Bulletin February 2012

Club Meeting

The next club meeting is on Thursday 8th March, usual time and place.

Photo Competition

Photo comp winner was Shaun Williams, but, as he wasn’t at the meeting, it was agreed to donate the £5 winnings to the Air Ambulance on his behalf. See  here for the submitted photographs, and upload your own for next month.

Quotation of the month.

With all the discussions about the new club rules and some members saying they may leave, and also the legal action taking place at the Dunstable club, there are two quotes that I think are relevant this month.

Groucho Marx:- “Please accept my resignation, I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”

Mario Puzo:- ”A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns”

Forthcoming Events

Air Ambulance Runway Runaround on 25th MARCH   All those interested in taking part (walking)please let me know by 1st MARCH   Would be great if we could get a team together carrying a hangy, either rigged or de-rigged, it’s up to you, I’ll be doing it. Click here for the details.  Chairman Steve

Logo Competition  Time is running out to get your entries in for the logo competition. It’s the design and the idea that is important, not the quality . The winning design will get tidied up for use, so don’t worry if you are not artistic.  See the current entries here.

Flight Test

My Rush 3  By Steve M

I have been flying my Mojo 2 since I came out of Cloud 9 school at the beginning of 2009. At the end of 2011 with over 80 hours on the wing, I realized it was time to move up. The decision came graphically to me on an unintended long ridge flight at Struddick with Bill Northcott.

For some time I had been struggling, I was at the upper weight range of the wing, the wing itself was getting old. I always found myself lower than most other pilots and was one of the earlier ones to come in if the lift dropped.  But in a way I am pleased I did struggle at times, it made me search around for every bit of lift there was, and to hang around in it if I found it. It made me try harder to stay up and to not give in when others were going down to the beach. The up side of my old wing was that I had no problems launching in windy conditions, but it was harder to move forward to launch. When flying on windy days, I could generally fly and penetrate (in the non sexual sense) without having to use speed bar, and on the trips to Spain, I  think the extra weight helped  while thermalling. Now, as to the ridge run, I was flying along and saw that Bill had jumped the gap at Seaton, and was on his way to Freathy, as he said he might. As I got to Seaton, I got some great lift from a thermal and  thought, well, if Bill’s going, so will I. Along the whole run, I was always well below Bill in height  and he was getting further in front all the time. At one point I was out of my harness ready to land as I had lost so much height, but I managed to save it and landed at Freathy. I realized I was being held back by my wing and I actually thought that I could have ended up in a serious situation. I was trying to fly where my wing could not take me. It was definitely time to get a new one.

First time on the hill with my Rush 3, and my leg is being pulled by some of the chaps, reminding me what Coady did on his. I rig up and walk down to the front. As I’m walking I am thinking that something is not quite right, I get the feeling I’ve forgotten something.  It feels like my reserve is not there, so I check. It is there, and I realize that what is different is the lightness of the Rush compared to the Mojo. It feels like it is half the weight. I am in the middle of the weight range of the Rush, and the wing is so light, I am already looking forward to being above everyone else for a change. I launched without a problem the first time, perhaps because I was being very careful. Later launches in windier conditions needed fast reaction on the brakes to prevent overflying. The first launch was easy, and on the first flight I adjusted the riser distance, tried big ears and speed bar, all without problems. Later flights, when I was more relaxed, I took more notice of the flying characteristics. The handbook says to fly with 300mm of brakes, I fly with less than that but with a definite feeling of pressure on the lines. I noticed how the glider speeded up when I went from min sink to max glide, and when the speed bar was put on, the wing almost surged with the additional speed.  Turns were fast and smooth without the sink I used to get on my old wing. I wasn’t aware of getting better lift, but I must have, because the last flight of the day, people were going to the beach, or scratching to stay up, and I managed to land on top OK.

I’ve had the wing a couple of months now, and I’m still getting used to it, but as proof of how much my flying has improved with this wing,  at Carbis Bay and Chapel Porth  I flew farther at those sites than I had before, and at Vault I  achieved  my  best height there. I’ve done some low flying at Hayle Towans, and the nimbleness of the wing really helps when trying to follow the contours.

