27 April 2009

155k Goal Flight

.......well nearly!

I had a pleasant flight on Sunday from the Newark aerotow.

The sky was looking great from 10am but we had a bit of a late start - it is a fair drive from York – and we didn't get airborne until early afternoon.

You can see from the pictures that the sky looked amazing but the clouds were not working as you would expect with only 200 to 300 ft a minute climbs with the occasional 6-8 up's of super smooth one handed turning.

We set a goal to Whitby which as I think on was a mistake. I have made Whitby before but as its a seaside town and so on a good day will have sea breezed! A Pickering goal next time I think?

The wind on the airfield was SSE so would be blowing us into the airspace that splits N and S so we would have to stay East of the Derwent then West of the Humber bridge to avoid Humberside airspace.

The tow was without problems (cheers Bob) and I pinged of at 1800' in a 2up. Didn't get to base and was thinking that the ground would meet me before the next climb but thankfully that was not the case. Another 1-2up under an amazing black bottom perfect cloud but again not to base so off we go again cross wind to the next amazing looking cloud and again 2up! This time I was able to take it to the top at 5500 and boy it was cold. Must have been freezing at base. Now I have more options and decide to glide through a blue hole and half way get my first 6up in the blue! I keep looking up and see the birth of a Cu that I meet and wish it well and on my way I go again.

Now I can see the Humber estuary in the distance and a small gliding club. A couple of gliders on the ground and only one flying but not turning. I fly over around 3000ft under a lovely black bottomed cloud that is hardly working at all only ½ up zero – oh dear where to go now? Can't go too far to the West or the East because of airspace and to the North direct is blue and the Humber is pretty wide at this point so we hanger almost 90degree West towards Scunthorpe steelworks. I get to the lowest part of the flight (apart from the end) at almost 2000ft and just dribble along in a ½ up and head again towards the steelworks where I can see them pouring moulton steel out in the open – its like the surface of the sun incredibly bright. I then bimble into a 3-4up which I take up to base which is now 6000ft and colder. I then glide directly over the steelworks to the next best looking cloud and top up en route in a beautiful smelly 6up from the works. I can now head north again to cross the Humber as the sky all starts to fill in, the big blue holes are rapidly disappearing but there is a thin strip directly of where I am of sunshine on the ground. Half way across the Humber I get a beautiful super smooth 4up which takes me back to base again at 6200ft.

The Humber - looking East towards the Humber Bridge

Now wondering where to go. Do I fly home to York? Or do I continue to the goal? I went for the goal.

Its now a slow, slow glide – squeaking all I can from the glider bimbling into ½ups and zeros. The wind now is SSW 13-15mph. So am getting a perfect blow up the backside. I scramble along wishing I'd flown to York and landed in my back garden as the sky is now totally overcast and over to the east I can see a seabreeze front. I've been in this situation a few times before and this situation is fine as long as its in the flats but as soon as it hits the Moors and the high ground it destroys the front and does all sorts of strange things. Which is exactly what happened!

I get to where the tendril cloud was but has now gone and it is very very rough with nothing going up. I fly along and it smooths out and I'm low and picking out fields to land still with 13ish mph of wind showing on the instrument and then bang I'm into an extremely rough 6up which almost turns the glider over sideways on two occasions. I hang on and then suddenly its gone, I search around but can't find it and so go for a glide down wind and I am now motoring over the ground. I turn above the field I aim to land in and realise I'm drifting backwards! I pull a little VG, maintain and just literally come down vertically fighting the glider all the way with really turbulent air – perfect landing without incident – glad to be on the ground at that point. The wind is so strong SSE I can hardly walk with the glider.

I was 19km short of Goal at Whitby!
Flight time 2hrs 50mins
Total altitude gain of 22,080ft
Max altitude of 6,108ft

It was an extremely enjoyable flight and the Moyes RS 3.5 is performing very well. I am getting more and more comfortable with every flight. I am getting it more to my liking now with very neutral coordinated turns as I find high siding very tiring on a long flight and have got the nice light bar pressure - maybe too light?;-) Just need a little hill soaring with top landing for the final tweaks.

A good day from the aerotow:
Andy Buchan flew to York – brilliant flight for him on his WWT2
Steve Leeman (Moyes S4) landed at Beverley – First flight from Newark (I think he'll be coming back for more)

Aerial photos courtesy of Steve Leeman as I foolishly didn't take my camera :-(

Thanks again for the tow Bob and a big thanks to Doris too who arrived just as I finished packing away the glider and just in time to get to the pub for a Sunday Lunch and pint of Real Ale. A perfect end to a near perfect day.

21 April 2009

Just a thought :-)

(Is it Julia in the photo?)

