Monday, July 31, 2006


It's raining here. I made some guttering to collect the rain and fill my caravan tank. I had a shower without having to carry the water first, the rain is ok with me.

Tomorrow should bring good westerlies, I can't wait to go somewhere with the climax.

I have a feeling I might be in exmouth next week.

Yesterday Steve took me and matty up in his plane, its an awesome machine.

We have been running around heaps and learning about power harneses and 2 strokes trying to get Mattys mosquito running... I think we are almost there....

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Not much to report....

Quiet here. The weather has not been cooperating the last fer days. We had a chance to get some engineering work done on Mattys Mosquto. Hoping to fly the range tomorrow.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Still not shaving!

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and running around everywhere on the hills. Why is it that when there are 3 hang glider pilots in a car one will always ponder whether the farmer would miss one...

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I Braked it...

The caravan has the rear hubs off an HQ or something similar. The Cable operated brake is activated by the weight of the caravan pushing forward on the towball. I noticed this the other day, I'm replacing the part now.... I've also had to throw one of the old rims and buy a new one as it was leaking where the two halves are rivetted together...

Hopefully I should be ready to roll again soon, I think we might be heading to Kalbarri in a few days...

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Just like a Monty Python Sketch

I walked into a shop that sells fire equipment. I said I would like to buy a small CO2 fire extinguisher, the salesman asks what I want it for. "To put out fires?"

I feel a little safer in the van now, although to be honest i have been super carefull and not using the gas fridge since the last fire ;-)

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rain stops play

Well on Monday it did as we endured 30knot winds and heavy rain. The forecast is very light for the next couple of days and so it will be more power harness time.... Matty has bought an old Mosquito for $1000 but he needs a new long shaft, drive pulley and prop. I am waiting for some prices...

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Saturday Update

Around lunchtime we met Brett and Steve at the E face of Wozzas. Steve showed us his fighting abilities by keeping his lightspeed in the air between cycles. He even top landed. Matty did the same on the fun before bombing out. He did manage to carry the fun back up the face to the top though.

Brett rigged up his power harness on the top but decided against having his first go there.

Later Brett came to our field and watched me take off and land with my harness. Then he tried, he failed to follow the rules and did not get airborne for long. His second attempt was fine and he flew about for ages and got up to around 2000ft. His landing was also not so hot, but luckily he broke nothing on himself or the glider and most importantly I have it all on film to share with the world. Its blowing 20knots out there at the moment and it supposed to get stronger and more northerly, not looking too good for today (Sunday).

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Our Airfield

We have been using this field that belongs to one of Ashs neighbours... Here it is from the air..

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Hands full

Its surprising how hard it is to take photos whilst y0u are flying with a power harness, I think I need a bit of practice! A longer lanyard on the camera will help. Thats the throttle in my mouth!

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Ashs Place

As I flew over his house at about 1000ft I took this photo.

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Keel over

Matty cut the keel on the fun that used to belong to biccy. Then we tried with that 160 and the power harness. I dunno if its just that I have hundreds of hours flying my old ragged out 160, but the new one did not feel as nice with the power harness. Of course both our flights were great again!

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Awesome Day

Yesterday was an awesome day. Matty jumped off city view into a cycle but bombed after it passed through.

In the late afternoon when it was calm we finally got to fly with the power harness.

The shaft that I have been waiting for arrived in Perth the day after I left. Mattys mum very kindly forwarded it on to the Gero post office and amazingly it was there ready for collecion the next day. The original plan was to use the Fun 220 with the power harness as I figured it would be as slow and easy as it gets.... However even after I fitted the long shaft the clearance from the rear wires still looked dodgy to me. So, I cut the keel off the fun 160 and had a go with that.

The fun 160 is a really sweet little glider, its perfect and a joy to fly. It was no difference with the power harness, with the prop windmilling it comes down like a cesna with 30' of flaps, spot landings are easy. You just aim for a point 45' under you and pull the bar in, with the engine off you hear the prop spinning behind you as you creating plenty of drag. As the ground rushes up you keep the wings level and round out. 2 step landing. Easy.

The takeoff is over really quick, the climb out is awesome, I didn't have a vario yesterday but it felt like 400fpm to me.

I went first and after I landed Matty had a go, both our flights were perfect in every way. Not really a surprise, we have both been tracking down and grilling every person with a power harness that we could find to ensure that there were no surprises.

I am going to have so much fun with that thing! It was a bit rough today but when we next have smooth air I am going to take it up with my vario and log the sink rate with the prop braked vertically where it should offer the least drag.

After I log 10 hours on the power harness with the fun (so about the end of next week sometime) I will put it under the climax, I expect the same Airborne ease of handling as the fun, just a lot more speed on approach.

Today Matty jumped off the Northern End of City view and got hammered in the rough air. I watched and then picked him up afterwards. We spent the whole afternoon driving up and down the coast looking for a N Dune gooning site but the wind is not cooperating.

