Sunday, 11 March 2012

A catch up on this years flying.

First is a pic from last year, i was driving up to Sourton and as i came out onto black down i thought, bloody hell the van sounds noisy. Then 2 choppers came up the valley from behind me!
On thursday i popped up to cox tor, the sky was very dreary but there was lift everywhere and i had a very nice afternoon boating around.

Today, i wasn't expecting to fly, the forecast didn't give much hope but Dougal and Sam were keen, heading up to Meldon hill early. I was busy doing some plumbing in my kitchen, and when the mist finally cleared i raced up towards meldon, i called Dougal from the turning off the main road as i saw no one was flying. The wind was off to the north, so i raced back to Cox tor, promising that i would never drive straight past without checking as i normally do.

I let Sam and Dougal know the wind was bang on andlaunched straight into good lift, i did a few turns getting 150' or so and fell out of it, Sam, Dougal, Tim and Mark 'the dude' showed up to share thermic cycles and flying fun.
Dougal flying high
Looking down at Tim Sam and Mark on launch
Dougal exploring the front of the lift
Thats not all the flying from this year, just what i have remembered to take pictures of!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

vans coming along

The interior of the van has been dying for some attention for a long time now, i have finally had some time to crack on some more with it.

Plenty more to do but should be able to get a little more done over the next couple of days.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

2 days on the trot!

A trip to king tor was the order of the day, Sam once again kindly did the driving.
Conditions on take off were once again pretty strong, Martyn Foley was the first to take off, instantly dissapearing off over the back to princetown i believe.

Most thermals were broken affairs, much fun was had with the Colins and chunky, i climbed out in one to about 1300, thought i could make it to the warren house inn, and got royally drilled into the hill behind take off! Doh!

i walked back to take off with Mark Ansell, where chunky was entertaining the crowds trying to top land in very strong conditions.
The second flight was much the same as the first, although the thermal seemed much better although not higher!, climbing over the back i was met by Robin Mills who thought it would be fun to join my thermal head on, Yeah thanks for that.
Thankfully he headed off soon after rather than try to help us get farther.

I glided on towards Bellever tor, starting to pick up bits over the plantation, before i had a huge frontal collapse while about 300ft up, the wing was faultless and reopened straight away, i was ready on the brakes to prevent the surge and we were thermalling straight away. i thought i was ok, but the adrenaline kicked in after a few seconds and i was useless, shaking and not able to concentrate. i did my best to try to calm down, but i had lost the best of the thermal and wanted to land :(
I landed just shy of the YMCA centre at Bellever, planning to go there for a beer, but John very kindly had come from the Warren house inn to pick me up. Huge thanks!
A couple of beers later and my heart rate is once again normal.

After landing i watched Colin B and Paul C working well together to get to Princetown, top job guys.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

At long last the duck is broken!

Not for lack of trying, the last couple of weeks have been a frustrating time, days that should have been good just failed to deliver, a missed opportunity because i didn't feel too well, and just plain old crap flying!

Monday was king tor, we had first tried Meldon hill, Dougie, Tim, Bex and I explored a new site to us, i had a little scratch around, sadly the wind was off the hill. We heard from Robin who was at King tor about to take off. An hour or so later we joined them on the hill. it was quite windy and looked lively. I took off into the base of Dougie and Martyns thermal and it was very rock and roll. i found my own thermal sometime later and was joined by Robin, it was very difficult to stay with and we never got high, i landed on the hill behind the cars and i picked Robin up just a little down the valley.
After a beer with Dougie (cheers mate) at the 2 bridges i stopped at cox tor for an ice cream, popped round the back to find Mark canvin at the bottom, i went for a little fly and it was very bouncy and not that pleasant, still thats 3 sites flown in one day!

Today, i was going to see what it looked like at dinner, but Sam gave me a nudge a bit earlier and i said yeah ok. We left Tavy around 1130, it was looking very gloomy and with no wind! We drove up to Princetown and checked the wind, a good breeze and bang on East, 2 mins later we were at bdown,woohoo! Not only that but the sky looked good too! Within 5 mins of taking off i was climbing good, there was practically no drift on the thermals and it felt good:) Still took me a while to get to base which was around 3k ato, downwind was very grey, and i was quite concerned about not being able to see the clouds, i was topping up all the way in whatever i could find, the last climb was over cox tor which was the last bit of ground in the sun, after that it was a simple glide to the golf course in Tavistock, which happens to be about 200 m from my house!

