Eye in the Sky - June 2009

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Tues 30 Jun 2009

Report by Alastair Florence


A nice evenings flying was had at Mere Rifle Range tonight to round off the month. I got there about 1830 and had a very pleasant hour plus, fairly smooth with the remnants of the days thermals chugging through, also on site were Roy M, Harry D, Andy F and Karl plus a few (presumably) Avon pilots.

Gets a peachometer 6
Mon 29 Jun 2009

Report by John Alder

Mere Rifle Range. Arrived about 4 o'clock to find no-one flying; just a rigid HG in the landing field. The wind was gusting up to 19mph so I rigged the HG while Nick (rigid pilot) took off again and was doing OK. However, by the time I was ready, he was only soaring about 20m ATO. The bottom fields are all in crop and it's also a massive chore to recover your HG from the bottom at this site (assuming you know the lock combination to get there). I thought €˜OK, let's get the PG out and test my launching skills to the limit'! I got off at the 2nd try and had a nice bimble about in surprisingly smooth air, used my newly acquired stirrup for the first time (very comfy) and did a halfway-decent slope landing. All-in€“all a successful trip.

Sat 27 Jun 2009

Report by Sean Staines

I went to Beer head for the day and found myself alone on take off, with a good strength wind and orographic cloud forming about 150ft above the cliff. I took off and surfed the edge of the orographic out to sea. I made the Sidmouth crossing and spent some time trying to regain height at the other side because the wind was quite westerly and turbulent close in. Eventually I made enough height get back across Sidmouth and made it back to Beer without much effort. On the second run the orographic dissapeared and the lift went with it so I found myself on the beach waiting for a retrieve by Andrea.

Back on take off a few more paragliders and a couple of hang gliders had arrived. The orographic reappeared but thicker this time, so off I went again. This time I managed to work my way out, round and above the orographic which was providing constant steady lift to get me to 700ft ATO, about 1000ft above the sea. It was magical to look down at my shadow on the cloud with a halo and rainbow effect. Seeing a hang glider passing the other way beneath the cloud through a gap was an unusual perspective. All in all a great days flying.

Report by Richard Mosley

A good crowd of peple flying at Ringstead and a few of us managed to get to the cliffs on paragliders before the orographic cloud went down to sea level, then the wind dropped to zero for a while. So I packed up and went to the white horse alone; Good decision! wind had picked up and was brisk and thermic , had a great time in the strong thermals and ended up at a good grand above the valley and village. Behind in the distance lots of Q, Nimbs, after a few tucks in the rough air, i rigged and flew the hang glider it was brilliant. In the distance a completely clagged in Ringstead. The wind started to drop and swing west and the thermals died. I was lucky to be able to Fly as the purbecks were all covered with low cloud.

Report by Roger Edwards


After a morning scratching our heads over reserve repack manuals Roy M suggested taking a look at at Corton Denham. This made sense as we were half way there, what there was of a breeze was SW and the sky looked XCable. It was my first ever trip to the site and my initial thoughts were that it's a beautiful spot but has a lot going on for a small site - one to take your wits to and keep 'em about you.

The sky looked great, clouds building out in front though looking a little big behind. Only wind was when a cycle came through. Roy demonstrated that it wasn't that lifty, even with a good thermic breeze, and I was lucky on my first flight to get into a thermal and scrape together nearly 500ft. I didn't like the look of the NW end as there was a big valley to fall into behind, and though I was still in something at the village end, where the ground behind was flatter, it didn't feel convincing enough to get me anywhere.

The rest of the afternoon remained cyclic but not at all lifty, and bloody hot too - I'm sure we both lost weight. Karl B joined us late in the day and shortly after what must have been sea air blew through as it got stronger and colder and rougher and blue. As I packed it eased off and Roy and Karl got a good 20mins of reasonable height before the lift went again.

I wasn't ruing my decision not to go over the back as the clouds were certainly looking big, giving the feeling that it would have been just a little too exciting. All in all and interesting day - clearly this site has some unique conditions, quite possibly due to the lay of the land around it.

Report by Jon Harvey


Eype again today.

