Monday, 12 January 2015

A blustery day on the North York Moors

It looked like big winds were on the cards for the third round of the Northern F3F Winter League and so it turned out. The weather on the drive down was variable and a bit wet and wild as Peter drove us across the Firth Bridge but it improved all the way down and was dry and sunny when we arrived at the car parking area at Levisham.

Conditions were very promising when we got to the edge with the wind almost straight onto the slope and blowing about 20-25 m/s. A bit of test flying and discussion took place about whether it was flyable or not during which time wind was becoming increasingly gusty; a lot of these gusts were well above the 25 m/s limit. Standing still on the edge became a challenge! 

Those who flew showed that landing was tricky in the very unpredictable turbulence and some damage was done. It was decided to give the weather time to settle down and some foamies appeared for a spot of care-free sport flying. I wished I had chucked my Reaper in the car!  
Launch please? Note Peter leaning into the breeze!
Around lunchtime Peter flew his Jedi and after some enthusiastic “pumping” it was absolutely ballisic! Peter dived the model out of sight down the front of the slope for another big pump but this was followed by a loud bang! My first thought that he had hit the slope was incorrect because although the model was out of sight from where I was standing Peter was obviously still flying it. The Jedi remained in the air although all was not well. The left flap looked stuck down and some tree debris was impaled into the leading edge of the left wing which was also lacking the wingtip. Tree? Yes, there is a tree well down the slope and Peter had missed seeing it! The Jedi didn’t miss it though. Apparently AJ has some history with this particular tree.

After a bit of flying around to determine just how much control he had (not much) Peter was able to put the model down at the foot of the slope on the open moorland. The Jedi impaled itself in some soft peat which helped cushion the landing but left the nose sheath well stuck in the wet, sticky peat. On his return to the top of the slope Peter borrowed a couple of spare poles from the bases and four of us headed back down the hill to recover the nose sheath. 

The tree in question
Once we found the site of the incident (no mean feat) we were able to locate the buried nose sheath. After much poking of the ground with the poles to try to break the seal around the sheath and digging out some wet and gooey peat by hand (my nails are still not clean) we were able to extract the nose. Yippee!

Free at last!
On arrival back at the top the decision was made to abandon the competition and we headed back to the cars. On the way home Peter and I had fish and chips in Whitby as compensation! Yummy!!

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