Thu, 25 Sep 2008

1Target 16 : Bo Peep (H) Duration: 00:37, Gain: 351 ft, Distance: 0 km, Just me and a model glider. Great self launch, great flight then a big black cloud came along and I didn't see the signs so had to bottom land.
2Target 16 : Bo Peep (H) Duration: 00:09, Gain: 134 ft, Distance: 0 km, Lighter conditions, a few paragliders and hang gliders. Ended up flying too far out and got too low so opted for a safe landing in a big field! - See video!

Flying with Models

Flight 1

Finally, after the worst summer that I can recall, a potential soaring day and I've got the day booked off work! Arriving at Bo Peep in East Sussex I was somewhat disappointed that no-one else was there. The wind felt strong, but within my limits so I walked to the top of the hill to get an idea of the true wind strength and direction. At the hill summit I bumped into hairy Dave who was with some paying customers intending to try a tandem paragliding flight, but after inflating his canopy I think he came to the conclusion that it was too windy and departed.

I was now on the hill alone so I slowly rigged my glider trying to avoid the numerous piles of sheep s**t but failing miserably. Once again I mounted the Sanyo Xacti C1 video camera to the right upright. At that point I noticed that a modeller pilot (remote control glider had arrived). Out of courtesy I walked over and had a chat with him. He was very friendly and said he'd stay out of my way or land if it would be a problem. I then returned to my glider, erected it, performed a self hang check and launched.

The wind was quite strong and I found it easy to stay above takeoff height. After 20 minutes of beating back and forth along the ridge I saw a car with a glider on top heading for takeoff (that would turn out to be Dave M). At least I'd get some company! During my flight I shared the air with some birds of prey. It's quite amazing soaring 200 feet above then watching them hunt. They didn't appear to be bothered by my presence.

The flight continued until a big black cloud developed overhead. Now my lack of experience showed here; I should have headed for the top landing but instead scratched around in the bowl, slowly creeping lower and lower. The aero-modeller saw me struggling and landed to give me plenty of room. I did almost make it, but the lift simply wasn't there and I ended up bottom landing in some interesting air!

As usual, I carry my glider bag with me so I packed up, left my glider in a bush then headed back up the path to takeoff. During this time Dave M had launched his Litespeed and was making the best of the light conditions.

I returned to my car, drove down to the where I'd left my glider and recovered it ready for a second flight. Tony N had now arrived (I'd phoned him earlier to warn him of my flying intentions) so we both rigged our Targets. Dave M had now landed as the wind speed was dropping off and paraglider pilots were now arriving.

Flight 2

Tony launched along with some paragliders and happily scratched around. I shortly joined him (again with the video camera, but this time pointing at something more interesting - see edit below). This time it really was a scratchy flight. 3 paragliders were flying in the bowl (this seemed to be the best place for lift), so this made it a little awkward to manoeuvre so I mostly stayed clear. After 9 minutes of scratching around I made my common mistake of flying too far from the hill and ended up in the bottom landing field.

As I packed my glider a familiar face pulled up in a car alongside the landing field. It was the aero-modeller I'd met earlier. He'd taken sympathy for me and realised I was destined to walk back to takeoff for a second time and decided to offer me a lift. I gladly accepted.

Back at takeoff the wind was very light. Tony N had succeeded in top landing and Dave M was considering flying his paraglider. It was now time for me to head off as I'd a colleagues leaving do to attend.

Flight Details

Flight TypeHill Launch
GliderAeros Target 16
SiteBo Peep
Launch Date/Time25 Sep 2008 / 00:00
Height Gain351ft
Flight Duration0h 37m
CommentsJust me and a model glider. Great self launch, great flight then a big black cloud came along and I didn't see the signs so had to bottom land.

Flight TypeHill Launch
GliderAeros Target 16
SiteBo Peep
Launch Date/Time25 Sep 2008 / 00:00
Height Gain134ft
Flight Duration0h 09m
CommentsLighter conditions, a few paragliders and hang gliders. Ended up flying too far out and got too low so opted for a safe landing in a big field! - See video!

Flying Statistics to Date 25 Sep 2008

Total Hours :
18h 05m
Longest Flight :
0h 52m
Glider Models Flown :
2
Sites Flown :
10
Best Height Gain :
1,056 feet
Total Distance :
0.0 km
Max Distance :
0.0 km
Total Flights :
59
Hill Launches :
57
Winch Launches :
2
Aerotow Launches :
0

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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