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Wave Flying

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Wave goodbye to the ground.

If the location and conditions are just right, 'wave' formations can occur. When they do you get huge bodies of rising and falling air allowing pilots to potentially achieve incredible altitudes.

How it forms.

When the prevailing winds blow onto high ground (such as the Pennines) the air has nowhere to go but up. As it rolls off the back of the hills the air rebounds off the ground like a bouncy ball. The result is millions of tonnes of air rising and falling thousands of feet.

Serious altitude.

Flying at anything up to 20,000ft opens up a whole set of logistical and airspace challenges for pilots. At anything over 10,000ft you need an oxygen supply and with commercial airways to consider you have to know precisely where you are. Luckily, this type of gliding is only attempted by the most experienced pilots. Look carefully at the instruments below - that's right 20,405ft!
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