Eye in the Sky - Feb 2011
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Sat 26 Feb 2011
Report by Gary Puhl
As the mist cleared from the sea front at Barton, the sun shone and the light westerly eventually turned WSW it looked almost flyable. Launching and expecting a glide to the beach I was surprised to gently rise heading west past the cafe. Kept going towards Chewton Bunny higher than you would expect on this rough cliff and wet ground. Suddenly the lift ended abruptly and it looked like landing in the mud. The tide was in but managed to skim across the mud and stop just short of the waves with the wing on the dry beach. Brian followed me and looked as if he would make it all the way along the cliff but he too hit the sink. Having seen what happened to me, he turned back but could not find the lift and had to run for the beach. Thanks to Chris for picking me up. Back at take off the wind was more westerly but occasionally a thermal gave the chance to launch.
Report by Simon Jones
Pilots included the usual suspects and a few others: Gary M, Dr Charles, Keith W, Derek and John (Morgan?)
Report by Neil Mccain
When I was a kid, I used to get dragged out on walks by my family - my grandfather was the social sec of a community centre in west London and organised circular walks in the Chiltern hills most weekends. Today I felt like I sort of revisited the scene, 21st Century style.
Report by Marcus Webster
Sun 20 Feb 2011
Report by Alastair Florence
I am away from home all week at the moment so always find a list of things to do when I get home, but if it looks like it might be flyable and you want to fly then the only way you will do it is shelve everything else and get on the hill.
That said I can parawait Ballard from home if I know a trusted pilot is already on t/o.
Dave W was daft enough to head up early, I think the NE wind kept him nice and cool though. Meanwhile I had my lie in, washed the wifes car, helped out in the garden etc whilst keeping an eye on Ballard.
No sign of a wing up by 1300 hrs so sat down for roast lunch, by about 1330 hrs a wing would pop up occasionally and point due East.
After helping wash up I took a drive to the beach and found the wind just south of east. By the time I walked up Dave, Russell dub, Alan W and Simon H where having marginal scratches one at a time Neil W was out walking and later came back with wing. By 1500 hrs the wind came on a bit more and picked up giving some reasonable lift on the cliff.
After a bit of carefull investigation we found the main cliff not too bad, the ridge was not working as it was too easterly, The cliff down to Old Harry was working excellently as were the hotels and with a bit of built up height you could glide further up the beach than I have ever managed before. (recognise the flower beds Shamus) Shame it did not come on earlier but all in all one of the best days I have ever had flying the sites extremities.
Many thanks to Dave W and co for sitting on the hill for 4 hrs marking the wind when they could have been at home doing important things.
Report by Shamus Pitts
Surprisingly the whole (short) cliff was working, probably more to do with the wind strength than the direction, but height gains were limited to about 130’ ATO at best. After half an hour I decided to land and surprised a couple of people walking their dog as I silently descended behind them!
Sat 19 Feb 2011
Report by Marcus Webster
As it turned out we timed it to perfection, and enjoyed a good hour of soft thermals and 360ing up to cloud base (1200ft ato) and on a couple of occasions having to Big Ear out of cloud along with Karl.
Report by Craig Byrne
On arriving at Bell it was a tad windy so settled into a spot of Parawaiting. It eventually eased and we gave it a go, conditions were nice but top end at times. Eventually a few more pilots took off and joined us, I then spotted 4 pairs of Buzzards thermalling under a nice dark cloud. This worked and after what seemed an age of working zero's and one up climbs made base over Stickland at 2000ft ASL. Just drifted slowly working what I could till landing at Winterboure Whichurch. 10k. Arriving back at Bell it was still soarable with now quite a few wings in the air. A nice day :-)
Report by Shamus Pitts
The sky was pretty dark at times and the wind gusted up a bit occasionally but the dozen or so of us there all had a decent flight, with Craig B even going over the back! It looks like the season is starting early...
Report by Paul Hawkins
Mon 14 Feb 2011
Report by Paul Hawkins
Launching was fun as I found myself stood on the cross bar of the white fence for 5min eventually taking the plunge and finding lots of lift.
The seagulls had the most fun flying up into the abundant clouds! Sent from my HTC
Sat 12 Feb 2011
Report by Seve Whitfield
Had a lovely afternoon at Ringstead with John A, Richard M and others. John arrived early and the wind was light and very westerly. Fortunately by lunchtime it had come around to WSW and was blowing about 12-16mph. It was my first opportunity to try out my new video camera (drift HD170 Stealth) and I am very pleased with the image quality. YouTube compression does not do it justice. As expected my 3y.o PC had a hard time processing the HD footage but it got there in the end. The result can be found below. I had two flights with a prefect top landing on the first and a not so good one on the second. As is the way with such things I only got the second one on tape. I was basically too cautious with my flare and went down on my knees. It was good to get some decent airtime after a winter of crappy weather, roll on spring! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSXc0sHGbuY
Report by Roy Menage
Corton Denham 12th February Since it was looking too strong on the coast, I headed for Corton Denham. The wind was just right so I wasted no time getting airborne. James and Guy from Condors had turned up and later, Wayne and one other from Southern arrived.
Report by Jeremy Calderwood
Half an hour later I found Brian making very slow progress westward in a 15 mph wind. Being a bit rusty I decided that it was too strong so I took a few pics. Finally by 4:50 with the strength down to 12-14 mph and Brian's encouragement now he was back on the deck I laid out my wing. On the 3rd launch attempt I had it under control above me and pushed to the cliff and away - woohoo! I didn't get more than about 30' or so above the cliff, going westward was slow and eastward very quick but it was great to swoop about a bit for a little over a quarter of an hour and blow the cobwebs away after a gap of 16 weeks - far the longest non-flying spell I think I've had! I'm sending the wing to the Loft for an overdue service next week...
so there will probably be some beautiful early Spring soaring to be had while it's away!
Report by Adrian Coombe
A real bonus this early in the year. Mark Russels Bowl worked well. Buzzards all the way enjoying their best day this year too! I' sure there was some sort of sea breeze element but I didn't quite understand what. Several clouds on my street had tendrils and also on streets closer to the sea as well. Some strong but gentle thermals.
Shame my alti vario didn't work... the batt's were flat. Strange, cos they were ok last autumn. Lucky had a back up audio.
Forget your peachometer Ali. - This was pure 10 grade passion fruit!
Tues 08 Feb 2011
Report by Brian Metcalfe
Barton, Tuesday 8th.
Thurs 03 Feb 2011
Report by John Alder
Ringstead Bay. I got organised early for once because (a) I had been unable to access my gliders (builders stuff in the way) and (b) I’d installed new parts on both my Airborne gliders – so I set off with 3 gliders on my aircraft carrier!
I arrived 10 o’clockish in glorious sunshine but very light WSW breeze: No PGs present surprisingly: anyway my priority (as usual) was HG and the forecast was for the wind strength to increase to unflyable levels in the afternoon. Rigged and flew my C2 successfully although the the wind strength (42km/h) and direction (only just south of west) at altitude were not conducive to extensive manouevres. Top landed after an hour in the air having given up on my plan to test fly the C4 as well because of the strengthening wind and incursion of cloud. Peachometer biassed on the high side at 7 due to my long enforced 4-month lay off.
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