Eye in the Sky - October 2015

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Sat 31 Oct 2015

Report by Paul Maidment

Ballard Down - Generally east but able to fly round to Old Harry and on the lower cliffs for most of the day.

Report by Grant Oseland


A bit of a gamble on Ballards Down today, that paid off. Old Harry was possible, as were the lower cliffs. The actual main down though not giving much lift due to the slight North element in the wind.

Report by Ali Florence

I misjudged todays weather to a degree, I was expecting a strong start with a lightening wind in a nice SE direction by afternoon so did not rush out in the morning, I was partly correct with the wind decreasing but staying due East or North of pretty much all day (always expect the unexpected).

I missed out on some flying earlier as when I arrived everyone was landing to go home and telling me good it had been, although it was still miles off East.

I launched and had a nice long glide (not) onto the beach. At this point feeling disgruntled I nearly gave up and went home but the wind had picked up again and after launching I enjoyed 2 good flights on the lower cliffs.

There were only 5 of us left, Dave A making the most of it, with Neil W and Richard M, Russell H? and eventually only me and Paul M, the air became more buoyant as the sun got lower, may be land cooling down and warm sea air, bit damp on landing but you cant have everything.

Sun 25 Oct 2015

Report by Paul Maidment


After much deliberation I decided to give Ballard Down another try, I've never had much luck there normally a hot sweaty walk up followed by 2 hours parawaitng then a top to bottom if I'm lucky, but today was going to be different after the hot sweaty walk up to find light winds Dave A, Russell W and John the vet I sat to start the normal wait, watching Dave A trying to ground handle a wing that didn't want to stay in the air, after twenty minutes we were joined by Sean S who after ten minutes got itchy feet and took to the air only to descend to the lower cliffs, we watched him scratching the lower cliffs for another ten minutes before another pilot took the plunge ( sorry forgot your name ), but this time he stayed up all the way to the cliff end and started to push on towards Old Harry and Sean started to work his way back up, that was enough for me gear laid out checked and launched in record time for me . I launched into a very nice buoyant air not massive height gains but very pleasant and spent the next hour or so playing about with the odd sea thermal that came through, I watched Ali F get some good height off one I tried to join him but just found the sinking air, all to soon the light started to fade and the wind increase I bottom landed next to Russell W ( thanks for the awesome pics ), a cracking flight made all the better as this time last week I was laid up in hospital being told I had a fracture in my T12 vertebra after falling out my loft !.         

Report from Ballard Down


Colin Davies was the only brave soul to make Old Harry Rocks.

Fri 23 Oct 2015

Report by Grant Oseland

A changeable weather forecast leading up to today with sun, rain and cloud, all forecast at some stage by the weather men. Only Me and Russell to start with in very buoyant conditions, with lift to be found everywhere. Landing after about an hour for a quick refresh and some food, to launch again into a “Stiff Breeze” Rain eventually spoilt play.

Tue 20 Oct 2015

Report by Richard Walters

MONKSDOWN - An up and down day. At on stage the sky looked very tempting with lovely cloud streets. Thermic cycles and some Sky Gods getting high, especially Mark R floating up high and around in front of the hill. Some good and some poor airmanship shown on the hill today. More importantly does no-one work these days? So many flyers for a Tuesday.

Sun 18 Oct 2015

Report by Trevor Lee

Maiden Castle - After a forecast of N.E. I wondered if MC would actually work?: Russell W went to the top T.O. with Nigel R.

David A, Gordon C and myself managed to scratch from the lower.

It was gnarly and punchy with lots of up and down. Obviously different to yesterday.

Lots of E but some broken thermals that did allow aviation to occur. It was on and off for several hours and not for the feint hearted.

Sat 17 Oct 2015

Report by Grant Oseland


A reasonable day at Maiden Castle was had today by Russell W, Nigel R, Alan W, Gordon C and me. The sky was over cast but the wind was a good direction for Maiden. As ever at Maiden Castle, the air was a bit lumpy at times but some good height gains could be had if you could work the lift.

Fri 09 Oct 2015

Report by Grant Oseland


Still stuck with the Easterly wind direction (again, it seems to hang around a bit these days) I badgered Russell W into coming out to play. On arrival RW launched deftly into a stiff breeze with ease, whilst I made a pigs ear of it a few times. Once up conditions were nice and smooth with plenty of lift available. Seeing as it is outside of the 1st March and 30th July the area south of Cheyne Weare car park is not out of bounds due to nesting birds (I checked before flying, honest!) I gave it a go to see how far South I could get. Turns out all the way, impressive things these new gliders. Sean Stains also made the pilgrimage, I believe for the first time at Portland East.

Sat 03 Oct 2015

Report by Grant Oseland


Every body likes a new crispy wing, just a shame the weather wasn't a bit better at Bell Hill today. It was flyable for a bit bit not exactly stellar. Photos from RW

Thu 01 Oct 2015

Report by Sean Staines

Pandy – SE Wales  
With an Easterly forecast Rich, Peter and I thought a couple of days in SE Wales offered a good chance of some Hang Gliding. After a while spent clearing bracken from the launch area  at Pandy, Rich was the first away. The wind was a little off to the North and he was having difficulty connecting with the lift on the main ridge. I went next and scratched up to the higher PG launch of the main ridge with Rich close behind. From there we started working our way along towards Hay Bluff.

Meanwhile back at launch Peter took off and had his first 45 minutes soaring post CP (On Phil Venn’s old glider), ending with a perfect nil wind landing in the bottom landing. Excellent practice for his upcoming trip abroad with John Barrett   As Rich and I reached Black Darren quarry, about 6km from take-off, I decided to head back rather than push my luck but Rich was very keen and pushed on beyond and into the Olchon valley between Black hill on the Hay Bluff ridge at the far end of the Pandy main ridge. With him showing me the way, and how good the lift was, I too decided to carry on.     The lift was so smooth I had full VG on for maximum efficiency and we both worked very large weak thermals taking us up to 2500ft AMSL. Rich decided to go for it and cross the valley to the Black Darren ridge hoping to get all the way to Hay Bluff. Although I though this a bit of a bold manoeuvre I followed a few hundred meters behind and a couple of hundred feet above, seeing what would happen. It was surprisingly buoyant and by the time I’d reached the centre of the valley I was still at 2500ft. Looking good I thought, but then I saw Rich hit strong sink; he wasn’t going to make it over the ridge onto black hill and dived back towards the Pandy main ridge to try and reconnect with its lift band. Too low to connect he executed a hairy upslope precision landing behind Black hill.

From my higher vantage point I could see the way things were going, and pulled on speed to get over in front of Black hill more or less at the end of it. Unfortunately there was very little lift when I got there so after a brief attempt to scratch up it I cut my losses and flew across the next valley. I executed a good nil wind upslope landing in a large field between Craswall and Michealchurch Escley.

We both had a bit of a hike with our kit before getting retrieved although Rich had the worst of it. Still an excellent flight though.

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