Author Topic: Viv's Blog  (Read 3973 times)

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2014, 21:59:00 PM »
21st June. Hundred House. Arrive to find light wind, lots of people groundhandling until a gust lifts some away, picnic, another gaggle leaves, plenty of time to make a short hop across the gully and land behind ChrisD, another short hop back across the gully to slope land in the sticky ferns, stuffsac handy for the steep walk up to t.o., 15 mins total airtime, more hopeful groundhandling, then realising I am last on the hill, pack up and go on retrieve to the middle of nowhere, everyone has seen Chris but he has left the pub to find a signal. It really was the longest day, home before dark though!
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2014, 23:00:43 PM »
15th June. Heol Senni. Weather changeable as yesterday, parawait over lunch, a tandem flight with Nick, shelf land and trudge up, a solo ttb on my Gin, lots of twiggy bushes in the LZ.  Another trudge up, carrying nothing! and another tandem to land nicely on the slope above the car, less undergrowth there, just a few rocks which we miss. About 1 hr total. 3 walks up leaves me fully oxygenated but footsore, Nick retrieves the windsock, and we catch some of the match in the AB. A busy day.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2014, 22:28:53 PM »
14th June. Heol Senni. Arrive to see some pilots climbing over the quarry and walk up to find they've disappeared. Thinking they must have bottom landed in a lull, I launch from behind the quarry with no vario today and get enough lift to push out and see they are not down there, must have gone over the back then. A bobbly boat about makes me think I ought not be flying alone, just as RobO toils up to the shelf and seeing me flying, launches too. We land in a lull, the sky constantly changing with some lenticular, mostly cumulus coming and going. We lunch and launch, watching JonM and Rhun climb out, and land in a lull. 2 flights, 41 mins.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2014, 11:51:33 AM »
11th June. Rhosili. 3 flights in the late afternoon and evening, expect to see more pilots but glumly start to pack up when the Joint Services leave, then SteveB appears so I quickly flop out again, Rhun and Angus and Nicola too, so extend flying time to a good 3 hrs. Nice height at the campsite, tide in so not much heat from the beach, but smooth laminar air, landing on pimple takes several passes to manage successfully, then 1 beer and home before midnight.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2014, 08:54:00 AM »
3rd June. Perfect reverse launch in light conditions, no lift in which to circle, so a cautious ttb with only a small tuck and a few turns, perfect landing, and beer. 15 mins. 4.26km.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2014, 08:49:04 AM »
1st June. 2 hrs parawaiting in low cloud, the sun is shining but the recent storms have left the ground sodden, the sound of many streams gushing can be heard. We would not think of launching in these conditions normally, but a local pilot wearing a cycle helmet is doing tandems, and says it's perfect. The prevailing wind is blowing from the back of launch, the windsock only flips round when a thermal rolls up from the valley. Alpine launch into a lee-side thermal, the airbag kisses the ground as I lift off and edge forward into active conditions, several tucks on each side of the wing, I climb unsteadily until the wing blows shut, it appears in front of me, I drop like a stone and swing through, then spin faster until the g-force nearly pulls my glasses off, gaining speed though my hands are up as advised in Nasher's safety lecture, out here no-one can hear you scream, the trees rush up to catch me and just as suddenly I recover with hundreds of feet to spare, abandoning all flight plans I head for the landing zone where the field is full of children on a school trip who practice their language skills on me as I pack up in the deep clover. Nick has gone XC. Later a pilot says he saw my SAT, flat spin and deep spiral and thought I was doing acro! Max ascent 2.2m/s, descent 12.3m/s, distance 6.84km, 20 mins airtime.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2014, 12:19:36 PM »
29th May. Shambhala, Valley of the Roses. Previously a World Championship site, with chairlift to summit at 4,960ftamsl. A short trudge to t.o. and watch a few others launch while setting up in light crosswind, Nick is high above already, then my wall firms up and I inflate and run towards a bush, just clear it but kick the stick with a streamer over! Cruise down the spine of the ridge, circle a few times but gain no height in which to transit across the gully to the next spur. A small tuck pops out with a crossport pump on the opposite side and I glide towards the pine trees into wind, the scent of the roses all along the valley bottom wafts up as I waft down into the middle of the clover filled landing zone by the cafe. A nice welcome. We go again, for 10 lev it's a bargain. By 2 pm the wind is much fresher, dark clouds massing in the valley, Nick sees me off amidst rumbles of thunder and several cracks of lightning, sheet and fork! No time to practice thermalling now, we must get down asap. Rain specks dot the wing and I get cautiously on speedbar, Nick zooms past below and climbs over Sopot, I avoid the buildings and eye the field by the resovoir for a possible landing, not sure so turn back for a downwind dash to Shambhala, windsocks pointing in differing directions, I plan to circle the field as Nick radios to turn right and I overdo it, the wind gradient pushes me straight towards the biggest tree at the edge of the field. I squeal like a girl, flare hard and pull on one side to collapse the wing which drapes itself over the side of the tree. No damage, we pack up and head for the cafe just in time as the storm breaks, a deluge of biblical proportions with lightning ever more frequent, hailstones like marbles, glad I brought showerproof clothes, Kiril is close by for retrieve to Skyview, it doesn't stop for the rest of the afternoon, evening and night. I always get a tree on holiday, and later wreak vengeance on Gareth's ant-infested crabapple.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2014, 09:42:23 AM »
Well done Viv, nice long flight. Must have needed some concentration.
Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2014, 14:59:47 PM »
17th May. Nant-y-moel. Briefing for the comp starts as I get rigged up, a good show from our boys, the first gaggle launches as the wind picks up, lots of aborted inflations and drags going on around me, I practise holding the A's & B's, A's & C's, and wait for the lull, inflate a few times then launch after the second lot, plenty of heat to cook up the bubbles which get bigger as time goes on, I get as far as the trees and catch an updraft, then as it's so busy I head back to the bowl across the gully, circle in any lift, get high over the valley and head back to t.o. in any sink, the wind is buoyant and I have a tiptuck at height, and am swinging about for 1 hr 40 mins before I've had enough, seeing the boys sink out behind dents my confidence in going after them, I make a constant aspect approach and land accurately near the car.  Dave is retrieving today, everyone else left is muttering about sea breeze, it's too windy by now so I go for an icecream.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2014, 22:50:36 PM »
14th May. Rhosili. Laminar wind 6-15mph, a good turnout for a weekday, no students, Paul and Leon already at play, Gerry and Chrissie too, some groundhandling to feel the breeze and unkink, pimple launch at 1pm, wobbly launch from the front and a nice recovery to skim the gorse, wind picking up,  AndyW has a great time dodging the jets which are coming across from Pembrey, whipping around the Worm's Head and returning to base below ridge height so fast that you only hear them after! This happens a dozen times and with every pass there is a massive kick up for me, I keep the wing angled out to sea to catch the draft and avoid tucks, we all gain massive height and spectacular views in the clear air, variable cloud cover keeps things interesting, I practise rear riser control and am pleased with the solid feel of my floppy wing, circle around over the shoreline with the tide out, it feels like a big sky with plenty of room today. Model aircraft on the top. 2 hrs later I land accurately with a tiny drag in the increasing wind. Guy turns up with a miniwing just as we are going to the pub.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 16:20:07 PM »
4th May. Nant-y-Moel. A liftshare with NickR has us on the hill just before hordes of hang-gliders arrive for a competition. My first inflation has too much input and I stagger hither and thither with a tiny drag, hope Paul Williams isn't watching, my excuse is that it seems gusty. Norris and Stu are first up and I launch to join them, the wind is off to the south so a beat into wind lifts me nicely away from the hill, another from the gully back to the trees, and lastly a sinky glide along the ridge, I scratch along the front, then cross the gully with a view to toplanding and walking back along the top, but just manage to land on the lower shelf, missing the rocks but knee deep in poky long grass. I mushroom up for the big walk and Nick comes to help. Skylarks nest here and their singing fills the air. Back on launch a field of hang-gliders have rigged up, looking like a field of solar panels. The wind is right off the hill now so we leave them to it. 8 mins.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2014, 09:14:17 AM »
24th April. Cwmafan. With the wind too southerly for Bryncaws we head for Cwmafan, SJ and CD test the air and are soon out of sight, I lob off and fail to turn in the hotspot, continuing along the newly logged strip by the path, sinking nearer the stumps I turn out over the bomb out field and in the lee of the small hill get caught in the brambles at the edge, luckily the wing flops onto the grass. A quick pack up and hot walk up, CD lands and launches for a mini xc which is enough to make me unpack and do it all over again, this time wearing more protection I approach the brambles from the other side, and in my object fixation skim them again, wing flops onto grass as before. 2 ttb's. SJ and DS assist with my flat car battery. 12 mins airtime. 
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 15:58:09 PM by Viv »
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2014, 08:51:28 AM »
18th April. Heol Senni. Light winds and puffy cumuli, looks good I think, walk up, set up, step into a hole on TO and have a little drag to start the day. Simon and Nick leap to my assistance and I launch without further ado, with advice on technique from Simon, another instructor! I cautiously boat about, delighted by the amount of lift to be had, edging along the far shoulder and getting nice height behind the quarry, the first gaggle leaves the hill and I almost join them, but I lose the thermal and sink back to TO, pushing out over the valley I aim for the magic triangle of buildings, where I imagine stick thermals will rise from each and join up into a huge cylinder, marked by fresh clouds which I plan to follow, my cunning plan does not work though I enjoy 50 mins airtime, the clouds dissipate and I scratch along the front, aim for the cars and have an undignified landing as I plf from the edge of the track down into the field, witnessed by a bunch of late arrivals. No damage but the breeze dies off and blue skies in front, so a cuppa and a chat, then off on retrieve to the beautiful botanical gardens in west Wales, where I purchase some wild flower seeds to plant, and after all that am rewarded with a chocolate retrieve bunny, yum!
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 08:03:18 AM »
14th April. Rhiw Wen. Arrive lunchtime to see Bamber pushing a CP off the hill in brisk wind, so parawait, gossip and graze until it's manageable for me. Large regular clouds break up over TO and there are lulls in the blue areas, Rhun does a nice triangle, JM has a boat about but is on a short lead, everyone else has gone, I launch in a lull after several inflations and hours of groundhandling, one beat and sink over to the carpark for a land by the car. It's a nice day and although I'm happy to spend 5 hours on the hill for a 2 minute ttb, can't wait for Bulgaria with wide open valleys and chairlift to TO.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2014, 13:56:14 PM »
11th April. Fan G. Very light wind on arrival, time for a spot of groundhandling methinks, still a bit soggy, SteveJ and NickR get away in the first available thermals, the wind picks up as the clouds join up, the rotor keeps blowing the wing shut, I must be too far back from the edge, wind direction off to the south slightly, after hours of wall building, tweaking round, fluffing back out, one dump and plenty of sweating and cursing I give it up and go on retrieve. PeteL launches and is still there when I pass back later, DaveS has a nice fly and goes for Steve, I run out of gas at Hay-on-Wye, all garages closed by now, the deputy manager at the Co-Op goes for a can for me, customer service! and we run out again at Asda, who very kindly open up just for us! We had to have a pint in the AB as Nick had parked there all day.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan