The following entries are available for this year:
The weather forecast wasn't particularly favourable, but I had the day off work, so I loaded the car and headed to the Devil's Dyke. I arrived around 10am and the wind was strong, the cloud low and it just simply didn't look nice. I decided to do the Truliegh run (by foot). So I grabbed my flask a warm coat and set off.
During my little walk I was simply fascinated by the agile manoeuvres of a kestrel - even in these strong gusty winds, this bird remained motionless in the air as if it were somehow anchored to the ground. I thought to myself, I've much to learn about flying to get anywhere near what this bird was capable of.
I eventually returned to the car park to see that Nick had arrived with his hang glider. We both debated the conditions and decided that the coldness of the air made it feel stronger than it was. Eventually we were both in the paddock with our gliders rigged. Nick launched and made the best of what was available. Although the wind strength was strong, the air simply didn't want to lift. That low cloud was a good give away!
After a bit of fun and games with my rigging wires (due to my previous replacement of an upright), I was ready to launch. I was very grateful for Paul's assistance, as ground handling a Target in such strong conditions is hard work. Together we manoeuvred my glider to a suitable launch spot. Paul left me under my 'release' instruction and I accelerated the glider and took off.
Because of the conditions, I had concentrated hard on my launch and wasn't aware how far from the hill I'd drifted. Perhaps I was paranoid about penetration, but anyway I was slowly heading for the bottom landing. I managed quite a few beats back and forth, in what I can simply describe as awfully lumpy air. After one big lump I decided to set-up for a 'safe' bottom landing. Only Saturday had I fluffed a landing bending my first upright, so I was determined to get it right this time!
The extra concentration worked a treat and I touched down with a no step landing; my flare timing was restored once more!
The bottom landing field was now in winter mode. Thick clumps of clay stuck to my shoes as I walked my glider to the edge of the field. I decided to de-rig on the A-frame, a bit tricky with my glider for some reason, but it kept the worst of the mud off. I was surprised when a passing motorist (a female) offered me a lift to the top. I thanked her very much but declined and continued to pack my glider. Nick then arrived with his 4 by 4, drove into the field recovering my glider and myself back to the top.
After a quick stop in the pub for a hot drink, we re-emerged to see heavy rain approaching. That was my signal to call it a day and head home.
|Flight Type||Hill Launch|
|Glider||Aeros Target 16|
|Launch Date/Time||9 Dec 2008 / 00:00|
|Flight Duration||0h 09m|
|Comments||Arrived and no-one else there. Walked to Truleigh and watched a kestrel. Came back to launch to see Nick. Cloud was low, felt very strong. Nick launched, then shortly later I did. It was very rough, so I stayed away from the hill. Ended up bottom landing and am please to report that landing was perfect (no bent aluminium this time).|