Eye in the Sky - April 2007

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Report by Luigi


Speculations are growing on the net about the accident on sunday.

Most people think that the pictures are fakes.

I get replays such as. . . nice photo montage mate. . !. . . and the rest. . . .

The truth.

I was there,on the landing field, when the accident happened.

I witnessed the collision and later whent to find out the truth about the accident from the partecipants.

Katarzyna,now know as AcroKaska,was thermalling ,going round and round,as you do,on the little valley to the left of the hangies ramp.

The idiot who caused the accident said,and quote. . . (I DIN'T SEE HER. . . ). . unquote.

Note:AkroKaska must have been INVISIBLE,despite flying a YELLOW glider. . ! As she was thermalling,the idiot flew strait into '' invisible ''Kaska ,who got one leg trapped into the idiot's lines.

Kaska trew her reserve,quite rightly,and the shock of the deployment freed Kaska with the resulting tear of the idiot's glider.

Kaska landed in a small clearing,within two meters of a agricolture machine with spikes. . .

The unnamed idiot (I refuse to publish name and picture) flew the two piece glider to land in the landing field.

I spend most of my time avoiding the above mentioned IDIOTS who do not look where they are going;despite me flying a bloody orange glider ;I am invisible to these bloody idiots.

This ''pilot''. . ? is no hero;He flew the broken glider that was just about to kill him by collapsing Kaska,to her credit, flew the next two days.

If ,in the near future,you hear that a pilot got His nose broken at the landing field in Semonzo, by another pilot,then it will probably be by me. . . for the above mentioned reasons.

On monday,I whent to Bassano TV station to bring the video of the event,with the author,a dutch pilot.

This pilot is the most famous pilot in Holland,having flown into the Amsterdam football stadium ,to land and kick the ball at the opening football season.

I was interwied about the accident by the TV presenter,and to my surprise,they managed to go on air on the news, one hour later,with repeats all night,with a very professional report and video editing without any bullshit,as you would expect. . .

As you can see by the pictures,finding out the truth in a very serious and demanding affair Luigi

Mon 30 Apr 2007

Report by RW




More pics by J. R.

Mon 30 Apr 2007

Report by Mike & Anne Adkins


The week 22 - 29 April 07 saw the biggest ever Wessex posse in Bassano del Grappa. Russell W and Jackie, Gary P, Jeremy M, Simon CW, Paul and Kaye E, Mike & Anne A, Derek S, Ali F, Phil & Jay V, Steve P & Becky and Adrian C. We were lucky to have picked a week which was not flooded out with Poles and Russians etc - indeed, it was the quietest week I have ever had in Semonzo. The flying was excellent, if a little challenging during the midday period, and only one day was too fresh to fly until the late evening. Luigi took us to Valdobbiadene and Feltre on two different days - both lovely sites - and Mike surprised everyone, not least himself, by flying back from Valdobbiadene to Semonzo. On the same day Simon CW, who earns his bread arranging prestigious golf tournaments, landed on the ony golf course in the whole region, presented his card, and claimed the whole holiday as a business trip! (Well, that's what we reckon!) Luigi's friend, Heike, organised a lovely evening meal for us on the Friday night, and we all came home much heavier! I understand that, no sooner had we left to come home, there was a dramatic mid-air over Semonzo, which left one pilot landing on a wing which was cut 2/3 and 1/3! But no-one hurt.

From the Wessex point of view, another excellent week. Thanks Luigi!


Report by Luigi Degli Esposti


Just as most of the Mighty Wessex posse left to the airport,two polish pilots had a mid air collision.

One,trew her reserve and landed safely in a field amongst the trees,despite the wing and reserve flying and contrasting each other,without the glider being gathered by the pilot who did not needed to trow the reserve in the first place ,as it was flying normally at 3300 ft.

The situation for the second pilot was a bit more serious.

The result of the collision was that one third of the wing was cut off completely, just held in place by the lines.

Incredibly, despite the wing being cut and very unstable, the pilot was able to fly and steer the wing to the landing field making a perfect landing concluded by an applause from all pilots presents.

This pilot works in London ,and fly Devil's Dyke.

A Dutch pilot was able to video the event and will publish the video in youtube in the next few days.

Enclosed are a couple of pictures,more to follow when I get them.

