Monday, 20 February 2012

Sunday Fun on Gallow Hill

Saturday was taken up with DIY which should have taken a morning but ended up taking the whole day! (Got side-tracked from removing skirting into re-wiring all the phone extensions and running the cables under the floor) The north-west winds from Saturday were still there on Sunday although less strong. After scrabbling about on the floor all day Saturday my legs and knees didn’t fancy the long walk to West Lomond so I took the easy option of the 20 minute drive and 15 minute walk to Gallow Hill in the Sidlaws. Not the steepest slope and with no defined edge but great for a lazy beggar like me and there is a nice rounded top for landings! There were no cattle in the field so I could park up next to the Angus transmitter mast and hoof it over the heather to the slope. There is no defined path so trudging through heather can be hard going especially with tired legs and knees! Groan!! The other access from Hillside of Preiston farm is easier walking but much further and more of a climb.

There were a few flakes of snow falling which didn’t come to anything and my Race M was going well in the 15 mph wind blowing straight on the slope. Despite the 4 deg C temperature the bright sunshine seemed to be generating some nice thermals from time to time and I had great fun blasting around the sky although I had to land every 20 minutes or so to warm my hands having left my cosy transmitter muff in the house where it is no use whatsoever!! I had the Race M almost specked out at one point and was joined by a friendly buzzard and we flew in formation for a while before the bird dropped its nose and headed off looking for something more appealing than a composite glider!

As usual the views were excellent and the sunshine showed up the snow capped mountains to the north and Dundee and Fife to the south.

To the west the new wind generator was visible in the distance just beyond Auchterhouse Hill.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Bishop Hill walk and talk

The forecast promised lightish westerly winds and a dry bright day so eight of us met-up at the farm and trudged up to Bishop Hill looking forward to our first F3F competition on our favourite hill since summer 2010. We were confident the low cloud shrouding the top would soon clear.

Well, it didn’t!

Robert Carson had brought his new and unflown P3 along and I’m suspicious that the half of the Chinese proverb on the left wing jinxed things completely!

There were some hints of blue sky above us at times but from the centre of the course the base we put up on the north side was never visible. We sat around eating our sandwiches, drinking our tea and coffee and having intellectual discussions about a wide range of issues. Some intense and some hilarious!

Mike gave in to some suggestions that he flew his recently repaired Volij and keep it close in. A white model in a misty sky very rapidly disappeared.

A distant crunch confirmed it was down but thankfully it was easily retrieved and not too badly damaged. After some very helpful suggestions as to how Mike should repair his model common sense prevailed and we headed back to the cars and home.

Next competition is likely to be Horcum on 10 March.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Horcum Winter league 4 February

The dire warnings of severe weather would have suggested that a sensible person should have stayed at home and not get up at 3:30 am and head to Peter’s house before heading off down to the Hole of Horcum for the February winter league race. The journey down was going well until we turned off the A19 just south of Middlesbrough heading for Stockton and to the Tesco garage to let Peter use his 10p per litre discount voucher. The low fuel light had been on for the last half hour and we had discussed that it would probably be wise to stop at a services and buy a few quid’s worth of fuel to make sure we made it to Stockton. About two minutes short of Tesco garage Peter’s car expired at the side of the dual carriageway! Empty!

Within 2 minutes a Highway Agency truck pulled in behind us and the guys helped push the car further over from the carriageway. The guys asked questions, took photographs and filled in form. We were a reportable incident! Meanwhile Peter was on the phone to the AA who arrived within 10 minutes and we were soon on our way following the AA man to Tesco to refill his can of diesel and fill the car. A call to Rich Bago assured him we would be there a wee bit later than planned although as it turned out we arrived in plenty of time. After all that carry on Peter definitely qualifies as a naturalised Scotsman!

Eighteen of us dressed up in winter gear to withstand the -13deg wind chill and headed over to the south bowl for a great session of F3F racing. A good 30mph saw some close racing and great flying. Jon suggested flying 4 rounds and then assess how cold we were and if we would finish up then but as it turned out we flew 8 rounds and were back at the cars and heading home before 3 o’clock.

I managed to cut in round one and again in round six. I also lost a round completely when a re-flight I was given went wrong after a hurried launch that saw the dangling aerial on my Vikos jam one elevator in the half up position. A careful but unsteady landing circuit followed and I was fortunate to get it back down in one piece. Thanks to Paul Middleton for guiding me back to the landing area so I could focus on flying with half forward stick held in. My final placing looks rubbish but without the lost round and two cuts my times were ok. If only…..!

Full results are on the NYMRSC website but well done to Peter on his fourth place result.

Thanks again to Peter for doing all the driving.