Eye in the Sky
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Monday 30th December 2002
Report from Craig Byrne
The good things come to those that wait! 'he he'
After the rain and the wind eased today I managed a pleasant hours flying at Barton. It was still really wet and muddy at normal take off spot so moved along a bit to a clean spot, and pre-flighted everything on a bench. I then had a hard job fighting wing up through rotor but least it stayed clean, then flew down to golf course end and got back into flying with wing over fever!
The wind kept dropping and going more westerly, so I landed on the beach in a dry spot to pack up!
It was great just to get my feet off ground again after a 4 week lay off..
Saturday 28th December 2002
Report from Matt Charlesworth
Just a few words to fill out yours and Gary's words.
Gary had a true dilemma and I chose the other option after John Alder assured me that there was enough north in the wind to make Bell flyable. I made this decision half way to Kimmeridge after talking to Gary and ZZ who were at the takeoff there.
After a very welcome lift up to the (Note to self: Buy a 4x4 next time) top (note to Matt - it only just made the 4th trip to the top! How about a tractor? D), I rigged and with David's assistance had a very pleasant 45mins in windy but smooth enough conditions. The Bowl wasn't working but I got half way to Bulbarrow in slope lift and a few wafts of something warmer. I got about 460ft ATO at best. I should have flown again as the sun came out later but I was knackered after my first flight in 10 weeks so quit whilst I was ahead.
Roll on 2003!
Report from Mike Adkins
Not having flown since 4th October, I couldn't believe it when the wind went NW and it wasn't raining. Got the car stuck on the track (don't even think about it!) and walked up to meet Dave D and one or two other intrepid pilots, including Matt, the hangie pilot. Evidently Craig had gone home because it was too strong - and he wasn't entirely wrong! However, it eased a little (17mph) and at 13:45 a small group of us took off.
I can't pretend I enjoyed it: penetration was very slow - even on full bar - and descent was very slow - even with the ears in. But it wasn't cold and it was instructional: (I really must colour my Cs, so I can find 'em a bit faster!) After half an hour I'd had enough, but, true to form, as I regained launch, the wind eased. I didn't feel disposed to unpack and start again, and when I finally drove away there were about half a dozen wings in the air.
But I'd got my fix: almost certainly the last for 2002!
Report from Gary Dear
A classic dilemma day, 270 degrees and a toss between the coast or Bell (Whitesheet not an option) Phil Smith and I decided to stay at the coast and were joined by Richard Mosley at Swire Head.
Me being nominated as wind dummy (again) set off to the blue yonder. Most of Kimmeridge seemed to work well and topped out at just over 500 ft ato, Had some good flying close to the hill and a game of follow my leader with Richard (Funny how he always seems to be the leader and Iím always left getting tossed around in his wake!)
All 3 top landed successfully, (allthough Philís landing supplied us with a little bit of amusement) and off down the pub. Probably the last flyable day of 2002!
Report from Dave Daniels
Heh! I knew I could over-power those almighty forces!
Woke up and watched TV for an hour, then looked out of the window. Tip for paraglider pilots .... check out of the window FIRST!
Checked on www.wendywindblows.com and, whilst Compton is off the air, Westbury was giving NW @ 11mph - so, checked everything into the car and drove to Bell Hill.
On the approach I thought "I bet that path is muddy/slippery!" and, whilst standing at the gate looking at the quagmire on the other side I saw Mike Bennett doing a motorised ballet as he returned down the track in his 4x4!
"It's a bit fresh!" he proclaimed, as the low clouds whistled across the sky above his head, "...but if you want to give it a try I'll drive you up to the top." I parked the Alfa.
At the top is was anemometers at the ready and the spinning fans caused speeds of between 14mph and 22mph. (Westbury was still giving 7-14 and averaging 11mph!). After half an hour of contemplating the situation, and with 18mph being shown, it was time to call it a day, and we slithered back down the track.
Almost about to drive in through the gate was Matthew Charlesworth with hang-glider on his Mercedes, and after Mike and I indicated that - provided he could get up there, it was perfect for him - Mike offered to drive him and his wing to the top - so I went back up for the ride. As we loaded the wing into Mike's car, Craig Byrne walked down from his parked car and, with an air of supreme confidence, indicated that HE thought it was flyable! I put my wing back into Mike's car.
