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kennya 12-17-2007 02:45 PM

Sailing and Flying
Sailing and Flying
A friend and I got into a discussion, He clams that, flying and sailing have no common thread. A person either does on or the other, that a flying sailor is rear. I disagree; being a flying sailor I believe there are many of us out there. I am of the opinion that one skill enhances the other. How does the learned panel feel on this? Not asking anyone to bare false witness on this, a true and honest response is solicited, even though a 12 pack is involved.

chucklesR 12-17-2007 03:03 PM

My neighbor is a 737 captain for United, he own's/sails a Dubeck 46ft ketch, and a Macgregor 26m - now some here would argue that owning and sailing a Macgregor serves to say he isn't a sailor, but I've seen him rails down on it thrashing away at proving that aerodynamics and hydraulics combined are a thing of beauty.
I'd argue that sailing and flying gliders is pretty much a common thread..
Then again, I sail a catamaran and some say that's not sailing either.

JohnRPollard 12-17-2007 03:27 PM

We have four pilots in my immediate family. Two of them are accomplished sailors.

Does 50% win you the 12-pack?

Also, my father, with over 20,000 hours in multi-engines, enjoys coming for a sail, but has no real experience or abilities. While he's good crew nonetheless, he has opined more than once that sailing seems more complicated than flying.

Valiente 12-17-2007 05:09 PM

You'll never guess what local Portuguese sailor is also a pilot. He's probably flying right now.

nolatom 12-17-2007 05:13 PM

I've taught sailing as a sideline gig for a few years, and have found aviators to be the easiest to teach regarding why sailboats sail upwind. I know squat about aviation, but understand that for a sailor, "lift" is propulsion, while the ocean holds us "up"; lift for an aviator is what keeps you from falling out of the sky, hence absolutely critical to survival, not just speed.

I'm not saying aviators have a better feel for sailing than others, though they definitely have the understanding of angle of attack, laminar flow, turbulent flow, lift, and stall, when I describe it regarding sails. Some aviators are all thumbs at sailing, some are "naturals"--same thing with non-aviators, in my experience.

I still like that occasional student who catches a puff on a light-air day and accelerates from nada up to 4 knots and really likes it, whose "day" job is flying F-18s at 1800 knots.

I still think learning sailing is more instinctual than intellectual. That said, the aviators start out already understanding (intellectually, if not physically) the science of upwind sailing.

Faster 12-17-2007 05:18 PM

I know quite a few sailors that were/are pilots first, so I think you win, Kennya

BigAssHam 12-17-2007 08:44 PM

I was a live aboard sailor for 8 months and have sailed for many more years. I've also had my private ticket since 1991 although I'm currently not current ( nyuk...nyuk... nyuk ). I'd say that being a sailor helped me when I was a student pilot. Most of learning to fly isn't about flying at all. It's about weather, decision making, aerodynamics and emergency preparedness.

I love doing both. In fact, before the feds put up the stupid ADIZ around Washington, I used to fly from FDK over to the South River ( Lee ) so I could fly over my sailboat!

Lot's of similarities between the two hobbies ( they both require lots of money! ). In fact, I just heard about a sailing club on the Magothy that originally started as a flying AND sailing club. They had one plane and one sailboat for 5 members. Pretty cool - wish I could find one like that now.

Moonfish 12-18-2007 12:18 AM

Kennya - Two words for your friend: Bernoulli's Principle...

We rest our case!

FlyingSailor 12-18-2007 12:56 AM

Why do you think I have this name on here????
I have been Flying for over 39 yrs for a living for 34yrs.

I have been Sailing for 25 yrs.

I'm about to hang up the Flying and go cruising for the next 10 yrs or so.

Lots of skills are interchangeable between Flying Small Planes and Sailing. And Since I fly float planes have even more things in common.

Weather, reading Wind on the water, A Sail is basically a Wing on end. You Change the sail shape for High life or high speed just like wings are different shapes For Low speed high lift or high speed.
Radio Skills can be carried over, Navigation. And donít forget both are fun. And can kill you if you don't know what you are doing.
Both can have many hours of Boredom with short times of excitement when Weather gets bad or you have system Failures.

jerryrlitton 12-18-2007 05:39 AM

Well, I have been flying all of my adult life for a living. However my sailing experience started much more recently but that is irrelevant. The sails of a boat and the wings of a plane do the same thing, just in a different plane right? Both supply lift however you need to know that lift does not automatically mean up.


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