Report by Alastair Florence



Despite having flown a few hours in UK I have never tried overseas. Two main reasons, family committments and the fear of being stuck somewhere with unflyable conditions and little to do. I was tempted to try Bassano as flying seemed fairly consistent here and I could happily use a couple of days in Venice, go Kayaking, cycling or whatever and not feel to disapointed if not flyable. Didn't get a chance to do any of these as each days was flyable to a degree.

Hence joined RW + J, Phil & Jay V, Mike & Anne A, Steve P & Becky, Paul & Kay E, Derek (the Grandfather) S, Simon C-W, Jeremy M, Adrian C and Gary P on this springs visit.

Guided as usual by the indespensible Luigi (for anyone who dosent know him Luigi used to reside here and fly with Wessex but now has gone back to his homeland of Italy) also assisted by Claus, a friend of Luigi.

I won;t bore the pants off everyone with a flight by flight account but highlights for me were: Entering the white room at just under 7000ft asl (unitentionally) at Valdobbiadene, Luigi set a task to fly back to Semonzo from this site, I got over the river then lost height rapidly turned back and only just got a low save that got me back to the bottom land field, Adrian ended up on an island in the river, RW in a vineyard, Luigi did say there was no where to land East of the river but you can't always plan for this.

Gary, Simon and Jeremy various points along the way and XC king Mike making goal (maybe someone will post the picture of Mike recieving the Bassano challenge trophy at the Abbey resturant later that day) everyone else had a cracking fly and ended up in B/L field.

Also on last Sat making it from the East launch to Pannettone and back against an Easterly wind in the morning and in the afternoon bumping into Gary P (not literally) out in front of Pannettone launch (5000ft ish asl) both climbing well above the War Memorial then chasing Gary off South Westward with Gary at 7500ft and me 1000 below, passed over Bassano and on to Moritaire (not convinced this is correct spelling) We could probably got further but had to get back for a pre arranged supper. Both landed in same field and took cab back to Semonzo.

Also a visit to Feltre (another site nearby) lovely conditions the whole valley just full of lift so tried a proper spiral for the first time (never really bothered before) and was amazed at the dramatic effect of the energy as the glider pitches into the dive (not the thing to try on a full stomach though).

I flew everyday although all but Steve, Phil and I gave Thurs a miss as twas a bit strong until late PM, Claus was at Panettone with us and kept trying to convince us all that it would settle in 1/2 an hour as evening drew in most gave up but Claus was convinced so the three of us decided he was either crazy or was right. He was rightish, we each had mixed views of the flight, I would not have missed it for the world although it was scary launching into strong lift from 5000ft with little penetration, after 20mins on part bar I was far enough away from the mountain and still above t/o height to enjoy a long push out in front and glide back to Semonzo.

Overall Peachometer was off the scale.

I would highly recommend the location to anyone. Some may find the launches a little intimidating but I guess anything high will be. There is also plenty of scope to be highly adventurous here. Excellent thermalling XC opportunities etc.

Hopefully others will enter their own EITS as well with differing views of the trip.

Sunday 29th April.

Report by Mark Tattersall

NE, drove past Maiden Castle, but very light wind so didn't stop. Thought I'd give Okeford a go. Joined there by Richard and Stuart. Did a very short flight to land on the spur as still too light. As it hadn't picked up by 1. 30 we went for lunch in the pub in Okeford, and afterwards on to Hambledon where there was enough wind to soar plus once a bit of height had been gained there were well organised thermals to play in. After half an hour I had to core sink to land as my daughter summoned me to do taxi duties, but the others (one or two more had joined us) carried on, and it looked set to be good for an hour or two more - thanks guys for showing me the site etc.

Report by Steve Bamlett



Arrived in Tolmin ( Slovenia ) for the annual sports tour. we were met with blue skies and very strong spring thermals.

an epic day on day one and trips to Itay and back some 100K and into the Julian Alps see pic.

Grant and I had epic trips along to Stoll mountain and back to take off taken 4hrs. then down the beautiful valley for beer.

Day 1 more to come see you all soon.


Sunday 21st April

Report by Stuart Martin



Another heavily inverted day: good for the beach, bbq and gardening. The wind on the White Horse at Weymouth was light and the sunshine obscured by a raft of high cloud. Almost as if to reward those dedicated pilots, who had struggled almost all the day, the inversion finally lifted to provide bouyant, if not a little bumpy at times, glass-off conditions for a brief period in the afternoon.

