Eye in the Sky - April 2017

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Sat 22 Apr 2017

Report from Monksdown

Monksdown - Turned out well with several going over the back.

Wed 19 Apr 2017

Photos from Ballard


Mon 17 Apr 2017

Photos from Monksdown


Tue 11 Apr 2017

Report by Sean Staines

After consulting the tea leaves I figured Whitesheet was the place to be today for XC potential. I arrived on the hill at 11:30 and was fiddling with my instruments and site telegram message when Robin arrived at the site for the first time. We had a chat about it and he went to move his car to the quarry parking.

Colin and Marcus walked up the face of the hill with light hearted talk of flights to Kent. My ambitions were a little closer to home. Well, home actually, at Brockenhurst in the new forest.

I launched and landed again after 3 minutes. 2nd attempt was better, I was maintaining and gaining a bit here and there, maybe getting 100ft ATO. Colin soon joined me. I think Marcus must have fallen asleep at this point.

Colin showed me the way and I followed him around the sky as we started to climb out. After 500ft or so I struck the mother load and cranked in tightly to a lovely core reaching 3.4m/s on the averager and was blasted to cloud base at around 3800ft amsl. Colin was still climbing but fell away below me on the way up, and was maybe 1000ft below me when I set off across the valley towards Bowerchalke.

From my high vantage point I could see that Robin had launched. Marcus still napping did not appear any closer to committing to aviation.

There was 100% top cover with strato cumulus and nothing obvious to head for. The rising ground near Bowerchalke provide weak lift. I pushed on to the forest behind it, which often works, and was rewarded with another good climb back up to base. Colin hadn't been so lucky and returned to take off for another go I believe.

Approaching Martin (I had to figure this one out later by consulting the map) I had a blue patch for quite a way in front on track. There were cumulus off to the south but that would have taken me the wrong way towards airspace.

I set off towards a distant cloud towards Rockbourne and was getting pretty low. Again I opted for some woodland south of Rockbourne and, after a lot of searching, found a lovely easy climb that carried me across the normally sinky Avon valley and over Godshill, topping out again near base at 3750amsl. From here I went on a glide over the old WW2 bombing range with the target markers and bomb craters still clearly visible.

I topped up a bit under some clouds near Fritham but left them to head for Stoney Cross airfield. I didn't need more height here, as I was approaching airspace and would need to drop below 2500ft and then below 2000ft.

As I crossed the Road on the path of the WW2 airfield runway, I flew directly over Andrea below me who'd been tracking my progress since take off by radio. I asked her to head for Emery Down as I knew I'd make it across the Cadnam to Ringwood dual carriageway.

I went over the dual carriageway and was down to 1000ft amsl above the wonderfully named Withybed Bottom heath when I pinned down another climb. A perfect one that was easy to work and not too strong. I had a 2000ft airspace ceiling above me.

I abandoned my plan to land home in Brockenhurst. I was too low with too few landing options and decided to head for Lyndhurst . There are lots of landable fields around Emery Down and Minstead if I needed them.

Another nice little climb took me to 1500ft and I left it to glide over Lyndhurst heading for Beaulieu Road Station. Finding nothing more I could work I landed at Matley Heath for a 42km open distance from take-off.


Photos from Ringstead


Mon 10 Apr 2017

Report from Bell Hill


Very up and down and not the best but some workable thermals.

Sun 09 Apr 2017

Photos from Ringstead


Sat 08 Apr 2017

Report by Grant Oseland

Two good days in a row for Bournemouth, Friday and Saturday. Had the place to my self today, probably too much east in the wind for some.

Photos from Ballard Down


Fri 07 Apr 2017

Photos from Whitehorse


Wed 05 Apr 2017

Report by Grant Oseland


A unexpectedly good day from Monks Down. A lot of indecision on sites early on eventually led to driving up to Monks expecting it to be blown out. On arrival no one was flying, but had been earlier on. Colin with his new speed wing had possible caused a bit of ground suck as Nigel R and I set up straight away and launched into perfectly fine flying conditions if a little bumpy. After about 30 mins of having the air to ourselves others were eventually convinced that the wind had dropped enough and also took flight. Nigel R boldly taking a climb over the back and going with it despite the blue no cumulus sky. After much up and down, Colin and I found a decent climb and went with it with me shouting why are we going Colin this is stupid. Colin simply replied it's a journey let's see where we go. It turned out we both made the coast after quite a few low saves.

Photos from Monksdown


Sat 01 Apr 2017

Photos from Ringstead


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