Paragliding Map

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

2 Hooks, 1 Rookie, 1 Primax and an Epsilon

Today had been forecast to be good so Glenn and I decided it would be a good time to get him back into the air.  After a few hours of a mix between PT, Admin and a large breakfast we set off for curium and arrived there around 13:00.  1 Glider was already in the air and as I alighted frm the car a German guy had just took off from the top with some assistance from a friend.  I quickly hung my self in the hanger to try to sort out my new speedbar.  It's a little annoying, having it's adjustment at the foot end of the system!  I'm still trying to get comfortable with my stirrup but think I'm not far off!   Glenn was playing with his wing on launch just getting back into the swing of things and although it was strong it looked within limits as Glenn was able to bring the wing above his head and hold it on the risers before bringing it back down under control.  I told him he should clip in when he is ready as it may get stronger before too long and he did.  Unfortunately it did get stronger and Glenn's first attempt ended with his wing over the barrier and him sitting on the floor a little bemused so we bunched up and walked to the sand pit.
In the sand pit the wind was still a little strong but within limits.  Glenn managed to make launching look like hard work by having another 2 flops into spikey bushes!  but apparently the first one was the wing and winds fault!  Not Glenn's because he didn't have hold of any lines and the glider just took off on it's own!  clearly the wings fault!

Eventually though, I hung on Glenn's harness and he was away albeit in a little unconventional manner through a bush  but these are Sandpit launches and in my mind, as long as you are away from the hill without breaking your legs you're golden!

Well I looked around the sky and noticed that one of the gliders had landed but Glenn and the German guy were doing fine.  I set up my Hook2 and once again found that bunching the glider brfore launch works better than laying it completely out.  The glider was blown about launch a couple of times and picked up a nice looking rock which has ruined all my pictures of the wing damn it!  So next time I'll just leave it bunched until I'm clipped in then open the wing when I'm ready.
Well my launch wasn't that much better than Glenns but I managed it in one go, the wing came up and lifted me but then it dropped back and I struggled for control.  I was dumped on my back with the wing flailing above me.  I swa that it was still facing forward and was able to re-inflate the wing and use it to lift me back onto my feet.  No sooner as I felt my feet on the ground I turned and was off!  A bit weird but like I said before as long as I've got all of my limbs entact, job done!

roughly 30 minutes later Paul arrived and I flew over to let him know it was strong and that a sandpit launch would best.  Paul made it look positively easy.  Setting up in around 5 minutes and launching perfectly!

After a little while Tim and Lou arrived to photograph me and Tim set about getting his Hook 2 ready.  Tim has a red and Orange wing which he says he likes!

Tim's Red and Orange Hook 2.  Looks nice on the ground!

Glenn on his club's Primax!

Curium Ruins

I was stunned by the Halation of the sun off these clouds!

Paul giving it very big Ears!

Ahh the Hook2 Joins me!

Me! Photographing Lou Photographing Me!

Unfortunately mother Nature got the better of me and I was forced to land, but once I'd packed my rig away this sun set was just amazing!

A few more pics of me provided by Lou!  Thanks Lou!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

All Hooked up!

Well after re-naming my Blog I can't quite believe how apt it is!  I flew my beautiful Spring (Green) Niviuk Hook2 yesterday for the first time and I have to say that I was very impressed say for one minor defect.  Let me explain.

During my long wait for my glider to arrive from Niviuk, a friend of mine told me about a fellow pilots (James Dell) experience with a demo Hook2.  Whilst he was flying he noticed that the knotted tape used to affix the brake line to the wing tip had pulled through the 'D' ring and had become snagged and he was unable to release it.  This happened to him once on both sides and he decided that due to the turbulent conditions it was unsafe and was forced to land.

Well my first experience of the hook went a little like this.
The wind came round in the early afternoon from Easterly to a very nice and smooth S to SW and I laid out my Hook2 on launch.  I noticed that as soon as I left it alone to pick up my helmet, harness etc. it wanted to fly and caught every slight breath of breeze which pulled it around so I elected to bunch it until I was all ready and clipped in.  I noticed that the magnets on the risers and breaks were almost too efficient, hoovering up iron filings from the ground and sticking to the other magnets.  This really wasn't a drama but  was more of an annoyance as I familiarised myself with the wings layout.  At one point two of the magnets stuck together with my glove in between them, very annoying but I think something that I will learn to cope with.
I had decided not to fly with my vario on since I wanted to feel the glider and not rely on the beeps and whistles to find my turn points.  Once set up I made my wall which was satisfyingly easy and lifted the wing using all the A's.  Unfortunately things happened a little quickly and the wing overshot me,  schoolboy error!  I sorted it all out and went again, this time catching the wing before it dove and launching  very comfortably.  I had been flying for about 20 minutes when I noticed that the wing was tucked in on the right hand side and I noticed that just like James' experience the knotted tape on the break line had indeed "hooked" through the 'D'ring and no matter how much I tugged or shook that side of the wing, there just wasn't enough pressure on the wing to pull the line free.  After faffing around for a few minutes I decided it was far safer just to leave it alone and get on with flying.  I felt no ill effects from the snag so bore it in mind and then just ignored it.
The Hook2 fared very well right from the get go.  It turns very neatly and quickly with very little pendulum to damp out.  I did some very small wing overs and found it was rock steady throughout the maneuver.  I never once felt that the wing was about to tuck nor did I feel threatened by the speed of it.
I think that this wing is a superb step up from the Epsilon and a noticeable improvement from the Alpha2 which I was starting to think was boring. anyway here is a photo of my little snag taken just after landing.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

New Title

Well I've thought about it and I reckon "Hooking Up!" is perfect. Well I'll see how it goes!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Sky Hook has Arrived

Well after many, many weeks waiting (Since August) Paul Snell and Tim texted me to let met know that it was on the transport and would be with me later that evening. I asked Tim if he would be around for me to collect it and he said he would be.
Unfortunately 2 of my Chidren were taken ill and Lisa had to work so I had to postpone my trip until they were better.

