Still under lockdown conditions and another musical experiment. The title Lenticular, describes the intended journey this tracks takes the listener, from its humble beginning, building to an electronic high in the middle and concluding with a grand piano with diminishing synths at its conclusion.
31 Mar 2020 - Lockdown
Unbelievable times as the Covid-19 virus spreads across the world forcing us in the UK to go into lockdown, hence the name of this new track, produced in Fruity Loops and soley using the Flex synth.
29 Dec 2019 - Hexed
Upon discovering the Flex synthesizer within FL Studio I began playing around with the various presets and quickly arranged this piece over a number of evenings before Christmas.
7 Sep 2019 - Clearing Cobwebs!
I rushed a little and didn't quite get my wings level and as I stepped forward to launch, a gust got under my left wind and lifted it. I was very fortunate and able to abort take-off, a moment later would have resulted in an inevitable uncontrolled turn into the hill probably followed by an inverted glider with me strung up upon it!
5 May 2019 - Finally Some Air-Time!
On reflection, this was not a great flight; the air was rough, and the flying was hard-work with minimal reward, but it had broken my flying downtime and motivated me to once again return to the air…
12 Apr 2019 - Hang Glider Service
Time and my personal experience are always a compromise and the fact that I prefer a set of independent eyes to look over my glider meant I’d once again use John Barratt from South Downs Hang Gliding for a strip down service. This was evidently a wise choice as John quickly spotted that I had incorrectly attached the sail to the airframe upon return from Lanzarote...
7 Mar 2019 - Flute and Piano
A sweet blend of the piano (Keyzone Classic) and flute (Sonatina Orchestra) with some subtle synths and textures provided by the Omnisphere 2 synthesiser. This is my first piece composed using Image-Line's Fruity Loops, a 64 bit DAW. The piano sequences were performed live on a PSR3000 and recorded directly into Fruity Loops. The whole piece was composed, recorded and produced over 4 short evenings...
6 Jan 2019 - Shackleford Turkey Burner
To say the conditions were perfect was an understatement. It wasn't too hot, cold or wet. The trails were dry with only the odd muddy puddle here and there...
7 Oct 2018 - A Little XC
Eventually, still at ridge height I turned back towards Firle. The air was pretty rough, especially low to the ridge and after I had crossed a couple of bowls, I saw what awaited me. Crowds of paragliders were now in the skies so I decided to switch tactics and head to Bo Peep...
5 Sep 2018 - Pre-Flight Checks
As I checked over the glider and did my pre-flight checks, I found an issue. As I pulled the VG cord, the sheath of the cord separated exposing all the nylon strands contained within. I had also noticed that the operation of the VG had an unusual amount of friction. Something was clearly wrong and probably a result of when I had changed the uprights in Lanzarote...
27 Mar 2018 - Lanzarote Trip Report
My account of my hang gliding trip to Lanzarote with South Downs Hang Gliding...
1 Mar 2018 - Flying Famara
I have finally got around to editing some video from Lanzarote. Flying above and around the clouds, no words....
19 Feb 2018 - Packing a Glider for Air Transport
Having scoured the Internet I found it difficult to find a good guide on how to pack a glider for aircraft shipping. Many people have done it, commented or advised on forums, sharing their horror stories, but I struggled to find a complete guide. Having now done this successfully, I've prepared this guide as a reference for others.
12 Feb 2018 - The Restless Sea
This piece was originally composed for a GCSE music examination in 1990. The original piece comprised of four analogue audio tracks recorded onto magnetic tape. Each instrument (the music department's electronic piano and a synthesiser) was manually played (no MIDI sequencing) and recorded directly to tape.
7 Feb 2018 - Famara!
To say I was anxious was an understatement, with the wind increasing, not feeling particularly current, not in great health and with inbound weather to watch out for, there was much on my mind. Clipped in, I made my way around Ben then across to John, patiently waiting on launch. After my hang check was completed, John gave me one final brief then I instructed "Release"...
9 Dec 2017 - The Dark Side!
As a hang glider pilot for almost 20 years now, I feel I need to confess to something that I actually enjoyed; an indulgence of curiosity that perhaps some would consider sinful - I flew on a paraglider!
