Paragliding 31/5

You may not believe it, but I am not a 2005 paragliding virgin anymore! Had a top flight on South Barrule yesterday afternoon.  After contacting ATC and Met decided to go and have a yomp up the hill, as the wind was SE ish (120) 8knots at Airport.

Wind varied from about 6mph to a thermic 16mph. Took a while to set up, as everything had been disconnected for the parachute repack, by which time it was much calmer.

Took of on South side at 3pm, and went straight up, lift was easy to find, even well out in front of the hill.  Got to 540ft ATO really easily so decided to big ears (a few times) to get down to the height restriction I had set with ATC. Flew out over the plantation, left over to the Ballamodha and right over the car park too.  Perfect day for a cross country, but still happy with a 51 minute first flight of the year!

At work tomorrow night, so will not be able to make the farmers, but now my enthusiasm has been boosted for Manx flying, might see you on the hill soon.

Saturday 9th April

A perfect SE 9 knots from the weather station at the point of Ayre had Keith, Si and Jamie assembled on Shallag with high expectations. Unfortunately expectations proved higher than the quickly dying wind and they all went down swiftly followed by myself, Bill, Swalesey and Mike…….The next 2km walk to the Dogmills giving us plenty of time to figure out where to go next…….Martin then rang from the top of Slui Roy to say he was just about to take off into what he thought would be very rough conditions. Not a good sign as Martin is usually comfortable about flying alone……..20 minutes later he called to say – it was horrible, rough, not nice. That left the rest of us with one last possibility…….Mullagh Ouyr , which being lower than Slui Roy should have less wind/turbulence on it. I must confess I have not flown this hill in nearly 5 years, which is a shame as it is a great easterly site. So myself and Swalesey gave it a go and found it rough as expected, very lifty, and not much fun. Eventually Phil got it down on the front , whilst I opted for Windy Corner. Glad to get down I was then amazed to see Bill have a go……he soon gave it up though. Shame really as it is a great site and I for one will be giving it a try this summer in nicer conditions. So a rough old day where there was wind and thermals mixing it up around some sort of
inversion……maybe tomorrow?

Sunday 3rd April

Wind was blowing quite hard on the top of Slieu Roy.  Jamie was first off and was penetrating OK but it looked lifty and rough.  Cloud was lowering all the time and was starting to get quite foggy at the top when Simon and Myself left.  There was plenty of lift but with what looked like rain on its way I didn’t really play with it.  There was a stiff breeze in the landing field which prevented any of us from making it much further than halfway up the field.  A short flight but probably could have been much longer if wanted to.

French flying

Just to prove that the Isle of Man is not the only place pilots run around chasing the wind, the club here had a bit of frustrating weekend.

Saturday: light winds, all directions and no cumulus. Most people stayed at home, though a couple of pilots travelled up to Le Markstien (about an hour and half away) in Les Voges. Here there was as quite a lot of convergence, but very strong and punchy. Some stayed on the ground and some wished they had. It overdeveloped rapidly with Cumulonimbus by midday and then rain showers.

Sunday: a more steady southwesterly with good thermal cycles in the morning saw about half the club at one of the little local sites called Chariez. By the time we’d all got ready to fly, the last of the good cycles went through and wind dropped off to not much and then came over the back. We all packed up and trudged off to the Northerly launch where there was a reasonable 8-10 Northwesterly. By now there was high cirrus lessening the suns power and the strength and frequency of thermals. Myself and two of the other club pilots had top to bottoms without a sniff of any lift. Jean-Francois, the club chairman told me that last week one the guys flew 150km from the same site!

Chariez is about 350ft top to bottom and has a 80ft rocky cliff ridge at the top. A bit like Stanage Edge in the Peaks, if you’ve ever been there. There’s two launches SW and NNW.

How did you lot get on this weekend?

Paragliding 29/3/05

Well it was very low winds forecast last night so N.Barrule was the place to be. Myself and Watty yomped up from the Hibernia, which sure beats going to the gym. Mean while Keith, Si and Jamie went up the easy peasy way from Gutheries.

