Sunday, 14 December 2014

F3F Winter League 2. Cancelled. Coffee and cakes instead!

15MPH winds and dry and cold was a pretty good forecast for the second round of the Winter F3F league and six of us turned up eager to get going. We were all hoping to bang in a few good rounds before heading for the Pillars of Hercules cafe to thaw out. 
View south
From past experience I did have slight concerns about how passable the access road up the hill would be if there was snow and ice left over from the recent wintry days. The drive over to East Lomond was fine and the roads and fields completely clear but as soon as I started driving up the hill it was obvious there was packed snow and ice on the roadway. (This area is a national park and is not salted/gritted) I managed to drive about 150m up the road before I spotted Ewan waiting in a passing place for a Volvo, stuck 50m further on, to clear the road. I pulled in behind Ewan’s Scooby Forrester. Despite new tyres on the front of my car I could tell I would not be getting all the way up to the car park. Dave and Robert turned up and they could get no further up the road and in fact had a job getting moving again at all. Ewan had a plan though!

We drove back down to the start of the access road and parked the cars and packed all our kit into Ewan’s car and Ewan easily drove all the way up and dropped Ian and myself off with the kit before he headed back down to collect the rest of the chaps

Only possible to get this far up the road in a 4x4

Ewan's Scooby
Eventually we were all in the car park playing with some snowmen who were already there and watched as low cloud formed on the face of the hill and blowing over the top precluding any flying. We hung around for a while getting cold before we abandoned plans for a competition and repeated the ferrying trips before we headed off for coffee and cakes in the Pillars.

Waiting for the rest of the guys to be ferried up to the car park. Low cloud already forming at the top.

Rather than wait in the cold for Ewan to return to collect us we started walking.
Thanks to Ewan for bringing the correct equipment and for acting as hillside taxi service. I am jealous! I need one of them!!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Northern F3F Winter League round 2

The forecast wind direction for round two of the Northern F3F Winter league looked somewhat ambiguous but Jon Edison’s decision to go for the south bowl was spot on. When we first got to the slope the wind strength was hovering around the minimum for a while but picked up a little and we were able to get going mid-morning. Light (fairly cold) winds with little variation prevailed all day so it was great to try different models, settings, ballast etc. I had a real problem getting the right hand base nailed and kept cutting or wanting to cut right up until the last round. As Ronnie Lampe said in a stage whisper, I was “flying like a twat!!” 

I flew my Stinger for 5 of the 7 rounds and switched to my Precision for the last two. The models flew fine. Me? Less so!!

Peter has a way to go to catch-up with Mark's ZZ Top look!
Peter switched between his FS3 and his Jedi several times and finished in fourth place, only one point behind third place man (Paul Upton).  Close at the top. I was well down the field (twat!)

A bit of wheeling and dealing also took place, Peter collected a set of alloy wheels shod with nice winter tyres for his car as well as passing his Stinger to Mark Treble for ultimate handing on to its new owner via the “F3F network”. I collected my new (to me)  Futaba FX30 transmitter from Martin Newnham. I just need to work out how it all works. It is lovely though.  

A Christmas present to myself

Monday, 1 December 2014

Gallow Hill Sunday 30 November

The wind was forecast to be south easterly on Saturday and Peter and I had hoped to try out a new hill near Dundee but the mist/low cloud and rain put paid to that idea. It stayed pretty gloomy and damp all day.

The wind was forecast to swing to the north-west on Sunday which it did but it was very light, 3-8mph which didn't encourage me to go to Craigmead and walk along to West Lomond. However I did take my Longshot DLG up to my local nw slope at Gallow Hill. The wind was light but it was a nice day and I fancied a walk. Having been so wet recently and the road is usually pretty muddy at best I didn’t park at the tv mast but took the longer walk up from Hillside of Prieston.

Longshot with Strathmore in the background
It was a lovely day when I got there and I initially regretted not taking an F3F model because it was blowing about 10mph but within half an hour the wind dropped down to around half that and although my Stinger would have flown it would not have been a lot of fun.
Trying to hit myself!

 However my Longshot went really well and I was able to keep it in close to the slope and skim along the “edge” with low-level loops, stall turns and rolls thrown in for fun. I even managed to take some selfies with the camera on my phone.

As I headed home for a late lunch in the bright sunshine and the fabby views north over Strathmore and south over the Tay and Fife I remembered one of the reasons I love this hobby!! The scenery can be awesome! By this time there was hardly a breath on wind.

TV mast on Gallow Hill with Angus Mearns beyond
Wreckage of the Avro Anson which crashed here during WW2 on a ferry flight having descended too low and tragically flew into the hilltop killing the pilot. Looking at the location of the crash site another 10 feet higher would have missed the hill. Mainly undercarriage parts I suspect.

Spotted this stone waymarker on the way back down the hill. There is a D on the opposite side.