An Evening at Swanborough

Summary of flying for Friday 27 September 2013
Total Hours0h 55m
Best Height Gain905 feet
Total Flights2

One of the advantages of working in Lewes is that I'm only a short hop from some of the best hang gliding sites on the South Downs. Today that site was Swanborough, so after a morning's work I headed up there to fly. On arrival, the usual pilots were present. There was a haze in the sky that I hoped would clear later as the sun burnt it off. The wind was almost bang on from the east and blew at 12-15 mph.

After I rigged my glider, I was keen to get up into the air as it was getting busy. There were 3 rigid gliders flying and all of them didn't appear to be that high. It wasn't long before I was airborne and I bumbled about the Swanborough bowl trying to eke out the best of the available lift. It was a battle to stay up. Blew I saw that Paul was positioned ready to fly Nicos' Aeros Target. I flew to the adjacent bowl to give him room to launch but as soon as I entered the bowl, I knew this was a mistake and quickly hit sinking air. I struggled to gain height and eventually ended up creeping around the lower edge of the bowl to re-enter the main Swanborough Bowl. Both Paul and I now shared the same area of minimal lift. We were courteous to each other and gave up the only lift and we both ended up bottom landed!

The day still looked full of potential and with the haze burnt off and the sun shining, I returned to the top of the hill for another flight. The wind had also picked up, but I couldn't understand why no one else was flying - perhaps they were all flown out?

As I launched for the second time, the air certainly felt more buoyant and I was soon established high above those chatting on top of the hill. When my vario began to squeak at me, I realised that I had been rewarded with thermic conditions. Several times I climbed close to 1.000ft above take-off and explored the ridge northwards towards Kingston. After one final climb I drifted over the back and decided to call it a day. I gently landed in the top landing field, packed up and returned home with a big smile on my face!

Flying Log(s)

TypeHill Launch
DateFri, 27 Sep 2013 - 14:05
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
Duration00h 19m
CommentsENE; strong when took off, but then flew to adjacent bowl to allow Paul to take-off. Got stuck and ended up bottom landing.
Height Gain147 ft
Total Hours61h 45m

TypeHill Launch
DateFri, 27 Sep 2013 - 16:00
GliderAirBorne Sting 3:168
Duration00h 36m
CommentsENE; 15mph. Worked small thermals to almost 1000ft ATO. Thermalled with Matt. Explored the ridge then top landed.
Height Gain905 ft
Total Hours62h 21m

Total Flying Statistics

The total flying statistics up to and including 27 Sep 2013:

Total Hours62h 21m
Longest Flight1h 20m
Gliders Flown4
Unique Sites Flown20
Best Height Gain3,000 feet
Total Distance30.2 km
Furthest Flown13.4 km
Total Flights241
Hill Launches115
Winch Launches105
Aerotow Launches21