Eye in the Sky - Oct 2011

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Sat 29 Oct 2011

Report by Richard Mosley

Went to the Hive beach take off on saturday. Two Condor pilots turned up with Litespeeds, Mark and mark. We rigged to increasing wind strengh. Eddie Colfox who was just passing by stopped to say the regular line when hang gliding. " your never going to take off there are you? " We took off and got to Lyme Regis and back to land back on top by the vehicles. A bit strong for the second flight 20 mph + so just went to west bay and back.

Report by Chris Sparham


As it was looking quite strong on the coast to fly any local sites, Gary P, Brian M and myself decided Newhaven cliffs was looking a better option. We arrived about 10am the wind was gusting strong and off to the west. After a few of hours parawaiting the wind pulled on to the cliffs but was still quite strong, blowing aroung 16-18mph. Two local flyers turned up and showed us the way by launching from the beach. Once in the air the lift in front of the cliff and over the sea was tremendous! A good couple of hours was had by all.

Fri 21 Oct 2011

Report by John Alder

Ringstead Bay. In sharp contrast to the weather inland, it was a bright,sunny afternoon at Ringstead; although it looked to be a fairly small patch of brightness. The wind was coming from just east of Portland so there was a chance of lift beyond the White Nothe. Three hang gliders were in the air with decent height and penetration so I hastened to get air borne on my Airborne! The other pilots were Brian P and Ian from Sky surfers and our own Steve Whitfield. The flying was the expected €˜peachy' Ringstead experience but the lift was mostly light so the temptation to aerobatics was allayed. I topped out at 750 ft ATO and ranged as far as Bat head (losing height all the way) and Ringstead village €“ lovely!

Report by Richard Chambers



I got to Ringstead about 3.30pm and watched the hangies fly about for a few hours waiting for the wind to drop enough for paragliding. By 5.30pm it seemed to have dropped a bit (maybe my imagination or wishful thinking!) and gone south so I set my kit up on the hill. Sods law, it seemed to pick up as soon as I clipped in and I spent 5 minutes holding on for dear life as the wing thrashed about. I took my chance in a short dip in the wind to get up and away. Penetration was ok, sometimes no ground speed at trim speed, guessing wind was 18-24mph. After getting great height on the ridge I pushed forward on half bar towards the cliffs, easily making it with loads of height.

I'm very impressed with the Gin Sprint as it penetrated the wind very well, as it can be difficult to get to the cliffs on a paraglider in a southerly. On the cliffs the lift band was huge and it was very easy to get very high considering the wind was off the cliffs. If only I had launched earlier I could have made it to Lulworth and back easily. As it was I had a bimble about for a while and then landed in the back field just before sunset. Peachy in the end and I had the site to myself! I also have some photos from St Aldhelms Head last Sunday, beautiful Skysurfers outing with myself, Darren Griffin, Neil Withers and Simon Vacher. We had a couple of hours there before moving to Kimmeridge for another couple of hours there. Have to be greedy with airtime this time of year, as good conditions are few and far between.

Photos here https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/110064813345877055043/albums/5664429466677537137


Sun 16 Oct 2011

Report by Marcus Webster


SA few locals came out of the woodwork at about 4:00pm today as things started to work at Bell, allowing a very pleasant late afternoon waft about.

Sun 16 Oct 2011

Report by Shamus Pitts


About half an hour air time today - 10 minutes at Cowdown then 20 minutes at Telegraph Hill later on. The wind was WNW at Cowdown and although there were thermals coming through it wasn't really working. Still WNW at Telegraph this evening but worked a lot better with nice buoyant evening air! After 20 minutes it felt like it was starting to drop off so I decided to top land before it was too late. Shortly afterwards it dropped more and seemed to go SW!

Sat 15 Oct 2011

Report by Shamus Pitts


An amazing day at Swanage today, I don't think I've ever seen so many people on Ballard Down and Whitecliff before, or had such a good day! I took off about 12:30 with the wind reasonably strong and off to the east a bit but there were thermals coming off the sea and the cliffs were working well. It was even possible to fly all the way down to the hotels and beyond and make it all the way back to the top again, which was great! Old Harry end wasn't working very well but people did fly it - I made it half way down before I chickened out and headed for the guaranteed lift of the main cliff. With the thermals coming off the sea Ballard Down was working at times as well and I made it down to Ulwell gap and back although I wasn't very high coming back. As the afternoon went on the wind started to drop and one by one people started to land.

