The following entries are available for this year:
First stop of the day was Firle, just to check where the wind really was. On arrival it was obvious this was the wrong site and a quick stroll to the front of the hill confirmed this with a significant easterly component in the wind. Armed with this information I returned back to the car, had a quick conversation with a walker then drove to Bo Peep. Bo Peep was the place to be!
On arrival I discovered Luke about to fly his new Falcon, a Tandem. The winds were quite fresh, around 15 mph with the odd lump or two thrown in for good measure. Luke, with assistance happily launched his Tandem and proceeded to throw it around the sky, obviously having fun with it.
After some friendly introductions with some new pilots (it's always good to see an influx of new pilots) I was ready to fly. After being assisted to launch, odd lumps of air that I normally associate with Bo Peep, rolled under my wings tossing them around. When comfortable I instructed release and after a pause, I accelerated the glider and left the ground.
Low down and close to the hill, the air was certainly lively in places. The wind was more of a NNE, so the sides of the bowl facing the wind worked well for lift. It wasn't scratchy conditions, but it was a challenge to gain height; that was until, the odd thermal blew through. I used these quite effectively to gain 500, then 1000, then 1400 feet above takeoff. That pretty much summed up the conditions, broken or weak thermals enabled moderate climbs, followed by a sink cycle that returned me and everyone else, back to the hill.
After reading on the Southern Hang Gliding Club's forum about the poor airmanship exhibited by the paraglider pilots at Firle last week, it was exceptionally rewarding to see all the hang glider pilots cooperating well when the lift cycles dropped forcing everyone in close to the hill. The red ribbon pilots were given plenty of room and everyone anticipated each other's moves and followed safe and consistent flight patterns.
When the next cycle of thermals came through, one by one, everyone climbed. At one point I enjoyed a thermal with two other pilots. When high enough, I pushed forward as far as I dared. My aim was to make it to the A27, but my glider isn't as fast and slippery as some of the other hot ships and with a stiff breeze I only made just beyond the byeway upwind of launch.
After a good 1 hour 15 minutes I was tired. On each top landing attempt I gained too much height when flying across the quarry. After several failed attempts, I opted to land at the top of the hill where the fence drops back allowing for a longer approach into wind. Looking down I observed someone else had come to same decision and was now walking his glider back to launch. After again gaining too much height over the quarry, I headed to this new chosen landing area and gently touched down. After kiting my glider back to launch, I collapsed it and with the sky greyed out and the wind seemingly even blusterier and stronger, I opted to conclude my day.
|Flight Type||Hill Launch|
|Glider||AirBorne Sting 3:168|
|Launch Date/Time||31 Mar 2012 / 11:30|
|Flight Duration||1h 20m|
|Comments||Went to Firle first, but Bo Peep was the place to be. Rough low down, but pretty easy to get high. Wind increasing so landed at the top of the Bo Peep site and kited the glider back to launch.|