Eye in the Sky - July 2016

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Sun 31 Jul 2016

Pictures from Bell Hill


Report by Andy Ward


Bell Hill The promising forecast brought many pilots to Bell Hill, but a powerful sea breeze front drove inland thwarting the XC plans of many pilots. Well done to Ali F for getting away early and pushing through to Swanage early in the day.

It was quite rough and windy at times, but there were times when the wind and lift just died away. Still, the sun shone, people went flying, and we still have a decent amount of summer ahead of us.

Sat 30 Jul 2016

Report from Ringstread


Dr Andy doing dynamic moves?
Thu 28 Jul 2016

Report from Ringstead


Early birds today for a couple of hours before rain and too strong a wind.

Wed 26 Jul 2016

Pictures from St Aldhelms


Report by Ben Holt

Good flying at two sites today with Dave, Mark and Russell. We went to St Aldhelms for 1030 this morning, it was WSW 14-16 mph. Take off was quite dynamic, no time to faff about, as soon as the wing was up you were flying! Heights up to 650 AMSL were easily gained and runs down to the coastguard lookout. Several attempts to get past Houns-Tout were made but made difficult by the very west wind. After several attempts Dave and Russell made it over and proceeded to make good height gains. I made several more attempts to work out the best way to make it, coming back low and scratching up each time. Eventually I also made it past the Tout and enjoyed soaring high in front. All landed safely by the carpark after two hours flight in what had become 18-20 mph wind.

The second episode was an after lunch flight of 45 minutes at Ringstead in strong conditions. Andy led the way to the cliffs and the rest of us followed. 900+ ft AMSL was easy. Played with spirals and wingovers before it became too strong and we crept back to take off on half bar.

Mon 25 Jul 2016

Report from St. Aldhelms


Strong on launch but smooth in the air.

Sun 24 Jul 2016

Report by Grant Oseland


A day trip to the Isle of Wight was planned today, with the goal of flying the south-west side. We got in the car, we got on the ferry, we went paragliding, a very successful day enjoyed by all.

Sat 23 Jul 2016

Report by Everard Cunion


Ringstead: My camera caught this view Jon H's new Avian Evo 3. Notice also the paraglider on the right, which landed shortly after this photo as a precaution against the strengthening wind.

More: https://everardcunion.wordpress.com/hang-gliding-2016-part-3/#top

Pictures from Ringstead


Fri 22 Jul 2016

Report by Mike

Pictures from Barton-on-Sea

Report by Grant Oseland


Better than being at work on a Friday afternoon at Ringstead.

Thu 21 Jul 2016

Report by Robin Wallace


I was pretty thrilled to have a successful maiden flight at Ringstead. It has been on my list since walking the coast path from Lulworth in December. Its taken me just over a year since my CP and 80 flights to get the 10 hours specified for Ringstead, but it was a worthwhile reward indeed. Thanks to Andy W and Russell for the briefing, which included the instruction not to fly east of White Nothe point. Thanks too to the German pilot who had ignored that advice and demonstrated what happens if you do (forced landing in bad place and long walk out). Conditions were good, SW at 12mph, a little blustery on takeoff but smooth beyond on my AirCross Ufly2. 4 beats on the hill, Russell encouraging me from the ground and I was tentatively off to point A. Round the corner and a couple of beats past the lovely Holworth House and then the beauty of Ringstead Bay from above. It is mind blowing. The lift was so easy there, I really didnt need to do much and quickly found my altitude had gone 800' above sea level, another personal best. I would have just relaxed and cruised but the ever enthusiastic Russell (with camera) flew close and reminded me to practice speedbar and big ears while in gentle conditions, before demonstrating some serious spirals. Just 2 flights but now another hour onto my total. I'll be back.

Pictures from Ringstead


Sun 17 Jul 2016

Report by Ben Holt

Three days in a row at Ringstead.. Can't complain. It wasn't as good as previous days though as the wind was on the light side and off to the west again. Lots of parawaiting going on and talking parabo!%{#$ on the hill side in the hot midday sun. Several went to the beach after being taken there on a thermal and finding the cliffs not working. I had an attempt a few hours later and after scratching by Holworth House for a while, made it to White Nothe. After half an hour or so a few others made it over while others went to the beach. Another 20mins later and it switched off like a switch and I had to land in the field below take off. Worth the wait though and chuffed to get out there as a low air timer!

Sat 16 Jul 2016

Report by Peter Robinson

A report in Sunday's online Dorset Echo reporting on Saturday's events "The lifeboat crew was then asked to assist a suspected paraglider seen to make an emergency landing on an inaccessible beach. The crew searched from Lulworth to Ringstead and found no sign of anyone." Well, well. The rest of the story, unknown to the Echo and to the RNLI, is that the couple (for it was a tandem) approached the only group on the beach and politely enquired if there was a possibility of a lift by boat to Weymouth but the group had been there only a short time and were not yet keen to leave. The couple were advised that it should be possible to get round Bats Head to the east, advice which they took. Whether they got wet or not is unknown.

