Eye in the Sky Feb 2006
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Thurs 23 Feb 2006
Report by Sites Officer
Wind had subsided in comparison to the last few days? So off to the Mystic Celtic Site. Made report to Site Phone to say on the hill & flyable. I had nearly an hour of lifty conditions but it was FREEZING cold and the snow flurries had me landing & calling those en-route to say "GO HOME".
Just limbering up for the Italian Job in Bassano with "Luigi".
Sat 18 Feb 2006
Report by RW
A thoroughly odd day weather wise. On at Ballard, not on at Ballard TTB
for Russell W, Sean L & Dave W.
Arrived at Portland E after lunch to meet up with our visitors from OZ, Steve & Dee.
Tad top end & what looked like gust fronts out in the English Channel.
After an hour of parawaiting and a small shower with rainbow, Steve demonstrated the "A"s & "D"s launch technique. We were impressed, but not too concerned about having a fly. Nevertheless, Steve's competence enabled him to have a successful maiden flight at one of our most "technical" sites. Adjourned to the Chesil Cove pub for a pint.
Report by Alastair Florence
After lunch it looked a bit to much East still so i did some gardening, by 1545 I was fed up with that and noticed the neighbours weather vane was pointing just Southside of East. On Ballard estate there felt like just enough south to at least launch so I walked up. Launching straight away as time was getting on I pushed up the cliff face barely scratching the cliff top. After about 5mins in the bowly bit at the end I had gained only about 30 ft so decided to try the hotels.
The wind was light ish but enough to enjoy some soft gentle soaring the full length of the lower cliffs with no fear of a blow back. Very pleasant end to the day and something for the dog walkers to point at.
Fri 17 Feb 2006
Report by Jeff Davies
With the weather forecast not looking too hopeful today, I decided to
do some work at school, it being half-term! However, looking out of the
window at the amount of blue sky and fluffy white clouds over Southampton
this morning, I again checked on the weather and found that the (westerly)
wind-speed had dropped. So, I nipped home and collected the gear and headed
for Whitesheet. I obtained permission to fly and was told that there were
no 'crops' to worry about because the land is in 'set-aside' status. I
was the only one flying during the afternoon and had a number of good
flights and top-landings. The wind was smack on the hill and varying in
strength from 12 to 18 km/h, with smooth conditions. I only managed 300
feet ato but it was most enjoyable. When the wind speed picked up after
4.15 I did a top to bottom, landing near the gate, where I had parked
Report by Steve Bamlett
Packed my wing away when arrived home as the forcast was not good, so under the stairs it went. Woke this morning to find blue skies and and gentle WSW wind. A quick call to Windy and all was well for a short trip to Butser Hill.
Arrived at about 10am to find a gentle 12mph-14mph bang on the hill. The forcast was that it was to increase so no time to lose and very soon i was pushing out in front of the hill and as the sun rained down there was some nice thermic activity to be had.
Managed to have a 45mins fly followed by a 25 min before the wind stated to pick up. Just goes to show that you can never write off a day. No pics but I hope someone else flew somewhere.
Tue 14 Feb 2006
Report by Steve Bamlett
Just got back from a short trip to the Med and whilst in Barcelona decided to take 4 days off to visit a small town on the edge of the Pyrenees.
The town is called Ager and only has about 400 full time residents. Made
contact though the web and there are two schools there both speak a little
English but since then I have made an English contact. Anyway arrived
to meet contact and could not believe my eyes when I saw his friend's
vehicle who would give me a lift to the top of the mountain. See 1st Pic
(Those of you who know me will get this!!) anyway this place is a jewel
and is only just starting to become a regular place for flyers but it
wont be long. Extremely cheap to stay here 13 euros a night and only 2.5
hrs drive from Barcelona.
Day 1 was dampened a bit due to the cloud cover over the town but it became evident that this was unusual so we drove though the cloud to take off and once above the cloud could stay on the ridge.Pic2 The ridge run for about 8km but then you push out over the valley or over the back towards Heaven.