29 Oct 2017 - Windy Firle
It was still towards top end and I struggled to hold the glider on the ground so nose assist was greatly appreciated (thanks Pete). When the glider settled, I called 'Release', waited for the nose man to clear, then set-off with a hard run and pulled the bar in to build good airspeed before leaving the ground...
15 Oct 2017 - Some Much Needed Motivation
It's funny how my mind reacts to a break in flying; half of me really desired to return to the air and the other half was more rational and considered the associated risks. This should come as no surprise with a young family, my last flight resulting in a crash with injury and a work colleague seriously breaking an arm during training...
13 Aug 2017 - B****Cks!
It was 4 years since I had last winched so I was eager to return to Mendlesham to rediscover this launch technique. Since my last winch I had changed glider and harness but considered myself to be reasonably current with fairly recent hill and aerotow launches; but perhaps not as much as I'd liked...
1 Jul 2017 - An Early Flight
After I had self-hang checked I made my way to launch. For the most part the sky was clear. A couple of paragliders were airborne along with two hang glider pilots. The lift appeared to be focussed on the north westerly face of the Devil's Dyke so the Truleigh Run was off the agenda. Around me many other pilots were going about their business of readying their gliders; it was going to get busy, so I launched and joined those in the air...
18 Jun 2017 - A Very Hot Day!
I found a weak climb over Ditchling Beacon and slowly 360'd and climbed a further 400ft. Below, the London to Brighton cycle event was well underway and the sound of the supporters propagated up to my position. I continued to explore lift, circling above the crowds below but slowly sank downward...
10 Apr 2017 - Hell Yeah!
I normally connect with something at Truleigh Hill, but today was a total disaster - any bit of lift was met with an equal amount of sink moments later. The result of which meant I had to spend most of my time scratching back and forth, sometimes flying a little closer to the hill than comfortable! It wasn't all bad; I had some fantastic close encounters with some Buzzards that were in the same predicament as I!
1 Dec 2016 - Barry Knows Best
Barry Knows Best is probably one of the most famous single tracks in the Surrey Hills - It's also one of my personal favourites…
13 Nov 2016 - New Duration Personal Best
As the day progressed I continued to blast back and forth along the ridge and experimented flying the U2 fast in preparation for aerotowing. Upon examination of the GPS track log later, I determined I had achieved a maximum 80 km/h ground speed. I even tried to match or exceed the speed of the cars travelling along the road at the bottom. This was easily achieved when headed downwind on return to the Dyke but somewhat more difficult when headed in the opposite direction!
5 Nov 2016 - Gale Hanging At The Dyke
I simply turned tail and headed back to the Devil's Dyke - that was more fun as I screamed back along the ridge with a tail wind, admiring the numerous birds of prey on the slopes below! My only moment of real excitement happened when a sail plane suddenly appeared directly above me flying towards the Dyke...
23 Oct 2016 - Sedgwick Park to Monks Gate
A fun little down hill on one of my local routes…
11 Oct 2016 - U2 Service
I haven't had nowhere as much use of my U2 as I'd have liked so wasn't really over concerned about delaying the side wire replacement beyond the 12 months as recommended by Wills Wing…
7 Oct 2016 - Aerotow Demonstration
It was a great turn out, with everyone arriving around the agreed 1pm meet up. Our tug pilots were Nigel Power and Rodric Hemming, piloting their hang gliders were John Birchall, Johnny Carr, Ozzie Haines, Richard King-Davies and Luke Nicol with John Barratt as coach and Dan Hamblin helping...
2 Oct 2016 - The Early Bird Gets The Worm
As soon as the paragliders had cleared the airspace ahead of me, I launched. The wind was quite a way around to the north so I made my way towards the main bowl and gently eased around the spur toward the northerly ridge. There was plenty of traffic to contend with and I appeared to be the lowest hangy in the air!
18 Sep 2016 - A Simple Sled Ride
After I launched, I headed across to the spur on the west side of the bowl. I had observed throughout the morning that this had generally worked well. I didn't quite connect with it, mostly in fear of joining the swarm of paragliders just above it. When I reversed my turn, I was headed to the bottom landing field...
