Author Topic: MikeT2014  (Read 2978 times)

Offline Mike Thomas

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Re: MikeT2014
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2014, 00:23:54 AM »
An Irish singer called Cara Dillon and the track is called The Parting Glass. Loved the gear and the beer ;-)

Offline Gron Jones

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Re: MikeT2014
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2014, 21:37:37 PM »
Lovely video Mike.  I like the autumnal atmospherics!  What's the music?
Glad you liked the SWWSC apparel!  Nice to have a beer with you last night - and sorry I had to then rush off as I was going to see the film "Jack to King".  It was excellent - a very Welsh film for you, and just the most amazing fairy tale story of the "The Swans" and their journey form nearly bust to the Premiership!

Offline Mike Thomas

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Bryncaws
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2014, 20:23:40 PM »

Offline Mike Thomas

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Baigura SW France
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2014, 22:13:41 PM »
Some video from last year I just came across. A bit shaky as it's on a hand-held camera, given my GoPro memory card was full.
A good place to visit if you're on the SW coast of France, as was I on my family holiday back then.

Offline Mike Thomas

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Flying on the North Downs near Reigate
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2014, 20:53:55 PM »
I took this video back in June, but only just got round to editing it. Next best thing to flying.


Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: MikeT2014
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2014, 19:21:56 PM »
Nice Flying Site Mike!

Offline Mike Thomas

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Re: MikeT2014
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2014, 21:03:29 PM »
An 8mph ESE was forecast, so I decided to go to High and Over rather than make the trek to Golden Ball. Arriving just before ten, one PG had just launched, and before long it was tandem city with five in the air. Add to this another few paragliders and it was crowded, but thankfully in the lifty conditions there was enough separation.
 I had a couple of goes, twenty minutes followed by just under an hour, and the second flight was the most fun. I topped out at 940' AMSL, and although it was a shame not to get higher, it was as ever a grand height to to take in the views.
 It was also my first flight with my XC Soar Kobo from GoFly, and it's certainly an interesting bit of kit. I thought I'd figured it out on the ground, but it kept warning of airspace 14km away, and even though I pressed Ack Day, it kept coming back. It also told me I'd stopped circling blanking out the display for a couple of minutes. Not so helpful, so it's back to the manual.
 Back to the flying, well after the stratospheric heights gave way to a more mundane 100' ATO I boated round some more before deciding it was time to land and avoid a carry up. They were still flying when I left, jut not so high, and it might have come on again.
Video here:

Offline Mike Thomas

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A Mini XC from Devil's *
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2014, 20:51:55 PM »
Video of today can be found here:
A busy day at Devils *. I had 5 flights from about 9am, and on my third picked up a thermal near the modeller's bowl. It wasn't epic maxing at 1.5m/s but it took me back a fair way with the drift, topping out at all of 1500' AMSL.
 I really am not keen on the crowds, so it was nice and relaxing to get away, and it was good to have the time to appreciate the scenery. The Shoreham airshow was running, and a NOTAM in place, but we had enough space in the NW wind to have fun. I did try to follow Mark Watts on his tandem with Catherine Castle, but I was just too low, and only managed to find zero's in my drift.
 When I lost my lift, I hoofed it downwind looking for more, but found little. On crossing the A23/A27 junction, I had to make a call to go left or right of the A27. Left was all fields but a harder retrieve, so I opted for right over the houses and civilization, as there were some fields to bomb out in and I was still high enough. I should have "thought up" though, as I got nothing over the built up area, and ended up landing in a school playing field. Mark and Catherine were nowhere to be seen, but I did see another paraglider flying at about 2000' over me. I wasn't jealous at all, honest.
 As I was packing up and about to unleash my hitching sign, a nice chap called Jon came to the fence with two of his boys, and asked me about my flight. They had seen my flying low overhead from his house. After 5 minutes more packing he came back and offered me a lift right back to the *. What a gentleman! The flight was short at only 5.9km, and 30mins, but really good fun. Many thanks to Jon and his two lads Ben and James for the retrieve, it was very much appreciated.

Offline Mike Thomas

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To BCC, or not to BCC
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2014, 18:44:08 PM »
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 20:24:12 PM by MikeT »

Offline Mike Thomas

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Avila
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2014, 07:16:00 AM »
Here's my final flight of my time away at flypiedrahita last week. The conditions had improved markedly and I got to fly over Avila for the first time.

This was my last day and it promised and delivered to have the best conditions of the week. Light NW winds and a bast of just over 3000m were forecast, so we headed up Pena Negra on the 35 minute drive.
There were stacks of pilots there. At least twenty from a small Spanish comp with a goal at Avila, and the gusts were soon picking up enough for Steve to urge us into the air. It's a fickle thing timing your launch. Too early and you could easily sink out, too late and you can be stuck on the hill as it's too windy. People were already climbing, so I clipped in and went for it. I took off in a sinky bit, just clearing the road, but flew straight to some climbing gliders to the East of launch into a good quality thermal. This took me to about 2700m, though Steve got to 2900m in it.
Then it was a case of hanging around on the big spine until everyone who was going to get up, got up. Steve was deciding whether to go over the back, which is something I've never done, but needed a good 3000m of altitude to clear the plains behind. Although some Belgium pilots got away and some of our group maybe could have made it, it was all or nothing due to the retrieves. With a straw pole on the radio, we opted for the pass and Avila, after an hour trying to stay as high as possible.
I followed Steve on a very sinky line, missing out the Corral spine altogether and losing a good 700m in the process until I joined some zeros and 0.5 ups near the Quarry Spine. Getting high took ages, with a couple of failed attempts for me, with Steve and Ian actually crossing with only 1800m! I managed to get to 2700m with Gary, Mike and Rob, before crossing, but then picked up another climb to over 3100m.
After that, I headed for the river bed, as you can see on the Google trace at the end of the video. One of my climbs over the river averaged 4m/s for quite a while, and I got back up to about 2900m at one point.
It was one step at a time, staying over the river and not being pushed South, so as to avoid an into wind push at the end. It worked, and I pretty much took a straight line for the last 7km, turning only once to go from 1800m to 2200m.
I didn't bother thermalling after that, and got to fly over the city itself with some epic views of it and the lakes beyond. It wasn't the day to go further with NW winds restricting further XC, and it being the last day, so I found some rare sink just to the West over another river and put in some tight turns to burn off my height at about 2m/s. I landed in a field with no drama, to pee, pop a couple of headache pills, drink loads of water and take selfies with Avila in the background.



