A Prolonged Sled Ride

Summary of flying for Saturday 1 June 2013
Total Hours0h 18m
Best Height Gain140 feet
Total Flights1

After yesterday's flying, I was 10 mins shy of hitting 60 hours of airtime. My personal goal for today [it always helps to have a goal], was to break the 60 hours. However, stood on launch it was apparent that this would be a challenge as the wind had already reduced and pilots had begun to pack up; I should have arrived earlier!

I was soon ready, clipped in and stood at the front of the hill. There was a slight breeze that barely allowed my glider to float above me, so I decided to wait for the next thermic cycle. John, also on his smaller version of the Sting 3, joined me in the launch queue. It wasn't long before the breeze increased which indicated the arrival of a thermal. I launched into it and began a slow ascent. The lift was not strong and as I ventured towards the bowl I had only climbed to around 80 feet above take-off. When I looked back across to launch I saw that John had launched and struggled to climb.

The bowl appeared to be the best source of lift and John and I were soon stacked one on top of each other trying to climb in it. I had the higher position but John, at ridge height, slowly began to sink as I was able to maintain.

I slowly crept over to the next bowl on the Truleigh Run and as I looked back towards John, I saw that he had conceded and was on his way to the bottom landing field. I struggled to maintain height and flew the glider as efficiently as possible in order to stay up, but slowly I realised I too was destined for a bottom landing.

As I returned to the launch, I started to low. To my surprise, although unable to climb, I was able to soar back and forth along the tree line that bordered the bottom landing field, much to the annoyance of a couple that appeared to be making out in the corner of the field directly beneath me!

Eventually gravity got the better of me and I landed in the designated area in the bottom landing field. John warmly complemented my landing then we both packed our gliders away. I now owe John a drink as he climbed back up the Dyke to recover his car and shortly afterwards his glider and me!

As for that 60 hour total flight time target; somehow my flight lasted a total of 18 minutes! Success!

Flying Log(s)

TypeHill Launch
DateSat, 01 Jun 2013 - 13:00
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteDevil's Dyke
Duration00h 18m
CommentsNW; got weak almost as soon as I took off. Bottom landed avoiding the crop again.
Height Gain140 ft
Total Hours60h 08m

Total Flying Statistics

The total flying statistics up to and including 01 Jun 2013:

Total Hours60h 08m
Longest Flight1h 20m
Gliders Flown4
Unique Sites Flown20
Best Height Gain3,000 feet
Total Distance30.2 km
Furthest Flown13.4 km
Total Flights237
Hill Launches111
Winch Launches105
Aerotow Launches21