Well I finished work on Thursday morning and decided I was still awake enough to drive to Akrotiri and back before bed time so off I set. Tim had looked after it superbly for me and I picked it up around 11:00am. I took it straight round to the club house to check it out and wasn't dissapointed. The colour is exactly what I'd hoped for (Palm) Green with dark Green horns. I was quite impressed with the quality of the Rucksack which seems like it has plenty of room for my harness and helmet.
All that reamins for me is to fly the thing. I've been on Day shift today and the same thing tomorrow so my best bet will be Monday! not sure if the weather will let me though, I'll have to keep my eye on it.

Well I'll upload the photo's later! And I'm still considering the new name for the Blog!

tarra for now!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Unexpected Joy!


This post comes some days after the event and once again without photo's, but all this is about to change as I like Darth Vader have felt my presents!  and I know what I have for Chrimbo!
A GoPro HD Helmet hero and an Ozone Sausage bag which will compliment my newly acquired Niviuk Hook 2.

Well I was expecting Glenn to pick me up at 0930 on 25 October  but due to some insomnia he cried off and so I pretty much wrote the day off as a bad job.  Around 1000 I got a txt from Paul Snell asking if I was going anywhere to fly as he was at a loose end an he had the Red Rocket.  I told him that I had been thinking of flying Avdellaro for some time now but until today had been without a fellow pilot to fly it.  Paul said he would meet me at the Cafe and after a couple of minutes of faffing around I set off.
On arrival at the cafe I could see the Peugeot garage flags were fluttering nicely along the road though occasionally switching toward an Easterly before blowing along the road in a Southerly manner once again.  These flags I have found to be a nice indicator of wind direction and speed but that is all they are as they are a good mile away from the hill.
After a couple of minutes Paul arrived and we sat and had a drink whilst I imparted my local knowledge of the site to Paul.  We agreed that as Paul was new to the site we should try the Eastern Launch and we dropped my Prelude off in the quarry before making our way to the top.  Initial survey seemed doable so we unloaded our kit and tipped up Paul's wing to get rid of his latest curium sand build up but whilst we did this conditions built till they were out of limits for us and after half an hour of chit chat and stone throwing I suggested we at least have a look at UN 111 if for nothing more than a site fam.  We jumped back in the Rocket and off roaded our way to UN 111 launch where it was most definitely within limits.  Very strange we thought less than half a mile in it and this site is good!  There was a largeish greyish cloud looming just behind the hill and seemed to build for half an hour then die off and then build again.  Even the strongest gusts coming through were within limits for us so I decided as the "Site expert" between us I'd launch and test conditions.  I immediately found that it was doable but light, so I started to look for the lift it was lifty pretty much all along the cliffs and so I thought (as I was well above launch) I'll try the other side. There was a huge punchy thermal kicking off over there just after the first lump and up I went, I turned to maximise the lift and up I went again.  This was where I found out I'd made a mistake,  in turning into wind and flying through the only good lift, I had unwittingly sealed my fate.  All I found was sink with a large side order of sink!  this dropped me into the forbidden area behind the ridge in front of launch which worried me a little.  I think on a stronger day I could have been in for a bumpy ride but on this occasion I dropped nicely into wind shadow and slope landed in front of launch.  Hmm not a good start to the day I hear you all shout and you'd be right! but as I was completely unscathed say for a blemished ego Paul set up and decided he would fly to the left of launch.  By the time I had clambered my way back up to launch Paul was ready to go but the wind had dropped nearly to nothing at all,  he attempted a launch anyway but the wing just fluttered and dropped onto a prickly bush.
Undeterred we picked his wing out of the bush and after a brief wait the wind picked up and Paul had a nice 20 or so minutes in wonderfully lifty conditions before landing behind launch to save a walk or pick up.  Had we had a second 4x4 this day would definitely have lent itself to a cross country flight but as we only had the rocket and I had to work later that evening it wasn't to be.

After Paul had landed I suggested that we should check out Ayia Marina and Paul said ok.  We hopped back on the Rocket and drove across to the lone chapel on the hill.  I informed Paul that the launch here was extremely technical due to the car park being on a slope away from the hill and thus being in wind shadow.  Paul had packed his glider back in the ruck sack so I said I'd like to at least give it a go.  I'm pretty sure that I am the first to fly this site in some years unless someone out there can correct me?  I'd love to hear from you!  even better if you live locally!  the only other reference to it I can find is this which was uploaded around 2003ish.  Anyway I flew for around 12 minutes before bottom landing the site is quite small with a worrying looking mast at one end and a chapel on the the other.  Beautiful!  I was very happy.

Fly high and fly safe!