Eye in the Sky - December 2015

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Sun 13 Dec 2015

Report by Grant Oseland


A rather uninspiring morning with light rain and 100% overcast did not inspire much confidence to actually go anywhere in the car let alone paragliding, however the faithful all arrived at Ringstead to be greeted with no wind and grey sky and the feeling that we were all wasting our time. With the amount of pilots on takeoff you would've thought it was a summers day with pilots from various different clubs all migrating with the desperate hope of aviation. After a bit of hanging around waiting for the wind to pick up, there was a rush of paragliders all heading out to the cliffs, and the lift was good, very good. Previously Nigel and I had discussed plans of going on a coast run but decided to just take off and suck it and see what happens. As it turns out it was a spectacular day made even more so by the fact that it was December. Many pilots making the run down to Gadd Cliff and back. I always suspected that it was possible to connect Ringstead and Durlston together on a coastal run as it's been done in the past many years ago on a Hang glider. It turns out that today was that day, and it was surprisingly easy it just needed a bit of glide commitment.  Below is a link for the Doarama web site with a fancy 3D track log which makes it look easy. You will need a decent modern computer to run it though and it seems to work best on Google chrome web browser. 

Report by Sean Staines

The forecast for Sunday looked possible for the coastal run through the ranges. When we arrived there were many pilots who’d had the same idea but there wasn’t enough wind even to kite a paraglider. Despite this I was confident enough to start rigging my HG and sure enough, by the time the wing was ready conditions had improved.

The PGs were already high and way down the cliffs towards Lulworth when I launched and despite the light wind the transition to the cliffs was easy. I more or less straight lined all the way to Gad cliff meeting up with the paragliders who’d set off before me. A few had struggled with the headwind component on the return journey and had to land near Lulworth. The orographic was starting to form when I got to Gad cliff so I didn’t press any further.

The return to take off was straight forward and I landed for lunch. Grant and Louisa turned up and while Louisa was rigging I lent my glider to Grant (HG Grant, not PG Grant) for a quick flight. The wind had picked up and many people had called it a day and Left. I launched again just before Louisa and conditions had improved making it very easy to get to Gad cliff. Orographic cloud was everywhere by now which gave great buoyancy to the air but made visibility a bit tricky. This time I pressed on past Gad cliff almost to the quarry parking at the foot of Kimmeridge before the thickness of the orographic made me turn back. Lift was so good I carried on past take off towards Osmington Mills before landing. A 33km entry to kick off the Wessex 2016 HG league. The best flying I’ve ever had at Ringstead.

Louisa had a great flight too on only her second flight at Ringstead, getting to Lulworth and back and cruising around above the clouds at 1600ft AMSL.

Report by Paul Maidment


A strange day with it not being quite as forecast. A long wait to get airborne but then straight down the coast with King of the Cruisers Grant O. making Durlston Head in Swanage. Another record broken. Several making their first run and Russell W not making it back but landing on the "nob-end" on the Ranges at East Lulworth. Avon member bombing out on the beach at Mute Bay.

I just crept over the power cable hearing it buzz as I squeaked over.

After such a long spell of bad weather it was good to get airborne.

Report by Alastair Florence


The first hopefull looking day for a while so was looking forward to getting a bit of airtime.

I had a lot to do during the morning so by the time I got out didn't think it was worth the tramp to Ringstead.

The wind still looked to have West in it so tried St.A's first, on t/o the wind was running along the cliff so headed back to the car.

I figured Knitson may work but it was fairly strong and base looked only a couple of hundred foot over the hill.

So thought Dancing Ledge might be a go-er. The fields behind the ledge are sodden but after picking my way over I found a good strong SSW'ly coming up the hill. Launch was no problem and soon had a few hundred foot ato. The flight toward the Lighthouse was easy but a hard push back into wind so used some bar most of the way.

I even found a dry, cow pat free spot to land on.

Not as epic as some of the runs from Ringstead today but feet off the ground anyways and always good to fly somewhere unusual.

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