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Lesson 5c - Wave

Lesson Objective

Wave Soaring is not common throughout the United States, especially in the flatlands of the midwest and southeast.  However rare wave lift may be for some regions, Skyline Soaring is blessed with 20 to 30 flyable days with wave lift every year.  However, since we operate only on weekends and occasional weekdays, the total number of days we can use this lift is reduced.   During this lesson plan, the student will learn the basics of wave formation, techniques of soaring in wave, and the hazards associated with rotor turbulence and the extreme sink of the lee side of the wave.

Regulatory Requirement

  • Pre-Solo: None
  • Private Pilot Candidate: PTS VI-C, C1(j)


  • Wave Soaring Techniques
  • Wave lift formation
  • Oxygen systems
  • Hypothermia
  • Hypoxia

Completion Standards

Practical Test Standards:  

Objective. To determine that the applicant:

  1. Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to wave soaring.
  2. Locates and enters the area of lift.
  3. Exhibits smooth, coordinated control, and planning to remain within the area of lift.
  4. Uses correct technique to re-enter the area of lift, if lift is lost.
  5. Remains oriented to ground references, wind, and other aircraft.
  6. Recognizes and avoids areas of possible extreme turbulence.
  7. Maintains proper airspeeds.
  8. Coordinates with ATC, as appropriate.

 The student must be able to explain

  • Mechanics of lee-wave formation
  • Meteorological conditions that produce wave lift
  • Hazards of wave flying

Prerequisite Study

Recommended Study

Further Reading

Next Lesson: 6a -- Slack Line
Previous Lesson: 5b -- Ridge
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