Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pap Hill at last...

The first person to bomb out from there, what an honour ;-)

I was up on pap hill at lunchtime watching the wind swing around from the SE to SW via the North as forecast. Around 1pm there were Cus popping everywhere and strong cycles coming up the face, there were wedgies and hawks in the air and none flapping. That would probably have been the best time to launch, but I waited for Gav to finish work and then we left one car at the bottom and set up on top. I flew the Climax and Gav flew my fun.
By the time we launched it was a very light W and only mildly thermic. When I originally selected the bottom landing for the climax I knew I was going to need a fairly big clearing into wind and selected a spot near the road, from the top of the hill it looked an easy glide but I was out with my judgement again. When I measured the hill I found it was just over 250ft from the top down to the road. However I was at least 50 ft below the top when i finally found a bit steep enough and clear enough to take-off in nil wind in the climax. The ground after take-off slopes gradually down to the road and has allot of washouts and ridges and anthills and small trees, large bushes and big sharp rocks, It was possible to get the fun down in and around the bushes but very hard with the climax.
I flew down the ridge and finding nothing but zeros and sink quickly turned towards the bottom landing area. It was obvious that It was going to be very tight, with the VG full I made it about 2/3 of the way before having to very quickly deal with a large number of obstacles and a ridge that I was never going to get over. I stayed on the base bar till the last second and concentrated on not hitting anything. At the last second with my basebar 1ft off the deck and completely out of energy I got my legs half down through the scrub and threw out the A frame. I got one leg down and then tripped and the glider nosed in ever so gently. The glider is unharmed and I am fine except for a small scratch on my right elbow. I can remember when I dreamed of being good enough to crash the climax that well. ha. ha.
Gav bravely followed me off in the fun and seeing how far I got just headed straight for the road, he landed not far from me in the bush. It was great exercise carrying the gliders out through that stuff. I am going to make an alternate bottom landing right under the take off.

It was another short fly, but in the right conditions it will be great.

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