I think the Rush is perfectly suited to my way of flying at this stage of my experience. The advice I would give to anyone is not to move too quickly to a faster wing.  Take time to develop your own flying style, fly your first wing until you get to the point when you know you are too good for it and it is holding you back. Then when you move up, you have the experience, confidence and ability to make the most of your new wing. Without trying too hard, using the experience you gained in trying to stay up, you will find yourself in the right place to make the best of the conditions and get the most out of your new wing as well. SM

Coaching Course

Cross Country Workshop

Five KHPA pilots attended the Pat Dower (link here) XC Workshop at Thurloxton, near Taunton. This was a theory based workshop, combining video and visual  presentation with instruction and tips by Pat The day covered the following:- An explanation of how thermals are formed, their sources and trigger points. Picking the right time to leave the ridge, the point of no return on windy or calmer days. Looking for the next thermal by ground feature, cloud shape or more subtle signs.  When to fly the ground or the sky.  Estimating the strength of thermals. How to core and fly efficiently in thermals.  Improving glide.  Pre flight preparation and in flight decisions. Low save tips. Flying with others. Reasons for early landing. There were practical tasks such as the virtual coring excercise, in which the pilot had to guide a pen to the  centre of a thermal drawn on paper with his eyes shut, while someone else pretended to be a vario.

Pat produced lots of interesting facts and tips that suggested on the right day a pilot would find it hard to avoid thermals. For example at a height of 1000 metres (3,300ft) with a glide of say 9:1, your available glide  area could be around 250 sq km (98 sq miles), there must be a thermal in an area of that size.

Comments on the workshop.

Mike Cowley:-   “Although mastering the skill or perhaps art of thermalling can only be acquired through practice, this was never the less an informative and useful day. Being given a head start from an acknowledged master, with all his insights and tips and enthusiasm was both encouraging and supportive of any endeavours that pilots may make. The day certainly gave me more confidence in tackling this subject in incremental stages, well worth it”

Adie Chirgwin:- “The workshop was very interesting, but, because I had never done any thermalling, I found I could not always relate the theory to the practical. I think you need to have some experience of thermal flights to get the best out of it.”

Alan Knight:- ”This completely baffled me, when I was told it was about thermals, I thought I was going to learn about one piece long johns with a button up rear trapdoor. But it was interesting anyway.”

For those who are interested in XC there is online airmap for the South of England, it doesn’t cover Cornwall, perhaps someone can make one for us.

Link attached to Ben Friedland’s airmap here. SM

Going XC in Cornwall

Entries From an XC Practitioner’s Log Book

Taken from the bulletin from March 1991… time it inspired us again!

If proof were needed that the time has arrived to dust off your airmaps, compass and “Glider Pilot” map holder, then here are extracts from Graham Phipps’ log book covering spring-time 1987 to 1990.

Monday March 22nd 1990. Flying at Perranporth with Rob and Graham M, wind W-NW 22-25mph. Made Vault Bay 17.89 miles. Max height 2750ft with no real problems. Airtime 2.5hrs.

Tuesday April 3rd 1990. Flying Perran in evening. Wind 22-25mph W-NW. Fairly thermic, flew to Gorran 17 miles. Airtime 1hr 55 mins. Max height 3750ft.

Wednesday April 4th 1990. Codden Hill. Wind very light, northerly. Airtime 5hrs. Left hill immediately in thermal with Pete to cloudbase. Made Loddiswell for 52.16 miles. Max height 5200ft.

Friday April 13th 1990. Good Friday. High Cliff. Wind W-NW 16mph. Airtime 3:40mins. Left ridge after 1hr 10mins with Pete to Cloudbase. Made goal at Torbay for 52.36 miles. Max height 4000ft. Saw lads on top of Widgery as I flew by. New Cornish record and probably national record flying from coast.

