Eye in the Sky - Dec 2007

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Mon 31 Dec 2007

Report by Gary Mullins

Arrived at 10am to find Wayne Bevan, his dog and a very light southerly. Had a few attempts (4 feet ATO was the best on the vario), Wayne played frisbee with his dog.

Neil Atkinson arrived, just as the wind veered a fraction and slowly increased. By now I was nearly hypoxic at 20 feet ATO. Wayne and Neil started rigging their Atos'sss.

By about 11. 30 conditions could be described as "almost". At midday wind speed and direction improved alarmingly making the transition to the cliffs a doddle.

Neil and Wayne took off. A very pleasant couple hours of waftage was had. While this was going on James Tawse turned up and joined in the fun.

Then, at 2, the rain came.


Report by Alastair Florence

 

   
The forecast for today looked like there should be a chance of one final fly for 2007. No wind at home though until lunchtime and then only the faintest SSE, took a look on the beach, nothing just the faintest SSW. So tried Knitson, nothing at the bottom at all, so went up to Worth out of desperation. Suprisingly found a fresh SW so tried St. A's. Good strength but off South so went to Kimmeridge.

At last a flyable site.

The whole ridge was working well with a SW-SSW 14-16mph and nice visibility. Not massive height (280ft ato max) but easy cruising and very smooth. After an hour or so it Looked like the clag was dropping on Ringstead and orographic cloud was begining to form at Worbarrow.

Paul H turned up and launched quickly, by now clag was begining to form on Swyre head with isolated patches of light drizzle. Had a while working the clag then landed out followed a bit after by Paul as the drizzle was getting more persistent and the clag more claggy. An hour and 3/4 to finish off the year, nice enough, roll on 2008.


Sun 30 Dec 2007

Report by Alastair Florence

St. Aldhelms Head, again, started off light just about soarable so did for a bit, got lighter and unsoarable, quite a crowd of parawaiters maxing out at 7. Pick up enough for a few more minutes of cliff kicking then died off again. Maybe 10mins or so total aitime for 4 - 5 hours wait. hmm bad ratio.


Wed 26 Dec 2007

Report by Joe Mccarthy

 

   

Here is a pic of Brian at Barton on Boxing day.

Good flying lots of lift and stable flew most of afternoon.

Just what we needed!!


Report by Alastair Florence

 

   
A couple of pictures from St. A's, I had to give Kimmeridge a miss due to 'family committments' but after reading Pauls report maybe that was for the better.

Report by Paul Hawkins

Ali and I had a good fly on the cliffs at St Aldhelms Head but started to get bored after over an hour and a half of super smooth flying so I followed Ali back to the car park for an interesting landing! I found Ali talking to new member Chris then Quentin turned up looking to fly. We all decided to go and have a look at Kimmeridge. Quentin and I had 25 min of very interesting flying until conditions forced my second "not too clever" landing of the day. Lots of fun was had by all.

Report by Jeremy Calderwood

 

     
After looking at XTWeather and then hearing Brian's sitephone message I hurried over to Barton. Arriving just after midday I found Brian and Gary P sitting on the bench watching the seagulls flapping by and some nutter bodysurfing in the sea below. The breeze did not even register on my trusty old Ventimeter.

By 1. 00pm the breeze was up enough for Brian to plant his windsock at the cliff edge - soon there were 8 or 9 of us admiring it. Richard grew restless and called it a day - a sacrifice to the wind gods! At last by 1. 30 the magic number of 8 mph had been reached - shortly after Brian, Gary and I were floating along with Joe and Rob not far behind. It freshened to 12+ mph but a patch of drizzle did dampen things a bit.

I got a very useful 43 minutes flying to the Milford beach huts and back although the hop over Becton Bunny was a very low and briefly anxious moment until I just scraped back to the top to clear the promontory by the golf course. Meanwhile Gary went the other way towards Naish where he made an unscheduled stop! Somehow he managed to get back up and back to Barton before doing the same again somewhere off in the Milford direction. . .

Rob had his first outing for 4 months and made the most of the lively conditions later on just before I had to depart.

All in all a good Boxing Day cobweb-clearing afternoon.


Wed 26 Dec 2007

Report by Craig Byrne

 

   

Happy Xmas All, I had two nice flights today out over the Solent to 2500ft then giving the ACTION GT a through ring out. It was not that windy below 500ft but quite a headwind above that, I still can get use to flying fully re-flexed and full bar at 65km, and it's at its safest configuration! I also managed some lovely spirals, though these are to the right as it goes with torque effect. The landings are fun to even on slow setting you scream in then flare, a bit like high altitude landings.




Sun 23 Dec 2007

Report by Jon Harvey
Visited Westbay about 2pm, found the breeze off east of south, but still thought that there maybe a chance to of flying, so ultimately to Eype. Called Garry F, and arrived about 3pm, yes off to the east, but more strength than yesterday, so decided to give it a try.

Met up with James Learmont and Garry.

Flew the bowl, east side no lift, not unexpected really, so out to the cliffs towards W/B, meanwhile Garry, went more or less went straight for Thorncombe, so followed by me. Jumped Eype gap, no lose of height, good speed, great, so visions of Charmouth and back.

No, big big sink in the bowl just to east of Thorncombe for both of us. Tried many times, still same result. Strange, here the wind quite westerly, but at Eype, much more from east of best direction.

Eventually had an hour in the air. Not epic, but at least off the ground again.


