Eye in the Sky - June 2016

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Thu 30 Jun 2016

Report by Ben Holt


Jurassic cliffs - Checked the meteo on Wednesday night and it suggested a small window Thursday morning. On arrival it seemed a little light but soon was strong enough to soar the cliffs. 2 hours soaring for three pilots before building orographic and strengthening winds marked end of play for today.
Tue 28 Jun 2016

Report by Ben Holt


Ringstead - I had a call from RW to say Ringstead was flyable. I abandoned my studies ( big exam Wed) and dashed to the hill.

Russell was floating about on the ridge in the weak thermals and Neville A was rigging his new ATOS. Looked as though the wind was going to increase so I got ready and played on the ridge.

Russell got a couple of nice thermals in the SSW breeze and headed for the cliffs I could see that he made it with no problems and he then proceeded around the corner towards Lulworth.

I tried and tried several times to get to the cliffs with no good fortune and landed in the middle of the "Get Out Field" after having felt the rotor of the trees behind the lower cliff.

Neville A made it look easy on his ATOS, even the modeller gave up and then Russell landed and the wind picked up. Home for more study.

Thu 23 Jun 2016

Pictures from Bell Hill


Wed 22 Jun 2016

Report by Steve A


Got to cloudbase at Southbourne today.

Earlier on the wind had been a good direction, but a bit on the light side.  Later on, after a few chores, came back to take off and found the wind had picked up, but there was orographic cloud along to the west of take off, but clear all the way to Boscombe pier, so I started getting ready to fly.  But by the time the kit was about ready, the cloud that had been out to sea, upwind of me, had blown in and visibility was down to about 100 metres.

After about ten minutes or so, that bank of cloud had blown past and it was clear out to sea for quite a considerable distance; and I could see Boscombe pier and Hengistbury Head quite clearly; the latter being in sunshine.  So took off and boated around for ten to fifteen minutes or so, never straying far from the take off and landing area.  As is often the case when orographic cloud is in the vicinity, the air was very buoyant and lifty; but it needs watching carefully.  The pictures show the previous bank of cloud as it departed over the back.

After a while, the next bank of cloud was approaching and visibility was beginning to go down a little, so a few little wingovers to lose height and then a gentle touch down back at the take off spot.  Fun while it lasted.  And then a quick pack up of the glider before it got damp.

Tue 21 Jun 2016

Report by Jeff Davies


Ringstead - Early start, after consulting with Russell, ( I have a steam driven phone, so no Telegram).

Absolutely brilliant flight, great height eventually some SSW to allow short trips around the corner.

It would have been a one-way journey as it kept shifting, although I have always wanted to get to Lulworth. Still, some gorgeous aerial views of the coast allowing perspective of the features until the orographic starting to flow back & forth.Unfortunately the wind dropped with no apparent warning signs, although some thermals were worked on the ridge. All in all a wonderful day on the coast. Photos courtesy of RW

Sun 19 Jun 2016

Report by Ben Holt


Ringstead - The early bird catches the.. You get the idea! Up at Ringstead at 0830 this morning in hope of an early fly before the predicted rain at 1100. 10mph WSW on arrival and already one pilot getting setup. It wasn't long before we were scratching the ridge. Not quite enough to get up over the gauze and away yet. Russell was the first to get out, followed by Dave A, a tandem and myself. Lovely smooth air shifted around to SW and brought a few more over to the White Nothe. A good opportunity to play with wing overs for some, winglets and an attempt at spirals over the sea for me. Great fun getting low and scratching back up with Russell. Congratulations to Ollie making it out for the first time to the cliffs. The icing on the cake today was witnessing four WW1 biplanes flying the coast just below us a few hundred metres off, a fantastic sight to see! After about 1 3/4 hours of playing, the weather looked like rain closing from the west and cloud base lowering so all came back just in time to throw our wings in our vehicles before rain and low cloud reduced visibility to 50m.

Thank you to RW for today's photos.

Report by Alastair.florence

I had family commitments planned for me today but figured I could squeeze a short early flight in today.   It was spotting with rain on arrival at St.Aldhelms but with no apparent source I thought it may soon stop.  It did and the wind picked up enough to allow a decent flight.  Silky smooth buoyant air which I guess was the beginning of the front that spoiled things later.  Not enough height to cross to Houns Tout but enough to fly back to the car park to land. 

Sat 18 Jun 2016

Report by Shamus Pitts

A good day at Bell Hill today despite the threat of rain lingering in the wings with plenty of optimists out enjoying the air when the wind was strong enough.  The strength was a bit up and down but when it was strong enough there was plenty of lift to be had under a, rather ominous at times, grey sky!

Pictures from Bell-Hill


Sat 11 Jun 2016

Report by Paul Maidment


St Albans was my plan.  For my first visit there I needed the assistance of Mr Florence the St Albans expert,  but Ali Florence was busy , so I had to put plan B into action Kimmeridge.  I arrived to a bit of a  breeze, just enough for me to get my wing out and give it a go.  A down wind landing through waist high stinging nettles and a butt clenching moment, with the bottom of my harness brushing over a rather large patch of brambles later,  I decided to wait a  bit for the breeze to stiffen to something flyable.  After half an hour it started to pick up, I launched again only to find a small bit of the ridge was working, but as time passed more and more of the ridge was workable.

After an hour or so of solo flying with just a young buzzard and a kestrel for company, I saw Richard Mosley coming up the ridge on his motorbike.  He joined me in the air for some very pleasant flying, by this time the whole of the ridge was working but all to soon it was time to call it a day at Kimmeridge.  It is a great place to fly if you just want to get away from the crowds, I'll rate it a 9 out of 10, would have been 10, but for the stinging nettles up my legs.

Report by Ben Holt


Ringstead - An afternoon of scratching was rewarded by a period of lots of lift on the ridge but none at the cliffs as one found out going to the beach. A little while later the lift was back and this time the cliffs were working wonderfully. I had my first trip out and enjoyed the silky smooth air in the company of several other PGs and an ATOS hang glider. Stunning in the sun and wind blown mist and plenty of height gained to land back on take off. Worth the wait!
Sat 04 Jun 2016

Report by Alastair Florence


I had given up on any thoughts of aviation today as there seemed to be little breeze and not much sun around these parts.

Painting the garden gate after lunch I noticed the Knitson windmills were facing WSW and actually turning. so sped up the painting and headed for St.A's. The wind seemed to be on although it had a strange sort of sea breezy feel to it which can be unpleasant here.

After posting a telegram heads up I launched and found the air nice and smooth although not over buoyant.

Soon joined by Nigel R, Grant and RW we had a fair boat around although nothing very spectacular.

After a while the wind seemed to be dropping and I think we were all getting bored so it was time to go.

Fri 03 Jun 2016

Photos from Monks Down


Report by Benjamin Holt


Monks Down - It's supposed to be June but Monks at 0930 this morning was blooming freezing! 10-13mph due North with stratus covering quite low. It wasn't long before more arrived and despite the slowly lifting cloud cover, there were some reasonable thermic cycles coming through with several pilots in the air. Grant O was giving tandem flights to our young guests. The best of the day was at lunchtime giving many of us a good thermic flight. I managed to get on top of the stack at nearly 1000' above take off with Grant and his passenger circling just below me.. Apparently being a red ribbon means it doesn't count! The afternoon brought clearing sky's and hope for more thermals but it wasn't to be. At least it was warm by then!...

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