Paragliding Map

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Lefkara land out

Well Dave suggested that today 19 Jun 2010 would be a corker at Lefkara and we should meet at the landing field!  I agreed and packed my glider into the car and headed out to the site arriving there around 10:25.  I put my feet up and caught some much needed z's whilst I waited for the others, this was due to just finishing a 24 hour duty at work and only have 4 hours sleep.  By the time they arrived I had woken up and felt as though I was ready for a nice days flying.  We left the Galaxy in the landing field and headed to the top in the red rocket.  at the top the wind was perfect though it was apparent that the strength was increasing steadily all the time.  Dave went first, followed by me then Tim and finally Mark.  We flew together for about 40 minutes and both Tim and Dave gained some amazing height and went on short cross country flights and back.  Due to my low airtime I stuck near to the hill and managed to climb to 1230m which gives me my next goal of flying above 1500m
I flew around a little enjoying my height but then found I was in a world of sink.  at around 750m I turned to find the lift I had originally climbed in but only found a small pocket and decided to try over by the Heli pad! this was my big mistake. now quite low over the saddle I quickly found I was in the lee of it and the pimple, the air was turbulent and I fought to keep the glider stable but the wing collapsed on the left hand side which swung me around a bit then it collapsed on the right hand side and by now I was looking to land "But where?" I thought all I could see was trees.  It took a couple of minutes but I did manage to find a couple of nice clear patches with a track running between.  Due to the lack of penetration I didn't manage to reach either of these patches and instead landed on the track between.  I wish I'd had a helmet Cam to capture it all!  You can find my track log here
Well now I had a decision to make.  Head West up the near vertical hill back to launch about 2km or head SW and skirt the greek military base around the pimple and back to my car roughly twice the distance but on the flat.  Well I thought I did not want to go anywhere near the military base so I opted to retrieve the Red Rocket from the top.  I had 2 bottles of water in my bag so what more would I need?  Well the hill quickly became very steep and was covered in lose shale so my feet would slip on every step.  I trudged from shady spot to shady spot and every time I move to the next spot my ruck sack would catch on the branches of the very low short trees sapping what little energy I had.  It took me around an hour to reach the top where I stole a can of Pepsi and a Mars bar out of Tim's cool box.  Cheers Tim!
Big lesson to learn from this flight is do not fly to the Heli Pad if you're only at 750m as this puts you into the lee of the saddle!  and definitely don't fly into the lee of any hills.  I can now say this with authority! ;)

