Author Topic: Steve J's 2011 diary  (Read 17986 times)

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2011, 17:19:53 PM »
Mynydd Dinas   Thurs 20 Oct 211
Couldn't get out early enough to go to Merthyr, so plan B was MD. TO on arrival at 3pm and enjoyed an hour in the fading sunlight. Had the company of Buzzards and the police helicopter which was standing off over the town.
A pretty mediocre flight, max alt. 400' ato, noticeably colder on the hands than of late.
Chris probably had even colder hands as he managed to get  higher at Merthyr, and also added some extra Kms to his XC score for this year.

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2011, 19:49:36 PM »
Cwmafan    Sat.   15th Oct 11

Wind looked light from my house below the hill, but on taking a ride up to TO found Nick & Viv engaged in a spot of para-waiting. It dropped a tad after 30 mis or so, and Nick led the way at around 4pm.
Things were not too convincing at first; have done a few 'unintentional' top to bottoms here recently when the wind has been slightly off to the SE :(
Nick is soon above the tree-line and thermalling like mad. Time to TO :)
At this point Stuart and  ?? arrive and waste no time in getting airborne. Looking around I see Nick up high and floating away from the hill towards the cloud-street which has almost evaporated. At this point a kite and a buzzard join in the melle above TO.
Thermals are on the weak side, but sometimes punchy enough to get above the 1,000' ato mark in the watery autumn sunshine.
Land after an hour as the wind is getting lighter as the shadows grow longer.
Nick was the only XCer, getting to Bryncaws.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 20:10:08 PM by SteveJ »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2011, 21:00:03 PM »
Graig Fawr   29 Aug 11

TO with Rhun & Chris just after 13:00 hrs in cloudy skies. Thermals were weak and inconsistant, max ht gain 600' ato. After an hour Chris patiently worked his way up high and got away, leaving Rhun and myself  under the leaden sky. The wind was brisk at times, but dropped towards the end of the afternoon.
Well done to Chris for proving that an XC was possible on such a day.
Knocked it on the head after 1hr 45 mins as the sky was getting even darker. I guess we got to fly, but that was about it.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 21:57:20 PM by SteveJ »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2011, 16:39:05 PM »
Mynydd Dinas  Friday   5 Aug 11

Went to GF at midday, but it was a tad light and going W.
Nearly went to Merthyr with Chris, but the darker skies further inland made me give it a miss. The wind at the coast was also picking up.
Earned some brownie points by going for a walk with the misses in the afternoon; enough points to be chauffered 1/2 way up MD for an evening flight (and a retrieve post-flight). Spent 45 mins in overcast, yet light and lifty, conditions. It was possible to fly out over the Sandfields Estate, half-way to the sea front, and  still maintain quite some altitude. Nothing more than 600' ato during the whole flight..


Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2011, 20:29:58 PM »
Fan G.     Tues.  26 Jul 11

A late start as a friend was building me a wall. Got to the layby below Fan G to see that I was not the only one to have made it a late one. Viv, Chris, Nick & John N. were also late-comers
Had a lift up the track in John's monster truck (cheers John) and saw that Rhun had taken his Audi all the way up.
Arrived at TO to find conditions were light, with only cycles coming through every 10 mins. Ended up slope landing  and getting very sweaty; a typical Fan G day ;D Thank god for the spare T shirt.
At 4pm Nick caught the lift up to base and headed south.....rumur has it that he flew all the way to the coast at Southerndown. With nothing to do but look at Nick floating away, spent the next hour up and down in the still weak & intermittent lift. Then at 5pm I had my turn :) . Climbed initially to 1,000' ato, lost the lift, but caught another climb on the way back to the hill. This took me to 4,500' asl; a few hundred feet below the cloud.
From here the land was covered in cloud, but decided to try and link up to the Seven Sisters ridge, which has worked for me in the past.
Some weak lift over Colbren, but hit the deck just after Onllwyn for a tad over 10 kms. Total XC time 35 mins.
Nice views, but very cloudy. Waiting to see Nick's blog and his route away from the hill.
Thanks to Chris for picking me up.

