Eye in the Sky Mar 2006

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Wed 29 Mar 2006

Report by Steve Auld

For a brief period this afternoon, the wind dropped enough to consider paragliding here at Bournemouth cliffs. The direction was ok, confirmed by ATC as being 210degrees, with a speed of 12-16knots. So I had a flight here for about 45 minutes or so, before the wind started picking up again.

I had flown up and down the cliffs to Boscombe pier with not a lot of height above the cliffs, but with the lift feeling solid and good - not feeling like that I may go down any minute. And then, getting back near take off area, I started gaining height well, in fact, got up to around 150 feet above the clifftop and found I was hardly going forwards without speedbar - even a kestrel I was watching from above was starting to fold his wings in slightly. Pulling big ears got me down somewhat where I found I could go forward no problem, but decided that landing would be the best idea in any case. After landing on top and packing up completely out of the wind (ie 25 feet back from the white fence) I checked the wind speed again at the white fence and found it was indeed picking up and was now too much for anyone considering taking off.

A couple of small points to note for any pilots flying here in the near future - first, the council have been very busy trimming some bushes and cutting others right back, all along the clifftop on the cliff side of the white fence. This means that when the wind is light and scratchy, that instead of having to go out and round some bushes (and possibly down to the beach), you now don't need to because they aren't there anymore - thus making the flying in such situations a little easier. Whether the council have done all this solely for our benefit, I kind of doubt, somehow...

And secondly, there is a new seat on the flat area just east of take off, just where a lot of people land a lot of the time... Obviously, landing here in future will have to be a little more precise than some pilots are perhaps used to in the past.


Tue 14 Mar 2006

Report by RW

Called Site Phone to say it was "On" At the "Office".

Had nearly an hour with Steve P, and it became too strong to be enjoyable.

As I got to Weymouth Seafront I could see that the wind dropped. Not too worry others enjoyed an afternoon of free flight. Confirms the Site Phone does work. Oh! Steve P did leave a message at 1200hrs to say it was too strong!

 

Report by MIKE DREW

Listened to a Sitephone message saying that Ringstead was flyable so went there, arriving around 12.30. Thought it strange that only Gary M was there but conditions seemed ok so had a go. Wind was slightly off to the south but plenty of height to be had and there were even some thermals coming off the farm. Gary and I then enjoyed some really smooth flying for the next couple of hours and Gary was showing off with his spin landings. Keith B turned up later and I eventually called it a day around 3.30. I later hear that there was a Sitephone message left just before I arrived saying it wasn't flyable, so that would explain the lack of pilots! A totally unexpected day and great fun.


Mon 13 Mar 2006

More pictures from Bassano Trip

Pictures by John Blessing

 

 
     


Pictures by RW

 

     


Report by Mike Adkins

 

   

A Wessex posse - Russell W & Jacquie; Mike A & Annie; Peter R; Peter C; John B & Martin F - flew Easyjet to Venice on 05 03 06, where we were picked up by Wessex member, Luigi, who drove us, in a rubber mini-bus, to Semonzo, near Bassano. Out of the 7days, only 2 were not flyable. Most of the time we had bright sunshine while flying Monte Grappa, with low temperatures and powerful thermals. Everyone flew plenty, Luigi staying up for 4hrs.20mins one day (the daft bugger!) while Martin did his usual trick of disappearing and clocked up the only XC of the trip! We all had interesting experiences - Pete R renewed his love-affair with trees, and Mike discovered that he can slide down the South take-off on his nose just as well as he ever did. The flying was good fun with impressive views of the Dolomites once you were up high. Luigi and his many Italian friends made us all very welcome: Annie & Jacquie did several interesting trips using the cheap trains: the food and booze was excellent, and I think it's a fair bet that several of us will be going back when it's a bit warmer.


Sat 04 Mar 2006

Report by Jeremy Mortimer

As I was driving towards Monks I spotted at glider at Marleycoombe and decided to give it a try. As I had not been to the site for some years and had neither map nor site guide it took a while to get there. Sean Stains had been flying for 45 minutes, landed and gave me a site briefing.

