Firle Beacon

some of us galehang for a living...

The forecast had looked great all week so there were loads of people out, maybe 20 hang glider pilots, fantastic to see. I had a couple of nice flights, mostly in ridge lift but with the occasional thermal. It was a little windy meaning that the lift was broken, or felt broken if you could stick with it then some made it to 4000ft above.

Too nice a climb to leave… so why…

I baled at 1500ft from my best climb of the day, losing my way in the desire not to lose out on subsequent flights. “Ridge suck” I think is the technical term.

My launches were fine and my landings, all of which I found satisfying as I had been feeling this season begin to slip past without any flying. I flew here for just under 3 hours but was really tired afterwards electing not to launch for an evening soar due to being cautious.

John Barrett teaching on a windy Firle

Sunday was a different story, far too windy really so I was late to the hill and then drank loads of tea while watching John fly his students tethered. I thought this looked great with the students getting maybe an hour od airtime each in twitchy conditions so they will have captured a nice feel for controlling a glider. Much more than short skims in lighter conditions.

I finally flew in a wind not unlike the start of the day – only I was rigged and also bored. Launch was ok – but rough up to 100ft then only bumpy. I was looking to sit above the trig point and enjoy the view for a while but it was too windy for this – needing bar in all the time just to stop being blown over the back and the odd kick from a disemboweled thermal to stop me from relaxing. I set up my approach from the trig point so I would arrive at landing at the correct height, this worked a treat and I had a lovely smooth landing right by the track.

some of us galehang for a living…

In the same air Carl Wallbank broke the British Record with a 280km flight from Wales to the coast.

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