It takes me back. In the early 80's three of us unwisely found ourselves down on the same beach after a failed return from Lulworth Cove. We were spotted by a fishing boat who alerted the cliff rescue squad. In the meantime Allan Smith had successfully scrambled up the dangerously loose cliff, so the cliff rescue involved roping Ted Frater up the cliff, followed by, one after the other, three hang gliders and then myself. The cliff rescue people all seemed to enjoy the escapade but we were axnious that it shouldn't get into the Echo, and it didn't.

Pictures from Ringstead


Fri 15 Jul 2016

Report by Ben Holt

Ringstead this morning was wsw and about 12-15mph. Had fun soaring over the cliffs with RW and Gerhard from Austria. The west in the wind made it easy to get across but limited us to not going around white nothe. Made use of the time by practicing spirals and some asymmetric collapses. By 11:30 it started to spot with rain so we headed back to take off. The rain held off but winds increased so decided to call it a day.

Here's a few snippets of footage... https://youtu.be/iRXGrosMEJs

Thu 15 Jul 2016

Report by Andy Ward

Sunshine and a decent NW forecast attracted pilots to Bell Hill like bees to the honeypot. Despite the epic looking skies the wind was varying from nil to windsock horizontal and the thermals low down were very broken - a tricky day to get away XC although one or two did so.

I spent the afternoon test flying a potential replacement for my current wing and thoroughly enjoying being back in the air with good friends.

Report by Everard Cunion


Bell Hill conditions were best during the more active part of the day in early afternoon. At least one paraglider made it all the way along the ridge to the tall masts and back. The pilot reported that he encountered the roughest conditions when he returned to the hill.

I waited until late afternoon before I launched. The lift was weak, it was turbulent and the ridge was crowded with other wings, so I landed after fifteen minutes.

More: https://everardcunion.wordpress.com/hang-gliding-2016-part-2#MidsummerBlues

Pictures from Bell Hill


Wed 13 Jul 2016

Report by Grant Oseland


A very good time was had at the Ozone Chabre in Laragne last week competing. High lights were racing the current world champion Honorin Hamard around a 70 Km task and being with him on the 18km final glide to goal! (He won) Also making the 50k run from St Jean down to St Andre les Alps with altitudes of over 10,000ft and some spectacular views, and using full speed bar most of the week when not going around in circles.

Here's a link to a video of the last day and Task 4 which was a 33km elapsed time race - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD-GgK8cSME it is 55 mins long and uncut so don't watch it all.
Thu 07 Jul 2016

Report by Ben Holt

Ringstead and kimmeridge - I went to Ringstead at 10am, David A was there already and setting up. We gave it a go, the ridge was soarable but very west so no one felt comfortable making the transit to the cliffs. Russell arrived with his Austrian guests who also gave the ridge a try. David A did make it to the cliffs but soon came back reporting it to be very west and half bar needed to return. It wasn't really working, so we made a convoy over to kimmeridge where we found 16-18mph WSW and enjoyed an hours flying with some nice thermals and good height gained. Occasional playing in the edges of the orographic cloud. We landed as it started to get too strong and headed back to Ringstead where several pilots had another hour or more flying.

Here's some footage at kimmeridge.. https://youtu.be/5yHcDPFMBZ4

Tue 05 Jul 2016

Report by Everard Cunion

Thermic conditions and a light wind at Bell Hill produced challenging but potentially rewarding conditions. While I rigged my wing, a white and green Avian Rio 2 climbed in a thermal out in front of the hill to well over 1 000 ft above launch. When I had finished rigging, he sunk out to the bottom landing field.

Earlier in the day, he drove down to investigate the bottom landing field, which had a crop of tall grass or similar. The farmer was there and he then used his tractor to cut it for us! More: https://everardcunion.wordpress.com/hang-gliding-2016#BellJuly5

Report by Ben Holt


Bell Hill - We thought we would be on for Portland West this afternoon, but by the time the sea breeze kicked in it went south of west. So, we decided to head inland to Bell hill after reading a favourable site report from Joycey. When we got there it was on the hill and 13-18mph. Two were already in the air and Russell, Dave M and myself soon joined them. Plenty of nice thermals with soft edges including some 5.5m/s rocket ships, one of which took us all up to 2200'. A few others joined us at tea time as the sky cleared but the buoyant air remained. Getting down was interesting when I found myself still going up on ears and half bar at one point, but eventually made it down for a top landing. A very pleasant hour and a half in the air.

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