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Landing swan

Great photo!

This could not have taken place in the UK. Only a 737 sized object would be visible at all points in the circuit

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

If you havent read Illusions by Bach (he of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull fame), he recounts the barn storming biplane coming into land flying by God (whoever your God might be). His account for some reason always reminds me of birds. That stunning mastery of lfight that we all seek, but will never achieve, that can only ulitmately come from being so much at one with the element in which you operate that you can feel every nuance of your enviroment. Mind you I have seen swans occasionally arriving in a somewhat less that elegant fashion which might require a report to be made to the CFI if only they came under the authority of EASA.

The best flying experience one can have is paragliding along birds and soaring in same thermal, while both keeping eye contact of each other !

Not all birds are good in flying, here is an example of one coming over mtow, too fast, tailwind and downhill, so sluggish approach and bouncy landing:

Last Edited by Ibra at 09 Jan 22:01
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Gliding in the Alps, I had a vulture come in close to check us (I was with an instructor) out. We made eye contact. Then he went into quite an aerobatic routine. I could have sworn he was challenging us to a flying duel. “You jokers think you’re hot shit! Not!” Then we outstripped him; we were too fast unless he was in a descent. I could have sworn he wanted us to show him what we could do. They seem conscious of their flying.

Last Edited by WhiskeyPapa at 11 Jan 03:58
Tököl LHTL

I had a conversation with Nils Holgersson some years ago and he confirmed the pattern as duck flock SOP.

EDLN, Germany

@Ibra, sorry to be the one to break it to you, but that was a mating ritual.

EGKB Biggin Hill

haha, yes it did feel very intimate but anyway he (or she) was nice and charming

ESSEX, United Kingdom

They trap you, then they squeeze you.

EGKB Biggin Hill

Timothy wrote-

“They then created a visual circuit, which they joined “downwind”. They all followed the same pattern, just like our circuits, and they made “circuit calls”, ie particular, and I thought distinguishable, quacks at different points in the circuit, which were approximately downwind and “turning final”. They did not, however, all land in the same place and “clear the runway.” Instead they adjusted their final approach fairly late on to land alongside each other.”

Having spent a lot of time by water, I can absolutely say I’ve seen this behaviour several times. It’s great to watch.
I also enjoy seeing Swans flying in ‘ground effect’ over water. Sometimes for quite some distance.
In South Africa I was Flexwing flying and had a very large bird of prey formate up close. (probably no more than a couple of meters off the wing tip)
He/She was very relaxed in appearance and was actively looking at us. Stayes quite a while even through some turns which we deliberately softened.
Some birds really do appear very conscious of their flight. Which is cool.

Private strip, Essex (not mine), United Kingdom

GA_Pete wrote:

Having spent a lot of time by water, I can absolutely say I’ve seen this behaviour several times. It’s great to watch.

They should have the same need to assess wind etc. as human pilots do, so this behaviour makes sene.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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