degrees, you are too close to the runway for the altitude you’ve got, you need to move out further away as you fly the downwind.  Too far out from the runway, and you have more risk that you might misjudge and if you get severe sink, you might not make it to the runway. Too close and your base leg will be very short. This makes it very difficult to make any adjustments on the base leg for being a bit high or a bit low. It is almost like you have to make one turn from downwind to final. That is very hard to do,  and  it is very difficult to end up at the right altitude on final. But a longer,  normal base leg from the proper distance out from the runway on downwind, allows you more latitude to adjust the angle of the base leg to the runway if you are a bit too high or a bit too low and more time for the dive brakes to have an effect.  Most people are by nature conservative,  and feel  safer if they stay closer to the runway. Therefore the most common error is to get too close to the runway on downwind and have to make one single turn from downwind to final, with essentially no base leg or an extremely short base leg,   The point at which to turn from downwind to final with no base leg is VERY hard to judge right. Usually they end up too high do to the conservatism,  and have a lot of  difficulty getting the glider down. They may actually land long, or need full dive brakes the whole way down on final approach,  or may need to add a steep slip to the full dive brakes to get down. This is an error. 

143. If there is not a strong wind and you will be landing into the wind on final approach,  how do you know when to turn from downwind to base leg according to the TLAR method?

Normally, you turn base when the chosen or desired aiming point on the runway where you wish to arrive at the runway just above the ground  for the flair, is at a 45 deg angle from straight behind you.    This is about the furthest you want to go out on downwind before turning base, assuming you have the correct 45 deg. angle down to the runway from the horizon on downwind, which assures that you are at the right distance from the runway on the downwind leg for the altitude you  are at.    If it is very windy, you may need to turn base sooner. In extreme winds, you may not want to go past the end of the runway when you turn base. 

144.  What do you normally do with the dive brakes when starting your downwind leg in the pattern?

Normally, we set the dive brake at the ½ way out setting. This is an average setting that results in an average glide slope during the pattern. If you get more sink than usual and start getting low, you can close the dive brake from this setting. If you get more lift than usual and end up getting high, you can open the dive brake more.

145.  If you turn from downwind onto base and get strong lift and see you are going to be higher than you wanted to be to get to your chosen aiming point, what can you do? What should you never do?

1. Angle the base leg away from the runway instead of the normal 90 deg. angle to the runway.

2. Open your dive brakes further from the baseline ½ dive brake setting.

3. Slip the glider to create more drag.

Do not try to “dive” the glider to lose altitude faster. This will cause an increase in airspeed and your total energy will still remain the same. The extra airspeed will have to be bled off even if you get lower as you approach the runway and you may still land long before you can get slowed down. You will also tend to be in ground effect which makes it even more difficult to dissipate the extra airspeed and get the glider on the ground and slowed down.

146. If you turn from downwind to base and see that you are lower than you intended to make it to your aiming point on the runway, what can you do?

1. Angle the base leg towards the runway instead of at a 90 deg. angle.

2. reduce dive brake setting from the normal baseline of ½ dive brake.

3. remove any slip if you are slipping.

4. Make sure you are at the proper pattern airspeed. Do not try to “stretch the glide” by flying slower than normal pattern airspeed for the conditions.

 147. What is a LHSO operation?

Ans.   Land and Hold Short operation .

148.Where can you get “Airport Diagrams”?  Why are these important?

Airport diagrams are official diagrams of airports that include runways and taxiways as well as intersections and other important things needed for safe operation on the surface,  such as taxiing.  They are available from the FAA website or from some other commercial sources and web based services, usually as a printable .pdf file format.

The FAA now requires  you to “read back” taxing instructions. It is very difficult to understand these instructions,  which can be quite complicated and full of intersections and taxiways with alpha numeric designations in rapid fire order. You need an airport diagram to be able to follow these taxing instructions. They can be very helpful at airports with multiple runways and more complicated taxiway system.  The FAA takes “runway incursions” seriously these days and the controllers are required to write you up rather than letting things slide with a friendly educational reminder or talking to.  

149.What is a “Runway Incursion”?

150. How do you get an official weather briefing prior to a cross country glider flight? Name 3 sources.

1. DUAT – computer based briefings.  Run by the Data Transformation Corp. for the FAA.

2. DUATS – very similar to DUATS.  Run by the Computer Science Corp. for the FAA.

3. Flight Service – Phone 1-800-WXBRIEF run for the FAA by Lockheed Martin Corp.   Lockheed/Marton now has a website with internet based briefings similar to DUAT or DUATS.

