Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Spring Cleaning

video by Markus Kinch

We have had a surprisingly good period of weather locally this last week and so I've managed to get out a few times and do a bit of flying and sort out my kit for the big Alpine flights coming up in April. Spring is most definitely here and the thermals have awoken from their winter sleep. I even managed to do my first cross country flight of the season from Chinnor, not exactly a huge flight but nice all the same. We had quite a strong temperature inversion which meant that I could only climb up to about 700m (2300ft) in the thermals but this was enough to get me to West Wycombe which is close to the London Air Traffic Management Area [LTMA] although I think there might have been scope to take a more northerly direction to get a bit further but it wasn't really the day for it. But most of all it gave me a chance to try out the modifications to my harness as I've put in new ratchet pulleys (as used in dinghy sailing) and also installed a three step speed bar. Together these modifications have taken the load from my legs that I was suffering from last year in headwind transitions when on bar.

I also tested out my reserve system at the Thames Valley Club 'Big Fat Repack' by sliding down a zip line from the top of Reading sports centre and deploying my rescue parachute. It all worked fine and opened reassuringly quickly. I then carefully repacked it all back in the harness, lets hope I don't have to use it for real ...

A big thanks to Markus Kinch our local veteran hang gliding pilot for making nice videos of the days flying.

video by Markus Kinch