Eye in the Sky - May 2007

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Mon 28 May 2007

Report by Martin Foley

 

   
Robin Mogridge from South Devon club and myself flew from Widgery Cross to just over 40 kms north of Exeter on Monday. We arrived at Widgery to find the sky overdeveloped, as usual on Dartmoor. After some time scratching around the hill, the sun emerged , and everything seemed to go ballistic. We thermalled straight to cloudbase but soon lost all the height in the middle of the moor, but fortunately both of us had very low saves and reached over 5500 ft. The rest of the flight was spent trying to go North of Exeter Airport airspace which eventually, in the strong wind, put us on the ground on a freerange chicken farm. On reflection we should have gone south or over it as height was not a problem


Sat 26 May 2007

Report by Grant Oseland

 

 



Report by Craig Byrne

 

     


Monksdown: Everyone had a good day as the weak thermals drifted through, I finally hooked a good one and worked it to 3800ft directly over take off joined by Eddie. Then gently headed off following the dark street at first. I had to hop clouds to avoid airspace and was finally decked after spending 40Min's or so trying to get up over Tarrant Hinton. Then off to Bell but we missed it as it was no howling! So pub suck no ensued :-

Report by Jeff Davies

Thanks to Gaz's encouragement, I took off at about 2. 45 p. m. and left Bell Hill security at about 2000 feet, helped by a large black cumulo nimbus. Gaining height all the time, I headed south, having reached cloud base at about 3500 feet. Then I met sink in a blue patch which forced me to land at 3. 21 p. m. about 0. 5 km south of the A35, mid-way between Tolpuddle and Bere Regis, having cleared the ridge of trees and I landed in a weed infested field. The whole experience was exhilerating. Having walked a fair bit of the way back to Bell Hill, dropping the paraglider off at the hostelry in Winterbourne Whitchurch, I was grateful to Hugh for the final 4 mile ride.


Report by Cpcrab@aol.com

 

 
Although very cloudy ,managed to fly to East Stoke from Telegraph Hill. Others flew to various destinations including Weymouth


Wed 23 May 2007

Report by Steve Auld

 

 

So it is official, according to the weatherman - there were paragliders at Barton today. . .


Tue 22 May 2007

Report by Alastair Florence

 

   

I just happened to be working not a million miles from Combe Gibbett today so nipped up to check it out at lunchtime. Not much good as the wind was very lite with weak thermals and off to the West about 45' so back to work.

Finished at a reasonable time and took a slight detour home via Westbury White Horse, plenty of Avon pilots on the hill. Late afternoon was mostly 5-20 min weak cycles with just about workable lift so long as not too many of us got airborne at the same time. As the afternoon turned to evening the cycles got stronger and longer. At About 1900hrs everything went bouyant (the locals reckon its sea breeze off the Bristol Channel) stacks of smooth bouyant wafty air everywhere. Nice and easy to fly out a good way and get back to the ridge to climb up again. Not much height over 600ft but very pleasant. Plus another cracking sunset. I left about 2040 hrs still with plenty of wings flying.

 


Tue 22 May 2007

Report by Phil Venn

 

     
Busy for a mid-week day at Bell Hill. Culprits included Marcus W, R W, Derrick S, Brian M, Harry, Martin, Eric, Martin, John A, a Dutch(I think) couple who's name I didn't get and lots of others who's names I don't know. Jay says she counted 14 wings in the air at one time. Not bad for a Tuesday.


Report by Stuart Martin

' . . . . . . Dave you are a real star: yes the skies were practically empty back then and, having looked at your photograph taken at Kimmeridge, what do I see? . . . . . me and my Pantair - the very same one in my Eye In The Sky report for Sunday.

But of course the reason for all the free airspace may well have been because everyone was avoiding me!


Mon 21 May 2007

Report by David Franklin

 

   
Just to show there were some ok days in the early 90s. This would have been a busy one.