Offline Gron Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2011, 09:40:02 AM »
It's "Da Iawn"  Steve, Not "Dai" - as in "Dai bach y soldiwr" in the song Sospan Fach!
Well DA IAWN for yesterday's flight - "Ardderchog" (= Excellent.)
I managed an evening trip in an Icarus C42 Microlight from a field in Cefneithin to Haverforewest and back last night, and today am going to give it a try to get to Dunkeswell in Devon.
Apart from that, it's been all work since a brilliant trip to Slovenia with SWWSC Paragliding trip a few weeks ago.  Great company, and great flying!

Offline John Nash (Nasher)

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2011, 07:26:10 AM »
I saw you over Pontardawe whilst I was eating my lunch at home - nice flight Steve, well done
Remember - It's only Flying!

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2011, 18:59:32 PM »
Graig Fawr    23 Jul 11

A last minute decision to go flying due to the strength of the wind; already breezy at P'Talbot by 10 am :( Thought that GF would be blown out, but worth a look on the way to Llandewi B. Met with Rhun at Llangyfelach and arrived at GF at midday just in time to meet the local farmer. Oh dear here we go I think to myself...... :| but thanks to Rhun's command of the welsh language all turns out well and we chat for nearly 20 mins or so. Da iawn, Rhun.  I also recall that I'm distantly related to the farmer, be it through an ancestor of 200 years past LOL.
Back to the flying....we TO at 12:45 and have a taste of what's happening. When a cloud passes the hill it becomes lifty (up to 5 ms) and after it passes we're scratching. After 2 cycles and 30 mins on the ridge, I make my break and follow the lift down wind. It pays off and I find myself just below CB at over 4,000' amsl. I stay high and chuckle to myself as I pass over all the ground sources which I usually head for when low. Above Alltwen I'm back into brilliant sunshine, but craving for lift having out flown the cloud; over 60 kms /hr at times. Losing altitude I scrape onto the ridge at Lletti Siac at around 13:45hrs, and connect with it below ridge height. I bide my time for 10 mins before a thermal comes through and I'm back up to 2,600' asl over Bryncaws. Below I see a large grey helicopter coming up the valley; I can only describe it as a Russian-looking, Cold War type with big weapon pylons on each side......Due to its menacing look I half-expected to see air-to-air missiles being launched at me.  It passes by harmlessly well below me. I see Cwmafan (home) and Aberafan beach within my grasp, but I  lose too much height crossing over the A465 and now wish I'd tracked towards Seven Sisters instead. Having reached the north-facing side of the Neath Valley I see a long ridge made for soaring near Gareth Ps house above the Ivy Tower, but alas there seems to be no lift and after a few short beats end up in a field below it.
Minutes after landing Rhun texts me to say that GF is blown out and he's on his way to retrieve me..... da iawn un waith eto, Rhun !
Looking at my tracklog it resembles a giant Z, good for making up distance  :) which turned out at 24.7 Kms
Total flying time: 1 hr 25 mins and max alt: 4,060' asl. Haven't done an XC since March, so it was good to see our countryside from high up again. Coincidentally, I landed only a few kms away from my landing spot in March !
Isn't the flight tracing tool on XC Player fab.
 
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 22:01:55 PM by SteveJ »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2011, 14:57:26 PM »
Mynydd Dinas   Sun 10 Jul 11

Having checked with the organisers of the Wales Air Show that there were no exit routes to the display around P'Talbot, headed for MD. Arrived at midday to a 12 mph sw'ly and joined in the circuit with the gulls and swifts.
 With a thermal strength of 4 ms at times, got to 1,000' ato were the 'whispy' stuff was forming and flew out towards the sea front on a number of occasions. Good views with plenty of sunshine to boot. Stayed aloft to get a bird's eye view of the start of the Air Display, then headed for home.
Nant y moel was looking dark & clagged-in from MD, though it did look as if it was lifting when I left.

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2011, 18:33:46 PM »
Builth/Tremaen      Tuesday   28 Jun 11

TO with Chris just B4 midday. Looked promising with plenty of cu clouds in the sky, but clouded over later. Managed 800' ato, Chris got to 1,400' ato. RASP was correct  :(
Wind was brisk at first, but became inconsistent later necessitating a few slope landings.
Had an hour's flying B4 heading for home.

