Eye in the Sky - January 2014

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Mon 20 Jan 2014

Report by Paul Maidment


Bell Hill - arrived to find 5 or 6 hopeful flyers parawaiting ,after about half an hour wind had picked up enough to encourage me walk back down and get my wing which i did in bright sunshine, but on the walk back up it had started to clag in and by the time i launched cloud was getting very low above take off ,the lift was nice and smooth but the problem was keeping my head out of the clouds ,i  spent about 40 minutes climbing in and falling out of cloud reaching max height of 150ft ato now i had the problem of getting down so pushed out front put a couple of tight 360 in then back to hill but as i got close back up again ,did this a couple of times before getting my feet back on the ground , hung around for and hour before low cloud dispersed and got another half hour fly and left to a cracking sunset strange day but worth it.
Sun 19 Jan 2014

Report by Shamus Pitts

A great day at Ringstead today.  I met Dave A at Tesco and introduced him to Ringstead for the first time.  The wind was quite light and off to the west when we got there but after a while I decided to try for the cliffs.  I wasn't sure the house would work so didn't linger there, instead making for the main cliff.  I arrived very low and got a bit of a thwacking from the rotor caused by the ridge in front but I soon stumbled in to some clean air and climbed above the cliff.  Nigel R, Russell W and Grant O followed me out along with Dave A on his first visit to the cliffs.  Unfortunately Dave couldn't find the lift and ended up landing on the beach for a long walk back but he made it to the cliffs later in the day.

An unusual cloud turned up out of the blue and we all scurried back to the ridge and landed, waiting to see what it would do - nothing much as it happens but it's better to be safe than sorry!   After a sandwich and a drink the wind was more south-westerly and once a black cloud had disappeared I headed out to the cliffs again.  I arrived lower this time but the big house was working well and I was soon pretty high.  After a couple of tentative ventures around White Nothe I thought a run to Lulworth Cove might be on so grabbed the bull by the horns and went for it.  I arrived at the hill before the cove pretty quickly - my ground speed had been about 26mph and I was a bit concerned about getting back!  After building up my height I started the slow flight back, ground speed now down to 9mph.  The trouble with this strength headwind is that it takes ages to find out whether you're going to land in the sea and drown or not!  Luckily I found lift all the way back so didn't have to make any difficult decisions but it wasn't the most relaxing part of the flight!   There was now plenty of lift on the ridge when I got back and it took a while to get down.  I had a few things to do at home so decided to call it a day after a couple of hours in the air and a few photos, best day so far this year!

Sat 11 Jan 2014

Report by Shamus Pitts


Finally the winds eased and the rain stopped long enough for me to have a couple of flights at Telegraph Hill today.  The ground was soaking wet and I was a bit reluctant to unpack but seeing as I'd packed away so badly at Corton Denham last time I was out I thought it would be a good excuse to repack my gear even if it wasn't flyable!   The wind felt fairly strong at times, gusting 10 to 18 mph, then a bit more later in the day.  The air was buoyant though and not too cold and I was able to push right out in front of the ridge.  I didn't get much higher than 400' ATO but most of the time I stayed about 200' above the trees.  I don't know if I was a little bit rusty after about 5 weeks between flights or whether it was the gustiness of the wind but the air didn't feel quite right so after a couple of flights and an hour in the air I decided to call it a day, although it probably stayed flyable for at least a couple of hours after I left (although there was no-one there!)

Report by Grant Oseland

A nice boat around on Bell Hill today, it made a nice break from all the wind and rain of recent weeks.

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