Report by Stuart Martin

 

     


A little bit of paragliding history today at Ringstead. For anyone who has not seen one of these before (see pictures) it is an Ailes de K Pantair. Certified sometime in 1990 (?) it has a dhv rating of 3G and a glide of about 6. I used to fly it regularly at Ringstead and on the White Horse Hill back in the early nineties and thought very little about the fact that it was a dhv3. It was considered to be quite a high performance glider at the time which, when compared to the Airwave Black Magic, I guess it was. Today it would struggle to keep up with a good dhv1 glider.

To soar it at Ringstead requires about 17 mph of wind and, as I was unable to get it to do much more than skim the hillside, I handed it over to our very own Stig: Richard Westgate who managed to coax it into the air as he weighs a good 15 kgs less than me.

One very rarely overhears paragliding conversations about 'the good old days'. Why - 'cos there simply weren't any! Any doubters please contact me for a test flight.


Sun 20 May 2007

Report by Mike Adkins

Like Ali, I thought Bell might be on in the morning, but it wasn't - and I went up there twice! (The second time I managed to recruit a new member - welcome, Lincoln Clarke) But third time lucky, and at about 1630 I set off again to see Mark Russell and another pilot at a good height. Of course, by the time I was suited and booted, they were back on the ground, but the breeze did freshen enough to get several of us off the deck, and I picked up a pleasant 25 minutes along with Dave F, Harry D, and another pilot. The highlight was flying very low over the bowl and seeing a large female red deer just sitting on the grass taking no notice of me or my vario at all!

Report by Alastair Florence

 

 

Bell looked promising for a while and i'm sure would have been great if you could have got those first couple of thousand feet. But it just didn't happen, not whilst I was there anyway.

I ended up at St Aldhelms which was OK but nothing special really not enough height to fly back to the car park even. Got bored so went home for supper. Wife started watching some rubbish on TV and I got bored again so went back to St. A's still OK but nothing special although as I wrapped up there was a beatifull pastel orange sunset. Moving stuff.

Speaking of which it was suprisingly and unusually turbulent landing North of t/o, wind still WSW but leading edge tried to collapse full frontally, never had that before anywhere, strange.


Fri 18 May 2007

Report by Alastair Florence

Looking at the weather last night I felt there was a fair chance of a flyable window this evening on Bell. So went there on the way home, a lovely bright clear evening but 14-16 mph gusting 20. I could here fighter jets buzzing about somewhere and was a little put off to see them make several passes below ridge height and not far out in front of Bell. Also skimming Okeford and aiming straight over Derek S's house.

Derek and his mate Tony arrived after Derek was woken from his afternoon nap by the jets. By now the wind had eased off and was dropping fast as well as going off to the West a little. We figured that there was probably similar odds to actually getting hit by a plane as to winning the lottery. None of us had one the lottery so we decided it was probably ok to fly. At that point the pilots must have had a call from the Officers mess that tea was ready as they disapeared for a bit. The 3 of us had a pleasant fly until the wind dropped off to far to be scratchable, Derek trying out a demo FB Eagle, after a 2 week lay off it was just nice to get in the air again. As we wrapped up the Tornado's came back so maybe just as well the wind had gone.


Sat 12 May 2007

Report by Grant Oseland

 

     
Just thought I would send some more pictures from the trip to Slovenia in the town of Tolmin, all of the flying was done in the soca valley which is where they held the world champs before. The weather was a mixed bag from stonking 7-8 m/sec thermals that did their best to turn your wing inside out (NOVA RA Pilots take note!) to thunder storms and wind, but the flying that was done was very enjoyable and hopefully I will return again next year with better weather. Other Wessex pilots that attended the trip were Rory Lynch and Steve Bamlett , well done to Rory who returns as the Alpine Interservice champ.


Sat 05 May 2007

Report by Roy Menage

Arrived early-ish at Monks to see several wings in the air. Great, I thought, perfect opportunity to try out the crispy new Golden 2 courtesy of Richard Westgate. I have to say, this Golden 2 ROCKS! Quite a lively wing and not to heavy on the controls or weight-shift. I spent quite some time at the top of the stack and enjoyed the rare priveledge (!) of looking down on Ali F. Sadly, I was too busy flying to get the camera out to record the event for posterity. I joined Gary P in a thermal and easily got to well over 1100ft. Gary continued while I pushed out to the front, waiting anxiously for the edge of the thermal. It never came and by the time I got over Berwick St. John, I was almost 1400 ATO. What a pleasure. So if you are looking for a new 1-2 wing, give the Golden a try.

