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After the lovely but windy flying from yesterday, I opted to take the afternoon off from work for another session at the Devil's Dyke. I arrived around 2 pm and already there was a buzz of activity with everyone readying gliders and making the most of the conditions. It was good to see Andy H again readying his hang glider - perhaps he hasn't been converted to the floppy cause permanently?
I was soon ready and Andy H assisted me to the front of the hill. The air was more turbulent than yesterday and a bit on and off. After waiting for a red ribbon pilot to launch and get established, I set off myself. My launch was particularly strong launch, just in case I flew into some horrible air and I quickly established myself in a beating pattern back and forth along the pub hill. The air was not buoyant and a couple of times I was at ridge height or lower.
After 5 minutes of this, I connected with something just off from the modellers bowl and used this to cross the bottom landing field and connect with the Truleigh ridge. Once there, I decided to try the Truleigh run. It was scratchy at best and I probably didn't get much more than 100 feet above takeoff until I got to Truleigh Hill. All the way there I was scouting for potential bottom landing options, just in case!
Once at Truleigh Hill I thought to myself, "Great, I've got all this space to myself". Then I rethought that statement and pondered, "why?". Getting myself a little paranoid that the conditions would drop off, I decided to head back to the Dyke. Just like my outward journey, the glide back along the ridge to the Dyke didn't reward me with any significant climbs. Back at the Dyke I rejoined the crowds and pondered a top landing.
Looking down in the Paddock I could see a tractor and some activity that I couldn't quite make out from my vantage point, so I decided the Paddock would not be the best place to top land and opted for the field at the back instead. I could already see two hang gliders landed there. After several more beats I snuck in for a stress free top landing. I then struggled in the now very windy conditions to move my glider to a position where I could drop it.
After dropping the glider a few others joined me and before long, the rear field at the Dyke was the desired landing spot for all hang gliders. It then became quite a social point as various pilots of all abilities decided to take a time out.
Looking behind us on top of the fort, we could now see that a film company had set-up and were conducting some form of experiment. Hence the tractor and various staff I 'd seen in the Paddock earlier. Dick Stawbridge from Channel 4's Scrap Heap Challenge being looked to be the presenter of this programme (possibly the 'Hungry Sailor' ITV).
|Flight Type||Hill Launch|
|Glider||AirBorne Sting 3:168|
|Launch Date/Time||22 May 2012 / 15:00|
|Flight Duration||0h 40m|
|Comments||20-25 MPH; NNW; Truleigh Run|