Eye in the Sky - January 2015

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Tue 27 Jan 2015

Report by A Webb


Portland West. At take off the wind was strong around 14 mph. A little tricky calming the wing amongst all the obstacles on take off now. However weaved through them and airborne for over an hour.  Good climbs taken from descent thermals coming through and wandered all over the site. Landing had to be on the promenade in the end, ably demonstrated by RW. Kindly picked up by Ian S.

Mon 26 Jan 2015

Report from Weymouth


Tried for a sunset fly at Weymouth.. but it just did not happen.

Spectacular sunset nonetheless.

Fri 23 Jan 2015

Report by GRant Oseland


A short break in the weather at Ringstead this morning. Lots of ice on the road driving up to the carpark so lots of clothes required. The wind was not as strong as forecast so it was not that easy to get to the cliffs and they were not working that well either when you got there. There were some very lazy sea thermals coming through, giving enough height to boat down to Lulworth then wait around for another thermal altitude boost before coming back across Durdle Door. Enjoyed by Russell and Alan W, but not so much by Andy I suspect.

Thu 22 Jan 2015

Report by A Webb


A new site for me, Portland East. After a site briefing from RW he then demonstrated how to forward launch into the 12-14 mph wind at the cliff edge. Good height gains were had from the small sea thermals coming through and got to appreciate the Portland from a different side. Nice crisp day enjoyed by RW, Mike D, Gary Po. Definitely a challenging and technical site.

Sun 04 Jan 2015

Report by Andy Ward


After a few frustrating days at work where I had make do with sitephone messages and EITS reports I finally thought Sunday might be flyable either in Weymouth or perhaps Swanage. The morning sitephone report from Swanage reported the wind off to the north and it was really no better closer to home when I went to check conditions with Mk 1 eyeball and healthy dose of optimism.  By late afternoon the weather station in Portland Harbour was reporting a breezy but flyable SE so back I went to find Mike D, Russell W and Gary P, tempted to the hill by the very same weather report. Alas the weather station lied like a dog and it was too light and actually blowing off the hill.

Deciding to call it a day we adjourned to the cafe for a coffee. Just as we downed our second coffee Gary P gestured through the window and pointed to a kite that showed the wind was bang on the hill.

Flying until sunset then ensued, at one point there were three of us dodging about in front of the cliff which has really collapsed compared to last year. A combination of cold, darkness and a bladder full of coffee meant time to land.

Nice to kick off the 2015 flying season at last! Andy W

Fri 02 Jan 2015

Report by Pete Chalmers

After some early morning indecision I set off for Bell Hill late and convinced it would probably be a waste of fuel, it looked too West and possibly strong even for my mini wing.

I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by Harry D and Karl B on arrival, maybe I wasn't mad after all! Wind was off to the West but a good strength for my Little Cloud Goose. I duly launched to find it was very West, making for an exciting downwind beat in turbulent air. After five minutes of almost maintaining decided to land and draw breath.

Harry suggested a walk which sounded a very good idea! After half an hour of chewing the fat around the top of the hill we returned to find the wind much more on and slightly stronger.

Yippee, into the air to find much more lift in the still turbulent air. Managed to creep up to 300' ato giving a bit of space to play with my still new toy. After about an hour the wind dropped slightly, tempting Karl then Harry into the air. They didn't stay there long as it picked up again and went off a bit, sending them scurrying in to top land.

For those with a reasonable amount of experience I certainly recommend the Goose, a mini-wing with a good glide that certainly extends your flying window without all the aggravation of hang gliding!

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