Author Topic: Nick's Airtime 2014  (Read 3802 times)

Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2014
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 22:45:47 PM »
Well done Nick, top quality mincing ;-)

How was the 9?
Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2014
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 21:42:10 PM »
30/06 Bryncaws

I planned to get up there early to beat the sea breeze.  However by mid a.m., large amounts of cloud were developing and I wondered if it was really going to be any good but hey ho, if you don't go you'll never know  Up on the hill at 11:00, the wind was very light and there wasn't much sun on the ground.  Viv and me were joined by Phil and Kate who had come up from Cardiff for the day.  As we got  ready, some thermic cycles started to come through hmm..."maybe".  I launched at 11:45 and almost immediately felt my way into a thermal and climbed to base at 4000'.  Wow, I just had to go XC!  I minced along under a good line towards Brynamman.  There was rather a lot of cloud and sunny patches were few but I managed to connect with another good climb above the rising ground west of Rhiw Wen.  Beyond that, cloud started to spread out making progress tricky.  I minced along as far as Brechfa and landed in a nice cut field next to the road.  I felt very pleased with the flight and delighted with my new Sigma 9.

I eventually managed to get a lift down to the A40 with a friendly farmer, then a second lift into Carmarthen and a very picturesque train ride along the coast back to Swansea and finally a bus back to Clydach and then I met Viv in Glais with my car :-D.

Flight 1hr 30 mins -  40km :-)

First XC on my new Sigma 9  :-D

Return Journey- 3hrs  :-)

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2014
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2014, 07:41:43 AM »
29/06 - Fan G

Arrived early afternoon under grey/black skies and no sign of anyone else but down at the gate, there was a light northerly breeze so we headed up the track.  As we  were getting towards the second gate, a few gliders were launching and it emerged that Pembrokeshire Paragliding were up on top with a good sized group.  Also there were Steve Bain joined later by Steve J and Dave Stein.  By the time we got to the edge of the bowl, the sun came out and the breeze was picking up.  I unfurled the new Sigma 9 and gingerly fluffed it out into a wall.  Inflating the glider, I immediately noticed how sharp and direct the handling was.  Up in the air, conditions were quite choppy with some good climbs up to a best of 3500' amsl.  Cloudbase was probably a little over 4000' but there were large areas of dark  cloud spreadout all around so not really a day for XC.  However, it was ideal for putting the new glider through its paces. 

And the Sigma 9 -  I like it!  As ever from Advance, the glider oozes lots of R and D before the final product.  I like the direct handling and light speed system.  The profile of the wing looks great in the air and I love the colour scheme(Palm/white/purple) :-).

« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 21:00:04 PM by Nick Roberts »

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2014
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 21:25:36 PM »
22/06   - Fan G

Arrived  up on top at midday with Viv to see a good size group with Pembrokeshire Paragliding and Pete lake who had walked up from the layby.  The sky was starting to look rather good and some of the group were clearly getting some good thermalling experience.  I ate my sandwiches whilst getting ready and watched as Pete climbed up and away from the hill and headed off towards Brecon.  Alas thereafter, conditions became rather fickle and after a few attempts at gaining height and a visit from a dust devil(without the dust!), the cloud spread out and put the hill in shade.  And so, a relaxing bit of  sunday afternoon parawaiting ensued.

Four o'clock came and went and then slowly, out to the west, the sky started to clear and a breeze came through.  Launching at 17:15,  the air felt quite lumpy but slowly, I gained height and worked myself into quite a decent thermal climb up to a little under 5000' .  Out over the back, the sky was still covered by decaying cloud so I decided on a little out-and-return upwind to Dan Yr Ogof and back to land on top as my car was parked up on the track.

Faith restored  and a pint of Golden Ale at the Ancient Briton on the way home.....can't be bad :-)

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2014
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 20:20:24 PM »
15/06/2014 - Heol Senni

Mostly cloudy bit the sun did burst through for a while occasionally.  Wind light and intermittent so just a couple of short flights on the tandem but it was good to refamiliarise myself with the equipment.  Many  thanks to Viv for volunteering to be passenger.  The heat and humidity was conducive to a relaxing day on the hill.  It was good to meet and chat a little with the some of the latest crop of new club members from Pembrokeshire Paragliding.  :-)

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2014
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2014, 10:23:03 AM »
11/04/2014 - Fan G

