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Nick's Airtime 2017

01/09/2017 - Seven Sisters

Arrived on launch at midday.  The wind seemed ok so I took off to test the air for Ben and Glyn who were not "current".  Conditions were a bit "choppy" at times and the cloud formations were a bit messy but I could soar along the full length of the site maintaining a good deal of height and did manage one climb to 3500' amsl.  I returned to the launch area after a 45 minute flight to report back on conditions and found it far from easy to get down(aah- wind picking up)!  I had hoped that the wind would settle down a bit as it backed from NNW to NW but it  quickly  increased to  well beyond my comfort zone :o .  We sat it out until 17:00 before throwing in the towel just as Dave Stein was arriving(thanks to Dave for the lift back down the hill). 

A bit of flying followed by a good dollop of "parawaiting".  It was quite comfy bedded down in the long grass but I was getting a bit cold as the sun lowered........ ;D


02/09/2017 - Nant Y Moel

Arrived late morning with Steve J just as the breeze started to kick in.  The sky had looked quite nice but the cloud was already rolling in from the southwest to make conditions mainly overcast.  Thinking that the day may go downhill, we made ready to launch and join the few already up in the air.

After a cold night, the air was quite unstable and the conditions were quite "up and down" at first but soon became easily soarable with the help of a little more breeze which was ideal for the large number of pilots present( lots from our club and SEW plus schools Pembrokeshire Paragliding and Axis).
As the afternoon progressed, the low level cloud dispersed a bit and conditions did  improve but milky mid level cloud had moved in  ahead of the approaching weather front .  A few pilots were getting up to around 1000' ato and signs were that it was becoming quite lifty out in the valley and I managed to time a glide upwind just as a few small cu's formed at a little over 3000' amsl.  From there, I made a glide west into  the Garw valley and flew  back up towards the valley head to climb out and glide back across to Nanty.

A mini triangle(10km) which was very satisfying in the conditions and altogether a good couple of hours flying in good  company with other pilots and a great social saturday on the hill Smile

17/09/2017 - Heol Senni

Arrived around midday; conditions bleak and soggy but the breeze on the hilltop was just fine and not too cold!  Cloudbase was low and it was a while before Pen Y Fan emerged from the mists but the flying was ok with some thermic activity - best height 2600' amsl.  After a couple of hours, the sun started to poke through in places but the wind became intermittent. After 16:00, the hill was bathed in very pleasant autumn sunshine wind :Smile

Eight of us  out on the hill........some worthwhile airtime especially considering how little flying weather has come our way so far this September Smile

18/09/2017 - Nant y Moel

Arrived just before midday to find the wind light and a little off to the west just as forecast.  We were in the sun but cloud was starting to spread out behind the hill.  I was in no hurry to launch but in the time it took me to eat my sandwiches, the wind had picked up to a rather brisk southwesterly.  Despite climbing up to 2000' a.t.o. more or less straightaway, the thermals felt distinctly lumpy and with not much sun on the ground behind, I decided to cruise around for a while to see if conditions improved.  I soon found forward progress difficult in an increasing wind and decided to land back on top after an hour in the air.

The wind showed no sign of abating and with a black mass of cloud heading our way from upwind, we all decided to pack up. 

Only seven pilots on the hill - Viv, Steve J and me from SWW, Cameron and Stuart from SEW and a couple of visitors from Avon .

A flight yes......but not the nicest  of airtime :o

26/09/2017 - Bryncaws

A rather murky day but the sun did poke through a little in places this afternoon so Viv and me took a punt on Bryncaws.  Arriving at 14:30,  the breeze seemed ok.  The thistle season is over and all the fields contain only lush(if a little damp) green grass and the obligatory sheeps poo!  Visibility was poor but up in the air, conditions were nice and bubbly and workable up to a few hundred feet above the field and we enjoyed some rather good flying.  The windspeed did increase towards the end of the afternoon and we packed up "sated" at around 16:30 Smile

Looking around the area from the air, we could see that  a new section of track is being added to the hillside which will bypass the part  of the track after the first bend up from the gate  which has become unassailable in recent years!
Also,  a substantial swathe of trees has been harvested from the hilltop at Lletty Siac!

Good news Smile

06/10/2017 - Rhossili

Well, there was certainly plenty of airtime to be had at Rhossili today!  Arrived at 11:00 and met Evan and Mark in the carpark and we made our way up the hill, arriving at the same time as a large group with Nick and Giselle's Pembrokeshire Paragliding.  The wind was light and northwesterly to begin with but the air was pleasantly thermic so it was possible to scratch and bob along to the north end of the hill.  Conditions seemed a bit light for the cliffs but with the tide out, I could not resist  for too long and was pleasantly surprised to find it nice and lifty flying out to the end and back Smile .

After a quick lunch break, Evan and me took to the air on Nick B's Gin Beetle Tandem and enjoyed a good fly around as the wind kicked in from the west Smile .  A second solo flight followed and with the wind increasing after 3 o'clock,  I worked my way up to 1600'+ above the beach :o and with such height to play with I  couldn't resist a glide over the back to Pilton Green alongside the main road (4 km).  I arrived with height to spare(next time Scurlage Sports Field!) and after an easy packaway on the dry grass, I walked to the roadside and met Steve Milson on his way home who kindly ran me back to the village Smile

Great to see a good number of students/club members and visiting pilots on the hill.  A first class Rhossili day!


08/10/2017 - Fan G

No wind apparent when I left home at 11:30 but a nice day so I hiked up Fan G from the layby with a view to just gliding back down.  At the layby,  the sun had come out and it was quite a sweaty walk up with my distinctly unlightweight flying  kit! Up on the summit,  I met up with Dave Stein and with not a breath of wind, we chatted for a while......then it all clouded over :Smile .

I took my time, getting set up for a forward launch.....meticulously laying out the glider in a halfmoon shape and waited for the sun to return.........and waited!  Some time later, with no sign of a return to sunshine,  I could feel a faint breeze on the back of my neck - a very light katabatic flow :o

With Dave's help, I moved the glider to another position to inflate along the slope and snapped a brake -fan line during inflation :o .  The line had snagged on a clump of grass and an inspection showed signs of wear but I knotted the line as a temporary measure and relaunched to fly down to the layby - a flight I always enjoy!  Gliding out over the Reservoir,  the water was like a sheet of glass with just a few ripples here and there - a sign of fish surfacing to catch flies Smile .

Back home, I checked through my logbook.  Glider 3yrs and 3months old and 290 hours flown, hmm.....time to send it off for a Winter service methinks Wink .

87hrs and 30 mins logged airtime in 2017.  A great season up until the middle of July including that unforgettable club trip to Algodonales in May.  A bit of a damp squib in late summer and Autumn though!

Looking forward to many more great flights and club events at home and further afield this year Smile

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