Offline Mike Thomas

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Re: MikeT2014
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2014, 08:16:24 AM »
[size=78%]Again a low cloud base limited what we could do. It was actually lower than the last couple of days at 2200m or so, but we made the best if it with a trip to El Barco. I didn't quite make it, but really enjoyed the challenge of mediocre thermals.  [/size]


Last year I would launch I to a thermal which would carry me to 3300m in front of take off. This year I have to work for every metre of altitude.  It's good to work harder for the same goal sometimes, but I hope tomorrow is easier. ;-).  We also got a smooth evening flight where we ridge soared with French and local pilots, then pushing out in buoyant conditions over the town as the sun set. I enjoyed flying over the town and the nesting storks in the trees below. That 50 minute flight took me over the ten hour mark so far this week.





Offline Mike Thomas

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Re: MikeT2014piedrahita on Thursday
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2014, 08:15:06 AM »




North going to NE and again bases of around 2500m were forecast today. We waited a while on launch, and when some French guys started staying up to the left went for it also. Steve soon came on the radio saying there was more west in it, so we set up on the big spine, boating around as far as the Corral spine in the end.  No pass crossing today as there would be too much headwind to do so, rather we stayed in the Piedrahita valley. Ian again did his own thing making it to Barco and back, but the rest followed Steve out into the valley for some flatland flying.
This worked really well for me and soon I was up from 1600m to closer to 2000m over the El Sotto landing field and beyond. Unfortunately there was some confusion on whether it was too windy on the ground for us to remain flying (a mixing NE resulting in a turbulent landing), so most opted to land at that stage. I burnt off 1000m of altitude over the valley, which was lifting all over the place, so this took me 15 minutes or so. Disappointing to do so, as the valley wind turned out not to increase markedly, certainly where I was, but better safe than sorry.
A thoroughly enjoyable flight it was however, because the local nature meant quite a fee of our group got to thermal with each other in close proximity. We had the usual stunning views of the plateau and mountains over the back, and for me at least, stress free smooth conditions. No evening flight as it was hammering through on launch by then, but as Thursdays go it was hard to beat. We also had a great meal at Steve and Puri's house in the evening to top off the day.

Offline Mike Thomas

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Tuesdays flight
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2014, 07:59:03 AM »




Apologies for the titles as they're not meant to jump around. It appears a combination of iMovie to edit and iTunes Capture to upload from my iPad mini has a problem. There were also too many "I's" in that sentence.


Anyhow, the flight, I loved this flight as it was unexpected. The wind was from the North and so we had the choice for either The pass or El Barco. All our group headed east to the pass apart from Ian who headed west. With a low base of 2500m or so getting across the pass was not a given, and it was not an easy run down there in any case. However a bunch of us got to the corral spine and then across to the quarry. I hung back as usual, but this resulted in me missing a climb with Steve, Bob, Mike and  Gary as I lost it at 2200m. They went over at about 2500m, whilst I scuttled back to the spine with Rob to have another go at getting high. Gary surprisingly came back but picked up something quickly and was off again in no time, whilst Rob and I took a little longer.


I'd started to cross with Rob at about 2200 when we both caught a corker at 3.5m/s on the averager and I swear I popped through the inversion briefly as it got cold very quickly and it was rather choppy. Still it saw me cross with enough height, and then after topping up along the way, it was a sinky glide to the river where more lift was to be had.


I eventually made 47km or so, but got pushed back to the southern mountains where I got to thermal over this beautiful small castle for ages. Unfortunately this was over three hours in and my GoPro extended battery had given up, so there's no footage of that.
The wind had by this time gone to about 3degrees and so I had to almost fly directly into it to make headway to my Avila goal, and as Steve thought I'd landed, he'd switched his radio off, so I was making my own decisions. I soon figured that any thermalling took me back to the castle, and so I just had to push through North without turning to make any headway. This of course saw me on the deck, but I was very satisfied with my 47km and 4 hours airtime. I was however a little unpopular as the others not only had to wait in the van whilst I flew, but then had to endure a rough track to come get me. I won't mention the Bob vomiting story (ops), but it was most amusing when he'd recovered.

Offline Mike Thomas

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Re: MikeT2014 Monday in Piedrahita
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2014, 22:57:18 PM »



I'm being lazy posting as the description is on you tube and I'm tired. I'll do Tuesdays video tomorrow if I get time, but I managed 4 hours and a 47km xc today. Low base at 2500m made it hard going. Still pumping though.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 09:37:17 AM by MikeT »

Offline Gron Jones

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Re: MikeT2014
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2014, 22:00:40 PM »
Blinking Heck Mike - LOTS of gliders sharing the space there!