Roy.


Report by David Franklin

I gave Okeford a go today, there was large all weekend event at the bike park which meant I was able to park in the take off field. I spent a couple of frustrating hours getting sweaty and knackered. Having decided to knock it on the head I strolled back to the van only to look up and see Gary P trying very hard to stay aloft about 500ft above me( on a demo aspen from Monks,I think). As my last couple of attempts had ended with me landing in breeze which appeared to be coming from the NW I thought I'd best give Bell a look before going home. On Bell the wind was still NE-N 0-8mph but as I needed to "unstuff" my glider and fold it away properly I felt it best to at least give it a go. This time after only one sweaty hour I fortunately managed to climb to 3,200ft and have a pleasant few ks bimbling about. David Franklin.



Report by Marcus Webster

 

 
Thought I would share these photos with you of William giving me directions and using his ears to control our final approach for a bottom landing at Bell .

Report by RW

Early morning call from Dave W. "Where are you? I hope you are in your car! I am at Monks and its flyable, I am about to launch".

I replied I am on my way! Arrived to a cold NNE with Dave W scratching and Ali F getting ready. Time to trial the "Niviuk Hook", off into the cold but strangely thermic conditions. The wing took me higher and higher until I was able to look down on Ali F several times. I thought whats going on, bloody marvellous wing! Anyway lots of arrivals throughout the day and lots of crispy new wings courtesy of Richard W. I even flew Brian M's Golden and what a nice wing. Richard M and Gary P went off to float somewhere over the back. Then it was time for Dave W to continue his Tandem training. Then it seemed to die off at about 1430hrs and it was off to the coast. Got 2 hrs at Ringstead and others were flying Whitehorse, portland W and Bournemouth. For me it was the first good day in the UK this year. The Niviuk Hook is a delight to fly and I cant wait to test the new Golden 2. Lots of Pilots on the hill good to see evryone flying safe.

Report by Luigi Degli Esposti



For any of you that have followed the saga/debate. . . to a very serious matter. . .

My last EITS had to be in that tone,as I was not planning to explain so soon.

Intrigued?,I am sure that one of the Wessex members can point you to the right forum.

Luigi Here it is ,a short explanation posted on the forum.

____________________

 

Hi Time for me to come clean and to Apologies to Grzegorz.

I have had some personal e-mail asking me about my posting.

So here it is.

I have been asked to start,fuel a debate on what is a very serious issue at popular sites like Bassano on the back of this incident with unusual and unique ending.

The issue of some visiting pilots of all nationality,that have a cavalier attitude for their lives,and so of others.

It is not just a rule of way issue.

It is ,most of the times,an issue of common sense, and courtesy towards other pilots in the air,against a sometimes arrogant and aggressive way of piloting,or just not looking where they are going. ,and so on.

On quite few occasion I had close escapes from pilots that where not aware that I was there. . . Sometimes,as I am few meters off the ground,about to land,a pilot would spiral or big hear down in front of me. . .

My '' idiot '' posting was written on purpose ,in order to spark such a debate,and succeeded,even if the issue went off the track to rules of the air.

Therefore,it is time for me to Apologise to Grzegorz for any offence caused,and to others as well.

Sadly,I do not think that the pilots that should be reading these safety topics,do.

On Tuesday,after the event,I went,with the author of the video and one other,to the Bassano TV station to submit the video and explain.

The edited video went on air in all the news that night.

The editing and commentary was very professional and positive,explaining the deployment and Grzegorz skill in piloting such a glider,a unique event.

I hope that my unusual way to spark this debate has brought something positive and useful.

The video,by the way,will appear on youtube in the next few days Take care in the air as in life Luigi


Sat 05 May 2007

Report by Shamus Pitts

 

 

 

   

A great morning at Monksdown. Overcast and cold to start with but thermic - I did my first proper thermalling today! It was fairly lifty everywhere until the cloud cleared in the afternoon and the air warmed up.


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