Bulletin March 2014

March 2014

At time of writing March has seen a reprieve in the constant conveyer belt of deep depressions being driven into the UK and my brain by the Jet Stream. High pressure has dominated the first half of March with some southerly and easterly winds veering West to North West allowing the frostbite to finally be called and the sun to come out!

I have managed to fly the Para at Maker (SE) on the 10th bit off the east and sporadic lift that kept you on your toes. And the hanger at Perran which was my first flight since the 20th of January. A brief look at he log book reveals that although the weather has improved I had more in quantity and quality in March 2013.

This weeks bulletin will kick off with what I hope will be a monthly installment of words of wisdom from our Chair Andy.

Chairman’s Chat

Well, my illusions of having some time to get to grips with the Chairman’s role before tackling the weighty issues were very quickly shattered.

We had an interesting and lively meeting in February where one of the issues that we discussed was the proposed changes to the Club Pilot training syllabus.  While investigating this issue I wanted to find out what other clubs felt about the proposal and I had some interesting chats with clubs as far away as the Dales and Cumbria.  The outcome of these chats was that we are not alone.  Most of the other clubs that I spoke to were equally concerned at the reduction of CP training requirements.

Due to the very tight deadline imposed by the BHPA this culminated in letters from Kaz (as Chief Coach) and I to the BHPA and Skywings (which I’m hoping that they publish shortly).  We will have to wait to see if the issues that we have raised have any effect on the BHPA’s proposals.

At last! We may have had to wait a while but when it happened Frostbite was great fun.  I’ve seen a few comments from people saying that it was the best day at Perran ever.  High praise indeed.  I can’t help thinking that maybe the reason why it was so enjoyable is that rather than bimbling up and down the dunes we had tasks to achieve, if that’s the case then maybe the new Cornwall Challenge Cup will help to invigorate our flying.  If you don’t know what the Cornwall Challenge Cup is yet, please let me know.

Finally, I have been pondering the question ‘What is the point of a chairman?’  A bit late you may think, as you’ve been rash enough to vote me into the post and I didn’t run away fast enough.

I think that it is to:

§  Accurately represent the views of the members without bias.

§  Ensure that ideas, issues and concerns are appropriately discussed.

§  Work closely with all KHPA officers to ensure the smooth running of the association.

§  Try to ensure that club activities reflect the needs and aspirations of members.

To achieve this we, i.e. the KHPA officers, need to know what you think, what you want to achieve and how the KHPA can better support its members in flying or social activities.  So, over to you …

Til next time.  As Confucius may or may not have said ‘May the number of your landings forever equal the number of your launches.’

Safe landings, Andy R

Forstbite 2014

After the biblical weather events of Jan and feb the frostbite was called on Friday march 14th to take place over the weekend of the 15th and 16th. The forecast was w – NW and looked like it could be good for HG and PG although XC looked unlikely. I drove down with Jonathon, on arrival the wind was pretty much westerly, flyable for both HG and PG. Briefing at ten thirty and two tasks set. Task 1 fastest time to complete a ridge run with three turn points, turn point 1 the second bench heading towards the golf course, turn point 2 at penhale, all the way back to the bench for Turn point three and the clock was stopped when you past launch again. Task two was then a spot landing.

With only three HGs entering on sat why a podium position was guaranteed. I flew as fast as I dare in what was reasonably week lift getting quite low perhaps to low having to slow down at times, a passable spot landing and found I had won day one! Tim Jones has the fastest ridge run but a spot landing that did not go to plan. Perran is a peculiar place to land an HG.

Day two and the wind had veered more to north and the length of the run shortened to account for this as going into the corner with the headland would have meant flying into some nasty air. Turn point two was move to be about 2/3 of the way up the beach towards the ranges and turn point 1 the first bench on the golf course. Six HG pilots entered on the Sunday but with Tim Jones and myself being the only pilots to enter both days he was the one to watch. Having a points advantage from yesterday I launched feeling confident zoomed off down the ridge took turn point one to low. Now facing into wind and getting bad air off the headland making it unwise to tuck in to close I ended up on the beach. Thankfully Phil Knight, Colin J and Mike Bond all lent and hand to get my glider back up. I must thank Phil in particular, who won day two and scored more points than me on Saturday could have won outright. I rigged again and this time took a bit more of tortoise approach and finished in third position on day 2 winning the comp outright on points. Kaz executed a very stylish top landing making hitting the spot look easy. She and Graham A scoring the top marks for task 2 for the day.

