Eye in the Sky - November 2012

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Sun 18 Nov 2012

Report by Shamus Pitts


The wait paid off in the end at the White Horse...  by 3:30 there was an occasional breeze, enough to lure me in to the air for some scratchy flying, but by 4 o'clock ish the wind had picked up and it was possible to stay airborne.  The wind was a little off to the east but surprisingly the ridge to the west of takeoff was working better than the area in front.  I didn't get much higher than about 140' ATO but for about 20 minutes it was working nicely... unfortunately it was getting dark too!

Sat 17 Nov 2012

Report by Andrew Fenton

I was running late today and the forecast looked as though it might blow out at Bell so I went to Swallowcliffe.  It was a bit overcast and threatened rain a couple of times but I managed a decent hour or so in buoyant air; one other pilot arrived and we had the whole ridge to ourselves.  Listening to the site-phone messages, it looks as though Bell, Swallowcliffe and Winklebury were being used today which is good news.  Also good news that the top field is now open for landing at Bell; thanks to Sean Staines for supervising the cutting of the strip today.

Report by Shamus Pitts

A good, albeit uninspiring, day at Bell Hill today.

I arrived early to find the wind a little off to the west and blowing about 13mph, with the occasional gust up to about 18mph.  The sky was pretty grey for most of the day but did clear a bit from time to time, although the greyness also brought a bit of cloud suck which helped keep us off the ground!  I got to 400' ATO at one point but the average was probably about 200'.  Sean S and Grant O both made it down to the aerials and back although when I tried it with Sean we both turned back after the power lines and were lucky to make it back!   The lift worked all day, from 10 o'clock until I left about 4:30 (and there were still people flying).  I managed over 2 1/2 hours in the air, others probably managed even more.  Not an epic day but a consistent one!    

Sun 11 Nov 2012

Report by "Skippy"

Portland West - My inaugral flight at this Site. A classic day with many hours of flying fun, &  7 wings in the air on one occasion Ohhh! and plenty of "Acro" from Steve H. Others: Nigel R, Russell W, Gary P, Graham D, Grant O & Gary ? from Condors

Sat 10 Nov 2012

Report by Alastair Florence


After a dreary and windless start to the day things were brightening up a bit and some breeze was swinging the washing on the line by late morning.

I took a drive up toward St.A's and got phoned by Nigel B whilst I was on route, Nigel saying it was on.

A large black cu-nimb was lumbering down the channel and seemed to be resulting in some gusty conditions. After half an hour it moved East and the wind felt nice and steady.

I launched and had an hour and a bit of smooth soaring mostly between 300-550 ft ato. With the wind due West and maybe just a sniff of North of west there was little to be done other than boat up and down the cliff.

Nice clear air giving good views although some bigish clouds in the distance.

I was waiting for Nigel to launch so as to give moral support before I landed but got hungry and bored after a while, I think the wind had picked up a bit by now as White horses were more pronounced on the water.

First flight for a month now other than a few hops and some fuzz bush dodging last week on Weston-super-mare sand dunes.

Fri 09 Nov 2012

Report by Paul Hawkins

Flew my little cloud here (Southbourne) today, taking off, top landing and wing overs! Just failed to cross Boscombe gap - if it was more southerly it may have been possible. All this in 28mph winds!

Thu 08 Nov 2012

Report by Sean Staines

Bell Hill - There was some nice flying to be had today for the few intrepid pilots who came out to play. The wind was quite westerly early on, but came onto the hill more later in the afternoon.    Most of the time was spent in pleasant chilled out soaring but I managed to stick with a light climb to about 2800ft AMSL and drifted over the back with it. Visibilty was excellent. I could see the sun shining off the sea at Portland and I think I could see Salisbury in the far distance beyond Blandford.

The lift petered out about 3k over the back. I had hoped if I made it to cloudbase the street would keep me up but it wasn't to be. I landed near Pimperne for an annoying 9.8km straight line distance. Still not bad for November.

Sun 04 Nov 2012

Report by Shamus Pitts

Having survived the heavy snow in Sydling this morning I headed to St Aldhem's Head, although not particularly hopefully!  The wind was on the cliff but fairly light and it looked like it was going to rain when I got there, but I waited a while and the wind picked up....

As it still wasn't raining I decided to take off.  There wasn't a huge amount of lift to be found, about 130' ATO was the best I got, despite the wind gusting up to 15 or 16 mph on takeoff.  It started raining as I headed down to the coast guards hut but it wasn't heavy so I boated back and forth until it stopped.  I flew for a little while longer, drying my wing out, but now the rain had gone so had the wind!  I managed to squeeze in below takeoff just in time - as I was packing up there was hardly any wind at all.  A fairly uninspiring day but better than nothing I suppose....

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