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Re: Steve Jones Flying Diary

My Diary..

          Rhossili  Saturday 27th January 2007

Though the wind was off to the NW, still had an enjoyable day.
At long last got the chance to fly a LARGE Sigma 6, last flew nearly 3 months ago ! Got in two and a half hours of airtime thanks to my heated-gloves. Max alt 300' ATO (Pimple). Best area was over to the northern end of the ridge near the derelict radar station. Also flew the cliffs, but didn't venture too far along them because it didn't seem to be working well, and perhaps I felt myself getting a bit over-confident with the excellent 'glide' properties of the wing. Company on the hill was in the form of 3 'valley boys', and Steve B. who arrived later. Learned afterwards that Nick had gone to 7Sisters and others had gone to Fochriw.
Liked the Sigma 6 very much, I think I'm going to buy a size large. Looking forward to the spring air with a sense of anxiety (as we all probably do at this time of year)  !!!

          Rhiw Wen    Monday  5th Feb 2007

Wind quite brisk at first, 18 mph. Spent an enjoyable 2 hrs flying in cold, but sunny conditions. A few 3 m/s thermals about,  probably due to the strong sunshine, small cumulus clouds were also starting to form - almost forgotten what it was like to core a thermal and climb skywards !! Later the wind veered slightly to the NE of N and best lift seemed to be around (Harvey's ??) quarry to the east of TO. Max alt 500' ato.
Nice to get to the hill and fly; had spent most of Sunday afternoon sitting on top of Pandy with Tom in nil wind.

Monday  12th March 07    Rhossili

Managed to get out on my brand- spanking-new Sigma 6. Some flights in our logbooks stand out more than others, maybe because of a great day out, or on the other side of the scale, because of some mishap that happened on that day.
My flight at Rhossili today falls into the latter category. After taking off, did a few ridge runs and got a little bored. Decided to have a go at touching the trig point with one's feet and flying away. On the 3rd attempt I sank to a gentle landing in some dead air just to the north- side of the trig. No problem, with the wing still above my head, tried pushing forward into the bowl - no luck. Aware of the boulder-field around the trig-point kept the wing above my head for over 3 minutes, still no luck at going forward. A gust up thro' the bowl then took me for a walk into a pile of large (and sharp) limestone rocks; managed to hop over the first two boulders before slamming down into the middle of these unforgiving obstacles. Picking myself up and in considerable pain, I found that I had severed an 'A' line, damaged a tip line and put a 3" hole in the centre of my wing. Not bad for a wing which hadn't even done 1 hr !
Hobbled back to the car feeling dejected.
The lesson, never get complacent, even Rhossili can hold a few nasty surprises. Oh, and from the sites officer, never land anywhere other than the designated areas !!!

Hi Steve, sorry to hear about your incident at Rhosilli yesterday and the damage to your wing, i also hope that you were not seriously hurt, having had a close and painful encounter with the same limestone boulders, i can sympathize with you, havent checked my wing for damage yet, as i packed up walked off the hill and drove home with a broken collar bone, unknown but suspected at the time, but i tore my new flying suit and put a nice little dink i my new open face helmet, and if thats all the damage i incured then i got off lightly.
Beware the ides of march, hmmmmmmmmm there might be something in that saying after all, hope you get your glider fixed quickly, also hope my arm recovers soon so i can get back in the air, take care also all you other guys coz we all tend to be a bit rusty this time of year, safe flying and see you on the hill soon (hopefully)  :-D

Wednesday  21st March 07  Fan G.

Arrived at TO at about 2pm with Neil & Tom to see a small sailplane ridge-soaring in the NE'ly bowl...below ridge height !
The pilot later managed to get some height and flew off towards Brecon.
The day was split into two halves. First half was spent scratching around, just about maintaining ridge level at best, just like the sailplane. After bombing out through a lack of concentration, that's my excuse for not making it back to the hill. Decided to give it another go and climbed back up to TO; it was only 3:30 and Tom seemed to be holding his own. Neil had to go early and flew back to the car. Arrived back on top at 4pm to see Tom, and Nick who had just walked up from the layby, way out in front of the hill. The air was very buoyant and there was much thermic activity; lots of gentle 2 ms stuff. Floated out over the main road and got up to 400' ato. Landed at 6pm near the layby.
All in all an enjoyable afternoon's flying over a snowy landscape, no scrapes or tares on my wing either !Thanks to Tom for the lift up the track in his Landrover.

Hi Steve,
   Yesterday I saw some Paragliders by Fan G, I guess one of them must have been you!  As I was 7 miles or so away i couldn't see clearly but there was a harrier that seemed to be heading straight for  a paraglider and seemed to change course sharply at the last minute. Did you see this, was it you in the sky?.......I know if it had have been a near miss you would have mentioned it above but I would be interested to find our how far away the jet was.
The photo was taken at 14:23 . I have cropped the picture , but being so far away I was lucky to get anything  :-D

Best wishes
[Image: P1240976.jpg]

Hi Andy,
Thanks for sending in the photo. Yes, I do remember seeing a pair of Harriers flying in front of the hill at that time. The nearer of the two seemed to be heading west, on the Fan Hir side of the Swansea valley, below ridge height. His no. 2 flew over the escarpment at Fan Hir, or maybe to the north ie. behind the camera. The wing in your photo would be Tom Garner. The trees at the bottom of the photo are confusing; it gives the impression that the trees are at the base of Fan G., but more likely they are close to the camera (Moel Feity ??), while Fan G. is in the far distance.
Must start using that mil free-phone number ! Though I intended to fly at Rhiw Wen, before the wind backed NW'ly
Out of curiosity, where abouts were you standing when the picture was taken ?
Will post some pictures of the sailplane ridge-soaring the NE'ly bowl later.

    Saturday  24th March 2007      Heol Senni

Wind was forecast to get stronger as the day progressed, but still got lured out. Arrived to see Jon M. charging about the sky on his Nomad. By the time Ivor and I reached the summit the wind had picked up, so we sat it out for a while watching Jon's flying display. About half-an-hour later it dropped (just a tad) so we took off. Wind was off slightly to the N of NE, but none the less there were some nice 3 ms thermals to be had. Made the mistake of drifting too far down-wind in one of them; got up to 1,300' ato, but the wind strength increased and I failed to make it back to the ridge. Landed in a 20 + mph wind on the shoulder just south of the quarry; thank god for C risers. Total flying time 30 mins.
Was it worth it ? Of course it was - for me it was the best bit of thermalling so far this year.
Also on the hill: the 2 Gareths, Will & Nick.

Hi Steve,

I am very happy you enjoyed the pic, I couldn't believe I found you on the net! theres a couple more pics below on the links, just of Tom and taken just after the harrier went by.

The forest is Glasfynydd and the mountain is Fan Bwlch Chywth, I think....I've pm'd your where I took it from. One of the pictures below is an un-cropped version of the above photo which may give you a better idea.

No jet 1
no jet 2

. Sorry if I've mucked up your diary thread, please move my posts to a better place if so :-) .

ps. if tom (or you) would like the original image I'd be happy to forward it on email.( I had the camera set to less the half quality that day and so the image is only around 2mb.)

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