Another great Wednesday at The Park, very tricky to start with, but “booming” by late afternoon.
To begin with around 12pm, the cloud base was around 2,100ft and it was a hard task just to stay airborne, Me in JKW, Damien in FUY & Harriet in JAL, with Phil in FKA were skilfully towed by John H ( Thank you John !) which made getting away a bit easier.
As the afternoon progressed we had ended up with a relatively high cloud base of approx 3,400 feet QFE, combined with abundant thermal opportunities, I managed to find 5 kts average a few times 🙂. I noted that it was odd that every cloud had a different cloud base height, and sometimes you couldn’t reach the base no matter what you tried.
At this point a very ominous looking cloud was approaching and rumbling away, all of us could see it but we couldn’t appreciate how rapidly it was growing in size. Thankfully, John H & Mike T could foresee this, and called us all back. We had all landed and the gliders had been packed away when it came rumbling past, 3-5 miles south of the site.
That brought a close to play.
I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them 🙂.
Carrying on from Chris’ awesome video from Peru. I wanted to show you some videos from a little project I have been working on myself.
One of my favourite travel cinematographers, recently shared this shot of him flying across the tops of palm trees, it wasn’t an ordinary drone shot, but one created using a FPV Drone. After a little more searching on the topic of FPV drones I came across Johnny_FPV, this kid makes his living by creating cinematic FPV Shots, and his work is amazing.
Since there was to be no gliding for a foreseeable while, I decided to order one of these FPV drones and try it myself. I trained by flying a micro drone called a Tinywhoop round the house, and once I was proficient with this I decided to take out the full scale version.
Disclamer: I have a CAA “Licence” (Its referred to as Flyer ID) with a Operator ID and a Flyer ID and a friend as a spotter, and we do not fly near the public or livestock. The people in the video are my friends who happen to be Key Workers such as myself & we all work together at the same place.
After a good BI Training Flight with Alastair. Where we managed to soar to 2800ft Agl (3500ft AMSL) at 3kts up, I took the Astir and flew for an hour on the ridge. I even managed to get some photos for the blog:
I have recently edited a video from this years British Nationals, the video shows 1 full flight at advanced level. I thought it would be cool to share it with you, so you can get a better understanding of what I fly, and how it fits together as a sequence at a competition.
The BAeA ( British Aerobatics ) have just realised the points table for 2019. It is basically a league table for glider aerobatic pilots in the UK, with all the results from this year. I hope to collect the points trophy later this year.
Link to page- https://www.aerobatics.org.uk/pointstable/view/100
Last week, I spent the week at Lasham Gliding competing in the 2019 Advanced Glider Aerobatic Nationals. This was the first time in recent years that the Nationals were held at Lasham, so we were all competing in a new aerobatic box which proved to be a challenge as there wasn’t a great deal marking the boundaries.
The first sequence was our Free Known which we are allowed to design and practice. This sequence went well for me as I scored 1364 points which was 200 points clear of the next competitor. The contest director had decided that we were going to do 2 flights a day so the next flight was unknown 1 – we are given these sequences a few hours before we fly them. Again this flight went well for me as I scored 1044 points winning this flight also.
The next day we had 2 flights left to do, the first one was the free unknown. We are allowed to design this sequence but not practice it!
I tactically chose my closest competitors sequence as it was silly to risk doing poorly on a separate sequence and him doing well. Should bad luck have it, I rolled the wrong way part way through his sequence resulting in my lowest score ever at 405 points ( I had a few words to say about it, when I realised I was the wrong way round). So after landing I thought I was out of the competition….
I had one flight left to do, and after talking to Maz the owner of the fox he helped me through what I needed to do for the last flight. Surprisingly it went really well, so well in fact I won the last flight!
3 wins out of 4 flights. But was it enough?
Dave Gethin had beaten me by 1.2%. Silver medal it is.
This competition I learned a lot, and I feel even more determined and excited to do well in future competitions. Even though this season went well with 2 gold medals and 1 silver and 8,138 points (Which I believe is the most anyone scored this season in the UK) there is always room for improvement.
You can find the scores here: https://www.aerobatics.org.uk/contest/result/164
The last image was taken on the Sunday, when our coach decided he wanted to winch the Primary as we had free day. Soon as I have 200 hours I’m going to ask to fly it. Carl a team member is stood by the glider in the picture.
I have just returned from the 2019 Saltby Open, this competition was my first time competing at Advanced level. The competition was a one day competition with a low number of entries at 8, yet 4 of them were from the National Team including myself, so it was still a hard field of pilots to compete against. The competition is 2 unknown sequences ( Which means we don’t know what the sequence is until 1 hour before launch- it’s my least favourite).
The time came around and I towed to 4100ft AGL in the Fox only to be clouded out as a large CU came in between me and the judges so I had to airbrake down, I’m pretty confident that’s the fastest anyone has ever come down off a 4000ft tow as the fox “falls” from the sky at 100 kts full airbrake.
We then decided to wait till the cloud base lifted , which worked and we managed to get the whole competition in on the Friday. With 2 flights each.
I was happy with my sequences as the only error was falling off the tail slide instead of travelling backwards before the tuck. In the evening the judges added up the scores, and you can see the results below !!!!!!!!!!!!!
First time using the blog so apologies if I get anything wrong.
Saturday is looking like a reasonable day to try and go further than 49.73km, so I was looking for some help to come rescue me if all goes wrong on this attempt.
I would be extremely grateful if people are ok to be on standby on Saturday (As long as the forecast holds) please let me know if you would be happy to do this. Thank you !
On a different note – The photo I have attached was from my 2 hour 12 min stint on the ridge from Sunday , surprisingly it was mostly thermals that were keeping us aloft, the best I found was 5 knots, in 25 kts of wind at around 1600ft above site, shame cloud base was only 1900ft. Lower down the ridge worked well even at 75 kts. I just wish the ridge was longer, next extension plan?!