Sun, 27 Feb 2011

1Sting 3:168 : Devil's Dyke (H) Duration: 00:35, Gain: 160 ft, Distance: 0 km, WNW; scratchy conditions

Scratchy!

A window in the weather had opened so a moderately early start on Sunday saw me arriving at the Devil's Dyke for around 9am. To my surprise and relief, other hang gliders were rigging. With weather reports suggesting rain in the afternoon and the wind decreasing in strength, I quickly rigged my short packed glider.

Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
John on the Sting 3 scratching around in minimal lift at the Devil's Dyke.
27 Feb 2011
Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
A view from the bowl looking towards the Devil's Dyke in a minimal lift-band.
27 Feb 2011
Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
John on the Sting 3 scratching around in minimal lift at the Devil's Dyke.
27 Feb 2011

Assisting Chris T off for the first time after his accident, I returned to my glider and made my way to launch. The wind was very westerly and everyone in the air was sharing the same little bit of airspace directly in front of the pub. It was busy, but not to the extent that I felt uncomfortable, so I launched and joined the established circuit in the sky.

Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
Dan on the Sting 3 scratching around in minimal lift at the Devil's Dyke.
27 Feb 2011
Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
Dan on the Sting 3 scratching around in minimal lift at the Devil's Dyke.
27 Feb 2011

For the wind strength the air wasn't very buoyant and initially I struggled to maintain take-off height. After 10 minutes of beating back and forth battling gravity I realised everyone else was also struggling to gain sufficient height for top landing attempts. One by one, as the better skilled or pilots flying higher performance wings managed top landings, the airspace became less congested until myself and John, both flying Sting 3's, shared the air. One lonesome paraglider had joined us and a short distance above was a rigid wing.

For twenty further minutes I struggled to gain 120 ft ATO, an altitude that I felt comfortable attempting a top landing from, but eventually, as I headed away from the hill to avoid the somewhat confusing flight plan of the paraglider, I connected with something which took me to 150 ft ATO. I quickly dashed back to the bowl, turned downwind towards the paddock and began my approach. For a few desperate seconds I was convinced I was going to land in the ditch between the earth works, but some extra speed penetrated me forwards where I gently touched down in the paddock.

Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
Dan on the Sting 3 scratching around in minimal lift at the Devil's Dyke.
27 Feb 2011
Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
Dan on the Sting 3 scratching around in minimal lift at the Devil's Dyke.
27 Feb 2011

With rain forecast and the conditions lightening I decided that was enough for me today. Watching everyone else flying turned out to be the source of some amusement with Ozzie landing in the bowl and coming so close to ground looping (we all heard him land). Nicos amazed us all by disappearing below where we'd assumed he'd bottom landed, only see him scratch his way back up again. Not sure what Clive did, but I found him lying on his inverted glider in the paddock. After unclipping him we righted his glider.

Then finally, when the rain came down at 13:15 I assumed everyone had stopped flying! Imagine my surprise when I looked up from the rear car park to see a glider very low, clipping all the trees before a very rough landing on the road leading into the car parks! I was able to quickly stop traffic and assist said pilot to a more secure area. Later I learned it was the pilots first top landing attempt! Uh oh!

Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
Dan on the Sting 3 scratching around in minimal lift at the Devil's Dyke.
27 Feb 2011
Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
Dan on the Sting 3 scratching around in minimal lift at the Devil's Dyke.
27 Feb 2011

Flight Details

Flight TypeHill Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteDevil's Dyke
Launch Date/Time27 Feb 2011 / 00:00
Height Gain160ft
Flight Duration0h 35m
CommentsWNW; scratchy conditions

Flying Statistics to Date 27 Feb 2011

Total Hours :
41h 23m
Longest Flight :
1h 15m
Glider Models Flown :
4
Sites Flown :
18
Best Height Gain :
3,000 feet
Total Distance :
7.0 km
Max Distance :
7.0 km
Total Flights :
180
Hill Launches :
86
Winch Launches :
82
Aerotow Launches :
12

Total Flying Statistics

Total Hours :
96h 29m
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 :
288
Hill Launches :
158
Winch Launches :
106
Aerotow Launches :
24
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