A view of the nice sky looking east, to the west it was nasty!

Not only that but the van passed its mot this avo as well!

Monday, 4 April 2011

A couple of days out flying!

A week last sunday, was expected to be a good day, we had left my van at yelverton as retrieve van with an expectation that Dougie or I would get there, alas, it was not to be! The fog was in when we were heading up to princetown, and stayed until about 30 mins after we got there. I was ready to go and launched in a lightish wind but went up pretty well, the rabble followed and 5 or so mins of good flying switched off and we all got dumped!
It was the same story all day, heavily inverted at around 750, and quite bumpy too, so no mid air pictures as this was the first active fly of my new wing.

After my last lecture for my ou course on saturday, i hadn't heard from Dougie (who was poorly) so thought i would pop over to freathy to see if it was on. To say the wind was strong was a little bit of an understatement! Tim helped with a little push off the hill (cheers mate!) and big ears were needed to get down.

On bar into a slight headwind, down to portwrinkle, it may have been possible to get onto the cliffs on the other side, but time was against me, so..

It was full bar all the way back! I passed mark and jen on the tandem who hit a lull and had to land on the beach, very strange!

A happy boy on his new toy!
I was a little concerned at first as the big ears are supposed to be a little unstable on the 'factor' fortunately it does not seem to affect mine, happy days!

Roll on a good xc day soon!

Monday, 21 March 2011

A weekend full of it!

Saturday saw a trip to Maker, lots of people there and a lovely days flying in the warm spring sun.
I had planned on having a break on sunday, but the chap i am buying a new wing off was making a trip to Eype near Lyme regis, so i sneaked up there for an hour or so playing on the BIG cliffs! Awesome site and with a campsite right next to takeoff.

Now for the pics from Eype

This one is looking east towards take off which is on the hill just to the other side of where the valley dips right to the beach 2/3 up the picture. You follow the signs for the beach at Eype

A brief glimpse of my new baby!
Well worth a trip, far more interesting than freathy, and it was flyable all day yesterday, while it was pretty much unflyable in the whitsand bay.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Three musketeers get smuggled

Finally a break in the weather heralded a flying day with a thermal larger than my right foot. After dumping the kids on my mum and dad (thanks!) i rushed up to Sourton to find Tom and Dougie flying, i walked up with Malcolm, watching birds circling everywhere. Hopes were high!

The odd cycle was rolling through, plenty of lift around, as normal for sourton, you could push out quite far into the lift, it was over the road that i really found my first decent climb, i got about 700ft or so and lost it a bit so i headed back for the ridge where everybody was now climbing well. I started to circle with Dougie, tom was a little lower and we were heading for orbit. It felt very streety, gentle lift everywhere with embedded cores, i took some good photos while thermalling 1 handed, i seem to do better like that!

It was getting a bit wispy so i shot straight for the edge of the cloud where the lift continued gently, i remember thinking this is weird, but bloody nice, a few gentle turns in the stronger bits had us whooping and yee haa ing, really really special! The clouds seemed to be closing in around us, i made the decision to start heading away before a cloud started to condense around us, i set my sights on a rather large cloud in front of us. Unfortunately the main large thing about this cloud was the sink! we passed widgery on our right, over a very deep valley and glided over the backside of Standon hill for a long time, Dougie was alittle lower gliding downwind for a long time at about 20 ft over the ground.

Tom had landed about 1k away so we made plans to meet up, then trudged our way down the valley towards Peter Tavy. Tom flagged down a P force van and we bundled in the back, much like 3 mexicans crossing the border, we were smuggled into Tavy at mach 10 in the pitch black and dumped outside the cop shop!
Only 10.5k but a very special day out with good friends, it restores your faith in humanity (and flying for that matter!)
My apologies for the later part of the vid!