Sat 21 Apr 2007

Report by RW






Thu 19 Apr 2007

Report by David Franklin


After a strange and sometimes rather lumpy day it was relief to climb out with three other gliders at 4. 15. The sky was entirely blue so it was a case of trying to use ground features which would hopefully be working. The gaggle split up at W'Stickland making it even more tricky. I had a very low save south of W'Whitechurch but after that stayed at a reasonable hieght. When over Sanford it became more difficult to find lift and as I got lower it became obvious there was still quite a bit of sea breeze. I landed at Middlebere at 5. 30 and packed up to the sound of two cuckoos (the first Ive heard this year). I also flew with Buzzards and swallows during the flight I guess that must mean its summer,almost.

Report by Alastair Florence


I had a P. M meeting in Andover today, it seemed uneconomical to drive back to site at that time of day so went flying instead. Westbury not a million miles away so went there. A reasonable number of natives on the hill, I enjoyed light thermic cycles for a couple of hours. More natives arriving as the evening progressed and still flyable. I took some lovely pictures of the White Horse from 700 odd ft up but then found the lens cover had stuck part open so a waste of effort rating 7. 5 then had fantastic drive home, no one got in my way all the way from Warminster to Harmans Cross at all, roads deserted, bizzare but but drive gets a 9. 5 as well.

Tue 17 Apr 2007

Report by Keith


Heard the messages for the morning and sure enough the conditions were well suited to the hangies for the morning. Phil V was the only one I recognised. After about 2. 00pm the breeze eased and it was time for the floppies to move in. Many pilots visited during the course of the afternoon and height gains of 1,000ft plus were achieved by a few. The airforce also visited by means of helicopters Hercules and a couple of jets. The first two actually flying below a couple of paragliders. In all a good all round day for Hangies. Paragligers the Airforce and a few Compton Abbas passers by.

Report by Alastair Florence



Its unusual for Okeford to get flown at all these days and almost unheard of for it to happen 2 nights in a row, but it looked good so I felt it had to be done. Nice and clear tonight, better than last nights murk. Wind was a tad lighter, in fact had to work hard to gain the first 100 ft ato but then stacks of lift and really smooth up to 350ft.

In the right conditions it can really be a nice fly here, tonight was very pleasant, 7. I could see wings still flying at Monks when I left at 1945hrs.

Report by Gary Miller


Mt Generoso (Switzerland) I flew at Mt Generoso in Switzerland for the first time on Saturday (14/04) and thought the place might be of interest to UK pilots as a destination for an overseas flying trip.

The best thing about the place (apart from excellent flying) is there’s a handy train to take you up to takeoff. It leaves from the little town of Capolago at the southern end of Lake Lugano. There’s a campsite not far from the station on the shore of the lake and some pilots use it as a landing field as well. I paid 19 francs (about £8) to get to the take off at 1700 metres ASL. So if you went there on a flying trip, you wouldn’t need to hire a car or worry about retrieving it after flying. There are flights to Lugano from Heathrow but you could easily get there by train from any of Milan’s airports too.

Another good point from a weekend flyers point of view was the lack of crowds. We had excellent conditions but there were only 15 or so pilots around. The downside would be that it’s probably not a good place for inexperienced pilots. After taking off you have to fly over the back to get to the landing fields. On a good day sufficient height can easily be gained by flying in straight lines around the bowl at the top. If it were marginal and you took off and found no lift, you’d have to head straight for a dip in the ridge to get over the back. See photo.

No such problems on Saturday. I got to cloud base at 2500 metres in punchy but manageable thermals then bimbled around on the ridges to the south trying to find some more lift to attempt a glide to nearby Mt Bisbino on the Italian border. No luck (or probably no skill) as I found lots of strong sink instead so I headed back to Capolago and the official landing site which is a little football pitch 5 minutes walk from the train station.

Here’s the official Mt Generoso web site… http://www. montegeneroso. ch/en/83/homepage. aspx

Mon 16 Apr 2007

Report by Alastair Florence


On the way home from work it looked like there was still a decent bit of wind about, direction seemed to be North ish or there abouts.

Sitephone messages from Monks earlier in the day suggested it had been nice, I thought it was time someone flew the flag at Okeford again so went there for a change.

!0 - 12 mph on take off although looking at the trees it was obvious there was more wind about. launch was a bit rotory and as I pushed out over the trees I began to think maybe it was too strong, still with a bit of gale hanging I got out a bit and up a fair bit where it turned out fine. Only stopped for about 1/2 hour but it was actually quite pleasant flying with no risk of going down. Had plenty of height to land back at the beacon as well. Rating 5.

