Bobcat Flying Sunday 5th April 2009

Sunday dawned sunny and with the wind soon increasing to 20 mph on the hills it was time to put the theory gathered (from reading the online manual for a few minutes and watching U-tube) into practice. Nearly did not bother after reading the label on the wing however. Headed to Sartfell first of all for a little bit of ground handling.

The wing seemed to swing from left to right like a pendulum, although the breaks did not feel they were giving too much feedback. It also had a tendency to keep doing frontal collapses (could have been a little turbulent with hindsight). Trimmed it right down which made it a little easier, or maybe we were getting used to it. The funniest thing is not having to pull it up to inflate, it simply climbs into the air all on it’s own. Must remember this when on the hill, you could be flying before you are in the harness!!

After a good hour or so we headed back to the Site With No Name where it blowing nice and strong. A quick walk down the face, an even quicker unpack and soon the thing was above my head, (some times) or on its ears (most of time). I waited for a gust to come through (maybe 20 mph) and hopped off. Seemed quite fast even though it was totally trimmed down, so much so that as the wind was quite westerly I did not really want to turn and head back down the ridge towards take off!! Luckily the wind must have dropped to 14 mph and so did I, doing a nice slope landing.  With the second attempt I got a little more height and actually did a couple of beats, with the wind probably a little more on the ‘hill’ also.

The wing feels fast, (naturally) solid and not mega twitchy. I reckon with the trimmers let off a little this could all change!!  The wind was obviously getting up and now I could maintain a little as I slowly headed out over the valley. It did seem very wrong getting a little height with only a little thing above my head, but with a slow turn I was soon losing any height gained and back down to the ridge.  The final flight must have been done in about 24mph of wind and it was all ‘OK’. Real shame the wind was such a rubbish direction, otherwise I reckon we would have been zooming around all day!!

I reckon surfing the coast will be an absolute blast!! Jamie did not fancy it so maybe it looked a little more hairy than it really was! Please note that the harness, apart from ruining my family allowance (until I wrapped them in my helmet bag) naturally spreads your legs.

May be good after work this week although could be a little light for this thing!! Catch you later.