Paragliding Map

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

New Glider, New Blog Title

Well, Coupe Icare is almost over which means my new Niviuk Hook 2 should soon begin it's journey from France across the water to the UK and then through the slightly altered BFPO route back to me here in Cyprus.  Whilst I'm fretting about how long it's taking I thought I ought to think of a new title as I haven't been flying the old Epsilon for quite some time now since it went away for service.
I never even considered changing the title when I started flying the Alpha 2 as to be honest though I like the wing it's not challenging enough for me and in difficult conditions it's glide ratio is such that I find myself far lower that the guys on the higher spec wings and often find myself fighting to gain height just to be above them with varying results.  I don't enjoy this kind of flying and often get fed up and land a long time before I should and go wait in the cafe whilst the others fly around and jeer at me every time they fly past.
So as for a new name I think it should be either Niviuk or Hook related or both!  just to stay in keeping with this blogs previous names.  Let me describe the wing: its colour is Spring (2 tone green) and it has a SLE (Structured Leading Edge) which means that there are plastic ribs within the leading edge the help keep the airfoil shape even during collapse if that's possible!  so then taking all this into account I trying to think up a blog name! maybe something like "Hook Book"! or as my good lady just suggested "Hooked" I quite like that!  I'm just a little worried that with Tim also ordering a Hook 2 we may be referred to as the Cyprus Hookers! and I'm not sure I like the implication.  Maybe I should've ordered an Artic? hmm.
I'm off to the club house on Saturday morning to give it a bit of a spruce up and make it a suitable place to inspect my new baby.  I'm hoping there will be time later in the afternoon for a quick flight so I'll be taking my wing.
Well I reckon I have a blog name now so I'll sign off as I haven't been flying for a few days now.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Frustration Sets in

Hi everyone,

It's been a little while since I updated this blog and that is partly due to the frustration of having my browser crash on me the last time I was updating it. Needless to say I was pretty hacked off when an hour and a half of page faded in front of my eyes! Well I'm now using the "Ecto" blog editor which is the Mac equivalent of Windows Live writer. This will save the frustration I hope as I can save it as I go in the usual way.

Well to add to my personal frustration I have ordered a Niviuk Hook 2 through Niviuk UK and not only did it get stuck in Customs but they also took it to Coupe Icare in France so I now have to wait for them to finnish there before they bring it through French customs and then UK customs. Oh it could take weeks! I've already been waiting 4 weeks at least. Hmmm also Tim has shared a scare story with me which says that a guy who had recently bought a Niviuk Koyot was on his 8th flight when the stitching tore along one of the seams front to back on both the upper and lower surfaces. For some reason there is no mention of a reserve chute and what followed ended in the guy's death. I'm in 2 minds about this story. On one hand I'm thinking "hmm better give my new glider a thorough check before flying it" (Something I would do anyway) but on the other hand I'm thinking why didn't the guy throw his reserve? did he even have one? if he did then why didn't he deploy it? All in all, these things are bound to happen to fabric gliders once in a while, I have seen footage of this kind of thing happening to gliders yet the pilot's were still able to land then safely. Of this was the guy's 8th flight in his career then I feel sorry for his family but I can't blame Niviuk. Not for his death at any rate.

Anyway I'm not phased by this story, I will still fly my newest addition to my family albeit in slight trepidation to begin with.

Anyway I flew a few times last week with Glenn at curium, mainly to gather Glenn's 10 probation hours so that we can fly together at Avdellaro and other nearby hills.

Dave on his Niviuk Peak and Glenn in the Air .

Unfortunately Glenn had a minor incident a couple of days ago and has tore the seam on his glider against the fence on the sandpit launch as well as snapping a line and scratching his arm and leg. Glenn you were so close. Lesson learned I hope.

I've landed yet Glenn is able to maintain much to my disgust.

Well I hope everything works out well and Glenn is flying again soon. I hope to have my glider in the next couple of weeks so if Tim is happy the Glenn can sign my wing out. Look after it mate it's been good to me.

Fly high, Fly soon!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

2 for 1

Well Tim informed us that we now have the Red Rocket back from our outgoing Club OC and so it was decided very late on that we could go to Lefkara.  Me being me will never pass up an opportunity to fly a high hill (I really want to say mountain but after flying in the Alps I know this isn't true).  I told Glenn to pick me up around 09:00 and we set off but as we were early I suggested we could go for the site brief at Avdellaro in advance of future flying.  When we arrived on the UN111 launch I was seriously tempted to fly as the wind was perfect, I resisted and we moseyed over to the Eastern launch as this will likely be the launch the Glenn will use in his early days.  The wind wasn't great at this point and so we drifted over to Lefkara and as we were still early we stopped in the village Cafe for a spot of brunch.