3 Sep 2016 - Caburn Conquered
I'd wanted to fly Caburn ever since I'd flown there during my CP training with John Barratt many years earlier. Back then myself and glider, a school Aeros Target 16, had been driven to the top of the hill via the track at the rear. What followed was two sled rides to the bottom, but it had left a lasting impression!
14 May 2016 - Fickle Firle
The first shock of the day was Nicos going down on his rigid then a little later, Luke in a field below Firle Beacon. At this point I concluded that most of the other pilots had resigned the thought of flying. Myself, well, sod it, if I'd rigged my glider I was going to give it a go - even if a bottom landing was likely (and I was pretty sure it was), it would be good practice!
24 Apr 2016 - A Windy Dyke Day
When I arrived Ian W. was already airborne, Johnny C. was rigging and others had just arrived. It wasn't long before my glider was rigged but having done so at the back of the field, and with other pilots now rigging their gliders in front of me, my route to take-off was blocked with gliders at various levels of assembly.
16 Apr 2016 - A Muddy Landing
On my second attempt, after a little struggle to get high enough, I had a much better approach which put me at the back of the field; just in front of the barbed wire fence, however in the last few feet before touch down, I sank very quickly in dead air and didn't quite get my feet under me. What followed was a gentle landing on the wheels and a slide through the mud! No hiding this poor landing!
20 Mar 2016 - First Day Of Spring
After my climb I headed off to Firle Beacon - this is normally a good source of lift. Today however, the lift was poor and I arrived at the Beacon at ridge height and found myself stuck in the small bowl below it trying to regain enough height to safely fly back...
15 Mar 2016 - A Trip To The Clouds And Beyond
Several Kestrels soared the ridge with me and I was mesmerized by their elegance as I gently floated above them. Of course, the moment they realised I was there, they darted off in a flash!
27 Jun 2015 - You Don't Fly If You Don't Try
I returned to the ridge and began a slow but predictable descent to the bottom landing field. As I turned onto final I hit some lift and for a moment considered to work it - perhaps I would get another low save? It didn't matter, that chance had come and gone in a flash and I had committed to my final approach...
25 May 2015 - A Short Trip Over The Back
With the knowledge that the wind would drop, I rigged my glider eager to get into the air. Above, gliders had already taken to the air and appeared to struggle for any good lift. When I was ready, I moved to the front of the hill and joined a small launch queue behind John. Ron had already launched and maintained ridge height on his Sting 3...
16 May 2015 - A Low Save!
As I beat back and forth about 50 feet above the tree-tops I decided to bottom land. With my harness unzipped and my legs free, I headed off to the east ready for a long westerly approach into the bottom landing field. This was the area I had flown in earlier which seemed to generate lift and much to my surprise, as I turned on to final, my vario beeped...
19 Apr 2015 - Thermic Bo Peep
After hitting 1200 feet above take-off and not connecting with anything I turned tail and returned to the ridge, arriving with 400 feet to play with. Scanning the ridge below, it was evident that the lift had simply dropped off and everyone was fighting for what available lift remained, myself included! I decided that this would be a true test to see how the U2 performed against the Sting 3.
24 Jan 2015 - Hard Going At The Dyke
The air was rough in places and I found I had to add constant corrections to maintain straight and level flight. The worst air, as I discovered, was to be found in the lee of each spur forming the series of bowls heading towards Truleigh Hill. To avoid this, I had to fly further out from the ridge than I would normally. The net result of this was limited lift.
18 Jan 2015 - Truleigh And Back
The entire time I was scanning fields at the bottom for a safe bail out, but I soon reached Truleigh and was rewarded with some reliable lift. I managed to work my way up to 300+ feet above the ridge. I estimated that the clouds were another 50-100 feet above me...
21 Sep 2014 - Windy Firle
I recognised the possible start of a new sink cycle so decided to land. Mentally, I managed to get myself in a bad place, mostly due the anxiety I have now developed with windy top landings since my accident earlier in the year. Fortunately, I recognised this and by mentally rehearsing my landing, was able to calm myself while still established in the ridge lift.