All I have is DV cam footage of the first powered flights yesterday and I ca't get it off the camera untill i get a 4 pin firewire cable. Do you think I can fnd one in Gero?

Pics and video soon when I find that cable....

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Strange day

It was the wind that was a bit weird today, it went from NE to W in the afteroon varing from nil to about 8knots in the cycles. I was mad keen to jump off anything this morning but Matty insisted on talking to the local expert Steve. Sure enough he predicted westerlies and so we went up to City View and it was on but just a couple of knots. I rigged up the fun 220 anyway and lobbed off into a cycle . I managed to get above takeoff for a beat but the hang point on the 220 needs to come forwards a long way and it was hard work for me one up at 70kg. I landed easily.

Great news the long prop shaft should be here tomorrow. I fired up the engine in the power harness and it runs like a champ. I can't wait!

Here is what the forecast promises for the next few days,...

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Monday, July 17, 2006

I've been everywhere man...

Yes, just like in the annoying Telstra commercial. I love Vodafone, I hate telstra. Sadly my Vodafone connect card does not work out here and so I had no choice but to part with $500 and get a nifty little telstra wireless thingy. Its a cross cdma/gprs/1x/2g thing that should work anythere where there are people in Australia. It seems to work well and all todays and future entries come through it.....

It costs $50/Month and about $1 for 5mins online.... I suppose thats OK to upload photos from anywhere.....

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Morning in Gero

Here we are at last, a beautifull day. Matty and I are staying at Ash's place and are less than 20mins drive from a site for any direction. Its a little gusty at the moment and we are still getting out camp ready, but there will be a heap of flying very soon.

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AT the start of the trip I was not sure how I would find driving with the caravan, I can now tell you that provided I get the balance and setup of the caravan correct and use premium unleaded fuel in the car its a pleasure to drive at 90kph.

30lt of fuel was getting me about 180KM and at the moment fuel is close to $1.50 a litre here.

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Off to Geraldton

Matty & I headed off on Sunday Afternoon. It took about 5 Hrs. The caravan tows nicely at 90kph. It took me a while to get the balance correct in the caravan and the first few hours were scary with the caravan rocking all over the place. Once I got the tension on the stabiliser bars correct and moved more weight out of the back of the caravan it calmed down nicely. I had one scary moment when I got carried away with the newfound stability and went over 100kph, it took every ounce of my reflexes and driving ability to get the caravan back under control.
90kph is easy and safe, that's my new speed.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Last Nite in Perth

Tommorrow morning I leave for Geraldton. I am as ready as I will ever be and cannot wait for the warmer weather and non stop flying. The photo is of the shower/bath and hot water system i designed... Dodgy but effective. I won't be back in Perth for at least 6 months.... Bye Perth!

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Friday, July 14, 2006


Still no sign of the long shaft. grrr. Its really cold here. I got up at 7am this morning to get a new front glider support welded onto my car and I had ice on the windscreen. Leaving for Geraldton on Sunday morning, can't wait. Last day of shopping for a while tomorrow, I won't be back to perth for 7-8 months. I'm almost on my way!

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Winter is here...

Possibly as low as 3'C in Perth tonight. What am I doing here? Freezing, that's what.

However another joy of caravan living is the relative ease of keeping warm. Just light the old gas burners for 15 mins and its tropical in here. For long enough to jump into a warm bed ;-)

Still no long shaft. Waiting impatiently.

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Its on at cott..

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Yippee Cott!

We has some high winds and heavy rain last nite, I was woken up several times when the caravan was shaken. Naturally when woken I seek solice in the internel connection provided by my trusty laptop in the bed next to me. Seebreeze last nite showed perfect westerlies all night, and then just as the sun came up it went SW. After a couple of hours it started to swing west again so Matty and I headed down to Cott. Already down there were Gerry and Bim. Gerry flew, but i don't think he will be back with that glider, something about clapping hands..
Jason came down with his little german fanny, so did Rob and Ivy. Ivy has had his hair removed, its scary. I could't get him to fly either. scary. Rob and Jason flew like champions, as did matty and I, but of course that goes without saying. he. he.

Hopefully the long prop shaft arrives tomorrow and I can take to the air!

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Quiet Saturday

Here I am with my fun 220. Its in pretty good condition. It was obviously owned by a tandem place at some point and is well maintained. Spookily it is exactly the same colour scheme as my 160...

Now that I don't have to shave anymore I am trying to grow a beard. Just for a laugh, I have a feeling I will want it gone once it gets hot, but who knows?

Its Saturday and there is a front pushing through, sadly it looks like another useless NW day, but I am holding onto a feint hope that I might get a late fly at Cott today. Failing that perhaps tomorrow morning, although they forecast an early SW change.

The long prop shaft for the power harness has to arrive very soon and then the first flyable day will be my entry into powered flight with my hang glider. I have listened carefully to those that know and also read everything I could find and come to my own conclusions. I am pretty confident that I will have no trouble mastering it.

Fingers crossed it swings westerly in the next 30 mins and I can still get in a fly....

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