Eye in the Sky - Aug 2007

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Fri 31 Aug 2007

Report by Paul Hawkins

Looked a little strong today but decided to go up to Bell hill on the off chance. Arrived around 2. 30pm to see the place deserted accept for ZZ- Phill rigging his hangglider (never a good sign for a paraglider!). The wind was on the hill but blowing up to around 25mph. Watched as Phill enjoyed himself for 30 min or so then noticed he had lost some height so thought I'd give the paraglider ago.

It was very top end but managable. Best height was around 1800ft. Was tending to get pinned a lot where ever i went, use of half and quarter bar was frequent. Kept this up for about 45min before deciding to bottom land (reckon i would of ended up around 4 feilds back if i tried for top landing!). Used the ears to get down and was suprised to still be going up but persisted with it and got down in the lower field to be picked up by Derek, wich was handy.

 


Thu 30 Aug 2007

Report by Lawrence Toogood

 

 
Arrived at monks about 5 pm to find a few hopefuls sitting out the gusty conditions, many had since been and gone.

As conditions eased most entered the arena, not all on their usual charges , Richard W & ZZ had swapped Richard going retro(well loved Gin Bandit & Harness with out of the ark buckles) whilst ZZ was flying state of the art Gradient + Harness "suits you sir" I still have the voices in my head so left flying until conditions got lighter and even then they were screaming so Rich W has offer me a kill or cure flight on the tandem! Now Dave W who scared who the other day on the Tandem? Seriously if anyone can help me get through this fear thing then please do (i know iam not the only one going through this. )


Wed 29 Aug 2007

Report by Alastair Florence

 

   

Good to see Shamus having a go at Westbury Bratton Camp, a man after my own heart.

Missed another good day by the sound of it this time the curse being work instead of wife. But managed to get the scrapings off the dinner plate with an after work flight at Okeford. Not that strong on the ground and spent an uncomfortable few minutes scratching the tree tops until I built up 100ft ato then the airflow improved as did the lift.

Had a boat around for a while then flew back to the top gate and got out quick before the horses stampeded over.

Report by Shamus Pitts

 

   
I was working near Marlborough today, so I put the wing in the car as a northerly was forecast and I was curious to try Westbury as it was kind of on my way home! As I drove in to Westbury I could see a couple of wings in the air with stacks of height so I knew it was going to be good, and it was! I took off at about 5:15pm in fairly strong wind - I didn't take a reading but it was probably 15-20 mph, and as soon as I was in the air I started going up (going forwards took a little longer to happen!). There were some good sized thermals coming through so getting decent height wasn't a problem - I got to 1100' ATO with barely a turn! At one point I went round the spur by the white horse to the western ridge and had a bit of trouble getting back - the wind was slightly too far north (although the ridge was working well) so it was whipping around the spur and I kept gale hanging and sinking every time I tried to get back round it. In the end I relaxed on the ridge and built up about 700' which made it much easier to get back, although it was still slow going! I landed after an hour and the wind was still pretty strong, but it was an excellent flight, the perfect end to the working day!


Mon 27 Aug 2007

Report by Shamus Pitts

 

   
Arrived at Monksdown at midday to see the sky full of wings. I quickly unpacked and took off to find conditions nice and lifty and had my best days flying this year! I managed to get higher than I've ever been - 1400' ATO (my previous best was 700'), but decided to fly back to the ridge, losing about 800' in the process. Once I got back to the ridge, I picked up another thermal that took me to 1200' ATO! Earlier I'd circled back over the trees, lost the thermal and had to land half way down a long field to the east of the field behind takeoff and had to walk about a mile back to the ridge. From 1400' later on I saw someone else had landed in exactly the same place (maybe Russell?). Other high points were flying out almost to the farm out in front of the ridge which is the furthest forward I've been, and not bottom landing at all! The wind picked up a bit in the evening, making it a bit difficult for a couple of people to get down, but they did the right thing and flew out to the bottom landing field. What an excellent day!


Report by Peter Robinson



After a full hour's flying up and down, backwards and forwards, I left the hill with Adrian C (who had kindly marked the core) and Gary P. I didn't notice David F; too busy making sure we made the best use of the lift. Once clear of the airspace I tried to make as much distance west as I could, and never spotted the others again. The cloud layout was generally pretty helpful, and included a couple of 8kt climbs. Never got really low. At base (4k) over Dorchester and again near Hardy's Monument. I expected that there would be some sea breeze or I would have headed for Portland. In the event there wasn't but the clouds disappeared further west and I landed near Chesil Beach beyond Abbotsbury after a total of 3-1/2 hours. Grand!