Report by Stuart Martin



8th April Ringstead.

Sometimes deciding where to go is really tough: not thinking that Bell Hill would be worth the effort I drove to the coast. In retrospect, having seen Dave Franklin's report, Bell was the place to be. However Ringstead provided a challenging day as getting out to the cliffs was not a dead cert and once there, there was no guarantee of avoiding the beach.

Report by RW

12-4-07 Loma Bola, Herbas Buena , Tucuman.

Watched the locals take off and go down. Sergio an Instructor flew Gin Boomerang Sport and thermalled with 2 eagles. So, I thought OK here goes! managed to waft up within about 300´' and then started to go down. Found a small trigger point above the dense jungle and got halfs and zeroes and stayed at about 1200' for half an hour before accepting the inevitable landing. It was gratifying to stay up and even more special to land close to a path that led to the local Flyers watering hole.

Report by Alastair Florence

Weds evening and i'm looking at the weather for Thurs, looks like ENE ish and maybe flyable strength. Working at Totton and likely to get a slack period in the afternoon whilst waiting for the tide to come in.

Mercury not a million miles away, the plan gels.

I arrive at mercury as Pete C leaves as the wind has dropped off.

Spend 20 mins sat on the hill then wind comes back and thermals start again. I hour in the air floating about over Mercury between 100-250ft ato weak thermals and lots of blobby but workable bits of lift especially out over rape fields in front of the hill. Wind died off again about time tide was due in so went back to work. rating 7

Report by RW

11-4-07 Tafi del Valle A 2 hr drive and a 1hr punishing walk up the sierra! I was absolutely shattered. The views were stunning and almost European with a large lake between the ranges. The thermals started to work at about 3pm and as the 3 of us launched the conditions changed almost instantly with the wind shifting to the S. We attempted to follow the local eagles but it was gnarly and one Pilot suffered a number of tucks so it was off to the bottom and the local ethnic shops.

12--4-07 Back to Tucaman and off to Loma Bola wind over the back so down town to send these e-mails.

Safe Flying RW

Mon 09 Apr 2007

Report by Livyandlisa@tiscali.co.uk


Hi, I was at Ringstead bay today and took some snaps of members of your club trying to master the somewhat fluky winds. It was good to watch.

Hopefully someone will be able to identify those in the snaps attached. Please pass on to those that you know.

Kind regards, Ian I have the full size copies if anyone is interested but i had to reduce the file size to send them. cheers. Hi, I was at Ringstead bay today and took some snaps of members of your club trying to master the somewhat fluky winds. It was good to watch.

Hopefully someone will be able to identify those in the snaps attached. Please pass on to those that you know.

Kind regards, Ian

Sun 08 Apr 2007

Report by David Franklin


Bell was very quite today with the school teaching singles and tandems(including chairman Pete). The wind was ranging from WSW to NE 0-10mph. So I lobbed off the model to check out the air. I found some of the thermals seemed quite large and rising to a good height. I thought it best to be ready in case one pulled the wind on long enough to do the buisness. After a couple of hours of waitng one or two were feeling a little more powerful and on my second attempt I managed to wrestle it up to base. Visibility was poor and I was unable to make out the coast or where the sea breeze might be so I opted for a more eastery route. I had some great climbs and the new Golden 2 behaved beautifully. I thought I had taken some good pictures but I was using an unfamiliar camera and the dial had got knocked round to night setting. I ended up stuck on the edge of airspace flying out of lift over Badbury rings which downed me near Uddens. An hour and 25 mins of easter delight. When I got back to Bell around 4. 50 it was still very quite but flyable I guess it must have been really good on the coast. David Franklin.

Report by Alastair Florence


I didn't expect to be allowed out today but as the first decent sea breeze i've seen this year began to develop the wife could see me getting agitated and relented.

First stop was Knitson, I had been watching Buzzards thermalling here through the binoculars from home. Sure enough the wind was on the hill although off to the West by a fair degree, if its thermic this can help as the thermals track along the side of the hill rather than straight over the back allowing you plenty of time to use them without going to far backward. The conditions proved to be classic for Knitson, plenty of climbs over 600ft ato and stacks of it out well into the valley.

