Eye in the Sky - Dec 2008

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Tue 30 Dec 2008

Report by Alastair Florence

 

   
Paul H and me succumbed to frustration and desperation with a trip to Mercury today, as usual apparently we should have been there yesterday when it was great all day.

Started off clagged in, then cleared a bit but wind was off to the North then cleared more but wind was still off North, came back on the hill but then lacked wind. Only the bowl was really working to any degree of scratchability but better than nothing I guess. Pete C making a social appearance with Simon J who we think we spotted flying in the gloom over Butser ! later, Paul S and Rob plus several other pilots on the hill or scratching about (but no Sky surfers i think) (they probably knew better)


Wed 24 Dec 2008

Report by Craig Byrne

 

   
(Paramotor out and return) Finishing work at 12:00, I raced to my TO near Wickham to get a flight in before the festivities get underway. After setting up in record time a perfect power launch has me up up and away heading first over the Solent, then back over home and my local pub.

After some wagga on high I head off over industrial estates then over the M27 then past Whiteley, over Soberton Water Treatment Plant (stopping to take photos there then off to new goal of Mercury. Butser looks close but with only 4 litre left I head back at Chidden.

I headed back over hundred acres wood then landed back at TO in 1.5 hours and 43k .

It was quite claggy and base was 2300asl, i stayed at 1000 to 1500 ft asl most of the time, it was also very cold.. Merry Xmas All :-)


Thurs 18 Dec 2008

Report by Simon Jones

Woolacoombe, North Devon The romantic few days away in North Devon I had planned for this week took a surprising turn when we found ourselves at Woolacoombe in a firm Westerly... and I happened to find my wing buried in the boot! I had a lovely flight on the dunes at the back of the beach with great bunch of pilots from the North Devon Club. The air was extremely smooth, although the wind gradient was quite steep! Quite a few pilots popped in Big Ears to land on the hill behind the bay, with varying levels of success.

What a fantastic bit of luck! Thanks to Seamus for the tip-off.


Sun 14 Dec 2008

Report by Shamus Pitts

 

   
Freezing cold, gloomy, at times rough, but a surprisingly fun afternoon was had by a few intrepid pilots at Monksdown today. The wind started off light but picked up, dropped off a bit, then picked up again as the day went on. There seemed to be a band of lift well out in front of the hill, so I don’t know if that was some sort of wave effect coming off the ridge in front….? In the end, as is fairly normal at Monks when it’s lifty, most of us struggled to get down! Simon J, Danny “No Cash” and myself having to Big Ears down to the bottom landing field – even then we didn’t seem to be coming down quickly! The cold hands and wet and muddy wing were worth the 2 hours in the air, topped off with a swift half by a log fire at a local hostelry – not a bad Sunday after all!


Wed 10 Dec 2008

Report by Alastair Florence

 

   
A combination of some annual holiday left to burn, not much happening at work and some promising sounding sitephone messages lead me to taking a half day and heading for Bell.

A very pleasant afternoon with Roger E, Dave F (spectating) Harry D, Derek S, Karl, Keith B, Sean M, Paul H, Quentin, Marcus and more again who's name escape me again.

Stayed nice all afternoon, very icy driving up the lanes from Blandford.

Guy's please help your Sites Officer have a stress free Winter, Please check the Site closures for shooting at Monks, Telegraph and Kimmeridge , all are shown clearly on the website Home page yet twice now we have had Pilots turning up on Monks on closed days ! and Condors have had similar at Telegraph, Thanks for your help.

Report by David Franklin

 

 
I was cycling and walking today but enjoyed watching the dedicated few having some really good flying.David Franklin.


Mon 08 Dec 2008

Report by Roger Edwards

I'd had my eye on getting out late in the day but the Barton messages didn't sound very promising. Looking out of the window I could see the clouds moving at a fair pace, but strangely the trees were still as statues. About 2pm I decided to get some fresh air and that I might as well have a look at Southbourne. On arrival it didn't seem very promising: off to the west and not that much of a breeze, with the occasional strongish gust. I opted for a stroll along the cliffs but after awhile realised the breeze seemed to be pushing up them OK, if still a bit off, and the gulls were doing OK.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I got my kit out and decided to have a go but met with an unexpected delay. Half the Bournemouth police force turned up to prevent a guy from launching himself of the cliff, sans wing. I decided it probably wouldn't be appreciated if I encouraged him by launching myself off. Once all the excitement was over, the police having been successful, I popped the wing up to test the now even weaker breeze, only to have rotor off the little shop bring it down again. Yep, still off, but going higher up the launch and getting the wing over my head solved the problem of the rotor. A good run got me off OK and I headed into wind, fully expecting to end up on the beach.