151. You are gliding into a 15 kt headwind  in a 2-33 on the way from Avenal to your goal of New Coalinga Airport. You do not expect any further lift. What is the best speed to fly to arrive at New Coalinga with the most possible remaining altitude reserve? What is a rough rule of thumb to get this speed in your head without referring to  a computer or a polar diagram?

a. Use graphical method by drawing a tangent to the 2-33 polar curve. Move the origin over to the right on to correspond to the strength of the headwind and draw the tangent from there. Draw a vertical line up to the X axis to intercept the speed to fly.

b. Add ½ the wind velocity in kts.  to the speed for best L/D  in still air from the polar graph. This is a pretty good rule of thumb.

152. If you are getting a wind report from an ATIS, ASIS or AWOS is the wind direction these report given in Magnetic or True?  In the winds aloft forecast are the winds given in degrees True or degrees Magnetic.? What is a simple Menomic that can help you remember?

Rule of thumb:

Written winds,  like weather forecasts in printed form – FD (winds aloft), FA area forecasts etc are in Degrees True.  Spoken winds,  like ATIS, AWOS  that  can be broadcast over the radio are in degrees Magnetic.

153. You are facing an off field landing in an unfamiliar location. There is a field you have chosen that has a slight slope of about 8 degrees. The wind is blowing UP the hill at about 10mph.  There are no obstructions if you were to choose to land uphill and downwind vs. downhill and upwind.  In these conditions would it be better to land uphill and downwind or downhill and upwind? Why?

This can be a difficult decision.  In general, if there is a slope steep enough that you can detect if from the air, it is best to land up the slope unless the wind is very strong.  For example at Torrey Pines Gliderport, there is a modest downward slope to the runway facing West toward the cliff where the gliders ridge soar.  It is generally best at Torrey to land uphill to the East and downwind unless the wind gets to or above about 25 mph.  In lighter 10-15 mph winds, it is still better to land uphill, even though you are landing downwind. The slope will help stop you.  If you land upwind but on a significantly downward sloping runway, it may be very difficult or impossible to get the glider on the ground and stopped before you run out of runway.


154. In learning how to “coordinate” the ailerons and rudder and keep the yaw string straight while rolling into and out of turns what is a useful maneuver to practice?

Ans: “Rolls on a point”.   Pick a prominent landmark on the horizon. Fly straight at it.  Roll the glider to the right to a certain bank angle,  say 30 degrees of bank is enough. Immediately roll it back to 30 degrees of bank in the other direction. Do not allow the glider to actually start a turn, roll it back the other way as soon as it reaches the chosen bank angle. Try it first using no rudder.  This will dramatically demonstrate why you need the rudder to counteract adverse yaw.  You will notice the nose of the glider yawing off to the left dramatically as you roll to the right.  This is due to the adverse yaw effect that the ailerons have.  The yaw string will  also go way off center.  You will notice the nose of the glider yawing off dramatically to the right as you roll to the left if you do not use rudder.  The goal is to do this steady rolling back and forth right and left and also keep the nose of the glider fixed on the chosen point on the horizon.  The nose of the glider will not appear to  stay on the chosen point on the horizon without using the rudder properly. Now bring in the rudder. If you use the correct amount of rudder for the amount of aileron you are using,  the nose of the glider will remain fixed on the point you have chosen,  and the yaw string will also remain straight throughout the maneuver as you roll to the right and back to the left.  Again, do not let the glider actually start a turn, just keep rolling it steadily from 30 deg right to 30 deg left bank without stopping between. After a while you will get a good feel for how much rudder to use from this maneuver. It is much more effective than trying to look at the yaw string and figuring out which rudder to step on if the yaw string is off center.  Getting the “feel” is much more important than trying to look at the y aw string and stepping on the rudder. The faster the roll rate you desire, not the bank angle is what determines how much rudder to use. The faster your roll rate, the more rudder you need. The slower your roll rate, the less rudder pressure  you will need.  So you want to try doing the rolls on a point both with slow roll rate and faster roll rates. You also need to do it at different airspeeds. It will feel different at slower airspeeds than at faster airspeeds.  But for a give airspeed and roll rate, it will feel the same. In order to keep the nose on the point, it will be very apparent if you are not using enough or using too much rudder. You will also easily see that as soon as you are not using aileron deflection, you immediately do not need the rudder and need to get off of it. Rolling into and out of turns feels just like the rolls on a point. The difference is that when turning, when you arrive at the chosen bank angle, you neutralize the controls and hold the bank angle and allow the glider to turn. You may need some top aileron in an established turn at bank angles more than about 20 deg due to the “over-banking tendency”.

