Saturday, 31 December 2011

Can you tell what it is yet?

Flap servo out and gears replaced.

That was the easy bit, the rest of the repair will take a bit more effort!!

Skorpion sold

My trusty Skorpion has found a new owner :o/

I learned a lot from my Skorp and flew my first sub-40 with it. I have a new (to me) F3F model and the Skorpion was just not going to get flown so it needed a new home.

Good luck Dave; I'm sure you will love it:o)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

F3F Winter League 2 17 December. Ballageich Hill

After a fall on the ice last week which left me with sore ribs and back I had given up any hope of flying this weekend because the forecast was for north westerly winds which usually means the long walk to West Lomond and I wasn't up to a long walk. However, I wasn’t the only person not fancying the walk and Peter suggested we try Ballageith Hill near Eaglesham. This is a hill Dave Watson, Robert Carson and David Loomes use in nw winds and although it meant a longer drive the prospect of a shorter walk at the other end appealed!

To save on fuel I met up with Peter and we travelled through together; thanks to Peter for once again doing all the driving. We managed to take the wrong turn in Eaglesham and were last to arrive but the rest of the gang gave us a round of applause when we finally got there :o)

I hadn’t anticipated 4 inches of snow on the ground which made the initial steep climb a challenge and I managed to fall on my face but my skiboard bag and contents broke my fall! My poor ribs. Mike was unlucky and also fell but landed on his assembled Extreme and damaged a flap and wing trailing edge and had to go back to the car to get his Ascot. I had a chat to Mike about his Extreme and it will be heading my way soon for repair and a new home.

The walk over the moor was longer than I expected and was made hard going with the snow and the very soggy, boggy moorland but we made it to the slope after about 25 minutes trudging across the moor. The walk back seemed much longer! When we got to the slope the views over the reservoirs towards Glasgow, Campsie Fells, Arran, Firth of Clyde and Ailsa Craig were stunning.

I flew first and after a shaky first round got my Vikos going quite well. Peter was unlucky in round two to have the wind drop completely and he had no choice but to land out. The trudge down the hill and over even soggier moorland looked a challenge.

Despite his new leather cowboy hat Mike never seemed to get in the groove with his Ascot. Ola!!

Dave Kelly's Miraj was going well and it is a pity he had to leave early and didn’t get a proper result. Peter had to switch to his Cyril and Dave Watson and David Loomes also flew Cyrils and they were going well. David Loomes made the same error I did in one round when in better air he pulled too tight and lost all speed in the final turn! A good time ruined!

David had his live results system working and live feed to the internet seemed to work well. Ian Stewart sent me a text just after I landed after rounds 1 and 2 congratulating me on FTD and for having 2000 points. This position did not last once the others flew!

A great day out in nice winter weather.

Thanks again to Peter for doing the driving.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Northern Winter League round 2

The forecast for the second Northern winter league event was very encouraging with a promise of strong westerly winds and sunshine although also a promise of low temperatures.

Peter suggested a later start this month so I had an extra half hour in bed before getting to his house for 4:30 and we headed off to collect Mike on the way. Dave Watson was already in north Yorkshire although Dave was committed to flying his Cyril having left his Vikos wing joiner at home! A quick stop at the Purdy Lodge for an overpriced cup of tea and egg roll sustained us until we got to the baker's shop in Sleights for some pies and cake. We arrived at Horcum just in time to head up the hill to the Levisham slope. The climb certainly put a heat in us!

Although cold initially is soon warmed up a little and turned out to be a pretty good day out. My new Aldi salopettes were very effective in keeping me cozy!

I loaded all the ballast in my Vikos for the first round and I’m sure I changed the amount for all subsequent rounds! Round four I flew with only wing ballast and was back to full load by the final round! I could do with devising a faster way to change ballast.

I had a really good day and although I only finished in 14th place I was quite happy. I cut in round two and flew safe (long) for the rest of the day. Just before the final round I was speaking to Ronnie Lampe and saying I never liked flying last because at the end of the day the last flight of the competition is always rubbish. Ronnie was unconvinced and rightly so because my final flight saw some good air and my Vikos kicked up its heels and I was second in the last round!

A Festive burger at Mickey D’s just north of the Tyne Tunnel kept us sustained and I was home just after 10 and in time for a wee drink with SWMBO. :o)

Thanks once more to Peter for doing all the driving.
Dave took some great pictures.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Practice session East Lomond 1 December

With the next round of the Northern winter league on Saturday I decided that more practice would not be a bad thing especially when the forecast for East Lomond was quite promising.

The wind was blowing well round to the south west with a touch more west than ideal but a good 25mph so pretty good for East Lomond. I had taken my Vikos and it was going well and I intend sticking to it and keeping my Skorp as back-up. Peter joined me just as I was getting ready to launch and we had a good hour on the slope. Peter’s P3 was grooving round the turns as well as ever.

Encouraged by how much ballast Peter had in the P3 I filled up my Vikos completely. I should learn to fly heavy cos it was going really well!!

Some light rain blew through from time to time and the effect of raindrops on my goggles and the low winter sun made turns on the left a wee bit hard to see and rather scarey. I accidentally flew through the sun once which got my attention. I should concentrate on the flying and not gabbing to Peter!! Bishop Hill in the distance was in cloud and occasionally the cloudbase over East Lomond was not much above the slope.

I headed home via work to collect my extra warm winter gear which I keep in my locker. It was really cold today with 3 deg C and ice and frost on the ground up the hill. Can’t imagine Horcum being very warm!