Eye in the Sky - October 2013

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Thu 24 Oct 2013

Report by Brian Metcalfe


A nice morning's fly. Neil texted me from Southborne while I was having breakfast and it was still dark! I should have been there early too 'cos I got caught up in the Bournrmouth commuter traffic and arrived to see Neil flying. In my rush to take off I cocked up my first attempt which nearly ended in disaster. No harm done though and the rest of the flight was serene and uneventful, as you would expect on a gay coastal site.

We crossed both piers easily and I flew off the end as far as Sandbanks Court flats just past the sailing boat/canoe/surf board hire place. Still about 50 ft of height there so got back onto the cliff easily. I'll have to try going further one day to see just what is possible even though it might mean a a bit of a walk back. There was a lot of activity on the cliff top and promenade at the West Cliff Zig Zag; lots of high vis jackets and theodolites/GPS's. Didn't know there was a surveying school at Bournemouth.

The wind was gradually increasing so we landed while it was still benign and enjoyed a well earned coffee at the café.

Thu 17 Oct 2013

Report by Gary Mullins

An outside chance of a little break in the weather today.

So a quick trip to Ringstead mid afternoon where I joined Geoff Rogers, John Alder and Ian Sumner for a bit of a float around.

All enjoyed the buoyant conditions until low cloud ended proceedings out on the cliffs. Very soon after an increase in wind strength did the same on the ridge.

Good fun.

Report by John Alder

Ringstead Bay. I arrived about 3pm to find Ian (?) sitting in his car having flown already but landed due to inability to penetrate on his PG so I rigged the HG (meanwhile Geoff Rodgers and Gary Mullins arrived). All 3 PGs took off before I did, (the wind having abated) went to the cliffs and gained plenty of height. I made a poor light wind take off but got away with it and arrived at the coast well below cliff height. I worked my way up to 150m ATO where I found myself in spreading stratus cloud which looked much worse up wind so I made a hasty beeline for the landing field and made a poor, near nil-wind landing amongst the silage bales. I was in the air for under 20 minutes but was grateful to get air borne for the first time in over 3 months

Mon 14 Oct 2013

Report by Paul Maidment

Arrived at bell to find Derek sat in his car it was at bit windy and off to the west, then another chap turned up so we spent the next hour trying to convince each other that it was flyable, finally Derek succumbed to being the the first to fly he took off went up twelve foot then dropped ten then back up we watched for about twenty minutes or so not convinced it was such a good idea, but Derek  landed saying it was ok just a few holes in it, don't know how he did it but convinced me to launch and sure enough it wasn't to bad very grey and drizzly the bowl wasn't working  as there was to much west as i found out later i spent the next 45 mins pushing out over landing field then back to take off, the i spotted Derek over the other side of the bowl i gave it a go but after a little way over i bottled it and turned back only to get pinned managed to make it to the edge of the bowl but could not get any further and was getting blown back into the bowl after a couple of ar$e clenching minutes i managed to land on the ridge at the bottom of the bowl close call but i made it, i called it a day after that a couple of other pilots took off but where soon blown back in ever increasing winds.       

Sun 06 Oct 2013

Report by Gary Pocock


Had a chance to play around with the camera at Ringstead today after finally getting to the cliffs.

Report by Paul Maidment


Sunday Ringtead arrived to see two wings on the cliffs and a couple scratching at take off so took my time getting wing ready took off turned left got good lift tagged onto the back of Sean and straight to the cliffs for an hour or so of very pleasant flying ,coming back was not so easy half way  back lots of sink then had to make way for someone heading out to the cliffs just managed land at bottom of take off , had another very pleasant flight for an hour or so even managing to land back at take off awesome weekends flying.

Report by Alastair Florence


After a few weeks of poor weather it was nice to have a fully flyable weekend.

An excellent day was had by many at Bell yesterday with conditions starting well once the wind picked up and only getting better as the sun came out and everyone got higher.

Today started with no wind at all at home. By late morning the trees were moving a bit so seemed a good time to go take a look.

I had decided to go to Kimmeridge today. Nicely flyable from about 1130 hrs with enough dynamic lift and the usual Kimmeridge kick yer backside thermals. Flew for a bit, got bored landed, Pete from Lychett Matravers and Jacko turned up and we all had another go, I started getting bored and as I had seen Quentin and Nigel B over St. A's earlier figured there was a good chance of a lift back if I flew over there so I did.

St.A was nice enough but not over lifty as i think the thermals were what was making kimmeridge that much better.

New-ish member Chris B who Gran lives a couple of doors away from me rang me as I had said i'd give him an introduction to Kimmeridge, so that was my lift back sorted, we had another nice fly in slightly less spikey conditions as the day began to close down with another chap on a sky glider who's name I missed.

So total of 5.5 hrs enjoyable airtime over the weekend. Peachometer averaged to 6.5

Report by Grant Oseland


Ringstead Bay working well all day. Lots of pilots on the cliffs enjoying the last days of summer.

Sat 05 Oct 2013

Report by Sean Staines

An excellent day at Bell with over 4Hrs flying and three trips to the masts and back. I eventually climbed out in a gaggle and slowly drifted over the back with 4 other gliders who all decided to return to the hill. I stuck with the very weak lift and clung on to the zeros trying to maintain height, focusing as hard as I could on centring on the lift. I imagined myself as a dandelion seed drifting on the wind with my only objective being to stay in the air.

My second thermal, averaging about 0.5m/s eventually took me to the lofty height of 2500ft AMSL.

After a very enjoyable hour, with fantastic views of the coast and Poole harbour, I landed on the A35 half way between Bere Regis and Poole for a 22km turn point flight.

Report by Paul Maidment

Early start Saturday at Bell  after a three week weather induced lay off i arrived to very light winds and overcast so the parawaiting began , slowly the wind increased which lured Sean out on his light weight setup after half an hour or so watching Sean getting ever higher it was time to dust the wing off . I spent the next couple of hours boating about not getting much more than 300ft ato   so landed for a break and chinwag after much gum banging i noticed wings spiralling over the back  quickly got got my harness on did my checks wing launched and away to a very busy sky but managed to climb to 1100 ato and toying with the xc but not knowing how i would get back tied me to bell so headed off to the aerials at bullbarrow  for a 4.5k triangle after half an hour the lift dissipated and i was back to boating about at 300ft or so did a couple more trips from bell and the aerial's  a busy but very pleasant day.

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