Monday 23rd July
Peel Hill is a 400 foot high camels back ridge and the wind is forming big white horses on the sea side, so I am wondering why I am coming in to land a mere one kilometre downwind in lee rotor behind it at Knockaloe?? Was it really worth the memorable view as I crossed out to sea across Peel Bay and the Castle to soar Peel Hill and is this going to hurt?
The field I had picked out on my recce following last August’s flight to Peel was much bigger but it was also a couple of hundred metres nearer to Peel Hill, in full length Barley waiting to be cut and also had a line of sturdy little trees on the upwind side. More rotor? I didn’t need that. What about this nice smaller grassy field? Yep that will do. Now then think rotor – need extra speed and better only put half flaps on for more control. Bound to get thrown all over the place.
All this thinking is tiring and the field is only 70 metres by 150 metres and runs WNW and not NNW. I later find it runs downhill 25 feet. Determined to get it in, possibly lifted another 20 feet as I came in, I soon run out of field but not enough to get over the bank / hedge to the other side. FLARE NOW!!
Oh dear now I’ve gone and done it and after all these years without breaking anything!
I am very grateful to you all for looking after me and with especial thanks to Watty and Amanda who really did a magnificent job of collecting my car and de-rigging / retrieving my glider. Its almost worth a bit of pain and inconvenience to find that you have somehow acquired such fantastic mates. Its all part of this incredible flying experience we tend to take for granted and which we are all so very lucky to share.
In the event the wind was nowhere as strong as the white horses showed, it was only 12 to 15mph and if I had used full flaps I would probably have been OK. Rotor was not a significant problem. I would also have been OK if I had aborted the first field half way across and veered into the adjoining huge barley field!