Wednesday February 22nd 1989. Chapel Porth. 26mph post cold front. Caught thermal at 14.50, made 2250ft in 3-up. Landed at Sticker for 18.35 miles.

Sunday April 2nd 1989. Towing at Dave’s. Static winch broke down after towing Rob Ings. Rob got a 6 up  and went from 750ft to 2500ft for 12.3 miles. Hand towed rest of day-best height 1275ft for Mark Seymour. I had one tow to 1070ft on Kiss.

Thursday April 6th 1989. Flying at Perranporth. Wind W-NW 20-25mph. Max height1800ft. Flew to Ladock-7.85miles.

Sunday 23rd April 1989. Borlasevath, wind 0-10mph W-NW- pre warm front. Four pilots made cloudbase at 2000ft. max distance 8 miles, max airtime 1.5hrs.

Thursday April 27th 1989. St. Agnes. Wind N-NE 25mph. Flew to the Lizard.24.79 miles. Airtime 1:30mins. 3375ft best- over Culdrose. 1500ft to spare over the Lizard. Graham May made Carn Brea.

Saturday May 13th 1989. Towing at Dave’s- very windy- one tow line break very severe. Pete got away early and broke record with 26.6 miles to Callington.

Thursday March 31st 1988. Carn Brea, airtime 1:30mins. Flew to Mawnan Smith- 9.9 miles.

Sunday April 24th 1988. Brown Willy. Wind E-SE. 14 mph. Ridge lift poor but small strong thermals. Caught ragged thermal to 900ft… arrived over Delabole at 300ft AGL, saved by a boomer thermal (5-up) over ploughed fields- just before power lines. Up to 2200ft. Turned south of Delabole and flew along coast, hit some strong lift but carried on. On arriving at Pentire noticed wind had sea breezed. Missed the sea breeze front! Bill Scott came in 30mins later and landed 300m south. I did 13.86 miles, Bill 13.67 miles.

Thursday May 19th 1988. Codden Hill. Took off with Dave Bazeley into ODed sky. Max height 4100 ft. Did 21.3 miles to Holsworthy.

Monday April 20th 1987 Easter Monday. South Devon Comp. East Hill near Honiton. Wind NW fresh. Thermalled to cloudbse  with Bill S and Bob T. at 3500ft crosswinded to next cloud street and climbed again from 1500ft to cloudbase at 3500ft… I landed at Chidock, east of Charmouth for 19.34 miles. Bob T did 50 miles.

Friday May 15th 1987. Carn Brea. Took off at  16.55, left hill at 17.05 and flew to Black Head for 16.2 miles. Max height 1800ft. Monty did 14 miles, Tim 7 and Rob 4 miles.

So if that little lot doesn’t get the XC juices flowing, I don’t know what will. Tim Jones

Paragliding XC League

Well, we haven’t had any entries this month, though it wasn’t for the want of trying for some, but we had some late entries from Steve McIlduff left over from January that rocketed him into second place! Watch out Bill. Still nothing from the hang gliders though… Now is the time that the sea thermals may start joining up with land thermals, so let’s all keep an eye on the forecast and study the maps. I look forward to being inundated with grid references. Tim Jones


This year’s re-pack was held on the 12th February at Carnmoggas Caravan Park, with 17 attending. Thanks to Nigel Waller for organizing it, and Paula Gigg for allowing us to use the facilities.  Bill Morris was the main man as usual and aided again by Greg Emms.

The day started with a video presentation of Bill’s exploits on his  Aska 17  wing and other speed wings ( watch on  Bill’s YouTube Channel ‘Glidewatch or link here. Bill explained the advantages of flying smaller wings on windier days, and said most paraglider pilots would soon adapt to the faster speed and the different landing and turning  techniques. There is also his article in this month’s Skywings.

