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Steve B's Flying Log 2014

Marros - 9th March.

First flight of 2014. Arrived to find lots of people from SWWSC and Pembrokeshire Paragliding. Got setup and prepared to fly as things started to get light. Launched and within a few minutes I realised it was too light so spent the next 9 mins struggling to stay up and was rather embarrassed by the impending walk of shame! However managed to work around and catch enough height to sneak into a field just round the corner so only a mini walk of shame and better than landing in the hedge!
Nice to see many many faces after the winter. Here's hoping to more flying this week!

[/size]Airtime: 9 mins[size=78%]
[/size]Total: 9 mins[size=78%]

Abernant 11th March

Thanks to Nasher for the text saying he was at Abernant and not Heol Senni. Arrived to find Nasher with Gareth and Steve waiting for some cycles. It was a bit light and fair play to Steve W who made very bit of wind count! Had 6 flights in total with the first few being slope landings due to the wind being light and slightly off then right on cue the 4 O'clock thermal kicked off! Well actually it was 3.30pm but it was close enough! Max alt was 1670ft with climbs in the 1m/s to 2 m/s. Managed to push out quite far following the birds and the smell of the tip. The thermals weren't brilliant and quite small but better than nothing! Had another few flights with similar conditions and the wind actually picked up a little but by now it was getting cold and damp so we packed up just after 6pm. Only my 2nd visit to Abernant and once again it delivered. Lets hope this is the start of the season!

Airtime: 1h 25m
Total: 1h 39 m

Rhossili - 10/04/14

Had meetings all day so didn't get to the hill until 6ish. Wind was quite strong on top, but safely launched and headed away from the hill to test the air and prevent getting blown back. Plenty of lift all around, but struggled to penetrate so lots of speed bar needed. The wind eased a bit, so came back closer to the hill and climbed to around 800ft amsl where the most smooth lift I have ever felt carried me at .5 m/s all the way up to 1148ft amsl which is the highest I have ever been at Rhossili and lovely to see views without a noisy engine on the front! A nice evening flight but too strong to land on the top so headed for the beach.

Airtime: 1hr 6m
Total: 2h 45m

Rhossili Cliffs - 11/04/14

Again arrived late to the hill after a very busy week. Thanks to XP for going end of life! Ready for a fly chill session, arrived with my family at the pimple. Very strong and NW so waited for around 20 mins and it dropped to a safe speed. Took off and headed straight for the cliffs where there was loads of lift providing heights up to 463ft amsl. Decided to see how far I could safely fly out towards worms head and managed to almost get to the white house which I had never flown to before. Amazing caves etc that I had never seen! Headed back safely with lots of height and played around for a while before heading down to the beach. My daughter took some stunning pictures of me flying with the sun going down. Such a beautiful place and we are so lucky that we are allowed to fly there!

Airtime: 46m
Total: 3h 31m

Heol Senni - 18/04/14

With a time restriction of being back at Swansea airport by 4pm I arrived at the top to find quite a few of the guys suited and ready to fly! A couple of gliders were already in the air including Gerry who was doing well in the light conditions. Nick went off and within a short time was working his way up. I launched and realised quite quickly it was too light for me and slope landed 6 mins later. As I got back to the top quite a few were already hooked in and drifting over the back including Viv who was flying very well and was thermalling nicely with the xc guys! Launched again and this time hooked nicely into a climb up to 720ft above take off and thought if I get to a grand then I am going.....unfortunately my excitement caused to to stop thinking about thermalling and I promptly fell out of it and couldn't find it again! So glided back towards the hill as I had drifted to almost the forest over the back. Gutted, but I keep trying to find another thermal but it was no use and slowly one by one we all ended up down in the landing zone after a measly 22 mins...Well done to Chris, Nick, Rhun, Steve J and Steve W for getting Xc's! And thanks to Viv with the help packing.

