Eye in the Sky - May 2015

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Sat 30 May 2015

Report by A Webb


Like many we headed for Whitesheet but realised quickly it was for those with bigger €œCajones€. We retreated to Ringstead and needed to quickly get into the air as the takeoff speed was already top end. There was a cloud street coming off Portland and sure enough there was lift coming off it, so much so that pushing significantly out to sea and turning a couple of times I was at cloud base 2100 ASL. All of a sudden the coastline takes on a whole different look at that height, seeing Portland bill from the White Nothe and a full length view of the Dorset coastline. Certainly a great consolation prize for whitesheet. My only regret was not taking the lift and flying at least home in Wool.

Report by Alastair Florence


I didn't really fancy a rock n roll session on Whitesheet today so when Nigel R suggested a fly on St. Aldhelms it seemed a good idea.

Nigel was already airborne when I arrived around 0900hrs, wind felt ok so way to go.

Dave W came to join in also.

It started off a bit up and downy between about 150 - 250ft ato, after a while we started getting more consistent lift and some sea thermally bits, Nige bravely pushed out toward Houns Tout a few times only to be beaten back, one attempt connected a bit low with HT and ended in a bit of hiking which i'm sure he could have done without ! Meanwhile I was building 450ft ato height and made it over ok. I couldn't get any further West so flew back, the wind and lift was picking up a bit so went over again soon followed by Dave W and eventually Nige after his little hike.

All made it to Eldon Seat but we just couldn't get the height to go further.

A peregrine was happily flying amongst us on the main cliff, as I flew to HT he followed over and soared with me, as soon as I returned he came as well, not sure who was leading who but interesting that he seemed to be flying specifically with us, maybe it's a keeping an eye on a potential predator thing or perhaps he just enjoyed flying with something else, or maybe just likes following Orange colour things :-) Peachometer 7.5

Wed 27 May 2015

Report by Gary Ryan


EYPE - I had a text the night before to say Russell W & friends were off to Eype. I went along for a look and found myself keen to join them in the air. After several attempts at a difficult and technical launch I was airborne Yaaaay, only to find I baulked at the crossing across Eypemouth and beach landed. Not to be put off I hauled myself back to T.O. and again had several attempts at launch before gaining airtime. I followed Russell and he guided me across to Thorncombe Beacon, WOW ecstasy for a low airtimer and the views were stunning. So glad I learnt to fly. After landing because I got cold I found myself volunteered for a retrieve of a South African Pilot from the beach at Seatown, at least I found him! Great flying with Alan W, Chris S, Brian M, David McK and so many others. What a day, not going to forget this one.

Tue 26 May 2015

Report by Alastair Florence


I had an excellent evenings flying at Chinnor near Aylesbury today after work. Quite gusty to start but smoothed off and calmed down. This was a good thing as top landing is not the easiest here.

Mon 25 May 2015

Report by Andy Ward

The bank holiday Monday forecast was looking great for Bell Hill - perfect conditions for the first proper outing with my tandem. Conditions were a bit light for the first flight which turned into a sled ride to the bottom landing field, but hey, it's all good practice. Things picked up by the time we had got back to launch and just over half an hour was spent getting acquainted with the Gin Fuse in thermic conditions. A glance at the windsock and the few pilots top landing revealed that the wind had further increased so I opted for another trip to the bottom landing field. Great to see so many in the air, and great airmanship - despite gliders everywhere there were no uncomfortable moments or raised voices.

Report by Mike Drew

Portland West - An early start for the "Posse'" at Portland West even though it was off to the West , Russell W showed us some alternative Take Offs leading to several hours of fun flying. Andrew Pearce playing film star for a Tourism Video and doing some neat Acro moves, with Gary P and Alan W enjoying some well deserved airtime. Alan also filmed for the crew with their adaptive helmet? We decamped to Telegraph , we flew but it was not awe inspiring, overcast and grey with a little bit of fluffiness.

Sat 23 May 2015

Report by Everard Cunion


Light and variable thermals at Monk's Down provided some good sport for the paragliders, but I was never quick enough to react to conditions to get my hang glider off the ground before sinking air arrived at the hill.

Sun 17 May 2015

Report by Everard Cunion


The wind was strong and off to the west at Ringstead. A couple of paragliders had good height above the cliff and, after they landed and we obtained a briefing on conditions from them, the hangies took to the sky.

Report by Mike Drew


First time for me at Eype today. Lovely launch point for the Jurassic run. Plenty of people made Hive beach to Charmouth and back. Lot's of pilots in the air including Grant O, RW, Alan W, Gary P, Sean S, John S, Ian S, Ian McG, I am sure one of them will write a more comprehensive report. Fantastic day!

Report by John S

Eype Hive - Good call today following forecasts. Arrived Eype 1030 T.O. just before 1100hrs and off towards Lyme Regis.

Only Grant O and a couple of Joint Services made it to Charmouth.

Lots of flying and as wind picked up off to Hive Beach watching Gary P & Alan W making there way to Charmouth from Hive.

