Author Topic: SteveJ's flying diary  (Read 2120 times)

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2015, 19:06:04 PM »
Lletti Siac    Saturday 15 Aug 15


A bit overcast, but the breeze was flyable at around midday when I arrived. Cloudbase was approx 3,000'amsl ie Pen-y-fan in the distance was capped by cloud. Reached just over 1k' ato and had a pleasant boat around in the thermals for just over an hour; got my two quids worth, lol. Fairly cold aswell, very autumnal.

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 10:33:53 AM »
NYM  Saturday  8 Aug 15


Arrived on the hill at midday. Many pilots para-waiting for a dummy to TO in the light conditions. Someone eventually obliged, and there was a melee to take to the air. Conditions were very similar to last Saturday in that altitude gains were very hard to come by and staying aloft was no guarantee; in short, very up-n-downy. After an hour or so some pilots left the hill in small gaggles at fairly low altitude in the 'blue' sky.
Jon M and I, probably the last to leave at around 2.30 ish at just about over 1 grand.
Over Tonpentre at the back of the hill I stopped to top-up height on sighting the Penrhys turbines, while Jon sailed onwards and upwards.
Still relatively low I tracked north above Treorchi and waited above the ridge there for the next convincing thermal. Meanwhile in the corner of my eye I spotted Jon, almost purposely, landing on a playing field at Ferndale. My thermal came, but only enabled me to hop across to the steep Maerdy ridge, which I vowed I'd never, ever, get stuck on again. Though steep, it never seems to produce any great lift :( Drifting back slightly, the forestry behind the ridge produced what seemed like a corker of a thermal, so decided to leave with it......only to be dumped a short while later over a rather concerning stretch of pine trees. Thankful to reach the open mountainside between Cwmaman and Aberdare, I was forced to land. Meanwhile Chris & Stu were down at Aberdare, a few kms ahead, and about to order a cab. The next 20 mins were an up-hill route march against the clock to get to the mountain road (and get a lift in Chris's cab) with a 25 kg glider on my back :( Much sweating, sweating, sweating.......
A rather long blog for such a short distance, lol. 11 kms (including the turn points !) on a 1hr flight. Max alt. never more than 1,300' ato (3,000' amsl).  A low-level ridge-hopping flight under a blue sky. Total air time for the day 2hrs.
Good to see Rob & Alan (the Club's Bridgend contingent) on the hill.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 11:10:56 AM by Steve Jones »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2015, 16:56:43 PM »
NYM  Friday 31 Jul 15
Arrived at 1pm-ish in time to see the wind become soarable and Steve P (?) leaving the N end of the hill.
With the wind more SSW, and after saying 'hello' to Chris & Stu, not having seen either for far too long, TO and headed for the gully area at the southern end and beyond. The limestone quarry here seemed to produce the thermal which took me to 1,600'ato, but as I was reaching the cloud which was hoovering it up, it decayed before my eyes :(  . Fearing another bomb-out on the ridge above Treorchi, I was back down at ridge height like the proverbial stone.
Landed in one of the many lulls at the far southern end, only to watch a gaggle of 4 pilots gaining height at the northern end. Launched, but missed the show. The afternoon followed with a  series launches and landings before it increased significantly by 4ish. Quite a few pilots and students on the hill, many content to para-wait and chat; even when conditions were fine.
Well done to Chris and Stu who landed near Talgarth at 4ish. Great come-back flight, Chris.


Anyone have an up-date on the Club's copy of the key to the gate at NYM ? It will surely save a lot of sweating. Though not one of 'our' sites, we do fly it a lot. See also my post re. parking at NYM, on the forums re. this site 31 Jul 15.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 19:03:12 PM by Steve Jones »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2015, 10:16:23 AM »
Nice one, Rhun. Seems as if you had more patience than I. You should have pushed-on, it doesn't get dark until 9.30pm, lol.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 10:20:11 AM by Steve Jones »

Offline Rhun Llwyd

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2015, 21:58:29 PM »
made it to 4000' and base just after you left! decided to land at Fochriw before someone there went XC themselves.

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2015, 19:01:31 PM »
Merthyr  Thurs. 9 Jul 15.


