Friday, 22 May 2009

80km in Greifenburg Austria

The weather has been pretty awful in the UK with a constant low pressure system hanging around giving high winds. So after looking at the forecast for Austria I decided to pop over to try and do some big triangle flights in Greifenburg with Trias a Scottish pilot. I had my mind set on a classic 115km triangle and so went to the take off in Embergeralm to have a go at it. This is the first time I'd been here and was pleasantly suprised with the setup; a nice take off area and next to it a place to have coffee and cake. You have to pay a small fee for this convenience but it was money well spent I felt. The main landing area in the valley is similarly setup and although there is no cable car there is a regular navette or minibus service that takes you to launch for 5 Euros. So I managed to fly two sides of my triangle for a total distance of 80km but the last leg was difficult and so I landed near a train station to make an easy retrieve back to the hotel. The cloud base was quite low at about 3200m as we had more humid southwest meteo winds, but with drier easterlies the base can get much higher apparently. It was challenging flying but fun so lets see what the rest of the week has in store. My flight can be seen here

Sunday, 3 May 2009

62km from Nant y Moel in SE Wales

I did a great little 62km flight yesterday from Nant y Moel in SE Wales on one of the rounds of the British Club Challenge. I'd never flown in SE Wales before and was looking forward to flying from a new site, but as soon as I turned up I was doubtful that any decent cross country flights could be made as the sky was grey with a low cloud base. But as I was there for the Dunstable club I persevered and although hard work I managed to pull off a reasonable flight; perhaps even one of the best of the day. My strategy was to stay over the higher ground and away from any sky that looked grey and overcast. This meant I had to glide cross wind in a more northerly direction between climbs, I think most other pilots went further to the south in a more downwind direction. I passed over Merthyr where the British Open hang gliding competition was starting and joined a gaggle of hangies in a climb, probably much to their annoyance. Once high enough I carried on my merry way to get a more peaceful climb a few kilometers downwind only to find several of the hang glider pilots zooming over to join my climb, nice to reciprocate the favour! The rest of the flight was the usual mix of glides, getting low and climbing out. But when past Abergavenny I was faced with the choice of which way to fly to get past an airspace restriction, the D-147 danger area which is the Madley Satellite Earth Station I could clearly see from the air. I chose to fly north of it as the sky looked better, but it was the wrong decision and the one that put me on the ground. I landed in a sheep filled field and a nice lady drove me to the nearest village where I waited in the pub for my retrieve (Thanks Steve and Tanya).

Tracklog can be seen here or here.