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2011, 21:36:06 PM »
Mynydd Dinas   19 Jun 11

Could sense the wind dropping at about 6ish, so went for an evening flight at MD.
Enjoyed just over an hour thermalling with the gulls and buzzards B4 the wind dropped off completely at around 8ish.
Max alt. 600' ato.
The smoke from the Fforestfach tyre fire was a good wind direction indicator, not that Port Talbot is short of smoke stacks!

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2011, 16:28:06 PM »
Cwmafan    Tues  14 June 11

Arrived at the hill to find everyone really high. Launched just after Chris to find that the pilots up in the heavens were untouchable. After half an hour everyone was at about the 800' ato level, bar for Idris who was disappearing into the clouds. Chris later made his move in the strongest thermal of the day and was last seen below the horizon near Bryncaws.
From midday onwards the breeze picked up which resulted in much gale-hanging.  After 90 mins of flying and only breaking above the 1,000, ato mark on one occasion decided to call it a day.
Got caught out on landing as there was a change in wind direction just above TO ie the C breeze flowing 90 degrees to the prevailing wind aloft. Nothing more serious than a smattering of cow dung and grass on one's flying suit. Anyone that you can walk away from.....as they say.

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2011, 16:59:18 PM »
Ferryside  Sat   11 June 11

Time for my monthly paragliding outing; can't believe that I've flown so little in the last few months; flew more regularly in the winter prior to my Oz trip !
Got to Ferryside to see squally showers to the north and bright sunshine to the S. TO at about 1ish and soared for about 15 mins before I noticed a sqaull line heading my way. Thinking it would skirt around and up the Towy estuary I flew on. Only to be caught out in its blustery winds which necessitated a rapid descent to the fast disappearing beach (tide on its way in). Walked back up to TO where the sun had come out again, but all was be-calmed. Waited for an hour in the lovely sunshine B4 heading home.
Checked XC weather which confirmed the light winds after 2 pm, but it is currently 20 mph ! mmmm.
Might try MD this evening if the wind drops a tad.

Offline Norris Sheldon

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2011, 11:51:20 AM »
Nice one Steve, can't believe you've not flown for nearly a month. :( I have logged 90hrs this year so far! Being retired does help mind. :D Stuart and I got to Abertysswg too!! We got to base over Fochriw and then left just as the whole area went into shadow, we didn't find any more lift till we got to Abertysswg ridge where we found some birds circling. Unfortunately they were telling fibs and we were only able to maintain our height, rather than gain any. Eventually we landed and I phoned Jen to tell her where we were. The most Honourable Mr. Cooke came and collected us so we did not have to do any walking, even through out-back villages. I am sure the people in Abertysswg would like being described thus! We later went to Merthyr and had some good flying in quite strong conditions. I was flying my new (to me) Mantra M2 and loving it!! Off down to Cornwall next week to do my HG power conversion, may even fly in the Nats if I can arrange it in time!
The bird of time has but a little way to flutter..............and Lo, the bird is on the wing.

Skype name is norris411

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Steve J's 2011 diary
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2011, 21:41:24 PM »
Merthyr       Thurs.  19th May 2011
Can't believe its been nearly a whole month since I last flew.
Went to Merthyr with Chris where we met up with SG,GL,NW & Barrie. Wind was light till 2pm, then it started to work. A few including Chris, made good height early, but it wasn't long before myself and others got hoovered up to the 2,000 ATO mark. From here I decided to go XC, climbing at every opportunity. Didn't get much higher and became stuck after 6 kms. Made for the nearest ridge, south of Abertwsswg, but could only find weak lift above the forestry plantation.
Landed after 30 mins at the side of the mountain road (near the Abertwswg flying site) hoping to get a hitch back to civilization, but only counted 2 cars in 30 mins. Contemplated unpacking my wing and flying down to the village, but walked the scenic route down and visited another out-back village in South Wales which you wouldn't normally pass through.
Just missed the last bus to Asda's car park Merthyr, were I'd parked the car, but got picked up by Chris a few minutes later.
Got back to TO at Merthyr at about 6pm to pick up Chris's car, finding conditions almost blown out.
 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 21:45:20 PM by SteveJ »