The following entries are available for this year:
What more can I say; this was one of those days that I really shouldn't have flown. The conditions were not nice at all. Several of us watched one pilot launch, get thrown around and loop back for a top landing. The following discussion with said pilot confirmed everyone's suspicions that it really wasn't nice up there.
A high-pressure system was dominating the UK bringing with it some very overdue northerly winds, however, despite the wind strength, the air simply didn't want to go upwards - it mostly bumped around things. We all watched two sail panes scratching no more the 200 feet above ridge height.
After over 2 hours of waiting around I decided to give it a go. I was assisted to launch by some very expectant pilots (all waiting to see how I'd get on I figured!). As I was positioned on launch the wind seemed to drop off a little and that was my queue to go. It didn't take much effort to get the glider into the air, but no soon had I launched I met some horrible air. I pretty much used all my roll authority just to keep the glider going in the rough direction I wanted it to. Lift appeared to be non existent and I barely maintained as I headed in an easterly direction along the ridge to the bowl. Several times my glider was turned involuntarily towards the hill and I fought with the glider just to maintain direction. This really wasn't fun!
After two beats in the bowl I decided enough was enough and decided to bottom land. From the east end of the bowl is a little spur of land heading out into the valley. I was able to soar this for 2 beats, probably 40-50 feet above the trees until I decided it prudent to land.
The landing approach was perfect, wings level and into wind. Just as I started my flare the wind suddenly switched direction by 45 degrees. All I could do was to maintain my flare. The glider started moving sideways and I repsonded my swinging my legs to the right to meet the ground. All turned out okay with a simple side step landing.
I was now in the middle of the bottom landing field so I unclipped myself (just in case) and started to move the glider to the edge of the field. It was at that point I noticed a group of horse riders approaching from the east along the byway. I was still 200-300m in the field but decided to stop and wait for the horses to pass by before I continued to the edge of the field and dropped the glider.
The riders seemed to be quite interested in me as I waited for them to pass. As the 2 lead riders passed behind a bush I heard a commotion and watch a horse run back the way it had come without rider. Oh crap I thought! The remaining riders disembarked and I quickly dropped the glider and walked over to see what had happened (I guessed someone had been thrown!).
It turns out I was right; one lady was thrown from her horse. Although I was some way off, the 5 year old horse hadn't seen a glider before and was sufficiently spooked! Fortunately all was well and I made sure rider and horse were okay. I had a chat with the women, there was no animosity towards me and they said it's one new experience for the horse. I even said a hello to the horse who had now calmed down a little!
|Flight Type||Hill Launch|
|Glider||AirBorne Sting 3:168|
|Launch Date/Time||13 Sep 2009 / 00:00|
|Flight Duration||0h 05m|
|Comments||Horrible for flying, high pressure, air not wanting to lift very bumpy air. Bottom landed for safety.|