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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!


SPECTACULAR BOSSY!



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...




LANZAROTE TRIP 2017

1.12.17: I'm just back from a flying trip to Lanzarote with Paul Leary and his merry band. It says a lot for these guys (2 x Paul, Darren, Steve and Niall) that they were very merry despite the fact that the flying was very ordinary. So much so that I haven't yet managed to find any good flying photos. Mind you, we did fly. I had four flights, which is four more HG flights than I have managed in the last five months in the UK! It has been a truly rubbish summer.

We did try quite hard, ignoring many of the other delights that Lanzarote has to offer (beaches, bikes, Manrique and volcanoes). The photo above shows Paul's van beating a path to a possible new take off. It would have been very flyable, but when we got to the top the wind was over the back.

Our trip started badly for me. The glider I was to borrow had a ripped sail, and when I went to fly another glider I elected to adjust the hang point. I really don't know why I did that, and to make matters worse I actually contrived to move it in the wrong direction. All this resulted in a glider trimmed miles too fast, resulting in a very unpleasant flight to the bottom landing. After that, things got slowly better, and by the end of the trip I felt almost current.

If the flying wasn't exceptional, the journey certainly was. Bright, warm weather on this most amazing island makes for a complete change from UK winters, and is thus really good for the soul. Thanks Paul!


Sand and Stone

16.11.17: I had five paragliders to service today, and two of them came with some unwanted baggage. One had been to the Dunes de Pyla, and I was able to get a pound of the finest French sand out in a few minutes. Another had been to a stony beach somewhere, and the trailing edge was holding the makings of a small rockery. Quite apart from being very bad for the sail cloth, a glider that is carrying such an additional load isn't going to ground handle as well as the designer intended.




Another Beer outing



1.11.17: After a week spent mostly preparing to the end of my financial year, it was really great to get out of the office on a pleasant day. Beer Head doesn't always give the conditions suggested by the weather forecast, so I took the Cure on the back of the motorbike, so as to be sure of getting some form of adrenaline-hit, even if it didn't prove flyable.


Actually, it was flyable all day, but did get a bit sketchy after about 3pm. Most of us flew to Sidmouth and back, with a few of the earlier arrivals crossing the Sidmouth Gap. Hazy sunshine illuminated the whole event, and it was gratifying to get some flying at this time of year - it is so easy to imagine this might be the last day for a while. Pictures to follow...




Clouds at Beer Head



14.10.17: Light wind, off the hill, heavy orographic cloud cover and no sunshine - it doesn't sound like the recipe for a good flight. But I took the BGD Cure along to Sidmouth and back, so it was actually rather good. There were two hangies and about six or seven paragliders flying, and we all had a lot of fun.




These photos are rather drab, aren't they? If you look closely there are hang gliders in each shot, and I rather enjoyed the trek down the ridge and back, glad I was flying a glider that would be easy to land if the wind dropped off, and easy enough to walk back to the car. I wouldn't have flown the whole ridge had I been on a hangie. At about 3.30 the wind did indeed die, and a couple of people landed out. Fortunately, I'd already top landed.






Dad of Soperman!

No sooner was the ink dry on my sponsorship contract with Jeremy Soper than he hit me with the biggest news in hang gliding - his Dad is learning to fly! Having watched his wayward son embark on his flying career, and helped to rig the glider often enough, Mr.Soper was already half way there. They went to France for his first lot of lessons. Now we know where Jezzer got his indomitable spirit....





 
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