The sky started to look great at around 11:00 but I had to wait for my car to be repaired at my local garage in Pontardawe.  A text at 11:30 and it's ready....all systems go to Fan G!.  A text from Steve J on the hill and it's sunny but calm so no rush!.  Viv  and I arrive on the NW  takeoff at 14:00 to find Steve and Dave Stein in relaxed mode.  After a while chatting, the first detectable thermal cycles start licking up the hill.  I'm first to launch and climb up a few hundred feet within minutes.  The air feels good - nicely unstable with some good looking cloud just a few Km over the back.  I drift away a bit in a weak and broken climb which fails to improve and with a large area of shadowed ground ahead, I turn back and return to land and remove a layer of clothing as it is not nearly as cold as I had anticipated.  Meanwhile, Dave and Steve are in the air and Steve is slowly climbing away and on the ground the wind has flicked off to the southwest and is coming through quite strong.  I can only watch as Steve slowly climbs away and sets off XC although I can see that the going is not easy and he is having to be very patient.

A short while later, I manage to get off the hill and fly around to the southwest side and bob up and down for a while in small weak thermals and just when I'm starting to think maybe I've missed the boat, I manage to hook into something a bit more substantial and climb out over the top of the hill.  The wind is quite strong and the lift weak and I have  to fly ultra patiently to grind out enough height to glide to some active cloud downwind.  I find lift above Fan Nedd, Fan Llia and Fan Fawr and a sunny patch beyond the Beacons reservoir.  Beyond here, with overdevelopment ahead I cross over to Talybont for a top up and then the long glide across the Crickhowell valley helped by another weak top up above Bwlch.  I  see a few gliders soaring at Mynydd Langorse so I figure I'll be able to soar comfortably along the higher escarpment towards Talgarth and Hay Bluff but strangely, the dynamic wind at Pen Allt Mawr is not enough to stay up in and I slide off the hilllside into the valley below :?.  Picking out a suitable landing place - a rustle, a few beeps....it's not over :-).  I cling on and hey there's a Buzzard circling below nearby., I edge across and find weak but consistent lift and a while later, I'm back up at base(5000'+) and gliding up a weak cloudstreet  for about twenty minutes with some speedbar on.  I turn the corner above Talgarth and espy a few gliders soaring at Hay Bluff.  Any useful cloud has just about died away so I just meander my way along to join them.  My GPS beeps a low battery warning but I think there should be enough charge to finish the flight.  Arriving at the Bluff, I soar around for a while with the other guys then check my instruments - drat, battery flat :?

After landing at 18:25 , I discovered that I'd lost the last 3km of my flight track but ho-hum a great flight nonetheless 8-).

Many thanks to Richard from Hereford who gave me a lift down to Hay where I met Viv at the Coop(big thanks there too! :-)).

A great April XC day  :-D
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 10:30:10 AM by Nick Roberts »

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2014
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 08:03:51 AM »
10/04/2014 - Rhossili

Cold and grey but a good flying day!  Light 'n scratchy for a while but then getting rather fresh(as per forecast).  Orographic cloud briefly threatened then vanished!  Great to see lots of pilots out on the hill many whom I hadn't seen since last year.  Paraventure and Pembrokeshire Paragliding there too.  The sun did emerge in the evening for the "after work" fliers :-)


Offline Nick Roberts

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Nick's Airtime 2014
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 08:50:47 AM »
09/04/2014 - Rhossili

Decided that it was worth a look in the afternoon.  Viv and I did not arrive until 16:00 due to  my car  playing up soon after we set off :?  The wind seemed a tad on the strong side and cloudbase very low(1000' amsl) and nobody flyin :roll:!

Up on the pimple, we came upon three visiting pilots huddle together waiting for the wind to ease.  They said they had been flying in the morning with a few other pilots but then the wind had picked up a bit too much.  Indeed the clouds were whizzing past overhead but  on the pimple,  the breeze seemed manageable so we got our kit out with a view to launching and staying well out in front of the hill. Up in the air, the wind was a bit off to southwest and quite lumpy with not much lift to be had, or so it seemed..........for after about twenty minutes, I ascended into a smooth westerly airflow up aloft(wave) and soared back and fore in this until reaching over 1500' above the beach and well above the cloudbase over the back of the hill!  The views were astonishing but alas, I had left my camera in my bag on the pimple- doh!

I soared around for a good while in the early evening sunshine, lapping up my first UK flight of the year,  checking all my harness adjustments and a while later, the wind had eased down a little allowing a neat top landing on the pimple :-) where I met Viv who had landed down on the beach a bit earlier. 

Time for a pint of customary Worm's Head Ale !
Iechyd Da