The following entries are available for this year:
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.
|Flight Type||Hill Launch|
|Glider||AirBorne Sting 3:168|
|Launch Date/Time||31 May 2010 / 00:00|
|Flight Duration||0h 30m|