Friday, 18 June 2010


Well I finally flew Avdellaro on 16 June 2010.  When Bitu (B2) and I arrived (around 11:30) the wind was looking perfect with a steady breeze blowing up the face of the hill SSW.  However after 10 minutes of assessing time it was apparent that things were picking up with some quite strong thermic gusts blowing through.  I set up my glider and attempted to launch but due to the unstable nature of the air 2 attempts later I had decided that it was perhaps prudent to bundle my glider and go and have a soft drink in the local Cafe.  I texted Dave to let him know how things were and left it up to him to decide weather he would come along.  The Cafe is a Cypriot version of Greasy Lills, it's made out of wriggly tin with a fridge stacked with juice and a few tables spread out on the patio at the front of the shop.  Due to the location (an industrial estate) it is very noisy with lorries driving past and a Peugeot garage opposite revving rally car engines and the like!  I really like it!
The garage has three flags outside which are excellent for telling what the wind may be doing and we used these as we sat monitoring.  At 13:30 we noticed that they were blowing much more gently than earlier so I texted Dave that we would go and take another look at the top.
When we arrived at UN 111 it was indeed much calmer that earlier on but those thermic gusts were still present so I knew I'd have to treat the hill with caution.  I set up and launched straight out into some reasonable lift and flew forward to check out penetration  it was slow but I was pushing away from the hill so I turned right and flew along to the cliffs where I found a nice gentle lift band to play in.
After 2 or 3 passes past launch I noticed a UN vehicle approaching Bitu and wondered if maybe I'd overstepped the boundary (as Avellaro sits on the boarder of the controlled zone and Southern Cyprus) but the guy mearly said "hello" to Bitu and went about his business.  My concentration was re-focused as a sudden gust blew onto the hill pushing me back toward launch allot faster than I am used to on Curium and so I pushed my hands right up and found that penetrating now was very difficult.  With my hands right up I turned toward the landing field but as I did I felt my harness drop to the left and I began to turn left, I quickly leaned to the right applied a little right break and looked up to see that 50% of my canopy was flapping around uselessly, 1 long pump of the break later and it rustled itself back into shape and I continued my decent toward landing.  It became apparent that I was struggling to penetrate at all at this point so I eased out my speed bar in order to move away from the hill this made things quite bumpy but I stuck with it and eventually landed in the field opposite Bitu's car!  I was pleased to have flown for 15 minutes but also pleased to be on the ground where I wanted to be.  As I was bunching up Dave texted me to tell me he was coming and was about 20 minutes away.  I answered him and told him I had flown and would meet him by the Iso container at the bottom as Bitu was coming for me and the UN were still on the top!
When Dave arrived he suggested we leave one car by the Iso container and take the other around to the bottom landing for Avdellaro proper, then we could all drive up in the clubs 4x4 (the Red Rocket).  It seemed like a great idea to me so we did just that.  The proper launch is a little less snaggy that UN 111 but still has it's fair share of obstacles and lose dirt to slip on.  Launch is also slightly sloped which helps keep the wing out of the wind shadow on top of the hill.  Well Bitu set up first and after waiting for a gust to blow through and having a couple of hiccups he launched sweetly and was in the air.  Dave and I watched him for a minute or two and then I set up, had a hiccup of my own and then launched.  The air was turbulent but buoyant with patches of lift and patches of sink.  I found myself a nice little patch of lift and hung around in it to get some decent height but I quickly found that once I moved away from the lift I was sinking fast.  I found that I needed to eek out the lift that was there and as soon as I thought I was at the top of it then it was hands up until I found the next patch.  This technique worked really well as I found myself way above launch and higher than Dave or Bitu by some significant way!  Unfortunately I cannot show you my flight track as I'd left my vario in the car door which was now in the bottom landing field!  oh well at least I logged the first short flight.
I'd had about 25 minutes when I noticed that Bitu had landed in the UN 111 bottom landing field and I decided that perhaps I should try to land near my car so pushed out away from the hill toward landing.  As I pushed away from the hill I found myself climbing steadily until I was way above the landing field and still climbing.  Seeing that this field was a none starter I looked further away and found a nice (newly mown) light brown field near a few old farm shacks and I pointed at that.  The field was perfect and I think it's a much better option than the one we picked out.
A new site under my belt and another half hour flight time in pretty tricky conditions.  I'm a happy bunny! :)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Lefkara Take 1

Well it was my good friend Dave's 70th birthday or something so he wanted to go somewhere other than Curium and as Lefkara has recently been scoped out as a flying site he wanted to go there.  So Dave, Tim, Bitu, Pete, Demetris, Christakis, a few other Cypriots I don't know and I turned up and met at the landing field.  We were met with the grinding noise of a Bulldozer which had just been employed to remove a derelict telegraph pole from the centre of the landing field, all the less for me to bump into then! :).
After observing for a few minutes we headed to the top, quite a tricky drive due to tight hairpins and narrow, near vertical ridge-line tracks.  If you're of a weak disposition then I wouldn't bother but you're all paragliding types like me aren't you! so you'll all get a kick out of it when you crest the blind summit and immediately stop to avoid careering over the launch and down the other side!
When we arrived at the top the wind was blowing over the back albeit very weakly with a few weak thermic gusts pushing their way up the Southern slope so we waited until around 12:00 when the valley thermals were finally stronger than the met wind and we could launch.  I was third to go and found the air to be quite buoyant along the ridge but not amazingly lifty.  Dave came on the radio and suggested I try out to the Eastern side of the bowl where he thought there may be some more lift.  He was right of course though I reckon he just wanted to use me as a wind dummy!  The lift was short lived as I fumbled for my camera and quickly dropped out of it and ended up bobbing around in the valley between launch and the landing field.  I played around with the little lift I could find there for a while before landing just on the entrance to the field a little low over the road for my liking but otherwise a nice soft touchdown.
You can find my track on Leonardo here enjoy! I did :)