Scratching to Truleigh Hill

Summary of flying for Tuesday 22 May 2012
Total Hours0h 40m
Best Height Gain200 feet
Total Flights1

After the lovely but windy flying from yesterday, I opted to take the afternoon off from work for another session at the Devil's Dyke. I arrived around 2 pm and already there was a buzz of activity with everyone rigging their gliders with the expectation of making the most of the conditions. It was good to see Andy H. again, perhaps he hasn't been converted to the floppy cause permanently?

I was soon ready and Andy H. assisted me to the front of the hill. The air was more turbulent than yesterday and a bit on and off. After I waited for a red ribbon pilot to launch and get established, I set off myself. I quickly established myself in a beating pattern back and forth along the pub hill. The air was not buoyant and a couple of times I dropped to ridge height or lower.

After 5 minutes of this, I connected with something just off from the modellers bowl and used this to cross the bottom landing field and connect with the Truleigh ridge. Once there, I decided to try the Truleigh run. As I headed westward along the ridge, I scouted for potential bottom landings as I struggled to climb any higher than 100 feet above the ridge. Fortunately, I didn’t need one and made it all the way along to Truleigh Hill.

Once at Truleigh Hill I considered myself to be lucky that I had the whole airspace here to myself. It was at that point it dawned on me that there might be a good reason why no-one else flew to Truleigh. I then became paranoid that the conditions would drop off so headed back to the Dyke as a precaution. Just like my outward journey, the glide back along the ridge didn't reward me with any significant climbs. Back at the Dyke, I re-joined the crowds and pondered a top landing.

As I looked down to the Paddock I could see a tractor and some activity that I couldn't quite make out from my vantage point. I concluded that the Paddock would not be the best place to land. Instead, I opted for the field at the back. There were two hang gliders already landed there and after several more beats I snuck in for a stress free top landing. I struggled to ground handle my glider across the field in the blustery wind, before I was able to collapse my glider just behind the fort.

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One by one, other hang gliders joined me and it soon became a social point when various pilots of all abilities decided to take a time out and land there. As I looked up behind us toward the fort, I saw that a film crew had set-up and were filming something. I recognized one individual as Dick Stawbridge from Channel 4's Scrap Heap Challenge, it looked like he was presenting something, possibly ITV’s the 'Hungry Sailor'.

Flying Log(s)

TypeHill Launch
DateTue, 22 May 2012 - 15:00
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
SiteDevil's Dyke
Duration00h 40m
Comments20-25 MPH; NNW; Truleigh Run
Height Gain200 ft
Total Hours53h 06m

Total Flying Statistics

The total flying statistics up to and including 22 May 2012:

Total Hours53h 06m
Longest Flight1h 20m
Gliders Flown4
Unique Sites Flown20
Best Height Gain3,000 feet
Total Distance20.4 km
Furthest Flown13.4 km
Total Flights215
Hill Launches101
Winch Launches99
Aerotow Launches15