Arrived Eype shortly after 12.30 and then the clag, and base down to around 100ft. Even horizontal distance was bad.Pity as all morning bright and sunny.

Eventually mist cleared and became bright and sunny, so a walk to take off, light to start with, but with little effort launched and then as wind strength increased Thorncombe and Seatown, but just not sufficient height to arrive across on Golden Cap side with any lift.

Portland and the coast toward West Bexington area, was very grey and claggie, looked like heavy rain, and to the west Beerhead towards Lyme Regis was in heavy orographic. Both Golden Cap and Thorncombe had thin orographic forming orographic forming, so back to Eype, and landed.

nearly 2 hrs airtime, John P, Cathy and Jon

Report by Alastair Florence


Just had an excellent family/flying holiday in Olu Deniz, emphasis was more on the family bit than flying but managed to get 4 flights in including 2 good thermalling flights up to 7000ft amsl, first flight was a scary launch in a 24km/hr Northerly starting off with being tossed around like a feather but finding lovely smooth sea air from 4500ft downward. Bloke on beach is undergoing tuition in local pg school, also notice I felt the bushes at the landing zone were a bit plain and thought they may look brighter decorated with a nice yellow paraglider. Bloke on a tandem decorated the same one soon after jettisoning his pasenger who wing-suited down.

Sat 27 Jun 2009

Report by Shamus Pitts


After waiting for a couple of hours at St Aldhem's for the orographic to clear, Nigel B and I headed up to the ranges above Kimmeridge to see if anywhere on the coast was free of clag. It looked like Kimmeridge might be doable so we headed there.

The wind only seemed to be 10 €“ 14mph on take off but once I'd built a bit of a wall it seemed much stronger. I took off and found the air to be fairly rough and gusty. I could see the orographic wafting through from Kimmeridge bay and also from the end of the ridge near Houns Tout €“ it looked to me like the wind was blowing WSW on one side and SSW on the other and the two winds converging round the take off area. There were plenty of ups and downs and although plenty of lift materialised every time I thought I was going to have to land, the air was just a bit too unpredictable for me to relax. After about 25 minutes I noticed that the orographic was building from each side so I flew out from the hill. The cloud continued to build so I €œBig-Earsed€ down but even after doing that the clag seemed to smother me. I kept an eye on the ground and headed out from the hill, slowly losing height. As I lost height the clag increased and it was like looking through a peephole at the ground. I managed to €œS€ off my height and land, but it was surprising how quick the conditions changed!

Report by Craig Byrne


Barton On Sea.

Another good day at the office, Joe and H did most of the Barton run and got some brilliant lift as the sea breeze kicked in. Steve A and Brian and Soton Uni Dude turned up later to enjoy the excellent afternoons flying.

Thursday 25th June

Report by John Alder

Mercury Hill. Arrived at about 1030hrs to find conditions OK for HG €“ a bit strong and gusty for PG. Rigged and flew HG in rough air with very broken lift; topped out at 160m ATO and gradually lost height so I squeaked in at the top after 20 minutes while I had the height (bottom fields are all in crop). Later the conditions improved for PGs and our own Mike Bennett turned up with a dual and passenger. They had a good flight in the end but not much height gain. I got my PG out and had a hop but was sunk out straight away. After struggling back up the hill slope, my energy reserves were exhausted so I packed up but other PGs were having more success by the time I left at about 1700hrs.

Tue 23 Jun 2009

Report by Craig Byrne





What a brilliant few days, I have flown every day from Friday.

18hrs in 5 days cant be bad.

The photos are from Barton with a few of the usual suspects and a few from the Barton run, today as the sea breeze kicked in I managed 200ato at golf course and 280ato at Highcliffe Castle.

Report by Shamus Pitts


My wife and I have booked a weeks holiday from work this week and she said that she'd like to go to the beach one day. Having caught up with a few chores this morning and with a south-easterly wind reported to be blowing on the coast we jumped in the car and headed to Swanage.

