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Nick's Airtime '09

I can vouch for the fact that Nick was above a grand over the sea, I sent him a picture I had taken and he may publish it to show all the disbelievers. I was looking for the rope that was pulling him up but couldn't see it. He also didn't say that he caught two fish, he gave me one which I enjoyed very much. I may buy a fishing rod and ask him for lessons!!

The bird of time has but a little way to flutter..............and Lo, the bird is on the wing.

Skype name is norris411

Fan G SW today promised much but delivered very little.  Any cumuli  upwind seemed to diverge in front of us(they never looked much cop anyway!)  The wind was simply too strong and gusty.  A few of us launched but flew for only 10 minutes as it was pretty horrid!  There followed a full shift of parawaiting. Andy H tried again at around 16:30 as it seemed to be easing but up in the air it was just as bad.  The big guns had come over from Mid Wales for an XC(Elan Valley closed for stock settlement) but they never took off.  Maybe the sea air had come in early - it certainly felt like it in the air!  Not a good shout in the box from me I'm afraid!  :roll:

Thanks to Dave and Idris for the video - a great day over the Welsh Countryside!

Sunday 14/06  - Nant Y Moel (ahem - shouldv'e been here yesterday too!).  Anyway, got there early to find a model aircraft competition taking place and this together with concern that the wind may veer to the west saw us deliberating on whether to decamp to Merthyr but then Ivor turned up and marched over to the takeoff area for some groundhandling and promptly took off! - Hats Off to the guy and great to see him back on the hill.

  A few others took off followed by Andy, Viv and myself.  Conditions were pretty choppy and I decided to go over the back at the first opportunity which was not long in coming after a series of broken climbs saw me at 3000' and drifting away.
Patience was required at the back of the next valley to get high enough for the transition to Mountain Ash and then to the south end of the Merthyr ridge.  Minced around here for a while at height waiting for the sky to open up behind(there was rather too much cloud).  Eventually glided off towards the south end of Abertysswg
where I thought I was going to get up but didn't quite and got stuck for a good while eventually getting a climbout  to the north of the quarry.  From here, I had an easy ride along the sunny edge of a large cloudmass past Blaenavon and out into the flatlands towards Usk(I could hear Norris and Pete on the radio having a good time somewhere - Merthyr maybe?).  I wanted to head more to the northeast but felt compelled to follow an active cloudline skirting around a large blue hole, a tactic that worked well for a while before running out of steam leaving me with a final glide to a farm just short of Monmouth.
My longest U.K. flight of the year so far in distance and duration( 63.8km in 3hrs 55mins)
Very satisfying indeed!  :-D

Many thanks to Viv for the retrieve(we picked up Andy on the way back too!)
A great day - let's be 'avin some more!

15/06/09 - Rhossili for an evening flight - light conditions but a nice mellow flight in the evening sun with enormous cu-nims inland to the north - the Gower Microclimate shines through!  Good to see Paul Hyde out on the hill.  A pint of Worms Head Ale  with Paul ,Stevie G and Viv out on the balcony later in the setting sun - there's no better place to be!  8-)

16/06/09 - Nant y Moel - Arrived mid afternoon after work to find sea air had infiltrated which was strong and off to the south so parawaited for a while with Andy, Viv and a few SEW regulars.  The wind dropped to light for a while but then picked up again.  A short flight confirmed that the wind was still off the hill high up too!

After some more parawaiting and deliberating whether to pack up and go to Cwmafan, lo and behold,the famous Nanty restitution came on just as a steady stream of evening flyers turned up and everybody had a good flyabout including a group of Paraventure students - a good social fly!  :-D

Llanddewi Brefi - Headed out west today - First stop at Nick Winder's place in Llansadwrn where I help Nick to repack and fit his reserve into his new harness and then after some skywatching and a ring around, we headed over to Llanddewi
Brefi and hoped for the best.  On arrival, we found  very little wind and a few spots of drizzle but we were too far away to try anywhere else so we sat in the field and ate lunch.  A while later, local pilots John and Alex turned up, a little breeze came on which was enough for a prolongued groundhandling session(good for Nick and his new secondhand Epsilon 5). 

A while later, Dave Birch arrived and by then, there was enough wind to launch and buzzards and Red Kites pointed the way to some weak thermals which were usable and after a short while, I found myself at 1200' a.t.o. in completely overcast conditions!

A while later still, the lift had died away and we toplanded quite pleased with our little bonus, then the wind came on again at around 17:00 and we all launched into buoyant conditions climbing up to the cloudbase which had lowered to 2000' !
It was a good waftabout until about 18:00 when the lift finally died away and we packed up.

So... no sun for our Summer Solstice Flight but nice flying nonetheless at this splendid flying site!  :-D

Abernant - Arrived late afternoon to find Viv, Gerry and Francois up on the takeoff.  They had just landed and it seemed rather strong to me.  We sat around for a while and conditions seemed to mellow after 17:00.  At 17:30, I could see some seagulls going up so I launched and found myself in a nice thermal straightaway which turned into cracking climb almost to cloudbase at 4800' a.m.s.l.

I'm sure I could have made a nice XC but Gerry and Francois had packed up and gone and I was reluctant to leave Viv flying alone on the hill so I flew a small triangle  which might have been bigger but for a large area of cloud spreadout that  put everything in the shade but I made it back to the hill to soar for a while.


Fan G - The weather brightened during the afternoon and the Met Office said light southwesterly so I headed up to Fan G with Viv and met  up with Nick Winder in the layby.  The cloud drift was SSE so not good but we went up for a look anyway.  The wind was light on top but some thermic cycles were coming up the southwest face so we decided to give it a go.  Launching at 17:30 the air was quite smooth which made a nice change to what we have experienced here of late.
One climb took me to 600'a.t.o. but apart from that it was just a mellow evening fly.    :-)

Bryncaws - 28/06/09

I wasn't sure about the weather yesterday but people and pilots  seemed to congregate at Bryncaws in the afternoon so I thought I'd better join them.
Arrived at around 13:00 to see a few in the air but the sky didn't look too promising.  By the time I'd launched, most seemed to have landed for a natter.  I soon found out why - it was pretty bumpy with the wind increasing and decreasing and flicking between southeast and south.  I didn't fly for long and with gloom and rain moving in from the southeast during the latter half of the afternoon,it was time to pack away.  Chris went XC though...trying to get to better looking sky further north........don't worry Chris -Tal y bont wasn't much kop either by the sound of it!

Went to Nant y Moel early.  Only James, Mark, Jeremy and a few others there.  Got up to cloudbase at 3500' quite quickly in rather ratty conditions and decided to go over the back.  There wasn't much sun downwind so I decided to soar along the valley above Treorchy and wait for conditions to improve and give me a decent climb.  I flew back and fore for an hour in small broken thermals but all the while, the wind was getting a bit strong and I could see that pilots back at Nanty had all landed.  I had also been picking up conversations on the radio from Norris and co flying at Merthyr and I heard someone reporting 27mph on the ground and I thought "hmmm......maybe I'll go and land..and fly another day"

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