Summary of flying for Sunday 29 May 2022
Total Hours0h 28m
Best Height Gain124 feet
Total Flights1

I must admit it had felt like an eternity since I had last flown which contributed to my nervousness to fly. The responsibility of young children certainly makes you question the risk/reward of hang gliding but after recovering from Covid, I had come to realise that I am better off living life to its full potential!

The previous evening I had watched Top Gun Maverick [not bad, very 80's nostalgia] so wasn’t too eager for an early start. As yesterday’s forecast suggested strong in the morning with wind expected to back from a north-easterly to a north, I wasn’t in a rush and arrived at Firle at 10am. After a quick catch-up with flying colleagues, I learned that others were just around the corner at Bo Peep. That was certainly the best site for the wind direction, but I was convinced it would come around to the north later.

With paragliders arriving, I was keen to get up into the air before it became too busy. Without too much faff, I managed to rig and prepare myself for flight. No-one else seemed too enthusiastic to fly; I suspect I was going to be wind dummy, so Nicos assisted me to launch.

I launched into what I thought was a northerly wind but as I began to beat back and forth along the ridge it became very evident that the wind was way off to the east; it always amazes me how the shape of the hill can distort the true wind direction observed at take-off!

It was quite a battle to stay up and after around 20 minutes I observed paragliders readying to take-off and one rigid below prepared to launch. While I was high enough, I decided to nip in for a top landing [actually, I was a little too high]. I started my approach from the car park direction and climbed onto the uprights nice and early. I literally zoomed past the landing area, headed towards Beddingham like a missile when I realized that the true wind direction was north-east and I was effectively flying downwind! Still on the uprights I turned through 180 degrees [avoiding the large herd of cows congregating in my initial landing spot] and pulled more speed on, headed back towards the reservoir. I was keen to get down and not overshoot, so continued in this direction where I quickly met the ground. The landing was a fast one and I had to run it off. I was strangely pleased to be back on the ground, but also content for having cleared my flying cobwebs and achieving my first [and only] flight of the year!

Flying Log(s)

TypeHill Launch
DateSun, 29 May 2022 - 11:30
GliderWills Wing U2 160
Duration00h 28m
CommentsNNE-NE; 10-15 mph; wind certainly off to the east. Top landing approach was a downwind!
Height Gain124 ft
Total Hours98h 29m

Total Flying Statistics

The total flying statistics up to and including 29 May 2022:

Total Hours98h 29m
Longest Flight2h 25m
Gliders Flown5
Unique Sites Flown21
Best Height Gain3,000 feet
Total Distance70.9 km
Furthest Flown13.5 km
Total Flights291
Hill Launches161
Winch Launches106
Aerotow Launches24