Tak smeialsia chto perevodit' ne v sostoianii
What floppy pilots think about stiffies
Stiffy pilots are a bunch of scruffily dressed, monosyllabic real-alers who fly rusting, dented Heath-Robinson affairs prone to inverting, folding and just plain breaking due to neglect or too many home-made repairs. Their gliders are composed of scaffolding poles held together with four-inch nails, ring pulls, jumbo paper clips and 100-amp fuse wire, all covered with a tarpaulin liberally stained by most bodily fluids known to man. Not only that, they measure distances in miles and their archaic instruments usually look like brown bakelite tellies.
Stiffy pilots are rude and sometimes aggressive, and not just when misunderstood. Their clothes come from Oxfam, they stink and smoke roll-ups. They are all old and fat, have wives and loads of children. They are on the dole and on the scrounge or they are builders or something to do with computers (probably knocked-off ones).
They spend hours carrying heavy loads up hills like pack mules, hours straightening bits of metal and shoving them randomly into various orifices, and hours sitting around watching and pointing at the hordes of beautiful paragliders flying around. Then they fly to the bottom, crash, spend hours packing the bits away, shove the thing on top of some ancient transit or Peugeot 405 and drive down to the nearest pub to spend hours wasting good beer, talking about the price of aluminium and complaining about all the paradanglers that got in their way and stopped them coring that 5-up that would have got them to the coast. Half of them then say that their lasses could fly better than any floppy pilot about; the other half say that if their lasses took up flying floppies they would divorce them. At this point any discord is defused by someone saying, 'Well, our lass can fly better than you anyway', and everyone agrees.
When they do fly they race about, flying in front of paragliders and causing deflations and flying at them to get them out of their way. When it's scratchy they always swoop in on every paraglider that ever finds a thermal, spiralling upwards at some ridiculous angle. They never look where are going and, worse still, never indicate which way they are going to turn, especially when banked over. Invariably they nearly hit you when you join their thermal.
Stiffy pilots' radio etiquette is abysmal - no call signs, no polite requests, no signing off and they even swear on air. A typical overheard broadcast would be:
'Weer's tha gone, Chalkline, weerathi?'
'Ope, Ope, overope!'
'What's tha doinoverope?'
'Guinup! Weer's Mark?'
'Overope an'all - an' amabivthi guinup!'
'Abuvusguinup? Aaa! Can tha see Danny?'
'E's overeeran'all but e's missed it! Danny, Danny, it's behindthi - behindthi!'
'Mark! Yer brekkin'up. It'swot? Wotsweer?'
And so on (names may have been changed to protect the guilty). In short they are akin to the wart-hogs of the Serengeti - singularly lacking in taste, breeding, social etiquette and control of bodily functions who, because of their inwardly spiralling gene pool and evolutionary challenged minds, cannot and never will understand the sublime serenity of hygienic Japaustriodiagoribbed, cross-braced, 10:1, Bolli-Papesque, etc, etcS high-tech para-flying!
What stiffy pilots think about floppies.
Floppy pilots are a bunch of overdressed, overpaid, middle-management, professional type wallahs who fly bits of colourful rag and string and seem happy with a straight-line depreciation-to-zero in three years. Their crappy 10:1 (alleged) max. glide bags of washing are prone to tucking in any decent turbulence, going backwards in any decent wind, snapping lines in any decent G-loading and have an occasional habit of Christmas wrapping their owners (just when things ought to get interesting!) and depositing them with a crump onto the ground - that they should never have left in the first place.
They never ever turn but just bob about exactly in front of take-off, exhibiting various degrees of panic. You can always tell when a floppy pilot is scared by how far his legs are apart and by how often he looks up at the canopy. They must all have bad necks because they never ever look round where are going and always look very surprised when they suddenly find themselves face to face with a real glider.
In thermals they just bang on the brakes and go up like stink until they get their nerve back - usually the moment they realise they are not going to have some catastrophic collapse - and then start to weave about and up and down until, at about two grand, they start circling. And no matter how many people are coring the thermal, they will always turn the wrong way. Everybody decides for safety's sake to find another thermal, leaving the contra-rotating floppy alone, skying out and thinking he has just burnt off the area's finest stiffies. If only he knew!
If ever you find a thermal first, you will notice that just when you have picked the most amazingly correct time to turn and achieved the most aerodynamic angle of bank, coupled with the correct degree of pitch and mega-tuned amount of VBS just when the vario is a-singing and you are going to go a long way and the cloud street is 100 miles long and it is going to get better and just when you are absolutely committed to the mother of all turns. What do you see appearing from over your inside leading edge, legs wide apart, eyes firmly fixed upwards, mobile phone in one hand, flying manual in the other? Joe Floppy! And why, oh why, do floppies always converge on your thermal exactly half a turn behind you? It's not as if they don't know what you're going to do.
You've spent all day sharking around the sky searching for space between them and looking for some lift. You hit a really nice thermal, and what do you do? Fly straight through it? I don't think so! So why, when to turn is to stay in and go up, (and presumably it's the same for floppies) are they amazed that we are less than enamoured with them for parking up exactly where we want to turn?
Their radio transmissions are unbelievable. A typical conversation heard on the hill would go like:
'OK this is Tango Wildebeast Apple Tango, to the person holding down their PTTS nobody can hear anybody on the radios so will you please stop transmitting thank you. Over and out.'
In short they are akin to the mosquitoes of the flying world, a swarming, retrograde step back to a time before real wings, when invertebrate floppiness was in fashion. Mossies who, because of their small brains and lack of awareness, cannot and dare not contemplate the evolutionary leap to Javamoetmega 15:1 turbulence-muncheraluminocarbotopless high-tech hang gliding!