Modern Living: Glider Talk

Like skiers, sailors and surfers, sailplane and hang-glider pilots have their own vocabulary. A few definitions to help neophytes find their way among the updrafts:

Cloud street—A row of cumulus clouds marking thermals.

Diamonds—Highest international soaring awards, earned for altitude gain of at least 16,404 ft., distance beyond 310.7 miles and a flight of at least 186.4 miles to a prede-clared goal. Minimums are in irregular numbers because they are based on metric units.

Diamond mine—A good location to earn diamonds.

Floater—A light sailplane well suited to weak lift conditions often found in the East.

Glass ship—A sailplane made of fiber glass.

Lead sled—A heavy sailplane that...

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