Author Topic: Steve Watkins Flying Diary  (Read 15544 times)

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2007, 19:19:05 PM »
21/10/07 - Talybont SW

Couldn't get away until 3pm so arrived on top of Talybont at 4:30pm. Seemed to be plenty of wind available and there were at least 8 in the air soaring. Within 10 minutes of arriving at the top, the wind dropped from a constant 15mph to irregular 5mph. What  a bummer! Those that were soaring decided to land over the brook whilst I was left with 3 scratching. Left it a good while to see if it would pick up. Sun had gone behind high cloud which I think shut everything off.

Managed a top to bottom after eventually getting the wing to stay above my head and landed a good way over the brook.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2007, 22:29:16 PM »
4/10/07 - Hay Bluff

Couldn't get away from work today but managed to squeeze an hour in with Gaz at the Bluff after work. Arrived on top about 5:30pm. Conditions 12-14mph, very smooth but not much thermic activity. Enjoyed a stunning sunset! 1 Hour.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2007, 21:28:08 PM »
15/9/07 - Talybont

After watching two red paragliders thermalling before lunch through my binoculars, a call from Gareth didn't take much for me to jump in the car with him and head up. After a knackering gruesome tiring walk up, wind was cold and quite strong 22mph with gusts of 27mph. Good to see Nick and Ifor as well. Setup my new sports cam today and did some helmet filming although good quality, not very good scenes so not worth sharing.

Anyways, I can never remember during training how to get a sheep out of your wing  :-o

On launch, conditions were crap and my wing was pitching a good one. It had only just turned like this as Gareth had enjoyed some time in smooth air and was indicating it was smooth. Decided to land over the brook and all was going well, I landed, let the wing drop and a bunch of sheep charged me and my wing and one got caught in the risers and was running around me in circles. I managed to stop him after he ended up like a shish kebab, wrapped in my wing, and called Ifor for help where we managed to untangle the smelly animal.

Time in the air about 10 minutes of non-enjoyable air.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2007, 22:34:40 PM »
4/9/07 - Hay Bluff

It was a pleasant suprise when Gaz phoned me after a 3 hour meeting in work to say he had spotted 27 gliders flying the bluff! Shooting up after work, conditions were excellent, wind smooth and the speed perfect. Some thermals coming through but mainly dynamic lift. Very pleasing smooth flight for a change to add 90mins onto my total.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2007, 22:41:01 PM »
3/9/07 - Tremaen Builth

After seeing 3 paragliders fly over Talgarth today towards the Bluff, and sailplanes enjoying the thermals, decided to head to Builth seeing as it was a NW.

On arrival with Gareth Davies, conditions were fairly brisk with lots of cloud forming in front and over the hill and thermals coming through quite strong. A short wait and it died down to conditions safe to fly in.

I setup my camera with a 2gb SD card and set it on video mode, left it hanging around my neck and when I launched, the bloody thing was loose and I couldnt get a good position. Anyway, conditions were thermic and flew for about 20mins before deciding to land as I wasn't entirely enjoying conditions. The wind picked up again with the presence of a huge dark cloud above us and after another wait, it dropped enough again to launch into sunset (8:30pm!!). Bloody had a twist in my riser but it performed well with it, but landed anyway as it was cold.

The quality of the camera video was excellent, depsite the crap angles, and when I get time I'm going to work out how to fix it to my flight deck. I can get about 30 mins of video on a 2gb card which seems as good/better quality than some of the helmet cams I have seen recently.

Total airtime 25 mins.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2007, 11:24:55 AM »
1/9/08 - Rhossili

Although technically not flying, a couple of hours of ground handling on Rhossili beach with Mike Fazakerley gave me satisifaction in helping Mike get back into his harness (about time too!) and finishing off with a pint whilst watching the sea rescue helicopter hovering the cliffs on exercise.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2007, 20:35:53 PM »
27/8/07 -Builth Tremaen

Headed for the hill early seeing as skies and forecast looked good. On arrival wind was brisk but flyable. Decided to hand on about an hour and the wind dropped to a tidy speed. Unfortunately the sky decided to over develop blocking out much of anything decent although there was the odd thermals coming through but managed about 700ft ATO.  Lots of ground handling today as well. Had another assymetric tuck which sorted out quickly. Total 3 flights  - 3hours.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2007, 19:56:52 PM »
26/8/07 - Heol Senni

Arrived on top at about 5:30pm to meet  Gareth, Ifor, Simon  and another person (sorry didn't recognise you!). Light thermals coming through but not enough to stay up. Quite frustrating as I had been watching them fly in thermals earlier and reaching  good heights. Waited and waited for nothing to come and top to bottomed .
« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 20:36:18 PM by Steve Watkins »

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2007, 22:24:42 PM »
23/8/07 - Tremaen Builth

Arrived at Tremaen Builth for about 5:30pm with Gaz. Wind coming on lovely so launched and enjoyed some soaring for about 1 hour. A few others joined us later including Ifor.

