Paragliding Map

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Today at the hill was another day like yesterday.  Only this time I didn't have to mess around at the clubhouse first.  I got to the hill and could see that the wind was on the hill with just a little East in it, also it felt like it was blowing around 8-10mph and I thought I'd give it a go!  After a pretty bumpy ride I landed on the beech near the first cafe and Pete, who had just arrived drove down to get me.  Cheers Pete, I will miss you!  I stuffed my glider into his boot and we went to the second cafe for a drink and chat.  Soon it seemed the wind had picked up so we trotted back up the hill.  As we thought, it had indeed picked up to around 10mph with the odd gust getting up to 15ish mph.  I set up and first attempt was a little uncontrolled which ended with me bringing the wing back down and getting the lines caught around my GoPro! this would have been a bit of an issue if I'd have been on my own!  Please, if anyone reading this uses a helmet cam, beware of the dangers! actually all I need have done was to step toward the wing but I think due to the tugging sensation on my neck I was a little panicked and just stood there!  Oh well, Pete once again was there to aid me along with two passers by that I'd managed to gift wrap too! he he!  Still my second attempt at launch went far more to plan, was under control and I simply let the wind lift me from the hills surface and into the sky!
For the first five minutes it was very smooth and lifty and I got quite a good view of the ruins, but as Pete took off, the wind turned more from the south and the western cliffs became scratchy.  I eased around to the front of launch and was rewarded with some nice lift there!  Overall this was about the best flight the day had to offer, sort of 1400 until around 1500.  Pete decided he would like to top land and I offered advice as to how best go about it.  It isn't the easiest of places to land on top of this quirky hill of ours and there are pilots out there that say 'if you can top land at Curium, you can land anywhere!'  I suggested he should try a few approaches first and practise slowing the wing enough that he didn't overshoot the launch and also practise a little mushing in case of being too high.  After some practise approaches and one slightly hairy one I could see that he'd got it spot on and he touched down nicely in the centre of the launch pad, problem was he slowly started to get dragged back toward the barrier and we managed to get him stopped as his legs touched it.  Hands up Pete! and he slowly walked away from it still flying the wing.  By now the wind was a little blustery and for a fresh pilot it was quite tricky but Pete did very well not to get completely wiped out over the road and for this I congratulate him!  When he was far enough away from the barrier I pulled his centre A risers and collapsed the front of the wing and brought it down.  Pete stepped toward the wing taking the tension off the lines and he was well and truly on the deck!  "Right" I said "I'll just turn my camera off so bring that over to the tree and we'll have a rest."  As I was at my camera I heard a sudden expletive and looked up to find Pete with his wing over the barrier and I rushed over to help.  It was at this point I burnt my finger and thumb on one of his lines!  Always wear your gloves! damn it!! I always do but had removed them to fiddle with the buttons on my camera.  Oh well all was good and no real damage caused apart from a slight friction burn to Pete's knee! he he.
It wasn't a smooth flight but then again it wasn't all that scratchy either, but you just couldn't relax enough to take in the sites!  Hopefully tomorrow will bring better wind!
The last flight of the day was really just because I was bored of watching the windsock and decided to dummy it out myself.  The wind by this time 1615ish didn't really know if it was Southwesterly or Southerly but it was blowing around 12mph so I decided I'd like to walk to the  sandpit and launch from there!  Pete came along too and watched in disbelief as I quickly began to sink.  I struggled with lift for a bit and thought I would go straight down but I found a nice bit of lift in front of top launch and then again by the sandpit.  I was above the sandpit and bought I was here to stay but shouted to Pete that he may struggle to get any height from the pit and that he might like to top launch.  He trudged back to the top shouting to me that 'I you go down I'll come get you!'  "I'm not going down!" I shouted back and flew to the far western cliffs to see what was over there.  Nothing! was the answer I got and quickly found myself at the bottom feeling very sorry for myself!  True to his word, Pete did indeed come to my rescue! and again I must thank him!
My track logs can be found here

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