I was a bit concerned that it might be blown out as there were reports of strong wind from Southbourne and Barton on the site phone, but when I got to Swanage the flags were flapping, but not too aggressively! I walked the long walk up to the top of Ballard Down, still expecting it to be blown out, but when I got to the summit it was surprisingly light. And off to the east! I took off, skimming the grass on the way to the cliff, and eventually found a bit of lift. The going was slow but the cliffs were working a bit. I managed to get about 45' ATO at the far end (towards the IOW) but it wasn't particularly buoyant and after half an hour I decided to join my wife on the beach.

Mon 22 Jun 2009

Report by Neil Mccain



Interesting day! I joined the long roll-call of pilots who have flown the Barton ridge run (19km return, if I recall from our retired OS Guru and leading Barton Scratcher).

Conditions just after midday meant the run up to Steamer Point, beyond Lulworth Castle, was straightforward with plenty of height, the return less so but we all got home one way or another. Later, the run eastwards took me past the sights and sounds of the nudist beach. The poorer your eyesight, the better the view - nuff said.

Somehow in the middle of the day, I reminded myself the hard way about the perils of 360-ing close to the cliff face, but the only real damage was to my pride - a lucky escape, I think!

About 4pm as the wind dropped at Barton, I chanced a trip to Southborne, and was rewarded with the entire run up to Sandbanks and back. Dave C came too, pushing onto the Sandbanks spur before landing out (how far is it possible to go?) whilst I ran for home. I had to work it to get back past the crane at Boscombe, but it's satisfying to have joined those who've done this coastal run too. Good to see John B, Steve, Henry, Craig, Gin Bandit Man, Brian, Gary plus passenger, Dave and Vojtech having fun too.

Sun 21 Jun 2009

Report by Shamus Pitts


I wasn't expecting to fly today as it's my wife's birthday, but the rest of the week doesn't look promising weather-wise and she liked her present, so off I went to Telegraph Hill.

As I was driving to the hill I could see a few wings against a nice looking sky, so I raced to the hill and took off.

The wind was fairly strong and the air was a bit rough at times with the wind being a bit off to the north, but there were bits and pieces of thermals coming through and I found myself 700' up soon after taking off. After 25 minutes I landed but soon took off again. The sky was now completely overcast but I found a reasonable thermal that took me over the back and up to 1200' ATO, which is where I lost it! After searching for more lift and sinking at every turn, I made for the ridge at Cerne Abbas. For a minute I didn't think I'd make it, but after a while by vario started cheeping and the trees started to get a little e bit smaller again. I flew the ridge down to the giant then turned back, but the wind was too far off to the north and it was like flying in to a wall and I was forced to land on the side of the hill. Just after I landed, John (condors and Wessex) flew over and landed not far from me. I called my wife and she picked us up and took us back to the hill.

The wind seemed a bit stronger when we got back but people were still flying so I had another go. I found a thermal quite quickly and took it up to 850' ATO but lost it again. The drift this time had taken me south along the ridge and I was tempted to fly home as the drift was taking me that way, but it still looked a long way to go from the height I was at so I flew back to the main part of the ridge, although it was pretty slow going.

After a while of boating about, up and down, the wind seemed to go further round to the north and the air became quite rough so I decided to land. I was half tempted to have another go as the sun came out while I was packing up, but I'd had over an hour in the air and I thought it was probably time to get home and spend some time with my wife!

Sat 20 Jun 2009

Report by Grant Oseland



What a strange day at Bell, arrived at about 11:00 and there was no one there which is strange for a Saturday. The sky looked, well crap! very over developed and even looked like rain falling way out in front and the wind was blowing anywhere from 16 to 26 mph on take off, but it depends on who's wind meter that you choose to believe in.

A few more pilots arrived shortly including Sean Staines who decided that he was going to give it a go. After about 10 -15 min Sean landed and stated that the air felt as though it was about to give you a big spanking any minute and as luck would have it a large gust front came through only a few mins after he had landed, this in turn led most pilots to pack up and leave, however I decided to stay for a bit only because I had no where else to go.