The two of us flew for another hour or more in light to moderate thermic conditions. Thermals were to be found over the tree line and also over the village. Maximum height was around 1000 ATO and XC would have possible had I been prepared with and Air Map. We had a good view of what looked like madding crowds at Monks. A very enjoyable mornings flying.


Report by Craig Byrne

 

   

Everyone had a good day as Ali said I was lucky to hang in there and just scrape to Blandford Camp on the last flight. Conditions were good but I battled with the drift that kept taking me towards Bournemouth, some amazing views of Salisbury Cathedral and later Portland + Poole Harbour.

As I was setting up to land then notice a shoot so landed in big field by the gate to be greeted by soldiers and guards. Once reassured I was not with The Wessex Branch of Al Qaeda they were very helpful even giving me a lift to the road. A big thanks to Bob and Dave who picked me up after both flights.



Report by Alastair Florence

Monksdown was quite incredible during the morning. Dave W, Russell, Stuart M, Dave the Ferry, Craig B Jim c plus several more I apologise for forgetting but can always write in anyway themselves. Had a brilliant time, Dave topping the stack reaching 2000ft on several occasions on his well trained Asprin, Craig doing two XC's, Dave the Ferry doing one. So much lift many of us flew out over Berwick village and Winklebury at around 1000ft. Many more turned up after lunch when conditions deterorated with the wind off a bit and getting strong. Mike M tried Winklebury but it didnt go so well. Jim flew over as well and back. Nice to hear one or two went to Marleycombe for a change.

I came home via a deserted Bell other than a defunked Pope mobile and topped up with another 1/4 hour which was nice and relaxing although a little off to the North.


Report by Mike Bretherton

 

     
Flew at Combe today, mostly nice flying up to 700ft, but it was a bit gusty at times. A few managed to get away Xc too.


Fri 03 Mar 2006

Report by jon harvey

Eype:

A few new faces here this afternoon, Jeff, John M, and Simon F. Welcome.

Strange conditions, strong wind though appeared to be straight on, it was also blowing up the slope from the carpark. SF was in the air, when others arrived, with much debate whether to fly and where to launch from, top was too strong as was the middle area. Eventually settled t/o as low as poss, then wind began to fade somewhat. Everyone up and away to Thorncombe, and a few tried for GC, but turned back when above Seatown. Good afternoon by all.


Thu 02 Mar 2006

Report by Martin Foley

Arrived at Cowdown a bit late to find the excellent sky earlier had slightly overdeveloped.Nobody else about even though weatherjack was giving it a 4 .Took of and climbed immediateley in snow flurries to over 4000ft, but being too late the sky soon overdeveloped and I landed after about 17 kms near Bellhill totally frozen and a bit cheesed off having missed the best part of the day,Russel very kindly came out and retrieved me.


Report by Colin Davies

Whitesheet: A crystal blue sky morning had me phoning in for a day off. After getting permission to fly at Whitesheet it was up to join the buzzards. Initially the thermals were soft and gentle but as the clouds arrived, and then grew, the breeze was pulled all over the place and the edges of the thermals got sharper. I flew for an hour and managed 400' ATO (the buzzards only got a few hundred feet higher). At lunchtime it became hard to penetrate so I decided call it a day, erring on the side of caution after a month without flying.


Thu 02 Mar 2006

Report by Gary Pocock

Had a call from RW about 10:30am. It looked flyable but which site? After some discussion and then a call from Steve P we opted for Portland W. Heading across Chesil beach road we could see Steve already 200-300ft above T/O. Having not flown this site before I was grateful for the site brief from RW who kindly offered to see me off first, with a good T/O I made 200ft easily in very smooth conditions. Maintained this height maxing at about 370ft ATO while soaking up the fantastic views on a very clear day. I was expecting the wind to move more to the SW and after about 30min RW had top landed with Steve P a little earlier, I opted for a beach landing as it was easier and closer to the pub where we had agreed to de-brief. A great flight after over a month down and a new site under my belt, what more can you ask on your day off?- That elusive XC!


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