Monday, 2 December 2013

Frustrating weather

The forecast of very light westerly winds led me to plan climbing Bishop Hill on Sunday but the forecast subsequently changed to suggest the direction could swing north-westerly. So with the possibility of not getting any flying after the big ascent, I headed up Gallow Hill with my trusty Spark. When I got to the parking area near the tv transmitter it was a lovely day with hardly a breath of wind.

Looking south towards Angus transmitter, Dundee, River Tay and Fife. Cracking day for a walk.
I got to the slope to discover it was virtually flat calm, no more than 4mph and from the north-west. Just as well I didn't waste my time and effort climbing Bishop Hill. 

Becalmed on Gallow Hill
Being an eternal optimist I chucked my Spark off and managed a few short flights but there was just not enough lift for it. I had a few walks to retrieve if from the front of the slope and did managed a couple of flights of about 5 minutes but most were very short. I made one interesting discovery though. If you stall the Spark in a turn by flying too slowly it will spin and the resulting decent rate is quite startling! Just got it level before it hit the heather. Fortunately it was nice and soft springy heather! A couple of more short flights and a cuppa and I headed back to the car. Not too disappointing because this hill is not far from home and it was a lovely day for a walk. Met the farmer for for the first time on my drive down the access road and had a long chat with him. Nice chap and wasn't asking me why I was using the private access road through his farm steading which leads to the tv mast!

Monday looked more promising (I had a day off work) with a 15-25mph wind forecast for East Lomond. I met up with Peter at the car park late morning to discover the forecast hadn't mentioned low cloud on the hill. Rain too. We had a cuppa and a chat and were about to pack up and go home but decided to try the low slope to the west of the car park where I have flown my Alula and DLG in the past. Peter's Freestyler proved that the slope worked okay and my Ascot was going quite well too. Promising lift was noticed further out from the edge above a low ridge but any hope of leaning more was quashed when the low cloud descended to our height so we hastily landed to wait for it to clear. It didn't! 
Peter hoping for an improvement in visibility.

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