Saturday, December 09, 2006

Frozen, just for one.

It's been over 6 weeks since I last flew my hang glider, so I wasn't going to give up the chance to fly today when the weather turned out to be flyable.

It was cold, but the wind was light, and only slightly off the runway. The only thing that I didn't like was the muddy fields. Rain had fallen overnight and the fields were still water logged, so it meant we had to make sure we landed on the 15m wide runway or else we ended up in the mud!

After waiting for about 6 other pilots to get towed in the air, it was finally my turn, as usual I was little nervous as I waited for the winch to get ready, I gave the go ahead, took a few steps and was airborne, about 100 feet in the air I went to release the first line so the second line could tow me higher, but the line broke, so it was a very short flight. The second flight was much better, as I got to about 1500 feet, the highest I had been on tow, and I had a great flight.

I wanted more, so I launced a 3rd time, but again the line broke at about 150 ft, so I decided to call it a day.

If you don't quite understand what tow launching a hang glider is like, look at this Video, which should make it more understandable. Notice the parachute attached to the line drop a few feet as the pilot rises in the air, that is the first line being released, as the grass was wet today, the weak link (a safety feature on the line), tends to break much easier than when it is dry.

Talking about videos, there is still time to vote for my hang gliding video to get on US TV. Please take the time to register and give it a greenlight, getting the clip on TV would help with the publicity of my challenge.

It looks like today was the last day I would fly this year, as my Saturdays will be taken up getting the Christmas shopping, so I'll wish you all a happy Christmas, and hope to see you all in the new year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


good to hear that you are still flying, still making progress.

You know, when outsiders think of hanggliding, they must imagine it a fairly solitary pursuit, up there, all alone in the sky ... but the reality is very different - most obviously at the start. It takes instructors, and club coaches, drivers, winch operators, tow-coaches... and just the regular guys to do hook-in checks, talk to you about weather conditions, check that your glider is sound etc etc.

I think it would be a fairer representation of the sport, if you could credit some of these endless support people by name ... I see Tony and Rona in there ... but what about your club coaches ? Has Richard not given you advice ? Mick Goad ? These often unsung super-heroes of hanggliding are what makes it all work, they're the people who keep you safe .. and get us all off the ground in the first place !