Over 2 1/2 hours in the air - brilliant!

Thu 13 Oct 2011

Report by Alastair Florence


13th unlucky for some, maybe not me on this occasion, I managed to 'engineer' an early enough finish at work to get back and check out Ballard as I thought it might be South Easterly.

It felt pretty light at the bottom but with a good direction, at this time of year the wind off the sea is often fairly mild and can be nice and buoyant even when light.

At the top it seemed feasible so I gave it a go and enjoyed a very pleasant waft for well over an hour.

Simon H soon joined me. The ridge was working reasonably well as well as the cliffs and a tractor convienently working the field up by the obelisk was feeding out little thermally bits.

Lovely soft light buoyant sort of air and just about enough for the lower cliffs to be scratchable as well. Peachy.

Mon 03 Oct 2011

Report by Brian Metcalfe

Got to Barton at 9.30 on Monday morning, a bit earlier than usual because the forecasts said it was going to get too windy soon. There was hardly any wind but what there was was on the cliff so I waited. Gordon Crisp turned up and while we were chatting Paul (Benham?) arrived, planted his wind sock and started to get his kit out. Taking this as a good sign I took my glider to the cliff top where it was now blowing between 8 and 10. By the time I'd rigged Paul had taken off and the wind had increased to about 14 and a few white horses had started to appear.

I took off into great lift with the wind almost directly on the cliff so I decided to have a go at Highcliffe. The modellers waved me over at their usual place and Chewton Bunny was crossed with the normal alarming loss of height at the last minute, but I managed to avoid touching down by tucking my legs up and scratching on to the car park into better lift. Uneventful flight to Highcliffe castle which worked well enough to give plenty of height to start the journey back. The wind had a bit more west in it now so I whizzed back across Chewton Bunny with plenty to spare.

On getting back to take off I saw that Paul had landed but although there were now quite a few white horses I decided to push on to Milford to see if the beach huts were working.

They weren't.

I scratched hard at cliff top height, going very fast, past the car park to where the lift was marginally better and turned back expecting to slow down into wind. Nope, it was just as fast that way. That meant only one thing; the wind had dropped. I persevered as far as I dared but when it looked as if I was going to get dumped behind the beach huts I turned out and landed on the beach.

As I was landing a woman from one of the beach huts was calling out and waving an envelope at me. No, it wasn't a writ, It turned out that she had been taking photos of us all this year and wanted to pass them on. So I had a chat and a cup of coffee at her beach hut and she showed me her bits and pieces (made from flotsam). It was windy again by now so she offered me a lift back and as I was packing up Richard Davis, who had turned up at Barton, rang me to see if I wanted retrieving.

Now, who's offer should I accept? Back at Barton, Robert Dees and Gordon had flown but the wind was just too strong now so we sat on the bench and passed the time of day. Jan, the chatty Collie dog walker, joined us and it became obvious that we weren't going to get a word in edgeways and the wind wasn't going to drop so we all went home.

Report by Paul Hawkins


Southborne was fun this morning. Got chased up an down the cliff by black dog while its owners were pretending it didn't belong to them. Did a few touch and goes on the white fence and got some builders to point there crane over the cliff so I could try and touch and go on that also. However I didn't quite manage it and thought I better land before I injured myself!

Report by Richard Thomason

A beautiful Indian summer's day at White Horse in light conditions, ideal for ground handling, paraboll0x and Flight Culture students.

I was focussed on improving my Mitsos launching, but had the occasional hop, and there were some top to bottoms for students, red ribbons and late comers. When it improved in the mid-afternoon, there was some authoritative extended scratching from the likes of Martin Butcher, Simon Henville, Marcus Webster and Neil McCain.

5.5 hours in the car, 6.5 hours on the hill, definitely worth it.

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