Cheeseburgers and chips went down very nicely, Tim called to say they (Dave, Tim & Lou) were on their way and that they'd meet us in the landing field.  On arrival the weather appeared to be very nice and so we all jumped in the Rocket and drove to the top! Note to Dave: Please remember it's 4 Low range not High to get to the top!

Well we weren't disappointed as the wind was indeed passing nicely up the hill with small thermic gusts pushing through.  The plan was for me to go first (As wind dummy) followed by Glenn that way Glenn had help on the top and bottom by the time I was in the landing field.  This worked out very well and we were able to talk to Glenn for the initial and final parts of his flight on the radio.  Nice launch and very good landing by all accounts.  Once down Glenn set back up for a spot of ground handling and I took it upon myself to impart a little knowledge about the Mitsos (A's & C's/D's) method of launching and he seemed to take to it like a Duck to water.  Once we sorted out a minor line twist issue he seems to have this method down nicely.

Dave and Tim flew for a little longer than myself with Dave flying for a little over half an hour on his Borrowed UP Trango.  Once everyone was down it was still early and so we decided to have a look at Curium.

Curium was blowing a very strong wind so it was Frappe and Hoegarten all round whilst we waited for the evening lull.  At about 18:30 Glenn and I went into the Lee of the hill for a spot of Ground Handling again before returning to the top to find a still windy but very flyable hill.  A walk to the sandpit and both Glenn and myself had about 15 minutes of some very smooth air just as the Sun was setting and a landing in almost darkness on the beech!  A great day all round in my opinion! could life get much better?

Sorry no Pics  Flight track log Here.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

New Member Orientation

Well today was definitely a no fly day with winds easily more than 30mph on Curium so after a quick visit to Dave's house and a nice cup of Coffee and some biscuits, Glenn (our newest member) and I set off with the idea that we would look at some of the inland sites to introduce him and also give him a definite sense of what lies at the end of his 10 hour hill probation.  These first 10 hours can seem to the lay person and indeed to the new pilot to be a bit of a hindrance and many people will be tempted to miss out most of this period.  I would definitely recommend that anybody who is thinking along these lines are fool hardy and will most likely come to strife on some of the larger hills with no real idea of what to do should anything go wrong.
I was tempted myself but I am so very glad that I stuck to it.  After my scary experience at Lefkara (Kourtellarotsos) I would have struggled to get my glider down in the tight spot that I finally ended in had I not spent all those initial hours struggling to stay aloft on our most visited and friendly hill.
Well I digress, we had at first decided to visit Avdellaro (being the closest and most benign to Ay Nik) but en route Glenn asked about Lefkara and expressed a wish to see it and also try out his newly acquired 4x4 Mitsubishi Pajero.  I told him it was a little out of the way but I agreed it would be nice to see the place and directed Glenn to launch.  I am glad to announce that the Mitsubishi had no trouble at all in climbing the very steep sides of the hill and we arrived at launch in a shower of rain!

We waited for the worst to pass and then climbed out into a light drizzle and very pleasant that was too.  I noticed that someone had thrown the ribbon down the hill so I scrambled down about 20m to retrieve it.  The view from the top with the low cloud was really nice and I was suprised that we were standing in near nil wind with the occasional light breeze blowing over the back but as I had already resigned myself to a no fly day I was not disappointed.  The sun was shining through the clouds and giving a spectacular view.

We decided after a few minutes of chatting about the site that we had had enough and jumped back in the car to return home with a possible detour via Avdellaro.  The Pajero happily descended the top of the hill and we headed down the windy asphalt road toward Lafkara.  Half way down we were stopped dead in our tracks by a very unexpected site.

2 articulated trucks had got themselves stuck on one of the hair pin bends in such a way that they could not move forward and reversing really did not seem to be an option.  Luckily for us a local couple in a Toyota Rav 4 knew an alternate route to the bottom and agreed that we could follow them in order to get off the hill.  Our very greatest thanks to that couple! without whom we would surely still be struggling to find our way.

Lesson learned : Always expect the unexpected and be prepared to get out and chat to the people on the scene.  Even if no English is spoken you can usually get your message across.

Oh but my highlight of this trip was that I and Glenn actually met the illusive Lefkara Goats!  I knew it wasn't Hare droppings!

Well until the next flyable day I guess!

Fly high!