As we slithered back up the track, Craig was preparing to launch from low down the hill. At the top the anemometer was cranking back up to 20/24mph. When I walked down to Craig with the news, he packed up, and came to the top of the Hill to reconsider the situation, and left soon after. (Mistake, Craig!)
Mike and I acted as nose-men (and providers of moral support) for Matt, who launched into a fresh wind and did what hangies do best ..... fly when it's too much for the floppies!
After some 20 minutes or so, Mike and I agreed that it was pointless for us to continue our version of "hanging about", and he pointed the 4x4 back down toward the gate.
At the bottom was Charles Campion-Smith was about to walk up as Mike Adkins was extricating his car from the quagmire (Weren't the line of cars parked there an indicator, Mike?).
Charles stopped and chatted and we talked about the conditions that had appeared to ease - but it's always less windy at the gate - isn't it? Charles wandered up the hill, Mike reappeared after parking his car and he too chatted and we again contemplated the conditions. Surely the wind had eased, hadn't it?
Mike drove Mike A and I back up the track once more, and it was looking OK. Mike B launched followed by myself, Charles C-S and Mike A.
Within some 10 minutes or so, I decided that living with speed-bar on almost all the time was not my kind of flying, and - at the same time that Matt was lugging his wing down the track on foot - I demonstrated a backward landing in the top field - followed at a variety of intervals by Charles, Mike A and finally Mike B.
One of those interludes followed where several pilots stand around in indecisive mood trying to decide whether to go home of wait in the hopes that the wind would ease.
The lingering paid off! Rory Lynch arrived and launched - followed by the rest of us - in light winds that had backed off a little to the West.
Three months without my feet being off the ground was GREAT!
Wednesday 25th December 2002
Report from Dave Daniels
OK - so that's definitive proof that God hates us!
The FIRST non-working day that's been flyable for three months - and the Christmas lunch was on the table!
Did anybody decide that getting one's feet off the ground was worth incurring the wrath of the Christmas dinner chef?
Merry Christmas! Let's hope 2003 is ballistic on every one of it's 365 days!
(PS - I hear aviation was committed at Ringstead! I hate whoever it was! D)
Sunday 24th November 2002
Report from Gary Dear
Well whoever would have thought it!?
After a fantastic morning display of lightning, thunder and heavy hail, I thought I would give ZZ a call to see if he wanted to go flying. After a brief discussion of me not being mad (Well not totally) I went and got the glider and headed to Phil's.
Ballard Down was the place to be. We arrived with a 20/24mph at TO at 1.25pm. We couldn't get our gliders off the car quick enough and, me nominating myself as the wind dummy, quickly set off on my rumour.
The lift was a plenty and smooth, topping out at about 400ft over the cliffs. My first soaring flight at Ballard and Phil's best flight there on his HG. We both felt pretty happy that we got 2 hours in on what appeared to be such a terrible weekend.
Where were all the other Hangies?
Friday 15th November 2002
Report from Steve Auld
Preparing to go flying at Bournemouth, Adrian was a little perplexed to see an atom bomb go off over Ringwood. Undeterred, we went flying anyway and had some excellent fun all afternoon. We being myself with Adrian B. on the red Matrix, Brian M. on the blue Bandit and Luigi on his new white Oasis. (Are we sure it wasn't Richard W failing to make the runway at Hurn? DD).
Eye in the Sky - October 2002
Eye in the Sky - September 2002
Eye in the Sky - August 2002 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - August 2002 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - July 2002 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - July 2002 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - June 2002 - Part 3
Eye in the Sky - June 2002 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - June 2002 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - May 2002
Eye in the Sky - April 2002 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - April 2002 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - March 2002
Eye in the Sky - 2001 roundup
Eye in the Sky - September/November 2001
Eye in the Sky - July/August 2001
Eye in the Sky - June 2001
Eye in the Sky - March to May 2001
Eye in the Sky - Feb 2001
Eye in the Sky - September and October 2000
Eye in the Sky - August 2000
Eye in the Sky - July 2000
Eye in the Sky - June 2000
Eye in the Sky - May 2000