Archive for June, 2007

Oh Deer! Antler sited on Morrone…..

Monday, June 11th, 2007

I had a call from Ian Archer on Saturday morning to see if I was heading out. Looking up at the Haar in Aberdeen I knew there was a better chance of flying if we headed inland and up to the West! I was thinking the east side of Morrone near Braemar.

I mentioned Morrone to Ian, a new site for him. We discussed Mount Blair so I packed my wing and headed off with Mac the Dog down the A90 and met up with Ian at his place, a nice Timber Cabin in the woods, excellent.

We headed over to an East facing site near Mount Blair that Ian had flown with Murray, but I wanted to stick to the original game plan. We drove past Mount Blair and on to the Glenshee car park. The wind was blowing up from Braemar, so wrong direction for the Bowl.

We drove into Braemar and went round to the Duck Pond. Ian was not keen on the tab up, so we went round to the road access side. The gate was locked and Ian looked for a way up in his 4 x 4 but no luck.

We walked up the path and laid out on the right hand side of the hill. The plan was to jump to the east side of Morrone. I took off first and floated down the road a bit. Ian took off and landed further down the path. I walked up higher and took off again, this time jumping the gap (Murray would be proud of my slot landing).

Ian was still on the ground so I headed higher and further round the east side of Morrone. I spotted the antler (pictured) in the heather up to the front and packed the item in my harness. No messing around on the landing I thought as this would push through the material and into my back!

I laid out on a flat part near the top of the hill and started my checks from the start as I was hot and flustered. Take it back to the start I said to myself, take off the gear and lay the wing out. It is worth doing this if you have the wing over your shoulder and are walking up the hill for an extended period of time!

Pulled the wing up and I was up, up and away, the vario screaming out. The thermals were strong and I was going up at a fair old rate. I flew towards Braemar and got well above the summit. After half a hour looking at the views around Braemar (I saw a herd of Red Deer but no “Buck with one Antler”!) I drifted back over Ian who was well below me. I did several 360’s and realised I was still going up, so I flew out of the lift zone and back towards Ian and landed a few yards from him.

Conditions had picked up but I had enjoyed the flight. I was glad to be on the ground again. The speed bar setup that Murray assisted with was fine but in discussion with him I should have pulled Big Ears to get down.

Fly safe and we’ll see you on the hill soon!


Who would have thought yesterday was flyable :-)

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Fantastic day yesterday. Even although while looking at the weather
In the morning I thought this was going to be a DIY day.
It was still worth the drive down from Aberdeen to Fife as some time could have been spent on theory if conditions were poor.

On arrival at East Lomond conditions were humid , hazy with very light winds. This turned out to be a very  educational day. By the time we reached the top the sun was although not breaking through was managing to heat the ground as small thermals were popping through.

Murray: “IR passes through the clouds, like certain types of glass IR can pass one way (in to the greenhouse/room) but not out… the reason for this is the ‘frequency shift’…. IR direct from the sun is (from memory) a higher frequency than the IR radiated back to space from the ground, hence on a cloudy night the local air temp/world remains warm while on an otherwise identical night but with no cloud cover the temp drops rapidly and a frost can occur, all due to the (lower frequency) IR radiated from the ground being reflected by the cloud cover back to the ground i.e. ‘trapped’ … on the clear nite it simply radiated back into space and is lost..

So in summery, cloud cover (daytime when out flying) will reduce the temp ‘contrast’ so it feels LESS hot in hazy sun than if it was direct sun this generates thermals low down/ground level but far less punchy. As the PG pilot gets higher the strength of the RISING thermal is more to do with the actual (environmental) lapse rate, so thermals rising into cooler air speed up ‘get stronger/puncher’.” :END    

I spent some time testing the air and trying to get a feel for the thermals and
Change in wind direction prior to take off. It was surprising how in such
Light conditions ( ridge lift that is ) how much the wind direction and strength changed
over such a short period of time swinging from south easterly through to southerly in seconds. 
Meaning standing on the top plateau my Nova Pheron was nodding left to right almost like a
Metronome. In addition tension on risers were changing so much that I had good practice
At reversing and controlling frontal collapses. Although not perfect at this I’m sure My DHV 1 Nova Pheron was not helping. ( think I need to cut the wing tips off –  Murray get the old Singer looked out  )

Murray :”This yaw of the wing (and on low DHV wings significant roll due to tip curving down) is a classic indicator of a light wind lifty thermal condition and required a diffrent approach to launching TIMING than a variable wind ‘ridge lift day'” :END

Most flights were generally short from top with hill side landings just below the plateau.
( even Murray on the odd occation didn’t manage a top landing )
At about 2pm The sun managed to squeeze through for 30 mins and the cycles changed for a while with increased thermal activity. 

One specific flight, where my launch timing was right ( more good luck than judgement )  I flew straight into a decent thermal which took me up about 100 ft I rode out about 3 or 4 punchy small thermals which allowed me to stay about at take off height until a large cycle ( large for the day that was ) came through which took me to approx 600 ft above take-off for a nice 20 minute flight.

Who would have thought yesterday was flyable 🙂

Alan c

‘Black Sat’

Friday, June 1st, 2007

With the conditions getting WAY too punchy inland by eary afternoon (a couple of PG accidents involving heli rescue etc! at other sites in Scotland) Duncan (thanks for the pics 😉 and myself headed to the sandy bay at Elie which is always a good option when Fife main sites ‘blow/thermal out’…. a great site to work on launch/landing and general ground control/safety stuff, with the potential for some exclent technical flying.

Using the wing to jog up the hill, plus the usual playing about on the poles & blocks (war time tank traps), with a lot of the lift (west component to the wind at times) along the ridge out to the point short (!) ‘out and return’ flights even over the water were on.

The bay is also a good site when the wind is right and the air is ‘lifty’ for extended tandem flights, even with heavier P2’s, in fact Alan Littlejohn started with his first flights here..