Eye in the Sky Feb 2007
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Sun 18 Feb 2007
Report by Craig Byrne
After a slow scratchy start conditions things finally improved and we all managed some nice winter flying, before wind and rain stopped play. It was very cold! But we now have the ultimate in places to shelter.
Report by Alastair Florence
I had a feeling that late PM may go SE and a flyable strength so was
hopefull for Ballard. Felt half promising at the bottom but was totally
still when I got to the top. Never mind I had wanted to practise Alpine
Made do with a TTB. Rating -2.
Tue 13 Feb 2007
Report by Neil Mccain
Despite the forecasts suggesting strong winds, I arrived at Ringstead
to find it smack on the hill and steady, maybe 12-14mph. As a result,
I had an unexpected and lovely 80 minute flight, reaching the White Nothe
470ft ATO. As I landed in slightly stronger conditions, RW took off and
also reached the cliffs. After lunch, we had another go, but the approaching
rain had us dashing for the cars after just 5 minutes.
Sun 11 Feb 2007
Report by Roy Menage
The hilight of the week was probably Monaco. There must have been a hundred gliders in the air when we arrived with possibly another 30 on takeoff. Despite the crowded air, the separation made it just about bearable (those continental pilots don't seem to recognize the rules of the air!) most of the time. Apart from one small incident resulting in a damp pilot, the day went very well. James decided that since it was his last day, he would not bother landing. He definitely had the longest flight of the week at in excess of 3 1/2 hours. On the day that we flew at Gourdon, a group decided to take the "long glide" - a 3000ft top-to bottom covering 6k and no bomb-out options. All arrived fine. The icing on the cake was the last day when we flew at Col de Bleyne. It is a great site! 1400ft TTB with a take-off right by the road and a huge landing field below. I managed to out-fly the locals by getting to well over 800ft above TO (the inversion prevented more) followed by a spiral and a few small wing-overs to bottom landing.
Thanks to Andrew and his team for a great time, to Ben and Karen Moss for providing the accommodation and to all the others for being such great company.
Fri 09 Feb 2007
Report by Matthew Charlesworth
Excuse the language but it is f$&*~?g huge! Well over the height
of the cliff top by maybe 20m or so. Very not fly roundable
too as it will have a long jib arm which when turned will hang well out
over the prom and even to the sand. Ill get you a photo later when
theyve finished building it. I dont think anybody would be
stupid enough to fly near it and I havnt checked NOTAMS but you
ought probably to put something on the website just in case.
Sun 04 Feb 2007
Report by Sean Staines
Out route took us past the mast at Watership down near Kingsclere, over Highclere castle and past Coombe Gibbet. With a ground speed exceeding 50mph the landmarks came and went very quickly. Next came the windmill and pumping station along the Kennet and Avon Canal, past Pewsey, Milk Hill and onto the spectacular lock system at Devizes. The flat plain after Devizes is quite a contrast to the rolling hills before it.
We squeezed through the gap between Keevil airspace and Melksham and onto Trowbridge. The fold in my airmap ended at this point and I needed to rely on the airspace programmed into the GPS from there-on in.
The next big town, Frome went by and I spied the landmark of King Alfreds Tower on the Stourhead estate in the distance so decided to head for that. With fuel funning low I started climbing and at 1300ft above a little village called Witham Friary the inevitable happened and the engine stopped. Nick came and joined me and we packed up and waited for Gill and Andrea to retrieve us (when they eventually got out of the mud in the field). A group of local kids came to investigate what was going on and informed us that we were the most exciting thing to happen since the balloon had landed the previous year.
An excellent filght!
Report by Keith
Sat 03 Feb 2007
Report by Mike Bretherton
Fri 02 Feb 2007
Report by Mark Fisher
A load of grey cloud came over later and the wind picked up so pushed out way over the car park, I think Mike and Alan got blown back and top landed on the castle and RW and I landed by car park. The cloud cleared and the wind calmed so we could have gone for another flight but I was happy with the hour.
Report by Neil Mccain
Arrived at Monks at 12. 25 to find everyone on the deck and the trees hissing ominously in the wind. PC had been up for a while, as had DS and BM, but it had freshened to the extent that at least one of them had come in under big ears. The wind seemed really strong near the fence, less so a little further out, and then pretty strong at the 'lip' of the ridge again. Bugger! This was my third trip out to the hill this week - I really wanted something to show for the petrol. I decided not to give up.CB-B, MH and HD milled around too, all hoping for better from the wind gods, all wondering whether to trust the anenometer's call of 11-16mph.
At about 13. 15, the gusting seemed to have settled a little, and we all decided that launching low and staying out in front of the ridge would be ok. BM launched himself sacrificially - and went up and forward - so one by one we followed. We all got away with varying aplomb (I'm glad no-one had a camera on me), and began a real cat-and-mouse game with the wind, gusts, lumps and bumps, thermals and all sorts. No-one got caught in the compression and dragged tree-wards, but you could see gliders pitching about a lot, and everyone's altitude yo-yo-ed comically. MH summed it up later: "It was pretty rock 'n' roll up there!". Despite the bumpy ride, we all managed to push forwards, and the buoyant air meant some got almost level with the far fence. The thermals were ragged but mainly benign, and I did briefly see 260 ft ATO on my altimeter. However, just ocasionally the air became distinctly unpleasant, and by turns we all decided to leave the party and land, some on the spur, and others at the bottom.
By the time I'd hiked back up the hill the conditions seemed to have
smoothed off, so with a cry of "Have it!", I launched again. For a while,
the air was much smoother, and the main obstacles were the model aircraft
appearing out of the sun ('look out - bandits at one o'clock!'). After
30 minutes or so, though, the lumps came back, and it all got a bit lively
again. The wind also had some east in it now, making for a fast downwind
leg into the corner, which always seemed to work for me and kick me up
a little higher as I turned back, like a ski jump. I followed a buzzard
across the bowl at one point, but skill, glide ratio and naked weight
were all embarrassingly in his favour. After an hour I came down in the
bottom field - safety first - and left KB, MH and BM enjoying the early
evening air. It was a cracking end to a frustrating week, and tonight's
G&T tasted all the sweeter for it. Hmm, mixing a G&T - that's something
I bet a buzzard can't do. . .
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