Mooove Out The Way

Summary of flying for Monday 21 May 2012
Total Hours0h 45m
Best Height Gain200 feet
Total Flights1

I managed to leave work on time and get home to recover my glider and kit before I headed to the Devil's Dyke. When I arrived, the wind was strong and I debated with myself about flying another day. Only after I watched others fly and with the knowledge that the Sting 3 has an effective VG, I decided to give it a go.

Prior to launch I set the VG at 50; if was going gale hang, I wanted some confidence that my glider would penetrate through the area of 'accelerated air flow' sufficiently. As I stood at the front of the hill the glider felt stable. Nicos kindly assisted with my launch and as I instructed 'release', he dived out of the way and I accelerated my glider down the hill.

I took to the air with relative ease and penetration was ok. After a couple of beats back and forth on the main pub hill, I crossed the bowl with the intention of doing the Truleigh Run. There was more of a northerly component than a westerly in the wind than I had realised which made my westward progress towards Truleigh a little faster than I had expected. I arrived at the Pylons at 100 feet above the ridge but climbing higher proved to be a more of a challenge. As I continued past the pylons I started to find more reliable lift which gave a boost to my progress toward Truleigh.

When I reached Truleigh Hill, I was rewarded with a climb that took me to 500 feet above take-off. Only Chris T. and I on flex wings had made it to Truleigh Hill, there were some rigid wings several hundred feet higher. After I had explored the air at Truleigh, I started my return journey back to the Dyke. With a westerly component in the wind, the return journey was swift and I didn't need any turns in left to maintain height.

Back in the main bowl, traffic was moderate and the wind seemed increasingly stronger so I decided to repeat the Truleigh run for a second time. As before, height gains were minimal, most likely due to the time of day, so I concentrated on efficient flying whilst maintaining an eye on potential bottom landings should I need one! I spotted a kestrel that hovered above the ridge, clearly on the hunt, and for a brief moment, I considered sneaking up on it using some aerial manoeuvres, but decided against it.

Back at Truleigh for the second time, I enjoyed the scenery but wasn't rewarded with any significant height gains. I feared the wind may drop and with the sun starting to get low, I decided to return to the Dyke and conclude my day. Like my earlier return along the ridge, progress was quick and I arrived back at the Dyke itself in good time. Considering the wind strength it felt scratchy and when I tried to get height for a top landing I struggled. That said, on my first attempt I was too high and gently skimmed the top landing field but was unable to get my feet on the ground! I overshot which was when things started to get interesting.

The top landing field was the place to be if you were a cow. The grass was certainly greener here and unfortunately for me, as I began to overshoot my top landing, I began to skim across the ground toward the cows! I had never slalomed my hang glider before, and after I negotiated my way around the first two cows, a third appeared right in front of me. With eye to eye contact with the cow and a collision imminent, I wondered who would flinch first; me or the cow? I considered running along the cow's back but at the last moment, it flinched and literally leapt out of my way! With the cow successfully negotiated, I was free to fly away from the ridge for a second landing attempt.

The wind had very evidently increased and I hovered for about 40 seconds and about 50 feet up before I very slowly penetrated forwards. After a few more beats I was high enough for a second attempt. This time, I touched down perfectly in the centre of the Paddock and where Paul L. was conveniently placed to grab my nose wires.

As I packed up the sun slowly slipped towards the horizon colouring the sky with a nice shade of orange; what a great way to spend the evening - shame the pub was shut!

Flying Log(s)

TypeHill Launch
DateMon, 21 May 2012 - 18:30
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteDevil's Dyke
Duration00h 45m
CommentsLovely afternoon flight after work; missed approached at the Dyke and an interesting slalom between all the cattle in the landing field. Went around and top landed.
Height Gain200 ft
Total Hours52h 26m

Total Flying Statistics

The total flying statistics up to and including 21 May 2012:

Total Hours52h 26m
Longest Flight1h 20m
Gliders Flown4
Unique Sites Flown20
Best Height Gain3,000 feet
Total Distance20.4 km
Furthest Flown13.4 km
Total Flights214
Hill Launches100
Winch Launches99
Aerotow Launches15