The presentation proper started with the reason we should all carry effective parachutes, and the implications of having the wrong size.  It was explained that paraglider pilots with the wrong size ‘chute mainly suffered serious injuries from the pelvis down, and hang glider pilots from the pelvis up. This was graphically shown in a photograph of a hang glider, with a deployed under sized ‘chute, which was around 20ft from the ground in a diving attitude with the pilot about to impact the ground head first. We were then shown different types of canopies, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the certification system. The general construction of parachutes was explained, and we went onto the floor for a generic re-pack. Then it was our turn.

Pete Lazenby and his mate Andrew Tyson, representing the PPG arm, were first up to throw their reserves, Pete’s  came out OK, but when Andrew pulled his handle on his new parachute…nothing happened!, except the handle came off in his hand!! Pulling out his parachute pack by hand, Bill Morris found it had been connected to the bridle, but through the webbing of the packing bag, meaning it would not have opened properly as the bag would have trapped the lines and stopped the canopy opening. Bill reminded people with front mounted parachutes that, although they can be pulled out with either hand, they must be thrown to the side the bridle was attached.

Later Andrew sent me this note:-                   “I was invited to attend the KHPA repack by a friend. As the venue was only 40 miles down the road, and I’d never attended a repack before, I was pleased to put my name down. The reason I’ve never attended a repack before was because I didn’t own a parachute to repack, even though I’ve been paramotoring for several years. Late last year I decided that a reserve would be a worth while investment, and duly ordered one from a well known outlet.

When it arrived I realised that I was less than confident in setting the whole thing up with my harness, so this was a further reason to looking forward to the repack day.

Although I didn’t know any of the guys who were there, (apart from the friend who invited me), everyone was extremely helpful and friendly. When a volunteer was asked for to simulate throwing a reserve, I was glad to oblige. I’m glad that I did, as it demonstrated to me (and others) how not to pack a reserve. The following few hours were really helpful instructions on repacking, and correctly attaching to harness. I would recommend this course to anyone who doesn’t want to waste their money buying a reserve which either won’t open, or not open correctly when the need arises.”

It was then everyone else’s turn to deploy and re-pack their ‘chutes. We formed groups depending on the make of our parachutes, and helped each other re-pack them. There were no other surprises, and the early finishers wandered round watching the other makes being re-packed.  Plenty of tea and coffee was available, but unfortunately that wasn’t good enough for one diminutive female pilot, who just had to have hot chocolate. A buffet lunch was provided and we were all done by around three o’clock.

It is hoped we can organize a zip wire for the next re-pack, when we will be able to throw our reserves in a more realistic fashion, and hopefully attract more attendees. See a video from the re-pack here. SM


Found these old photographs of Carbis Bay. If you look closely, you can see Raymond on the beach in his knee length woollen bathing costume, and a young Nigel Eagle in his little sailor suit.  Nigel has always liked seamen (I think that’s how you spell it). SM

Pilot Profile

No 1 Steve Dredge.


Age. 43 But still feel about 21

Marital Status. Yes thanks, been really lucky  married to Long suffering Sally for 21 years, how she puts up with me I don’t know?

Born.In the Urban heartland that is Cheltenham, but then dragged off to Nigeria at an early age by nomadic parents, to raised on the edge of the Sahara.

Occupation. Police Officer.

Previous occupations. Upholsterer, Garage attendant, Silver service waiter, Gamekeeper, and spent 9 years in the Royal Air Force dodging various conflicts throughout the world.

How and when did you start flying. I was on holiday in the high Pyrenees in 2005 and saw a group of guys paragliding from a mountain above our campsite, I got talking to them and ended up doing a tandem flight from a peak called ‘pic du Caballeros’ with a Basque guy who, when he found out I was Police officer decided to go into a full Acro mode. It was after I came to and stopped vomiting I realised I had to fly, I loved it.

A year later in Borg St Maurice, France I signed up with a French school and was thrown off the various mountains that make up Les Arcs. The instruction was good but the ‘one full’ day of training I had didn’t quite prepare me for my 1st flight from Arc 1800. Four days later I was still in one piece and realised I really did love it. When we got back to the Cornwall I tracked down Phippsy at ‘Flychaps’ and it was then, I learned the right way to do it.