Too many Pilots to mention but thanks to Grant O for giving his time to Tandem. John S in the air after a long break, Mike D, Russel W, David A, Ian McG and so many others.

Report by Alastair Florence


St. Aldhelms looked like a fairly safe bet today without too much driving, but I expected it to blow out fairly early, hence an early ish arrival.

Wind was on when I arrived and fairly gentle but enough to fly.

After a while it began to pick up nicely and get a bit more South in it. Neil W turned up and we both had a fair old fly about. I made a couple of stress free crossing's to the Tout, and tried to push further West.

This was fairly difficult as there was a fair bit of West in the wind still, so not giving much lift on Eldon Seat which was about as far as I got.

Another wing launched soon after I landed proving it hadn't blown out yet.

Modellers from a German + an English club were turning up, I went for a walk round the Headland later in the afternoon with the wife bumping into Jeremy C and Rosy doing the same thing. There were plenty of models flying, one huge RC glider that you could have flown a kid in and some impressive jet fighter style planes powered by electric turbine fans, very quick.

Report by Laurence Webb


I have my first eye in the sky report with the club! Great to have my first flight of the year/with the wessex club up at Whitesheet today. After an early start and a couple of hours of parawaiting the wind swung round from the north enough to become flyable.

Thanks to George and Darren for giving me a site briefing. Being a low airtime pilot I was pleased to have a couple of good flights before the conditions became a bit too variable (wind strength and direction!) and decided it was time to call it a day on a high.

As I left we passed Gary who had got away for around 15km and I understand Marcus got around 20km.

Glad to have met some of you today and look forward to some more flying soon! Photos courtesy of my girlfriend Gemma.

Sat 16 May 2015

Report by Everard Cunion


A windy hang glider day at Bell Hill. With the top landing field unusable, tractors then started working in the main bottom landing field, so we all (nearly all) landed in the adjacent field; a swamp. I think everybody at least nosed over, but there were no injuries ond only one broken glider.

Fri 15 May 2015

Report by Mike Drew


Lovely afternoon at Ringstead. Quite a few pilots enjoying the nice conditions although it's still chilly at times. Very buoyant everywhere and I had a very educational Tandem with Grant O (thanks Grant!). If you are Tandem rated and see me running towards you on the hill then it's probably because I want you as a passenger! I will get that rating one day....

Report by Gary Ryan

Ringstead - What a great day for all the Pilots at Ringstead today. Too many to mention.

For me my longest flight, as I am only a red ribbon, but in very good company and everyone so helpful and friendly.

Lots of thermals everywhere and I only landed at the bottom once. Hooray! Yippee! Thanks everyone.

Report by Maggie Sadler


Bell Hill - Thankyou to all who turned up to finally scatter Derek's ashes on his beloved Bell Hill.

Wed 13 May 2015

Report by Paul Maidment


Turned up at Barton at about one to a very light wind so made the decision to go for a walk, on returning to take off another pilot had turned up and so had the wind to about 16mph, after about half an hour Sean S, Chris S, Gary P, turned up and within 10 minutes they were taking to the air which gave me the confidence to give it a go, after a couple of failed attempts I waited for it to ease off which it did, I got the wing in the air but could not make it to the cliff edge with help of bit of a push I was off, after soaring take off for a bit I saw Chris S and another pilot heading for Highcliff so I followed getting a bit scratchy in places but made to the  Chewton Bunny gap, after watching Chris and the other pilot jump the gap but get very low the other side I got as much height as I could and went for it, I made it with plenty of height to spare easy I thought, I flew on to just short of Highcliffe Castle but decided not go any further as there was a few wings in air and it looked a bit busy, so headed back to Barton got back to the Chewton gap just as Gary P was coming the other way so let him cross before I gave it a go, having no one to follow and not having done it before I was unsure how much height was needed, I thought I had plenty but half way across I was sinking fast and it wasn't looking good, I made it to the other side but my wing was below cliff top height, I tried my best to get my wing above the cliff top without success and as the terrain up ahead didn't look, bushes trees and very rough and boggy, I decided to land on a nice flat bit of ground half way up the cliff I packed up and walked back to the gap to find another pilot on the deck, (sorry forgotten  your name ) he tried to launch from the static home park without success as the wind was very light by now, after a killer walk  for me  (worn out knees and ankles) we made it back to Barton, I was happy to have jumped the gap maybe next time I will make it back.

Report by Gary Ryan


Whitehorse - A challenging day for me as a newbie. met with Russell W, Pete C, Marcus W, Gaz M, Paul K, Martin B, Doctor George and Henry SUEME.

Thermic cycles and off to the E. 3 Bottom landings but hey I got some airtime. One walk down for lost watch which Paul K found on top.

Thanks for all the help. guys.

Sun 10 May 2015

Report by Grant Oseland


Early start at Southbourne 0900hrs with Dave W flying in the orographic joined by Gordon C, Chris S & Russell W.

