Monday, 21 April 2014

Cute Clouds at Kilspindie

An easterly wind and fine weather saw me on the east slope mid-morning on Saturday soon to be joined by Peter with his FS3 and his Stinger.
Peter's Freestyler
When I first flew my Precision the local buzzards took exception to me flying over their nest and gave chase but in the 20mph + winds they couldn't catch me and gave up! They didn't go far though and kept an "eagle" eye on us!

We were soon joined by Ian and Ali and we all enjoyed some pretty good lift.

Big skies.

Peter had both his models going really very smoothly (and swiftly) and both EM and reversals were working well.

Ali launched his thermal model and immediately climbed a long way out from the slope.

Ian has his old war horse Tragi and it was going well with the inbuilt ballast (epoxy)!

My Precision flew nicely (as ever) with about 1.2kg ballast and definitely has the edge over my trusty Extreme which I also flew.

The skies were an ever changing picture at times. One on the bonuses to this hobby :-)


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A Fairlie Awesome Road Trip

The forecast for a good west wind and with Bishop hill not likely to be available because of lambing the first round of the Scottish F3F Summer league saw us head for the West coast and Kaim Hill near Fairlie. I met up with Peter about 7:30 and we headed off soon after and got there (after a quick stop for coffee and after some iffy navigation) about 10:00. We met up with Mike McC, Craig and Sam and were soon joined by Robert, Dave Watson followed by David Reid and Mike. The forecast said the showery rain would clear so, most of us keen to get going, we headed up to look for the slope. It was a longer walk than we thought but when we got to the slope it looked excellent. Brilliant views of Arran and Bute. Hunterston B below us and Largs up the coast a few miles. The wind seemed about 40mph and pretty smooth. 
Arran in the distance. Hunterston B middle left.
I flew first and filled my Pike Precision up with ballast (1.7kg) and flew a 36.02 in round 1 and a 34.82 in round 2. Not too shabby for me although as usual my flying deteriorated as the day progressed and I never flew so fast again although I did manage a 38.58 (R5), a 40.02 (R4) and a 41.66 (R6). My round 3 time was 46.84 after I cut! (pratt!)

Sam's Needle gets away

A happy Sam walks to landing area after a new PB.

Mike carving a neat course with his Stinger. No he didn't cut!
I had to change models when landing the Pike went wrong after round 4 and it ended up with the left wingtip sticking into the soft ground and the whole weight of the model was being taken by the wingtip. Did I mention it was full of ballast? The left aileron seemed dodgy so out came my trusty Extreme. It didn't help when I flew round 6 without reflex switched in. My Precision doesn't seem to need reflex and I forgot the Extreme does. 

Dave hunkered down out of the wind
Dave Watson had a scary time when he had one of the flaps on his Stinger stick fully down as he crowed through for the next round. Dave tried cycling the flaps several times but it stubbornly stuck down! Some careful flying ensued and Dave was able to land the Stinger successfully :-)

Ready to launch. It was a bit windy!
The wind continued to build as the day progressed until it got above the FAI limit and we had to stop. By this time I could hardly stand still on the edge! Dave got a reading of well over 70mph. Yippee!
If you look carefully in front of the island you can almost make out a submarine with escorting flotilla

Walking back. The hill is top right. I wouldn't recommend landing in this spot!

View back towards the cars.
Everyone had a great day and Sam managed to up his PB more than once. Result.

Great site and well worth the trip and walk. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Weasel-in-the-Mist and East Lomond at its best.

The forecast for East Lomond on Saturday promised a nice SSW –S wind with the possibility of showers. It didn’t mention the low cloud which I could see as I drove past Letham heading for the hill. At that point I nearly turned back but pressed on in the hope that it would clear. It didn't. Fortunately I had brought my Weasel-Evo with me and was able to fly it from the slope just west of the car park. A lot of the time it was skimming along just below the cloud-base and on occasion it almost disappeared.

Weasel-Evo skims along just below the cloud.
At times the mist thinned but the top of the hill remained invisible. Then the rain came on and I went home.


Being an ever-hopeful optimist I was back up the hill first thing on Sunday morning and it was excellent. Blowing 30mph + and building from the SSW (15 degrees west of south according to my Silva compass). Some high cloud but bright sunshine trying to break through and really smooth and lifty air! Great fun and my Pike Precision was going well. Really well!
A few light showers blew through and I cowered in the lee of the main slope until it cleared and the Pike was back in the air with lots of ballast. Yippee!! 

Hiding from the rain in the lee of the hill.
I flew from just beyond the gate well to the east end of the usual main slope and it must be the best direction for East Lomond. I headed home about 12 and the wind was still building.