Anyway long story cut short at about 14:30 - 15:00 the sky looked liked it had improved so I took off about 10 minutes after Chris on his Sky wing (sorry if thats not your name I have the memory of a gold fish) to find that the air was still as rough as a badgers arse and was pulling the wing all over the place and the thermals were at best smashed to bits in the wind. At one stage I felt the wing collapse at what I thought was a small tuck only to look up and see that only about the middle 10 cells were still inflated, nice asymmetric on both sides at the same time with a bit of free falling as well.

After about 50 mins of this I was about to give up and land but pretty much got sucked up to cloud base so stuck with it this time. Base was no more than 3500 feet asl and at base the air was a bit calmer. After the first big thermal it was a case of where has all the lift gone and very hard work staying in little bits of broken lift and by the time I was over Bere Regis it seemed to have all but gone. Any way all in all a kind of rewarding flight if only because I'm still here and another 17.5 Km to add to the XC distance this year. Oh and I was walking for just over 2 hours with all my kit before any one stopped to give me a lift, and that was my wife after she had finished her shopping and wanted her dinner. Thanks for nothing drivers of Dorset.

Report by Jeremy Calderwood



Berwick St. John Fete
Tues 16th June 2009

Report by Andy Dawson Tisc

Mere. A group of Wessex pilots went to Mere where there was no wind and a few punchy thermals. The flight of the day was Pete Chalmers. On seeing a bird thermaling on the far spur he launched into a death glide sinking all the way. He seemed below 100 ft before he connected and very slowly worked his way up back to ridge height. Here he caught occassiona thermals before landing back at takeoff. The other interesting bit was when it went from 5mph to blown out as the sea breeze front hit. This caught out three who all managed to land safely in a back field.

Report by Gail Swift



Report by Grant Oseland


A nice day at the sea again today, arrived on the hill at Ringstead at about 11:30 give or take, and was greeted by a strong sea breeze of about 20mph on take off with a bit of south in it. Perfect then for a trip down to the door and back. I would have gone further along the coast but as its a week day the range flags were flying and the ranges were off limits. I did leave a site phone message stating conditions but in hind site I should have landed first as when I listened to it later on all you could here was the wind and not much else! For about the first hour I had the cliffs all to my self as I think some people were put off by the strength of the wind on take off, eventually a few more pilots were coaxed off the side of the hill as the wind dropped a bit later on, or they just stopped feeling the wind strength? The car / Helicopter and people on the cliff top photos appeared to be either a film crew or photo shoot of some kind either way i've no doubt we managed to "p" them off by continually flying past.

Sun 14 Jun 2009

Report by Andy Dawson

Bell Hill; Sunday 14th. Arrived at 10.30 with a few on the hill (Paul, Ali, Derick, Gary, Dave) hardly any wind just a few thermals. On the second thermal Gary Pete and I climbed out and painstakingly climbed in little patch lift. Drift was towards Balndford but very slow and at Derweston I turned and went back to the hill as I was determined to do and out and return. Seeing a cloud street I speed-barred it over to in front of Bulbarrow and then pushed out towards telegraph but definitely got to Pulham before turning NE towards Kingston and then via Okeford before landing back at Bell - about two and a half hours flying and 33.5 kms out and return - worth 67 km points in the league (except for the fact my GPS crashed when I got home and tried to download the actual track). Still one of the best days flying I have ever done and they may give me the Lemmings trophy!

Report by Jeremy Calderwood


Ringstead Bay A classic sea breeze day - lots of wings out high over the cliffs.

I arrived mid-afternoon and was soon beating back and forth over the take off ridge looking for the height to make the cliff connection. The air was quite bumpy with little lift and then I discovered that the batteries I'd just put in the vario were flat! Landed after a few minutes to search for more but in vain.

Resigned myself to ridge soaring so took off again then suddenly some good lift came through... ah heck - I'll go for it anyway I thought. Got a perfect glide to the green then past the house and off to the main cliff in very good lift. Soon soaring above the White Nothe at about 1000' over the sea. After half an hour I headed back topping up to maximum height before the long fast glide back to take off landing a few minutes after 6pm.

