|Conditions||Starting off with a light NE, slowly increasing to an E breeze in the afternoon as the sea breeze settles in.|
|Glider||AirBorne Sting 3:168|
|Height Gain (ft)||800|
|Max Climb (fpm)||-|
Boot Camp Day Two
18 April 2010
After a considerably cold night (my tent actually froze!) myself and all those that decided to camp on the runway emerged from our tents and headed to the local Little Chef. Olympic Breakfast's all round a nd several mugs of coffee – sorted!
Returning to Mendlesham the wind was now more easterly so the orientation of launch and winch were reversed from yesterday. I was personally quite tired from yesterday so opted to watch the winch in operation for the first hour of towing. Eventually I mustered up enough will power to head up to launch and fly.
My first launch was a little bumpy, but after releasing I soon connected with something. Dipping in and out of this first thermal I was able to maintain for a while before I ultimately lost it. On my return glide to launch, I found another thermal over the industrial area and again dipped in and out of it until my luck ran out and it was time to land.
My second launch didn't go quite as well, at around 600 feet into the tow, the winch cable tension surged off and on and before I was able to do anything about it the inevitable happened and the weak link snapped. Unusually the bridle recoiled, catching the side of my neck stinging like hell. I was very grateful that no chunks of metal are used on this tow system!
Somewhat put off by this I headed straight back to launch, perhaps bumping into a few whiffs of lift on the way down.
My third tow of the day was very much later. The sea breeze front had passed through with Steve going cross-country on it and stiff easterly breeze had now settled in. There was some possibility of kiting out, and as I launched, I knew it was going to be the highest of the day. I didn't kite out, but I did release at over 1100 feet – excellent! Not only that, but I also managed to connect with several thermals. After lots of 360's, getting a bit giddy on one of them, I was over launch at a height of 1100 feet and still climbing.
Yesterday's task said if you can get over the A140 that's 5 points. I knew there was a stiff easterly breeze blowing now, but what the hell, I'd give it a go. Well, I crossed the A140 with around 1000 feet to play with and all I needed to do was make it back to launch. As soon as I turned upwind towards launch I knew I wasn't going to make it all the way back. I even pulled VG full on. This made a difference, but not enough and I lost all that height only making it half way back to launch. I guess I could call that an out landing.
Fortunately I was able to walk the glider some considerable distance back to the access track to the western end of the Mendlesham runway where I packed up and concluded my day.
And finally, here's some video highlights of the day:
Highlights of the Suffolk Coastal Floaters Hang Gliding Club's Boot Camp event on the 17-18 April 2010. To view the hang gliding log entry for this day of flying, click here.