The site takes a SSE, S, WSW, or SW but in nil wind the top to bottom is still a good fly. With a landing field by the bar / restaurant. there is a North site but it needs to be very stable as the wind that comes from the Pyrenees can be awesome.
All in all the people were very friendly and food is great and cheap so too is the beer.
Day2,Same as day1 but more fun.
Day3 and 4 As the cloud lifted i was clear why this place has so much to offer. You can drive all the way to take off and the lodge at the bottom runs a regular service. the take off site is well laid out with most free flying using the top take off and the tandems and schools at the lower. I will be going back here and hope to take some Wessex mates with me as know i have some good contacts.
Mon 13 Feb 2006
Report by RW
Ringstead 1100hrs On the hill & 14mph, thanks Gaz! Grey looking & a little
dampness in the air but definetly flyable at the "Office". Tried to inform
Site Phone, difficulties, so contacted John B.
Must have worked as others turned up to fly. Two trips out to the cliffs, a gentle struggle the first time as it was not as bouyant as usual with orographic threatening all the while. Wind eased & changed direction to South.
Others: Gaz M, Stuart M, Mike D,Marcus W, Derek S,Harry D & the Womens' Rep Gill Le G, Wot No Char? Whitehorse 1400hrs On the hill & eminently flyable. Took advantage of the Bowl to save the legs & soared beautifully to the main ridge, it picked up a "tad" but stayed out in front, the silaged fields giving some extra lift.
Others: Keith B, Gaz M, Marcus W, Mike Drew,Gill Le G ( wanting a haircut & streaks) Not bad two sites in a day when it was not really expected.
N.B. The track at Whitehorse is not too good, be aware vehicles may become"STUCK"
Sat 11 Feb 2006
Report by Richard Mosley
Had to take my wee Lad to scout camp at Lulworth. Wind off to the south
so decided to fly to Ringstead from Durdle door. Had a grand time for
a few hours, but really fancied a thermal. I could see the posse in the
distance circling up at the white horse so packed up to go over; met Phil
ZZ at the car park, so back to the top for some more flying, later it
went slightly westerly and we saw Grant, sean Lovat appear at Ringstead
with a few wings attempting the take off ridge.
Report by jon harvey
Received call from John Pinchin, saying that Westbay was working, so down to the bay, and yes it was well on. Updated hotline and made a few calls, sorry to those I missed out.
Launched from W/B and joined up with JP, only the two of us at this time. Eventually another arrived at W/B (Mike Penny ) so I was later informed. Others arriving at Eype were Garry Franklin and Keith Boniface, subsequently others arrived, included Mark Fisher, Paul Nibbs, Patrick ( London), Dinks, Martyn H, and a total of 20 wings were seen along the Coast. Many made Golden Cap and JP, even made it to Charmouth, and most of the return. Sorry having not mentioned everybody, as only saw you from the air. Several Wessex members (mentioned above ) had already flown Ringstead earlier, good for you, two sites in one day.
Good days flying today, just over 3 hours for me. Great to see so many here again, just like 2001 (FMD year) when all other sites closed in Devon.
Pictures by Marcus Webster - White Horse
Report by M FISHER
Report by RW
A good day at the Horse for my inaugral Tandem flights as Pilot.
Thanks to Stuart Martin & Sean Lovatt. Stuart for being extremely brave to be my passenger and thanks to Sean for his encouragement & faith & hopefully his continued training.
Good to see so many people on the hill. Also brilliant to see the competitive spirit so early in the season with the X.C. hounds leaving for various destinations in Dorset.
Glad that Allen T. is not suffering too much after his altercation with the ridge.
Report by Alastair Florence
Had the site to myself (as usual) plenty of climbs over 700ft in wide areasof lift. Managed a mini triangle about 1.5km x1.2x1.2km out almost to Harmans cross (all right Mike B i know its nothing to write home about but i'm building up to the big one). A really pleasant afternoon, the wind went a bit west so I finished off the day with 20 mins at St.A's. Very light here (6-8mph)and off South. after failing to get above cliff top height on the first 2 beats I was begining to wonder if I had made a mistake launching, bit the bullet and flew round onto Emmetts where I found lift up to 200ft (luckily).
