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SteveJ's flying diary 2017

25 Aug 2017. Friday. NYM.

A light wind day and an overcast sky in the upper  Afan Valley towards NYM found me debating whether or not to venture out. A few minutes later Nick called by on his way to NYM. After a coffee and chat (no great rush today) the sky seemed to improve slightly, so off we headed. We arrived at TO at <3pm> to find the sun breaking through and launched straight away. Not much thermic activity at first, but the wind was strong enough (just) to support a paraglider, will minimal altitude gains. After 20 mins it shut-off temporarily, but switched back on soon after. Between 4 and 5 pm-ish the thermic activity improved slightly to allow one to get to the dizzy heights of around 500' ato mark. The sun disappearing and re-appearing all the time. Not a great day, but everyone on the hill (about 6 pilots) got to fly and there seemed to be some restitutional -type effect when the sun was absent. Total time aloft: 1 hr 20 mins (3 flts). Max alt. 500' ato. After 5pm the wind dropped and the breeze switched off again, so we all headed home.

28 Aug 2017. Monday. NYM.

As with last Friday, didn't pin much hope on there being any wind, but alas on arrival at TO at 3:00 pm ish, the breeze was quite strong. Many pilots at site, half-a-dozen from SWWSC. Took-off soon after arrival in a lull; imperative in the conditions. Similar day to last Friday, but with lots of sunshine and lots of wind. Landed after 1hr 20 mins; had to be dog-sitting later. Max alt. 700' ato. No massive height gains by anyone, certainly didn't see anyone leave the hill. Landed on the plateau behind TO, always a wise move in strong wind conditions, and temporarily lost my GPS unit which slipped out of its holder Sad Eventually located it in the long grass; I guess my eye-sight hasn't deteriorated that much, lol. Great day to be out in the strong sunshine with some punchy, but short-lived, thermals. Back home at Cwmafan the wind was non-existant mmmm.

31 Aug 2017. Thursday. Lletti Siac
Arrived at TO at about 3pm with the breeze light and more WSW.The wind would shut-down as the sun flitted in and out of the clouds; but within a few  minutes of taking off there was more sun than cloud. Further inland the sky was black, thus justifying the choice on a more coastal location. After 40 mins or so the wind had backed even further to the SW and increased significantly. Thermals were also dragging me towards the menacing black clouds that seemed to be spreading out from the Brecon Beacons. Landed after 40 mins of flying in the 'lively' air. On walking back to the car the sky above me was black.
Flying over the purple, heather-covered, bowl in the sunshine made it an enjoyable afternoon. Most of the time spent boating around at 500' ato. Was hoping that the boggy ground in front of the site would work, but alas not to its full potential.

1 Sep 2017. Friday. Graig Fawr.
Got to the hill at around 4pm. A bit late in the day as the forecast gave the wind to increase by late afternoon; as it did Sad Got to TO just in time to see Chris leaving the hill on the western side of the ridge and float away under a cloud street. Technically I guess you could describe my 45 mins flight as 'gale hanging' rather than flying. Got to 800' ato painfully slowly and waited  to be hoovered up under the cloud street forming above. It never happened as the proverbial 'hoover' must have been on a low setting and my patience gave way when the breeze increased even further. At times my ground speed into wind was as little as 7 kph Sad Time to pack-up. Chris had a great flight to Bridgend. Good to see him on the hill again after a conspicuous absence.
I knew when leaving my home in Port Talbot that the wind turbines here were turning much too fast, but sometimes you have to give it a go.

2 Sep 2017. Saturday. NYM
Flying on three consecutive days in the UK ! Arrived with Nick to see that TO was very busy; just like the previous Bank Holiday. At first one had to work hard to stay aloft, always a good challenge, but things can be a bit tense when your 200' below TO, hugging the ground for lift, with a down-wind ground speed of 40 waiting for a breathe of lift to take you safely back up to ridge height. Don't think speed flying is for me, lol. Later in the day 'liftier' air arrived allowing for easy flying and height gains of around a grand ato.
Quite a sociable day out, even met a friend from my school days (quite a few years ago, lol) who had recently taken up the sport; good to see you Glyn  Smile 
Total air time 1 hr 20 mins
Max alt. 1,000' ato

6 Oct 2017. Fri.  Mynydd Dinas
The sun was shining when I started walking up to TO, but disappeared shortly after, when I took off at 3pm-ish. The breeze was quite strong with only about 7 mph ground speed at times. Think I'd left it a bit late. Enjoyed 30 mins before attempting to fly to the beach as it seemed quite lifty, despite the strong headwind. Got to 600' ato above the hill before the attempt, but landed just short at Vivian Park 1.6 kms (1 mile) out in front. Maybe one day..........

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