Mon, 25 Apr 2011

1Sting 3:168 : Firle (H) Duration: 00:22, Gain: 0 ft, Distance: 0 km, 10-15 mph, weak thermals, bit rough, plenty of traffic
2Sting 3:168 : Firle (H) Duration: 00:21, Gain: 0 ft, Distance: 0 km, 10-15 mph, weak thermals, bit rough, plenty of traffic
3Sting 3:168 : Firle (H) Duration: 00:18, Gain: 0 ft, Distance: 0 km, 10-15 mph, weak thermals, bit rough, plenty of traffic

A New Site

With northerly winds forecast for the remainder of the bank holiday weekend I decided to try Firle out for the first time. I was expecting a busy day as the forecast was suggesting enough wind for hang gliders but not too much for the paragliders. On arrival it was confirmed, the sky was littered with paragliders, model aircraft and a lone hang glider pilot.

By the time I was rigged, more hang gliders were aloft and more were arriving. I was expecting some of the Suffolk gang to come down too - it was looking to be a great day! After my usual faffing, including the installation of my video camera on the keel, I was off to launch. Jim kindly assisted me and I was quickly in the air. Conditions were scratchy and although Firle looked like a big site, it didn't feel that way. Firle is more of a series of bowls and as I found out, with weak conditions, it's all too easy to get temporarily trapped in one! Still, it added to the challenge of staying up. So, for the first 20 minutes I scratched around, not really getting more than 100 feet above takeoff.

I'm always really nervous about top landings and Firle being a new site only added to that. The top landing field at Firle is huge and mostly obstruction free; all I need is enough height, say 150 feet to attempt a top landing. Eventually, I was successful in gaining the required height and happily touched down on top of the hill; ensuring not to land in the lee of the reservoir. Firle really is a lovely site!

The boys from Suffolk had now arrived (Paul, Keith and Steve), so I returned a debt of gratitude to them by welcoming them to Firle and giving them a brief of the site. This mostly revolved around - keep your eyes open; the Southern sites get very busy! With that, I was clipped back into my glider and back up in the air for another 20 minutes before another successful and stress free top landing.

After assisting others to launch, I opted to pass on the flying for a while as the air was seriously looking busy. Keith, who was airborne, had come to a similar conclusion and headed for the safety of the bottom landing field.

Eventually, the airspace thinned and I was up for my third and final flight of the day. I briefly managed to exploit a small thermal for a couple of 360's before my final top landing. This landing was a little further back than the earlier ones and as expected, the last 40 feet I dropped like a stone but with a gentle landing.

Flight Details

Flight TypeHill Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteFirle
Launch Date/Time25 Apr 2011 / 00:00
Height Gain0ft
Flight Duration0h 22m
Comments10-15 mph, weak thermals, bit rough, plenty of traffic

Flight TypeHill Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteFirle
Launch Date/Time25 Apr 2011 / 00:00
Height Gain0ft
Flight Duration0h 21m
Comments10-15 mph, weak thermals, bit rough, plenty of traffic

Flight TypeHill Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteFirle
Launch Date/Time25 Apr 2011 / 00:00
Height Gain0ft
Flight Duration0h 18m
Comments10-15 mph, weak thermals, bit rough, plenty of traffic

Flying Statistics to Date 25 Apr 2011

Total Hours :
44h 24m
Longest Flight :
1h 15m
Glider Models Flown :
4
Sites Flown :
20
Best Height Gain :
3,000 feet
Total Distance :
7.0 km
Max Distance :
7.0 km
Total Flights :
191
Hill Launches :
90
Winch Launches :
87
Aerotow Launches :
14

Total Flying Statistics

Total Hours :
95h 58m
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 :
286
Hill Launches :
156
Winch Launches :
106
Aerotow Launches :
24
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