Fairly smooth by Knitson standards and at no time did I feel my backside was being kicked. A pair of Peregrines and many Buzzards assisted with marking the lift. I enjoyed about 1 1/2 hrs by which time the wind was maybe 60-70' off the hill and getting turbulent but with the amount of thermals staying up was easy. I bailed out and as wings were flying at Kimmeridge headed this way.

I was tempted to St Aldhelms as there didn't seem too much height at Kimmeridge. St. A's was slightly off to the south (funny things these sea breezes) but ok and reasonable strength. The main cliff wasn't great but Emmetts and near the coastguards was fine allowing steady 180- 250ft ato, silky smooth no hands kind of flying, had another hour by which time Mark T had arrived. Mark had a pleasant boat about until conditions eased off a bit. This is not helping my efforts to get onto the XC league table but very pleasant all the same, Knitson gets an 8, St. A's a 5 ___________________________________________________________ Tiscali Broadband only £9. 99 a month for your first 3 months! http://www. tiscali. co. uk/products/broadband/

Sat 07 Apr 2007

Report by Simon


Looked at WendyWindblows at 9am and saw Monk's and Combe were on. Decided in Combe to ease bank holiday traffic on the roads and in the air, bit of a risk as Wendy reported a NE just as I was about to leave. It sounds like monks had very similar conditions to Combe. These conditions proved to be favorable as those that got dumped helped to reduce the amount of wings in the air and therefore make it less like being on the fairground dodgems.

I had a nice little XC to Andover and landed in the park with another pilot, and as luck would have it landed two feet from my tow launch instructor from Middle Wallop, who kindly offered to take us back to the hill. That's what I love about going XC, sometimes it's not only the flying that's incredible.

* Wings in the air from 10am till 6pm.

* Several gaggles got away from 12:30 onwardsn (see pic) in some very big blue thermal cycles, 2000 ATO.

* Most including myself got no further than Andover as the inversion made the going hard.

* James Bentham (wessex member) did his first XC to Blandford Forum. *Congratulations* * Rating 8 out of 10 P. S. Sympathy to Mr M Bretherton who decided to pick this weekend to visit the parents and missed out on getting his first XC this year.

Fri 06 Apr 2007

Report by Alastair Florence



With virtually zero wind at home I did not hurry out today, I arrived at Monks around 10. 30, several gliders already flying but no sitephone messages, tut. Blue sky with a bit of milky hazy cloud.

Got into the air asap to find small broken thermals allowing around 200ft ato. After a bit the thermals became larger and stronger allowing much better height gains. By now there must have been 30 odd wings on the hill. Some got off XC but mostly for relatively short distances although one or two did better I reckon. The thermals were coming in cycles dumping many (including me a couple of times ) at various points down the slope but allowing plenty of airtime for those avoiding a dumping (clocked up around 3 3/4 hrs myself). It Stayed flyable till late pm at least. Definately the best day since the last good day.

Rating 8. Despite being fairly busy air I only saw one VERY near miss collision and one less near miss ( I think maybe someone launched with a glider approaching) with everyone being pretty sensible. pats on backs chaps.


Report by RW

6-4-07 CUCHI CORRAL Late start at the Corral midday! Concerned about development of clouds from the South at this N. facing Site. Bright sunshine after a heavy night of rain meant the thermals were broken and at times turbulent.

Managed an hour of trying to maintain height above T. O. and decided to bottom land as the Tandems were doing so much business with the Tourists. Strange to meet all manner of foreigners at this place. Wind switched 180 degrees by 1600hrs. Plan is to return to Tucamen on Tuesday. Happy Flying RW


Thu 05 Apr 2007

Report by Mike Bretherton



Weatherjack had uprated today to a 3 and the forecast was looking much better than previously expected, but we have been here many times before haven’t we. Simon Herbert, Peter Studzinski and myself went along to Combe hoping for our first Xc of the year, several other Xc skygods were there including Adrian Thomas. But we were disappointed with blue conditions and very week cycles. There were a few soarable cycles but they were few and far between with most people repeatedly bombing half way down the hill. Although one pilot did manage to push out and get a weak thermal which took him about 1000ft up and he stayed there for about an hour much to the annoyance of everyone else.

Report by RW

April 1,2,3 No fools here. Cuchi Corral Three days flying in a row all thermic and short XCs each day all under 10k Enjoyable and fun temperature 28C and good people here very helpful with retrieves etc. Internet is somewhat hit & miss at the moment.


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