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?
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.
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.
A nice top to bottom from Slieu Roy when the fog lifted. It was balmy on the summit with the rest of the peaks on the Island peeking out of the thick blanket of fog. Si, Keith and I enjoyed the warmth for an hour or so before Philip rocked up. Shortly after that we all took off in nill wind conditions and headed for the triangle. All made it with 40-50 meters altitude to spare. Philip managed to glide the furthest and landed in a field over the other side of the road from the rest. Dead smooth.
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.
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.
Them mothers have a lot to answer for!!!
Got the call from Keith, Si and Jamie to say they were off to North Barrule. I was stuck in the house so had to wait…..North Barrule was too strong…..so off they went to Ballaugh, where it was too west and too light….so it was off to Slui Curn. They were joined by Phillip and Gold and the soaring looked very good. there was plenty of room and everyone seemed to be able to stay up easily. Reports on the radio of spring thermals had me rushing up the hill. By the time I arrived it had all switched off and everyone had gone down apart from a top landing Gold (3:45pm). Anyway myself and Gold had a go and found it scratchy and light , but the thermals were there and we both managed 20 minutes of soaring in them ,at times getting up to 72m ATO, before we succumbed to the landing field.
Lovely day with six up, which is probably a record for Slui Curn. There was also four cars down the bottom, which is probably as many as we will get in there. If you plan to use this site try and share cars and use the permits the club has bought. The 2005 ones are now available.
Did anyone get any pic’s?
Whilst this was all going on, someone had been out and set fire to the front face of Sartfell…….. it is now black as hell and should prove a real thermal boost when things pick up……..be careful.
Weathers definitely improving now………anyone know any decent babysitters?
Martin got a lot of flying in last week on Slue Lewaige, xc etc etc……The life of riley I tell ya! Sunday dawned nice and light and Keith, Si and Jamie were able to soar on Lewaigue until it became too light. A change of site was then called for…so the hike up north Barrule began. By the time they and Toni got to the top the wind had switched from NE to SE and then to nothing….all thermal activity also ceased.
So a spot was set up in the small field by the house. Keith flew very well to land about 1 metre from the spot, beating everyone else comfortably. Lovely day to end a very poor, if dry February.
There is a meeting this Thursday at the farmers. Goldie should be showing one of his doggin videos, which should be a real treat. Failing that we may show "never ending thermal" which, I guess, should be nearly as good.
See u soon
Well the repack went well…I am sure everyone got something out of it. See Bill’s email below.
Not much Flying for the para’s this weekend. Martin flew his HG for 4 hours on Thursday at Ballaugh, and half an hour at the new site (Glenduff 16-18 mph NNE) on Sunday. Looked ok,, but cold!!
The days are getting longer though…………Hope we get some in soon. Watty seems to have had the best of it so far this month. Weatherjack says the season started last Tuesday…..well we will see….he is starting to forecast though, which is a good sign.
The XC league is now on line at manxparagliders.com…..you know who is in the lead!!
If anyone is getting out in the next few weeks please try and get some pics as we need something in the paper to promote this years course.
Saturday dawned with Watty the early bird getting the best of Ballaugh, enjoying some great soaring for about 90 minutes. By the time Goldie, Martin, Bill and myself arrived there were isolated showers out to the NW. We waited in our cars as the hail and rain fell at the back of Ballaugh hill before deciding to try our luck down south, so Bill, Goldie and I headed to Cronk Ny Array Laa about 4ish. Wind was 16-20mph NNW seemed right direction but too strong with low cloud and some bigger clouds above. Looked a bit rough but Watty claimed his flights were fairly smooth earlier on. We did notify air traffic of our impending flights and called to tell them we had decided not to fly. They were very appreciative of our contact. So no flying for most of us.
Sunday arrived dull and overcast however Watty had again sought some great soaring at Slieu Lewaige early on with another hour or so logged up (180M ATO (590 foot)). By the time I arrived Tony was setting up and Martin had just landed along with Watty. Tony and I enjoyed a half hour in 8-12mph in light rain at times, slope landing in the big field to the left just before the wind dropped. Nice pockets of lift especially on the eastern point. Tony’s first flight at Slieu Lewaige so well done Tony. My longest flight since October- same site. Hope there’s more flyable weather soon for those poor fellas who had their hand full of…