But as my cliff top walk had suggested, it wasn't too bad. Well, OK, it was quite bad and I had to scratch to get my bum above the cliff top, but I wasn't heading for the giant sand pit. Milking every bit off lift I made it to the the Boscombe Pier end, very slowly progressing into the wind. I then turned as gently as possible and had the thrill of trying to scratch back up in a fast down wind leg which had me close enough to prune the bushes on the cliffs. Past launch it was actually better lift, which surprised me, and after playing for a bit I got in on top OK. By this time the sun was behind the clouds and it was pretty gloomy, even a couple of street lights on. And only 3 o'clock! What wind there was had dropped by the time I packed up so it seems I had what fun there was to be had.


Sun 07 Dec 2008

Report by Craig Byrne

 

  

I had a good flight from near Wickham then over Tichfield, The Solent and then a few snaps of Spinnaker Tower. Then over East of Pompey and back to Wickham. The views were great and an unusual looking sky had formed as there was and inversion at 2500ASL.

I also spotted another Paramotor on route, not sure who other pilot was but saw him-land at a farm near the main Wickham road.

I manged the flight in 1.5 hours and hit the best height of 3400asl on water crossing and only landed as I was so cold :-) Cheers Craig



Report by Paul Hawkins

 

   
Nice day for stroll so me and Ali walked up Ballard which is always good for practising your forward launch techniques, with a light back wind a good quick run was essential. Nice for me to see how the new wing comes up and behaves as have not tried forward launch on it before.


Report by Alastair Florence

 

 
Had nowt much planned for today so decided to spend the afternoon helping Paul H flog a dead horse on Ballard. Nice cooling breeze (well barely noticable breath more like) coming up the back and not much else, when we ran out of things to talk about putting right in the world we both forward launched and cruised down to the beach.

As a matter of interest I checked out my log book after yesterday, last entry for Monks was early April prior to yesterday, pretty much sums up the summer.


Sat 06 Dec 2008

Report by Alastair Florence

 

   
I think Shamus has pretty much covered the day already. It was just nice to get a bright pleasant day when you could actually fly land and fly again, rather than just snatch a narrow window of opportunity and have it close as soon as it opened.

Very busy at times when the lift was 'off' but personally I only saw sensible and considerate flying so pat on back all.

Mostly smooth, gentle and like i said just pleasant plus good to see each other again.

Report by Shamus Pitts

 

  
I heard Dave W’s message on the sitephone at 8:30 am saying that Monksdown was flyable so I had some breakfast, packed my stuff and got there about 10:30.

The wind was about 12-14mph and slightly off to the west, but it soon came round and flicked between N, NNW and NNE throughout the day. I had the best flying I’ve had in a long time today, although it was cold, the sun was out and it was lightly thermic. It was a bit scratchy at times, crowded at times, but lots of fun – it was good to see so many people out. I found that once I’d got about 50’ ATO things got a bit easier and I could survive the sinky patches without worrying about landing! By about 2 o’clock the wind seemed to have dropped and slowly everybody started packing up. I probably had about an hour and a half in the air, up to about 300’ ATO – not bad for a cold December day!


Mon 01 Dec 2008

Report by Alastair Florence

 

 
Left the Ringwood office near lunchtime today, I had assumed it was too windy but just happened to call the sitephone as you do. Thanks Marcus ? for the message which caused me to take a detour via Bell. Lightish on arrival but do-able as the Grandfather was proving. Soon joined by Marcus, Harry D, Mike A, Qentin, me and several others who's names escape me.

Nice bright and sunny but a tad chilly, but what you could actually describe as pleasant for a change. Bouyant with plenty of lifty bits.

After about half an hour the wind picked up a bit and then picked up a lot.

Followed Marcus off down the lanes toward Blandford until we came across two vehicles that didn't seem able to pass each other. I got bored waiting and went another way Marcus called later to say another waiting person (female) had become impatient and gone bezerk tearing branches off a tree with her bare hands and thrashing the vehicles.

Probably didn't help them get past each other though.

Shame to miss the fun but there ya go.


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