155.Draw a diagram of a total energy compensated variometer system. Assume a mechanical variometer with a Prandtl tube probe or a Braunschweig tube,  rather than an electronically compensated system. Explain the idea of total energy and how it works.   Do not consider the older in line diaphragm type of total energy compensation.

Answer:  The system will consist of a  vario instrument with two plastic tubing connectors on the back. One will be connected to the capacity side , i.e.  the  vario flask air reservoir.  The flask reservoir  is insulated to help remove  temperature effects on the vario readings, like a thermos bottle.  In fact,  it may actually be a modified version of a lunch pail thermos bottle!   The other connector,  which is  the “Static” side of the variometer,  is connected to a modified static probe on the outside of the aircraft.  The simplest type, a “Braunschweig Probe has an “L” shaped bend in the tip, and  that usually is mounted on the front of the vertical fin.  The static port on the probe is positioned behind the vertically oriented part of the bend portion of the  tube, such that the static pressure decreases with increasing airspeed and increases with decreased airspeed.  In this manner, the vario reading will be compensated for changes in glider airspeed that produce responses in the vario reading that are not due to changes in the vertical motion of the airmass, but rather only to the change in glider airspeed (stick thermals).  The glider pilot wants to see only the changes in the vario produced by the change in vertical motion of the airmass, and would like to have any “stick thermals” or  stick sink” readings removed from the instrument’s response.


156.What is a MacCready ring?  What is the MacCready theory and how does it apply to flying cross country in a glider in thermals?

The MacReady ring is a rotable ring positioned around the outer perimeter of the vario that can be rotated so an index  matches the average rate of climb that has been  or is  thought will  be achieved. The ring has airspeeds embossed on it, and the vario needle will point the the suggested optimum interthermal cruising  speed for the amount of sink being experienced during the interthermal cruising phase of flight.   . It is designed to get the best possible average  cross country speed for the flight, not to maximize distance for a final glide,  or to account for the effects of headwind or tailwind on a final glide.  The average cross country speed is affected by the achieved rate of climb in thermals  and the speed chosen during the cruise phase. The higher the average rate of climb, the faster the interthermal cruise speeds need to be to maximize cross country speed.  Weaker thermals with lower average climb rates require slower interthermal cruising speeds. 


157. Who can sign off the annual inspection on a certified glider?

Answer: a certified A&P technician (mechanic) with  Inspection Authority Certification (AI).

158. Who can do the annual condition inspection on a glider licensed under experimental exhibition and racing?

Answer: an A&P Technician (no IA required)

159. Who can do the annual condition inspection on a glider licenses as amateur built?

Answer:  The annual condition inspection  must be performed by EITHER an A&P (no IA required) OR one of the original builders if they have the repairman's certificate (Repairman Experimental Aircraft)   ONLY APPLIES FOR THAT ONE SPECIFIC AIRCRAFT.

160. Who can do 100 hour inspections on certified gliders used in commercial operations?

Answer:  An A&P technician  (technically the powerplant portion of the A&P  would not be required if it is a glider!).

170. When must you wear a parachute in your glider?

(c) Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds—

(1) A bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or

(2) A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.

(d) Paragraph (c) of this section does not apply to—

(1) Flight tests for pilot certification or rating; or

(2) Spins and other flight maneuvers required by the regulations for any certificate or rating when given by—

(i) A certificated flight instructor

If you read this closely, it has been interpreted to mean that if you are flying solo, you can also do these maneuvers without a parachute. But if you have a passenger, you both must be wearing and approved parachute.   Some gliders particularly those licensed experimental may also have operating limitations that require wearing a parachute, even when flying solo.

There is another rule  in the CFRs that defines “aerobatic flight”. But that applies more to the rules  about where you can and cannot perform aerobatics maneuvers,  rather than the parachute requirements for the occupants.

