This was a strange day a very early slightly surreal start driving my family to the airport where they depart again for another some months in Qatar.
I then went flying.
I stopped at the shop to find out where everyone was as it looked easterly but dissonantly there were some on West Firle. The shop was buzzing, they said just to go where I could see people flying. It looked that they were flying the easterly facing bowl, so the whole idea felt wrong to me, decided, I went as we had planned to Bo Peep.
It was great to see Ozzie and all the others, there were loads out on what had started as a nice sunny day. It was windy but bright, while I was rigging however it completely filled in with cloud and got cold, ‘come sempre’. My glider kept trying to go for a walk so I chose to rig flat, little did I know that this would cause problems later.
I felt really uncomfortable on my glider on the first flight. I had what felt like a turn, my harness was also not adjusted correctly [partly I think because I just flung it in the boot last week and forgot about it – messy], the angle of dangle rope was set very high making me feel odd and disconnected. It was hard to feel I could adjust it as the glider had a strong left turn that I constantly had to counter, If I took a hit of lift also turning me that way it was hard to control. So my imagination began to wheel making me worried that my landing at Swanborough last week may have bent something.
The air was ok though, enough for some boring soaring, in denial totally I tried best I could to get on and work through the feeling I had with the glider. However it was very tiring so I landed only after 30mins.
I looked at my battens with Ozzie and swapped the tip ones to see if this helped – it did not and the second flight was even more uncomfortable and exhausting – landing was better but still pants – then on closer inspection I found that one of the undersurface battens had slipped while rigging over the leading edge – this distorted the wing a little, but enough to cause a difficult turn… it had not made a strong visual change to the look of the wing and I had not seen it during my usual pre-flight inspection but as the zip is tight on the T2 so I had not looked inside the wing where the error was obvious, so the lesson here is always look inside the wing during checks...
Overall I was happy with the day, I had felt something wrong and had been perplexed and worried what it might be and had been critical enough that via a simple visual check I had finally identified the issue. This was such a relief to know that the turn was from and identifiable cause rather than some gnawing mystery.
Ozzie made it all the way to Hailsham and back to the coast along with many others. I missed a good day because of that stupid error and inadequate checks, but had enjoyed briefly following Ozzie and Dave Mathews, it could have been a lot better, but in the end I was happy.