It really makes my stomach turn to take risks with money but in the course of my life very often, however conservatively I am normally, I seem to reach a point where a decision creeps up on me. I think, and talk, and discuss and then finally I make a choice. Very often this has been an impetuous emotional decision that very often leaves me grossly out of pocket.
Buying my first glider was like this, I needed one to complete my training and knew nobody in the sport, knew nothing of what gliders were, which were good and which were bad. In the end I paid massively too much for a Wills Wing Eagle 164, £1850. The only thing that made it palatable was that I was able to pay it off in installments but even so I was robbed.
Buying my Wills Wing U2 160 was however different, I was advised one was for sale while on the train home from work. By the end of the journey I had said I was interested and soon after that we arranged to meet. The owner of the U2 was ready to buy a T2C 154 he and I arranged together with the T2 owner to meet at Fairoaks Airfield in Surrey. Somewhere I knew from when I lived there and where together we were able to arrange the use of a hangar on rainy Saturday. This let us set up the gliders enough to take a view on their quality and after a perfunctory attempt at bartering for price we each sat at the flying clubs computer and transferred the money one at a time like a chain and the deal was done for £2200.
This brings me to the here and now and me thinking about a new glider. As I started to look and to talk with people selling various gliders a momentum grew in me. Talking to my friends I tried to suppress my thoughts by talking about how I was not flying the U2 up to its limits such that I needed a new glider. But then a Wills Wing T2 154 came up on the DHV site and I began to chat about it with its owner who was very helpful and gave the impression to me that he was deliberate and careful, a feeling that gave me confidence in him and his glider.
One day while feeling reckless I simply sent him the money, 2400euro + 250euro for shipping, and then variously sat in shock wondering how to cope with the stress of all the negative possibilities if things went wrong but at the same time irrationally confident it would all be ok. This was challenging to do as he was not that chatty on email so I had to bite my tongue and not bombard him with messages just to comfort me he actually existed.
It arrived the other day in a home made but pleasingly robust box. My very first sight of it was late one evening in the dark when I just could not wait a moment longer. That was a mistake because I was tired and it was dimly lit and things looked out of place resulting in a first impression that it was shagged.
Once I finally assembled it up on Bo Peep in a windy rainy day I found it to be almost perfect, beautifully proportioned and full of promise. My gamble paid off, its all ok as I had intuited from the start and I write this now filled with dreams for all the flights I will do on her. I have been lucky, very.
All need happen now is for me to sell my U2 to someone who will love it as much as I have, although really I dont expect that to happen till well into next year, but it will happen its a lovely glider that flies so well.
[Feb 2013 – As I had hoped someone came along with the first thermal of the year and bought my lovely U2, what a nice end to that chapter even better when I gave the money to my bank who reported that all I had then outstanding was £0.95 – it took a little while to wonder if I could afford to clear that debt – but in the end with a deep breath I instructed them to transfer the funds :-D]