Airtime:28 mins
Total:3h 59m

Marros - 26/05/14

Arrived at 10am to find it quite strong and gusty as per forecast, so plenty of time to get ready. One by one people turned up, Adam was patiently waiting followed by Joe, Steve W, Rhun, Damian and Mark. Launched at 11.10 in quite strong conditions but happy in the thought that hopefully I wouldn't be walking up from the beach! Some nice smallish thermals around enough to get to 779ft amsl, 327ft above take off. Spotted Rhun and Steve W doing some ridge runs, so once I had enough height I gave it a go. Managed to get to the headland before the beach and back so pretty chuffed! All in all a nice hour flying on my 2nd visit to the site. Glad Joe got lots of airtime so hopefully his ribbon will go soon. So happy to be back in the air after a month! ;D

Marros 26th May 2014 - Steve Bain

Airtime: 1h 3 m
Total: 5h 02m

Heol Senni - 30/05/14

Fan G was hidden in cloud as I passed it on the road, so I didn't hold out much hope for Heol Senni. However as I turned onto the HS road I spotted a glider flying. Got to the top and wind was spot on so launched at 1.49pm. Ben B had also arrived and John Munro turned up as I was flying, there were also another two guys who I believe were testing an Alpha 5 from Pembrokeshire. Flight was fun working a few weak thermals and managed to get to 2175ft amsl, 335ft above take off. Landed to visit the little boys room and had a quick chat with the guys before launching for the 2nd flight of the day. This time managed to hook into a nice climb way off the far end of the quarry which took me over the back to 2305ft, 451ft ato and I drifted with it to an area over the back which I had never seen before and I ended up above a cairn?. Lost the thermal and had to make my way back so needed a fair squeeze on the bar to get back, but made it. Landed 40 mins later. Not very thermic but very enjoyable!

Airtime: 1h 45m
Total: 6h 47m

Nanty Moel - 1st June

A quick call from Steve W at cloud base confirmed its was definitely working at NM! Arrived and walked up but didn't check the gate and if I had I would have realised it was actually open! Never mind! Anyway I could see about 4 in the air. Steve had just landed so had a quick chat with him before setting up. Jamie, Dave and Joe had already flown. Wind dropped of so waited for it to pick up again. Steve launched first and I was a few minutes behind. Went straight to the left where the gully and rocks were and hooked into a thermal which Steve was already in and was at 2.5k within a few minutes. It was quite rough and first time my sink alarm went off in straight flight! Managed to thermal for what seemed like hours but it was only 29 mins! Landed for a break and a chat with the locals who didn't seem to be flying. They reckoned the sea breeze was mixing and making it 'sporty'. Launched a short while later and it was harder to thermal as they were very rough but once up high they seemed to smooth out slightly. Spotted Steve and some of the others getting near to cloud base so turned and basically a couple of turns later I was at cloud base. However I quickly realised that stopping the glider going up may be difficult! A few seconds later it had all gone white and I knew I was being sucked up by the cloud. First thing don't panic! In came the ears and slowly the vario started to slow. It did seem like a while but I could see some of the ground so patently waited and popped out at the side of it. Pushed on half a bar and very slowly made my way away from the cloud with a slow decent rate. Went for full bar a little while later and once I was sure I was clear of others I started a steep turn but it didn't even help me down so back on the ears and speed bar and just waited to come down by heading our over the town and back which did the trick. Landed after 31 mins feeling pleased and buzzing with adrenaline! A few lessons were learned about cloud suck and a compass quickly ordered from Norris!

Airtime: 1hr
Total: 7h 47mins

Rhossili - 11th June

forgot to add in this flight from last week. Great Rhossili conditions. Arrived around 6ish to find Viv just landing and some other packing up. Launched into slightly light conditions which I like at Rhossili as its nice to skim the ground! The wind steadily increased to make it easier to stay up by which point Rhun arrived. Lots of touch and goes on the pimple and landed after 1.30 just as Angus and Nicola arrived. Did another 30 mins before calling it a day as I was hungry!

Airtime: 2hrs
Total: 9h 47mins

Fan G - 29th June

Headed down for 12 to Fan G only because a friend was due to do a tandem with Nick B. Arrived to find lots from Pembrokeshire on the hill and Nick B doing a tandem. It was light and very much in the bowl. Waited for it to pick up and launched at 13.45 but it was still a bit light so only had 11 mins. Launched again at 2.15 to find it much more storable and some broken thermals coming through which made it rough but manageable. Spotted Nick and Viv arriving although was confused with Nick as I didn't recognise the glider! Anyway wind shifted more to the West which made the bowl lumpy so headed out and hooked into a few climbs with Nick to 3k. Went a little far downwind and struggled to get back through the sink but made it and hooked into another climb to save a long walk up! Nice to see so many people out!
Airtime: 1h 3 mins
Total: 10h 50mins

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