Being the only South Devon pilot on a HG and a Kernow pilot creates a bit of dilemma which club won the HG? In the spirit of keeping competition alive it’s got to go South Devon for 2014!

HG 15/03/2014  Time Task 1  Points  Task 2 Total
Tim Jones 8.42 1000 1000
Chris Whittaker 10.59 863 863
Sam Allum 10.18 904 400 1304
HG 15/03/2014  Time Task 1  Points  Task 2  Total  Total
Phil Lyons 8.19 1000 440 1440
Kaz Phipps 12.22 757 480 1237
Sam Allum 10.27 872 380 1252 2556
Graham Austin 10.57 842 480 1322
Tim Jones 9.06 953 953
Andy Rogers 250 250

Over to the winner of the PG Wyn Davies for his report of the day.

Waking up to a fine looking day many pilots making their way to Perranporth with some thinking of Weatherspoons for a breakfast was good flight planning, others went straight to the hill. First flights of the day was as early as 8a.m.The day started with a steady 10-12mph and smack on! Give or take.

Phil Lyons and Graham May gave the task briefing and we got started. We all set off one by one with excitement as all flights were timed so good flight planning was essential, not too high and not too low as not to waste time but to make the goal line was the priority.

Day 1

Task 1. To fly towards Perran town to the first bench after the cliffs then to return and fly towards Penhale until they got to the big green fish net located on the beach, return back to the first bench then return back to Takeoff.

Task 2.  A spot was marked out for our landing.

Day 2

The wind was top end and not flyable mainly, however I turned up at around 12 noon ish and thought mmm its ok. But only briefly and very damp.

The scores of each day are as follows.

 

15.03.2014

PG

task 1

task2

Name

time

points

total

Graham Phipps

10.38

1000

480

1480

Wyn Davies

11.22

898

490

1388

Graham Austin

12.25

893

490

1383

Andy Rogers

12.25

893

480

1373

Phil Lyons

12.4

873

490

1373

Steve Warner

14

798

450

1248

Ian Ferguson

16.08

670

480

1150

Adie Chirgwin

250

250

Steve Dredge

250

250

 

16.03.2014

PG

task 1

task2

Name

time

points

total

Wyn Davies

14.42

1000

450

1450

A summary of Saturday at Perran is that it was an amazing day. From winds of 10-12mph steady filling in through out the day to 17-18mph and very lifty. Flown the same time were speed wings, PG & HG. There was also low cloud from time to time passing through, something to keep a close eye on. I surprisingly got a chance to surf the edge of the cloud once, which drifted from TO towards Penhale before it finally passed through. Perran was flown from the far Left to penhale point.

Does it get Better!!

Hope for those that wasn’t able to make it will join in next year and the above made good reading.  So see you next year at Frostbite 2015.

Regards

Wyn.

Steve W stretching for the spot

Steve W stretching for the spot

Saturday 15th March Colin B headed to North Cornwall

Our sport is all about sites, some are friendly and others require up most respect. Some depend on negotiation and a certain attitude by Pilots for them to remain open. Unofficial sites that are not flown very often can be dangerous due physical characteristics or an unfamiliar pilot. The next article was produced by Colin Blagdon of the South Devon Club, it is a great write up of an unofficial site so after speaking to a few other who fly Sandymouth I decided t publish it as it contains important information regarding safety. Some might argue that it encourages people to fly these sites which could put them in jeopardy of being lost. It should also be considered that a Pilot determined to find and fly sites off the beaten track will be safer if information is shared.

Kernow call the frostbite comp, a tough call, support the comp or give into James Bulls plan to fly a site he’d been eyeing up for quite some time at Sandymouth Bay. RASP clearly favoured Sandymouth and so, apologies to the comp organisers in Perran but off we went, 5 off us to Sandymouth near Bude.
James, Mark A, Darren, Roger, Paul Mahony and me found ourselves on takeoff with the wind smack on but a tad light, Roger took off just to prove it really was light and checked out the beach.
Local pilot David Langley gave us a good site briefing which included the news that an imposing looking stack and spur across the gap to the right of T/O was not normally the hazard it appeared to be.
I’d gotten myself a new wing and found the takeoff at Sandymouth an excellent place to “play” with it to get a feel for stall points etc at less than 5ft, pre flight hops were the order for me for the first 30mins or so, then people began taking off and staying up.
Just to the left of takeoff was a significant gap to the low cliffs which would take us above the beach at Bude, but the wind was too light for that gap at this stage. David was first to demonstrate the benign nature of the stack to the right and soon we all joined him on that stretch of the cliffs that would take tenacious pilots towards Hartland.
Everyone was having a good time and the new wing felt good, it’s exactly the same as my last wing a “D” rated Avax XC3 but because I’ve lost so much weight a smaller size, a 26, was required and it’s taken me 6months to find one.  So, I’ve an Avax XC3 28 for sale would suit a very experienced fat bloke all up weight 100-115kg small change should buy it!