Met Nigel B setting up to have a go - he hadn't done the cliff run before By 6.30 I was ready for a last go-for-the-cliffs-again and set off with Nigel not far behind. The breeze was beginning to drop slightly and veer more westerly but we both made it to the green, but I was lower than earlier in the afternoon. By the time we were heading round towards the main cliff we were both a good 200' or more below the top. Nigel chose a route closer to the cliff base while I skirted the lower sea cliff where the air was smoother. I looked down and behind to my left as I rose towards the lower part of White Nothe to see Nigel take a momentary but scary 25% collapse of his right wing in the rough air behind the lumpy ground immediately low down in front of the main cliff... He hung in and was soon in good clean lift and we both spent 20 minutes cruising the cliffs while I practised some gentle to moderate wing overs and 360º turns.

By now the wave ripples were indicating rather more west in the wind than I was comfortable with. Nigel headed off while I made one last maximum top up beat. Soon I was flying hands up into more of a head wind wondering whether I should deploy the bar... whether indeed I'd make it as far as the bottom fields. Nigel made it over the trees to safety as I took a route directly over the cottage. At first I seemed to be heading directly at it but then the slightly steeper slope improved the glide angle to bring me in to land at the base of the take off ridge a few minutes after 7 - the last one back.

My second trip to Ringstead and very enjoyable... just a little unnerving not having the reassuring peep peep of the vario. More thorough battery check required next time I take 'recharged' batteries from the charger...

Report by David Franklin


Although the the the conditions were pretty frustrating on Bell today four of us were lucky enough to get away.Gary P,Andy D and Paul H were heading up and away as I pushed out the front and got a strong climb to cloud base.With the light wind I remained over the ridge and the views in the clear cold air were stunning.I headed over the back to try and join the others who were heading towards Blandford.Once I had reached their thermal I was well below them after a good climb they all cleared off into the distance again.Gary and Paul towards Blandford and Andy back towards Bell.the nearest decent cloud seemed to be to the south so I went that way.

When near W'Kingston it felt like i was approaching the sea breeze,although the convergence looked quite abit further on.The air was very rough nearing cloudbase today and I didn't fancy mixing the two so I turned back.This is when you really get to see how slow a 1/2 can feel.I made cloud base four times whilst trying to get back but my luck soon ran out and I landed back at Turnworth.

Not sure if anyone else had a problem with thier gps today but my tracklog had me starting at 800"asl(which I'd set)but then I appearantely climbed to 98,000"asl for most of the flight then dropping towards the finish vertically to 350".

Report by Jon Harvey

Phone call from John Pinchin, to say that Eypa seemed ok, but about 15mph at T/O.

Arrived to see John en route to Thorncombe, seemingly with good height etc. Looked as if it was going to be a peachie afternoon. As I was unpecking etc, John out on the coast, heading towards Seatown, from Thorncombe, but turned around and landed just prior to me taking off. Said that it was somewhat rough around the Thorncombe area.

Slow going west, and now unable to fly the last rising cliffs to Thorncombe, as wind shifting quickly westwards, Both of us tried for somewhile, but just not on now.

Landed and wind now from Lyme direction.

At least managed to have some 40 mins airtime, though the forecast did indicate, around 6mph, not 15 and some.

Sun 14 Jun 2009

Report by Shamus Pitts


I got to Telegraph Hill quite early and was soon joined by Nigel B, Mark R, Martin F and Steve.

The wind was blowing about 3 €“ 8 mph from the NNW to start with but soon dropped and went more to the NW. Most of the time there wasn't even enough wind to inflate our wings but every now and then a light breeze came through, increasing the wind to maybe 7mph and Mark and I took off. We didn't find anything and were soon walking back up the hill were we waited and waited until I spotted a buzzard circling out in front. Mark bit the bullet and took off, and, after seeing him start to climb, I took off too, closely followed by Nigel.

I had a little tug from my left wing tip so turned left and found a fairly large weak thermal. The first couple of turns felt horribly close to the trees but slowly I climbed clear. Mark was also climbing and we began to map out the thermal. The climb seemed quite slow but the drift was almost non-existent and it was quite a novelty to still be able to look down on takeoff from 2000'.

