Sunday, 30 December 2012

Festive Foamie Fun

Nine of us enthusiastic fliers pitched up for the Festive Foamie event. A brilliant turnout in the middle of winter considering several of the regulars were missing. The forecast was for 20 mph sw winds and dry and mild. We got up to 40 mph (full ballast) winds and frequent heavy downpours of rain. The strong winds and wetness made it seem pretty cold too. Fortunately a few had brought Sportbrellas and shelters so we had somewhere to hide during the showers. The showers were heavy and persistent and really disrupted the flow of races. We were lucky if we could fly more than two consecutive races before the next shower hit.
I completely blew my first race when I had a bad start followed by confusion over which model my flagman was flagging! My Reaper was going well though and I felt I was closing the gap between Mike and myself but I dived a wee bit too low along the edge and clipped a wingtip on the slope. My sturdy (fully ballasted) Reaper survived the resulting cartwheel and was soon back in the air.

My last race was a result for me when I managed to win it and beat Peter and his Bluto into the bargain! However, upon landing, Peter discovered huge chunks of the covering on his model was hanging off and would have been a fairly effective airbrake!

After 9 races we called a halt to the proceedings and headed back to the cars to dry out and warm up. Good fun and a bit of a triumph over adversity!!
The temporary camp

Ewan getting ready to go as Mike gives helpful advice!

David getting ready launch

Hiding from the downpours. Peter treating his lurgie with yet another Lemsip!!

Ewan and Mike hiding from the weather. We are under Ewan's Sportbrella. Thanks Ewan :)

Back at the car park and looking up the hill. Rain stopped and cloud has decended!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Mild winter day on East Lomond

The weather put paid to the F3F competition yesterday with more than enough wind but way too much low cloud. We hung around yesterday until after 12 and with no sign of any improvement in the weather Peter called it off. Typically as soon as we got away from the hill we were met by blue skies but looking in my rear view mirror East Lomond was still in cloud.


My base camp on East Lomond

Low winter sun peeping out from the cloud

I was back up the hill this morning by 10:30 to find a nice mild day (7deg C) and 15 mph wind blowing from slightly south of south west. Half ballast in my Extreme and it was chucked in the air and I was happy. It was quite cloudy for the first hour but the sun came out and it got quite thermally at times. Quite sinky at times too!! When the sun came out the wind started to drop to around 10 mph. Still great fun practicing EM style turns. Fast? Not really!! Fun? Absolutely!

Home for a late lunch and ready for my nap now…………..

Monday, 10 December 2012

Stormy day on West Lomond

With the promise of a sunny day and a good north west wind I headed up to Craigmead car park and the long walk to West Lomond. The car park was a sheet of frozen slush/snow and very difficult to walk on! The path along to West Lomond had a patchy covering of the same melted and refrozen snow which made the walk up a challenge because a lot of time was spent walking on the margins of the path or stepping very gingerly on the ice. The strong headwind didn’t help much either.  

The final climb up the path over the shoulder of West Lomond was hard work and by the time I got there I was cream crackered and doubting my sanity!! I had the same doubts later on as I struggled to hang onto my Extreme at the launch point. Turbulent conditions on the edge and a real challenge to hold the model level before letting go!! I had to abandon my second launch because I just could not hold the model level with one hand. It was blowing between 40-50 mph with frequent big gusts.
Low winter sun shows up the folds in the terrain down the hill near the Bunnet Stane (bottom left)
Once away though my fully ballasted Extreme was ballistic in the bumpy air!! Yippee. Landings were a bit hairy because the rotor seemed much worse than usual. The wind was more NNW which swung  it off the slope a bit and may have contributed to the hairy landing approaches.  The low sun on the landing approach was also a real problem and I had a couple of moments where I could hardly see my model. Ahem!!

I had a couple of flights before Peter arrived and having someone else to launch made the whole thing much less fraught. Landings were still hairy though.
Extreme trying to bury it's head in the snow hoping I won't fly it again!
Peter flew his Stinger first it if went like a scalded cat in the big air. He was able to carve some excellent turns although flying a uniform course was tricky in the turbulent air. Peter’s Freestyler also went well but seemed a bit unsettled at times in the bumpy lift. Peter proved the strength of the FS when it fell out of the air on landing and went into the frozen ground nose first. It actually stuck in nose first but survived fine. Strong model!! 

My Extreme resting on the snow in the low winter sun