Two out of two 13.7.18: RASP suggested sea breezes might come on at Branscombe, and a message from Dinks saw me heading that way rather late in the day. I got there as others were going home - all flown-out! My demo BGD Cure and I had the entire ridge to ourselves for an hour, which was spectacular...
14.7.18: RASP proved right again, and I had another epic flight at Bossington, this time test-flying a stock Wills Wing Falcon 195 skyfloater. I was a bit suspicious that such a nice glider could have been flown so little over quite a few years. Needn't have worried, it was peachy - the first WW glider I have ever flown!
Photos to follow.....
|5.7.18: Went off for a day at a secret site in Wales. Except this wasn't flying! I went on the bike so as to get at least a slight fix of adrenaline, and headed to a remarkable river for a spot of wild swimming. The top photo shows a place that I have jumped from in the past, but I'm no longer young, brave or foolish enough to do that!|
Despite the glorious weather we have been enjoying, and the plethora of fantastic flights undertaken by top paraglider pilots, I've hardly been flying at all. Our sites generally don't face East - but I know that is no excuse. Must try harder!
Intermediates on show - Woolacombe! 14.6.18: Great weather at Woolacombe, and lots of hangies turned up to enjoy the interesting conditions. Some people had 1100 feet ato on intermediate gliders, but there were no hot ships out, so who knows what may have been possible? I was doing some tweaking to the Rio 2 that may be sold.... Lovely glider!
|3.6.18: Had a great outing to Croft Farm to fly behind the Fox Tug and Donald MacKenzie. Got a lot of useful insights into my issues with aerotowing, but also had three glorious hours thermalling all over the local area.|
The Malvern Aerotow group couldn't have been much more welcoming - they have a great organisation there. The conditions were so much better than we get in the South West, but I had to be fairly circumspect because I literally didn't know where I was! Could have done rather more preparation. Photos to follow soon...
|13.5.18: First off I test flew a Calypso - the cheapest hang glider in my stock of used wings. The take-off was a bit of a wind-up, possibly because of the gorse barrier that is growing up around the take off area. When the wings were eventually level, though, it was very easy and the glider flew beautifully. |
Then I test flew the gorgeous Rio 2 that I have just bought in. It's up at the other end of the price spectrum, but it was a belter, too. The landing back at the car park was very rough, but the glider handled it easily enough. A great day out!
|11.5.18: Finally got to fly Wooly again after a gap of nine months! I took a stock Litespeed up there, and found it flew beautifully. Well, I suppose that is what you'd expect of one of my stock used gliders.|
Pizza in Pizzo! Vincent Masi told me stories about a huge west-facing coastal ridge in southern Italy that is always flyable. We booked a trip, and arrived to find ... easterly wind. The locals said it is almost always flyable between May and September, and the local tandem pilot had 600 flights last summer. One honest chap did say that the weather had been rubbish this year, so far. We had arrived too soon!
But we had two flights, which was more than we had been getting in the UK, and were able to soak up the ambience of Italy. Sun, sea, sand and Sylvia! Pizza, ice cream and Fiat Pandas! So great to get away for a week!
And when we got home we triggered the best Bank Holiday weather in living memory. Perhaps the flying will improve now?
Photos will appear when I have caught up with a backlog of orders and office work.
|There looked to be a half-chance of some flying on Wednesday, but it started off very light. So I jumped on the bike with the Cure on my back, and arrived just as it was becoming soarable. The plan paid off, so I had a pleasant play on the cliffs along towards Sidmouth. It is always a treat to fly these south coast cliffs, and an hour and a half in bright conditions does give a real buzz. More again, please!|
| ||25.3.18: A few of us had a taste of Bossington at its very best. This site provides some of the most beautiful views in the UK - and lovely smooth flying as well. Sometimes there are spectacular height gains to be had, but yesterday the wind was a bit on the light side, so we weren't getting much altitude.|
Geoff borrowed my spare vario just before I took off, and a few minutes later my main vario died (flat battery - Murphy's law applies), so I have no idea how high I got, but after a couple of hours I had crept high enough to fly back to the car park. We could do with more flying like this!
|16.2.18: Soon after I arrived on site the wind picked up to a point at which paraglider pilots were being dragged, and better pilots than me were waiting for a lull. So, I started rigging my hang glider. The Malibu proved perfect for the conditions, giving me a pleasant take-off and landing and easy flying in between. Luvvly Jubbly - my first UK HG flight since about June or July!!|
I was the only hang glider out - in company with about 20 -25 paragliders. People came from way up country, and everyone seemed to be enjoying the brief change in the weather.
Interestingly, Tomasz Hardej came up to ask if, since I wasn't using it, he could fly my BGD Cure demo paraglider, and we ran the entire ten miles of cliffs to Sidmouth and back more or less together. Relative performance was very similar, the Cure having an edge on sink rate and the Malibu on speed. Good fun!
|January 2018: There hasn't been much to write about this winter. I haven't flown at all in the UK, and it is easy to get depressed about that. But I did go out last week - and even got the glider to take off before ..... the rain started! And that is when I thought that my FlyMike winter suit has a rain hood hidden inside the collar. So, next time you want a really good flying suit you will know where to come. Let's hope that I get the suit into the air sometime soon.|| |
Phantom Progress Several people are waiting for a flight report on the Phantom, but I haven't flown it yet. There was an issue with the flaps, which turned out to be a simple matter of a misplaced cord jammed on an adjacent pulley, and I'm waiting for a really good flying day at Woolacombe before committing aviation. I hope...