Mark headed off in to wind and I headed off downwind. I found another climb over Minterne Magna which took me to cloudbase at 4000' ATO (my highest so far), before heading off downwind again until I got to Alton Pancras. I was 1300' ATO and felt quite low, I was worried that my flight was about to end, but I found another slow climb and stuck with it. After 30 360's I was back at cloudbase and wasn't sure where to go. The sea-breeze was very close downwind and the clouds were looking good towards Bell Hill so I pushed out towards them. Half way there I got a bit indecisive and decided to head downwind to another cloud nearby but it turned out to be further away than I thought. I flew at it on full bar as everywhere I went seemed to be sinking quite fast, but by the time I was underneath it I could see how close Milton Abbey School was and realised that my flight was nearly over. I desperately flew over some sunny fields but I was so low that I couldn't use the odd lump that came through and landed in a field of sheep halfway between Bramblecombe and Milton Abbas for 17.9km.

An excellent day although I found the conditions a bit tricky €“ the wind was light, climbs were slow on the whole although cores were small and strong. The lack of drift caught me a bit off guard because I suddenly had to decide where to go (and I hadn't really given it much thought!), but it was good to use such a promising looking sky.

Sat 13 Jun 2009

Report by Shamus Pitts



I thought today might be quite a nice thermic day but the morning forecast suggested that it wouldn't be so I headed to Eype with Nigel B. I've been to Eype a couple of times but never flown it so I was keen to give it a go.

When we got there the wind was blowing 6 or 7 mph and the orographic cloud was sitting on Thorncombe beacon so I was a bit disappointed, but hoped things would improve. The wind picked up to about 9mph and Chris (Condors) turned up and said it should be okay so I took off.

The wind was off to the SSE somewhat but I managed to scratch up to 70' ATO and headed off over the car park towards to cliffs to the west. I spent a fairly focussed few minutes scratching fairly low, following the contours of the cliffs and swerving round rocks and trees and slowly clawed my way up to cliff top height and beyond. Due to the wind being light and slightly off, I had to work each bit of lift quite hard but it got easier as I got higher.

By the time I was above Thorncombe beacon, about 350' ATO I was starting to disappeat in to the orographic cloud so I headed out to sea until I could see the beach clearly before tucking back in to the cliff. I tried heading down to Golden Cap but quickly realised the cliffs weren't working due to their orientation and spent a tense couple of minutes trying to get back to some lift!

I flew back across the car park gap and landed back at take off, then took off again and enjoyed an hour in the air. The orographic never disappeared, it was at its highest at lunch time, about 350' ATO, but in the afternoon it dropped down to 150' ATO and then formed below take off for a while and we were grounded. The wind came and went, it was never very strong and taking off was often quite difficult, but I managed 2 hours air time in the end, over 4 flights, got to about 400' ATO and ended up taking off in a light gust, only for it to rain quite heavily for the duration of my (8 minute) flight! My wing is now drying out in the spare room! An excellent day though, and a fun site €“ definitely worth a look.

Report by Alastair Florence


The morning started off with heavy clag from ground level upward, no problem as I had a lot of stuff to do in the morning. I went to Kimmeridge about midday as the sky was looking much better.

Paul H as well, on arrival we wondered what wing was on take off, it turned out to be some ancient old Harley cloudbuster or something being piloted by a maverick skydiver who had strayed up the hill from a circus performers festival being held at the foot of the hill.

Zoom into pic and check out the safety gear, still he survived and didn't harm anyone else.

Next visitor was the coastguard helicopter.

Bit light to start, Joe Mc and Henry H also present, Paul and me had a good 40 mins cloud dodging when it picked up a bit, with base at about 200ft ato.

I flew over a mother deer with two fawns who seemed to get used to me after a bit.

Dave W arrived as the wind lightened again and went a bit South.

We upped camp and headed to Knitson picking up Quentin on the way, which although off to the West a bit was working nicely. I had to be somewhere else so left early but could see the others still flying as me and the Mrs drove out of town. Heavy clag had set in again by the time I got home this evening.

Wed 10 Jun 2009

Report by Ian McGowann



White Horse : Arrived lunchtime after quick chat with a modeler RW arrived, Followed shortly by Gordon C. A quick wind check showed 13-16mph then RW duly wind dummied and reported it was ok. We then waited for approaching rain clouds to pass. A few spots and the sky looked much happier so we all enjoyed a fly in buoyant air. Late afternoon the wind began to drop and back off east.

