Sat, 12 Feb 2011

1Sting 3:168 : Mendlesham (T) Duration: 00:05, Gain: 1050 ft, Distance: 0 km, Wind straight down the runway - W 8-10 mph and muddy!
2Sting 3:168 : Mendlesham (T) Duration: 00:06, Gain: 1050 ft, Distance: 0 km, Wind straight down the runway - W 8-10 mph and muddy!
3Sting 3:168 : Mendlesham (T) Duration: 00:04, Gain: 800 ft, Distance: 0 km, nil wind take-off

Fun in the Mud

Despite two previous attempts to fly on the South Downs, after a three month layoff I'm back at Mendlesham to blow off the cobwebs and commit aviation! It was a late start for me due to a large nail stuck through the rear tyre of my car (I didn't think the space saver wheel would be adequate for the 120 mile journey), so had to visit a garage to remedy that particular problem first.

Mike
Mike
Mike being towed into the air at Mendlesham.
12 Feb 2011

On arrival at Mendlesham the sky was overcast and the top of the radio mast was obscured by low clouds. Winter had taken its toll and the runway was thick in clumpy mud. Ah well, time the glider got a little messy then!

After trying my best to rig the glider with minimal contact with the mud I was ready for my first flight. A good breeze was blowing straight down the runway making the launch a one step forward affair. Initially I was a little concerned that I might be rusty, but as soon as I was off the ground it was just like riding a bicycle!

Mike
Mike
Mike on final landing approach.
12 Feb 2011

My first tow seemed to go on forever and I eventually released at a height of 1050 ft - just above the radio mast by my reckoning. From then it was a gentle boat around the sky in a vain attempt at finding a thermal (there must have been a few around as the sky was looking interesting). Sadly it wasn't to be so I headed back to the launch area, burnt some height off with some 360's then promptly landed in the muddiest bit of ground I could find! By the time I'd walked the short distance back to launch my shoes were 10 times heavier!

After letting Pete have a fly of my glider, I was ready for my second tow. The sky had now cleared considerably and I launched into a great big blue hole in the sky. The first 200 ft were pretty rough (probably due to all the moisture burning off), but thereafter it was a lovely smooth climb back to 1050 ft.

Mike
Mike
Mike on final landing approach.
12 Feb 2011

After releasing I headed in a southerly direction but again didn't connect with anything, so slowly descended back to launch and tried to land in a less muddy area. It turns out there was mud everywhere!

By my third launch of the day the sun was getting low in the sky so I knew this would be my final flight. The wind had now dropped to almost nil and other pilots were reluctant to launch in the weak conditions. I jumped in and was off! The launch did indeed required a significant run on my part before I was airborne but thereafter was a lovely smooth climb to the release height of 800 ft.

Mike
Mike
Mike being towed into the air at Mendlesham.
12 Feb 2011

After release I pushed the bar back to my knees and the glider quickly accelerated. It wasn't long before I was back over the hanger and needing to burn off my excess height. A couple of tight 360's did the trick, one of which made me feel very heavy and sent my head spinning. Once I had recomposed myself, I setup and completed my final landing of the day - in mud again of course!

Said on his Sport 2
Said on his Sport 2
Said preparing to launch at Mendlesham, flying his new Wills Wing Sport 2.
12 Feb 2011
Said on his Sport 2
Said on his Sport 2
Said preparing to launch at Mendlesham, flying his new Wills Wing Sport 2.
12 Feb 2011
The Skies over Mendlesham
The Skies over Mendlesham
The skies over Mendlesham with gliders rigged and ready to fly.
12 Feb 2011
Landing Approach
Landing Approach
Dan on his final landing approach of the day.
12 Feb 2011
Dan Flaring
Dan Flaring
Dan's flare and final landing of the day.
12 Feb 2011

Flight Details

Flight TypeWinch Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteMendlesham
Launch Date/Time12 Feb 2011 / 00:00
Height Gain1050ft
Flight Duration0h 05m
CommentsWind straight down the runway - W 8-10 mph and muddy!

Flight TypeWinch Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteMendlesham
Launch Date/Time12 Feb 2011 / 00:00
Height Gain1050ft
Flight Duration0h 06m
CommentsWind straight down the runway - W 8-10 mph and muddy!

Flight TypeWinch Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteMendlesham
Launch Date/Time12 Feb 2011 / 00:00
Height Gain800ft
Flight Duration0h 04m
Commentsnil wind take-off

Flying Statistics to Date 12 Feb 2011

Total Hours :
40h 48m
Longest Flight :
1h 15m
Glider Models Flown :
4
Sites Flown :
18
Best Height Gain :
3,000 feet
Total Distance :
7.0 km
Max Distance :
7.0 km
Total Flights :
179
Hill Launches :
85
Winch Launches :
82
Aerotow Launches :
12

Total Flying Statistics

Total Hours :
96h 29m
Longest Flight :
2h 25m
Glider Models Flown :
5
Sites Flown :
21
Best Height Gain :
3,000 feet
Total Distance :
67.9 km
Max Distance :
13.5 km
Total Flights :
288
Hill Launches :
158
Winch Launches :
106
Aerotow Launches :
24
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