Arrived at midday to what seemed an empty hill, with a few wings on the ground at Fochriw. Wind was on the hill but brisk. Launched and found that after gaining some alt. there was a school on the northern end.
Spent 30 mins in 'boisterous' conditions gaining no more than 300'ato. Managed to scoop up a kestrel, it was so up n down. The thermals seemed to be sheared by the breeze :(
With a range of between 8 to 18 mph, it was hard work staying aloft, hence the limited 30 min flight-time. Thought the air would stabalise a bit, but an hour or so later, Rhun was treated to the same conditions. Great sky, but alas no-one seemed to be able to break the 500' ato mark.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 10:17:27 AM by Steve Jones »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2015, 16:17:06 PM »
Nant y Moel. Mon.  29 Jun 15.


Rasp forecast looked good. Arrived with Dave S at the padlocked gate in time to meet Shaun (SEW) who had a key[size=78%]. [/size]Passed a trail of sweaty PG pilots walking up and launched at around 13:00hrs. The air was best described as 'choppy' with 5m/s ups and as many downs. Endured the yo-yo action for an hour before concluding that it was hard work. Despite getting to 1,300' ato at one point, the thermals were broken and hard to stay in for any time. Not to mention the almost free-falling sensation, over the forestry, of falling out of the lift. 
Spent the last 20 mins in the air watching  Nick patiently climbing on the southern end of the ridge and being rewarded with some super height gain. Initially heading some distance up-wind, before disappearing 'over the back'. His blog should be an interesting read. Seemed as if you were sitting on top of the turbines, Nick, lol[size=78%]. [/size]
After an hour most of the dozen or so pilots landed and took stock of the conditions. Myself, I'd had my 'fix' so headed home at 15:00hrs contented. Maybe MD later tonight.

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2015, 20:08:11 PM »
Cwmafan.  Thurs.  25 Jun 15


From my home I could see that the Foel was still clagged in at 10am, but by 11 it had started to lift and the sky brightened up. Arrived with Dave S. to light conditions and launched at midday. Hardly any lift along the edge of the pine plantation until the last few 100 yards which took me safely over the trees and later up to the 2,600' amsl cloud base. Avoided going into the 'white room' and enjoyed an hour in the thermic air above the village in brilliant sunshine. Commiserations to Dave who missed getting that vital lift over the tree-line and bombed out  :( ......It nearly happened to me on the first beat, Dave. You were just unlucky. [size=78%] [/size]
[/size]The wind was on the hill most of the time, unfortunately when this occurs the fumes from the power station stack at Tata steel drifts up the Afan Valley. Thankfully it stayed on the southern side of the valley, so no need to fly with a carbon monoxide detector and respirator ! At around 1pm the gentle breeze died and I got caught on the far side of the tree line (a long way from TO) with hardly a breathe of wind. Just about scraped along at tree top height to the top of the hill and landed a few yards from the launch field. Despite a spot of para-waiting, in which time Nick & Viv arrived, the wind never really regained any strength and veered SW as the C-breeze took hold. Wish I'd taken my camera aloft to capture the great views.[size=78%]

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2015, 16:05:19 PM »
Seven Sisters   Sun   7 Jun 15

Arrived at the barrier which was wide open at 11am with Dave S. Drove up the track with Ben and Andy to find Rob and Phil C already at launch. Phil C having walked up :-[ Good to see you back in the UK Phil. Conditions were soarable from the word go, so wasted no time in launching. Spent about 30 mins being sucked up to various altitudes along the 2kms of the ridge before I connected with a thermal that seemed consistant; only a few feet from landing actually. Climbed it all the way to its whispy source at 5,200' amsl. Stayed under its lift for about 20 mins before my fingers froze-up and I tried flying crosswind towards Rhigos as the drift up high was towards the coast, NNE. Then came my downfall, I fell into the sinky air and landed on a windless hillside outside Glyncorrwg; at least my Scotch eggs were well chilled, lol. Two hitched lifts in the Afan Valley and a bit of walking saw me arrive home before my car and write this blog. Ah well, I guess 10kms (straight line) is an improvement on last week's effort from NYM.
Airtime 1hr 10 mins. Think I'll bring my winter gloves out of storage for my next flight.

