Sun, 27 Sep 2009

1Sting 3:168 : Mendlesham (T) Duration: 00:05, Gain: 600 ft, Distance: 0 km, W-N, light wind, blue sky, slightly thermic early on.
2Sting 3:168 : Mendlesham (T) Duration: 00:05, Gain: 600 ft, Distance: 0 km, W-N, light wind, blue sky, slightly thermic early on.
3Sting 3:168 : Mendlesham (T) Duration: 00:04, Gain: 500 ft, Distance: 0 km, W-N, light wind, blue sky, slightly thermic early on.

Light Towing!

Lots of people were signed up to fly today as it looked to be an interesting day, possibly one of the last good days of the year! Winching operations were a little slow to start which was good for me as my glider was short-packed and I needed this time to rig.

As more and more pilots were nearing launch readiness a helmet queue was formed and it wasn't long before my turn came. For some reason I was feeling a little rusty but as I commenced my launch it all came back to me. The wind was very light and I don't think I was much higher than 600 feet when I released. Immediately I connected with something and began to 360. It was certainly a tight thermal and I fell out the side of it on more than one occasion but eventually my luck was exhausted and it was time to land.

Mendlesham from the Air
Mendlesham from the Air
Experimenting with photography from the air. Here the camera is mounted on the right upright, pointing slightly downward. After towing to around 500 feet I try to exploit a weak thermal but eventually fall out of it and start flying downwind back towards the launch. This is when I had an opportunity to snap a picture. When this photograph was taken I was flying east along the southern boundary of the Mendlesham winching field - not a great photograph but more to come in the future when I master the right technique!
27 Sep 2009

On the final stages of my landing approach the wind switched 90 degrees but it was too late to do anything about it. My now sloppy landing technique resulted in landing on the runway (good), but sliding across it on my knees and wheels! How embarrassing!

My second flight of the day was a similar affair but being more determined to better my landing I kept my head up during my approach as not to confuse my airspeed with ground speed (I think that's what I'd done earlier!). The net result was a perfect no step landing on the runway!

Much later it was time for my third and final tow of the day. Will was waiting to launch in front of me but the wind was now switching from nil to a tailwind. After 15 minutes of baking in the sun I was invited to launch instead of Will, so I did. It was certainly a nil wind takeoff and required quite a sprint before I lifted from the ground. I then made the mistake of popping my nose up; this in turn led to a bank to the right that I eventually corrected, but there were a few moments of thinking this doesn't feel too good!

The remaining flight was uneventful. All thermic activity had now shut down so it was simply a dash back to launch to land and pack-up.

Flight Details

Flight TypeWinch Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteMendlesham
Launch Date/Time27 Sep 2009 / 00:00
Height Gain600ft
Flight Duration0h 05m
CommentsW-N, light wind, blue sky, slightly thermic early on.

Flight TypeWinch Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteMendlesham
Launch Date/Time27 Sep 2009 / 00:00
Height Gain600ft
Flight Duration0h 05m
CommentsW-N, light wind, blue sky, slightly thermic early on.

Flight TypeWinch Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteMendlesham
Launch Date/Time27 Sep 2009 / 00:00
Height Gain500ft
Flight Duration0h 04m
CommentsW-N, light wind, blue sky, slightly thermic early on.

Flying Statistics to Date 27 Sep 2009

Total Hours :
27h 52m
Longest Flight :
1h 15m
Glider Models Flown :
3
Sites Flown :
16
Best Height Gain :
2,508 feet
Total Distance :
7.0 km
Max Distance :
7.0 km
Total Flights :
117
Hill Launches :
70
Winch Launches :
47
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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