Hartland 1Paul was pushing along the ridge and I found it fun to see someone with even more experience than me checking out the massive slab like vertical spurs for rotor before I got to them. There was very little turbulence coming off the stacks and spurs, so well aligned was the wind.
We quickly came across what is popularly known as  the “always listening to our customers” GCHQ  listening post at Morewenstow, whatever the place actually is,  it looks serious, impressive and we had alerted the attention of its security services who followed us along the perimeter fence in 4x4s with flashing lights.
I waved in a non-threatening a non-Taliban like way and pushed my chin out to show I was clean shaven, I’m sure it helped put them at ease.
Next though was a huge spur which required us to top up height to cross, I wasn’t happy that the height we were getting was enough to cross safely so signalled to Paul that I was going back. We struggled a little to return across the earlier spurs one of which I had to go out to sea to get around and feel safe. I think everybody landed as a group, back on T/O and stopped for lunch; clearly we had all been enjoying what was to most of us South Devon guys a new site.
Again we all took off and Paul was up for the challenge of jumping the gap towards Bude, which we did followed by James on my trusty old Sigma6. Then we had to get back with the wind less in our favor but with the tide still not an issue, Paul went first, it was tough, I followed getting to the far cliffs lower than I normally dare, Paul and I then hovered high and safe on the cliffs to see how James would do. From where I was it looked like James was going to be collecting sea shells and seaweed for the rest of the afternoon, but, phew he made it and climbed onto the section we were on and then flew with us to the first stack and spur to the North where by now a small flock of us had gathered.
Paul signalled to me that he wanted to fly North again, the wind was still almost perfect but had moved almost imperceptibly a tad to the North, but the air was now so buoyant that if anything this time things were easier.
Over the next several miles there was one rather challenging section which was a very big spur followed immediately by a long run back to the coast, a gap and another imposing spur which would be approached well below cliff top height. I made the running this time and crossed to gap with only some 75ft asl to spare but there was an easy beach to land on at a push.
Problem was that the cliff I need to have work for me looked as though it could be in the lee of the next spur, not good. My approach was to get to it and not fully engage with it but to “feel” my way closer and closer to it, until it worked or the feel of the air made me abort the effort and land on the beach.
Thankfully it worked, no bad feel to the air and we were again on our way North, the problem we faced now was that the tide was in and all the top landings were sheer cliffs with sharp edges. There were few appealing options had the wind died away here, but the forecast held and an hour or so later some 18km further along the coast we arrived above Hartland Quay. I know the pub there, The Wreckers, it sells fine ale and chips by the plate and immediately behind it was the only friendly landing option I’d seen for quite some time.
The air was still very buoyant, the sun was shining but the tide was in and the final mile and a bit to Hartland Point would have been on much lower cliffs than we’d been navigating, neither of us was keen to go further, had the tide been out it might have been a different story.
So I landed in the sunny field beside the pub car park and before I could pack away Paul had returned to check out what had happened before successfully taking on the challenging full return journey alone.
After exchanging a few texts and offering free beer for a retrieve James, Paul and Mark came to join me at the Wreckers where the ale was exceptional and the weather so good we took in the evening sun outside looking at the last craggy part of the run to Hartland point, maybe next time.

Hartland 2

I don’t recommend the Hartland run without lots of experience and planning; too few safe landing options should conditions deteriorate, too many jagged spurs to cause rotor should the wind direction change and many beaches which could lure you in but which seemed to be completely inaccessible from above. If ever there was a run for paragliding which warranted some serious study, radios and a good solid plan from the outset then maybe this is it. Col B

links

Next time you see Wyn thanks him for submitting this it is excellent and thanks to Tim P!

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fflyaszent.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F04%2Fxc-planning.pdf&h=iAQELiBia 

Click on ‘follow link’.

Steve M sent in a few video links.

1- paraglider wing collapse on landing approach

2 – paraglider being blown back from beach into the town behind.

3- paramotoring over St Michaels Mount