The following entries are available for this year:
Sunday I'd driven down to Bo Peep, but on arrival I immediately concluded that it was too windy and blustery for an enjoyable flight. With the knowledge that Monday evening may be flyable I returned home hoping I'd get my flying fix then.
Monday was a work day and I will confess to spending much of it looking out of the window wondering if the strong blustery wind would drop a little ready for an evening trip to the Devil's Dyke.
Sneaking out of the office only slightly earlier than normal, I was able to get home, pick-up my gear and get to the Dyke for 17:40. Just goes to show if I prepare properly, I can make it down there after work.
On arrival the wind was still strong and coming from a north-westerly to a west of north westerly direction. I was very happy to see some familiar faces getting their gliders off their cars ready to rig. I quickly joined them.
After my usual faffing (it always takes me longer to ready my glider as I have to rig it from a short packed state), I was ready to go. Nicos, who I'd finally met, assisted me to launch where I happily took to the sky.
Already flying was John B, Chris C, Ozzie and a couple of others who I hadn't met before. The only usable lift was on the small north-west spur but we all happily shared the airspace together comfortably.
I was amazed watching John B, sometimes below me, pushing out to the road then fly back without appearing to lose any height in the process; he was of course flying a rigid wing!
Gradually the wind began to ease as the sun fell low in the sky inviting the paragliders to join us. Unlike previous flights on my Target in similar conditions, I was able to maintain a good 100 feet above the paragliders. Looking down beneath me seeing another Target weaving around the paragliders made me appreciate the better performance of the Sting 3:168.
After nearly 40 minutes of some incredibly enjoyable ridge soaring and with the traffic increasing, I decided it was time to land. As usual, something about the Dyke, makes me dread drop landings. I had a quick look at the landing field behind the bowl but ruled that out after seeing some dude on a land-surfing thing powered by a large kite zipping around it. I guess it had to be the paddock then!
Having landed here a few times before, I'd made a mental note that 150 feet ATO is good altitude to start the landing approach. After a few beats along the ridge (amongst the paragliders), I was high enough but pointing the wrong way (I was heading westerly towards the bowl). I normally prefer to turn away from the hill but this time turned left heading downwind towards the paddock, slowly bringing the glider into wind. Crossing the large mound of earth that borders the western end of the paddock I moved onto the uprights and for a brief moment thought I was coming down right there. I pulled the bar in further for more speed and happily began to penetrate the wind, nicely touching down in the paddock! Job done!
With the sun sinking lower and the sky changing to a blaze of red I packed my glider away and headed for home. A perfect end to the day!
|Flight Type||Hill Launch|
|Glider||AirBorne Sting 3:168|
|Launch Date/Time||16 Aug 2010 / 00:00|
|Flight Duration||0h 45m|
|Comments||NW-WNW (10-20mph) smooth and concluded with a top landing|