By now the foundation for the rest of your training has been laid, and upon that foundation your teachers now build. The dragons have now mastered the basics of flight and are comfortable in the air. Flying with weights and walking on the ground with their riders, the next logical step comes to pass in their sixth month of life when dragon and rider take to the sky. With such preparation the hope is that this memorable moment is, actually, rather uneventful. It will harken back to the dragon's first solo flight as it lasts but a short loop around the inner bowl, and builds longer each day until by the end of the month you can fly with your mate as long as they can safely stay in the air. After that all the drills we have been practicing on the ground move to the air. If it seemed hard before, it sure doesn't get any easier now! Formations are of particular interest as the months go on and every pair will get to fly in every wing position until they could do it blindfolded … in fact you may have to!
Communication shifts too, since it is not practical to shout from dragon to dragon and rather silly for the dragons to pass along the more basic commands… hand signals come into play. What might have seemed a game before now becomes a rigorous drill and those who misread the hand signals given in practice will find themselves with extra chores in the evenings.
Of a more practical nature, weyrlings will learn how to safely load and secure gear and various items to their dragon, more advanced straps and with a night session every fourth night, astronomy and navigating by the stars will be squished into your crowded brains.
Your Life This Week (Briefly)
What's happening with your dragon this week:
In terms of growth, not too much - the staff will be stressing that it's just as important to keep oiling now that they're not growing as visibly.
Exams are finished, so there's a certain amount of kicking back and relaxing going on. Choose your own results - good or bad - but if you've chosen to fail, your character will be studying for the make-up exams for the next little while!
First mounted flight: Those straps you made are coming in handy, and for the first time we're into manned spaceflight! There'll be sessions on how to make sure you're buckled in right, and then with a rider at each end, your first mounted flight lesson!
Catch us for solo flight practice.
Again, from last week: Practicing formations - this can be done in a group. Obviously more fun if someone's constantly messing it up and marching in the wrong direction, and someone's trying to read it out of their manual and colliding with people…
Exercise! Just because your dragons get to lounge around between flights doesn't mean you've stopped running those circuits.