Report by Martin McGahon

I was the valiant pilot of the Z-one that was photographed from above, thanks for the mention. Had a great day at monks arrived at about 11o'clock and finished at about 5 o'clock spent most of the time in the air. What a great day, long may it last. If anyone finds a Sony Ericsson P990i phone it fell out of my pocket at about 3 o'clock.


Report by David Franklin

 

 

We had another good day at Monks Down Hill today. I luckily hung on the coat tails of the three pilots who were already coring well(Peter R,Gary P,and Adrian C). Once at base Peter shot off north west and did a bit of big earing out of a lifty cloud,I did try to follow his path but he was too fast and didn't seem to be sinking anything like as quickly as me. So I turned and headed for the nearest cloud. After a very low save over Taymix at Pimperne we started to regroup and by the next low save at Charlton Marshall we were all enjoying the same thermal back to base. Not much luck after that and we all ended our adventures on Woodbury Hill. Peter was last spotted thermalling with a sail plane near Milborne St Andrew,Hope he made home or further


Report by Stuart Martin

 

     

An uncharacteristically run of good weather - and about time too. Flying a borrowed tandem [MCC Beluga], from Pete Chalmers, harnesses from Russell and pressed-ganged co-pilot and photographer Nikki Hawkins, we scratched about for fifteen minutes before leaving the hill with Ed Colfox - flying a Boomerang4. Despite the two gliders being as well matched as a Routemaster and a Porsche Ed did well to keep up with us - just how many pictures of the top of a Boomerang can one take before it gets boring. And, for those [like me] who have never seen what one of these things looks like from above, see the pictures. Also an unknown Z-One pilot who made a valiant attempt [see pictures] - we were chanting for you.

Report by Grant Oseland

 

 


Report by Stuart Martin

Sun 26 Aug 2007

   


Another fine day at Ringstead, although I think that many of us would rather be inland. Lots of lift, sunshine, light winds and folks in the air, just like the Good 'ol Days: even Dave Franlin was there.

Should you see yourself in one of my pictures, and wish to have a copy, then e-mail me your request (let me know if you have broadband).


Report by David Franklin

 

 
A couple of views of the Steam Fair without the crowds.

Report by Colin Davies

I arrived at Monks in mid afternoon to find lots of pilots on the ground waiting for what were now reported as rare thermal cycles. Cheekily I chose to drive over to Winklebury, mainly to have more space if a thermal did come pass. Fortunately the gamble paid off and I was able to climb out. Even late in the afternoon cloud base was only just over 3000' ATO. Landed at 5pm near Bere Regis after chasing columns of seagulls for a low save that was not to be. Retrieved Phil Smith on the drive back to the hill who wondered if anyone else has flown in this direction from Winklebury before?

Report by Alastair Florence

 

     
Made an early start on Monks with Dave W, looked ok at first, then after a quick fly decided it wasn't, but then things changed again and improved. Morning was consistent and pleasant, PM turned to weak cycles with only a hand full of the club elders getting away but mostly making good distances, I tried to be a smart ass and flew to Winklebury only to get stranded for ages until I could get enough height to fly back (at least most of the way) evening turned out lovely, smooth and reasonably buoyant for a while allowing good fun to be had by all in the air. A day like summer should be I reckon with plenty of people on the hill. ( the second sitephone message did the trick and stopped it getting too crowded, I always say you shouldn't totally rely on it)

Report by Gary Pocock

 

 
Conditions weren't the best I've flown at this site, but it was certainly fun trying and good to get out again. Sometimes the thermic cycles were enough to keep you airborne for 20 mins or so . Had plenty flights and a couple of good height gains. Others pilots were Mark F, Woody, John S, Mike D.


Sat 25 Aug 2007

Report by Dave Winn

 

   


The long parawait paid off in the end. Cycling most of the day it was grab your chance when you could. Good paractice at scratching at times till later when the lift improved.

Report by Roy Menage

 

   
Judging by the forecast, it looked like Kimmeridge might be good so I set off straight after breakfast. I arrived to see the hill just at the top of the inversion. I decided to hang around to see if the breeze picked up after making the mistake of taking off with it too light and ending up at the bottom. About 12:00 it started to work. . . just, allowing a quick dash to the stone wall and back followed by a top landing. As the day improved, I was able to make a few trips to Swyre Head and back, getting it wrong the last time and landing at the bottom when the lift suddenly switched off. Naturally, having packed up for the day and struggling back to the top, the lift came back. I wasn't going to get the wing out again so hung around and talked to the others there. First-timers were Sean, Paul and Craig - welcome guys. Also present was Dave (sorry, I don't know your last name) I can't help feeling I've missed somebody so sorry if it's you.