Peachy end to the day.
Report by John Blessing
Good to be back at Barton, after a long absence. Wind was light on arrival, but by the time we had been for a walk, Gary P was just preparing to launch and took off to 50' ATO. My bargain (thanks Pete) 'seaside' wing was out for it's first flight and the easy launch reinforced just how porous my old wing was. Sky was blue, lift was easy, punters a-plenty to wave at. Pete S, John R also present. A great afternoon.
Thu 09 Feb 2006
Pictures by RW
Report by MIKE DREW
Arrived at Maiden Castle around 9.30 to find I was the first on thehill,
again. Wind was on the hill and a reasonable strength so had a go.
Found it nicely flyable and just enjoyed playing around in the thermalsup to about 500ft. Another member, Mark Fisher, arrived so landed tohave a chat before taking to the sky again. This time I spotted athermal marked kindly by a buzzard and found myself at over 700ft andstill climbing strongly! There was a nice cloud street 10km to the coastbut XC, in February? Had somewhere to be in the afternoon so left thisto go back to the hill, stupid I know! Great thermalling practice thoughand it really had me buzzing! Russell W, Stuart M, Steve P and Martin Fjoined in the fun later and we all had big smiles by the time we left.
Just what the doctor ordered after a pants winter.
Tue 07 Feb 2006
Report by Mike Bretherton
Report by Mike Bretherton
Adrian Leppard convinced me to travel with him to the Dominican Republic
for the Ozone Caribbean Challenge. One week of competition flying with
a slight difference, no tasks, no take off windows, just open distance
with bonuses for out and return and triangular flights. Also you only
compete against other pilots in your DHV wing class.
The place seems to be a mixture of mountain, valley and flatland flying giving some quite diverse flying conditions. The local army supplied the transport and protection with 4 wheel drive troop carriers for the transport and M16 guns for our protection. The flying conditions varied everyday with varying amounts of instability and wind.
On the second day I took a punt on going downwind to reach a convergence area which worked quite well. After I went on a glide towards the Hatia border taking climbs on the way before risking the crossing of a large mountain plateaux, if I had not made it, it would have been at least a 1 day walk out. I picked up more lift in another convergence before risking entering a large flatland area. I followed the main road and nearly bombed out in stable conditions but managed to stay on a zero and drifted with the valley wind until finding another convergence area.
Soon I realised that I was not too far away from where I took off from and if I got close to it, it would count as a closed circuit and score much more. I decided to risk another walk out and close the circuit. I managed it and after I flew back to the road but almost bombed out again. The convergence moved again in my favour and I managed to climb again before having a very long buoyant glide.
My total flying time was 5 hours and the distance was 83Km with 3 turn points or a 65Km FAI triangle or a 80Km flat triangle. The flat triangle scored the most points which almost doubled even what the comp wing guys scored that day. There was much other flying but the final scores meant I won the DHV1/2 with a massive margin. I even beat the DHV2/3 class on points. My friend Adrian who fly's the same wing as me won second place too.
Mon 06 Feb 2006
Report by Pete Chalmers
Monday 6th February Bell Hill John B and I set forth to Bell in hope more than expectation as it was a damp dismal morning. Arrived to find Mike D ground handling in light winds a bit off to the west so we prepared for a long wait. JohnW, Vicki P + student, Gaz M, Marcus W, Brian M, all arrived then Gill LG to make us a cuppa.
Encouraged by Mike's enthusiasm a few of us got the kit out for some
much needed practice. Sean L arrived to entertain as ever and Steph C
after a long winter lay off. The wind slowly increased but always off
to the west meant small but increasing lift band which eventually allowed
us to scratch into the bowl to all of 50' above "the tree". Not classic
by any means but it was flyable, very enjoyable and valuable scratching/handling
practice, roll on summer.
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