Eye in the Sky - Nov 2009

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Fri 20 Nov 2009

Report by John Alder

Ringstead Bay. We (myself and red ribbon pilot Steve Whitfield) spotted a brief HG opportunity for flying between the wind being too strong at first and dusk; and so it turned out. I had 2 brief flights (1st as wind dummy!) totalling ½ an hour or so, and Steve had a longer soaring flight complete with his first top landing €“ excellent. Visitor Jim Baker also flew briefly but his was a swift top-to-bottom because he FORGOT TO DO UP HIS LEG LOOPS! Fortunately no harm done on this occasion.

Tues 10 Nov 2009

Report by Brian Metcalfe

I saw on the BBC forecast on Tuesday morning that there might be an afternoon opportunity of coastal flying so I kept an eye on the Highcliff Sailing Club web site.

Sure enough it showed a shift to the South and 9 or 10 knots at 1pm but I had to finish some work first so it was after 3pm before I got to Barton. It was dry and clear with a weak sun trying to break through and blowing 10 to 12mph SSW. I considered leaving a site phone message but as it was so late and the wind was forecast to decrease further I decide it wouldn't be worth it.

I took off at 3.30 into good but light lift. Ah, sea thermals I thought as I yo yo'd along the cliff, sometimes high sometimes lower but never in any danger of going down. After playing about a bit at Barton I ventured past the golf course and successfully crossed the gaps to nearly reach the Milford beach huts where the cliff is shallower and the sea thermals weren't working so well. I did this a couple of times, sometimes turning out to sea in a particularly good bit of lift, before I realised that my ground speed was getting quicker on both the downwind and upwind legs and the lift wasn't quite as good as previously. A sure sign of decreasing wind, so I got back to Barton, flew to the cafe where I nearly went down, turned and scratched back to good lift at the golf course, then, not wanting to push my luck further, I made my way carefully back to take off and landed at 4.30 in about 7mph of wind.

A nice hours flying after a week of poor weather.

Sun 08 Nov 2009

Monk's Down. A gloomy afternoon but the 15+mph wind was right on the hill €“ good enough for our newest HG pilot Steve Whitfield who had an impressive debut on our Wessex sites: excellent take off and some good soaring followed by a successful bottom landing. (This was a better result than our visit to Bell Hill on Thursday 5th when I went down to a very wet and cowpat infested bottom field after only 5 minutes in the air and the incoming rain precluded any more flying that day.) Consequently I was unwilling, on this occasion to even get my glider off the car!

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