The Chabre 2009 blog refers to the recent team GB selection issues. Dave Glover has given a VERY valid comment that would ease problems in the future for a lot of teams/countries.

David Glover said...

"I would like to suggest for the future - World's Organizers allow any pilot in the top 50 World Ranking is allowed a spot to compete if they do not make their national team - they would be eligible only for the individual medal but their score would not be able to be part of any team scoring. Foolish not to do everything possible to allow for the best pilots to attend.”

One has to question the purpose of the WPRS sometimes. Pilots spend a lot of time, money and effort trying to climb the slippery ladder to prove their ability and worth and to be excluded from the “main” events can be, or IS very demotivating. Most of the top 50 places will already be given to chosen individuals which would leave the few left with a chance of competing against the rest and hopefully proving themselves as worthy pilots and gaining much needed experience in high level comps of which there is only 1 a year (The Pre-Worlds and Worlds) unlike the womens who get 2 worlds!

The extra pilots would of course not be able to score for their team but fly as individuals. It is my opinion that we should be encouraging a competitiveness from the keen pilots who for whatever reasons do not get chosen to be on their national team - it should be a fair field not a select field!

Anyone else agree?

15 April 2009

UK Nationals : Ager, Spain 19-25 July 2009

The UK Hang Gliding Nationals will take place in the same place and directly after the Pre Euros in Ager, Spain between 19 and 25 July 2009.

Register for the UK Nationals HERE
The entry fee is £90.00 or €130.00.

13 April 2009

Day 5 & Prizegiving

The day was canned today. There was a strong tail and cross wind and when the thermals did come up the front it was very windy and gusty. The organisers set a task at 99.7km but much to the relief of many pilots they canned the day - you could tell this by the cheers which went up.

The Austrian team was incredibly strong and will probably kick some a*** in France this year.

We've just returned from an excellent prizegiving - The winners were:
The results are here


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Photos Day 4




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12 April 2009

Bassano - Day 4

Lovely day today another 122k task with (I think) no accidents?

Starting to get more comfortable on the new glider. The task was super today and I made lots of right decisions at the beginning and in the middle but not at the end – Doh! My numbers were wrong and I got a 20% penalty for landing short.

Its so nice going to score and having a chat with the scorers, sharing a beer and today spare ribs – there always seems to be something to eat/nibble when we are in the queue and it makes it a sociable occasion. Irene and Christina who are doing the scoring are superb.

Last day tomorrow not sure about the forecast?

The results are here

Other bloggers are:

Bassano more random photos




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Bassano Random Photos




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Bassano - Italy '09

We arrived Sat 4th – sorry for the late update, we've been really busy (and I couldn't get internet – that's my excuse).

It's been flyable every day since we arrived. First day GR had a top to bottom as he was itching to fly!

Leading up to the comp which started on Thursday we had 2 days with over 8,000ft base and very difficult to get down.

The comp organisation is absolutely superb. Nice landing field and take off is very nice too (but could do with some trees chopping down).

3 Tasks so far all over 110k – lots in goal every day.

Been doing LOTS of tweaking with my new glider and trying to get used to the difference between Moyes and Aeros – am nearly there I think. With lots of help and advice from Gerolf (without his help I would have been stuck) which was especially needed as in order to get the glider in time for this comp it came out of the factory not test flown.

Day 2 there was a mid air between Gunter from Austria and Fabien from France. Both landed safely and didn't have a punch up in the field..... but Gunter's glider was torn on the top wing tip. It was a brand new sail that got ripped thankfully he had his old sail in the car. Aeros 1 – Moyes 0.

Day 3 Fabien from France (a different Fabien) hit a tree on landing and was taken to hospital with concussion. Olav from Norway was also concussed on landing and taken to hospital. Meanwhile another pilot was sucked into cloud and pulled such violent G that something broke on his glider but he carried on flying. When he landed he found the keel was broken! Amongst the free flyers there was a mid air between a HG and PG. The PG flew OK and away but the HG flipped over and landed upside down on the top of the mountain with chute half deployed (both pilots unharmed). Also amongst the free flyers there was an atos that managed to rip his wing before take off and didn't notice.

When considering all these accidents we need to consider the volume of flying that is going on here – the number of HG and PG's in the comp + free flyers. GR reckons 1,000 take offs a day!

Day 4 today.

1 April 2009

Anew girl in my life, or is it a bloke;-*

Found this in the garden this afternoon so as no one was about I quickly folded it up and will look after it for a while in my garage:¬) I wonder how different it will be compared to the Aeros's that I have been flying for 10+ years? Mmmmmmm.

Bassano next but the weather don't look too good at the moment. Will put the snowboard in just incase and Gordy will be putting a few models in. We should be setting off tommorrow on the overnight ferry to Rotterdam and then a days full drive to Italy. Oh joy.