171. What is a “Wave Window”?

A area of special airspace negotiated between ATC and various local soaring sites or operations, usually a fixed base operator, (such as Williams Soaring Center, Soaring NV at Minden, NV, or Caracole Soaring at California City, etc.) and where waves are common, whereby sailplanes can fly up into class A airspace with an exemption to the normal  requirement for  the pilot to hold an instrument rating and  the glider to be equipped for instrument flight, in other words, under VFR. .  The agreements are specific to each locality,  and you must study the boundaries of the wave window carefully prior to any flight,  and stay within them at all times. You must request the operator designated in the letter of agreement to open the wave window for you prior to any flight, although sometimes you may be able to contact ATC during flight and request that the window be opened,  but there is no guarantee that ATC will grant your request.   Generally,  while in the wave window, you must maintain VFR conditions,  with 5 mile flight visibility, as well as  1 mile lateral and 1000ft. vertical separation from any clouds.  You must maintain visual contact with the ground at all times.  ATC does not provide any separation of traffic amongst gliders operating in the wave window. They will route other powered aircraft  IFR traffic under their control around the wave window, however.


172. Is a transponder  with Mode C altitude reporting capability required to fly over the ceiling of Class B or Class C airpace and  within the 30 n.m. “veil” surrounding class B airspace?

For most aircraft the answer is YES, the transponder with Mode C is required  for all of these airspaces.  However for aircraft not originally equipped with and electrical system and gliders and balloons, there are some exemptions. 


Aircraft not originally certificated with an engine-driven electrical system or subsequently have not been certified with such a system installed, balloons, or gliders may conduct operations:

In the airspace within 30 nautical miles of the listed airports as long as operations are conducted:

·                     Outside of Class A, B, and C airspace.

·                     Below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport, or 10,000 feet msl, whichever is lower.

·                     Above 10,000 feet msl (excluding airspace above the lateral limits of Class B and C airspace).

So we could operate a glider within the 30 NM veil around class B as long as we stay below the altitude of the ceiling of the class B and under the floor of the class B shelves  as long as we do not actually  enter the class B airspace.  For class C, we can operate beneath the floor of the outer ring.   For both class B and C we still need a transponder with mode C to fly over the top of class B or class C if we are below 10, 000 ft.  Apparently gliders can fly over the top of a class C if they are above 10,000ft.  But this may not be the safest thing to do, in my opinion.  Having a transponder with Mode C  on is at all times is the safest bet, as you will show up on many TCAS collision avoidance equipped aircraft. Airliners have advanced TCAS systems and general aviation aircraft are increasingly being equipped with TCAS also, although their systems may not be as advanced.


173. How many hours must elapse since the consumption of any alcohol before you may act as pilot or crewmember in an aircraft?

Answer: 8 hours.

174. What is the legal blood alcohol limit or breath alcohol limit above which you may not act as a pilot or crewmember of an aircraft?

Answer: Blood alcohol 0.04 g/dl,  breath 0.04 g/210 L of breath.


175. Plan a cross country flight between Hollister, CA airport and Taft, CA airport. Get an official weather briefing from DUAT, DUATS or 1-800-WXBRIEF .   Use the  winds aloft forecast for today  to calculate the effect of the wind on your glider ratio over the ground. Figure out how high you might get using a thermal index of -2 as the likely maximum altitude you might achieve.   Use a 2-33 as your chosen sailplane. Assume a 12:1 baseline glider ratio. What would be your go/no go height if you were to try to use one thermal to get to Taft from Hollister based on the winds aloft forecast?   Where would you expect you might find sources of lift along this route?  What are the special use airspace areas you would need to be aware of?

Answer:  This is a requirement of the PTS for private and commercial pilot glider for the practical test.  You can use a winds aloft forecast that is as close as possible to the route, for example LeMoore NAS  might be good. Salinas might also be good, as well as Paso Robles or San Louis Obisbo, or maybe Vandenberg.  Vandenberg has actual RAOBs which are soundings with weather balloons  rather than forecasts.  that might be consulted.  DUAT will select appropriate airports that have available winds aloft forecasts for the route you have chosen when you get your briefing. I find it convenient to calculate the glide ratios for the upwind and downwind leg in “Miles of altitude” or tenths or miles of altitude. . I.e. 5200ft is one statute mile of altitude. This makes it convenient to calculate distances you can glide over the ground in statute miles once you figure out the glide ratio into the wind and downwind. You may need to remember the conversion of 5280 ft. / statute mile and   approx. 6100 ft. / Nautical Mile,  if you prefer nautical miles.   Then convert the mile or tenths of miles back to feet.  They generally expect you to give one point for a go/no go decision point. The altitude will be very high, on the order of 20,000 ft or  more or less.  This is obviously not realistic. The flight would more likely need to be made in a series of several  go/no go decision points along the route,  at an altitude that would be actually achievable on the day of the flight.  However on the checkride, you only need to show you can do it for one point. They seem to assume you could do it for the case where you break it up in to several legs.