Landed at 1200 as it was picking up and then into the air again at 1315hrs. Only spoiler was some inconsiderate Helicopter Pilot flying immediately overhead of all Paragliders and at less than 500'AMSL. Also joining the fun and breaking his Southbourne Cherry after 13 yrs, Mike D, achieving several jaunts to Bournemouth Pier he was totally "cock a hoop" and grinning from ear to ear. Well done Mike.

Report by Alastair Florence


A bit of a strange day, with a windy and claggy start but a sunny and calm finish. I did other stuff for a while and probably miss judged the wind strength in the afternoon judging by sitephone messages from Southbourne thinking it was still stronger. Late afternoon I trekked up Ballard and had an enjoyable but un-eventfull flight for a while.

Shortly after I landed a couple of other wings flew for a bit. I would have stayed longer if I had spotted them rigging or walking up I would have stayed a bit longer.

Report by Mike Drew


I have been flying for some 13 years or so now but never flown Southbourne. Arrived late morning to see others landing, packing and going home. Well it was windy and raining after all! Went to the café with RW and his other half and had a cup of tea. By the time we came out conditions were spot on and we had a fantastic afternoon with the majority of it just RW and I. Brian M turned up and the three of us went down to Bournemouth pier, by which time I had 240ft ato. Brian went across and went off to Sandbanks but I turned around with RW. A brilliant afternoon and what a first visit to this site! Others turned up as it got a little lighter and scratched around. I gather it got better so hope they enjoyed themselves. I do have to give a big thanks to RW, he will know what I mean.

Thu 07 May 2015

Report by Richard King


Arrived at Ringstead about 4pm after work just as the wind was easing off a bit, a quick look with my wind meter read 18-20mph SW. This triggered a PG squadron scramble, after which I took off expecting good lift at the cliffs, this wasn't actually the case and I scraped only 300' above take off. Luckily the PG group showed me the way and surprisingly more lift was found east of the Nothe. I decided to follow a couple further east getting as far as Durdle Door. After an hour of fun the wind dropped off, the landing at the bottom field didn't leave much to be desired ! Down hill nil wind landings are not one of my strong points, I miss the top landing field.

Report by Mike Drew

Seemed impossible at lunchtime with the strong gusty wind that it would become flyable. Forecast was for it to ease so headed to Ringstead just before tea time. Others on the hill were RW, Grant O, Gary P, Chris H, Marcus W, Andy W and a hangie. Pleasant enough on the cliffs with enough south in the wind for some to venture down to Lulworth. Was a bit chilly but a nice way to end the day.

Mon 04 May 2015

Report by Grant Oseland


It sounds like most of the coastline in the entire South and Southwest was working today. All be it with some people having better degrees of success than others. I went for the closest, Durdle Door as I was working nearby. It was fun whilst it lasted.

Report by Craig Byrne


Great flight at Southbourne with the whole cliff working well. And inadvertently watching Bournemouth celebrate their promotion.

Report by Alastair Florence

Today looked like it could be the first opportunity to have a 'declared' flight, that's declared to the Mrs following my sign off by Southampton General a few weeks ago(it's actually about 6 weeks since my last flight one way and another).

I was tempted to head up Ballard but was coaxed to Durdle Door. Nigel R Neil McC and Grant also rocked up.

Bit to light to start but came on pleasant enough for a while before going off East and getting a bit claggy.

I played safe and didn't stray to far but the others all made it to White Nothe,but not all flew back ! Ballard looks to have been the better bet but it was good to get in the air officially again.

Report by Neil Harris


We Inadvertently got caught up in the Bournemouth FC League champions parade. Nice flying to Branksome Dene and back a couple of times and then playing around above the parade.

I managed to get into a photo on the Echo website.

Report by Mike Drew


It's been a while since I have flown Ballard, the last two attempts resulting in a walk back down. I wasn't convinced today would be any different but joined RW, Alan W and Gary P in a walk to the top. Conditions were very nice and both the cliff and the ridge were working very well. Rich M zoomed overhead on his Atos later on, and Colin D also came along. Eventually a closing weather front put us on the deck but not before some well deserved flying. Nice to hear reports that people were flying numerous sites all along the coast. I don't think it's been the best flying year so far so we have to make the best of the small flying windows. Back to gales tomorrow I believe....

Report by Gary Pocock


Ballard made for some pleasant flying at last with Russell W, Alan W and Mike D    

Report by Shamus Pitts


Not much to say about today at Southbourne except what a great day it was!  Wind started a bit off to the west and ended a bit off to the east but was flyable from about 10am until mid afternoon.  Coastal runs down to Sandbanks and back were easy and we had the best seats in the house for the Cherries parade to Bournemouth pier!  Enjoy the pics

Report by Gary Pocock

Ballard Down & Whitecliff - A good call by Alan Webb had us in the air at 1100hrs flying up to the Ulwell Gap and just round the corner to Old Harry.

The threatening looking sky had us landing at just 1330hrs followed by a short shower.

Pilots: Alan W, Mike D, Russell W, Richard M and Gary P.

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