At the top the wind seemed to be from the NNE and light – 9mph, not too promising. After taking off however there proved to be lift lower down and after eeking along to the northern/eastern end it was easy to stay up and use the weak but regular thermals that came through. Looking at Ramsey Moorach it was obvious there was zero wind down low so where all this lift was coming from was unclear, but it does seem to work well at this end, even when light. After about 40 minutes the hands had had enough (yes still very cold) so we all landed at the big field at Hibernia, where it was a little rough coming in.

Nice start to the season proper and great to get up after work.

It was suggested that we should all get together and propose one weekend where we all get out together. With one weekend maybe in Aug were even if we just have a top to bottom spot comp, we can all meet up and fly on mass. There must be nearly 20 of us and it could be a nice day out. Suggestions appreciated.

Easter Paragliding

Not the greatest of Easter weekends, but at the least clocks have changed. Friday saw myself Keith Si and Noel on Sartfell for a late top to bottom. Keith and Si managed to find some weak lift near the LZ to extend their flights. Sat saw Martin flying Slui Leawaige, it was very strong after changing very quickly from a very light NE that had the para’s unable to stay up! Sun saw Martin again at Slui Lewaige, where it was too light and rough….. Mon had Jamie, Keith and Si on Slui Roy doing extended top to bots. It was light so I plumped for N.Barrule were I saw Watty land after getting 1/2 an hour under a great looking sky. By the time we got back up the top how ever it clagged in!! eventually got off for a lovely top to bottom , flying above cloud for a bit, which was nice but no thermals.

Dunno how the motors got on?

Forcast for the week looks light…so it may be possible if the rain/clag stays off.

Flying 13/3/05

Hi all

Flying again this weekend!!

Things started with a white out on the mountain in the morning , with the mountain road well covered in snow. By about 11:30 this had all melted and the sun had dried most of the road off. So we had cold air and sun and a fair NW breeze turning W. Myself, Swales, Si, Keith, Mike and Jamie assembled on Slui Curn and threw Martin the HG off into a 12-15/18 mph breeze…..he went down……Swales then gave it a go on the Buzz and stayed up easily. Within a few minutes everyone else was off, easily soaring in weak but wide thermals. It was actually and pretty overcast day and there was very little sun about. The radio’s are now proving useful with people in lift now telling everyone else where it is, all very sociable. After about an hour the cold became too much and we all landed amongst the odd flakes of snow. It was very very cold and I must say I have never had hand pain quite so bad on landing. Toni then turned up, but by then it had turned off and he went down.

We saw Julian flying around the St Johns area…..dunno if any other motoring took place?

Well that’s two weekends of flying so far this month so things are looking up.

Fingers crossed for next weekend.

Paramotoring 6/3/05

Dave Oldfield & myself went a field adjacent to St Jude(?)(arrived 1 ish) where Dave had some ground practice in the light breeze.

Meanwhile I had had a short sortie of about 10 min’s to test the air and found it nicely buoyant with workable thermals of around 100 to 200fpm with the occasional bonus of a tight 6up core. When Dave was ready to fly, the pull start on his machine malfunctioned and although we had the engine running it was decided that it would be prudent for David not to fly his machine. I then took off again and was about 2 Km upwind of the field and attempting to work a broken thermal when I accidentally switched off my motor, not having an in air re-start facility, (I’ve misplaced the necessary kit during the house move!) I was presented with the task of gliding back to the field from around 600 ft. for a restart. Fortunately the air was reasonably buoyant and I made it back with height to spare. After restarting I had a very pleasant session of around an hour thermalling between the wildlife park near Sulby and downwind of St Jude. The thermals were very workable and most of time was spent with the engine at tick over circling my way towards base which I would estimate was at around 2,700′ (I was leaving the thermals at around 2,400′ to avoid going into cloud). With the thermals I was finding I’m fairly sure that it was possible to thermal from the wild life park to Ramsey but didn’t venture to far down wind as I wasn’t sure about fuel to get back to the field, (missing another piece of kit, a mirror to see the fuel level!) and didn’t really want to land out when I don’t know my way around that well (What a whimp!). After flying in near zero temperatures for around an hour, a severe case of the shivers set in so I decided that lunch sounded like a good idea.  So Dave didn’t fly, but had some valuable ground practice, we didn’t see Julian, and I had three fun flights totalling around 1 1/2 hours.

All in all, a good first session for me on the island.