Weyrlinghood: Week Four

Main Tasks Of The Week:

Tasks Carried On From Previous Weeks:

First Mounted Flight

Take Offs and Touch Downs - Just like the unmanned flight, a dragon must practice taking off and touching down with the added weight of their rider. It's not a considerable difference, though it is necessary to the unity of both rider and dragon to practice these. It is required that the pair take off and touch down five times successfully before they are considered capable for the next step.

Five Minute Flights - As with the unmanned flight, pairs will be allowed to fly in five minute intervals to ensure that the rider keeps a level head and that the dragon is not strained. The altitude is to be kept to bowl height until the weyrlingmaster staff approves the team for a higher flight. As with the unmanned flight, these intervals allow both rider and dragon to rest. It is assumed that by the time the weyrling rider manages their five minute flights, the excitement of the rider will be lessened, so that they can approach the longer flights with a clear head.

Extended Flights - Once a rider pair has been approved for extended flights, they are allowed to fly at what ever altitude they desire pending they don't do anything idiotic such as stunt flying. Their flight range is also expanded to that of the patrol area of Half Moon Bay. If a rider allows their dragon to become strained or if their dragon takes an injury, the pair will be grounded from flight. It is the responsibility of the rider to ensure the dragon does not over work themselves now that the boundries have been lifted. Weyrlings are to go in pairs on extended flights or if they cannot find another weyrling to venture out with, they are to stay in communication at all times with one of the weyrlingstaff.

Aerial Formation Flying

Specific Formation Flying - Once a group of riders have accomplished the manned flight, they will be practicing formations that they learned in previous months from studying in a practical lesson. The most common of these specific formation drills would be the 'V-shape', the align left/right, and the straight wing. The weyrling riders will literally ascend into the sky and get into formation. They will fly in straight lines in these formations until each member of the formation knows how to 'switch' positions and how to keep in their positions without losing altitude or having their dragons touch wings.

Group Maneuvers - As the group of weyrlings learns how to hold their positions in various wing formations, they will endure aerial various drills that teach and test their ability to stay in position as the group goes through maneuvers of inclines, declines, and turn-abouts. Once the group is successful under the leadership of one of the weyrlingstaff, each weyrling in the group will take on the role of 'wingleader' and guide their wing through these drills.


Aerial Visualizing - Now that the weyrling dragon can fly with the rider aboard, it is important for the pair to learn how to visualize. A ranked member of the Islet wing will teach which elements to use to form a *between* reference. Some elements that are variable to change daily, like the weather, will be discouraged from use. However, elements such the sun's location or the location of the stars at a given time will be used. Other references that will be taught to the weyrling riders will be how the land looks from an aerial perspective and using height from the bowl to determine altitude to further using land marks like a cove or the lay out of hold buildings. The successful between reference consists of knowing the current time of day by using sun/star indicators, knowing the season the region currently is in, focusing on a land mark from an aerial perspective, and detailing the area around the land mark as much as possible - further broken down into Time, Location, Altitude.

Map and Star Chart Study - Weyrling riders will be introduced to studying maps for geological formations and star charts. Quite often Journeymen/women of the Star Craft will be asked to help teach the weyrling riders the star formations that can be seen from Half Moon Bay and how they vary depending on location on Pern. As well, weyrling riders will learn how to tell time (if they don't already know) by the height and location of the sun.

Land Mark Locating - The WLM/AWLM's will be teaching the weyrling riders the differences between good land mark locating and poor land mark locating. An example of a good land mark locating would be the shape of a mountain and or cliff that surrounds a hold in comparison to a forest or a single building of the hold. Weyrling riders are warned that simple elements such as a building, forest, or farmers field could change drastically over night. It is therefore preached to the weyrling riders that they learn at least a couple land marks for each location, to ensure that if one has changed that their lifemate can still *between* successfully with the second.

Physical Strength Training

Flying - Weyrlings riders should encourage their dragons to fly after they have successfully completed the unmanned drills. Otherwise, riders should continue to urge their dragons to walk and get as much exercise as possible.

Wing Flares - As a good pre-flight stretch, a weyrling rider must have their dragon do a series of wing flares to prep the wing joints before flight.

Stretching - Both rider and dragon need to stretch. Weyrling riders have to make sure at the beginning and end of the day, that they are doing stretches. The physical requirements of the upcoming sevendays will test the body, so it is required that each rider stretches.

Jogging/Running - If there is time during the day, weyrling riders are encouraged to go running or jogging together in groups. Also, this exercise prepares the lungs for the months ahead.

Arm Strength Training - The traditional way to strengthen one's arms is firestone sacking, which is, filling a bag full of firestone. In the case that Weyrs now treat firestone as rare, due to the lack of thread, rocks can be used in the stead of firestone. Other techniques of arm strength training is encouraged. Heavy objects can be used as dumb-bells. One's dragon can now be used to practice pull ups and chin-ups.

Dragon Care

Feeding - See dragon hunt above.

Oiling - Weyrling riders must keep up with oiling.

Defecation - Weyrling riders continue to clean up after their dragon, no matter where the dragon is at the time of defecation. Riders now must ensure their dragon doesn't fly out of bounds and defecate there, because it is still required that the riders clean up the mess - anywhere. Even if the dragon goes on the rim of the bowl, the rider must do something to clean it up.

Sleeping - Most dragons by this stage have become accustomed to sleeping patterns and the weyrling rider may or may not sleep when their dragon does. Weyrling riders have to ensure they get enough sleep to focus on the tasks ahead of them.

Strap Making

Maintenance - General maintenance is required of all equipment. Straps will have to be re-made constantly depending on the growth rate of one's dragon. Straps will also be checked for safety before and after mounted drills.

History and Current Events

Stay Involved - Weyrling riders are expected to stay involved in current news, while studying or learning about history. It is a task that is to fill one's spare time though current news and or events will be important to the daily life of any dragonrider and therefore the weyrling riders will be tested.

Continue Reading: Week Five
Go Back: Week Three

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