Author Topic: Nick's Airtime 2016  (Read 6518 times)

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2016, 07:45:39 AM »
18/06/2016  Seven Sisters

A largely cloudy and overcast day with a good northerly breeze in the morning. Alas, this did not prevent the incursion of the seabreeze by mid afternoon.  Until then, I did manage a few nice climbs, one to 1300' a.t.o. but when the wind backed off to the southwest , it was game over ::).  Others on the hill :- Steve J on his new Sigma 9, Dave Stein and Viv.

The new key system worked well though.  Many thanks to our Sites Officer Gron for putting that in place :).


Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2016, 08:52:20 AM »
07/06/2016  Rhossili

A lovely Rhossili day!

Arrived mid-afternoon with Viv just as the seabreeze was kicking in.  There were quite a few pilots in the air and on the pimple, mostly from our club and SEW.  Launching at 15:30, the air was quite choppy low down but dead smooth higher up and for a couple of hours, there were oceans of lift for everyone but after 17:00, the wind did increase and in addition to the "white horses",  the sea took on that "streaky" look and some orographic cloud formed above the hilltop but thankfully not enough to intrude.

I landed back on the pimple at 17:15 and it was quite tricky to get down.  Soon after, the wind increased further, preventing the odd latecomer from launching.

A great day out and a reminder how stunningly beautiful Rhossili is  :)

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2016, 07:14:47 AM »
05/06/2016 Pandy

Well, the forecast did not turn out quite as expected.  On the journey up, there were wave clouds in the sky but these quickly disappeared to leave mainly blue sky and light winds and no sign of any overdevelopment ???

Arrived around midday to see a few gliders in the air and a launch queue on the takeoff area :o. All very orderly though(no pesky continentals pushing in here) ;D  Viv me and my tandem passenger were joined by Jon M,Dave Stein, Nick Winder and a host of SEW pilots.  The conditions became a bit light and many declined to launch hoping for better conditions as the afternoon progressed.  Better conditions did not materialise and the ridge run was not really feasible but there were some weak thermic bubbles to be found out in front of takeoff : nice for my tandem flight with passenger Dan - easy launch and bottom landing with some thermalling inbetween :)

A lovely day out  with some nice flying in the light conditions and plenty of banter on the hillside and at the pub afterwards.

Happy days  :)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 07:27:07 AM by Nick Roberts »

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2016, 22:15:36 PM »
03/06/2016  Heol  Senni

At last a decent flying day in South West Wales :D  I was not in a particular hurry to get to the hill after a recent series of wind blasted days and was pleasantly enthused to find the wind not too strong on the hill and plenty of the fluffy stuff up aloft.

I launched at around 14:00, shortly after Rhun  while Viv, Alan Ross and a  few others were still getting ready. We had discussed trying for a triangle of sorts as the seabreeze was already well on its way up the valleys.  Up in the air, the wind seemed to be a little off to the east  so I headed over to the slope past the quarry to seek out lift that would get me on my way.  This worked well and Rhun and me were soon heading for Fan G.  The wind seemed a bit brisk to attempt a triangle but seeing the seabreeze clouds over the lower Swansea Valley made it worth a try.  The crossing to Fan Hir was quite easy but the wind over that side seemed to be a little bit NNE and getting to the end of the ridge was very slow.  However, once there, there were some good climbs coming through.  I made one attempt to push upwind but  this did not work too well and I returned to the  ridge for another attempt, this time following a similar line to Rhun.  All went well for a while but just when  it seemed that we may fall short, we found lift over the westerly slopes rising from the Cray Reservoir :D

Back up at cloudbase, I booted it to a cloud above the ridgetop between Heol Senni and Fan G.  Unfortunately, by the time I got there, I only got the tail end of the thermal and had to try and glide  back to Heol Senni against quite a headwind.  I didn't quite make it back to the ridge but landed near the trig point which was enough to close a somewhat small FAI triangle but a triangle nonetheless and a very enjoyable flight :D Unfortunately, Rhun did not make it back too but greatly enjoyed the flight.

Back at the hilltop at 16:00, the conditions seemed really nice for a late afternoon flight so I relaunched and thermalled up in a gorgeously smooth thermal with Nick Winder in his flash new pod harness.  Reaching cloudbase, I decided to drift off downwind with a view to perhaps landing at the Ancient Briton for some refreshment but I kept finding lift so carried on towards home  but there was no beating the seabreeze.  I made it as far as the sportsfield at Ynysmeudwy for a comfortable touchdown and not too far from a bus stop. :D

Happy days :D
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 07:15:57 AM by Nick Roberts »

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2016, 08:40:34 AM »
28/05/2016 Bryncaws

Yesterday's BCC round at Pandy was cancelled due to the threat of afternoon showers and thunderstorms.  I was all kitted up and ready to go there with Steve B and the rest of the team when we received the update so we decided to go around to Bryncaws and try fro an early flight.  Steve and me were at the farm at 08:30( never been there at that hour before)!  The conditions were very murky to say the least but we waited a while for things to improve although any real brightening up would in all probability trigger huge cloud development and showers ::)

After some more parawaiting on the hilltop, we decided to give it a go just as Steve W and Mike T arrived to join us.  The breeze seemed ok albeit off to the east but we could happily stay aloft out in front of the northern end of the hill.  The flying was ok for an hour or so but we could sense the instability building and decided to land and pack up a little after 12:00.  It wasn't long before the clouds darkened and grew to a spectacular height(oh and ofcourse - the seabreeze arrived aswell) so good decision to land :D.

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2016, 07:49:58 AM »
27/05/2016 - Tal Y Bont

A grey morning but the afternoon sky did start to look rather good so decided that the only way to get away from the seabreeze would be to try T Y B!  However, I did fear that there maybe too much cloud development over the higher ground.

Arriving at 14:00 with Viv, there was a bit too much cloud but not too bad as the shade made the trek up from the carpark to the nearer easterly launch more agreeable.  The wind was a light easterly and when the sun broke through, there was some thermic activity.  Viv launched first and more or less immediately went up about 500' on her very nice looking  new Gin Atlas X-Alps.  Soon after I launched, the ground shaded over again but we managed to float around for a while  before gliding around to the landing area just up from the carpark.

A very pleasant afternoon in nice air(no seabreeze influence!) and a pint at the Red Cow Inn on the way home :D.

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2016, 19:41:29 PM »
23/05/2016 Rhiw Wen

The weather was a bit slow slow to clear but I went up with Viv in the afternoon just as the sky was clearing up.  Met up with Aaron and Anna Binks in the carpark and Tom G was in the air some way off to the east.  The wind seemed ok if a little bit to the north west so I popped the glider up to test the air.  Unfortunately, I launched into quite some strong wind with virtually no lift which was strange as the cloud overhead appeared to be barely moving :o  I only flew for around 25 minutes as the wind was simply too much ::).

On the plus side though, I was trying some new "fitover sunglasses" which fit neatly over my prescription Bi-focals and wow  what a difference :o.  The views were magnificent and I could read my instruments with somewhat greater clarity :D.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 19:42:21 PM by Nick Roberts »

Offline Jon Munro

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2016, 19:40:10 PM »
Nice one Nick :-) The problem I had was my leg and chest strap is all one thing and it had a big twist in it which made the glider and the harness behave and feel quite odd. I have never done that before and will never do it again! Very frustrating because that proved to be the last good cycle of the day but you live and learn I guess ...

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 10:13:59 AM »
14/05/2016 Hundred House

A great day out at the BCC with the club team of  Rhun, Steve W, Jon M and me. I travelled up with Rhun(many thanks) and we met the others at the 09:30 briefing in the campsite. Early cloud quickly burned off to leave glorious sunshine but lighter than expected winds made it a bit tricky to get up and away.  During the early afternoon, a few small gaggles(including Rhun) escaped at various intervals but conditions became somewhat quieter leaving a few of us "becalmed" on the hill ::).  However, any  thoughts that maybe I had left it too late were banished as  my patient waiting was eventually rewarded with a climbout in broken disorganised lift :D. I managed to climb to just over 5000' amsl  after leaving the hill along with two others and I spotted Steve W climbing up from the western edge of the ridge.  Unfortunately Jon who had been climbing out with us aswell had to return to land after realising he had a twisted legstrap.

The flight proved to be quite demanding.  The first part towards Brecon was quite slow in mainly blue conditions but it was good to see a few other gliders in the distance along with a few sailplanes one of which showed me a thermal just northeast of the town.  I then glided towards the lower shoulders of Pen Y Fan where I was thankful to still have some height to play with as I found some of the most turbulent conditions I have experienced for quite sometime.   Safely over the Beacons, I found a lovely climb over the open moorland and glided to Aberdare where I met some seabreeze convergence and headed east.  Strong lift over Merthyr saw me on full bar with big ears in to escape cloudsuck and stay below the 5500' airlane.  After that, I meandered along, staying upwind of the seabreeze convergence until I saw that I could make it to a line of nice looking convergence heading over the higher ground towards Newport.  Alas, the line dissipated away leaving me in a seabreeze headwind and I landed near Ystrad Mynach after 3hrs and 30 mins.  Distance with dog leg 71km :D

Found a bus-stop nearby that had a timetable on the wall - bus to Cardiff coming through in 20mins -sweet! Caught evening train back to Swansea.


Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2016, 19:36:31 PM »
06/05/2016 Abernant
Arrived with Viv at 11:30.  The wind was on the hill at 15-20mph but there were signs of wave in the sky.  We flew for while but conditions could best be described as rough!.  We then settled for a groundhandling session which I found more enjoyable than the actual flying(maybe I've been spoilt by the Spanish flying conditions in Algodonales) ;D .

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2016, 18:19:10 PM »
05/05/2016 Bryncaws

Arrived at 11:00 as intended.  The flags on the bypass were showing southeast as were the windmills on the far side of the Neath valley.  Alas, the wind on the hill was stubbornly SSE or south!  Shortly after midday, some smallish puffy cu's appeared and  thermic cycles were pulling the breeze onto the hill enough to tempt us into getting the gliders out.  I tested the air for around 20 minutes and found conditions to be disconcertingly unpleasant down low(wind sloshing along the face and mixing with thermals) and higher up, I had barely any groundspeed so I decided to slowly glide towards the bottom field and land. (I declined to topland in the gusty conditions!.   Better days are worth waiting for methinks.... :P   .  I think conditions would have been equally rough at Cwmafan with sea air mixing in.
Good to see a few others out on the hill  - Aidan, Chris W, Steve J, Alan R, Viv and a rare visit from Steve Parsons!

One plus point of the day though - the track up to the hilltop has been smoothed out and should be top drivable for standard cars this year providing one can get around the first bend where the cows seem to have deposited quite a bit of the slimy stuff!


« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 18:23:15 PM by Nick Roberts »

Offline Gron Jones

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2016, 10:09:59 AM »
Nick, and everyone, - Re : Fan G 10/3/16
I was glad to read your bit about being pleased with the new key procedure - thanks.  I feel it's an honest and reasonable one, which is also good for P.R.   I think I've managed to sort something out for future access to Seven Sisters ....  so watch this space.  By the way, I passed by Seven Sisters this week after a having a 2 night mini break at Craig y Nos Castle.  (I strongly recommend it as something very different and quirky - especially if you can have a Groupon deal as I did!)  Any way - I drove up the track to check on the gate to the site controlled by Natural Resources Wales, only to find it wide open.  I met a gentleman walking up the track and had a quick word with him.  He was on his way to the small drift mine which is up there somewhere - so there is some activity going on.  However, there was no sign of any tree harvesting at present.   


Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 19:23:42 PM »
11/02/2016 Cwmafan

Arrived just before midday to see a kestrel hovering over the field and facing the right way for flying so a good sign!  The cloud drift was coming from the southeast however so I figured that there was some sort of seabreeze interference going on.  The breeze seemed quite light and perhaps not good enough to soar across to the main hill given that a large swathe of the forest(the front of which helped us with dynamic lift) has  been felled. 

Viv and me decided on some grounhandling practice in the field but just as we got ready, the wind picked up and we launched into some somewhat punchy conditions.  The transition to the main hill was little problem and I was soon cranking into some small thermals and getting up to 1300 a.t.o and enjoying a good cruise around the valley.

All good practice :)

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 20:55:49 PM »
10/03/2016 - Fan G

A breezy day but I had opted to believe the forecast that said the wind would be light in the afternoon.  Arrived up at the big bowl with Viv to find the wind still a bit strong but still felt quite pleased as the new key procedure had worked well and we exchanged a cheery wave with some of the farmers as we drove up the track.  At the launch area, we were joined by Pete Lake and his walking poles that had helped him stomp up from the layby. 

Up in the air, the wind was quite brisk but manageable but although the sky looked great, the thermals were weak and not easy to use and we did not seem to get much more than around 1000' a.t.o.  The views and visibility were incredible(we could see Cadair Idris).  In fact,  I was enjoying the views so much that I failed to notice Pete wafting away over the back of the hill(he almost made it home to Ynys meudwy)!

Great to be out on the hill :)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 20:57:03 PM by Nick Roberts »

Offline Nick Roberts

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Re: Nick's Airtime 2016
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2016, 22:21:46 PM »
23/02/2016  Heol Senni

A gorgeous day but not much happening on the hill!  Arrived late a.m. with Nasher and Viv and met Des in the parking area. Steve Bain was already flying and the day looked quite promising.  However, the wind soon became intermittent and even the Red kites were not doing much climbing. We were joined by a newly qualified CP to make the number up to six on the hill. The drift started to back to north from mid afternoon so Steve and me launched and glided to the north end of the hill where we found the weakest of thermals and I managed to climb away with a few hundred feet and dribbled along to the Fan G layby - first XC of the season, well a mere taste but enjoyable nonetheless :D
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 22:39:01 PM by Nick Roberts »