Mon, 31 May 2010

1Sting 3:168 : Devil's Dyke (H) Duration: 00:30, Gain: 220 ft, Distance: 0 km,

Rough Air at the Devil's Dyke

Checking the early morning forecast suggested the Devil's Dyke for the morning with the wind veering more to a north easterly and dropping later in the day. Arriving at the Devil's Dyke, the wind was pretty strong 17 mph and already northerly (possibly with a hint of east in it). I wasn't totally inspired to rig my glider and John and I wondered if Bo Peep might have been a better option. After some debate, we rigged and with the wind a little more on the hill it looked like the Dyke was the right option.

After posing for photographs with a group of Indian's arriving on the Brighton bus, Cara assisted me to the north end of the pub spur. With the wind still quite off to the north I decided this would make for the safest launch. John was already airborne and struggling in marginal lift, but once he spotted I was ready, he quickly headed towards the bowl to clear some space for me to launch.

I soon launched (totally uneventful) and turned left towards the bowl. With a northerly wind I considered the pub spur to be more in rotor and didn't want to hang around there. As soon as I hit the bowl I encountered my first bit of lift, probably taking me to around 90 feet ATO.

The majority of my flight was conducted on the north-facing ridge. Several times I made it as far as the pylons, but with the weak conditions and the lift appearing to get weaker and weaker, I didn't venture across for fear of not making it back.

After 20 minutes of flying in some very rough bits of air I noticed that paragliders were launching. It was definitely dropping off. Two hang gliders were now in the bottom landing field and I had already made my mind up not to top land - I didn't like the idea of attempting it with the wind so far off to the north.

With the paragliders hugging the hill and me not being so confident flying with them I was soon out of the lift band and heading down to the bottom landing field. As soon as I was below ridge height I hit some really nasty air putting my glider into quite a steep right hand bank, turning me towards the hill. After sorting that out I decided to keep well away from the pub spur as serious rotor was kicking off from it. Lesson learned!

As I set-up my final approach I stuffed the bar as I wanted as much speed as possible for a good safety margin. With one hand on the upright and the other on the base bar I maintained good control and started skimming across the crop. 20 meters short of the 'official' landing spot I felt all the energy in the glider disappearing, so I aggressively flared and landed with a perfect no step landing... in the crop! Fortunately the crop was only 1 foot high so I was able to gently step across it until I was in the de-rigging area.

Soon after I was joined by another hang glider pilot and paraglider pilot and with the wind now dropping off and the sky filling with paragliders I concluded that was the end of flying for me today.

Hang Gliders Towards Truleigh Hill
Hang Gliders Towards Truleigh Hill
A view along the from the Devil's Dyke ridge looking along to Truleigh Hill. Dan is flying the glider to the right of this image.
31 May 2010
Devil's Dyke Bowl
Devil's Dyke Bowl
Dan flying his AirBorne Sting 3 over the Devil's Dyke bowl.
31 May 2010
Dan on his Sting 3
Dan on his Sting 3
Looking up at Dan flying his Sting 3 hang glider at the Devil's Dyke.
31 May 2010
Hang Gliders
Hang Gliders
Hang gliders flying out front at the Devil's Dyke.
31 May 2010
John and Dan
John and Dan
John and Dan flying their Sting 3 hang gliders high above the Devil's Dyke..
31 May 2010
Hang Gliders Headed Towards Truleigh Hill
Hang Gliders Headed Towards Truleigh Hill
Hang Gliders flying the northerly winds and heading along the ridge towards Truleigh Hill.
31 May 2010

Flight Details

Flight TypeHill Launch
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteDevil's Dyke
Launch Date/Time31 May 2010 / 00:00
Height Gain220ft
Flight Duration0h 30m
Comments

Flying Statistics to Date 31 May 2010

Total Hours :
35h 10m
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 :
137
Hill Launches :
81
Winch Launches :
56
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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