A surprisingly lifty day with some good height attained by all under what was an angry looking sky earlier. We three left with sunshine and cirrus and passed Gary M arriving who hopefully also got to fly as well, as we left for the bar.

Mon 08 Jun 2009

Report by Alastair Florence

I drove home tonight via Mere Rifle Range, wind was off to the East a fair bit making the spur to the North flyable. Not that inspiring really but with some reasonable lift from mixed up looking clouds ended up a half decent flight I suppose. Only me there, got bored after a while, packed up and came home.

Sun 07 Jun 2009

Report by Alan Webb


Ringstead Report: Alan Webb Arrived to find RW on the ground and a couple of Hangies looking to setup. Conditions were light and at times due East! A building weather front over Portland was pulling everything off. As the front approached Ringstead you could see the sea state changing and either rain, gust front or nothing was going to happen. I elected to stay in the harness and wait and sure enough the wind came back on, strengthening, giving a short but fun 30 minutes in the Air. RW joined in too. The Hangies set up and took off making straight for the cliffs, to find nothing and landing in the lower fields. Within 45 minutes the rain came in and that closed play for the day.

Wed 03 Jun 2009

Report by Mark Tattersall

After some indecision about forcast wind direction I headed for Monks down as the Compton Abbas Wendy was showing N - NNE, with a plan to go on to Hambledon if it went further East.

Arrived at Monks at 11.30 - no one else there, but wind smack on the hill, sunny and felt flyable. Within minutes another pilot arrived (Kirsty) and after quick fly to check conditions I left a sitephone message and had a pleasant day's flying in thermic conditions until about 4.30pm (when it became overcast). More pilots arrived as the day went on, as the wind stayed North, and several went XC. At times the thermals were small and broken, but some were more persistent and it was possible to get some good climbs (I got to over 2,000" ATO a couple of times, and others went higher).

tue 02 Jun 2009

Report by Marcus Webster



Hambledon Hill:Second visit and walk up to Hambledon in two days ,yesterday being too windy so after an hour on the hill Gary P and I adjourned to the village pub for a cold Stella and chat, but today I got lucky .

Arriving at take off at around 2pm I had just set up my gear when Martin F appeared ( I Knew he was coming as we had spoken earlier on the phone), the next 30min were spent out in front and darting back in for a couple of side landings, now bearing mind I was on nights and due into work at 7.30pm I was starting to run out of xc enthusiasm , shouting across to Martin "if it doesn't work this time I will make for the bottom landing" I took off.

Needless to say I flew straight into the best thermal of the day and for a few sweet seconds had a very snotty Six up which I hung onto for grim death and started to 360 back to the Hill crossing over Martin at 600ft who was doing a great job of subduing his new Aspen 3 that was not cooperating and got himself airborne, we both climbed out together separated by about a Kilometre that rapidly closed so at times we were sharing the same part of the thermal.

Over the next hour we flew together climbing to nearly 5,500ft asl crossing Bell Hill and Cheselbourne where we parted company as Martin tried for a more inland route , I stuck with the same thermal for another 20min moving very slowly over the ground, close to Mark Russell`s Farm .

My next Glide took me towards Dorchester where another Climb got me back up to 5,330ft and 30min over Poundbury before going off on a final glide towards Bridport (I wish !) and following the A35 in a very shallow glide with a few top ups which I flew straight through without turning as my concentrating was going off gaining distance and was now starting to focus on how I was going to get to work on time !.

I was getting low as I flew over the high ground near Long Bredy and being concerned about wind direction (it was sea breezing) I turned back the way I had just come and flew back to a friendly looking stubble field next to the main A35.

After a frustrating 15min with my thumb out beside the road a nice chap called Chris pulled over and gave me a lift all the way back to Wimborne and so I got to work on time tired but happy ,the car was still at Child Okeford but that's another story !.

Photos are not great as they were taken with my mobile phone.

Previous reports

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2001 and before