Sat 22 Dec 2007

Report by Alastair Florence

 

 
Almost a month since the last log book entry so it was good to find a break in the weather today, a. m was rain + little wind, p. m brought brighter conditions and more breeze, seemed SSW but then more SW so I tried St. Aldhelms, Quentin was already in the car park. Out on launch was fairly light but probably ok. Once in the air there seemed to be alot more South than I had anticipated but neverthless it was quite flyable, Emmetts Hill and the coastguards cliff were more into wind and working better. I even tried going round the corner past the coastguard but this did not really work. No more than 180ft ato but pleasant enough for 40 mins. Air sharing with a pair of Peregrines added to the pleasure.

Report by Shamus Pitts

I had my first short flight in over 2 months this afternoon! I got to the White Horse at about 1:30 to find a reasonable 12 - 16mph SW wind. As it was off to the west, only the eastern end of the ridge was working although even there I didn't get much height. There was no-one else there - it was just me, a fox and 2 deer for about 20 minutes, before I ran out of luck and had to land in the field at the bottom! There was still no-one there when I left about 2:30, but by then the wind had dropped down to about 8mph (still off to the west).


Fri 21 Dec 2007

Report by Craig Cockburn

 

     


I have been a member of Wessex for a while now and have flown fairly little due to work commitments, *sigh*. However i had the opportunity to go to India for some Guided flying with Steve Purdie from Airworks who runs an annual trip to the Himalaya. Being a fairly low airtime pilot I wanted a guided trip to ease me into the Thrills of mountain flying and having learnt from Steve thought this was the ideal way to get my first taste of Thermalling! I had also been on an SIV course so thought that this was the next logical step for my flying.

I met with a few pilots who i did not know at the Airport, whereby they were easily identified by there boots and was soon in for a 7 Hour Flight to amritsar then a 7 hour drive to Bir, Himachal Pradesh and the final resting place. I stayed in an old english tea house 5 mins walk from the main landing field where i was fed a cooked breakfast every morning. First day on the scene was raining in the morning which soon lifted for a pleasant afternoons top to bottom to get me acquainted with the take of and landing field. The next fortnights aviating now seems a bit of a blur with flying everyday i was there. The conditions were mellow and reliable and i had some great fun. The most i managed was probably 8km along the ridge, however my novice thermalling was holding me back but towards the end of the trip i felt i was getting better at it.

Having someone on the radio telling me what to do and where not to fly along with some great thermalling advice and some follow me (If i could) tactics was a great introduction to Thermalling.
Some of the Highlights of my trip were seeing the snow capped Himalayas once i managed to Thermal up to the top of the Spline, an image i dont think i will forget. Also flying generally in the foothills with a myriad of Birds of prey including Himalayan griffyn vultures was a great experience. One of the lowlights included an overshoot of the landing field ending in the nickname "Fruitbat"

Overall it was a great experience and i think i will be back next year.

Craig Cockburn.


Wed 19 Dec 2007

Report by Joe McCarthy

 

   

I was checking out Barton the other day and who do I see getting a quick flight in before his rounds but Jolly Ole Saint Nic!! Quick as a flash he packed his canopy into a big red sack androde off on a motor bike of all things. With a jolly chuckle I could here him exclaim Merry Christmas to all and to all a good flight!!!!! Happy Holidays!

 


Wed 12 Dec 2007

Report by Craig Byrne

 

   
I had another good day today but with quite a strong SE breeze, I decided to head upwind along the coast. The views were stunning with lots of frost, and the IOW covered in mist. The landing was also interesting as the wind had picked up and my landing field is megga boggy, just call me swamp thing :-) There is a video from today on YouTube: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=N8iCueW6o0Q


Report by Lawrence Toogood

Lawrence T 12 Dec I finished work early due to a dentist appointment but made sure it was early enough to check out Bmth cliffs and a possible fly as the wind was predicted 7-9 southerly(perfect). No sign of any wind on the drive to the cliffs but on arrival a lone glider was doing very nicely . So once suited and booted i joined Vojtech in a pleasant 20 mins of winter soaring.

According to Vojtech i should have been around at midday, wind was quite strong and a little scary, nil wind at his place(5mins from T/O)Bmth Airport giving NE yet very flyable strong S'th at T/O, just as strange on returning to Bmth cliffs after my dentist (4. 20pm) nil wind in my face yet the flag just up from the BIC was standing very proud??? The previous night there were two very strange (madmen) out in kayaks at the dead of night -2 temp, one even swimming, Mr Westgate! I am trying my best to get him killed the other wk it was a force 9 and his first time in a kayak so if any of you guys r looking for that rush this winter iam willing to teach another victim to kayak surf.


Tue 11 Dec 2007

Report by Craig Byrne

 

 

In air for 09:00 and head off towards Wickham with a turn point planned at Droxford, there is a bit of a headwind but I bob along making good progress. Fantastic views and a lovely feeling flying along above rush hour, I stop and 360 occasionally to take photos and admire the view. It's bloody cold but brill. I stop just short of Droxford and head back, aided by the tailwind its back to my home take off in 15 mins. I had to be at work for 11-00 so could only have an hour's play!


Tue 04 Dec 2007

Report by Pete Robinson

 

 


This is Lake Keepit and Lake Keepit airfield (hangars visible above the turn-and-slip on the instrument panel) in NSW. First solo flight yesterday with 4 more since then, all aerotows. Every day at the moment gets more or less stormy in the afternoon, but before then it is soarable for an hour or two. The legendary Mt. Borah, Manilla is only 40km away but I have been too busy with the sailplane tuition to take the paraglider over there.


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