Which pilots have most influenced you. If I’m honest it was that first bunch of French and Spanish Pilots I talked to on the Mountain in the Pyrenees, I admired their bond and casual attitude, the way they made flying look so graceful and how they were willing to give advice to complete novice like myself. If it weren’t for there advice and encouragement to ‘have a go’ I may not have.

Where and when was your most memorable flying experience. It was my first, and to date last XC. Id taken off from Montallano and was all set to put down in the sign post  field(the one where the campervans park up) Kaz had flown down to talk us in on the radio, the 20 minute flight had turned into 30 and I was still in the air, I’d missed the landing field and was happily although unintentionally flying down the valley, to where I had know idea. But I was probably the happiest I had been for ages, just me and my wing, laughing my head off as I passed over (with height happily) pig farms, olive groves, lemon and orange orchards and farmhouses. I landed another 30 minutes later about 8 k away from where I was supposed to be, but grinning from ear to ear.

What is your favourite flying site in Britain. Apart from the ones down here I’ve not flown that many to be honest, but I don’t think you can beat the shear rugged beauty of Highcliff in the summer.I had a good time at Batch Hill when the Boss was on, thermaling with mates, all grinning at each other like Buffoon’s so that rates pretty highly.

What’s your favourite flying site in Europe. I saw some fantastic sites in the French Alps and can’t wait to get back and fly some of them.

Who do you most admire in the sport. Today its people like Ray and Bill, what an advert for the sport, one who is still flying at 85, and one who, like those first pilots I met, is willing to give up his time and pass on his advice to complete novices. Its guys like those who inspire curious wanabees to that first stage of strapping on a harness, I hope im still as enthusiastic as those guys when im older.

What trait do most deplore in yourself. Impatience, I want to do everything ‘now’, that and an unnatural addiction to weather websites.

What trait do you most deplore in other people. Selfishness .

What’s your favourite piece of music. If anyone has ever travelled in the van with me they will know I like a VERY wide range of music, from Cream, to Cat Stevens, the Sex Pistols to Seth Lakeman, Jethro Tull to Janice Joplin. But if I had  to listen to one song whilst flying it would be ‘Seagull’ by Joe Bonamassa (listen to it sometime, you will get what I mean)

What is your favourite book. Easy ‘Driving Over Lemons’ by Chris Stewart, it inspired me and Sally to take time out and travel, and very nearly not come back, kinda wish we hadn’t sometimes.

What is your favourite film. Goonies, ‘pinchers of peril’ ‘boody traps, dats wot I said, boody trats’

What’s your greatest fear. Waking up one and realising its to late to do all the stuff I wanted to do.

What is your perfect idea of happiness. Travelling the world in a van with Sally and the kids, oh and the odd flying day chucked in along the way.

What would your motto be. UNA VITA-VITATE(one life, live it)

How would like to be remembered.  As ‘a nice soul’

Thanks to Steve for that, now it’s your turn, I will send out the list of questions (above) for you to use as a basis for your own profile. You can omit or add to them as you wish, but please send me something so, as a club, we know more about who you are, or pretend to be. Steve M s.mcilduff@btinternet.com

Card-carrying is good.

A British pilot turned up to on a site in Northern Cyprus and was asked for proof of his flying rating. The pilot was not carrying his BHPA card or an IPPI card and was refused access to the site by the local operator, who in this case functions as an agent for the site on behalf of the military.

This is not the first instance of a pilot being refused access to fly on overseas sites without proof of having some kind of pilot licence or rating. A BHPA card will sometimes suffice, but the best solution is the internationally-recognised IPPI card, now compulsory in some countries. The International Pilot Proficiency Identification card uses an internationally agreed common pilot-rating format: the Safe Pro system for hang glider pilots and the Para Pro system for paraglider pilots. An IPPI card can be purchased from the BHPA Office for £11: it will be issued with the “Pro” level that matches your Pilot Rating under the BHPA scheme. Details and an application form can be found here.