Landed when things dropped and took the opportunity to ground handle in light conditions. Have mastered maxturners tip of raising the wing with holding the risers and it works very well cheers m8 ;)

Anyway sun came back out kicked some restitution off and lauched again enjoying some more flying until I hit some sink and couldnt recover and decided to bottom land. Total about 1.5 hours.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2007, 16:54:47 PM »
9/8/07 - Builth Tremaen

booked 1/2 day with Gaz and headed for Tremaen. Plenty of good looking clouds but not much wind. Anyway, arrived to see many others launching into thermals and eventually they caught a huge one and hit cloudbase, all flying into the distance with me left on my own :(

Thermals were more consistent and I launched and hit the biggest thermal I have ever experienced, the vario going off the scale both ends, sucked and up and chucked out like a rag doll. In fact, a thermals punched into the side of me and the wing veered off to the side and below me, causing me to take a short dive until I recovered. Not the nicest of conditions I thought and decided to land and pack up. Approx 15 mins in total of thermic chaos.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 16:50:36 PM »
8/8/07 - Builth Tremaen

On arrival after work wind was quite strong at 25mph. After an hour it eased off to a safe launch. Enjoyed 1.5 hours of smooth conditions with thermals working out in the valley. Flew to sunset.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2007, 23:04:12 PM »
2/8/07 - Builth

Launched at Tremaen, Builth at approx 6:45pm into 15-18mph Northerly wind. Enjoyed some excellent thermic flying, reaching 600ft ato. Smooth conditions allowed me to practice top landings (4), big ears, assymetric tucks and 360 turns. Flying with Gareth Davies and two other pilots. 2 hours.

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2007, 16:41:35 PM »
31/7/07 - HayBluff

Arrived on top about 6pm with Gareth Davies. A few already in the air, despite the wind coming through about 15-20mph, although they seemed to be penetrating ok. Some distant signs of smoke rising indicated to use the wind was dopping so on the next cycle we launched. Its the worse launch I have ever had, say no more! Anyway, enjoyed some very thermic conditions reaching approx 650ft ato. Conditions mellowed after about an hour and we enjoyed some excellent flying conditions alongside Gareth, Maxturner and others. Tim Johns impressing us with his spiral dives. Enjoyed the 2 1/2hrs! :)

Well done to Gaz for being the only pilot to cross to the "knob" and enjoy a mega ridge run down towards abergavenny.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 20:29:32 PM by Steve Watkins »

Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2007, 22:17:19 PM »
18/7/07 - Fochriw.

Headed to Fochriw with Gareth Davies seeing as clouds were looking better late afternoon and wind was dropping. Arrived to see 3 in the air and about another 6 getting ready for launch.

Considering my gap of 6 weeks from flying last my launch was very pleasing and conditions were very good. Managed to gain about 600ft ato and flying time of about 2 1/2 hours including 4 top landings and some ground handling.

This is probably the busiest I have flown in in such a small area, at one point there were 10 of us airborne in the small ridge including some red streamers. Drove away with a huge smile on my face and a reminder about the good things in life!


Offline Steve Watkins

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Re: Steve Watkins Flying Diary
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2007, 20:18:52 PM »
6/6/07 - Pandy

Decided to take a look at Pandy, with Simon and Gareth. Wind was NNE, not ideal but flyable. Launched from upper takeoff about 8pm winds approx 15-18mph. Conditions were very smooth, but due to the wind being off slightly, difficult at times penetrating around the nibs. Hit a few areas of sink and struggled around one area trying to find any type of lift! Anyway pursued on and once half way found some great lift. Kept heading around keeping away from ridge, plenty of lift in the valley in places. Didn't quite reach Firs Farm as I felt some rotor when pushing into the bowl. I passed Gareth on the way down who had already been down the ridge and back and Simon who was enjoying the sunset flying. Quite a challenging run and to be honest pushed my mental thoughts to a maximum as I was on my own (meaning I wasn't using Gareth as a marker) - Max ato 400ft. Time in air 1 hour.

18.2km total (3 turnpoints)