So all-in-all quite a nice day and definitely worth the £2. Plus the traffic was moving smoothly all the way home.


Fri 24 Aug 2007

Report by Roger Edwards

 

   
     

The forecast showed enough XC promise to lure all the inveterate skivers to the hill, along with new red ribbon members Florian N and William E, but sadly it didn't live up to it's promise. The day was overcast initially but with a nice 10mph breeze bang on the hill which took us up into the broken and, at times, rather edgy thermals. For an hour or so it was buoyant enough to give 300ft+, but as the crowds arrived the blue sky appeared and purely cyclic stuff started. Sadly the blue didn't last that long, and despite a few good attempts to get away Dave F was the only success (nr Blandford) . I left about 3:30, the few remaining optimists scratching around in the very occasional ENE cycles. Top marks to the new boys for giving it a go despite it being difficult conditions for novices.


Thu 16 Aug 2007

Report by Wright, Keith

I lost a black Land rover key while flying at Ringstead Friday 10/8/7 lots of pilots about will be most pleased to see its return Keith Wright


Sun 12 Aug 2007

Report by Mike Bretherton

 

     

Me and Adrian Bishop have just returned from the British Open competition at the Long Mynd. It was taskable everyday and there were some very long tasks were set. We had very light conditions most days and it was very difficult to climb out so there was lots of parawaiting.

 


Sat 11 Aug 2007


Report by Alastair Florence

 

 

An old school mate and a couple of his friends visited from Thames Valley today so we met up at White Horse, started light, got good, then went West, plenty there, bit manic until the seperation improved and Dave W and Sean S popped off over the back.

After picking up a bit of height I thought I would try for a triangle and headed out over Sutton Poyntz, could only find lift East of the village so didn't get far enough out to try and score.

We went back for an evening chill out on St. Aldhelms, not much height but bright and pleasant enough.

 


Fri 10 Aug 2007

Report by Alastair Florence

 

     
A very pleasant evenings cruising at St. Aldhelms, sunny, wind just right, smooth, plenty of lift, planned to have 20 mins on the way home ended up going after an hour and twenty. Accompanied by Alan W and Quentin


Thu 09 Aug 2007

Report by David Franklin

 

   
A group of five(Neill F,Pete C, Adrian C and John P) left the hill around 2. 00pm and after a slow start all made good height. Adrian tried an easterly track and landed at the Horton Inn I think. I am not sure where John landed but Peter thought it was around Bere Regis. The rest of us made swanage by our own routes. The only thing that tarnished the flight slightly was being told by the warden at Durlston I wasn't welcome and he would rather we didn't land there again. Nothing to do with f&m just seemed a bit of a "jobsworth".

Report by Keith Burridge

 

     
Arrived bell 2. 00pm to see many gliders on the ground. This was due to the general cyclic conditions of the morning. “One up all up, one down all down”. Thermals up to about 500ft ato were narrow with sharpish edges but with persistence and a lot of follow the one going up a gaggle of about half a doz (not me, I felt like the dog tethered to the ground in Peter Pan) managed to leave the hill. Swanage was achieved by a few inc. Pete C (goal achieved!) Conditions remained cyclic and another window for leaving the hill came through and I finally managed to depart. Made the Worlds end pub via Bere Regis. “Always land short near civilisation” reckons I.

Report by Shamus Pitts

 

 
Arrived at Telegraph Hill at 6:30pm to pretty much exactly the same conditions as yesterday, the only difference being that there were other people flying. Not much to add to yesterdays report - slightly gusty, a little bit bumpy, easy to maintain 150-200'. I landed after 50 minutes and should have stopped then, but I took off again just as the wind started to drop, so had to walk back up! D'oh! Shamus Pitts

Report by Everard Cunion

 

   
No idea who it is, but it is the only photo I took on the hill today.


Wed 08 Aug 2007

Report by Shamus Pitts

 

 
I got to Telegraph Hill about 6:30pm, thinking it would probably be too windy, but the wind was blowing 16-21mph on takeoff with the occasional bigger gust so I thought it would be probably worth a go.

Out in front of the ridge conditions were fairly smooth and I enjoyed half an hour floating around on my own. There were odd bits of thermals coming through but nothing I could use, but I could easily maintain 100'-200' ATO.

I normally fly until the lift runs out, then have to walk back up, so this time I landed early and packed up. The wind was still blowing 13-16mph when I left so I could have flown again, but I didn't want to push my luck too far!