Good to see the new Club members getting some quality airtime and experience in thermic conditions. Seven Sisters is a wonderful site and it certainly lived up to that today.
We noted that on our arrival the NRW barrier was wide open and stayed that way all day. Hope we don't get blamed for leaving it open :(




[size=78%]   [/size]
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 18:51:32 PM by Steve Jones »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2015, 22:08:16 PM »
Mynydd Dinas  Wed 3 Jun 15


The wind still looked strong at 6pm, but prompted by Dave S & Steve T. we had a look at MD. I was convinced it would be too strong and die to nothing within a short space of time as evening progressed, but on arrival it was soarable on the hill. Launched and played about in some buoyant thermals up to 500' ato for about 50 mins before the daylight faded and some-one switched the big fan off at 9pm :)




Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2015, 20:49:22 PM »
Nant y Moel  Sat 30 May 15


A SW'ly forecast so went to NYM. Arrived at 11ish, a tad earlier than usual, as the wind was  meant to increase through the afternoon. Arrived to find a model aircraft comp in progress (no mention on the SEW site :(  ), but luckily they were at the far southern end of the ridge beyond the gully. Drove up via the unlocked gate and after a bit of liaising with the comp marshal, Dave S and I took off in the soarable breeze, flew for 15 mins before having to land as it eased too much. 10 mins later it became soarable again and so began another session. Climbing to 1,800' ato and unable to make it back to TO due to the increase in the breeze, headed downwind over Treorchi, only to get stumped on the next ridge between the two wind farms; a common hurdle, lol. The breeze dropped to zero, again, and gravity took over. Walked down to Treorchi, a latte and then hitched back to TO, by which time the increase in the breeze had become permenantly unflyable. Disappointed at the 4km 'bunny hop', similar to last week's at Fan G, feel as if I've lost the 'nack' of XC flying, and enjoying the post-flight adventure more.
Total flying time 1hr . thermals @5 m/s in the best climb.
On the way back Dave and I saw a rock band performing in the middle of the common opposite the Cwmparc site; check out  Dave's pics on the 'home' page gallery. Bizzare !


Some notes re. access to NYM:
1.Be aware of cunning sheep who wait for you to open the gate and then make a bolt for it while you get the car through !
2.There are two locks on the gate, each one capable of opening the gate; one NRW, the other lock a private one. No mention on the protocol re the site on the SEW website ie walk up, or take car.
3.No notice of the model plane comp either.......has anybody any idea of the present rules applying to the site ?? @Nick, saw your post on the SEW site, but still no reply to it 24hrs later.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 21:18:51 PM by Steve Jones »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2015, 19:25:40 PM »
Fan G   Sat  23 May 15


Arrived at TO just after midday with Dave S. Expected the nil wind conditions, with a possible window later . The forecast did what it said on the tin; after a few very short thermic flts, sweaty slope landings, and lots of sunbathing and book reading :)  the wind became soarable at  <4pm>. Got hoovered up in a 5 m/s core to 4,500' amsl in a matter of minutes, but looking downwind the cloud street terminated in a very dark area with decaying clouds everywhere. Staying on the sunny side of the ground meant heading crosswind towards Penwyllt quarries which sometimes works well. On this occasion it didn't :( and I landed after a 20 min dog-leg (or half a triangle, lol).
The conditions seemed to change rapidly post- 4ish, after walking back up to the Fan G track from Penwyllt, the wind had gone SW and increased considerably and though the sky to the NW looked good, behind Fan G was very dark with all the clouds in a state of decay.
Max flying time only 30 mins, but I guess we got to fly. The air was typical unstable spring stuff that kept you on your toes.

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2015, 15:56:28 PM »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2015, 13:13:38 PM »
Cwmafan. Thurs. 23 Apr 15
Breezy all day, but after checking the forecasts saw a small window of opportunity at around 5pm, when the breeze would drop and veer more S'ly for an hour or so. It did and the reward came with over an hour's airtime, sometimes watching the' misses' below cleaning her car on our driveway from just over a grand ato. Joined at 6ish by Andy Brazier. At 7ish the show shut down, as it usually does in the evening. An unexpected evening boat around. Apologies for not notifying anyone that it became flyable  :-[ , I just couldn't top-land dueto the rather 'bouncy' conditions[size=78%].[/size]
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 17:50:08 PM by Steve Jones »

Offline Steve Jones

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SteveJ's flying diary
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2015, 13:03:04 PM »
Pandy. Mon 20 apr 15


Arrived on the hill with Nick and Dave S at around midday to a strong E'ly breeze. With a handful of pilots gale-hanging decided to wait it out.......for 4 hours !, though Nick couldn't resist and launched almost immediately. Then at 4 pm arousing from a good para-waiting nap, decided to give it a go. Dave joined me a short while later and a good hour plus was spent boating around in the evening spring sunshine with thermic activity very much still alive, even way out in front of the hill over the ploughed fields. Max height for me was just over the grand ato mark with great views of the boarderlands. Dave out-did me height-wise by reaching over 2 grand - well done Dave. Worth the wait on what was, for me, my first flight of the year.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 17:46:08 PM by Steve Jones »