Tue 07 Aug 2007

Report by Simon Jones

I drove to Kimmeridge with sea paddling in mind, but the range flags indicated a decent South-westerly - well worth a little walk up to the ridge. Wind was 12 to 16 and a bit off to the west. However, once in the air, thermals were fairly abundant. I landed after 20 minutes to allow a couple of large Cu-nims to drift a bit further towards Sandbanks - looks like they might have had quite a bit of rain during the early afternoon.

I then launched again and had what was probably 2 hours in the air, periodically touching down on the ridge to the west of take-off, as I occasionally fell victim to rapid sink. On the ridge to the east of take-off, the thermals were big and punchy, with the vario going beserk on several occasions. With 2 hours of air-time, one would expect a fairly average club pilot to be able to pick a half-way decent top-landing spot.

No. Instead I ended up picking my glider out of a barbed wire fence. I have done for top landing what George Bush has done for World Peace.

Many thanks to the pilot who arrived just in time to help me extricate myself from a prickly situation - embarrasingly I forgot your name in the heat of the moment. Hope you had as good a time as I did - and a happier landing.

Report by Mike Adkins

Arrived Bell 1130ish to find Derek S, Keith W, Grant O, & Peter R all contemplating a droopy windsock. So I flew my RC Gentle Lady, but there was hardly enough wind to keep her up, either! Then Mark R arrived and the breeze kicked in. (Don't know what's special about him!) Gary P & Richard W appeared, apparently to finally sign off Gary as a tandem pilot, and we all took to the air - in my case, not for long, as the breeze died. Finally, as so often happens these days, most of the pilots in the air were struggling to get down, while Gary & Richard just punted round the sky. Later Derek and I flew again but neither of us enjoyed it. I left the hill about 1600 with only Derek and Harry D still there. I reckon if you didn't make Bell today, you didn't miss much!


Sun 05 Aug 2007

Report by Shamus Pitts

 

   

 

Having travelled to Mere to find it blown out, I decided to give the White Horse a go and arrived about 3 o'clock to a nice 13mph southerly wind. Conditions were similar to yesterday, if a little busier, and I enjoyed a good hour or so yo-yoing around the sky!


Sat 04 Aug 2007

Report by Alastair Florence

 

     
Nice day, did Ringstead to Man o war bay first then drove back to Knitson for a couple of hours thermalling over the ridge and out over the valley. Cows bothered Mike D a bit (farmer ok with us being there in case anyone wondered re F&M), distant picture taken by the wife from the kitchen window.

Report by Shamus Pitts

 

 

Arrived at Ringstead at about 1 o'clock to find the wind slightly south and about 15mph (much better than forecast). The southerly element in the wind made it difficult (for me) to build up a lot of height, but after I'd climbed about 100' ATO I thought it might be worth a trip out to the cliffs. As I was approaching the power lines I realised I didn't have the height to make it so I had to land in pretty much the furthest field from the ridge and walk back up - I didn't want to have to do that again! I had another flight and top landed, and then took off again and found a thermal out in front of the ridge that took me up 120' ATO. The air felt good, so I tried again to get to the cliffs, only to land in exactly the same place! By the time I'd struggled back to take off, I decided that the White Horse might be a better bet.

When we got to the White Horse, there were a couple of wings there already and the wind was pretty good at 14mph. I took off, and although the lift was coming through in waves, it was pretty easy to stay up and I found a thermal to take up to about 300' ATO before the wind seemed to drop a little. As more people turned up and took off I was coaxed back in to the air again and enjoyed another 3 or 4 flights in occasionally scratchy but nicely thermic conditions.


Report by Grant Oseland

 

   


Fri 03 Aug 2007

Report by Stuart Martin

   
Another fine day at Ringstead, although I think that many of us would rather be inland. Lots of lift, sunshine, light winds and folks in the air, just like the Good 'ol Days: even Dave Franklin was there.

Should you see yourself in one of my pictures, and wish to have a copy, then e-mail me your request (let me know if you have broadband).


Report by Grant Oseland

 

   
Another good day at Ringstead today loads of people there, to many to mention, Had my first introduction to Tandem flying, thanks RW, and also as the day went on the conditions seemed to change a bit, not sure what changed but over the white Nothe I got just over 1000 ft above take off! Heres hoping tomorrow will be good. P. S Don't try and take off in strong wind upside down with your shoelace hook caught in the lines as it doesn't work very well and will never make it into the text books as a recognised take off method!

Report by Keith Burridge

 

   
Great Day at Ringstead. Too many there to many to mention. About sixteen Paragliders and half a dozen Hangies. Singles, Tandems, Hangliders


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